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Патент USA US2405018

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July 30, 1946.
I
QROWLEY
29405913
AUTOMATIC GRIPPER
Filed Feb. 17, 1945
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2 Sheets-Sheet l
45 42 444/ 3/
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.47
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33 ‘$52 ' IAII’VENTOR.
Charles Crowley
BY
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A TTORNEY
July 30, 1946»
I
'
'
~ (3. CROWLEY
AUTOMATIC
2,405,018
GRIPPER
Filed Feb. 17, 1945
2 Sheets~$heet 2
IN VEN TOR.
{amiss , Crowfe
A TTORNE'Y
Patented July 30, 1946
2,405,018
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,405,018
AUTOMATIC GRIPPER
Charles Crowley, Astoria, N. Y., assignor to Vic
tor Metal Products Corporation, Brooklyn, N. Y,.
a corporation of New York
Application February 17, 1945, Serial No. 578,438
7 Claims. (Cl. 294-106)
1
2
This invention relates to mechanism for trans
ferring from one machine or conveyor to another
the positions assumed by the parts when'a larger
tube is gripped.
fragile thin-walled tubes such as collapsible tubes
of metal or the like. The present invention is
Fig. 2 is a rear view of the same.
Fig. 3 is a side view of the same partly in sec
an improvement over the mechanism disclosed Cl tion and showing a tube held by the gripper.
Fig. 4 is a longitudinal section of the same on
for that purpose in Patent No. 1,839,438 to Walter
Prussing for Method and mechanism for mak
an enlarged scale and taken on the line 4-4 of
ing collapsible tubes, and relates particularly to
the means for gripping the tube preparatory to
Fig. 3.
gripped by the ?ngers, said ?ngers and the work
gripped thereby are withdrawn from the mecha
nism holding the tube and after a predetermined
or axial movement such as that used in the trans
Fig. 5 is a vertical section of the same taken on
the removal thereof from one mechanism and the 10 the line 5—-5 of Fig. 4.
transfer thereof to another.
Fig. 6 is a similar section taken on the line 6-—6
of Fig. 4.
In said Patent No. 1,839,438 to which reference
is hereby made and which is incorporated herein
Fig. '7 is a front View of a tube transfer mech
by such reference, is shown among other things,
anism to which my invention has been applied
a gripping device comprising a pair of spring 15 showing in dotted lines the tube discharging po
pulled ?ngers to engage a cap on the end of a
sition thereof.
tube or the threaded neck of the tube. The ?n
Fig. 8 is a top plan view of the same.
gers are provided with cam-like parts engaged by
Fig. 9 is a similar fragmentary View of the same
a reciprocating rod to spread the ?ngers apart.
showing how the gripper may be used for engag
When the ?ngers are positioned around the part 20 ing the threaded neck of a collapsible tube.
to be gripped, the rod is withdrawn from between
Fig. 10 is a fragmentary view of the gripper
the ?ngers, permitting the spring to close the ?n
and of a capped collapsible tube which may be
gers on the work. Suitable transfer mechanism
gripper preparatory to the transfer thereof.
carries one or two sets of grippers and is oper
Since my improved gripper is usually brought
ated in such a manner that after the work is ' into engagement with a tube .by a longitudinal
fer mechanism of said Patent 1,839,438 which is
typical in that respect, it appears advisable to de—
number of strokes are rotated to a position
scribe said mechanism briefly so that the utility,
wherein the tube may be ejected on to the pin 30 operation and functions of the gripper may be
of a conveyor chain. The ejection is accom
more readily understood.
plished by the reciprocating rod which pushes
As disclosed in said patent, collapsible tubes as
the tube out from between the fingers.
In, (Figs, '7 and 8 herein) illustrated as capped
The present invention contemplates the provi
at one end by the cap H and open at the other
sion of a gripper adapted for use in the transfer 0.. Cu end, are assumed to have been coated while on
mechanism referred to and elsewhere and which
the mandrels I12 of a coating machine as [3. The
need not be mechanically operated but which is
tubes are to be removed from the printing or
self contained and self adjusting to variations in
enamelling machine !3 while wet and transferred
the diameter of the Work' gripped, and which
to the pins M of the conveyor chain l5. Since
40
?rmly engages the work automatically with suf?
the cylindrical surface of the tube is wet with
cient force to permit the required withdrawal and
enamel or printing ink and is so thin that it is
transfer.
easily crushed, the tube must be gripped at its
The invention further contemplates the provi
capped end and withdrawn from the mandrel l2
sion of a simple but effective gripper operating
and then deposited on the pin [4. The gripper
by a frictional or clamping action regardless of 0 IB used for that purpose, is secured to the support
whether the work is smooth, serrated or threaded,
I8 which is rotatably mounted on a shaft 19. An
and made of a number of identical pivoted parts
identical gripper 20 may be similarly ?xed to the
all held together by an annular spring.
support I8 if desired in a diametrically opposite
The various objects of the invention will be 50 position. Means are provided to rotate the sup
clear from the description which follows and
port on each of its strokes toward the mandrel
from the drawings, in which,
and to prevent such rotation on each stroke away
Fig. 1 is a front elevation, partly in section, of
from the mandrel, the rotation being through an
my improved gripper as it appears when gripping
angle of 180°. Said means includes the gear
a tube of one size, and showing in dotted lines 55 wheel 22 ?xed to the shaft l9 and operatively con
2,405,018
4
nected to the support l8 on each stroke toward
the mandrel by the clutch 23. (Fig. 9).
The gear is moved bodily on to and off the
?xed rack 24 by a suitable reciprocating link 25
which reciprocates the gear, support and grippers Cl
there being a recess for each slot. (Figs. 3 and
6). Each recess is preferably triangular in
cross section with the non-radial walls thereof
perpendicular to each other so that the end of
one pin and the non-corresponding end of an
as a unit.
adjacent pin terminate at the respective walls
Suitable means not necessary to de
to which the pins are perpendicular respectively.
scribe in detail, align the gripper with the man
By reason of said recesses comparatively short
drel l2 and the pin :4 respectively at the ends of
pins may be employed without interference with
the respective strokes toward the right and left,
as viewed in Figs. 7 and 8, respectively. By rea 10 each other.
The rear end portion of each of the extensions
son of the interposition of the clutch 23 between
42 is preferably rounded as at 45 to permit the
the shaft and the support, rotation of the gear
clamp of which it forms a part, to swing about
in its stroke away from the mandrel does not
its pin and thereby automatically to adjust
cause rotation of the support nor of the gripper
carried thereby, but during the return stroke 15 itself to the work which is gripped. The front
end 4? of the clamp is also rounded to aid in the
from the pin is toward the mandrel, rotation of
entrance movement of the work piece as 43 into
the tubular space 49 between the front ends of
the clamps. It will be noted that the projecting
an angle of 180° to interchange their relative
positions.
.
20 front end parts of the clamps 3l—-34 are in the
form of annular segments and that their adjacent
---If a tube 10 is in the grip of the gripper 29,
side edges 5t (Figs. 1 and 5) are radial and
such tube is removed therefrom at the end of
arranged quite closely to just clear each other.
its movement toward the left by means later to
The inner peripheral surfaces of the clamps be
be described and deposited on the pin Iii. On
the return stroke of the gear toward the right 25 ing of the same diameter, normally from a cylin
drical clamping wall which is substantially un
and the consequent rotation of the support, the
broken and thereby are enabled to grip work of a
empty gripper 2'3 is aligned with the mandrel l2
variety of different shapes and sizes.
in position to grip a tube which has been brought
The limiting innermost position of each of
by the machine l3 into the proper position for
the clamps is determined by the taper of the
that purpose. The gear leaves the rack 24 dur
innermost wall M of the slot in which the ex
ing the last part of the stroke toward the right,
tension 42 is inserted and swings, and by the
thereby permitting the parts to be properly
opposite taper of the inner peripheral edge 52 of
aligned by the alignment means provided, where
said extension. As shown in Fig.
contact be
by the ?nal part of the stroke of the support
tween the wall EI and the edge 52 prevents the
causes engagement of the gripper with the tube.
clamp from moving any further inwardly. The .
The operation being repeated, the tube is re
point of contact may be arranged as desired by
moved from the mandrel on the stroke toward
proper design of the tapers mentioned to permit
the left and the tube on the gripper i6 is de
the clamps to move inwardly until the space 49
posited on the pin !4.
Since the present invention is primarily di 40 is of the desired least diameter. The clamps
are urged toward their innermost positions by
rected to the construction of the gripper, the de
the single coiled annular tension spring 53, in
tailed description of the gripper may now be
part set into the annular groove 54 made cir
given with reference particularly to Figs. 1 to 6
cumferentially in the outer surfaces of the clamps
and to the environment above described in which
the gripper is used.
45 and in part projecting beyond said groove. The
ends 55, 58 of the spring are suitably connected
The member 38 is the frame or support on
whereby the spring may be bent from a straight
which a number of identical clamps as 3!, 32, 33
spring of the proper length into shape to hug
and 34 are pivotally mounted. Four of such
the bottom of the groove.
clamps have been shown, each approximately in
In Figure 4, the work 68 is illustrated as a tube
the form of a quadrant, but it will be understood 60
of substantially uniform diameter and having a
that more or less than four may be used as may
closed end, but it will be understood, as by ref
befound convenient or desirable. The frame
erence to Figs. 9 and 10 that an uncapped col
member if! is ?xed to the support of the transfer
lapsible tube having an exposed threaded neck
mechanism in any suitable manner as by means
of the key 35 (Fig. 4), entering suitable slots in 55 51 may be gripped by the clamps without injury
to the threads, or that the cap ll of a capped
the reduced hub 36 of the frame 39 and in the
tube may be gripped as desired. In other words,
support l8 respectively. Forwardly of the. hub,
the gripper is adapted automatically to grip work
the frame 3!! is enlarged in diameter as at 4!,
differing greatly in shape and size. This results
where a series of circumferentially spaced apart
from the provision of the rounded front surfaces
and longitudinally arranged rectangular slots 31,
ill on the clamps, which surfaces serve as cams
39 and 4B are made in the frame for the
acted upon by the work, to spread the clamps
reception of the respective extensions 42 of the
apart against the action of the spring 53. Said
gripping clamps. Said slots extend throughout
spring urges the clamps to swing toward each
the entire length of the cylindrical portion 41
to enable the clamps to project beyond the front - other about their respective hinge pins and into
?rm contact with the work inserted into the space
end 43 of said portion when the extensions 42
49, thereby to grip the work frictionally and with
are arranged on the frame and secured in place
sufficient force and over a sufficient area to per
in the slots. A hinge pin as 44 passes through
mit the work to be drawn off a mandrel as if’.
each extension and through the adjacent mate
when the gripper and the mechanism to which
rial of the portion M and serves as a pivot about
it is secured are moved away from the mandrel.
which the clamp may swing to a limited extent
For work of diameters larger than that shown,
in a manner later to be described when adjust
the clamps may assume the positions shown in
ing itself to the work. To provide access to the
dotted lines in Fig. 4. In any case, where the
pin 44, a suitable recess as 45 is made in the
material of the portion 4! between adjacent slots, ' work is intended to consist of articles of the same
the gear is transmitted to the support 18 so that
the grippers i5 and 2i! are both rotated through I
2,405,018
5
6
theoretical size and shape, the clamps adjust
themselves automatically to variations in size,
a rod slidable longitudinally in the frame and
concentrically of the circle and of lesser diameter
alignment and concentricity, one or more of the
than the least diameter of the circle and means
clamps yielding under the pressure of the work.
for reciprocating the rod.
For the purpose of ejecting the work from the
gripper, a central longitudinal hole
G5 is made
through the frame 38 in which hole is a‘ranged
the reciprocating ejecting rod 65. Said rod is
operated at the proper time by any suitable mech
anism to move it against the end wall as 52 cf the
work and to push the work out of the bight of the
clamps. As shown in Figs. '7 and 9, the mecha~
nism for reciprocating the rod 6! comprises a
3. In a gripper, a frame having spaced slots
therein and having a central opening there—
lever 63 pivoted to the support is and connected
at one end as by the slide 64 to the ejecting rod.
When the lever strikes a fixed stop as 65 it is
swung in a clockwise direction into the position
through, segmental annular clamps arranged in
a circle and each pivoted in one of the slots, an
annular spring around the clamps a reciprocating
J ejecting rod in the opening of lesser diameter
than the least diameter of the circle, and means
on the frame determining said least diameter.
4. In a gripper, a frame having a cylindrical
part and a reduced hub, said part having equally
spaced longitudinal slots therein, the hub having
a hole therethl'ough, an ejecting rod recipro
eating in the hole and of sufficiently small di
ameter to remain at all times in inward spaced
relation to the clamps hereinafter mentioned,
shown by the dotted lines of Fig. 7, thereby mov~
ing the slide 64 and the rod 6: toward the left to
eject the work from the gripper 28 and on to a pin 20 clamps each having an extension inserted into one
M.
of the slots, a hinge pin for each clamp passing
It will be seen that I have provided a work grip
through the extension and the frame, an annular
per which automatically adjusts itself to inac
spring around the clamps urging said clamps
curacies and variations in the work to be manipu~
toward a common center, and means for main
lated, which is of simple and efficient construc
taining the clamps at all times out of contact
tion and capable of operating at a high speed
with the rod.
since it dispenses with mechanism heretofore
5. In a gripper, a series of clamps in the form
necessary to spread the clamps, and that I have
of annular segments surrounding a cylindrical
provided a gripper well adapted to meet prac
work-receiving space, each of the segments having
tical requirements.
radial sides, a support on which the clamps are
While a speci?c form of the invention has been
pivotally mounted to swing on separate axes in a
shown and described, certain changes may be
common plane, means urging the clamps to move
made therein without departing from the spirit
toward a common center, means on the support
of the invention as set forth in the appended
to limit the extent of the movement of the clamps
claims.
35 toward said center, and means slidable axially in
I claim:
the support and of lesser diameter than the least
1. In a gripper, a frame having a series of cir
diameter of said space to eject an article gripped
cumferentially spaced apart slots and a central
by the clamps.
opening therein for an ejecting rod, the innermost
6. In a gripper, a plurality of pivotally mounted
faces of the slots being in outward spaced rela 40 clamps each having a part in the form of an
. tion to the opening, a series of rigid clamps each
annular segment surrounding a portion of a
having an extension of rectangular cross section
cylindrical work-receiving space, an annular
pivotally mounted adjacent one of the ends there
spring around the segments urging the segments
of in one of the slots and each having a part at
toward the center of said space, means on the
the other end thereof projecting longitudinally L" support to limit the extent of the movement of
beyond one end of the frame, said part having a
the clamps toward the center of said space, and
continuous circumferential groove therein aligned
means slidable axially in the support and of lesser
with the corresponding groove of the adjacent
diameter than the least diameter of said space to
parts each of said parts forming part of a hollow
eject an article gripped by the clamps.
cylinder, and an annular spring set into the
7. In a gripper self-adjusting under the pres
grooves and urging the clamps toward a common
center, the bottom of each slot tapering upwardly
sure of an article of work inserted thereintc, a
plurality of clamps each having a segmental an
toward one end of the frame and normally en
gaging the clamp mounted therein to limit the
nular peripheral inner clamping surface termi
nating in a convexly rounded end portion, each
innermost position of the clamp and thereby to Cl Cl of the clamps having ?at radial sides, means
limit the least diameter of said hollow cylinder
for pivotally supporting the clamps, yieldable
to a diameter greater than that of said central
means urging the clamps inwardly toward a posi
tion wherein the clamping surfaces form a sub
2. In a gripper, a frame having spaced slots
stantially unbroken cylindrical wall, and an eject
therein, segmental annular article-gripping 60 ing rod slidable axially in the supporting means
clamps arranged around a circle and each pivoted
and of sufficiently small diameter to remain out of
in one of the slots, an annular spring around the
contact with the clamps at all times, and means
opening.
clamps the slots having tapered inner surfaces
for reciprocating the rod.
normally engaging the clamps and limiting the
CHARLES CROWLEY.
extent of the movement of the clamps inwardly, 65
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