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Патент USA US3033347

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May 8, 1962
3,033,337
H. HAIDEGGER
DEVICE FOR SORTING AND ORIEN-TING PARTICLES
Filed Aug. 12, 1959
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BY
l/ITî Í Hfèl Iïl
INVENTOR
ns Haxñgger
0W
ATTORNEY
United States Patent ffice
3,033,337
Patented May 8, 1962
2
l
lt is a particular object of this invention to provide
3,033,337
means for sorting and orienting particles of similar physi
cal properties by acting thereon without any contact of
such particles with mechanical sorting members, whereby
DEVICE FOR SORTING AND ORIENTING
PARTICLES
Hans Heidegger, Solothurn, Switzerland, assigner to
Ebauches S.A., Neuchatel, Switzerland
Filed Aug. 12, 1959, Ser. No. 833,175
Ul continuous sorting and orienting at a very high speed
substantially exceeding the speed of any known mechani
Claims priority, application Switzerland Aug. 16, 1958
cal sorting and orienting plant may be obtained. Experi
4 Claims. (Cl. 193-31)
ments have shown that this invention allows sorting and
orienting 1090 to 2000 pieces per minute in one single
sorting place. This excellent result is particularly due to
the -fact that the particles are very rapidly discharged from
This invention relates to a method and a device for
sorting and orienting particles of similar size and shape,
for instance workpieces for feeding them to the working
place of a machine tool or the like.
It is well known in the art to separate particles of one
the sorting place by the said stream or field, whereby
particularly high speeds are obtained when using an air _
jet or air jets as a sorting and transporting means for the
distinct quality from mixtures comprising particles of 15 particles.
different size, shape and physical properties, by centrifug
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be '
ing or Wind-sifting the mixture or by removing particles
of magnetizable material from a mixture by feeding the
mixture through a magnetic field. However, these known
separating methods are only operable when the particles 20
to be separated are of entirely different physical prop
erties.
It is the primary object of this invention- to provide
apparent from the following description and from the
drawings, wherein one embodiment of this invention is l
illustrated by way of example and wherein
FIG. 1 is a front view,
FlG. 2 is a back view and
FlG. 3 is a side view of the device, and
FIGS. 4 to 6 are sectional views taken along lines l
means for sorting and orienting particles of similar physi
IV--lV, V-V and Vl--Vl respectively in FIG. l.
cal properties and of similar size and shape, for instance 25 The sorting device has a plate-shaped front portion 1,
of similar workpieces for automatically feeding them in a
a rear portion built up from superposed plates 2, 3 and
desired orientation to the Working place of a machine
tool. In accordance with this invention this is accom
4 and a wedge-shaped intermediate portion 5. -A tube
6 and a supporting pin 7 having similar outlines and '
plished broadly by feeding the particles into a stream of a
adapted yfor plug connection of the sorting device to any
gaseous'or liquid medium or into any other suitable mag 30 desired machine are provided on the intermediate portion `
netic, electric or other field of forces, wherein different
5. The front plate 1 is maintained in contact with the
forces will act onto the particles of irregular shape in
other portions by means of a spring bow >S loosely an
accordance with the position at which the particles are
chored in lateral grooves of bolts 9. Upon removal of
exposed to the forces acting thereon in the said stream of
the spring `bow 3 the front plate 1 may readily be re- _
medium or in any other field of forces. The particles ' moved for giving access to vthe interior of the device.
may be'fed into the field of forces without any distinct
A W-shaped flat groove 1t) is milled into the back
preliminary orientation, whereby a relatively small ef
face of plate 1, this groove being covered by portions 4 '
ficiency will be obtained, that is, a relatively small portion
and 75 when plate 1 is in its mounted position as shown,
of the particles fed into the field of forces will be sorted
so that a fiat canal is formed by the groove 10. A groove f
out as `desired while the major portion of the particles 40 11 having the same section as groove 10, is milled into the'
would pass through the field of forces without being
plate 2 and extends along a straight vertical line from the>
brought to a distinct position. Therefore, since a much
top end to the bottom end of plate 2. A groove 12 of
higher efficiency of the sorting stream or field may be
similar cross -section and having a shape as particularly
obtained when preliminary orienting the particles before
seen in FIG. 2 is provided in the portion 4, this groove
admitting them t0 the sorting place in which interaction 45 12 covering with the lower end of groove 11 when the
between the said stream or field of forces and the said
portions are assembled so that the lower outlet ends of particles is allowed, it is preferred to preliminary orient
grooves 11 and 12 are located side to side and are sepa
i
the particles before feeding them to the sorting place. It
rated `from each other by thin sheet 3. This sheet 3 serves
is possible, by relatively simple means as by properly
as a covering member for canals 11 and 12. As shown
t
ä \„` mshaping an inlet canal for the particles to effect a prelimi 50 in FIG. 6, the sheet 3 only extends to the upper end of .
nary orientation of the particles in substantially opposite
portion 4 thereby allowing communication of the canals
positions, so that the action of the said stream or field
formed lby groove 19 With grooves or canals 11 and 12
of force will also be a substantially opposite one, whereby
respectively. The upper end of the central portion of .
the particles are effectively sor-ted into two groups com
canal 10 communicates with an inlet opening 13 at the
prising each one half of the particles. In accordance 55 rear side of the device, the particles to be oriented and
with this invention such groups of particles may be dis
sorted being fed into the `device through this opening 1
by means of a feeding vdevice 14 as schematically shown
charged by means of the said stream or field of force
and during discharge the particles of each `group of parti
in FIG. 4 and having a spiral-shaped vibrating path 15
along which pieces are continuously fed yfrom a supply
cle-s may be further oriented so that all the particles will
finally be discharged in a desired position for packing 60 at the bottom of the device to the opening 13. Openings
or Working such particles. The selectivity of the sorting
action may further be improved When the particles hav
ing a preliminary orientation in substantially opposite
directions are subjected to the action of oppositely di
rected streams of a medium or oppositely acting fields 65
of forces, whereby particles having one particular pre
liminary orientation are positively affected by the one of
the streams or fields and are readily discharged towards
16 and 17 at the rear side of the device communicate with -
canals 11 and 12 respectively and pieces leaving the
canals through such openings will return into the feeding v
device 1‘4 through a funnel 18 shown in FIG. 4.
At the lowermost place of the individual branches of
the W-shaped canal 10, which may be termed the separating position for the particles two nozzles 19 and 20 are
inserted in portions 5 and 1 respectively, such nozzles
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one outlet canal while the particles having opposite pre
having slit-like openings 21 directed in substantially oppo- `
liminary orientation are positively affected by the other 70 site directions, that is to the right and to the left respec-`
stream or ñeld for being discharged lto another outlet
tively. Pressure air may be admitted to nozzles 19 and
20 through connection piece 6 and through canals not
canal.
3
shown in detail, and the air jets leaving nozzles 19 and
20 are directed each into one of the rising side branches
of canal 10 which form a pair of outlets. Above the
places where the side branches of canal 10 open into
canals 11 and 12 respectively, further nozzles 22 similar
d,
through this canal are completely fed back to the feed
ing device 14. If it is required to obtain the same orienta
tion for all parts one of the canals involved may be
twisted in such a manner that the parts are turned while
advancing through this twisted canal, whereby all parts
to nozzles 19 and 20 are mounted in plate 1, such nozzles
will leave the device in similar orientation.
22 being connected to the pressure-air supply by means
of conduits 23 and the openings 24 of such nozzles being
directed downwards.
The above described device is adapted, by way of ex
While the invention has been described with reference
to parts having a ilat and a hollow side, other parts may
be sorted and oriented provided that their physical as
symmetry is suñìcient. This asymmetry may also be a
ample, for sorting and orienting ñat cup-shaped parts
magnetic or electric one in which case orienting and sort
or articles 25 as schematically shown in FIG. 5. Such
parts or articles are fed through opening 13 into the canal
10 with one of their fiat sides supported on the bottom
surface of opening 13, so that such parts will fall down
ing of the parts would preferably be effected by means of
canal in a manner that the parts will arrive at the sep
magnetic or electric fields. Jets of a liquid medium may
be used instead of the described air jets. The jets of a
gaseous or liquid medium and the fields of forces may be
changed in direction and intensity in order to adapt the
device for sorting and orienting different kinds of parts.
What I claim is:
arating position with their hollow side directed either to
1. A device for separating particles presenting different
through the central portion of canal 10 which is the inlet
for the separating position, to the lowermost place of this
wards nozzle 19 or towards nozzle 20.
It will be seen 20 degrees of resistance to a flow of ñuid medium thereover
depending upon the orientation of the particles with re
spect to said flow of fluid medium comprising; means
forming a separating position, means forming an inlet
From the foregoing it is evident that the parts are sub
to the separating position, means forming a pair of out
jected to a preliminary orientation by the particular de
sign of the feeding device 14 and of the inlet canal, 25 lets from said separating position, means providing a dis
charge of tluid medium against each of the particles se
whereby the parts are fed through the inlet to the sort
from FIGURE 1 that the inlet for the separating position
is approximately perpendicular to the pair of outlets.
ing place or separating position at the bottom end of
quentially at the separating position, whereby each of the
particles is sequentially moved into one or the other of
canal 10 in one of two distinct, opposite orientations.
the pair of outlets depending upon the orientation of the
Due to the probability laws one half of the parts are
oriented in the one direction while the other half of the 30 particle with respect to the discharge of the fluid medium.
2. A device for separating particles presenting different
parts will be oriented in the opposite direction. When
the hollow side of part 25 is directed towards nozzle 20
as shown in FIG. 5 for the part simultaneously exposed
to the action of both air jets leaving nozzles 19 and 20
degrees of resistance to a flow of fluid medium thereover
depending upon the orientation of the particles with re
spect to said flow of fluid medium comprising; means
respectively, the jet leaving nozzle 20 and entering into
' forming a separating position, means forming an inlet
to the separating position, means forming a pair of out
the hollow portion of the part 25 will exert a force di
lets from said separating position, means providing dis
rected to the left exceeding the force exerted by the air
charges of ñuid medium in substantially opposite direc
jet from nozzle 19 which is directed towards the flat and
tions against each of the particles sequentially at the sepa
smooth side of part 25. Therefore, the part 25 shown
in symmetrical position relatively to the nozzles 19 and 40 rating position, whereby each of the particles is se
quentially moved into one or the other of the pair of out
20 will be accelerated to the left and is discharged into
lets depending upon the orientation of the particle with
one of the pair of outlets which is the left rising branch
respect to the discharges of the fluid medium.
of canal 10, wherein it is blown upwards `by the air
3. A device for separating particles presenting different
stream from nozzle 20, which is discharged through the
left branch of canal 10, until the part enters the upper 45 degrees of resitsance to a flow of liuid medium thereover
depending upon the orientation of the particles with re
portion of canal 12. At this moment part 25 enters into
spect to said ñow of fluid medium comprising; means
the air jet from one of nozzles 22 and is blown down
forming a separating position, means forming an inlet to
wards through canal 12. In an analogous manner op
the separting position, means forming a pair of outlets
positely oriented parts 25 having their hollow side di
rected towards nozzle 19 are discharged into the other 50 from said separating position, the outlets extending gen
of the pair of outlets which is the right rising branch of
erally in opposite directions, means in the inlet for orient
canal 1‘1 as set out above for parts discharged through
ing the particles into one of two positions, means proa:
viding a pair of discharges of fluid medium directed in `
the left canal 10. The so oriented and sorted parts may
substantially opposite directions against each of the par
be removed back to back at the lower ends of canals 11
and 12, as indicated in FIG. 3. Pairs of the parts may 55 ticles sequentially at the separating position, whereby each
be removed and transported to a working station by
of the particles is moved sequentially into one or the
means not shown.
The parts falling into the sorting place wherein the
other of the pair of outlets depending upon the orienta
tion of the particle lwith respect to the discharges of the
air jets leaving nozzles 19 and 20 are effective, are
ñuid medium.
rapidly blown away to the left or right so that new parts 60
4. A device for separating particles presenting different
may be admitted to the sorting place in extremely rapid
succession. fIf the so sorted and oriented parts cannot be
removed from the lower outlet ends of canals 11 and 12,
piles of such parts are formed in these canals up to the
degrees of resistance to the ñow of ñuid medium there
over depending upon the orientation thereof according
to claim 3 in which the inlet is positioned substantially
perpendicular with respect to the outlets.
level of openings 16 and 17, whereupon further parts 65
References Cited in the tile of this patent
falling upon the pile will leave the canals through open
ings 16 and 17 and will return to the feeding device 14
UNITED STATES PATENTS
through funnel 18. Therefore clogging of the device or
jamming of parts in the canals cannot occur.
1,165,700
Muessel ____________ _.. Dec. 28, 1915
When it is desired to have all parts oriented in the 70 2,270,713
»Belada ______________ __ Ian. 20, 1942
same direction, an ejector member, for instance a metal
sheet, may be inserted through one of openings 16 or 17
into one of canals 11 or 12 so that parts falling down
2,377,294
Belada et al. _________ __ May 29, 1945
2,765,900
Seabrooke ____ ________ __ Oct. 9, 1956
2,908,420
Hoffman et al. ______ _.. Oct. 13, 1959
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