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Патент USA US2404782

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July ‘ 30, 1946,
' 2,404,782
Filed Nov. 50, 1944 '
3 Sheets-Sheet l i
July 30, 1946-
Filed Nov. 50, 1944
______ __
5 Sheets-Sheet 5
_ F/C1‘ “8
85 86
Patented July 30, 1946
George E. Eerggren, Baltimore, Edward Bertalan,
Glen Arm, and Alexander Logan, Dundalk,
Md” assignors to Western Electric Company,
Incorporated, New York, N. Y., a corporation of
New York
Application November 30, 1944, Serial No. 565,840
6 Claims. (Cl. 29—2t0)
This invention relates to assembling appara
tus and more particularly to apparatus for as
The application of slotted discs to central
conductors may be performed with satisfactory
sembling annular insulating and spacing discs
results when the discs are made of a relatively
on a central conductor used in making coaxial
hard, resilient material, such as hard rubber,
but this method is unsatisfactory when discs
made of soft plastics are employed.
One of the plastic materials, which has prop
This application is a continuation-in-part of
copending application, Serial No. 470,746, ?led
December 31, 1942.
Coaxial cables usually comprise a solid cen
tral conductor and a tubular outer conductor,
which is held away from and maintained coax
ially of the central conductor by means of wafer
erties that render insulating discs made there
from especially suitable for use in the manu
facture of coaxial cables, is the one obtained by
polymerizing ethylene. This material, which is
called “polyethylene,” is a moderately soft, plia
ble material, having a high molecular weight and
possessing excellent insulating characteristics.
‘like spacing and insulating discs. Such cables
have been made in the past by stringing insu
lating discs having central apertures there 15 This material may be obtained from several
through upon the central conductor, much in
sources, one of which is E‘. I. Du Pont ole Ne
the same manner that beads are strung upon a
mours & Company, which sells it under the trade
strand, and then forming the tubular outer con
name “Polythene.”
ductor over the discs in any suitable manner.
Polyethylene is sufficiently hard to permit in
It also has been suggested that the discs be 20 sulating discs made therefrom to maintain their
molded directly upon the central conductor, but
this method requires complicated and expensive
Another method of making these cables that
has been used heretofore was to punch a num
shapes under ordinary circumstances, but it is
soft enough to cause some manufacturing dif?
culties to arise when slotted discs are punched
from strips thereof, Furthermore, when slotted
25 discs of the type formerly made of hard rubber
ber of insulating discs from a strip of suitable
were made of polyethylene and were forced upon
material, such as hard rubber, in a punch press
a central conductor, the sides of the slots occa
having a ‘punch and die of such configuration
sionally were deformed by the passage of the
that the discs had central apertures for receiv
ing the central conductor and radial slots ex
tending from the central openings to the periph
cries of the discs through which the central
conductor was forced into the central openings.
conductor therethrough. As a result, the discs
would not adhere firmly to the central con~
ductor, and would tend to slide along the con
ductor or might even come off the conductor.
In addition, it is relatively easy to force such
and the discs were suf?ciently resilient to permit 35 discs on the conductor by a thrust applied on
the sides of the discs opposite the slots and sub
the slots to open up as the central conductor
stantially longitudinally of the conductor, be
passed through the constricted portions and to
Usually the radial slots had constricted portions,
snap back around the conductor after the con
cause the small amount of the material in the
Walls of the slots against which the conductor '
ductor had entered the central apertures in the
discs. As a result, the discs engaged the central
conductor firmly and could not be displaced
presses under those circumstances does not pos
sess enough sheer strength to hold the discs in
Polystyrene has been suggested as a suitable
material to use in making the insulating discs,
but pure polystyrene is so brittle that slotted
discs made therefrom cannot be applied to cen
tral conductors without breaking the discs.
Hence, when polystyrene discs are used they
must be threaded or molded upon central con
ductors. It is obvious that when long, con—
tinuous central conductors are employed, it is
impractical to thread centrally perforated discs
upon such conductors, while apparatus for con—
tinuously molding discs upon such central con
ductors is costly and complicated.
An object of the invention is the provision of
simple and effective apparatus for assembling
An apparatus embodying the invention oper
ates as follows: a single hopper feeds annular
insulating discs through two sets of separate
feed paths to a pair of feed wheels, which carry
the discs past knives to cut a radial slit in each
annular disc and which alternately slide the
discs upon a constantly moving central con
ductor with a wiping motion, the slits in the
discs being held slightly open‘and maintained in
55 the slots in the feed wheels by means of re
until the discs reach the central con
whereupon the discs pass off the re
upon the central conductor and the slits
are free to close up around the central
end in an annular member 24 surrounding a
substantially cone-shaped agitator 25. The agi
tator 25 may be rotated within the annular
member 24 in any suitable manner, for example,
by a motor (not shown) driving a transmission
or gear reducing unit 26, which also supplies pow
A complete understanding of the invention
will be had by reference to the following de
tailed description, when considered in conjunc
er to drive a pair of shafts 21 and 28 on which
the feed wheels H and I8 are mounted. This
tion with the accompanying drawings, wherein
driving connection may be of any suitable con
Fig. l is a front elevational view of an appara 10 struction and, since the details thereof are not
tus for applying annular insulating and spacing ,
pertinent to the present invention, they have not
.discs to a central conductor, which apparatus
been described in great detail.
embodies the apparatus of the present invention
Extending upwardly from the unit 26 is a
and provides means by which the present inven
shaft 29, on which the cone 25 is supported for
tion may be practiced;
rotation within the bin 23. The cone 25 is pro
Fig. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, detailed
vided with a flattened cylindrical lower end 30,
sectional view taken substantially along the line
which, together with the bin 23, de?nes an an
2-2 of Fig. l in the direction of the arrows;
nular slot 3| into which annular discs 32-32,
Fig. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional
as shown in Fig. 7, may drop when the agitator
View taken substantially along the line 3-3 of - 25 is rotated within the bin 23. Fixed to di
Fig. 1 in the direction of the arrows;
ametrically opposed surfaces of the agitator 25
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary, sectional view taken
area pair of feed ?ngers 33 and 34 made of
substantially along the line 4-4 of Fig. 3 in the
steel wire and bent to extend into the annular
direction of the arrows and showing details of
slot 3| formed by the annular member 24 and
one of the feed wheels and its co-operating parts;
the ?attened lower surface of the agitator 25,
Fig. 5 is a'greatly enlarged detailed View in sec
whereby any discs which drop into the slot move
tion taken substantially along the line 5-5 of
around in the slot as the agitator 25 rotates. The
Fig. 4 in the direction of the arrows and show
feed ?ngers 33 and 34 are sufficiently resilient so
ing an insulating disc being carried by a feed
that if the guides 2| and 22 are ?lled with discs,
wheel, together with the retainer provided for 30 the feed ?ngers'will bend and pass over the tops
holding the discs on the feed wheel and for
of those discs in the slot 3 I.
holding open the slits in the discs;
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary plan view, partly in sec
At opposite sides of the annular member 24,
there are provided means for directing discs
tion, of the hopper and its communicating disc
32-32 from the slot 3| into the guides 2| and
carrying mechanisms for directing the annular ‘
22. and these devices comprise support plates 4|] ‘
discs to the feed wheels;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical,
sectional view taken substantially along the line
and 4| ?xed to the annular member 24 and car
1-1 of Fig. 6 in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 8 is a detailed, elevational View showing
a knife for slitting the insulating discs;
Fig. 9 is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective
view'of the blade end of the knife shown in Fig.
7 and illustrating how the knife cuts slits in the
annular discs;
‘Fig. 10 is a detailed view showing one of the
annular discs before it is slitted;
Fig. 11 is a cross-sectional view of a coaxial
ryingr assemblies 42 and 43, respectively, for di
recting the discs into the guides 2| and 22. Both
of the assemblies 42 and 43 are of exactly the
same construction and, accordingly, only the as
sembly 42 will be described in detail. The as
sembly 42 comprises two plates 44 and 45 suit
ably ?xed together iri abutting relation.
plate 45 has a groove 46 formed therein which,
~15 when the assembly 42 is mounted in place, as
shown in Figs. 6 and 7, comprises a tangential
prolongation of the annular slot 3|. The groove
46 cooperates with the flat surface of the plate
44 to form a passageway into which the discs
32-32 will be directed by an extending ?nger
cable utilizing the unit comprising the central
conductor and insulating discs assembled in ac
cordance with the present invention, and
45, which is formed integrally with the plate '45
Fig. 12 is a view in perspective of a short length
and extends into an annular slot 48 formed on
of coaxial cable, which utilizes the unit formed
the ?at lower surface of the cone-shaped agi
in accordance with the present invention, part of
tator 25. The ?nger 41 serves to strip the discs
the tubular outer conductor being broken away
out of the slot 3| and guide them into the groove
to illustrate the positioning of the insulating and
46. The annular member 25 is cut away, as shown
spacing discs between the tubular outer conduc
at 49 and 50, to receive the plates 44 and 45
so that the plates 44 and 45 will cooperate to
tor and the central conductor.
Referring to the drawings, wherein like refer
guide the discs into the guides 2| and 22.
ence characters designate the same parts 60
The guides 2| and 22 are of the same general
throughout the several views, a main support
construction except that they are bent at differ
member [5 is provided for supporting a hopper
ent angles for guiding the discs 32-32 fed there
designated generally by the numeral 16, feed
in from opposite sides of the hopper I6. Each of
wheels I‘! and I8 and transfer devices designated
the guides 2| and 22 comprises, as shown most '
generally by the numerals l9 and 20. The hop
clearly in Fig. 2, a strip 5| having a slot 52 cut
per l5 and the transfer‘device | 9 are intercon
therein, in which the discs 32-32 will drop. At
nected by a-guide designated generally by the
tached to the strip 5| is a thin plate 53, which,
numeral 2| and the hopper l6 and transfer de
partially closes the slot 52 and will serve to re
vice 20 are interconnected by a guide designated
tain the discs in position therein while they are
generally by the numeral 22. The details of the
guided down from the hopper to the transfer
hopper l6 are shown most clearly in Figs. 6 and 7
devices I9 and 20. A slit between the plate 52
and, by reference to these ?gures, it will be seen
and strip 5| permits visual inspection of the sup
that the hopper includes an inverted cone-shaped
ply of discs 32-32 in the guides and, if desired,
bin 23, into whichannular discs may be dropped
air blasts may be directed against the discs to
haphazardly. The bin 23 terminates at its lower
insure that they move down the guides.
At the transfer devices 19 and 23, the guides
2| and 22 terminate in a transfer block 60, which
has a slot 6| formed therein, which slot comprises
a prolongation of the slot .52 in the strip 5|. The
to a position where the discs will be forced onto
the central conductor 80 and. for holding open
the slits in the discs until they reach the central
conductor. The feed wheel H is provided with
slot 61 is in communication with a plunger slot
notches 14-14 and 75-15 alternately about its
62, in which a plunger 63 is slidably mounted.
periphery in the same manner as is the disc is,
The plunger 533 is mounted upon a connecting
since it is desired to apply the discs 32-32 from
member 64, which is formed integrally with a cam
opposite sides of the central conductor 82. When
projection 65, A spring 56 normally urges the
a tubular outer conductor'83 is applied around
camming projection 65 and connecting member 10 the discs 32-32 co-axially with the central con
64 to the left, as seen in Fig. 2, to carry the cam
ductor 853, the discs 32-32 will hold the tubular
ming projection 5.5 into engagement with a cam
outer conductor spaced an equal distance from
61. The cam 57 is mounted upon the shaft 28
the central conductor 89 throughout the length of
and is positioned in back ‘of the main support
the cable and will insulate the two coaxial con
member l5. The shaft 25 also carries a gear 63 15 ductors from each other.
in mesh with a gear 59 ?xed to the shaft .2‘! and
As is evident from Figs. 8 and 9, each of the
knives illustrated by the knife 76 comprises a ?at
the shaft 2'! also carries a cam member 153 of
exactly the same construction as the cam 61.
shank 88 having a head 84 formed at the end
thereof adjacent to its companion feed wheel.
Thus, the construction is the same for both trans
fer devices [9 and 20.
20 The bead 84‘. has a raised point 65 at the top 1
A plate 1'! 8 fixed to the main support member
thereof designed to cause the bead to enter the
l5 serves as a guide for the connecting member
central apertures 12-79 of the discs 32-32 so
64 and the main support member I5 is provided
that a curved cutting edge 86, which is formed
with a suitable aperture '22, which permits the
at the upper edge of the shank and extends from
connecting member 64 and camming projection
the point 8.5 to a point on the shank beyond the
65 to reciprocate in a guide slot 73 formed in the
outer edges of the discs, may cut a radial slit 7'!
plate ll. Each time the camming projection .65
in each disc as the discs 32-32 are carried past
the knives by the feed wheels.
strikes a low point on the .cam 67!, one of the discs
Since the discs 32-32 are applied to the cen
32-32 will be transferred from the slot 6| into
the feed wheel l8, which is provided with a series 30 tral conduct-or from opposite sides, the notches
14-14, which carry the discs 32-32 on both of
of notches ‘ill-‘M for receiving the discs‘. It
the feed wheels I‘! and I8, are arranged so that
should be noted that the notches 74-74 alternate
when one of the discs 32-32 is forced onto the
with notches ‘iii-‘i5 around the periphery of the
central conductor 80 by the feed wheel l8, one of
feed wheel l8 and that the notches '55-'55 have
one surface cut away for a purpose to be described i the notches 15-15 in the feed wheel I‘! will re
ceive the upper end of the disc. Likewise, when
the feed wheel I1 carrying a disc 32 in one of its
As the feed wheel i8 rotates, an annular disc
notches ill-‘l4 reaches the position where the
32 will be fed into each of the notches ‘Hi-H. cut
disc is to be forced onto the central conductor,
therein and will be carried around with the feed
wheel I13. Just below the position’ where the feed 40 the notch ‘Min the feed Wheel I‘! which carries
the disc will be in alignment with a notch 15 on
wheel !8 receives the annular discs 32-3-2, there
the feed wheel l8 and the latter notch will re
is provided a knife ‘l6 (Figs, 4, 8 and 9), which
ceive the disc.
will cut a radial slit 7'! (Figs. 9, 11 and 12) in
each disc as the discs are carried past the knife.
In the operation of the present machine a sup
Extending peripherally of the feed wheel lB‘in 45 ply of annular insulating and spacing discs 32-32
may be thrown haphazardly in the hopper ts,
direct vertical alignment with the knife ‘i5 is a
from which they will be fed by the feed ?ngers
retainer ‘l5, with which the slit l‘! in each annular
34 and 35 into the guides 2i and 22. As the discs
disc will engage and with which the edge of the
32-32 are fed into the guides, they will travel
central aperture ‘iii of each disc will engage (Figs.
4 and 5), whereby the discs 32-52 will be forced 50 down the guides to ‘the transfer devices I9 and
23 and the cams l5‘! and ‘H1, operating in timed
to travel aronndwith the feed wheel IS. The
relation with each other, will transfer the discs
retainer 18 extends to a position Where it is en
into the notches 14-14 of the feed wheel I‘! and
gaged on its upper edge by a central conductor
13. As the discs
are carried around by the
85, on which the discs 32-32 are to be assembled.
The retainer 73 has the same thickness as the 55 feed wheels H and [8, they will be drawn past
the knives, illustrated by the knife ‘l6, and a
bottom portion of the knife l5 and the discs which
radial slit will be cut in each disc‘by the knives,
are slit by the knife pass directly from the knife
The slitted discs will then be carried around by
onto the retainer. The retainer holds the slits
the feed Wheels ii and I2, being held in the
formed in the discs slightly open until the discs
notches ‘Id-‘i4 by the retainers 82 and 78, until
reach the central conductor 80, which permits the
the .slitted discs are forced onto the central con
central conductor to slide-freely into and through
ductor 85 travelling from left to right as seen in
the slits into the central apertures ‘Iii-‘l2 in the
Fig. 1. After the discs 32-32 are thus applied
to the central conductor 89. the tubular outer
The central conductor 88 is fed through a guide
8|, which cooperates with other guides and feed 65 conductor 83 may be applied over the discs in any
suitable manner.
mechanisms (not shown) for guiding the con
As is apparent from Figs. 4 and 5, the retainers
ductor past the feed Wheels I1 and I8 in timed
‘l3 and 82 maintain the slits ‘ll-Tl in the discs
relation to the rotation of the feed wheels. The
32-32 slightly open from the time the slits are
construction of the slitting mechanism at the
cut therein by the knives until the discs reach the
transfer device 29 is exactly the sameas at the
central conductor 89 upon which they are applied.
transfer device l9, rlf'here is provided a knife
This permits the central conductor 59 to enter
similar to the knife '56 for slitting the discs ra
the slits readily and to slide easily through the
dially and a retainer 82 similar to the retainer 18,
slits into the central apertures ‘ls-‘l9 of the
but shorter than the retainer 13, for guiding those
discs 32-32 which are fed to the feed wheel I‘!
The discs 32-32 are carried toward the
central conductor by the feed wheels l1 and 18
slits, such as might occur if the slits were per
mitted to close before they reach the central con
ductor and were forcibly opened by the passage of
the central conductor therethrough. This is es
pecially important when the insulating discs are
vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate or mixtures
What is claimed is:
1. In an apparatus for applying soft annular
discs to a conductor, means for feeding a plu
rality of such discs along a predetermined path
and to a conductor, and means adjacent to said
path including means for cutting each of the
annular discs advanced therealong to form dis
continuous annuli, means passing through the
resulting cuts in the discs for expanding the cuts
and means entering the expanded cuts for main
taining them expanded, said last mentioned
means extending to the conductor, whereby the
made of relatively soft materials, such as poly
conductor slides freely through the expanded cuts
without damaging the discs.
along arcuate paths and, consequently, the discs
are forced upon the central conductor with a
wiping motion. In view of the fact that the slits
‘H are held slightly open by the retainers ‘l8 and
82 until the discs reach the central conductor 80
and also because the discs are applied to the cen
tral conductor with a wiping motion, no injury
results to the forward corners and sides of the
2. An apparatus for use in applying soft an
nular discs to a conductor, comprising a guide for
adjacent to thecentral conductor 80, the slits are
receiving slitted discs along one side thereof and
released as the discs are applied to the central
conductor and are free to close after the discs 20 for guiding the discs to a conductor, the guide
being thinner than the diameter of the conductor
have been placed upon the central conductor. As
and being received in the slits in the discs to hold
a result, the slits tend to close up and the discs
them open, and means in advance of the guide
substantially completely surround the central con
for forming slits in the discs which have a gap
ductor, somewhat in the manner illustrated in
Figs. 11 and 12, thereby insuring the retention of 25 no wider than the thickness of the guide, said
slitting means including means for expanding the
the discs in their proper places upon the central
slits in the discs and while the slits are expanded
guiding the discs to the guide.
The central apertures 19-19 in the discs
3. An apparatus for applying soft annular in
32—32 are slightly smaller in diameter than is
the central conductor Bil. As a result, the cen 30 sulating discs upon a conductor, which comprises
Since the retainers ‘l8 and 82 end at a point
tral conductor tends to spread open the slits
a rotatable feed wheel for advancing such discs
ll—'ll in the discs, as is shown in Fig. 12, and the
natural resiliency of the discs causes the discs to
engage the central conductor ?rmly. After the
to and forcing them upon the conductor, means
tubular outer conductor has been applied over the '
unit formed by the central conductor and a
series of discs applied thereto, the slits in the
discs are substantially closed, as shown in Fig.
11, and then there is practically no possibility
that the discs will slide along the central con
The apparatus outlined hereinabove obviates
the problems that would arise if an attempt
for cutting slits in the discs carried by the feed
wheel and for expanding the slits, and means
adjacent to the slit-cutting means for entering
the expanded slits in the discs and for maintain
ing the slits expanded until the discs are advanced
to theconductor.
4. An apparatus for applying soft annular in
sulating discs upon a conductor, which comprises
means for longitudinally advancing the conductor,
a rotatable feed wheel for advancing such discs
to and forcing them upon the movingconductor,
a knife adjacent to the feed wheel and in the
were made to slit the discs at the time they are
formed, to feed the slitted discs from a hopper 45 path of discs carried by the feed wheel for cut
ting radial slits in the discs and for expanding
into a pair of mechanisms with the slits orientat
the slits, and an arcuate retainer adjacent to the
ed and to advance the discs through the mech
knife and in alignment therewith for entering
anisms to the applicator Wheels. Likewise, de
expanded slits and keeping them expanded
formation of the walls of the slits is prevented 50
until the discs reach the conductor.
and the discs so applied to a central conductor
5. In an apparatus for applying soft annular
engage the conductor ?rmly. It is diflicult to
insulating discs upon a conductor, means for ad
purposely remove discs thus applied to the con
vancing a plurality of such discs along a prede
ductor, much less to remove them accidently,
termined path to the conductor, a knife extend
because the slits tend to close up around the con 55 ing into said path for cutting radial slits in the
ductor and the conductor is engaged by a sub
discs advanced therealong, said knife having a
stantially solid ring of insulating material, such
cutting edge of reduced thickness on the side
as is illustrated in Figs. 11 and 12 of the draw
thereof ?rst engaged by the discs and expanding
ings. It is obvious that the location of the slit
to a greater thickness at the edge where the discs
ting step is important and that this invention 60 leave the knife, and a guide abutting the exit
provides a simple yet elTective apparatus for as
edge of the knife for entering the slits cut in the
sembling articles, particularly apparatus for the
discs as the discs leave the knife to prevent the
application of insulating discs to central conduc
slits from closing, said guide extending to the
tors to form units suitable for use in the manu
facture of coaxial cables.
6. An apparatus for applying soft annular in
While the insulating discs 32,—32 preferably are
sulating discs to a conductor, which comprises '
made of polyethylene, the apparatus embodying
means for advancing a conductor longitudinally,
the invention may be used equally well to apply
rotatable feed wheels fOr carrying such discs to _
discs made of other relatively soft insulating ma
opposite sides of the conductor and forcing them
terials to central conductors. For example, the 70 upon the conductor, means for feeding the discs
insulating discs may be made of cellulose acetate
to the feed wheels, a knife associated with each
feed wheel and positioned in the path of the discs
or mixtures of cellulose acetate and cellulose bu
tyrate, or may be fabricated from relatively soft
carried by its associated feed wheel for cutting
radial slits in said discs, each of said knives hav
products obtained by polymerizing vinyl com
ing a cutting edge of reduced thickness on the
pounds, such as are obtained by polymerizing
Side thereof ?rst engaged by the discs and exfrom closing and extending to a point close to
panding to a greater thickness at the edge where
the conductor, whereby the conductor slides free
the discs leave the knife, and an arcuate retainer
1y through the slits Without damaging the discs.
adjacent to each feed Wheel and abutting the
exit edge of the associated knife, each of said Ui
guides entering the slits cut in the discs as the
discs leave the adjacent knife to prevent the slits
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