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Патент USA US3034641

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May 15, 1962
Filed July 8, 1959
6 Sheets-Sheet 1
May 15, 1962
Filed July 8, 1959
6 Sheets-Sheet 2»
May 15, 1962
_ ‘=2
May 15, 1962
Filed July 8, 1959
6 Sheets-Sheet 4
May 15, 1962
Filed July 8, 1959
6 Sheets-Sheet 5
May 15, 1962
Filed July 8, 1959
6 Sheets-Sheet 6
Qw- W0
. I38 '139
Patented May 15', 1962
Anthony W. Pumper, New Market, N.J., assignor to
wicket conveyor arranged to transport coated sheets, de
livered to it by the inserter, through a heated drying oven;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the coated sheet inserter
alone and on an enlarged scale showing, in dotted lines,
some of the internal components;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the sheet inserter on
John Waldron Corporation, New Brunswick, N1, a
corporation of New Jersey
Filed July 8, 1959, Ser. No. 825,840
18 Claims. (Cl. 198-20)
the same scale as FIGURE 2;
This invention relates to apparatus for handling coated
on a much larger scale, taken on line 4—4 of FIG. 3
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, longitudinal, vertical section,
sheets and more particularly to such apparatus ‘for accept 10 showing the accelerating and decelerating suction cup for
the sheets, and the carriage and track for the same to
gether with cup driving means and raising and lowering
ing relatively rigid sheets, freshly coated on one side, ac
celerating their speed of travel to increase the spacing
between sheets, introducing the sheets horizontally and
mechanism for the track;
successively between the wickets of a travelling conveyor
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the suction cup, its carriage
and rapidly decelerating each sheet after it has entered 15 and certain of the drive mechanism therefor;
between wickets to prevent damaging its entering edge
FIG. 6 is a right end elevation of the suction cup, its
at the wicket ‘bottom.
carriage and the drive mechanism therefor, taken on
It is a general object of the present invention to pro
line 6-6 of FIG. 4 looking in the direction of the
vide a novel and improved sheet inserter for the purpose
speci?ed in which sheet acceleration and deceleration 20
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, transverse, vertical section, taken
are achieved in novel manners.
on line 7-—7 of FIG. 4, illustrating the fulcrum mecha
More particularly it is an object of the invention to
nism for the cup-carriage drive-lever and the means for
provide a sheet inserter capable of rapidly accelerating
delivering suction and pressure through it to the cup;
coated, rigid sheets beyond their delivery travel rate for
FIG. 8 is a view like FIG. 7 of the upper end of the
individual introduction between wickets of a conveyor 25 cup-carriage drive-lever showing its connection to the
as each sheet accepting wicket approaches the horizontal
cup drive link, the section being taken on line 8—8 of
as it turns about the conveyor end pulley, together with
FIG. 5;
means for rapidly decelerating the sheet between the
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the suction cup, its
wickets to stop it before its leading edge contacts the
carriage and the valving mechanism for the cup;
wicket bottom.
FIG. 10 is a side elevation, partly broken away,‘ of the
An important object of the invention resides in the
assembly of FIG. 9;
construction and operation of the sheet decelerator
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the suction cup carriage,
mechanism arranged to engage the sheet at substantially
with dotted line illustrations of the air and vacuum pas
its accelerated speed after its leading edge has entered
sages therein, the view being taken on line 11—-11 of
between successive moving wickets and to then decelerate 35 FIG. 10;
it to zero speed as it travels a distance substantially less
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary vertical, sectional view taken
than wicket depth.
Another important object of the invention resides in
the control of the sheet deceleration by a harmonic mo
on line 12-42 of FIG. 11 showing the vacuum passage
through the wrist pin connecting the carriage to the link;
FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the oscillating valve for
tion imparted to the decelerating apparatus in synchronism
connecting pressure or vacuum to the suction cup;
with the rate of sheet delivery to the wicket conveyor.
FIG. 14 is a vertical, sectional view through the valve
assembly taken on line 14—14 of FIG. 11 showing the
Still another important object of the invention resides
in the provision of safety means to prevent damage to
the sheets in the event of slow release thereof by the
valve porting; and
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a permanent magnet
attaching means for holding the sheet during deceleration. 45 structure which may be used alternatively with the suction
An important feature of the invention consists in the
cup where the sheets to be handled are of magnetic
use of suction cup means to engage and hold the sheet
for deceleration and the use of positive air pressure to
In order to rapidly dry a coating freshly placed on one
insure quick release thereof.
side of a sheet of suf?cient rigidity to stand on its edge,
Another and alternative important ‘feature of the in 50 it has heretofore been known to introduce the sheets
vention resides in the use of magnet means for engaging
successively onto the wickets of a conveyor for trans
and holding the sheets during the deceleration.
portation through a drying oven and to feed each sheet
A further important object of the invention consists
in the provision of track means to guide the sheet hold
ing device, mechanism to raise and lower the track in
unison with sheet movement to provide return clearance
for the holding device, and valve means actuated by.
said track movement to control, in proper timed relation,
the vacuum and pressure line connections to the sheet
Other and further objects and features of the invention
will be more apparent to those skilled in the art upon
a consideration of the following speci?cation and accom
panying drawings wherein are disclosed two exemplary
embodiments of the invention with the understanding
that such changes and modi?cations thereof, as fall with
in the scope of the appended claims, may ‘be made there
in without departing ‘from the spirit of the invention.
In said drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the coated sheet inserter
illustrated as positioned between a sheet coater and a
onto a wicket as the latter approaches the horizontal when
turning about one of the end drums of the conveyor sys
tem. Delivery of the sheets successively to the wickets
was by belts, tapes, or chain-link conveyors which fed
the sheets substantially against the bottom supports of the
wickets, which latter acted as stops to limit their move
ment. However, with the advent of demands for higher
60 speeds and the practical development of high speed coat
ing apparatus, the old system became useless since the
velocity of the sheets travelling horizontally on the ?exible
conveyor devices became so great that the leading edges
of the sheets were damaged when they struck the stops at
the bottoms of the wickets. Additionally, withv the sheets
following each other in rapid succession with small spac
ing between sheets, the leading edge of the following
sheet would interfere with the trailing edge of the sheet
just loaded on the wicket. Speeding-up the sheets to
70 travel at a rate greater than their movement through the
coating apparatus, and thus to achieve wider spacing be
tween successive sheets, only increased the velocity and
hence the damage when the sheet was stopped at the
wicket bottom.
It is the purpose of the present invention to provide
apparatus capable of accelerating the sheets substantially
beyond the speed of travel through the coating apparatus,
and preferably in stages so as to introduce them with
extreme rapidity between the wickets and at the same time
achieve adequate spacing between successive sheets to
sion may be withdrawn to a maximum position, as shown
in FIGS. 2 and 3, or collapsed to occupy but little more
length than the side plates. This permits adjustment to
accommodate the feeder to various spacings between the
conveyor of the coater and the wicket conveyor. This
extension is ?tted with a shaft 57 at its outer end and
mounted thereon are four crowned pulleys 58, 58 and 59,
59. A pair of correspondingly crowned pulleys 60, 60
are mounted on shaft 49 at the forward end of the in
prevent interference. The mechanism is capable of en
gaging the under-surface of the sheet with sufficient fric 10 setter, and between pulleys 58 and 60 are stretched a pair
of conveyor tapes 61 adapted to be driven, by means not
shown, and to accept sheets as illustrated at 32 in FIG. 1
from the conveyor tapes of the coater delivery mechanism
26. A second or intermediate pair of tapes 63 extend be
interference between the trailing edge of the sheet on the
tween pulleys 59 on shaft 57 and pulleys 64 on inter
wicket and the advancing succeeding sheet is prevented.
mediate shaft 46. This shaft also carries pulleys 65 over
For a better understanding of the invention reference
which the belts 61 pass in their movement between pulleys
should ?rst be had to FIG. 1 illustrating at 25 the coated
58 and 60.
sheet inserter of the present invention, arranged between
Automatic take-up means comprising a plurality of
the delivery conveyor 26 of any satisfactory form of
high-speed sheet coater 27 and a conventional wicket con 20 pulleys as seen in FIG. 2 is provided on the sheet inserter
and its extension to take care of the excess belt lengths
veyor 28 which is adapted successively to receive the
which exist when the extension is at other than its maxi
‘sheets in their horizontal travelling position, one per
mum outward position, and many devices are known for
wicket, move them to a substantial vertical position and
this purpose so a description is unnecessary.
advance them through an oven 29 where they are exposed
The {belts or tapes 61 and 63 accept sheets 32 directly
to heated air or gas, infra-red rays and/ or other means
from conveyor 26 of the coater and preferably at sub
for heating, evaporating and/or drying or setting the coat
stantially the same speed, although in some cases it may
ing which has been applied to the sheets in the coater 27.
tion so that deceleration at an extremely high rate can be
applied to the sheet just prior to its bottoming in its wicket
and damage to the leading edge thereof avoided while
To provide synchronization between the rate of feed
be desirable to accelerate the sheets slightly by the action
of apparatus 25 and wicket conveyor 28, shaft 30 is
shown, representative of means synchronizing the two
drives and for connecting them, whereby one may receive
of tapes 61 and 63. In any event, since these tapes are of
fabric and have no great adherence to provide tractive
effect, pulleys 58 and 59 and the others illustrated on
its rate from the other to insure that one sheet is fed
shafts 46, 47 and 49, if desired, may be permanently
magnetized for co-operation with ferrous sheets for hold
ing them tightly in contact with the tapes for positive
drive. To maintain the sheets in proper alignment side
guide rails, shown at 67, may be provided spaced so as to
to each wicket at the appropriate time as it is advancing to
the horizontal position. Thus at 31 a wicket is advancing
toward the transporting position after having received a
sheet 32 While in or below the horizontal position, while
wicket 33 is advancing to receive the following sheet
permit only slight clearance with the sheet edges and ad
justably mounted if desired in order to handle sheets of
different widths.
31 and 33 and moving along the spaced rails 34 between
In order to provide greater spacing than exists as a
which the wickets pass, as better illustrated in FIG. 3. 40
result of the delivery rate from the coater between the
A second pair of closely spaced sheet support bars 35 of
trailing edge of each sheet and the leading edge of the
lesser length is shown for center support of the sheets as
following one means is provided to accelerate the sheet
they move into the wicket.
movement and this preferably takes the form. of a pair
The wickets are attached to appropriate chains 36 which
of chains 68 extending from shaft 48, arranged just to the
are guided over suitable supporting rollers and turn about
left of shaft 46 where tapes 61 stop, and the two~part
end sprockets 37 at the receiving end and corresponding
now being forwarded toward the space between wickets
sprockets at the opposite end. Each wicket, as seen in
FIG. 3, is an assemblage of metal bars or wires to pro
shaft 49, each of which is equipped with appropriate
tion 39 in its outer center for clearance about the sup
sprockets 69 for the purpose. Shaft 48 is driven by ap
propriate means at a speed considerably in excess of the
tape speed in order to accelerate the sheets and separate
them to a greater extent. To insure positive synchroniza
port bars 35 and other parts. Adjacent its connection to
tion of sheet position with wicket position through the
the carrying chains, each wicket has two or more stops 40
operation of shaft 30 between the wicket drive and the
vide appropriate support beneath the sheet to keep it from
bending or buckling and shaped to have the deep indenta
in the form of small hooks against which the leading edge
feeder drive, each chain 68 is ?tted with one or more lugs
of the sheet is stopped and on which it rests when the 55 71 extending transversely thereof and above its outer
surface whereby as the sheet moves forward on tapes 61
sheet is brought nearly to the vertical position, as shown
by wicket 311, with just sufficient rearward inclination
to keep the sheets from being in unstable equilibrium.
FIGS. 2 and 3 show the sheet inserter to he a self
contained unit, except for the synchronizing drive means,
supported from the floor 42 by suitable legs 43 equipped
with jack screws 44 for changing the elevation of the
top surface of the machine for appropirate alignment with
and shortly after its trailing edge leaves tapes 63, these
lugs moving more rapidly than the sheet engage its trail
ing edge and promptly accelerate it to chain speed. The
driving lugs 71 do not release the sheet as they move
downwardly around their forward sprockets 69 until its
leading edge is more than half way advanced over the
wicket which will eventually pick it up.
For controlling the sheet in its ?nal movement into the
pivot for the turn-around sprocket 37 of the wicket 65 wicket, and to rapidly decelerate it so that the leading
edge of the sheet will not be damaged when stopping
against the hooks 40 supporting it at the bottom of the
, The principal strength members of the inserter are the
wicket, means is provided for grasping the under-surface
side plates 45 appropriately connected together by cross
the delivery conveyor of the coater and the axis of the
of the sheet and is driven by an harmonic motion device.
members as shown, and braced and reinforced where
necessary. These plates provide bearing means for a plu 70 The preferred form uses as a sheet gripping means a
suction cup having arrangements for connection to a
rality of cross shafts 46, 47, 48 and 49. An extension
source of vacuum and such cup, as shown at 75, is mount
unit 50 is slidably attached to the side plates by means of
ed on a carriage 76, see FIG. 9, equipped on each side
horizontal rods 51 secured to the lower portion of the
with a pair of wheels 77 adapted for guiding it between
end member of the extension at 52 and slidable in bear
ings 53 and 54 on the side plates 45 whereby the exten 75 a pair of grooved tracks 78, the forward ends of which
are seen to project to 79 well down into the area swept
by the wickets‘ as they come around the end sprocket and
each wicket is seen to have its end wire 80 indented as at
‘81 to provide adequate clearance for the purpose.
Referring now to FIG. 4, the. tracks are spaced at op
posite ends by cross members 814 and 85, and each of
these is supported by a pair of spaced dependent plates
86 mounting transverse wrist pins 87 pivoting them to
maximum inward position the track has been moved up
ward to its fullest extent and the travel of the carriage is
just beyond mid-stroke in the forward direction with
velocity near maximum and substantially the equivalent
of that of the sheet being carried by the chains. As the
cup is brought up against the under-surface of the sheet
at this maximum elevation of the former, vacuum is ap
plied and the retarding action of the sheet is begun and
the end of link '88 at the left and lever 89* at the right.
continued until nearly the end of the stroke, as previ
The opposite end of link 88 is fulcrumed at 90 on a block 10 ously mentioned.
mounted on cross member 91 of the frame. Lever 89 is
Vacuum and air pressure are supplied to the cup
pivoted intermediate its ends at 92 on a member attached
through the driving mechanism for it as follows. In
to frame cross-piece 93‘. The lower end of lever 89 is
FIG. 4 a vacuum line 115 is shown connected to the
?tted with lateral pin 94 adapted to operate in cam groove
lower fulcrum 104 for the oscillating lever 103, and a
95 in disc 96 mounted on cross shaft 97, as seen in FIGS. 15 similar pressure line is also provided. As seen in FIGS.
2 and 4, suitably driven by a chain on sprocket 98 there
7 and 8, lever 103 is composed of two tubes 116 and
on and appropriately timed from other portions of the
parallel to each other and the ?rst for vacuum and
drive system.
It will be appreciated that the track being pivoted on
links 88 and 89‘ of the same length and having the same
inclination, as shown, will move up and down in a par
allel motion under the action of the pin 94 operating in
the cam track 95.
Also mounted on shaft 97 at the
the second for air under pressure.
These tubes are se
cured into block 118 fulcrumed on pin 119 secured
therein and mounted in base 120 secured to cross frame
member 105. Each end of the block, in alignment with
the bores for supporting pin 119, is counterbored at 121
and 122 and internally threaded to receive a ?tting, as
far end thereof is crank arm 100 pivoted to connecting
seen in FIG. 4, to which a tube or pipe such as 115 is
rod 101 whose opposite end is fulcrumed at 102 to oscil 25 attached, one for vacuum and one for air coming from
late lever 103 pivoted at 104 to a cross member 105 near
suitable pump-s for the purpose, not shown. Each coun
the bottom of the frame. Lever 103 is connected by link
terbore leads into a partial bore 123, 124 in opposite
131 to carriage 76 whereby the latter makes one full
ends of pin 119 and these are connected to its surface
stroke between the two positions shown in dotted lines
by lateral bores, as indicated, which are in alignment
in FIG. 4 for each revolution of shaft 97. The motion 30 with passages 125 and 126, respectively, connecting to
imparted to the carriage for the suction cup, because of
the interiors of tubes 116 and 117 which are thus pres
its source at crank 1011 may be referred to as harmonic
surized while permitted to rock on their pivot. The
motion, starting at the end of each stroke at zero velocity,
rocking takes place in bushings such as 127 packed by
increasing rapidly to maximum velocity at mid-stroke and
means of an O-ring 128 and held in position by a pin 129.
then decelerating at an increased rate until the opposite 35 At their upper ends tubes 116 and 117 are ?tted into
end of the stroke is reached. This action is relied upon
bores in block 1311 whose upper end is divided into two
to bring the suction cup up to the speed of sheet 32 being
part-s to receive between them the rear end of connecting
driven ‘by lugs 71 on the chains, at ‘which time suction
link 131 which is provided with a pair of parallel, longi
is applied, as will be later described, and the cup is ad
tudinal passages 132 and 133, the former for vacuum
hered to the undersurface of the sheet by the vacuum 40 and the latter for pressure. These are connected to the
thus achieved. The vacuum cup may still be accelerating
respective tubes 116 and 117 by the passages shown in
in a direction toward the wicket whereby the sheet is
block 130 and the separate passages in wrist pin 134 in
caused to move with the cup and increase its speed from
that imparted to it by the chain drive or the speed of the
cup may be at its maximum when suction is applied. At
about the time of suction application, the lugs which
were driving the sheet move around the front sprockets
which separates them from the sheet so that the drive
is now solely by the motion of the suction cup '75. When
crank 1110 reaches mid-position its speed begins to de
crease at an accelerated rate, and as the vacuum cup ap
proaches its maximum forward position the vacuum is re
leased, as will be later described, and air pressure applied
to insure separation of the vacuum cup from the sheet
while the latter is still moving forward at just su?icient
velocity to insure its lightly engaging the hooks 40‘ at
the bottom of the wicket under its own momentum. The
vacuum cup is now returned to its starting position under
the action of the linkage just described.
substantially the same manner as the arrangement at the
lower end of the oscillating lever, whereby the two
pressures are communicated through the length of the
connecting link, and, by a similar arrangement to that
at the bottom of the oscillating lever, the link is con
nected to the spaced extensions 135 ‘and 136 from the
rear end of carriage 76. Suitable passages in the wrist
50. pin,
FIG. 11, connecting the left end of the connecting
link between these extensions, provide for vacuum in
bore 138 and pressure in bore 139 leading towards the
left in the body of the carriage from the wrist pin.
FEG. 12 makes it clear how the vacuum passage 132
is connected to bore 141} in the wrist pin which connects
the forward end of the connecting rod to the carriage,
and from this bore longitudinal extension 141 extends
out through the end of the wrist pin into chamber 142 in
extension 136, the end of which is closed by plate 143,
In order that the vacuum cup may be elevated to
engage the under-surface of the sheet and be lowered to 60 and passage 138 is shown in end elevation leading for
complete its return stroke without interference with the
next advancing sheet (it engages near the trailing edge
of each sheet and hence must pass beneath substantially
the whole length of the sheet before being raised to
engage it), the track on which the vacuum cup carrier
travels is raised and lowered by means of lever 89, as
wardly. This wrist pin is ?tted with an O-ring 144 as
previously described, and a locking pin 145.
The vaccum cup construction is best seen in FIGS. 9
and 10 where a flat metal plate 150 forms the base on
which is mounted a resilient sheet, such as rubber or
the like, 151, having a large central aperture 152 en
tirely through it. This aperture communicates with the
longitudinal central passage 153 in the cylindrical stem
timed with the movement of the vacuum cup carriage in
70 154 which is secured at right angles beneath the metal
the fore and aft direction.
plate 150 and is adapted to slide in vertical bore 156 in
It will be noted that somewhat more than 200 degrees
main member 76 of the vacuum cup carriage and its co
of cam path 95 is arcuate and from the two ends of
axial continuation in the ‘lower member 157 thereof.
this section the path moves inwardly, at the positions 110
The vacuum cup is prevented from rotating about the
and 111 to the maximum inward position 112. At this 75 stem axis by means of guide pin 158 secured to and pro
previously described, under the action of pin 94 follow
ing in the cam groove 95 in rotating disc 96, exactly
with the setting of the valve spool. This spool has a
jecting downwardly from plate 150 and guided in
large disc 196 at one end with a cam follower 197 ro
bushed hole 159 in the upper surface of part 76.
tatably mounted on pin 198 eocentrically positioned on
The vacuum cup is maintained spaced above the car
disc 196.
riage body by means of collar 161, surrounding the stem
154, which limits its lowering toward the carriage and
A spring, not shown, normally maintains the valve
spool with its follower 197 in the position illustrated in
provides a rigid connection between plate 150‘ and the
stem. Below block 157 the stem is surrounded by helical
spring 163 whose outer end abuts washer 164 secured
against movement off of the stern by means of a cross
pin as shown, whereby the vacuum cup is normally held
in its lower position.
FIG. 9, somewhat above the horizontal center, or neu
tral position as shown in :FIG. 10, where it provides air
pressure to the cup chamber 152.
This condition ex
ists during the ?rst half of the cup forward stroke and
for all of its retraction stroke.
This arrangement, however, per
To connect vacuum to the cup, as it is lifted into en
mits the vacuum cup to be lifted for a limited distance
should the sheet be engaged and lifted by a wicket which
gagement with the under-surface of the sheet moving
may be slightly in advance of its normal timing. The
cup is released from the sheet, normally before the lat
forwardly at the same rate as the cup, the under-surface
of one of the stationary sheet supporting bars 35, seen
best in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 projecting into the deep notch
ter is lifted, by the action of a valve now about to be
described which cuts off the vacuum and applies air
pressure to insure cup release.
in each wicket as it passes, is made use of to cam down
follower 197 until slot 195 in valve spool 186 registers
with slot 183 in the valve adjusting sleeve. This discon
nects pressure from the suction cup by shutting off the
?ow of air between 194 and 182 and supplies vacuum
The valve in question is positioned between passages
138 and 139 in carriage block 76 and vertical passage
166 therein which has its continuation 167 horizontally
in block 157 until it meets the enlarged counterbore 168
in the upper face of this block and surrounding the re
duced diameter 169 of the vacuum cup stem. A radial
bore 170 extends from the stern bore 153 to the surface
thereto so that the cup is immediately adhered to the
under-surface of the sheet and is ready to apply its re
tarding force as it decelerates on the later half of its
stroke toward the wicket carrier.
As the carriage carrying the vacuum cup advances
of the reduced diameter portion whereby communication
towards the end of its stroke and the position where it
is had ‘between 167 and the interior of the vacuum cup.
releases the sheet while the latter still has slight forward
The block 76 is transversely bored as at 175, see
momentum to complete its entrance into the wicket,
FIGS. 11 and 14, to receive valve body 176, of the same,
length as the width of the block, and, comprising an 30 downward movement of its track has begun to draw it
away from the cup which is still attached to the sheet
open-ended tube having radial bores 1381 and 1391 which
and in so doing allows the cam follower 197 to return
register with the ends of the vacuum and pressure pas
towards the vacuum cut-off and air pressure supply posi
sages 138 and 139 in the carriage block 76 in which the
tion shown in FIG. 9. As soon as air is supplied the
sleeve is tightly pressed. This valve body has central
passage 177 directed downwardly in alignment with and 35 cup is promptly released from the sheet and is drawn
down to its stop position on top of the carriage under
connected to passage 166.
the action of its spring 163. As previously pointed out,
An adjusting sleeve 180, closed at one end and longi
should the wicket be slightly bent in a direction so that
tudinally bored from the opposite end, has a close ?t
it lifts the sheet slightly sooner than it should, addi
within the valve body bore and is angularly adjustable
therein, within limits, to change the timing of applica 40 tional movement of the cup upwardly prior to sheet re
lease may take place. For the time following the suc
tion of vacuum ‘and pressure to the cup in the event that
tion cut-off and application of pressure air to release the
different length sheets are being handled by the Wicket
cup this air ?ows until the vacuum is again applied after
loader. For the purpose of this adjustment the solid
the cup has been retracted and advanced for about one
end 181 projects outwardly, as best seen in FIG. 11,
Where it may be appropriately shaped to receive a
half of its forward stroke.
Previously it has been pointed out that there is no
wrench or the like to rotate it slightly for change in ad
real necessity for magnetizing the pulleys carrying the
justment. Sleeve 180 has radial through passages 182
tapes since synchronization has been adequate without
and 183 of a length about equal to the diameter of pas
this arrangement which, of course, permits the opera
sages 1381 and 1391 but of limited circumferential ex
tion of the apparatus on nonferrous sheets. Under
tent as seen in FIG. 14. They both communicate with .
some conditions where the apparatus is designed solely
the central bore 185 therein which has‘ a working fit with
for operation with ferrous materials, magnetic means
for engaging the sheet rather than the suction cup may
be resorted to, and in FIG. 15 is shown the alternative
form of apparatus which makes use of permanent mag
nets instead of suction cup means. This greatly simpli
the valve spool 186. Midway longitudinally between
the slots 182 and 183 and aligned with passage 177 there
is a through slot 187 extending a suf?cient distance cir
cumferentially around the bore to remain in register with
177 under any adjusted condition.
The valve spool 186 which has a rotary working ?t
in the longitudinal bore of the adjusting sleeve is pro
vided with a longitudinal central bore 191 closed at the
?es the construction of the carriage driving mechanism
since it does not have to be constructed with passage
ways through the various rods, links, and ?exible joints,
and all of these can be made simple as is shown in the
solid metal link 200 which is substituted for the hollow
connecting rod 131 in the preferred embodiment. It is
connected by pivot 201 to a carriage 202 having a pair
of rollers 203 on each of its opposite side faces for
The wall of the valve spool 176 has a pair of radial
slots therein, 194 and 195, circumferentially displaced 65 travelling in the tracks 78 similar to those used in the
ends and having a large central opening 192 passing
through its wall in alignment with slot 187 in the ad
justing sleeve so that the spool interior is in communi
cation therewith in all adjusted positions of the spool.
from each other so that when one registers with slot
182 in the adjusting sleeve the other one is out of reg
ister with 183, and vice-versa, whereby oscillation of the
valve spool 186 through an angle of 30 to 50 degrees
prior construction.
The carriage mounts a simple box-like structure hav
ing vertical side walls 205, more widely spaced than the
rollers 203, and connected together at opposite ends by
will achieve a change from vacuum to pressure which 70 the transverse struts 206 which support between them
will feed through opening 192 in the spool, slot 187
the longitudinal bars 207 of nonmagnetic material, the
upper surfaces of which are ?ush with the edges 208 of
in the sleeve and passage 177 in the valve body and
the side walls of the carriage.
then to 166 and 167 and to the chamber 168 surround
A pallet structure 210 in the form of an inverted U of
ing the reduced diameter of the suction cup stem to sup
ply either pressure or vacuum thereto in accordance 75 sheet metal is arranged to slide vertically between side
members 205 and has mounted on each of its side walls
a pair of pins 212 on each of which is rotatably mounted
a cam follower 213.
Each follower moves in a groove
214 in the side wall 205 acting to guide the pallet verti
The pallet carries a plurality of elongated magnet bars
215 interleaved between the non-magnetic bars 207.
The pallet is spring-loaded to withdraw the magnets be
low the surfaces of stationary bars 207, the lower edges
of the inverted U-shaped pallet stopping against the ?oor
movement, said second conveyor having spaced lugs to'
engage the trailing edge of each sheet and having a dis
charge end for positioning to release the lugs and deliver
said sheets successively only partially entered between
conveyor wickets, sheet bottom engaging means, means
mounting said engaging means for movement in sheet
direction to cause it to grip the underface of each sheet
after the latter enters the space between wickets, means
to accelerate said engaging means to sheet speed before
said gripping and constructed to then rapidly reduce its
of the carriage to limit this movement. Under these
speed to zero, and means to release said retarding means
circumstances the carriage may be lifted until bars 207
just prior to sheet bottoming in said wicket.
engage the under-surface of the sheet without attaching
2. The apparatus as de?ned in claim 1 in which the
itself thereto, but when the pallet is lifted in respect to
sheet retarding means includes a suction cup, a vacuum
the carriage the magnets rise above the non-magnetic 15 line connection to said cup, valve means associated and
bars and engage the sheet to ?rmly grip it so that de
travelling with said cup to control and time the appli
celeration can be achieved as explained in connection
cation and cut-off of said vacuum to said cup, and means
with the principal embodiment.
directly dependent on cup position to actuate said valve.
Various means may be used to engage the cam fol
3. The apparatus as de?ned in claim 2 in ‘which an
lowers 213 to lift the pallet and its magnets at an ap 20 air pressure line is also connected to said suction cup,
propriate time in the stroke of the carriage to engage
the sheet with the same timing as mentioned in connec
a valve means mounted with said vacuum valve to con
trol time of application and cut-off of said air pressure
tion with the suction cup, and release is effected by hav
to said cup, said vacuum valve actuating means being so
ing these means disengaged from the cam followers
arranged as to also actuate the pressure valve and mech4
whereupon the springs draw the magnets away, from the 25 anism timing the respective valves to open the pressure
sheet which cannot follow them because it engages the
valve as the vacuum valve closes to release the suction
top surfaces of the non-magnetic bars below which the
cup hold on the sheet.
upper ‘faces of the magnets are withdrawn under the
4. The apparatus of claim 2 in which the suction cup‘
action of the very strong springs acting on the pallet.
is oscillated in harmonic motion by components including
Obviously, stationary cam means brought into play
a hollow link and a tube hinged at one end and pivoted
by movement of the carriage may be resorted to for 30 to said link, and means delivering said vacuum to the
lifting the pallet followers, particularly Where aided and
hinged end of said tube for delivery to said suction cup.
abetted by movement of the track on which the carriage
7 5. The combination claimed in claim 1 in which means‘
is provided to synchronize the operation of the travelling
As a further simpli?cation since the pallet is raised
belt conveyor means and the sheet bottom engaging
and lowered mechanically, the carriage may travel in
means with that of the travelling wicket conveyor.
a ?xed track with adequate clearance between the under
6. Apparatus for feeding ?at, rigid, sheets freshly
surface of the sheet and the top surface of the stationary
coated on the upper face and travelling horizontally in
non-magnetic bars 207 for relative movement-without
their own plane in substantially edge to edge succession,
interference. All the movement required then is now
one to each wicket of a travelling conveyor as it rounds
imparted to the pallet which may obviously be done with
the conveyor end pulley and rises toward a horizontal
mechanism nearly identical with that used for raising
position, comprising in combination, travelling conveyor
and lowering the tracks as described in connection with
means having a constant linear speed sufficiently greater
the principal embodiment but modi?ed slightly to achieve
than initial sheet travel to load the wickets without
raising and lowering at the proper times in the cycle.
> interference from succeeding sheets but too fast to safely
Either form of the invention is capable of effectively
permit the sheet edges to engage the wicket bottoms to
carrying out the operation of accepting the sheets,
painted or otherwise coated on one side, from the deliv
ery of the coating mechanism, accelerating them to pro
vide sufficient separation to prevent interference when the
stop sheet movement, lugs on said travelling conveyor
spaced to engage the rear edge of each sheet to synchro
nize its position and movement with wicket succession,
> means to withdraw said lugs from the sheet edge on
sheets are loaded onto their successive wickets, and capa 50 entry of the leading edge between wickets, sheet retard
ble of applying rapid and effective deceleration so that
no matter how high the velocity of the sheet for rapidity
of coating, transfer and wicket loading, no damage oc
ing means to stop sheet movement between front edge
entry and bottoming in a wicket comprising sheet bot
tom gripping means, a carriage mounting said gripping
curs to the forward edges of the sheets since they are
means independent of said travelling conveyor, a track
not required to contact the wicket supports to terminate 55 ‘for said carriage, means to reciprocate said carriage
their movement. Thus the sheets are loaded without
in said track parallel to the sheet path and means to raise
damage from coating machines capable of supplying
sheets at a rate which could not be handled by earlier
forms of wicket feeding devices.
I claim:
1. Apparatus for feeding ?at, rigid, sheets freshly
coated on the upper face and travelling horizontally in
their own plane in substantially edge to edge succession,
one to each wicket of a travelling conveyor as it rounds
said track to contact the gripping means and sheet when
they are travelling at the same rate and direction, said
reciprocating means being arranged to then rapidly re
tard the carriage to zero speed to stop the sheet before
bottoming in the wicket.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 in which the carriage
reciprocating means actuates it in harmonic motion.
8. Apparatus for feeding ?at, rigid, sheets freshly
the conveyor end pulley and rises toward a horizontal 65 coated on the upper face and travelling horizontally in
position, comprising in combination, a ?rst travelling
belt conveyor means having a linear speed greater than
that of the travelling sheets and positioned to receive said
sheets to accelerate them and increase their edge to edge
spacing, a second travelling belt conveyor means having
a constant linear speed greater than the ?rst and suffi
cient to load the wickets without interference from
succeeding sheets but too fast to safely permit the
sheet edges to engage the wicket bottoms to stop sheet 76
their own plane in substantially edge to edge succession,
one to each wicket of a travelling conveyor as it rounds
the conveyor end pulley and rises toward a horizontal
position, comprising in combination, a continuously trav
elling conveyor means having a constant linear speed
sufficiently greater than initial sheet travel to load the
wickets without interference from succeeding sheets but
too fast to safely permit the sheet edges to engage the
wicket bottoms to stop sheet movement, lugs on said con
veyor to positively engage the trailing edge of each sheet;
means co-operating with said conveyor means to drive
the latter so as to synchronize each sheet with the wicket
riage, means in the carriage reciprocating-mechanism to
deliver the vacuum and air to the carriage and the means
to elevate said engaging means assists in the change-over
from vacuum to air pressure.
13. The apparatus as de?ned in claim 9 in which the
travelling to receive it, means to withdraw said lugs
when the sheet has entered the wicket about halfway,
reciprocating means for the carriage is driven in harmonic
sheet bottom gripping means guided in a path and re
motion and in which mid-stroke speed is substantially
ciprocated at a rate to engage the bottom of each sheet
the same as the speed of said driving lugs.
successively when the means and sheet are moving at
14. Apparatus for feeding ?at, rigid sheets freshly
substantially the same speed and approximately at the
time of lug withdrawal and means to progressively 10 coated on the upper face and travelling substantially hori~
zontally in their own plane in close succession one to each
retard said sheet gripping means after it engages the
sheet so as to stop the sheet just before it bottoms in
wicket of a travelling conveyor as the wicket rounds the
the wicket moving to receive it.
conveyor end pulley and rises toward a horizontal posi
9. Apparatus for feeding ?at, rigid sheets freshly coated
tion, comprising in combination, a pair of laterally spaced,
on the upper face and travelling horizontally in their own 15 ?exible conveyor means having lugs thereon for engaging
the sheet trailing edges successively to accelerate them to
a speed to provide additional sheet spacing and too great
stantially against the bottom stops of each wicket of a
for stopping by Wicket bottom engagement without dam-1
travelling conveyor as the wicket rounds the conveyor end
age, means to synchronize said ?exible conveyor and
pulley and rises toward a horizontal position, comprising
in combination, travelling conveyor means having a linear‘ 20 wicket conveyor whereby the former feeds sheets suc
cessively into the latter, and sheet retarding means working
speed not less than sheet travel ‘speed and positioned to
between said spaced conveyor means and having means
receive said sheets and to continue their horizontal travel,
to engage each sheet bottom near its trailing edge, means
second travelling conveyor means positioned to receive
to reciprocate said retarding means in harmonic motion
sheets from the ?rst and driven at a constant substan
tially higher linear velocity, lugs on the second conveyor 25 with mid-stroke speed substantially that of the travelling
sheets, means to e?ect engagement of said retarding
adapted to engage the trailing edge of each sheet suc
means and sheet when speeds are substantially equal and
cessively to positively accelerate it to the second con
means to disengage them when the sheet speed is sub
veyor velocity, means to synchronize lug position and
stantially zero and its leading edge is adjacent the wicket
wicket succession, means to withdraw the lugs after the
plane in uniformly spaced close succession, one sub
forward edge of the sheet has entered a wicket, sheet re
tarding means to substantially stop sheet travel in a dis
tance less than that between sheet entry and bottoming in
a wicket comprising means for engaging the sheet bot
tom at substantially the time of lug withdrawal, a car
means to reciprocate said carriage in said track parallel
to the sheet path when driven by said lugs, means to elevate
lower them for disengagement.
117. The apparatus of claim 14 in which disengagement
takes place when sheet velocity is just su?icient to carry
the sheet against the wicket bottom without damage
18. The apparatus of claim 14 in which said sheet en
15. The apparatus of claim. 14 in which said engaging
means is a suction cup and source of vacuum.
16. The apparatus of claim 14 in which said engaging
means is permanent magnet means, and mechanism to
riage for said engaging means, a track for said carriage, 35 raise said last mentioned means for engagement and to
said engaging means to contact the sheet bottom when the
travel rates and directions are substantially the same, and
means to progressively retard the rate of travel of said
engaging means to stop the sheet jut prior to bottoming
in the wicket.
10. The apparatus as de?ned in claim 9 in which the
gaging and retarding means is mounted on a carriage,
tracks for said carriage and means synchronized with the
reciprocating means to raise and lower said tracks to aid
sheet engaging means is a vacuum cup, a source of vacuum
and means dependent on cup position in its movement 45 engagement and disengagement of the sheet.
cycle to apply and shut off vacuum to said cup.
References Cited. in the ?le of this patent
11. The apparatus as de?ned in claim, 10 in which there
is a source of air under pressure and means to supply said
air to said vacuum cup just as the vacuum is shut off to
release the sheet from the cup.
12. The apparatus of claim 11 in which the vacuum
and pressure air are controlled by a valve in said car
Ayres _______________ __ Dec. 30, 1941
Oswalt ______________ __ Nov. 13, 1956
Schone ______________ __ Apr. 7, 1959
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