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Oct. 15, 1946.
s. D; FENTON
2,409,265
CLASSIFIER
Filed May 4, 1944
4. sheets-sheet 2_
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Patented Oct. 15, 1946
UNl'i‘ED STATES PATENT ()FFICE
2,409,265
CLASSIFIER
George Donald Fenton, Worcester, Mass, assign
or to The American Steel and Wire Company‘
of New Jersey, a corporation of New Jersey
Application May 4, 1944, Serial No. 534,144
6 Claims.
(Cl. 209-432)
I
2
This invention is a classi?er of the type adapt
the springs to be classi?ed are placed, whereby
ed to measure the sizes of articles and to classify
them accordingly in an automatic manner, in its
the embracements, when moved over the surface
3 by rotation of the turntable it, slide the
springs over this surface 3 in upright positions,
with the bottom-spring-ends riding over the trap
door series so that opening of any trap door will
speci?c form the invention providing for auto
matically classifying coiled springs according to
their lengths.
permit the spring registered therewith to drop
A speci?c example of the invention in the
through the trap door, the springs being biased
above form is illustrated by the accompanying
against the surface 3 by gravity.
drawings, in which:
Rotation of the turntable is is effected by ro
Figure 1 is a partly sectioned side View;
10
tation of the shaft E5 on which it is mounted,
Figure 2 is a vertical section on the line II---Il
this being done intermittently through at Geneva
in Figure 1;
drive 20, the continuously rotating cam of which
Figure 3 is a top view;
is powered by a vertical shaft 2!, journaled by
‘Figure 4 is a partly sectioned portion of Fig
15 the frame 5 in bearings, through a friction drive
ure 3;
22, by an electric induction motor 23 working
Figure 5 is a perspective of details; and
through a speed reduction gearing 24. The ar
Figure 6 is a wiring diagram.
rangement is such that for each revolution of the
More speci?cally, these drawings show a frame
shaft 2 l , the intermittent drive 2 turns the shaft
I mounting a horizontal metal ring 2 having a
top annulus providing a horizontal, smooth, flat, 20 15 just suf?ciently to move the spring embrace
ments 18 from one of the trap doors to the next
metal surface 3 having a series of ?ush, spaced,
so that each of the embracernents is successively
metal trap doors provided in the form of slides
registered over each of the trap doors. Of course
ll, 5, 5 and l ?tting in radial grooves 8 formed
the embracements 18 are an arcuate series and
in the surface 3 of the ring 2, the latter having
are spaced in the same manner as the trap doors
vertica]v holes 9 closed by these slides when they
are slid radially outwardly, in which directions
are spaced.
they are biased by springs ill, the slides having
vertical holes it which may be registered with
the holes 9 by sliding the slides inwardly against
the bias of their springs it, the slides otherwise
providing flush continuations of the surface 3
of the ring 2. Each of the slides is provided with
its own electric motor for opening it, which is in
the form of a soft iron plunger !2 working in an
electric solenoid it, mounted by the frame l
through a bracket it, which upon energization
Top-spring—end co-ntactors 25, 26, 2'! and 28
are mounted by a horizontal panel 29, spaced
above the trap door series by way of columns 3,
the arrangement being such that these contactors
are over each trap door at spaced positions above
the embracement tops at successively lower
heights in the traveling direction of these em
bracements. That is to say, the contactor 25
is directly above the trap door 4, the contactor
26 is directly above the trap door 5, etc., it fol
pulls the plunger l2 against the bias of the
spring l and thus pulls the slide with which it
connects so that its hole ll registers with the
lowing that the top-spring-ends of the longest
springs will contact the contactor 25, those of
the next highest will contact the contactor 26,
hole 9 in the bottom of the groove 8 in which 40 etc.
Each contactor is made with a bottom face
the slide is ?tted. Preferably the ring 2 and the
slides are made of steel and the surface 3 and
the top surfaces of the slides, which ride flush
with this surface 3, are all hardened by suitable
treatment.
A vertical shaft !5 is journaled in the frame
I by bearings and its upper end mounts a turn
table I 6 having a depending flange ll, riding
lightly on the surface 3, this turntable provid
ing a plurality of upstanding, spring embrace 50
ments l8, whereby to mount these embracements
that inclines slightly in the advancing direction
of the embracements, so that the top-spring~
ends will tend to slide thereunder and into ?rm
contact therewith should they be able to con
so they repetitiously travel over the surface 3 in
machine the motor 23 intermittently turns the
shaft [5 so as to bring each of the embracements
successively over each trap door and beneath
tact at all, and each is mounted on the bottom
end of a vertical screw 3| adjustably mounted in
the panel by opposed nuts 32 and which is elec
trically insulated from the panel 29 by insulat
ing bushings 33, this general arrangement being
similar for each of the various contactors.
Generally speaking, in the operation of the
line with the series of trap doors, the trap door
series being arcuate. These spring embrace
ments I 8 are provided with bores 19, in which 55 each of the top-spring-end contactors, and the
2,409,265
4
3
latter are connected in each instance with the
solenoid l3 of the trap door above which it is
positioned, whereby, depending upon their
lengths, the various springs are dropped through
various ones of the trap doors ‘so as to be classi
?ed into four different length categories.
The
springs are manually loaded into the embrace
ments I8 prior to the time the embracements
the various spring embracements [8 with the vari
ous trap doors and contactors. The shaft 2| car
ries cams 48, 49, 50 and 5| working electric
switches 52, 53, 54 and 55, this arrangement be
ing such that the switch 52 closes when the shaft
2| has rotated about the 120° terminating the in
dexing motion it imparts the shaft l5, and opens
after the shaft 2| turns about 270°. In this con
nection, 0° is taken as the position of the shaft 2|
start over the various trap doors and under the
various contactors, the operation being other 10 when it starts to turn the shaft l5 through the
Geneva drive 20. The switch 53 also closes at
wise automatic. For convenience, each trap door
delivers the spring it passing to its own delivery
tube, these tubes being shown at 34, 35, 35 and
31, respectively delivering to drawers 38, 39, 40
and 4| where the springs collect according to
their classi?ed lengths. Since some springs may
be much too short, the surface 3 of the ring 2
is preferably provided with a vertical hole 42
that is always open and through which any
spring that reaches this hole must drop, the hole
42 also having its spring conveying tube 43 de
livering to a drawer 44. This hole 42 is spaced
from the last of the trap door series to effect
successive registrations of the various embrace
merits therewith as the embracements are in- ,_
termittently revolved by the intermittent rota
tion of the shaft l5.
At the ?rst embracement-stopping position in
advance of the trap door 4, the panel 29 mounts
a top-spring-end depressor in the form of a
plunger 45 worked by a pneumatic motor of which
the cylinder 46 is shown mounted vertically by
the panel 29, the depressor being biased to an
upward, inoperative position by a spring 4'! and
the introduction of air to the top end of the
cylinder 46 serving to drive the depressor down
about 120° but it opens at about 210°, the switch
54 closes at about 180° and opens at about 372°
which means that it opens during about the ?rst
12° of the next cycle, and the switch 55 closes
at about 240° and opens at about 360°. This tim
ing may be varied somewhat but the general se
quence should be followed.
Referring now to the wiring diagram, the mo—
tor 23 is powered by the A. C. lines 56 which also
power an electric thruster 51 working a three- _
way, compressed air, control valve 58 supplied
with compressed air by a pipe 59 and transmitting
this air, through its control, by way of a pipe 60
to the top end of the cylinder 46 working the
top-spring-end depressor 45. When the thruster
51 is energized it sends air to the top of the cyl
inder 46, and when it is deenergized the valve 58
moves to connect the pipe 60 with the atmos
phere so that this air is exhausted from the top
of the cylinder 46 by action of the spring 41 bias
ing the depressor to inoperative position. There
fore, as each spring embracement l8 registers
with the depressor 45 and comes to a stop, the
thruster 51 is energized by the switch 52, through
lines 6|, so that air is introduced to the top of
the cylinder 46, this driving the depressor 45
wardly so as to engage the top end of each spring,
downwardly so that it operates to perform its
after it has been placed in the bore IQ of an em
function, the switch 52 then opening so that the
bracement l8, so as to close the spring more or
less and drive its bottom end into ?rm engage 40 spring 41 returns the depressor to inoperative po
sition. The switch closes at 120° turn of the shaft
ment with the surface 3 over which it thereafter
2| and opens when the shaft 2| turns 270°, so the
slides. The use of the pneumatic motor has an
shaft can continue to turn 90° more before it be
advantage in that it provides for a somewhat re
tarded return stroke of the depressor 45, thus
eliminating the possibility of sudden release of a
seated spring with the consequent possibility of
its becoming unseated which would lead to its in
accurate classi?cation.
The above is but one detail which permits the
gins to again rotate the shaft I5, this allowing
time for the spring 41 to properly perform its
function.
The shaft 2|, which is turned continuously by
vided, with powered low-voltage lines 69 through
the motor 23, makes one complete rotation for
veach partial rotation of the shaft [5 effected by
the Geneva drive 20 and the latter is designed so
the switch 54, the latter functioning as a master
switch for both the lines 61 and 68 by thus con
necting them with the powering lines 69. The
switch 55, which closes at 240° of the revolution of
'_ the shaft 2| and opens at 360°, functions-to mo
The operation is continuous and this means
that all of the embracements beneath the various
contactors 25 through 28 are successively loaded
classi?er to operate at high speeds, another being 50 with springs which then have their bottom ends
?rmly seated on the surface 3.
the manner in which the various contactors are
Simultaneously with the closing of the switch
connected with the various solenoids of the vari
52, the switch 53 also closes, this energizing the
ous trap doors, this being done in such a manner
solenoid 62, through lines 63 connecting with the
that during the earlier portions of the stops in
the intermittent motion of the embracements, the 55 lines 56 through the lines 6!, of a relay having a
series of contacts 64 which then all close. An
determination is made as to whether a top
electric relay is provided for each of the electric
spring-end is in contact with the contactor below
trap door motors, these relays having contacts 65
which it is registered, and so that subsequent
and contact closing solenoids 66, and electric
contact during the latter portions of the stops,
lines 61 connect with each of the solenoids 66
when there might be spring vibration, will have no
through series connection with the trap door
effect, such subsequent contact failing to do any
worked by the motor for which it is provided and
thing in the way of opening the trap door beneath
the contactor thereabove. The switch 53 opens
the contactor thus subsequently contacted. Then,
during the latter portions of the stops, the elec
at 210° and functions as a master switch for the
tric motor working the trap doors is operated to — lines 61, which momentarily closes during the
earlier portions of the stops in the rotation of the
momentarily open the trap doors only in those in
shaft I5. Electric lines 68 connect the solenoids
stances where the springs initially contacted the
l3, through series connection with the contacts
top-spring-end contactors. The manner in which
55 of the relay with which each solenoid is pro
all of this is accomplished will now be described.
the shaft 2| turns about 120° for each of the par
tial rotations of the shaft l5 required to index
l
2,409,265
6
mentarily energize the solenoid 70, powered by
the lines 56 through lines ll, 63 and 6|, so as to
momentarily close its contacts 12 controlling the
lines 68, and functions as a master switch for
these lines which closes momentarily after the
momentary closing of the switch 53.
which it is then registered opens, providing the
top end of the spring contacted the contactor
during the ?rst portions of the stops in registra
tion therewith and not during the latter portions
of these stops when the spring had begun to
vibrate. If the spring is too short to touch any
Thus it can be seen that the switch 53 func
of the contactors it ultimately arrives over the
tions as a master switch for the lines 6'! which
closes at 120° and opens at 210° of the rotation
carrying it. As previously explained, the springs
of the shaft 2|, this momentarily closing the cir
cuit in the lines 6'! during the ?rst or earlier por
tions of the stops in the movement of the em
bracements i8, and that the switch 55 provides a
master switch for the lines 68 which closes at 240°
and opens at 360° so as to momentarily energize
the circuit through these lines by way of the con
hole 42 and it then falls from the embracement
10 are conveyed from the various trap doors to ap
propriate collection points.
Certain variations may be made in the details
of this machine to suit speci?c problems. Thus,
with very light springs, gravity may not be su?i
cient to let the springs fall quickly enough for
high operating speeds, and in such instances pipes
may be arranged to blow air jets onto the spring
tops, when the trap doors open, to accelerate the
tacts 12 during the latter portions of these stops.
The various contacts 55 are provided with lines
springs falling. Also, by rewiring, the top-spring
'13 to connect their solenoids 66 through their
contacts 65 with the powered electric lines 68 and 20 end contactors may be rearranged to have spac
61 so as to seal these contacts closed until these
ings from the trap doors that are not progres
lines are unpowered by opening of the switch 54
sively decreasing, and this may be done so that
when it opens at 372°, it having been closed since
contact of the top-spring-ends keeps the trap
180° so as to keep these lines energized through
doors closed and so they open when there is no
out the cycle. This switch 54 opens prior to re“ ~
such contact.
closing of the switch 53.
I claim:
With the foregoing in mind, the operator places
1. A coil spring classi?er including a substan
a spring in the bore it) of one of the embrace
tially horizontal, smooth, ?at metal surface hav
ments l8 during one of the stops in the inter
ing a series of rlush metal trap doors, a plurality
mittent motion of the turntable iii. This em- . of upstanding spring embracements mounted to
bracement then advances to beneath the top
repetitiously travel over said. surface in line with
spring-end depressor I35, this requiring the shaft
said series to slide thereover the springs upright
2! to rotate through 120°. At this time the switch
when loaded therewith in advance of the series,
52 closes, air is admitted to the top of the cylinder
means for causing said embracements to inter
45 and the depressor 45 drives the top-spring-end
mittently travel with stops while in registration
down into the embracement and seats its bottom
with said trap doors, a top-spring-end contactor
end ?rmly on the surface 3 of the ring 2. The
over each trap door above the embracement tops
shaft 2i continues to turn while the shaft i5 re
at differing heights, and means for momentarily
mains stationary and when the shaft 2! has
controlling any of said trap doors and in response
turned 270° the switch 52 opens and the spring
to whether the contactor thereover is contacted
41 smoothly and evenly returns the depressor 45
by a top-spring-end, the classi?er including a top
to its inoperative position.
spring~end depressor registered above an em
The shaft 21 continues to turn another 120°,
bracement-stopping position in advance of said
this indexing the embracement carrying the
series and means for operating said depressor
spring over the trap door 4. If the spring is long
during said stops.
enough it contacts the contactor 25, and since
2. A coil spring classi?er including a substan
the switch 53 closes at 120° of the rotation of the
tially horizontal, smooth, ?at metal surface
shaft 2! and the switch 54 next closes at 186°,
having a series of ?ush metal trap doors, a plu
this being during the earlier portion of the stop
rality of upstanding spring embracements
in the embracement’s motion, the spring closes - mounted to repetitiously travel over said surface
the circuit through the lines 57, energizes the
in line with said series to slide thereover the
solenoid 65 provided for the trap door, over which
springs upright when loaded therewith in ad
the spring is now registered, and causes the con~
tact 55 of this relay to seal through the sealing
circuit established by the lines 13, the switch 53
then opening at 210", it having stayed closed but
momentarily so that subsequent spring vibration
vance of the series, means for causing said em
bracements to intermittently travel with stops
while in registration with said trap doors, a top
spring-end contactor over each trap door above
the embracement tops at differing heights, an
electric motor for each trap door for opening it
will have no effect on the measuring operation.
Next, the switch 55 closes at 240° of the rotation
as long as the motor is energized, an electric re
of the shaft 2! and this closes the circuit through 60 lay provided for each of these motors and having
the lines 63 and the contacts 65 of the sealed
contacts and a contact-closing solenoid, a
relay so as to energize the solenoid it of the trap
powered electric circuit connecting with each of
door over which the spring is registered, this trap
said solenoids through series connection with the
door then opening and thereafter closing as soon
trap door worked by the motor for which it is
as the shaft 2! turns 360° since this opens the
provided and the contactor thereabove, a powered
switch 55, it being understood that the switch 55
electric circuit connecting with each of said mo
must stay closed long enough to permit the spring
tors through series connection with the contacts
to fall through the trap door before the trap door
of the relay with which it is provided, a master
closes. The shaft 2! now begins to again rotate
switch for each of said circuits, and means for
the shaft l5 and when the shaft 2! turns 372°, it
momentarily closing ?rst the master switch for
opens the switch 55 so as to unseal any of the
the ?rst-named circuit and then the one for the
contacts 65 that might have been closed due to
second-named circuit during said stops, said con
a spring having closed the circuit through the
tacts being in circuit to connect said solenoids
therethrough with a powered electric circuit seal
lines 51. Regardless of which of the contactors
the spring ultimately contacts, the trap door over
ing said contacts closed and the last-named cir
2,409,265
7
cuit having means for momentarily opening it
tion with the contacts of the relay with which it
after opening of the second-named master switch
is provided, a master switch for each of said cir
and before reclosing of the ?rst-named one.
3. A coil spring classi?er including a substan
cuits, and means for momentarily closing ?rst
the master switch for the ?rst-named circuit and
tially horizontal, smooth, ?at metal surface hav U! then the one for the second-named circuit during
said stops, said contacts being in circuit to con
ing a series of ?ush metal trap doors, a plurality
nect said solenoids therethrough with a powered
of upstanding spring embracements mounted. to
electric circuit sealing said contacts closed and
repetitiously travel over said surface in line with
the last-named circuit having means for
said series to slide thereover the springs upright
when loaded therewith in advance of the series, 10 momentarily opening it after opening of the sec
ond-named master switch and before reclosing
means for causing said embracements to inter
mittently travel with stops while in registration
of the ?rst-named one, the classi?er including a
top-spring-end depressor registered above an em
with said trap doors, a top-spring-end contactor
bracement-stopping position in advance of said
over each trap door above the embracement tops
at differing heights, an electric motor for each 15 series and means for operating said depressor
during said stops, said surface being annular and
trap door for opening it as long as the motor
said series being arcuate, and said embracements
is energized, an electric relay provided for each
being mounted in an arcuate series like said trap
of these motors and having contacts and a con
door series by a mounting revolving over said
tact-closing solenoid, a powered electric circuit
connecting with each of said solenoids through 20 surface.
5. A coil spring classi?er including a substan
series connection with the trap door worked by
tially horizontal, smooth, ?at metal surface hav
the motor for which it is provided and the con
ing a series of flush metal trap doors, a plurality
tactor thereabove, a powered electric circuit con
of upstanding spring embracements mounted to
necting with each of said motors through series
repetitiously travel over said surface in line with
connection with the contacts of the relay with
said series to slide thereover the springs upright
which it is provided, a master switch for each of
when loaded therewith in advance of the series,
said circuits, and means for momentarily closing
means for causing said embracements to inter
?rst the master switch for the ?rst-named cir
mittently travel with stops while in registration
cuit and then the one for the second-named cir
with said trap doors, a top-spring-end contactor
cuit during said stops, said contacts being in cir
over each trap door above the embracement tops
cuit to connect said solenoids therethrough with
at diifering heights, and means for at least
a powered electric circuit sealing said contacts
momentarily controlling any of said trap doors
closed and the last-named circuit having means
and in response to whether the contactor there
for momentarily opening it after opening of the
over is contacted by a top-spring-end, the last
second-named master switch and before reclos
named means having means for limiting its
ing of the ?rst-named one, the classi?er includ
response to contact of said top-spring-end with
ing a top-spring-end depressor registered above
said contactor to the initial portions of said stops
an embracement-stopping position in advance
so that subsequent contact due to spring vibra
of said series and means for operating said de
pressor during said stops.
4. A coil spring classi?er including a substan
40 tion has no effect.
6. A coil spring classi?er including the com
bination of a surface having a series of trap
tially horizontal, smooth, ?at metal surface hav
ing a series of ?ush metal trap doors, a plurality
of upstanding spring embracements mounted to
repetitiously travel over said surface in line with
said series to slide thereover the springs upright
when loaded therewith in advance of the series,
means for causing said embracements to inter
doors, means for intermittently sliding coil
springs with one of their ends biased against said
~ surface from one of said trap doors to another
mittently travel with stops while in registration
with said trap doors, a top-spring-end contactor I
in succession with stops at each trap door and
with said springs at right angles to said surface,
a contactor spaced opposite each trap door for
contacting the other ends of said springs with the
contactors having differing trap door spacing,
and means for at least momentarily controlling
any of said trap doors during said stops and in
over each trap door above the embracement tops
at differing heights, an electric motor for each
trap door for opening it as long as the motor is
energized, an electric relay provided for each of
tactor spaced opposite thereto, the last-named
these motors and having contacts and a contact- ,
means having means for limiting its response to
closing solenoid, a powered electric circuit con
necting with each of said solenoids through se
ries connection with the trap door worked by the
motor for which it is provided and the contactor
thereabove, a powered electric circuit connecting 60
with each of said motors through series connec
contact of the spring ends with said contactor to
the initial portions of said stops so that subse
quent contact due to spring vibration has no ef
fect.
G. DONALD FENTON.
response to whether an article contacts the con
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