|Publication number||US3777531 A|
|Publication date||11 Dec 1973|
|Filing date||25 May 1972|
|Priority date||25 May 1972|
|Publication number||US 3777531 A, US 3777531A, US-A-3777531, US3777531 A, US3777531A|
|Original Assignee||Engel Ind Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (13), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 McClain [111 3,777,531 [451 Dec. 11, 1973 DOUBLE-SPINDLED ELEVATING MULTI-STATION ROLL FORMER MACHINE AND POWER DRIVE THEREFOR [7 5] Inventor: Lamont R. McClain, Mehlville, Mo.  Assignee: Engel Industries, Inc., Ballwin, Mo
 Filed: May 25, 1972 r 211 Appl. No.2 256,940
 us. on. .f. 72/181, 72/226 1/1972 Anderson et al. 72/181 X Primary Examiner-Milton S. Mehr Attorney-Jerome A. Gross  ABSTRACT A double-spindled roll former machine, particularly useful for production line edge-forming of sheet metal duct sections, has two upper and lower forming paths, both in the same direction. An elevating mechanism brings the selected forming path intocoincidence with the production line flow path. An inverted machine portion, the mirrorimage of the upright portion, is intergeared with it, to provide the doubled spindling and also to minimize wear and deviations in driving torque among the forming stations. The driving motor need not be elevated; if used in a fixed lower position, its power is supplied through a counterweighted hinged linkage withgear reduction in the upper link.
7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMC 1 1 ma sum 1m 5 FIG. I
PAIENTEDHEBH 913. 3.7"(71531 SHEET EUF 5 PIC-3.2
PAIENIEU mm 1925 3. 777' 531 sum 5 BF 5 FIG.5
DOUBLE-SPINDLED ELEVATING MULTI-STATION ROLL FORMER MACHINE AND POWER DRIVE THEREFOR chines, and particularly to such machines used in production lines along which metal blanks flow.
Sheet metal blanks, such as those used for rectangu- "lar metal ducts, may be formed on production lines to form a side edge to a chosen configuration, for example of a Pittsburgh lock or a female button lock. Heretofore if the production alternated betweentwo such configurations of edge-forming, two machines would be necessary; one would be removed from the production line and the other substituted.
"At least one type of prior roll formerjmachine is double-spindled; that is, the machine has an upper'set of spindle pairs and a lower set of spindle" pairs, with an elevating mechanism so that either may operate atthe same level. Such a machine is not suited for production line use; the forming path of the upper set of spindles is in one direction while those of the lower spindle sets is in another direction.
If amachine such as a typical roll former is to have its own motor and gear reducer, the design problem arises whether the motor arid gear reducer should be raised and lowered with therernainder of the machine orwhether they shouldremain in fixed position. If the latter decision is made, some power drive meansmust be provided to transmit the power todifferent elevationssWhile U.S. Pat. No. 3,270,931 shows a single link rotatable about an axis for the transmission of power,
the drive there shown would not be suitable where the poweris to be transmitted to a machine which is to be raised and lowered vertically.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thepurposes of the present invention include providing a machine which will selectively roll-form sheet metal to two different configurations, by material flow in the samedirection along a single path. Another purpose is the interengaging of two drive trains, to minimize wear and deviations in driving torque as among and lower spindles and roll means which form a first configuration and define a first forming path; and a mirror-image inverted roll former machine portion therebelow which defines a second forming path. The
upright roll former machine portion has driving gears on its spindles and intermediate spur gears which together comprise a first drive train; and the inverted roll former machine portion has a similar second drive train. Alternate gears of the first and second drive trains areheld in mesh with each other so both the upright and the inverted roll former machine portions are driven simultaneoulsly and their forming paths are in the same direction. Simple elevating means serves to power transmission mechanism.
raise the mechanism so that the path of the lower, inverted roll former machine portion coincides with the path of material flow; or alternately to lower it so that the forming path of the upright portion coincides with the path of material flow. For this purpose, vertical rotatable screw rods are used.
While the driving motor and gear reducer may raise and lower with the forming portions of the machine, this is made unnecessary by mounting the driving motor belowin a fixed position, and transmitting its power along the path of a hinge link drive. Flexible power-transmitting means, such. as a chain and sprocket drive, carrieslow-torque power from the motor up to a hinge pin shaft. The upper link, hinged between this shaft and a connection to the interengaged drive trains, houses a series of aligned reduction gearsqA counterbalance, acting on the lower link about the axis of the motor shaft, offsets the weight of this BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS "FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 isa sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an elevational view taken fromthe side opposite that shown in FIG. 1, with the gear reducer hous ing shown in section. The lowered position of the machine is indicated inphantom lines.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 1,
Description of the Preferred Embodiment A preferred embodiment of the invention includes a double-spindled roll former mechanism, a frame in which it may be raised and lowered and the elevating mechanism therefor, and a power drive with gear re duction.
Considering first the double-spindled roll former mechanism itself, attention is directed to the enlarged cross-sectional view FIG. 5. Left and right spindle bearing plates 10, ll, spaced horizontally from each other, serve as common structure which positions, at a fixed vertical spacing from each other, the forming path a of an upright roll former machine portion generally designated b, and the forming path 0 of an inverted roll former portion generally designated d. The inverted roll fornier machine portion at is substantially themirrorimage of the upright roll former machine b; its detailed parts are therefore identified by the same figuresand the same description is intended to apply to each.
Each of the roll former machines portions b, d is substantially conventional in its details, save for being mountedtogether by the common structural bearing plates 10, 11 and for having interrrieshed gear drive trains, to be described. Thus, upwardly of mid-level of the bearingplates l0, 11 is a first set of horizontally aligned bores 14, spaced between the forming stations to be provided. These bores 14 mount idler shafts 15, to which idler gears 16 are keyed. The idler gears 16 are spurgears positioned adjacent to the left spindle bearing plate 10, and spaced away from the right spindle bearing plate 11 by a thrust washer 17 and a spacer 18. Below the mid-level of the bearing plates 10, 11, in aligned bores 14, similar idler shafts 15 are mounted, with their idler gears 16 in constant mesh with those above.
At the location midway between the ends of the spindle bearing plates 10, 11, instead of providing a pair of lower idler bores, larger diameter power transfer shaft bores 20 are there provided. The power transfer shaft bores have needle bearings 21 in which are mounted a power transfer shaft 22. This projects well outward from that side of the assembly shown at the left in FIGS. 3 and 5. Keyed to it, inwardly adjacent to the left spindle bearing plate 10, is a power transfer gear 23, having the same pitch diameter as and in mesh with the idler gear 16 on the shaft above. Aspacer 24, generally similar to the spacer 18, holds it in its meshed axial position on the transfer shaft 22.
A power train, shown in the left portion of FIG. 1, is made up of the gears so far described and the spindle drive gears, which will be described, of both the upright and the inverted machine portions b, d. Spaced symmetrically from the mid-level of the plates 10, 11 and located intermediate between the bores 14,20 heretofore described, are horizontally aligned spindle bores 26, containing 'needle bearings 17 in which driving spindles 28 are mounted. Keyed to each driving spindle 28 is a spindle drive gear 29, in mesh with the adjacent idler gears 16 or power transfer gear 23 and similarly positioned by thrust washers l7 and spacers 18. The power transfer and idler gears 23, 16 are each in mesh with three other gears; and except for those spindle drive gears 29 nearest the ends of the machine each one of the spindle gears 29 is in mesh with two other gears.
Secured in socket-like recesses 32 in the upper and lower edges of the spindle bearing plates 10, 11, as seen in the lower portion of FIG. 5, are vertically projecting spindle housing posts '33 of circular cross-section. Their linear spacing corresponds to that of the idler shafts 15, plus added posts 33 outward of the endmost driving spindles 28. Their projecting ends are connected by upper and lower head rails 34. Between adjacent housing posts 33 are slidably mounted, by their concave arcuate side edges 35, bearing cage plates 36 having spindle bores 37 similar to the spindle bores 26 of the bearing plates 10, 11. In these bores 37, similar needle bearings 27 are pressed, to mount the uppermost and lowermost driving spindles 38. Driven spindle gears 39 keyed thereon mesh with the spindle driving gears 29 and are held in axial position by similar spacing provisions. Engagement of each driving spindle gear 29 with its corresponding driven spindle gear 39 is effected by a threaded adjusting pin 40. A nut at its inner end bears against the outer edge of the bearing cage 36 and its outer end is accommodated with clearance in a bore in the adjacent rail 34. A threaded nut 41 on adjusting pin 40 bears against a cupped spring washer 42 which in turns bears against head rail 34 and thus exerts an inward force on the bearing cage 36. These forces are applied to the bearing cages 36 at both right and left sides, to hold the driven spindle gears 39 in mesh with the driving spindle gears 29 inwardly thereof.
The bearing plates 10, 11, project endwise beyond the mechanism heretofore described. Extending supportively between their projecting portions are horizontal mounting plates 45; their ends are joined by laterally extending end plates 47. These plates 45, 47 serve in part to maintain the spacing of the upright bearing plates 10, 1 1. The corresponding spacing of the upright and inverted bearing cage plates 36 is maintained by lateral spreader bars 43 bolted at intervals between the left and right head rails 34.
Bolted onto the ends of the spindles 28, 38, as seen in the detailed view FIG. 5, areend cap washers 44, whose diameter is larger than that of the spindles. Inwardly of the washers 44, on the spindle end portions which project beyond the right spindle housing plate 11, are'mounted typical sets of forming rolls generally designated 50, 51 shown schematically, adapted to form progressively the edges of sheet metal blanks. For example, the upper set of such forming rolls 50, mounted on the spindles 28, 38 of the upright roll former portion b, may be of the type which forms a Pittsburgh lock; and the lower set 51, shown on the corresponding spindles of the inverted roll former portion d, may be of the type which forms a female button lock.
As a principal framework for the machine, a rugged, open rectangular frame generally designated 55 is provided. It consists of upper and lower channels 56, 57 and vertical end channels 58, welded together. Their width is only slightly greater than the spacing of the spindle bearing plates 10, 11, so the two sets of forming rolls 50, 51 project sidewardly of the frame 55, as shown at right in FIG. 3. On the same side of the rectangular frame 55, projecting below the level of production flow, is a lower rectangular frame extension generally designated 59, which may be formed by welding rectangular steel tubing to the end channels 58 and lower channel 57. Screw-adjustable leveling feet 60 are provided.
Within the frame end channels 58, extending from near their upper ends downward sufficiently to provide the necessary travel for the roll former mechanism, are spaced-apart pairs of vertical slide guide rods 62, seen in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, whose upper and lower ends are supported in socket brackets 63 secured to the inner surfaces of the end channels 58. Upper and lower pillow blocks 64, bolted onto the vertical end plates 47, mount the entire roll former mechanism for vertical sliding along the slide guide rods 62.
To provide for raising and lowering this mechanism, the mounting plates 45 have vertical apertures with which are alinged ball nut mounts 66 affixed beneath the plates 45. Ball screw rods 67, which engage the ball nut mounts 66, extend downward from upper rod sockets 68 to thrust bearings 69 mounted on a bracket 70 extending inward from the adjacent frame end channel 58. A coupling 72 engages the lower end of each ball screw rod 67 to the upper end of an aligned torque shaft 73 whose lower end passes through a support bearing 74 mounted on either the upper or the lower surface of the lower channel 57, and through an aperture in that channel to project therebeneath. On the shaft ends there projecting, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, are mounted sprockets 75, connected by a drive chain 76.
Referring to the torque shaft 73 shown at the right side of FIG. 4, a bevel gear 78 secured thereto is driven by a gear 79 mounted on the shaft of a reversible electric elevating motor 80. Through conventional controls, not illustrated, the motor 80 may be driven to turn the ball screw rods 67 simultaneously and thus elevate or lower the roll former mechanism assembly.
Conventional braking means, which maybe supplied with the motor 80, locks this assembly at any elevation along the rods 62. By limit switches, not shown, a lowered position is established, as shown in phantom lines in FIG. 4, corresponding to the position in which the forming path a of the upright machine portion b will correspond with the material flow path; and similar limit switches provide an elevatedposition at which the forming path c of the inverted roll former portion 11 will correspond with such material flow path.
Power may be supplied to the transfer shaft 22 in various ways. To avoid lifting the motor itself, in the embodiment illustrated and as best seen in FIGS. 2 and4, a motor 101 is mounted in fixed position in the lower frame extension 59 with its shaft projecting laterally and continuing through a coupling 102 to a driving shaft 103 aligned therewith in pillow blocks 104. On the driving shaft 103 is mounted the double-plate assembly generally designated 105 which serves as a lower link of a hinged link drive mechanism generally designated 106. The loer link assembly 105 includes two spaced parallel link plates 107, each secured to a bearing 108 on the shaft 103, as shown in FIG. 2, and extending to similar bearings 108 on a hinge pin shaft 110. At their upper ends, the link plates 107 are held apart by a spacer block 109.
convenient angle, are short counterbalance arms 113,
between which is mounted a heavy counterweight 114. Thelink plates 107 and their counterbalance arms 113 move within an angular range of preferably about 30, and in any event less than 60. With the counterweight 114 moving no more than 60 from horizontal, it serves to offset, in whole or in substantial part, the weight of the hinged link drive mechanism 105, so there will be no undue load on the outer end of the transfer shaft 22.
Power-transmitting sheaves 111, keyed to the driving shaft 103 and the hinge pin shaft 110, serve as axiscentered power-transmitting means on said shafts. About them are looped a broad V-belt 112 which serves as flexible power-transmitting means. Since the power so transmitted has not been subjected to gear reduction, it is transmitted at relatively low torque, minimizing the strength required of the V-belt 112.
As seen in FIG. 2 the hinge pin shaft 110 extends outward on the same side as the transfer shaft 22; and they are parallel to the motor drive shaft 103. Power from the hinge pin shaft 1 to the transfer shaft 22 is transmitted with reduction through an upper, gear-reducer link in the drive mechanism 106, as best shown in FIG. 4, increasing the torque to meet the requirements of the machine.
A gear reducer generally designated 1 serves as the upper link'of the drive mechanism 106. It has a hollow, oil-filled housing comprised of housing link plates 116 spaced apart by an elongated rounded-end frame memher 117 seen in section in FIGS. 2 and 4. The housing side plates 116 have four aligned shaft axes, each equipped with needle bearings, not shown. Into the lower of these projects the hinge pin shaft 110, bearing a relatively small gear 121. On a stub shaft 122 housed adjacent to the pin shaft 110 are two gears, a larger gear 123 in mesh with the spur gear 121 on the hinge shaft 110, and a second spur gear 121. This latter spur gear is in mesh with another suitably sized gear 125 on an adjacent stub shaft 124, in mesh with a similar gear mounted on the transfershaft 22.
The principal advantages of the present invention relates to those features of its design which operate its two forming paths a, c in the same direction and bring them into coincidence with the'path of material flow along a production line. As seen from the curved arrows in the elevational view FIG. 1., these results follow in part from the double interengaged gear drive train, in which theupper set of forming rolls 50 and the lower set of forming rolls 51 are driven simultaneously. Thus, by bringing either set toa level coinciding with the flow path of sheet metal blanks along a production line, a chosen type of edge may be formed on the blanks.
One advantage of the interengaged drive train is the positive delivery of power through both upper and lower drive gears. Unlike ordinary gear trains, in which deviations due to wear may accumulate outwardly of the point at which power is supplied, all the interengaged idler gears 16 and driving spindle gears 29 in both the upright and the inverted roll former portions forming rolls 51 on the inverted roll former portiond are being used, its drive train gears will deliver power to the idler gear 16 at the inboard side of one of its spindle gears 29, while the drive train. gears of the upright roll former portion b will cooperate to deliver power to the idler gear 16 on the outboard side of the same gear. This power delivery arrangement results in uniformity of driving torque among the forming stations and minimizes wear.
From this specification, variations in details of construction will be apparent to those persons, skilled in the art, who may wish to apply the inventive principles here disclosed to varying uses.
1. For selectively roll-forming sheet metal to two different configurations by material flow in the same direction along a single path of material flow,
a double-spindled multi-station roll former machine,
comprising an upright roll former machine portion having upper and lower roll spindles, whereby to define between them a firstforming path, and roll means thereon to form a first configuration, the spindles having driving gears and intermediate spur gears in mesh therebetween and comprising with them a first drive train,
an inverted roll former machine portion having upper and lower roll spindles, whereby to define therebetween a second forming path, and roll means thereon to form to a second configuration, the upper spindles thereof having driving gears and intermediate spur gears in mesh therebetween and comprising with them a second drive train,
a powered drive shaft connection to one of said drive trains,
said upright and inverted roll former machine portions having common structural means to position said first and second forming paths spaced vertically from each other and to hold in mesh alternate gears of said first drive train with corresponding alternate gears of said second drive train,
coincides the powered drive shaft connection connects to a gear near the middle of one of said drive trains, whereby, by the inter-engagement of the two drive trains, all spindles except those at the end stations are driven from both inner and outer sides, and wear and deviations in driving torque are minimized. 3. A double-spindled roll forming machine as defined in claim 1, wherein the elevating means includes v rotatable screw rods mounted vertically in said fixed frame and passing through and engaging internally threaded means affixed to said common structural means, means to turn said screw rods simultaneously, and means to latch the common structural means to the fixed frame alternately at such raised level and at such lowered level. 4. A double-spindled roll forming machine as defined in claim 1, together with driving motor and gear reducer means operatably connected to said powered drive shaft connection and mounted onto said common structural means for elevation therewith. S. A double-spindled roll forming machine as defined in claim 1, together with a driving motor secured to said fixed frame below said roll former machine portion and having a lateral shaft, and
a hinged link drive therefrom to said powered drive shaft connection, said hinged link drive including a lower rigid link having a lower end connected for pivoting around the motor shaft and having its upper end connected to a lateral hinge pin shaft,
an upper rigid link extending from said hinge pin shaft to said powered drive shaft connection,
the motor shaft, hinge pin shaft, and powered drive shaft connection all having axis-centered power transmitting means mounted on their shaft axes, together with gear reducer means mounted along one of said links and connectingthe axis-centered power transmitting means on the hinge pin shaft to the axiscentered power transmitting means on the shaft at the other end of said link, and
flexible power transmitting means mounted along the other of said links and looped about and connecting the power transmitting means on the hinge pin shaft to the power transmitting means on the shaft at the other end of said link.
6. A double-spindled roll forming machine as defined in claim 5, wherein the link along which the gear reducer means is mounted is the upper link, and the link along which the looped power transmitting means is mounted is the lower link,
whereby the looped power transmitting means may transmit power at a torque lower than that delivered by the gear reducer means.
7. A double-spindled roll forming machine as defined in claim 5, wherein the lower link moves in an angular range, at one side of center, at less than 60 from horizontal, together with counterbalance means extending from said lower link to the other side of center, whreby to offset the weight of the hinged link drive.
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|U.S. Classification||72/181, 72/226|
|International Classification||B21D5/06, B21D5/08|
|21 Apr 1986||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ENGEL INDUSTRIES, INC., 8122 REILLY AVENUE, ST. LO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ENGEL INDUSTRIES, INC., A MO. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004536/0343
Effective date: 19860211