Multiple Station With Conveyor Patents (Class 29/33P)
  • Patent number: 6151772
    Abstract: Automated method and machinery for fabricating a wrought-iron fence panel. The machinery includes (a) automated programmable machinery for welding vertical pickets to horizontal runners to form a fence panel; (b) automated programmable machinery for straightening the fence panel; (c) automated programmable machinery for washing the fence panel; (d) automated programmable machinery for drying the fence panel; (e) automated programmable machinery for painting the fence panel; and (f) automated programmable conveyor machinery for conveying the vertical pickets, the horizontal runners, and the fence panel from station to station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Inventors: Patrick C. Pigott, Woodruff J. Kozlow, Davis E. Warren
  • Patent number: 6138818
    Abstract: A workpiece inversion system for orienting a workpiece in a conventional milling machine or the like. The workpiece is securely attached to a pallet. The pallet is of uniform design to provide a standard interface for presenting the workpiece to the milling machine. The pallets are transported to the milling machine where a combination of parts senses the pallet orientation. Upon arrival to the input station the pallet mates with an inverting receptor adjacent the input station. An actuator rotates the pallet 180 degrees thereby inverting the pallet and the attached workpiece. The inverted pallet is moved onto an inverted linear actuator disposed within the volume above the milling head. The inverting receptor returns to it original position to receive another workpiece. The inverted workpiece is moved through the machining area. As machining occurs, debris dislodged by the force of forced oil lubrication and gravity will fall away from the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Green Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen C. Green
  • Patent number: 6115895
    Abstract: A machining center has machine tools which each have a working space for machining workpieces 21, a clamping station 18 in which workpieces 21 to be machined are clamped into workpiece holders 19, and a loading device which transports the workpiece holders 19 between the clamping station 18 and the working space of at least one machine tool. The workpiece holder 19 have a fixture 51 having self-locking clamping elements 53 for positionally accurate clamping of a workpiece 21. The fixture 51 carries a coupling module 66 for supplying the clamping elements 53 with fluidic energy as well as a multiple coupling 70 which serves for the transfer of measurement signals, and is selectably docked therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Chiron-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Anton Schweizer, Hans-Henning Winkler
  • Patent number: 6112389
    Abstract: In order to facilitate production of cans (3,103,103'), in particular of aerosol cans, magnetic conveyors (6,8) and magnetizable pallets (7,107,107') are provided, instead of chain conveyors including mandrels, in plants for producing containers. The cans (3,103,103') are fixed to the magnetizable pallets (7,107,107') and are passed to or through processing stations, for example, by magnetic belt conveyors (6,8). The pallets (7,107,107') are connected to a connecting portion (132) projecting from the can bottom (130) which may be inserted into a connection opening (117) of the pallet (7,107,107') by a riveting operation. By appropriately arranging the conveying surface (8) of the magnetic conveyor (6,8), the cans (3,103,103') may be oriented at will on the pallets (7,107,107') which are magnetically supported. The can opening is always freely accessible during conveying.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Brain Power Consulting GmbH
    Inventor: Werner Boltshauser
  • Patent number: 6098268
    Abstract: An assembly workshop for assembling together sheet metal parts, the workshop including preparation stations for putting parts in place relative to one another, assembly stations for fixing the prepared parts together, and finishing stations serving to finish off fixing the parts together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: ABB Preciflex Systems
    Inventors: Bernard Negre, Gerard Pinchon
  • Patent number: 6094793
    Abstract: An intelligent fixture system has the ability to clamp and machine a family of nonidentical parts without requiring the use of separate dedicated fixtures for each part. A first part sensing system identifies a part to be machined and configures the clamps on a fixture in accordance with the size and shape of the part. A second part sensing system determines the exact location of the part after it has been clamped into the fixture and develops error signals representative of position and orientation of the actual position of the clamped part relative to the intended position and orientation of the clamped part. X, Y, and Z position errors signals and roll error signals of the clamped part are provided as offsets to the machine tools which will machine the part in order to compensate for the errors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: UNOVA IP Corp.
    Inventor: Philip S. Szuba
  • Patent number: 6076464
    Abstract: A system for making printing plates for newspaper, which can make, with great efficiency, replacement printing plates to be used when a printing face of the printing plate mounted on the plate cylinder of the rotary press is to be changed in part. The plate-making system is built by linearly arranging in series a plate feeder 2, an exposure unit 3, and a developer 5 so that the exposure unit 3 may directly form images on the printing faces of a plate material 12 in accordance with image drawing signals from a computer to make a printing plate P large enough for at least several pages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Kaneda Kikai Seisakusho
    Inventor: Yuichi Okamura
  • Patent number: 6073325
    Abstract: An arrangement for releasable attachment of workpieces to be machined on a processing machine with a pallet, on which the workpieces are releasably attached and can be releasably linked via this pallet with the processing machine, whereby the lock between the pallet and the processing machine is accomplished with at least one insertion pin attached to the pallet, which pin engages respectively in a seat of a quick-action clamping cylinder, whereby the seating opening (11) for the insertion pin (5) provided on the quick-action clamping cylinder (1) is provided with an outlet (28).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Inventor: Emil Stark
  • Patent number: 6074329
    Abstract: Each of plural workpiece transfer units 10 input from on end of a machining line 100 in turn is fed toward the other end thereof in a first horizontal direction by a linear motor. In this transfer process, the workpiece transfer unit 100 is indexed to the front of predetermined some of plural spindle heads 60 arranged along the machining line 100, in turn. At an indexed position of the workpiece transfer unit 10, a workpiece supporting device movably mounted on the workpiece transfer unit 10 in two direction mutually perpendicular to the first horizontal direction, performs the machining operation on a workpiece in accordance with an NC program with respect to a tool T attached to a tool spindle 66 of the spindle head 60. At generally the same time when the workpiece transfer unit 10 starts a transfer feed toward the next spindle head 60 after finishing the machining operation by one of the spindle heads 60, the tool spindle 66 of the next spindle head 60 is started to rotate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: Toyoda Koki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hidekazu Hirano, Hiroyuki Takahara, Kazuo Machida
  • Patent number: 6012208
    Abstract: The invention relates to a novel machine tool system provided with selectively energizable magnets for selectively moving a support for a work piece clamping plate into a floating condition and for changing the disposition of the clamping plate relative to operating tools. The floating condition permits movement of the clamping plate substantially without frictional engagement between the clamping plate support and structure such as a machine bed on which the support is movably mounted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Inventor: Karl-Heinz Wiemers
  • Patent number: 6012569
    Abstract: A toothbrush handling device for handling of toothbrushes during the manufacturing process. The device is a rigid toothbrush holder with fixed dimensions which is easily transported in a conveyor type apparatus. The holder is formed with a generally toothbrush-shaped portion and terminates in at least one cavity suitable to hold at least the head portion of the toothbrush such that the bristles do not contact any interior surface of the cavity. If only one cavity is present, it is large enough to permit a gripping mechanism to grasp a portion of the brush to permit the insertion of the brush into or the removal of the brush from the transport device. Also, if more than one cavity is present, the cavities are separated by a supporting wall. The device enables improved and easier handling of the toothbrushes during manufacturing and processing, and protects the bristles from damage during those processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Colgate-Palmolive Company
    Inventor: Alan V. Sorrentino
  • Patent number: 6000113
    Abstract: In a vertical machine tool has a main spindle head (13); a main spindle (15) rotatably supported by the main spindle head vertically; and a worktable (7, 9) movable horizontally, a frontmost stroke end position of the worktable (7, 9) relative to the main spindle head (13) is determined in such a way that a rearmost edge portion (7a) of the worktable (7, 9) is dislocated a predetermined set-up stoke Sa away from a central position (C) of the main spindle (15). Therefore, when work is mounted by use of a crane or hoist, it is possible to prevent the hook of the crane from interfering with the main spindle head, thus improving the set-up workability. Further, it is preferable to form a plurality of grooves (25) extending in front and rear direction of the machine tool on an upper surface of the worktable also to improve the set-up workability, without forming a plurality of grooves in the right and left direction of the machine tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Toshiba Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Sakae Owariya
  • Patent number: 5992608
    Abstract: An automatic pallet changer is used to change an inner pallet lying inside a cutting compartment of a machine tool with an outer pallet located outside the cutting compartment. The pallet changer includes a housing and an arm base elevatably and rotatably fitted to the housing, the arm base having a rotary shaft and a support head mounted on the top of the rotary shaft. A first pair of split gripper arms are pivoted at their proximal ends to the support head of the arm base for swinging movement between an idle position wherein the first pair of arms lie side to side and an acting position wherein the first pair of arms are placed end to end. Likewise, a second pair of split gripper arms are pivoted at their proximal ends to the support head of the arm base in a diametrically opposed relationship with respect to the first pair of arms for swinging movement between an idle position wherein the second pair of arms lie side to side and an acting position wherein the second pair of arms are placed end to end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Daewoo Heavy Industries
    Inventor: Jae Bong Ahn
  • Patent number: 5979039
    Abstract: In a transfer line for the metal-cutting machining of workpieces, the transfer line including a plurality of machining stations arranged one after the other substantially in one plane. The workpieces are arranged in hanging fashion in such a way that clamping devices are arranged above the workpieces, thereby providing a falling and collecting space for the cuttings under the workpieces. Removal of cuttings is thereby facilitated and it is not necessary to flush the cuttings away using large amounts of coolant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Grob-Werke GmH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Karl Rehm
  • Patent number: 5979038
    Abstract: A machine for processing a workpiece is provided wherein the machine has a movable continuous belt rotatably mounted around a slider bed mounted on a frame, wherein the movable belt feeds the workpiece into and through the machine and allows for the processing of the workpiece at high precision and high accuracy, particularly when the processing involves making various cutting operations in the preparation of high pressure decorative laminate surfaced moldings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Premark RWP Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. Nelson, Dennis Beierman
  • Patent number: 5970599
    Abstract: A milling machine having a horizontal slide and a vertical slide. The horizontal slide is mounted for movement between a loading station and a milling area. The vertical slide is mounted on the horizontal slide for vertical movement. A chuck is mounted on the vertical slide and has jaws for gripping a workpiece at the loading station. Milling tools in the milling area mill a workpiece held by the chuck when the horizontal slide is moved to the milling area. The milling tools include a face mill, a semi-finish end mill and a finish end mill which are arranged in a straight line along the path of movement of the chuck when the horizontal slide is moved from the loading station to the milling area. All of the milling tools are mounted in a receptacle which is capable of positioning the milling tools offset from the center line of the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: The Olofsson Corporation
    Inventors: Donald W. Garnett, John A. Watson
  • Patent number: 5966798
    Abstract: A long length product is conveyed by a conveyor to a propulsion mechanism into contact therewith. The product is gripped by a first conveyor line vise and cut at its tailing end side into a specified dimension. The product is advanced by the propulsion mechanism against the conveying force of the conveyor and then gripped by the first conveyor line vise and machined. A series of these operations are iterated. Finally, the product is advanced to a second conveyor line side, where it is gripped by a second conveyor line vise and subjected to final machining with the propulsion mechanism retreated. Instead of using a process of cutting to cut the leading end side of the product to a specified dimension, the leading end side of the product may be put into contact with the stopper and fed by referencing the leading end of the product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Shinobu Ohnishi
    Inventors: Shinobu Ohnishi, Yasuhiro Miya
  • Patent number: 5946790
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for performing a sequence of machine operations on connecting rod blanks to convert the blanks from an original casting to a finished product includes loading parts at a beginning of a process stream for performing various machining operations on the parts as the parts travel along the process stream. The process stream is defined at least in part by a first path portion extending between opposing work stations for partially machining the parts, and recirculating the partially machined parts along the process stream into a second path portion. The second path portion extends parallel with the first path portion of the process stream in order to provide generally symmetrically opposing machining operations at the opposing work stations along a portion of the process stream. Lift and carry devices engage and move the raw parts and recirculating parts simultaneously between adjacent opposing work stations in step fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Ex-Cell-O Machine Tools, Inc.
    Inventors: John Graham, Johann S. Klimach, Samuel O. Pelto
  • Patent number: 5940948
    Abstract: In a centre for machining workpieces, of the type comprising a machine frame, a machining table (6) for workpieces held on pallets (7) and a device (9) for pallet changing, it is proposed that the table (6) be arranged above the pallets (7), and the workpieces or a device (8) carrying the workpiece or workpieces project(s) downwards from the pallet during machining.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Grob-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Karl Rehm
  • Patent number: 5933933
    Abstract: To improve a machine tool, comprising a machine frame, a workpiece holder arranged on the machine frame for a workpiece to be machined, a tool holder arranged on the machine frame for receiving a tool and at least one drive with a slide for executing a relative movement between the tool and the workpiece in the direction of at least one axis, such that it allows as high dynamics as possible, it is proposed that the drive comprise electric linear motors aligned parallel to the axis and spaced from one another in a transverse direction, that the slide extend between the two linear motors, and that a control be provided for simultaneously operating the linear motors for displacement of the slide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Max Rhodius GmbH
    Inventors: Hermann Fritz, Hans Staiger, Friedrich Winckler
  • Patent number: 5911449
    Abstract: A semi-automated machine for singulating individual surgical needles from an bulk supply and attaching a suture to the surgical needle is described. Each of the surgical needles has a suture receiving opening formed therein for receiving a suture. The machine includes a needle singulation station, a precise positioning station, a suture feeding station, a swage station, a pull-test station and an off-load station. The singulation station has a sliding surface that assists an operator in singulating needles and depositing them in a pair of drop locations for subsequent automatic handling. Indexing conveyors, an articulated robot and a precision conveyor are used with a pre-positioning and a precise positioning station for orienting each needle for automatic handling. A universal gripper mounted on a rotary indexing device automatically receives each individual needle in a predetermined orientation and conveys the needle for sequential processing from station to station to form the needle-suture assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Daniele, Anthony Esteves, David D. Demarest
  • Patent number: 5894648
    Abstract: Individual printed circuit boards are routed from a panel comprised of an array of printed circuit boards. The individual printed circuit boards are moved as a group, after being routed from the panel, to a registration nest for holding the individual printed circuit boards. The printed circuit boards rest in the registration nest until a subsequent processing station is ready to receive a printed circuit board. At the appropriate time, each printed circuit board is moved one at a time to a subsequent processing station. A second group of printed circuit boards is routed from a second panel while the first group of printed circuit boards rests in the registration nest and is moved one at a time to the subsequent processing station. A sensor reads features on the panel or on individual printed circuit boards and the routing program is modified or stopped in response to certain panel features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Cencorp
    Inventors: Kurt John Hill, Douglas Patrick Carr
  • Patent number: 5887325
    Abstract: This device includes a machine tool for cutting and breaking out parts such as a glass template, a positioning shuttle for moving the glass from the cutting station to the different grinders, and multiple grinders for grinding the edgework of the glass. The system uses standard cutting, break out, and grinder machine tools. The special part of the system is the shuttle that transfers the parts to the grinders without relocation. The shuttle maintains the fixed position of the blank with regard to the X, Y axis of the cutting station through the grinding operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Glassline Corporation
    Inventor: Mark H. Opfer
  • Patent number: 5873155
    Abstract: Apparatus for automatic execution of operations in the fabrication of circuit boards or similar boards. The apparatus comprises a conveyor (4) consisting of two parallel conveyor halves (5, 6) provided with a traction element (7) to convey the circuit board. The conveyor halves, guided by a first set of guide bars (8, 9), can be moved in a direction transverse to the conveying direction while remaining parallel to each other, to permit adjustment of the width of the conveyor; a 3-D transfer gear (10) disposed above the conveyor (4) and provided with a gripper (11). The apparatus is provided with tools (12) which can be manipulated by the gripper (11) of the transfer gear, and a control unit (13).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: PMJ Automec Oy
    Inventor: Markku Jokela
  • Patent number: 5857251
    Abstract: The machine for the machining of sheet-like articles (12) has a toolholder (90) fitted with a milling cutter (92). Said toolholder can be positioned in the direction of the arrow (x). The clamping device (10) capable of being moved in and counter to the direction of the arrow (y) has clamps (20, 22, 24), of which the first clamp (20) and second clamp (22) are provided with a centering pin (41, 41'). The article (12) to be machined has centering holes which are arranged at the corner points of a right-angled isosceles triangle, the lateral side length of which corresponds to the spacing of the centering pins (41, 41'). The article (12) to be machined can thereby be inserted into the clamping device (10) in two positions rotated through 90.degree. relative to one another. In order, after machining in one direction, to rotate the article (12) through 90.degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: P. E. Mader AG
    Inventor: Hermann Schwarzenberger
  • Patent number: 5842267
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for forming a plurality of parts, such as spade-type boring bits, from a continuous stock material. Thus, the various steps of the forming method of the present invention can be performed to predetermined portions of the continuous stock material, prior to separating the continuous stock material into a number of discrete parts. The efficiency of the forming process is enhanced since individual parts need not be individually transported and oriented during the forming operations. By not requiring that the individual parts be separately transported and oriented during the forming operations, the quality of the parts formed by the forming method and apparatus of the present invention will also be enhanced since such separate transportation and orientation of individual parts generally increases the opportunities for misalignment and contributes to poor tolerance control during the manufacturing process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Black & Decker, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald R. Biederman, Thomas Trevor Bludis, Stephen R. Crosby, Kyle J. Eppley, Charles P. Gure, Timothy T. McKenzie, Gregory H. Selke, Paul Andrew Stone, Jeffrey W. Tartamella, Rickey James Thomas, Charles T. Wetherington
  • Patent number: 5836064
    Abstract: A machining center comprises a plurality of machine tools arranged along a track, each of which has a working space, accessible through an operator door, for machining workpieces present in a receptacle. In addition, a loading system is provided for transporting the workpieces between the individual machine tools and for exchanging the workpieces on the machine tools through a loading opening that can be closed off by the respective operator door. At least some of the machine tools perform different machining operations in succession on the same workpiece. The loading system comprises a transport track, arranged on the machine tools for manually moving the workpieces from one machine tool to the next.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: Chiron-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Hans-Henning Winkler, Karl Deufel
  • Patent number: 5819395
    Abstract: A machine tool module has a platen supported on a track above a metal-removing tool. A workpiece is placed on the platen at a loading station at one end of the track. A drive is provided to move the platen from the loading station to the metal-removing station where the tool removes material from the workpiece and then to an unloading station at the opposite end of the track. After the workpiece is unloaded, the platen is moved back to the loading station. A workpiece loading elevator is provided at the loading station and a workpiece unloading elevator is provided at the unloading station. Two such machine tool modules may be placed end-to-end so that a workpiece on the platen of one module may be transferred to the platen on the other module for machining by both modules in sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Western Atlas, Inc.
    Inventor: William M. Faitel
  • Patent number: 5803229
    Abstract: A pallet changer such that deformation of the pallet at the time of clamping the pallet is suppressed and drawing-in and drawing-out operations of the pallet with respect to the pallet clamping apparatus is eliminated to contribute to high speed pallet exchange is provided. Holding portions 41 projected toward an bore portion 34 opened to the central portion at the lower surface of the pallet 30 are provided. Engagement portions 37 which can be engaged and withdrawn or disengaged with respect to the holding portions 41 are provided at the outer circumferential portion of a disk-shaped clamping member 36 to rotatably and vertically movably supporting the clamping member 36 through a clamping shaft 46, and to connect the clamping member 36 to a driving section 50 for producing a clamping force through the clamping shaft 46.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Toshiba Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yutaka Hosokawa
  • Patent number: 5781983
    Abstract: A machining center for the machining of workpieces (26). It comprises at least one work unit (22) with a rotary tool (24) for machining a workpiece (26) arranged in a machining zone (28). The workpiece (26) is secured to a workpiece carrier (15), which for this purpose possesses a holding device (25). The workpiece carrier (15) may be moved into a workpiece change station (25), wherein workpiece change may take place. During workpiece change the workpieces (26) are picked up and put down from above by the holding device (25). During machining the workpiece (26) is hangingly held on the workpiece carrier (15). The machining center ensures high productivity and minimum complexity for operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Inventor: Magnus Gruner
  • Patent number: 5729892
    Abstract: A first printed board transferred from a prior process on an inlet conveyer is placed on a moving unit at a first switching position. The moving unit moves to a second switching position while mounting the first printed board with electronic components from a component feeding section. During this process, a second printed board stands by at the second switching position via the inlet conveyer, a transit path and an intermediate conveyer. At the second switching position, the second printed board is placed on the moving unit while shunting out the first printed board onto an outlet conveyer for transfer to a subsequent process. The moving unit moves to the first switching position while mounting the second printed board with the electronic components from the component feeding section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Nippondenso Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shiniti Umemura, Isao Nagata, Tomoaki Huzii, Takumi Arai
  • Patent number: 5724712
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for automatically welding and handling welded tailored blank composites. The method comprises the steps of transferring first and second sheet component parts from respective input stacks to an assembly table of a welding machine. The sheet components are disposed in a butt joint or an overlapping lap joint configuration and the blanks are welded together along a weld seam thus defining a welded blank. The welded blank is conveyed in a timed step manner from the welding machine to an output stacking machine via a magnetic stepping conveyor and the blank is transferred from the conveyor to an output stack of completed blanks with a stacking machine. An apparatus is provided to carry out the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Inventor: Bob R. Bishop
  • Patent number: 5715585
    Abstract: A system for machining work pieces includes an assembly stand (1) for holding a work piece (6) and carrying the work piece to successive machining stations, and includes an assembly device or machining station (101) that holds a machining tool and receives the work piece to carry out a machining operation. The assembly stand includes a work piece receiving apparatus (3) mounted on a pallet (2) that has sliding and fixing elements (11) mounted on its underside. Each element (11) includes a bell-shaped flexible suction cup member (13). When pressurized air is applied to the suction cup members, the assembly stand floats on a cushion of air so that it can be easily moved. When vacuum is applied to the suction cup members, the assembly stand is firmly fixed in position on a work table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Assignee: A. Roemheld GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Henning Zachau, Winfried Ehrhardt, Siegfried Staudenmaier, Fritz Kirchner
  • Patent number: 5706568
    Abstract: An apparatus for loading, chamfering and unloading a ceramic or ceramic/polymer substrate for electronic components. An automatic part loader moves substrates in a row as a unit, using a frangible pin to push the parts. The part loader separates the first of the substrates from the rest, and a load pedestal pushes the first substrate up into a loading/unloading nest. The load pedestal is mounted on rods so that the substrate may move laterally to center itself in the nest. The nest then rotates to load the substrate onto a movable process pedestal. The chamfering apparatus includes a pair of spaced, rotatable cutting spindles for chamfering edges and corners on the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1998
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corp.
    Inventors: Anton Nenadic, William Albert Cavaliere, Francis Russell Krug, Alan Piciacchio, Roger Andrew Lewin
  • Patent number: 5685413
    Abstract: An adjustable pallet for supporting work pieces having a carriage rod mounted on the pallet; and a pair of support member. At least one the support members is mounted for travel on the carriage rod. The support member, which is mounted for travel, includes a spring having a helical portion which encircles the carriage rod and engages the carriage rod when the spring is relaxed, thereby fixing the position of the support member on the pallet, and disengages from the carriage rod when the spring is compressed, thereby enabling the position of the support member to be adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: Odawara Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Taggert Ryan McGough
  • Patent number: 5669867
    Abstract: A machine tool for multiaxial machining of a workpiece in a chuck. Both horizontal and vertical motion are provided. Even greater efficiency can be achieved by properly positioning tool magazines and providing at least two work stations in adjacent relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Assignee: Deckel Maho GmbH
    Inventor: Gerd Hoppe
  • Patent number: 5655277
    Abstract: Vacuum processing plant with a small footprint for the surface treatment of large-area substrates in a virtually upright position, has a vacuum chamber containing a substrate carrier rotatable about a central axis and with at least one processing station mounted on its periphery. A transfer chamber is also mounted on its periphery and connects it to a load-lock chamber. A first transport mechanism moves the substrates from the transfer chamber in a radial direction in and out of the vacuum chamber, a second transport mechanism moves the substrates in a direction perpendicular to that of the first transport mechanism, between the transfer chamber and the load-lock chamber. A third transport mechanism moving in parallel with the second one doubles the transport capacity between the load-lock chamber and the transfer chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Assignee: Balzers Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Aitor Galdos, Rudolf Wagner, Markus Bruderer
  • Patent number: 5634255
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for automatically welding and handling mash welded tailored blank composites. The method comprises the steps of transferring first and second sheet component parts from respective input stacks to an assembly table of a mash welding machine. The sheet components are disposed in an overlapping lap joint configuration and the lap joint is welded along a linear weld seam thus defining a welded blank. The welded blank is conveyed in a timed step manner from the welding machine to an output stacking machine via a magnetic stepping conveyor and the blank is transferred from the conveyor to an output stack of completed blanks with a stacking machine. An apparatus is provided to carry out the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 3, 1997
    Inventor: Bob R. Bishop
  • Patent number: 5628104
    Abstract: The invention describes a machine tool with a turntable, which has an upper part with a mounting plate which is arranged so as to pivot with respect to a stationary lower part, and is connected to at least one line to deliver fluids or electrical or mechanical energy to the upper part. The lines are brought in from below through the lower part and can be connected by means of coupling means to the upper part, from where they are connected with connection modules that are arranged on the mounting plate. Serration gear is preferably provided to position the upper part on the lower part, so that each pivoting operation is preceded by a lifting operation and ends with a lowering operation. Preferably, lifting and lowering simultaneously open and close, respectively, the coupling modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Assignee: Chiron-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Eugen R utschle, Hans-Henning Winkler
  • Patent number: 5622247
    Abstract: A pallet changer of the type in which a pallet is exchanged between a pallet changer body and a table of a machine tool. A circular groove is provided on the bottom side of the pallets and plate members having a shape corresponding to that of the groove are provided on the pallet changer body and the table. The pallets are rotatable through a path, defined between the plate of the pallet changer body and the plate of the machine tool table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 22, 1997
    Assignee: Kitamura Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shigeru Yamada
  • Patent number: 5603149
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for operating a numerical control router in which two processing tables are employed such that when a process board on one table is being processed, another process board may be loaded on to the second table and when processing is complete the first and second tables exchange positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1997
    Assignee: Heian Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshiyuki Yamauchi
  • Patent number: 5564483
    Abstract: A machining unit, typically for wood panels, features a work table afforded by a body of prismatic geometry having at least two faces and rotatable about an axis which is also its instantaneous center, in such a way as to establish at least two movable and tiltable work surfaces; the prismatic body is carried within a frame encompassing the tool and combining with the two faces to create respective independent work areas, one in which panels are fed to and from the unit, the other coinciding with a station at which machining takes place, and where the waste and chips generated by machining are cleared from the table and the work. The prismatic body also functions as the main barrier separating two work environments, the one an open external space occupied by the operator, the other an enclosure disallowing access to the operator while machining is in progress.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: SCM Group S.p.A.
    Inventor: Paride Sacchi
  • Patent number: 5531004
    Abstract: A machining center adapted for use in cutting a workpiece into a desired shape, comprising: a bed having a table for changeably holding a first pallet; a support die disposed in front of the bed to support a second pallet to be changed with the first pallet; a machine housing extending upwardly from the bed to define a cutting compartment enclosing the first pallet, the machine housing having a frontal access opening; a rotary door mounted on the machine housing to openably close the access opening; pivot pins for pivotally supporting the rotary door at central top and bottom edges of the door; a pallet changer disposed beneath the rotary door for exchanging the first and second pallets with each other, the pallet changer including a rotary arm, a vertical cylinder for causing the arm to vertically move from a lower position to an upper position and first and second horizontal cylinders for causing the arm to rotate between a first angular position where the arm remains parallel to the door and a second angul
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1996
    Assignee: Daewoo Heavy Industries Ltd.
    Inventor: Jae B. Ahn
  • Patent number: 5531005
    Abstract: A device for positioning a pallet on a work table. The device consists of a vertically movable pallet carrier for transport and for raising and lowering a pallet that is provided with clamping elements on the lower side and at least one clamping device that is provided in the work table. The clamping device can be actuated by vertical movements of the pallet carrier. It has at least one wedge-type valve for clamping a clamping element on the pallet that has been deposited. The clamping device also has at least one control element that can be operated by the pallet carrier for releasing the clamp against the force of the springs, where the control element is mounted directly on one of the wedge-type valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1996
    Assignee: Deckel Maho GmbH
    Inventors: George Morshauser, Alfred Geissler
  • Patent number: 5492214
    Abstract: A control for moving a pallet relative to first and second base plates including four carriages that are rotatably supported on the second base plate by second rollers and which can be moved by pistons that are mounted in cylinders that are attached to the second base plate. The first plate has downwardly extending members formed with slanted slots and each of the four carriages have first rollers received in the slots so that as the pistons are moved in the cylinders the first base plate and the pallet are raised and lowered relative to the second base plate. Third rollers are mounted between the pallet and the first base plate so that they are movable relative to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Assignee: Midaco Corportion
    Inventor: Malcolm E. Keith
  • Patent number: 5454149
    Abstract: A palette changer for work tool machines, wherein a palette (44) is pushed by means of a swing arm (42) from the palette receiver (20) of a sled (14) over a bridge table (28) onto a transfer station (50). The sweeping movement of the swing arm (42) is driven by means of a pinion (38) which engages a fixed rack (24). The bridge table (28) is transported along with the sled (14) so that the palette guide (22 or 30) of the sled (14) and the bridge table (28) during the sliding of the sled (14) are constantly in alignment. The entire palette exchange is exclusively driven and controlled by the movement of the sled (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Assignee: Bernhard Steinel Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co.
    Inventors: Guenther Buggle, Willi Schuetz
  • Patent number: 5443412
    Abstract: A blasting machining apparatus for blasting a workpiece by using fine abrasive particles. The blasting machining apparatus includes a first arm for supplying the workpiece onto a table provided in a blasting chamber and discharging the workpiece after being blasted out of the blasting chamber and a second arm for supplying the workpiece after being blasted and discharged out of the blasting chamber into a washing unit and discharging the work after being washed out of the washing unit. The first arm and the second arm are independent of each other. Accordingly, after washing the workpiece, washer liquid attached to the second arm does not fall into the blasting chamber, thereby ensuring stable blasting of the workpiece in the blasting chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Assignee: Sony Corpoation
    Inventors: Takashi Yoshikawa, Shigeo Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 5438740
    Abstract: A fixturing pallet is removably registered on the table of a programmable routing machine and provides a platform to which tooling is registered and repositionably attached. The tooling is used according to registration, supporting, and routing requirements of each multi-board panel and its individual boards; and it serves to support and establish and maintain registration of each panel and/or board on the pallet during: (i) transporting of the multi-board panels from a load/unload station to the routing station, (ii) depaneling at the routing station, and (iii) transporting of liberated boards and scrap back to the load/unload station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 8, 1995
    Assignee: Cencorp, Inc.
    Inventors: D. Patrick Carr, Kurt J. Hill
  • Patent number: RE35481
    Abstract: A method and multiple station flexible boring machine for transferring and locating a pallet carrying a workpiece to be machined. The machine has at least two machining stations and a part loading and unloading station adjacent a transfer table carried by a base for carrying, generally locating and transferring a pallet and a workpiece to each station. The pallet has a curvic coupling locator ring with a plurality of circumferentially spaced and generally radially extending teeth for complementary mating engagement with a locator ring on an independent base of each station to accurately radially, axially and circumferentially locate the pallet on the station base. At the load station, the locator ring on the pallet is received in complementary mating engagement with the locator ring on the load base accurately locating the pallet with respect to the base and a workpiece is loaded, accurately located with respect to the load base and clamped to the pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Western Atlas, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Wioskowski, Howard H. Schafer, George P. Bader, Edward J. Irvine
  • Patent number: RE36541
    Abstract: In a welding station, particularly for motor-vehicle bodies, the elements to be welded are locked in a precise position by locking devices carried by locating gates. There are provided a number of parts of locating gates, corresponding to the number of different types of structures to be welded on which the station must operate. The gates are mounted on powered carriages which are guided longitudinally on both sides of the conveyor line to allow the pair of gates which are in the operative position to be rapidly interchanged. The elements of the structure to be welded reach the work area suspended to a hook, without being preliminarly connected to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Comau S.p.A.
    Inventor: Cristiano Rossi