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Патент USA US3079020

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Feb. 26,- 1963
G. E. GoLLwrrzER rs1-Al.
3,079,011
MATERIAL DEPILING AND HANDLING APPARATUS
Filed Oct. 6, 1960
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Feb. 26, 1963
G. E. GoLLwlTzl-:R ETAL
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MATERIAL DEPILING AND HANDLING APPARATUS
Filed Oct. 6, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
Feb. 26, 1963
G. E. GOLLWITZER ÉFAI.
3,079,01 1
MATERIAL DEPILING AND HANDLING APPARATUS
Filed Oct. 6, 1960
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Feb‘ 26, 1963
G. E. GoLLwn'zER ErAL
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MATERIAL DEPILING AND HANDLING APPARATUS
Filed Oct. 6, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 4
Feb. 26, 1963
G. E. GoLLwlTzER ETAL
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MATERIAL DEPILING AND HANDLING APPARATUS
Filed oct. e, 1960
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Patented Fein. 25, 1963
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AFPARATUS
MATEREAL HEEPÍLÍNG AND HANDLING
George E. Gollwitzer, Mount Vernon, and Floyd F.
Forma and Herbert
Bierwirth, Pittsburgh, Pa., as
signors to Kelsey-Hayes Company, Detroit, Mich., a
corporation of Eclair/are
Filed Get. 6, 1969, Ser. No. 69,935
6 Claims. (Cl. 214-1)
This invention relates to a material handling apparatus
and particularly to a mechanism for successively and in
dividually removing pieces of material from a stack and
depositing the pieces in a selected position adjacent the
stack.
-lt is an object of the present invention to provide a ma
terial handling apparatus of the above character which is
particularly suited for the handling of large, somewhat
elongated pieces of. sheet material, as, for example, sheet
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the structure shown in
FlG. 5 taken along the line 6-5 thereof;
FIG. 7 is a sectional View of the structure shown in
FIG. 3 taken along the line '7-7 thereof;
FIGS. 8 and 9 are wiring diagrams of a suitable control
mechanism usable with the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1-7;
and
PEG. l0 is a diagrammatic view of the pneumatic power
apparatus utilized with the structure shown in FIGS. 1-7.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to
FIG. 3, there will be seen a conveyor, generally indicated
by the numeral 12, on which the stacks or piles of sheets
are loaded and conveyed to a position adjacent to a trans
fer mechanism, generally indicated by the numeral 14.
The mechanism 14 serves to individually and successively
remove the uppermost sheet from the stack in sm'd posi
tion and deposit it on a roller conveyor, generally indicated
by the numeral 16. From the position in which they are
deposited on the conveyor 16, the individual sheets are
steel.
20 slidably moved therealong by a pusher mechanism, gen
It is another object of the present invention to provide a
really indicated by the numeral 18, to a first work per
work handling apparatus of the above character which is
relatively simple and inexpensive in construction, yet which
is ruggedly built and highly reliable in operation.
forming station, as, for example, the roller coater mecha
nism, indicated by the numeral 2h. From the roller
coater mechanism Ztl the sheets are delivered to a roller
it is still another object of the present invention to pro
vide a work handling apparatus of the above character
which avoids the necessity for utilizing overhead cranes
or other ceiling suspended apparatus but which is rela
conveyor 22 from which location they may be removed
by any suitable means, as for example, manually. While
the exact construction of the several conveyors utilized
with the transfer mechanism 14 is such as to permit the
tively compact in size, is entirely iloor supported and
convenient arrangement of suitable limit switches, as will
presents a minimum obstruction to the movement of worlc 30 be hereinafter described, the conveyors per se and the
men and use of adjacent lloor space.
work performing station 2li may be varied widely within
It is a still further object of the present invention to
the scope of the present invention. They are described
provide a work handling apparatus of the above character
herein for the principal purpose of illustrating a complete
which is operable to transfer the sheets with a minimum
sequence of operations for the transfer mechanism 14 in
usage of power yet which is eifective to cleanly lift the 35 which the transfer mechanism 14 is so controlled as to
sheets off of the pile, move the sheet over a given new
delay operation until a pile has been brought into its
location and accurately deposit the sheet into position
proper deplling position and the conveyors 16 and 212 are
in the new location.
ready to receive a new sheet. While the transfer mecha
lt is still another object of the present invention to pro
nism 1d» and the conveyor 16 may be utilized to feed
vide a work handling apparatus of the above character 40 sheets to a variety of work performing stations, the roller
utilizing a tiltable rocker frame and vacuum operated
coater 2@ is particularly intended to provide sheet steel
suction cups for lifting the sheets having improved means
with a suitable coating preparatory to the working of the
providing a vacuum chamber adapted to be placed in
sheets in a die press (not shown) and the sheets may be
communication with the suction cups.
manually or otherwise fed from the conveyor 22 directly
It is still another object of the present invention to pro
into the press. ‘It will be appreciated, however, that the
vide a work handling device of the above character which
sheets could be delivered directly from the conveyor 16
is operable to successively raise the uppermost sheet from
to a variety of machines for forming, coating, treating or
the pile and move it to a selected location, yet will auto
other working of the material.
matically return to piel; up a sheet in the event that a sheet
As shown in the drawings, the conveyor 12 includes a
is accidentally dropped and which will delay its operation
50 stand 24 on which are mounted two spaced rows of rollers
if the sheet receiving location is not in a condition ready
26 yand 28 which provi e a horizontal supporting structure
to receive a new shee .
>for endless conveyor belts 30 and 32;, respectively. The
It is a still further object of the present invention to
belts are driven by a motor 34, for the purpose of advanc
provide a worl: handling mechanism which is particularly
ing stacks of sheets from a loading position thereon to a
suited for the depiling of sheet steel and the individual 55 position in juxtaposition to the transfer mechanism 14. A
handling of sheets through a roller coater mechanism pre
limit switch LSS is located between the belts 3i) and 32
paratory to the working of the sheets in a die press.
and is intended to have its 4actuating -arm contacted by the
These and other objects of the present invention will
lowermost sheet of the pile when a pile has been brought
become apparent from the following detailed description
to the desired depiling position.
60
taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings
The conveyor 16 is arranged in parallel íand closely
wherein:
FiGURE l is a front elevational View with parts broken
away of a worl: handling apparatus embodying the prin
ciples ofthe present invention;
spaced relation to the conveyor 12. The conveyor 16 in
cludes a framework 36 which supports a pair of spaced
rows of aligned rollers 3S and 4@ on which the sheets are
adapted to Idirectly rest when delivered thereto by the
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 1; 65 transfer mechanism 14. A limit switch L53 is positioned
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the structure
between the rows of rollers 38 and 40 in a position to
illustrated in FIG. 2 taken along the line 3-3 thereof;
have its actuating arm biased when a sheet is lowered
FIG. 4 is an enlarged rear elevational View of a portion
onto the conveyor 16 by the transfer mechanism 14. In
of the structure shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the structure 70 addition, a second limit switch L82 is positioned between
the rollers 38 and 4t? adjacent the roller coater Ztl and is
shown in FIG. 2 taken along the line 5_5 thereof;
provided with an actuating arm arranged to be biased by
3,079,011
A.
clevises 13b and 132 which are pivotally joined to the
opposite ends of Aa channel member 134. A pair of suc
3
a sheet which is being fed into the roller coater but which
has 'not cleared the conveyor 16. A slide-member d2 is
tion cups 136 and 13S are fastened to the underside of
supported beneath and between the rollers 38 and 4i) on
-a pair of ways 44 for. reciprocation lengthwise of the
conveyor 16.` The member> 42.is provided with a pair of
the channel member 134 beneath the clevises 13d and
132. Each of the suction cups is provided with a down
wardly presenting suction area which communicates with
opstanding lugs ld6 VanddS upon whicha pair of dogs Si?
and SlateV mounted,vrespectively.L The `dog 59 is provided
an extensible flexible conduit 149 and 142 which in turn
are connected to a valve 144 mounted on the cross frame
witha «forwardly facing-abutment shoulder Sßtpand a rear
member 9d» and communicating with the vacuum chamber
formed within the rocker frame. The valve 14d thus con
trols the communication of the vacuum chamber with the
vacuum cups 136 Vand 138 for the purpose of lifting and
wardly vand downwardly inclined cam surface 56,'while
th'eïdogî 52'is provided with a forwardly facing abutment
shoulder 58v and a rearwardly _and downwardly inclined
cam’surface ‘60.Y Each of _the dogs Si) and 52 is provided
releasing the sheetsk of material.
with ‘,a‘rearward extension62 and 6d,V respectively, which
seats onthe upper surface of the slide-42'and not only
provides suñicientweight’tomaintain _the dogs in the posi
tion >shown,'bu`t prevents clockwise rotational movement
of'thefdogs >from the position inîwhich they are illustrated.
The slide 42is connected at its`forward end to the piston
Securely fastened to the cross frame member 94 adja
15 cent the air cylinders 122 and 124 on the rear side thereof
are a’ pair of angle iron members 146 and 148, each of
which 'is providedwith a pair of integrally joined nuts 15G,
each one of which serves to support the threaded shank
152 of an adjustable locating pad or abutment 154 having
power to reciprocate the slide 42'on`its ways 44. One or 20 a rubber ‘face’ 155.` A locking nut 158 may be threaded
onto each shank 152 and ydrawn tight against the nut 158
the other of the dogs` 5_0 and 52 will'engage an end of a
for locating the rubber face 156 in any desired position.
sheet lowered konto theconveyor 16 for the 'purpose'of
The rubber faces 156 of the abutment members 154 are
moving it onto'theroller conveyor 20, as will be more
adapted to bear against the air cylinders 122; and 124 for
rod 66 of an »air cylinder 68, which is adapted to'supply
fullytexplained below.
-
.
.
c
A
„The transfer. mechanism 14 includes a rocker frame or 25 the'purpose of limiting rearward swinging pivotal move
ment there'of'when the rocker frame is moved to its re
transfer aImÍ70‘wh`ich is lpivotally supported on la base
tracted'position, as inclicated'in broken lines in EEG. 3.
fra'meTI..> Allìofy'the frame members of the rocker frame»
Thus, whenV the rocker frame is moved to its retracted
’mare of hollow` tubular shape andere interiorly intercon
position with the airV cylinders suspended over the con
nectedto provide a relatively largevol'ume vacuum cham
«be'riwhich isconnected to a vacuum «pump V7d through aY 30 veyor 16, the air cylinders 122 and 12d will be held in a
perfectiy vertical position by the abutment members 154
and theworkpiece carried thereby will be prevented from
swingingbeyond its intended position as a result of the
flexible conduitjóditted to a lower tubular rframe mem
ber v„78.* Thelower frame member ’18.is provided with
stub> shafts 80 and82 atits opposite ends which yare jour
mornentum'of the parts hung from the cross frame mem
naled in_pillow bloclts~ 84` and 86 supported on the base
9¢i._> Fixed to the cross frame member 94 adjacent
72. The'rocker frame 7_0` addition-ally includes ya' 35 berA
the cylinders 122 and 124 on the forward sides thereof
paix-fof, parallel spaced bent frame members 88A iand 90
area pair lof angle iron members 160 and 162, also carry
which are’pinterconnected and bracedrby a central tubular
ing
abutmentv lmembers 154,1Which limit the forward
cross'frame member 92 and an upper end crossv frame
member 94. Each of the-bentVfra-metrnembers S8 and 96' 40 swinging movement of the suction cups upon the move
nient of'nthe~r`ocker- frame to its forward position and as
includes a lower straight section 96,` a’central elbow sec
sure that the- air cylinders will be maintained in a ver
tion'tv98 and an upper straightY section 100 disposed at an
acute angle to the lower section 96. »As may be best
tical position when the rocker frame is brought to rest in
seenin FIG.v 3, the pivot ¿axisof the rocker frame, which.
is-'Vdeiined bythe stubv shafts 80yand 82, _is disposed below
vand generally midway between the centers of the conveyors
12 and 16 with the lower frame sections 96 spanning'the'
45 conveyor‘lo are fed into the roller coater 2G, and has been
Width of the conveyor 1_6 beneath Vthe same and the upper
frame sections 100 being disposed above the conveyors
pair ôof verticallyV spaced rollers 166, both pairs being
its forward position.
>Sljiewetswof material'which have been deposited on the
previouslypdescribed. The roller coater 29 includes a
pair of- iirst‘ vertically spaced rollers 164 and a second
rotatably'interconnected by spur gears 16S and both pairs
and extending across the width of the conveyor 16 to a
position disposed labove the center ofthe conveyor 12 50 of'vrollers being driven in rotation> by a motor 176 and
drive chain’l'iZ. The rollers 164 and 166 are covered
when the rocker frame is in the position shown in solid
with a .suitable> coating material which will be applied to
lines infPtG.. 3.
,
Y
„
„
,
.
the sheets passed therebetween. When a sheet is fed
.Movement of the rocker frame 70 iseife'cted' by- means
between the first pair of rollers 164 it will not only be
of jan air cylinderv 102' which is pivotally connected at its'
lower end to a floor bracket 104 `and isY provided with a' 55 coated with thelr material covering the surface of said
rollers but, as a result of the engagement of the rollers
piston rod 106 carrying a clevisv 198 at its Vouter endon the opposite sides thereof, the sheet will be fed through
which is pivotally joined to a brace .110 fastened between
the second pair of rollers 166 and thence'onto the ñnal
the frame lmembers SS and S90.> A hydraulic’cylinder ‘112
roller conveyor 22. In this position, a sheet of material
is disposed adjacent to the cylinder 1&2Y and is similarly
pivot-ally connected _to a door Ábracketflld` andfis provided 60 will depress the actuating arm of a limit switch LS1 which
with a piston rod`116 Ycarrying »a clevis >11S'which is‘also
pivotally connected with thebrace 11th` Communication
between the opposite-endsof the cylinder 112 ßis provided
is positioned between two spaced rows of rollers 174 and
176 on which the work sheets rest for sliding movement
along the conveyor. In FIG. 2, the conveyor 22 is illus
through agcheck valve-1201er the -recirculationV` ofv the
trated as having a second position, at which location a
102 which,v if'uncontrolled; might otherwiseï‘operate in ay
70 will not be -depiled at any greater rate than they are
sheet resting on the conveyor 22 wiil depress the actuating
hydraulic ñuid from one end ofthe cylinder 112 through 65 arm of a limitV switch LSS. As will be hereinafter ex
thecheck'valve 120 tothe opposite end ofthe cylinden
plained, the' limit switch L55 permits'additional control
The check’ valve meters the-flow Iof'iiuidand provides a
of the depiling apparatus in response to the consumption
sinoothïand uniform rate of operation for the `airrcyl'inder. of theA sheets being depiled and assures that the sheets
somewhat'jerky or- excessively rapid manner.
Pivotally hung from the vrocker >frarnecross member Qd>
adjacent the opposite'vendjthereof"are a pair of aircylin‘
ders 122-aud 124. _ The 'cylinders`122-and'124 are provided
with piston rods 126 and 12S, respectively, carrying'
needed;
The operation of the mechanism of the present inven
tion will be best understood by reference to FIGS. 8, 9
and> 10. in P16158, a suitable electrical control circuit
is illustrated in which conductors 173 and 1S@ are con
5
3,079,011
nected to the opposite side of a source of alternating
electrical potential (not shown) upon the closure of a
line switch Si. In describing the operation of the mecha
nism of the present invention, it will be first assumed that
the rocker frame ’70 is in a retracted position with its
cups T135 and 138 raised and that the conveyors 16 and
22 are empty of sheets. In order to begin the transfer
cycle, the machine operator first closes manual Switches
SW1, SW2, SW3 and 8W4. It Will be noted that when
the rocker frame is in its retracted position, it will engage
the actuating arm of limit switch L86 and its contacts
LSoa and L86!) will therefore be held open. Thus, no
current will ilow through switch SW1. However, the clo
sure of switch SW2 is effective to energize relay R2
through either normally »closed contacts R31) or normally
closed limit switch L89, thus causing closure of its con
tacts R2b and R211. The closure of switch SW3 and con
tacts R215 establishes an energizing circuit for motor
starter relay M2 through normally closed contacts RSC
6
134 will engage limit switch L89 to cause its contacts to
open.
ln the meantime, contacts Râb will have been
opened by the energization of relay R3 and contacts RSa
and limit switch L82 remain in their normally open posi
tions. Thus, the circuit energizing relay R2 is inter
rupted. The deenergization of relay R2 `causes the open
ing of contacts RfZa and thus the deenergization of sole
noid 3. Deenergization of solenoid 3` permits the spool
of valve 182 to spring return to a position in which com
pressed air is delivered to the cylinder 102 in a direction
causing retracted downward movement of the piston rod
ido. The rocker frame 7d is thus moved to its rearward
position as illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 3. In so
doing, it permits limit switch L87 to open and contacts
limit switch L86 to close its contacts LSoa and LS6b.
The opening of contacts 1.86ct terminates operation of
the roller coater motor 17d, while the opening of con
tacts L86b deenergizes solenoid 2, which operates the
vacuum control switch 14A» and admits atmosphere to
and Rflb, provided that a pair of sheets is not in a posi 20 the vacuum cups 133 and 138, thereby releasing the sheet
tion on the belt conveyor 12 opposite the transfer mecha
held by said vacuum cups and penrnitting it to drop onto
nisin 16. The energization of relay M2 causes closure of
the conveyor i6. As the workpiece drops onto the con
its contacts Mîa, Mîb and MZc (FIG. 9) to deliver cur
veyor I6, it contacts limit switch L83-, the actuating arm
rent to the belt conveyor motor 34 and thus drive the
or" which projects above the rows of rollers 38 and ¿l0
belts 36 and 32. By this means, a pile which has been
to cause its contacts to close and thus energize relay R5.
placed onto the conveyor 16 will be moved therealong
When relay R5 is energized, its contacts RSa and RSb
until it contacts the actuating7 arm of L88. When this
close. A circuit is now completed through switch SW2
occurs, the contacts of limit switch L88 will be closed to
and contacts R5a to energize relay R2. This produces
energize relay R4 and open normally closed contacts
closure of contacts R2a and establishes an energizing cir
Rib. This interrupts the energizing circuit for relay M2 30 cuit for solenoid 3 which shifts valve 182 to a position
and deenergizes the motor 34, to cause the belts Sil and 32
in which air is admitted to the cylinder ‘M2 in a direc
to stop with the pile of workpieces in a proper position
tion extending the piston rod llltiti and causing forward
for unloading by the transfer mechanism i6.
rocking movement oí the rocker frame 70. As soon as
Simultaneously with the movement of a pile into un
the rocker frame 'itl begins its lforward movement and
loading position, the rocher frame 7l) is moved from its 35 moves out of contact with the limit switch L86, the con
etracted position to the forward position shown in solid
tacts LSda v?ll close to establish an energizing circuit for
lines in FIG. 3. This movement results from the ener
relay Rd through switch SW1, limit switch LST and the
gization ofthe coil of solenoid 3 by the closure of contacts
now closed contacts Râb. The energization of relay RI
lìîa. Solenoid 3 is operatively connected to a valve 182
produces closure of the contacts Ria thereof to energize
so as to deliver compressed air from a source of com 40 solenoid d which is operatively connected to a valve 188
pressed air 183 to the cylinder i432 so as to move the
which is connected to cylinder 68. The energization of
piston rod 106 thereof in an upward direction. As the
solenoid 4 operates valve 13S to admit air to the cylinder
rocker frame 7 G moves forwardly, it disengages from limit
68 in a direction causing movement of the piston rod 66
switch L86 and ultimately contacts the actuating arm of
in a left-hand direction, as viewed in FIG. 4. The dog
limit switch L87 when it has reached its forward position, 45 Si? is thus moved into engagement with one end of the
thereby closing the contacts of L87. The contacts LSda,
sheet resting on the conveyor- ld and pushes the sheet
which now close, complete a circuit through switch SW1
into the roller coater. In the event that a particularly
and the contacts of limit switch L85 to energize motor
long sheet is being handled, one end thereof will have
starter relay Ml. The energization of relay Ml causes
come to «rest on the dog Litt, pivoting it downwardly. In
closure of its contacts Mia, Mib and Mic (FIG, 9) to 50 this event, the dog S2 will engage the sheet and serve in
deliver three-phase current to the roller coater motor I7@
place of the dog 5G. The rolls of the roller coater which
to drive the rollers lid-t and 166.
were again driven in rotation upon the closure of limit
After the pile on the conveyor l2 has reached its
switch contacts LStía, grasp the sheet and draw it through
proper position and the contacts of limit switch L88
the roller coater. As the sheet moves out of engagement
have been closed, relay Rd» will be energized to close its
with limit switch L83, relay R5 is deenergized to cause
contacts R451 and complete a circuit through solenoid i.
its contacts RSb to open, thereby deenergizing the relay
Solenoid î is operatively connected to a valve 134 and
Rl, which causes its contacts Ria to open. This breaks
when energized moves the spool of valve 184 in a direc
the energizing circuit to solenoid d and permits the valve
tion admitting compressed air from the compressed air
lá’S to spring return to a position in which compressed
source 183 to the cylinders 122 and 124 in a direction 60 air is admitted to the cylinder 63 in a direction causing
elîecting the descent of piston rods lZd and 12S. When
the piston rod 66 to move in a right-hand direction, as
the suction cups malte contact with the top sheet on the
viewed in FIG. 4, thereby positioning the slide I8 out of
pile, limit switch L84 will be closed to energize relay R3.
alignment with the position on the conveyor I6 onto
The energization of relay R3 opens its normally closed
contacts Râa to interrupt the circuit which energizes
solenoid 1, thereby permitting the valve E84 to spring
which sheets are dropped by the transfer mechanism I4.
The transfer cycle continues to operate in the cycle
previously described except that the limit switch L88,
being held lclosed by the presence of the stack in unload
ing position on the conveyor l2, keeps the relay R4 ener
return to a position directing compressed air to the bot
tom of cylinders 122 and 124 and causing the piston rods
126 and 12S to ‘be raised. It should be noted that if for
gized to prevent energization of the conveyor motor re
any reason the suction cups i3d and 138 fail to hold the 70 lay NIZ. In the event that a sheet has failed to clear the
sheet and the sheet is dropped back down onto the pile,
conveyor I6 by the time that the rocker frame has lifted
limit switch L84 will be opened to cause the suction cups
a
sheet olf of the stack and is ready to retract, the sheet
to again descend onto the top of the pile and pick up the
which is on the conveyor lo will hold the limit switch
piece which has been dropped. When the suction cups
L82 closed to establish an energizing circuit for relay
and piston rods are fully retracted, the channel member
R2, bypassing the limit switch L89, thereby maintaining
8
7
extending upwardly and inwardly toward a midplane ex
tending between said supporting surfaces so as to be
the contacts R25; closed and continuing the energization
of solenoid 3' to prevent the rocker frame from moving a
newV sheet over the conveyor 16. Limit switches LSll
andLSS also serve a regulating function. In the event
that both of these ylimit switches are held open by the
presence of sheets on the conveyor 22, the circuits for
relays Rt and Md will be interrupted and the solenoidv
alternatively positionable over one or the other of said
supporting surfaces, a lifting mechanism pivotally sus
~ pended from said upper section for enga-ging and lifting
4-A will be prevented from being energized, thereby pre
venting the movement of the dog Islide 18 and also pre
ventingthe operation of the `roller coater motor 170.
From the' foregoing, it will be seen Vthat the operation of
the,V mechanism of the present invention isV such as to pro
vide for the' automatic and successive depiling (of a stack
of sheet material asrapidly as a receiving station is in a
pieces of material, and means for rocking said transfer
arm between a position in which said lifting mechanism is
disposed over one of said supporting surfaces and a posi
tion in which said lifting mechanism is disposed over the
other of said supporting surfaces.
'5. The .structure set forth lin'clarim 2 including means
frxedly secured to said upper section engageable with said
lifting mechanismv forl limitingrpivotal swinging move
condition ready _to receive the sheets. Furthermore,the 15
conveyor 12 will be automatically operated to advance
ment thereof> upon movement of said rocker frame be
tween said positions.> Y
_
A transfer mechanismY including two adjacent sup
successive :stacks of sheetsinto a position in which they
porting surfaces, .a transfer arm havingra lower section
are adaptedto be depiledA by the transfer mechanism 14.
and beyond the outside edge thereof and an upper section
Furthermore, it will be seen that theV shape and arrange
extending upwardly under oneof said supporting surfaces
ment of the transfer `mech'anisi’n 14 is s_uch as to occupy al 20 extending upwardly and inwardly toward la midplane ex
tending between said supporting surfaces so as to be al
minimum of floor space over and above that required by
ternatively positionable over one or .the other of- said sup
the conveyor. The frame member 70 is so supported
porting surfaces, a lifting mechanismpivotally suspended
that a minimum amount of energy is needed to rock the
frame between its _two positions. lThis largely results
from the fact that the weight of the frame and the sheet
carried thereby is very nearly balanced over the pivot
axisof the rocker frame throughout the extent of the
from said uppernse'ctionforrengaging and lifting pieces
of material, a pivotal support fordsaid transfer arm dis
movement of Athe rocker frame` In addition, the sheet
travels in a relatively fiat arc as the rocker frame is
, osed beneath the level of said supporting surfaces, and a
power cylinder having a piston rod connected to said lower
section for rocking said tranfser arm between a position in
which said lifting mechanism is disposed over one of said
which are preferably made `from a flexible rubber ma
terial, are such, as' to tightly engage the sheets around the
and beyond the outside edge Ythereof and an upper section
extending upwardly land inwardly/*toward a midplane ex
supporting surfaces and a position in which said lifting
moved and thus thelevel of the 'sheet remains substan~ 30 mechanism
is disposed over the other of said supporting
tially unchanged from one position of the rocker frame
surfaces.
to the other.' ltwill also be appreciated that the tubular
5. A transfer mechanism includingrtwo adjacent sup
framework of Ithe rocker frame provides a convenient
porting surfaces, a transfer _arm having a lower section
and highly advantageous method fork connecting the
extending upwardly underV one of said supporting surfaces
vacuum pump tot-he suction cups. The suction cups,
periphery thereof andrin practice it has been found that
a pair of .vacuum cups is a'b‘le to lift an extremely heavy
40
piece of sheet _steel without difficulty.
'
'VA suitably high vacuum llevel is maintained within the
rocker frame 7G by means of a pressure responsive switch
180 which isYV tapped into the cross frame; member 7d;
TheV switch ,1861s provided with contacts 18651 which are
tending _Vbetween said supporting surfaces so as .to be al
ternatively positionable over orieor the other of said sup
porting surfaces, said transfer arm having hollow tubular
frame >elements defining portions of said upper and lower
sections and providinga iluid chamber, a downwardly
facing suction cup pivotally suspended from said upper
section for vertical movement relative thereto, a vacuum
pump connected to ysaid iluid chamber, and means con
normally'closed tov energize a motor starter relay M3, 45
necting said fluid .chamber to said suction cup whereby air
thereby maintaining its contacts M3a, M3b and M3C
may be evacuated therefrom through said transfer arm.
closed to deliver current to a vacuum pump motor 196
v6. A transfer mechanism including two adjacent sup
which operates the vacuum pump '74.' _When the vacuum
porting
surfaces, a transfer `arm having a lower sectionv
level within the rocker> frame 7i) reaches a suitably high
extending upwardlyrunder one of said supporting surfaces
level, the contacts îâíoa will be opened to deenergize re
and beyond the outside edge thereof and an upper section
layMS and Ythus Adeenergize motor 199. Thus, the mo
extending upwardly and inwardly toward a midplane ex
tor v190 is only operated when a need for a higher vacuum
level exists.
`
y '
j
, While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiment
tending between said supporting surfaces so as to be al
ternatively positionable over one or the other of said sup
herein illustrated isV well calculated to fulfill the objects 55 porting sur-faces, a lifting mechanism pivotally suspended
from said upper section and having a suction cup adapted
above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention is
to engage and lift a sheet «of material on one of said sup
susceptible to modification, variation and change without
porting surfaces, a limit switch carried by said lifting
departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the
mechanism actuated by a sheet of material in engage
subjoined claims._
ment with said suction cup, a control circuit for said .trans
What is claimed is:
60 fer ,arm including .said limit switch operable to cause said
l. A transfer mechanism including two adjacent sup’
lifting mechanism to return to pick up a piece of material
porting surfaces, a transfer arm having a lower section ex
dropped by said suction cup prior to the normal full lifting
tending upwardly under one of said supporting surfaces
cycle of said lifting mechanism, and means for rocking
and beyond the outside edge thereof .and an upper sec
said rocker frame between a position in which said lifting
tion extending upwardiy and inwardly toward a midplane
mechanism is disposed over one of said supporting sur
extending between said supporting surfaces so as to be
faces and a position in which said lifting mechanism is
alternatively positionable over one <or the other of said
disposed over the other of said supporting surfaces.
supporting sur-faces, work enga-ging and supporting means
References Cited in the file of this patent
on said upper section, and means for rocking said transfer
arm to position said work engaging and supporting means 70
UNITED STATES PATENTS
selectively over said supporting sur-faces.
' Z. A transfer mechanism including two adjacent sup
porting surfaces, a transfer Iarm having a lower section
extending upwardly under one of said supporting surfaces
and lbeyond the outside edge thereof and an upper section
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