United States Patetit Office
3,003,052 STREP JOINING APPARATUS Arthur L. Williams and Francis A. Bodenheim, Warreu, Ohio, assignors, by mesne assignments, to The McKay Machine Company, Youngstown, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio
Filed Sept. 21,1959, Ser. No. 841,206
7 Claims. (CI. 219—101)
The present invention relates to apparatus for joining strip material in end-to-end relation, more particularly to apparatus for welding the trailing end of one metal strip to the leading end of another metal strip and for treating the welded joint thus formed between the two strip ends to eliminate transverse protrusions, and the principal object of the invention is to provide new and improved apparatus of the character described;
In many strip processing operations, it is impractical to run a length of strip completely through a strip consuming line and to then thread the leading end of another length of strip into the line. The resulting shutdown time, while the strip is being threaded, would seriously curtail production. Moreover, certain processes require that the strip pass through the line at a given speed; accordingly, in some instances, the strip portion which is slowly threaded into the line will be improperly processed and must he discarded. While the above difficulties can be alleviated by feeding long lengths of strip to the line, there are, of course, practical limitations to the length of strip which can be produced, transported and handled.
It has heretofore been proposed to solve the problem aforesaid by securing the trailing end of one strip passing through the line to the leading end of another strip to thus, in effect, provide a strip of infinite length. This solution, while salutary, presents certain difficulties. Practically any method of securing the strip ends together causes a thickened joint of reduced flexibility which, in many applications, interferes with proper line operation since the latter is dependent upon constant strip homogeneity. To minimize the aforesaid undersirable features of the joint, the strip ends have been secured together by butt-welding rather than by . lapwelding or the like. Unfortunately, though, even the butt-welding of strip ends together results in a somewhat thickened joint.
Where requirements of the strip consuming line are such that even a relatively slight thickening of the joint is objectionable, means have been included to trim the welded point to remove any transverse protuberances. Heretofore, such trimming means required the presence of an operator who aligned the trimming means with the welded joint. While this arrangement, at times, functioned satisfactorily, its reliance on operator skill too often resulted in inefficiency.
The present invention provides completely automatic strip joining apparatus which consistently produces a welded joint suitable for passage through the most critical strip-consuming line. These and other advantages will readily become apparent from a study of the following description and from the drawings appended hereto.
In the drawings accompanying this specification there is shown, for purpose of illustration, an embodiment which the invention may assume, and in these drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of strip joining apparatus embodying the present invention,
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view generally corresponding to the line 2—2 of FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view generally corresponding to the line 3—3 of FIGURE 1, and
FIGURE 4 is a schematic diagram of a control cir
cuit for effecting the desired operation of the apparatus seen in FIGURES 1,2 and 3.
With reference to FIGURE 1, the strip joining apparatus illustrated is adapted to be interposed between the 5 leading end of a strip-consuming line 10 and a striprdispensing device such as a pay-off reel 11. In brief, strip S normally passes in the direction of the arrow from the pay-off S normally passes in the direction of the arrow from the pay-off reel 11 to the line 10 through the strip 10 joining apparatus without hinderance from the latter since it is normally inoperative. When, however, the coil on the pay-off reel is consumed by the line and its trailing end passes into the strip joiner, the latter will be activated to grip such trailing end in proper position between the 15 jaws of a welder, the leading end of another coil of strip will be properly gripped between other welder jaws (such other coil being rotatably supported on the pay-off reel 11 or upon another, adjoining pay-off reel), and the welder then triggered to join the strip ends together. 20 After welding, the strip joiner will automatically trim the weld joint to remove any transverse protuberances and will then release the strip so that it may once again pass freely through the strip joiner into the line until this coil is also consumed whereupon the strip joiner will once 25 again be activated to join the leading end of still another coil of strip to the trailing end of the strip there within.
As presently constituted, the strip joining apparatus herein illustrated may, for convenience of description, be divided into a welding section A, a joint trimming section 30 B, and a strip moving section C. Considering first the welding section A, this portion of the apparatus comprises respective pairs of strip clamping; jaws 12 and 13 which preferably extend transversely of the strip from edge to edge thereof. 35 Each jaw pair comprises relatively movable upper and lower jaws and in the present embodiment, the upper jaw of pair 12 is moved toward and away from its lower jaw for clamping the strip therebetween by means of a fluid cylinder 14 while the upper jaw of pair 13 is moved to40 ward and away from its lower jaw by means of a fluid cylinder 15. While not shown, the upper jaws of each jaw pair will, of course, be suitably supported for the necessary movement aforesaid. In addition to the movement of the upper jaws of the jaw pairs 12 and 13 toward 45 and away from respective lower jaws, jaw pair 13 is movable longitudinally of the strip, toward and away from jaw pair 12, by effecting movement of a carriage 16 on which such jaw pair is mounted. Such movement of carriage 16 may conveniently by effected by means of a *>° fluid cylinder 17. Normally, the respective jaws of jaw pairs 12 and 13 are spaced-apart to permit the strip consuming line 10 to freely pull the strip through the welder. Additionally carriage 16 is normally positioned as seen in FIGURE 1 wherein the jaw pair 13 is spaced from the 65 jaw pair 12.
Shiftably supported by carriage 16 is an elongated guage bar 18 which extends substantially from edge to edge of the strip. For a purpose to appear, this bar may be shifted by means of a fluid cylinder 19 from the position seen in FIGURE 1 to a position wherein it is disposed intermediate the jaw pairs 12 and 13. Also for a purpose to appear, bar 18 is stepped to provide portions of various widths. Although not shown, welding sec6g tion A will comprise suitable electrical components to provide for passing welding current between the jaw pairs 12 and 13 and thus between the respective strip ends gripped by the jaw pairs.
Turning next to the joint trimming section B, this sec70 tion is spaced from the welding section A longitudinally of the strip and in the direction of normal strip movement and at the present time comprises a portion B-l