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Publication numberUS3407850 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date29 Oct 1968
Filing date25 Nov 1966
Priority date25 Nov 1966
Publication numberUS 3407850 A, US 3407850A, US-A-3407850, US3407850 A, US3407850A
InventorsEverett F Kelm
Original AssigneeCorning Glass Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wire bending apparatus
US 3407850 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 29, 1968 E. F. KELM WIRE SENDING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 25, 1966 Oct. 29, 1968 E. F. KELM WIRE BENDING APPARATUS Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 25, 1966 Oct. 29, 1968 E. F. KELM WIRE BENDING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 25, 1966 m Mm Oct. 29, 1968 E. F. KELM WIRE BENDING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov. 25, 1966 mm x Oct. 29, 1968 E. F. KELM WIRE BENDING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed NOV. 25, 1966 United States Patent 3,407,850 WIRE BENDING APPARATUS Everett F. Kelm, Corning, N.Y., assignor to Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 25, 1966, Ser. No. 596,948 8 Claims. (Cl. 140-71) The present invention relates to wire bending apparatus and particularly to apparatus for bending wire into preselected sinuous or serpentine shapes or configurations. Still more specifically the present invention relates to apparatus for bending wire to provide ribbons or strips of bent wire wound or formed, along the length of such strips or ribbons, in preselected sinuous or serpentine patterns.

For the purpose of providing electric heating elements, for example, it is often desired to bend electrical resistance conductors or wires into patterns having wavy or sinuous forms, that is patterns in which said conductors or wires bend in and out, or one way and the other, in a serpentine manner. It is accordingly the primary object of the present invention to provide a new and novel apparatus or machine for bending Wire, such as electrical resistance wire for example, into various selected serpentine shapes.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which bends wire into sinuous strips or ribbons of wire and which can be readily adjusted to vary the sinuous configurations of different parts of said strips or ribbons, or of different ones of said strips or ribbons.

In accomplishing the above objects of the invention, apparatus is provided which feeds successive lengths or sections of wire through a wire guide, which bends each such section or length of wire about the end of the wire guide in a direction opposite to that in which the immediately preceding length was bent, and which sequentially repeats such bending operations to provide a ribbon or strip of bent wire having a preselected serpentine configuration. The apparatus further includes means for varying said lengths of wire so that said serpentine configuration can be varied.

Other objects and characteristic features of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

The invention will best be understood with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGS. 1 and 2 when arranged from left to right in numerical order comprise a schematic diagram of sequential steps performed by the apparatus embodying the invention to bend wire into desired preselected patterns.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the wire bending apparatus;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the apparatus;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the apparatus taken generally along line VV of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along the VIVI of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a view of a programmer included in the apparatus embodying the invention, such programmer being illustrated substantially in block form;

FIG. 8 is a front view of the wire feeding means of the wire bending apparatus, such view being taken generally along line VIII-VIII of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a front view of a bumper device and associated ratchet of the wire bending apparatus, such view being taken generally along line IXIX of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the device of FIG. 9 taken somewhat along line XX of such figure;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary detail view of a part of the wire bending apparatus and illustrating the wire guide, and the wire forming tool and its method of support;

FIG. 12 is a detail view, partially in cross-section, of

3,407,850 Patented Oct. 29, 1968 the fork employed in the actuation of the wire forming tool of FIGS. 6 and 11, such view being taken generally along line XII--XII of FIG. 6;

FIGS. 13 through 17 are views illustrating only several of many different patterns or configurations into which wire may be bent by the apparatus of the invention.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts in each of the figures of the drawings.

Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings arranged from left to right as previously mentioned, the sequential steps performed by the apparatus in bending wire are illustrated. Such sequential steps are successively designated A through 0 and each view located at the top of FIGS. 1 and 2 is associated with or corresponds to the view immediately therebelow. This will be readily apparent by a brief glance at said figures of drawings. The views at the top of FIGS. 1 and 2 are top views illustrating sequential operation of certain parts of the apparatus during the bending of wire by such apparatus, while the respectively associated views at the bottom of such drawing figures comprise front elevational views illustrating said operation. It is to be understood that the views of the components or parts illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings are not intended to dimensionally illustrate structure of the apparatus embodying the invention but are only for the purpose of diagrammatically illustrating sequential operational steps performed by certain parts of said apparatus.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings in further detail, as shown in step A, the end of a wire 10 extends through a wire passage 11 embodied in a wire guide 12. Wire 10 extends through passage 11 in a direction from a passage entrance orifice 13, at an entrance end 14 of wire guide 12, toward an exit orifice 15 of said passage at an exit end 16 of such wire guide. A wire forming or bending tool 17, having a beveled or bladelike bottom edge 18, is illustrated in step A as initially disposed in a position just beyond and laterally adjacent to a first side of exit orifice 15.

It is pointed out that, for purposes of simplification of the drawings, the reference characters are not included in all the operational steps illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 but are included only where deemed expedient for a ready understanding of the sequential operation of the apparatus.

In step B, a preselected section or length 19 of wire 10 is fed through passage 11. In step C, bending or forming tool 17 is actuated or moved downwardly and laterally so that the straight side 21 of tool 17 contacts one side of length 19 of wire 10. In steps D and E, tool 17 is moved or swings through a predetermined path of travel extending in a counterclockwise direction about exit end 16 of guide 12, to bend length 19 of wire 10 about exit end 16 of such guide. In step F, tool 17 is moved laterally out of contact with length 19 of wire 10. In step G, tool 17 is actuated upwardly so that it will be clear of wire 10 when a succeeding length of such wire is fed through wire guide 12. In step H, tool 17 is moved lineally to a position just beyond a second side of exit orifice 15, such second side being opposite to the previously mentioned first side of such orifice.

In step I, a succeeding section or length 20 of wire 10 is fed through passage 11 and, immediately thereafter, tool 17 is actuated or moved downwardly and laterally so that the blade-like or beveled edge 18 of such tool enters the space between lengths 19 and 20 of wire 10, and so that side 21 of tool 17 contacts length 20 of wire 10. It will be noted that the side of wire 10 contacted by side 21 of said tool is, at this time, the side of such wire opposite to that previously contacted by side 21 of said tool.

In steps I and K tool 17 is moved or swings through a predetermined path of travel, extending in a circular arc in a clockwise direction about exit end 16 of guide 12, to bend length 20 of wire about exit end 16 of such guide. It will be noted that said circular path of travel overlaps, at its starting end, the starting end of the previously mentioned circular path of travel, such overlap comprising a distance approximately equal to the diameter of passage 11 embodied in wire guide 12. This Will be readily apparent by a brief study of FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.

In step L, tool 17 is moved laterally out of contact with section or length of wire 10. In step M, tool 17 is actuated upwardly so that it will again be clear of Wire 10 when a succeeding length or section of such wire is fed through wire guide 12. In step N, tool 17 is moved lineally to its position initially discussed in conjunction with step A, that is, to its position just beyond and laterally adjacent to said first side of exit orifice 15. In step 0, a further succeeding section of wire 10 is fed through passage 11 and, immediately thereafter, tool 17 is moved downwardly and laterally so that edge 18 of such tool enters the space between lengths 20 and 25 of wire 10. Steps D through 0 are then successively repeated in the sequence described to bend section 25, and similar succeeding sections, to add additional lengths, similar to lengths 19 and 20, to the sinuous ribbon or strip of wire being formed.

It is pointed out that in steps E and K the lengths of wire 19 and 20, respectively, are illustrated as being pressed fully against the somewhat triangularly shaped wire guide 12. This is done so that the inherent resiliency of wire 10 will only return said lengths of wire to the positions illustarted in steps F and L, respectively. It may be desired, of course, that Wire 10 not be bent completely into a series of U shapes and, under such conditions, the circular arcs of travel of tool 17 may be accordingly reduced in length. It is further pointed out that the sinuous configurations or patterns imparted to wire 10 by the bending operations can be considerably varied by sequentially varying the lengths of succeeding lengths or sections of Wire, such as 19 and 20, fed through passage 11. This will be further discussed hereinafter in this description.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 through 6 of the drawings, there is secured to the top surface of an inverted U-shaped support 23 a main platform 22. A pair of upright legs or supports 26 and 26a are mounted upon the top surface of platform 22 as by welding, for example, or supports 26 and 26a may be secured to said surface of platform 22 by bolts if so desired. A somewhat semi-circular shaped second platform 24 is secured to the top of supports 26 and 26a by threaded bolts such as 27 secured into cooperating threads in holes such as 26b and 26c provided in the tops of legs 26 and 26a. It will be readily understood that the bottoms of the upright portions of inverted U-sha ed support 23 are intended to rest upon a suitable table or bench, or if of suflicient length, they may rest upon the floor. It is also pointed out that the forward center portion of support 23 is provided with a relatively wide slot 23a (FIG. 5) for a purpose to be hereinafter discussed.

The front edge of platform 24 is provided with a semicircular recess 24a (FIG. 6) in which is inserted a sleeve portion 66a of a bearing assembly 66. A semi-circular clamping member 67 having a semi-circular recess, similar to recess 24a provided in the front edge of paltform 24, securely clamps bearing assembly 66 to platform 24, said member 67 partially surrounding the outer circumference of bearing assembly 66 and being secured to platform 24 by threaded bolts such as 68 screwed into cooperating threads provided in holes such as 69 provided in the front edge of platform 24. By such arrangement it is readily apparent that bearing assembly 66 can be securely clamped within the semi-circular recessed portions of platform 24 and clamping member 67.

As best illustrated in FIG. 6, bearing assembly 66 comprises the above mentioned sleeve portion 66a, in which is retained the races of upper and lower ball bearings 72 and 73, respectively. An axle 71 extends through the inner portions of ball bearings 72 and 73 and is thus free to rotate within sleeve 66a of bearing assembly 66. The pinion 39 of a rack and pinion gear assembly 38-39 is secured to the top end of axle 71 by a set screw 40 (FIG. 4). A spool or reel-shaped wheel 74 having upper and lower flanges 74a and 74b, respectively, is secured to the lower end of axle 71 by a set screw 75 (FIGS. 5 and 6). It is thus apparent that any rotation of pinion 39 will impart, through axle 71, similar rotation of spool or wheel 74.

A first motor means, shown as a reciprocative pressurized fluid actuated motor comprising the usual fluid pressure cylinder 53 and an associated piston rod 54 (FIG. 4) is disposed longitudinally parallel with and vertically below the centerline of platform 22, and is secured to such platform by an L-shaped bracket 51 fastened to the bottom surface of the platform by bolts such as 52, such bracket being secured to cylinder 53 by the usual stop nut 53a associated with cylinder 53 and surrounding piston rod 54. A second motor means, also shown as a reciprocative pressurized fluid actuated motor comprising a cylinder 42 and an associated piston rod 43 (FIGS. 3 and 4) is disposed parallel with said first motor means vertically above said centerline of platform 22, and is fastened to such platform by an L-shaped bracket 41 secured to the top surface of the platform by bolts such as 47, such bracket being fastened to cylinder 42 by the usual stop nut 42a associated with cylinder 42 and surrounding piston rod 43. A third motor means, which is also shown as a reciprocative and pressurized fluid actuated motor comprising a cylinder 34 and an associated piston rod 35 (FIGS. 3 and 4) is disposed parallel with said first and second motor means, but offset from said centerline of platform 22 as shown in FIG. 3. Said third motor means is supported by an elongated L-shaped bracket 31 which is fastened to the top surface of platform 24 by bolts such as 32 extending through slots such as 33 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) provided in bracket 31 and screwed into cooperating threads provided in holes such as 33a (FIGS. 4 and 5) provided in the top of platform 24. Bracket 31 is secured to cylinder 34 by stop nut 34a associated with cylinder 34 and surrounding piston rod 35. It is apparent that by providing the slots such as 33 in bracket 31 the position of motor means 3435 can be longitudinally adjusted parallel with the centerline of platform 22.

Pressurized fluid for actuation of piston rod 35 of fluid cylinder 34 is supplied to first and second ends of such cylinder through fluid conduits 36 and 37, respectively (FIG. 3). Similarly, pressurized fluid for actuation of piston rod 43 of fluid cylinder 42 is supplied to first and second ends of that cylinder through fluid conduits 44 and 45, respectively (FIG. 3). Piston rod 54 of fluid cylinder 53 is actuated by pressurized fluid supplied to first and second ends of cylinder 53 through fluid conduits 55 and 56, respectively (FIG. 4). The ends of conduits 36, 37, 44, 45, 55 and 56, opposite to the ends thereof connected to their respective fluid cylinders, are connected to a fluid pressure programmer 151 (FIG. 7) dis cussed below.

Programmer 151 comprises a pressurized fluid control assembly 151a and motor means 15117 for driving said assembly through a suitable gear reduction box 1510. Motor means 1511) is preferably an electric motor which may be energized from a suitable source of electric current not shown in the drawings for the purpose of simplification thereof. When motor means 151k is energized, it drives the fluid control assembly 151a through gear reduction box 1510, and conduits 36, 37, 44, 45, 55 and 56 are selectively connected to a pressurized fluid source or to atmosphere through a series of valves in control assembly 151a, such valves selectively actuated in accordance with a predetermined program to be discussed further hereinafter. Fluid control assembly 151a and its associated pressurized fluid control valves are connected to a suitable source of pressurized fluid by a fluid conduit 152. Programmers such as 151 are well known and, therefore, the programmer is not shown in detail in the drawings but is shown in block form. The manner of operation of programmer 151 will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

The top surface of an elongated rectangular support member 76 is atfixed at its center to the bottom of flange 74b of spool or wheel 74 (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6) in any convenient manner such as by welding, for example. The bottom of support member 76 is provided with a recessed portion or slideway 77 in which is disposed a rectangular slide member or bar 78, such member fitting snugly but longitudinally movable within slideway 77. Slide member 78 is retained in slideway 77 by cross members 79 and 80 (FIGS. 4 and 5) which are secured to the bottom of the front and rear ends, respectively, of support member 76 by screws such as 81 (FIG. 5) screwed into threaded holes such as 81a provided in the bottom of member 76. There is aflixed to the bottom of slide member 78 a support portion 82c (FIGS. 4 and 6) of a-wire bending tool actuating assembly 82, such support portion 822 being secured to the bottom of member 78 by screws such as 105 screwed into cooperating threads provided in holes such as 105a extending upwardly in the bottom of slide member 78.

Wire bending tool actuating assembly 82 comprises an outer member 82a, of which the above-mentioned support portion 822 forms a part, and an inner member 82b (FIGS. 3, 5 and 6) which, as best illustrated in FIG. 6, fits snugly but movably within member 82a. A pivot pin 84 extends through a slot 86 provided in member 82b and through holes such as 85 provided in the sidewalls of member 82a. Pivot pin 84 fits tightly within the holes such as 85 but, slot 86 is slightly wider than the diameter of said pin and, therefore, member 82b may be moved rotatively about said pin and, to a limited extent, longitudinally within member 82. Inner member 82b has an upper extension 82c (FIGS. 5 and 6) which is provided with a threaded hole 82h (FIG. 5) extending therethrough and through which is screwed an actuating pin 83. The purpose of pin 83 will be discussed later in the description. Member 82b is also provided with a lower extension 82] which will be discussed later in conjunction with FIG. 11 of the drawings.

As illustrated in FIG. 6, one end of outer member 82a of assembly 82 is provided with a relatively large diameter orifice or hole 87 having a threaded end 87a. At the opposite end of 'hole 87 a hole 92 of a substantially smaller diameter is provided. A pin 89 extends through holes 87 and 92 and is longitudinally movable therein to an extent limited by a collar or nut 90 screwed onto threads provided on the end of pin 89 extending through hole 92. A coil spring 91 surrounds pin 89 within orifice 87 and a first end of such spring bears against saidcollar or nut 90. A threaded sleeve 88 is screwed into threaded end 87a of orifice 87 and bears against the second end of coil spring 91 to cause compression of such spring between sleeve 88 and collar or not 90. Sleeve 88 includes a nutlike head portion which remains outside of orifice 87 and is used for turning the sleeve and thereby screwing such sleeve into or out of the threaded end 87a of orifice 87. The outer or unthreaded end of pin 89 extends through the hole 88a of sleeve 88 and is longitudinally movable therein. The other end of pin 89 bears against a facing surface 82d of a recessed portion of inner member 82b of assembly 82. By the arrangement just described it will be readily apparent that member 82b is resiliently biased, by spring 91 and the associated pin 89, rotatively downwardly about pivot pin 84 and longitudinally in one direction within member 82a. The biasing force supplied to member 82b may be somewhat varied by adjusting the depth sleeve 88 screwed into orifice or hole 87.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, and as illustrated in detail in FIG. 11, the lower extension 82 of member 82b of assembly 82 is provided with a slot 82g in which is inserted the upper edge of previously discussed wire bending or forming tool 17, such tool being securely held within slot 82g by a set screw 93 screwed into cooperating threads provided in a hole 94 provided in the end of extension 82 There is also shown in FIG. 11 exit orifice 15 in exit end 16 of wire guide 12 as previously discussed in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. Wire guide 12 is held in the position illustrated by being securely afiixed to the top surface of an upper portion 61a of a support member 61 attached to the bottom of platform 22 by bolts such as 62 screwed into threaded holes such as 62a provided in the bottom of said platform. The upper portion 61a of member 61 extends upwardly through a hole 63 provided in platform 22.

By the foregoing discussion of wire bending tool actuating assembly 82 and the associated apparatus including wire bending tool 17 per se, it will be apparent that any rotation of axle 71 will impart similar rotative movement to the entire assembly 82 to cause tool 17 to swing about the exit end 16 of wire guide 12 as previously discussed in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. Similarly, any movement of member 82b of assembly 82 about said pivot pin 84 will impart a corresponding movement to wire forming or bending tool 17. This will be further discussed hereinafter in conjunction with an operational example of the invention.

There extends down through platform 22, parallel with the sides thereof and along a portion of the centerline of such platform, an elongated slideway 22a. As illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, slideway 22a is substantially T-shaped in cross section thereby providing shoulder portions 22b and 220 upon which rest, in sliding relationship therewith, a support member 117 of a wire feeding assembly 106 (FIG. 8) and a support portion 121a of a bumper block assembly 121 (FIG. 9) both of which will be discussed in detail herein-after. Member 117 is held in slideway 22a by a bottom member 57 which is fastened to the bottom of member 117 by screws such as 59 (FIGS.

4 and 8) screwed into threaded holes provided in the bottorn of member 117. As illustrated in FIG. 8, member 57 is greater in width than the bottom portion of slideway 22a and, therefore, prevents member 117 from rising out of such slideway. Member 57 includes a downwardly extending lug portion 57a (FIGS. 4 and 5) to which is fastened, by nuts such as 58, the outward end of piston rod 54 associated with cylinder 53, such end of piston rod 54 being threaded for receipt of said nuts. It is apparent that in any linear motion of piston rod 54 will impart a similar motion to member 117 within slideway 22a of platform 22.

The support portion 121a of the above mentioned bumper block assembly 121 is held in slideway 22a by a bottom member which is fastened to the bottom of portion 121a by screws such as 131 (FIGS. 4 and 9) screwed into threaded holes provided in the bottom of portion 121a. As illustrated in FIG. 9, member 130 is greater in width than the bottom portion of slideway 22a and, thereby, assembly 121 is prevented from rising out of such slideway. As shown in FIG. 4 a relatively long screw is screwed through cooperating threads provided in a hole 133 extending horizontally through the rear of platform 22-into slideway 22a thereof. Screw 135 is provided with a head portion 132 by which the screw may be turned, and a lock nut 134 is threaded on screw 135 at the rear of platform 22. The inner end of screw 135 bears against the rear of support portion 121a of bumper block assembly 121 and, thereby, limits the rearward position of such assembly. Such position may, however, be selectively adjusted by loosening lock not 134 and screwing screw 135 further into or out of threaded hole 133.

As shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 8, the above mentioned wire feed assembly 106 is secured to support member 117 by screws such as 116 extending through holes provided in base portions 106a and 10611 of assembly 106, and screwed into cooperatively threaded holes provided in the top of member 117. Assembly 106 further includes forwardly projecting upper portions 1060 and 106d through which extend holes 109 and 111, respectively. A pivotable support 107 is disposed between portions 106a and 106d by means of pivot pins 108 and 110 extending through said holes 109 and 111, respectively, and rotatable therein. Pivot pins 108 and 110 are force fitted into holes provided in the respectively associated sides of support 107 and thereby such support and pins are unitarily rotatable within the upper part of assembly 106. Pivot pin 110 is somewhat longer than pivot pin 108 and projects out of its associated hole 111 for a short distance. As best shown in FIG. 8 one end of spring 118 is secured to base portion 106b of assembly 106 by a pin 119 secured to such base portion in any convenient manner. Spring 118 then extends upwardly and is coiled around the projecting part of pivot pin 110, the other end of such spring being secured to pin 110 by a cotter key 120 secured in a hole extending diametrically through the end of pin 110. It is apparent that by such arrangement support 107 is resiliently biased against free rotation thereof. Support 107 is provided with a wire feed shoe or foot support screw 112 which is screwed downwardly through a threaded hole 113 provided in support 107. The bottom end of support screw 112 carries a pivot pin 115 upon which is pivotally mounted a wire-feed foot or shoe 114.

As illustrated in FIG. 8 wire-feed shoe or foot 114 is biased by spring 118 downwardly against wire extending under the bottom of such shoe or foot and, as will be readily apparent from a brief study of FIG. 4, a forward movement of assembly 106 (in the right hand direction when viewing FIG. 4) will cause said shoe or foot to supply a sufficient clamping action of wire 10 between the foot and member 117 to impart a corresponding forward movement of such wire. On the other hand, a rearward movement of assembly 106 will permit wire 10 to slide between shoe or foot 114 and member 117, and no movement of wire 10 will take place at such time. This will be further discussed hereinafter in conjunction with an operational example of the invention. It is believed expedient to point out at this time, however, that the clamping action of wire-feed foot or shoe 114 can be adjusted, if necessary, by screwing support screw 112 further through or out of support 107. Such adjustment may be required, for example, when the wire to be bent is changed to a wire of a different diameter.

Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10 of the drawings in conjunction with FIGS. 3 and 4, the bumper block assembly 121 will be described and discussed.

Bumper block assembly 121 is employed for the purpose of limiting the rearward movement of wire feeding assembly 106 in various selected sequential combinations to vary the configurations into which the wire, such as 10, is bent, as hereinafter further discussed. Such bumper assembly comprises the previously mentioned support portion 121a which is slida'bly movable within slideway 22a of platform 22, and upright portions 122 and 123 which carry the bumper block 124 per se. Bumper block 124 may have various shapes but is shown in the drawings as a substantially rectangular oblong block which has an axle 126 extending through a hole 126a in the center of the block and to which the block is immovably secured by a set screw 129'. Axle 126 extends through and beyond the ends of holes 122a and 123a provided in upright portions 122 and 123, respectively, of assembly 121 and such axle is free to rotate in said holes. A rectangular ratchet wheel 127, having a collar portion 127:: and teeth such as 127b, fits over one end of axle 126 and is secured thereto, as illustrated in FIG. 10, by a set screw 128 extending through collar portion 127a of the ratchet wheel. A collar (FIG. 9) fits over the other end of axle 126 and may be secured thereto in a manner similar to that described for collar portion 127a of ratchet wheel 127. By such arrangement it is apparent that bumper block 124 or ratchet wheel 127 may be readily changed or replaced with a minimum of trouble. The purpose of at times changing such members will become apparent hereinafter. A leaf spring 138 bears resiliently downward against ratchet wheel 127 and is provided at one end thereof with a pawl click or ratchet 137 which at times engages, as hereinafter discussed, the teeth such as 12712 of ratchet wheel 127. Spring 138 and its associated ratchet or pawl 137 will be discussed in more detail hereinafter.

Referring to FIGS. 3 through 6, and as best illustrated in FIG. 3, the gear teeth provided at one end of rack 38 of the previously mentioned rack and pinion gear assembly 38-39 mesh with the gear teeth of pinion gear 39 of such assembly. The other end of rack 38 is securely connected to the outer end of piston rod 35 associated with cylinder 34 by a suitable coupling device 35a or in any other suitable manner, such as by welding for example. A rack guide member 156 is secured to platform 34 by bolts such as 157 inserted in holes such as 158 (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6) extending through said guide member and screwed into cooperatively threaded holes 159 provided in the top of platform 24. Guide member 156 maintains the teeth of rack 38 in mesh with the teeth of pinion gear 39, as is readily apparent. The purpose of rack and pinion gear assembly 3839 and the associated apparatus will be discussed further hereinafter.

The outer end of piston rod 43 associated with cylinder 42 is securely fastened as by a nut 143 to the single end (FIGS. 3 and 4) of a fork-shaped member 46 which is divided at its other end into two prong-like portions 460 and 46d (FIGS. 3 and 13) discussed hereinafter. There is also secured between nut 143 and said single end of member 46, a support member 142 for an actuating rod 141 for the previously mentioned leaf spring 138, one end of such actuating rod being secured to support member 142 by welding for example. The other end of rod 141 extends through a hole 4212 provided in base portion 420 of cylinder 42 (FIG. 4), such rod fitting snugly but longitudinally movable within such hole and such rod thereby being guided and supported at said other end thereof. The end of previously mentioned leaf spring 138 opposite to the end thereof carrying ratchet 137 is provided with a split clamp 146 which is securely attached to spring 138 in any convenient manner. A bolt such as 147 extends through a hole 146a in the upper half of split clamp 146 and is screwed into cooperating threads provided in a hole 146b in the lower half of such clamp (FIG. 4) so that the position of clamp 146 on rod 141 can be selectively varied. By the arrangement first described, bolt 147 can be screwed into hole 14612 and tightened to secure clamp 146 to rod 141. Therefore, any reciprocative movement of piston rod 43 associated with cylinder 42 will cause a corresponding movement of rod 141 and thereby, leaf spring 138. The path of movement of leaf spring 138 can be adjusted, however, by changing the position of clamp 146 on rod 141. This will be readily apparent by a brief reference to FIG. 4 of the drawings.

As illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the prong portions 460 and 46d of member 46 extend snugly but movably between the flanges 74a and 74b of previously discussed spool-shaped wheel 74 and, as viewed in FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings, on the left and right hand sides, respectively, of wheel 74. As further discussed later, flanges 74a and 74b thereby act as guides for the pronged ends 46c and 46d of member 46. As illustrated in detail in FIG. 12, prong portion 46c of member 46 is provided with a slot or groove 46a which gradually tapers in depth from the free or front end of portion 460 toward the rear thereof. Similarly, portion 46:! of member 46 is provided with a slot or groove 4611 which gradually tapers in depth from the free or front end of portion 46b toward the rear thereof. As shown in FIG. 4, groove 460 also slants upwardly adjacent the rear thereof. It will be understood that groove 46b also slants upwardly toward its rear in a manner identical to that illustrated for groove 46a. The end of the previously mentioned actuating pin 83 for inner member 821; of wire bending tool actuating assembly 82 extends, at various times and as shown in FIG. 12, into said grooves 46a and 46b. This will be further discussed hereinafter in an operational example of the invention.

A wire guide plate 99 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) is fastened to outer member 82a of wire bending tool actuating assembly 82 by a screw 100 which passes through a hole provided in an upturned lug portion 99a of plate 99 and is screwed into cooperating threads in a hole 99b (FIG. 3) provided in said member 82. Wire guide plate 99 is disposed horizotnally above and slightly spaced from the top surface of platform 22, such guide plate covering an area of said surface extending from a point adjacent the exit end of wire guide 12 (FIG. 5) to a point adjacent an entrance end 96a of a wire guide chute 96 to be discussed. Guide plate 99 is provided for the purpose of maintaining, to the extent possible, formed or bent wire down against the top surface of platform 22 and to guide such wire to said entrance end 96a of said wire guide chute 96.

Wire guide chute 96 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) is a thin, hollow and curved chute which tapers in width (FIG. 4) from upper entrance end 96a toward a lower exit end 96b thereof. As mentioned, the chute is curved, as illustrated in FIG. 5, so that its exit end 96b is, as nearly as practicable, directly vertically below wire guide 12. Entrance end 96a of the chute is, as viewed in FIG. 5, disposed adjacent the left hand edge of guide plate 99. Chute 96 is supported in such position by a suitable support member 97 which is fastened to the chute by rivets such as 95 (FIG. 4) extending through such support member and secured to chute 96. Alternatively, chute 96 may be secured to member 97 by welding if desired. Member 97 is fastened to member 82a of assembly 82 by screws such as 98 extending through suitable holes provided in upper extensions 97a and 97b (FIGS. 3 and 4) of member 97 and screwed into cooperating threads in suitable holes such as 9811 provided in said member 82a.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, sliding motion of slide member 78 and support portion 82e of assembly 82 is adjustably limited by screws 101 and 103 screwed through threaded holes 79a and 80a (FIG. 4) provided in cross-members 79 and 80, respectively. Lock nuts 102 and 104 are provided on screws 101 and 103, respectively, and such screws can be screwed through their respectively associated members 79 and 80 to a desired distance and lock nuts 102 and 104 then tightened to hold such screws in the positions selected. The ends of screws 101 and 103 may then contact opposite ends of support member 82e to limit sliding movement thereof and of member 78 as mentioned above. This will also be discussed further hereinafter.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 through 17 of the drawings, there are illustrated therein several of many different configurations or shapes into which wire may be bent by the wire bending apparatus embodying the invention, some of such different shapes being attained by selectively varying the length of successive sections of wire in predetermined repetitive sequences as discussed hereinafter.

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary view of wire bent by the apparatus of the present invention and in which all of the sections of wire are of the same length. FIG. 14 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 13 but in which succeeding sections of wire vary in length, that is, in which every second section of wire is of the same length, but each section difiers in length from its immediately preceding and succeeding sections. It will be noted that, by varying the length of such sections of wire in such sequence, the sinuations of the ribbon or strip of bent wire slope, rather than as in FIG. 13, extend substantially normal to the longitudinal dimension of the strip or ribbon of bent wire.

FIGS. 15 and 16 comprise fragmentary views of ribbons or strips of bent Wire similar to those shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, respectively, but in which the sections forming the ribbon or strip of wire are substantially shorter in length than in FIGS. 13 and 14.

FIG. 17 comprises a fragmentary view of a ribbon or strip of bent wire formed by successively feeding two equal length sections through wire guide 12 and then two successive sections, equal inlength to each other but of a different length than the first mentioned sections, through said guide. Such operations were sequentially repeated with the sections of every second pair of sections being equal to each other in length.

In the light of the above brief discussion of the several specific examples of the different shapes of strips or ribbons of bent wire which can be formed by the apparatus by varying the length of successive sections of wire in preselected sequences, it will be readily apparent that numerous additional shapes or configurations of strips of bent wire can be formed by other variations in the lengths of successive sections of wire fed through wire guide 12.

With reference to FIGS. 3 through 12 of the drawings taken in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, a detailed operational example of the invention will now be given.

It will be assumed that wire 10 (FIG. 4) from a suitable source, such as a reel of wire, extends from the rear end (the left hand end as shown in FIG. 4) of platform 22 and along the center of the top surface of such platform, under the shoe or foot 114 of wire feeding assembly 106, and thence further towards the front end of platform 22 and through wire guide 12. It will be further assumed that motor 151b of programmer 151 (FIG. 7) is connected to a suitable source of electrical energy and that the fluid control assembly 151a of programmer 151 is thus being driven to selectively supply pressurized fluid to conduits 36, 37, 44, 45, 55 and 56 in accordance with the preselected program for operation of the wire forming apparatus, and that such apparatus is, therefore, being actuated to provide a strip of bent wire such as shown on FIG. 14 of the drawings. The apparatus is shown in the drawings as in a position such as illustrated in step L of FIG. 2. That is pressurized fluid has just been supplied through conduit 44 to cylinder 42 and piston rod 43 is moving to its extended position and, thereby, moving member 46 in the right hand direction as viewed in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings. As best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 12, prong portion 460 of member 46 has moved sufficiently to cause actuating pin 83 to enter groove 46a and be moved in the left hand direction by the bottom of such groove bearing against the end of pin 83 and as a result of the diminishing depth of such groove. Inner member 82b of wire bending assembly 82 on which pan 83 is supported has, therefore, been moved by pin 83 against the biasing pressure of coil spring 91 (FIG. 6) a corresponding distance in the left hand direction. Wire forming tool 17 has thus been moved laterally away from a previously bent section of wire 10, such as section 20 of such wire illustrated in step L of FIG. 2.

Pressurized fluid is being supplied over conduit 44 to cylinder 42 at such time, and piston rod 43 and member 46 continue their previously mentioned right hand movement. Actuating pin 83 is, thereby, moved further towards the rearward wall of groove 46a and subsequently upward by the upwardly sloping rear portion of such groove. This causes the end of member 821), on which pin 83 is supported, to pivot upwardly about pivot pin 84 and press further against the biasing pressure of spring 91. As illustrated in step M of FIG. 2, forming tool 17 is thereby raised upwardly to clear wire 10.

When pin 83 is contacted by the rear wall of groove 46a provided in prong portion 46c of member 46, such pin and its entire associated assembly 82, including wire guide plate 99 and wire guide chute 96, are moved forward or, viewing FIG. 4, in a right hand direction. At such time, slide member 78 is correspondingly moved along slideway 77 in support member 76 and carries along with it support portion 82c of assembly 82. Such movement continues until the forward or right hand end of support portion 82:: contacts the end of screw 101 protruding from cross member 79. It is thus apparent that, at such time, the limits of movement of pin 83 and assembly 82, as well as the parts associated therewith, may be varied by the adjustment of screw 101 further through or out of cross member 79. At the end of the above described movement of assembly 82, wire forming tool 17 is in the position illustrated in step N of FIG. 2 of the drawings, that is, tool 17 has been moved linearly to its previously discussed portion adjacent the exit end 16 of wire guide 12.

Following the completion of the movement of piston rod 43 to its extended position, and the corresponding movement of member 46 and associated apparatus as discussed above, pressurized fluid is supplied by programmer 151 to conduit 55 while conduit 56 is connected to atmosphere by such programmer. Piston rod 54 of cylinder 53 is thus actuated to its extended position (in a right hand direction as viewed in FIG. 4) and wire feed assembly 106 is moved in a corresponding direction to feed a succeeding section of wire 10 through wire guide 12 as shown in step of FIG. 2. The length of such section is controlled by the distance support member 117 of assembly 106 is moved along slideway 22a of platform 22 (see FIG. 4). Immediately following the feeding of said succeeding section of wire 10 through guide 12, pressurized fluid is supplied to conduit 45 and conduit 44 is connected to atmosphere by programmer 151. Piston rod 43 is thereby moved to its retracted position or, viewing FIG. 3, in the left hand direction. Member 46 is correspondingly moved and pin 83 of assembly 82 is, thereby, moved completely out of groove 46a of prong portion 46c of member 46. During such movement, pin 83 is first moved downwardly by the slope of the rearward portion of groove 4611 (FIG. 4) and, as said movement of member 46 continues, pin 83 is moved through the portion of groove 46a of increasing depth (FIG. 12). At such time, the pressure of coil spring 91 against member 82b maintains the end of pin 83' against the bottom of groove 46a, and member 82b is thus, viewing FIGS. and 6, moved in the right hand direction. Tool 17 is moved, at this time, downwardly and laterally to the position also illustrated in step 0 of FIG. 2.

During the retraction of piston rod 43 discussed above, actuating rod 141 associated with leaf spring 138 is, viewing FIG. 4, moved in the left hand direction, and spring 138 is, thereby, correspondingly moved. During such movement and subsequent to the passing of spring 138 beyond the point illustrated in FIG. 4, ratchet 137 on the bottom of leaf spring 138 engages one of the teeth such as 1271; provided on ratchet wheel 127 of bumper block assembly 121 (FIG. and wheel 127 and bumper block 124 are, thereby, turned one quarter of a complete revolution. A different face of the bumper block is thus faced in the forward direction (right hand direction as viewed in FIG. 4). As previously mentioned, bumper block 124 has an ablong rectangular configuration and, therefore, the distance which wire feed assembly 106 can be moved in the rearward direction (left-hand direction as viewed in FIG. 4) has been altered. At some point in time subsequent to the said quarter rotation of bumper block 124 and prior to another movement of member 46, programmer 151 supplies pressurized fluid to conduit 56 and connects conduit 55 to atmosphere (FIG. 4). Piston rod 54 is thereby retracted and wire feed assembly 106 is moved rearwardly (in the left hand direction viewing FIG. 4) until it rests against the face of block 124 then facing forward. Such rearward position of assembly 106 is different than that previously occupied by the assembly due to said quarter rotation of bumper block 124 and, therefore, when assembly 106 is subsequently again actuated to feed another length of wire through wire guide 12, Such length will be different than the length of wire previously fed through said guide.

Subsequent to the quarter revolution of bumper block 124 as discussed above, programmer 151 supplies pressurized fluid to conduit 36 and connects conduit 3-7 to atmosphere. Viewing FIG. 3, piston rod 35, associated with cylinder 34, and rack 38 are thereby moved to the right, and pinion gear 39 is thereby rotated slightly greater than degrees in a counterclockwise direction. Such rotation of pinion gear 39 causes a corresponding rotation of assembly 82 and its associated apparatus, and tool 17 thereby bends, about exit end 16 of wire guide 12, the length of wire previously fed therethrough. Such operation is similar to steps D and E illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings.

Following the bending operation discussed above, pressurized fluid is again supplied through conduit 44 to cylinder 42 and conduit 45 is connected to atmosphere. Member 46 is, thereby, again moved in the forward direction (right hand direction when viewing FIGS. 3 and 4). During such movement, actuating pin 83 enters groove 46b provided in prong portion 46d of member 46 and is moved along the length of such groove. The diminishing depth of groove 46b and the rearward upward slope thereof actuates pin 83 and, thereby, assembly 82 and the associated apparatus, in a manner similar to that previously described in conjunction with the movement of pin 83 through groove 46a of member 46. Thus, during such movement of assembly 82, tool 17 is first moved laterally away from the length of wire just bent, and then moved upwardly and subsequently forward (in the right hand direction viewing FIG. 4). Such forward movement of pin 83 and assembly 82 is caused by the rear wall of groove 46b contacting pin 83 and forcing such pin and assembly 82 in said direction. At such time, the distance of movement of said parts is limited by the point of adjustment of set screw 103 in cross member 80. The end of support portion 822 contacts the end of set screw 103 and, thereby limits the sliding movement of slide member 78 along slideway 77 in support member 76 (FIG. 4). The operation of tool 17 at such time is similar to that illustrated in steps F, G and H of FIG. 1.

During the forward movement of piston rod 43 and member 46 discussed above, actuating rod 141 moves leaf spring 138 in a corresponding direction (right hand direction viewing FIG. 4) and ratchet 137 on the bottom of the leaf spring slides over ratchet Wheel 127 Without causing rotation thereof. It is pointed out that spring 138 normally bears downward against ratchet wheel 127 to maintain such wheel in the position to which it was last turned and in a position such that one of the faces of bumper block 124 faces forwardly.

Subsequent to the movement of pin 83 in groove 46b as described above, pressurized fluid is again supplied to conduit 55 (FIG. 4) and conduit 56 is connected to atmosphere. Wire feed assembly is, thereby, again actuated to feed a succeeding section of wire through wire guide 12. Following such feeding of the succeeding section of wire, pressurized fluid is again supplied to cylinder 42 to cause retraction of piston rod 43 and movement of member 46 in the left hand direction (FIG. 4). Forming tool 17 is thereby actuated to its position illustrated in step I of FIG. 2, such step also illustrating the succeeding section of wire such as 20 fed through guide 12. It will be noted that forming tool 17 is, at such time, On the side of orifice 15 of exit end 16 of guide 12 opposite from that illustrated in step 0 of FIG. 2. The above mentioned retraction of piston rod 43 also causes another quarter revolution of bumper block 124 and, upon the next rearward movement of Wire feed assembly 106, such assembly will be moved to its position which is 13 occupied prior to the feeding of the length of wire, suc as 25, mentioned above in conjunction with step of FIG. 2. Thus,'the next length of wire fed through guide duit 36 is connected to atmosphere. Rack 38 is, thereby actuated to its position illustrated in FIG. 3. During such movement of rack 38, pinion gear 39 and the wire formiri-g assembly '82 are rotated slightly greater than 180 degrees in a clockwise direction (viewing FIG. 3) and peatedly operates in the sequence described to add addi- :tional lengths of bent-wire to the strip or ribbon of bent Wire being formed, and until the desired length of such strip or ribbon is attained. At such time motor 151b of programmer 151 isde-energized and further bending of the wire, such as 10, isthereby terminated.

Although there is herein shown and discussed only one form of apparatus embodying the invention, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for bending wire into a preselected sinuous pattern, such apparatus comprising,

(A) a stationary wire guide embodying a wire passage including wire entrance and exit orifices for wire entrance and exit ends of such guide,

(B) first motor means for periodically feeding straight sections of said wire through said passage and beyond the exit end of such guide, the length of each such section being controlled in accordance with said preselected pattern,

(C) a wire bending tool initially disposed in a first position adjacent a first side of the exit orifice of said passage,

(D) second motor means for actuating said tool into and out of contact with opposite sides of alternate sections of said wire fed through said passage, and for actuating said tool in first or second linear paths of travel extening parallel with the length of said passage,

(E) third motor means for actuating said tool in third and fourth partially overlapping paths of travel extending in circular arcs in first and second opposite directions from the exit orifice of said passage toward first and second opposite sides of said guide, respectively, I

(F) a programmer, and

(G) means controlled by said programmer for energizing said motor means in a repetitive predetermined sequence to, sequentially,

(a) feed one of said sections of wire through and beyond the exit end of said guide,

(b) actuate said tool into contact with one side of said one section of wire,

(c) actuate said tool in said third path of travel to bend said one section of wire about the exit end of said guide,

(d) actuate said tool out of contact with said one section of wire,

(e) actuate said tool in said second path of travel to a second position adjacent the side of the exit orifice of said passage opposite said first side of such orifice,

(f) feed a succeeding section of said wire through and beyond the exit end of said guide,

(g) actuate said tool into contact with the side of said succeeding section of wire opposite said one side of the immediately preceding section of wire,

(h) actuate said tool in said fourth path of travel to bend said succeeding section of wire about the exit end of said guide,

(i) actuate said tool out of contact with said succeeding section of wire,

(j) actuate said tool in said first path of travel to return such tool to its said first position and, thereafter,

(k) continuously repeat the energiz-ation of said motor means in said predetermined sequence to bend said wire into said preselected sinuous pattern.

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said motor means include pressurized fluid energized motors.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which the lengths of said sections of wire are uniform.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which the lengths of said sections of wire vary in a predetermined repetitive sequence.

5. Apparatus for bending wire at intermittent points along the length thereof to form a bent length of such wire having a preselected sinuous or sepentine configuration, such apparatus comprising,

(A) a stationary longitudinal wire guide embodying a wire passage extending longitudinally therethrough and including wire entrance and exit orifices at wire entrance and exit ends of said guide, respectively,

(B) a first reciprocative motor,

(C) means actuable by said motor for periodically feeding sections of said wire through said passage and out of said exit orifice, the length of each such section being controlled in accordance with said preselected serpentine configuration for said bent length of wire,

(D) a wire forming tool including a blade-like end for contacting a side of each of said sections of Wire for bending each such section about the exit end of said wire guide, said end of such tool being alternately positionable to first and second positions located beyond said exit orifice laterally adjacent to first and second opposite sides, respectively, of such orifice,

(E) a second reciprocative motor,

(F) means actuable by said second motor for alternately moving said tool through first and second linear paths of travel extending parallel with the length of said passage and thereby said blade-like end of such tool alternately to said first and second positions, respectively, and thereafter into and out of contact with an opposite side of each alternate one of said sections of wire fed through said passage,

(G) a third reciprocative motor,

(H) means actuable by said third motor for moving said tool in third or fourth partially overlapping paths of travel, said third path extending in a circular arc in a direction from said first position towards the side of said guide opposite said first side of the orifice, and said fourth path extending in a circular arc in a direction from said second position toward the side of said guide opposite said second side of the orifice,

(I) a programmer, and

(J) means controlled by said programmer for selectively energizing said motors in a preset sequence to, sequentially,

(a) actuate said first means to feed a section of said wire through said guide,

(b) actuate said second means to move said end of said tool into contact with the side of said section of wire adjacent said first side of said exit orifice,

(c) actuate said third means to move said tool through said third path of travel and bend said section of wire about the exit end of said guide,

(d) actuate said second means to move said end of said tool out of contact with said section of Wire and through said second path of travel to said second position,

(e) actuate said first means to feed a succeeding section of said Wire through said guide,

(f) actuate said second means to move said end of said tool into contact with the side of said succeeding section of wire adjacent said second side of said exit orifice,

(g) actuate said third means to move said tool through said fourth path of travel and bend said succeeding section of wire about the exit end of said guide,

(h) actuate said second means to move said end of said tool out of contact with said succeeding section of Wire and through said first path of travel to said first position, and

(i) thereafter repetitively energize said motors in said preset sequence to form said bent length of wire having a sinuous or sepentine configuration.

6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 5 in which said motors are of a type which are energized by pressurized References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Queitzsch 140-71 Gauci 140-71 Olson 72-307 Kritzer 72-306 CHARLES W. LANHAM, Primary Examiner.

L. A. LARSON, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2446608 *2 May 194710 Aug 1948Queitzsch Karl EMachine for bending wire into ribbon form
US2770262 *17 Jun 195213 Nov 1956Springs IncMachine for forming spring-wire into zig-zag material and methods of forming zig-zagspring material
US3184949 *31 Oct 196225 May 1965Ray Lab IncAutomatic tube bender
US3200631 *6 Aug 196217 Aug 1965Peerless Of AmericaApparatus for effecting reverse bends in dual heat exchange tubing
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3812694 *30 Nov 197128 May 1974P PeddinghausBending machine for metal rods
US3845650 *19 Jan 19735 Nov 1974Gurevich VMachine for manufacturing a coil of a pipe by bending it
US5765427 *17 Jul 199516 Jun 1998Codatto; AntonioBending press for sheet metal
Classifications
U.S. Classification140/71.00R, 72/702, 72/307, 72/320
International ClassificationB21F1/04, B21F43/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S72/702, B21F1/04, B21F43/00
European ClassificationB21F1/04, B21F43/00