Sign up
Title:
SHEET PILING MACHINE
United States Patent 3711087
Abstract:
A machine for piling metal sheets having an upright supporting frame with elongate, overhead, rail-type conveyors extending between upright end frame members for advancing the sheets and releasing the same for piling on a hoist which is disposed between the end frame members and having guide assemblies engageable by the opposite side edges of the sheets, as they are dropped onto the pile, so as to bring the sheet edges into generally vertical alignment as they accumulate in a pile. The side guide assemblies include longitudinally extending, generally parallel face plates which are slidably mounted for limited vertical movement so as to avoid damage to the guide assemblies in the event the hoist is raised to too high an elevation so as to apply pressure to the bottom portions of the guide members.


Application Number:
05/118649
Publication Date:
01/16/1973
Filing Date:
02/25/1971
Assignee:
Bucciconi Engineering Co., Inc. (Gary, IN)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B21D43/20; B21D43/22; (IPC1-7): B65H31/04
Field of Search:
271/86-88,61 214
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2626800Sheet delivering apparatusJanuary 1953Martin
Primary Examiner:
Sroka, Edward A.
Claims:
I claim

1. In a machine for piling metal sheets comprising an upright main supporting frame having means for advancing the sheets to a piling area between end frame members and releasing the same for deposit in a pile, a pile supporting means which may be moved vertically and which is adapted to support thereon a skid on which the sheets are piled, and laterally spaced, side guide assemblies which guide the opposite side edges of the sheets as they are deposited on the pile so as to hold the sheet edges in generally vertical alignment in the pile as the sheets accumulate, said side guide assemblies comprising longitudinally extending, generally parallel support frames mounted on said main supporting frame and guide members having oppositely disposed, generally vertical faces which are positioned to be engaged by the sheet edges as they settle onto the pile, and means mounting said guide members for upward movement in vertical planes, said guide members being disposed with bottom portions thereof extending below the bottom of the associated support frame thereby to avoid damage to said side guide assembles when vertical upward movement of said pile supporting means exceeds a predetermined amount so as to strike the bottom portions of said guide members.

2. In a machine for piling metal sheets comprising an upright main supporting frame having conveyor means for advancing the sheets to a piling area between frame members and releasing the same for deposit in a pile, a pile support means which may be moved vertically and which is adapted to support the sheets as they are piled, and laterally spaced assemblies forming guides for the opposite side edges of the sheets as they are deposited onto the pile so as to cause the sheet edges to align vertically in the pile as the sheets accumulate, said side guide forming assemblies comprising longitudinally extending, generally parallel support frames mounted on said main supporting frame and guide members having oppositely disposed, generally vertical faces which are engaged by the sheet edges as they settle onto the pile, and means mounting said guide members for limited upward movement in vertical planes, said guide members having bottom portions extending below the bottom portions of said guide member mounting means in the normal position thereof, whereby to avoid damage to said side guide forming assemblies when vertical upward movement of said pile supporting means exceeds a predetermined amount so as to strike the bottom portions of said guide members and move said members upwardly.

3. In a machine for piling metal sheets as set forth in claim 2 wherein said guide members have means at the top edge thereof which extends outwardly and upwardly to form an inclined surface for guiding the side edges of sheets into vertical alignment on said pile supporting means.

4. In a machine for piling metal sheets comprising an upright main supporting frame having conveyor means for advancing the sheets to a piling area between frame members and releasing the same for deposit in a pile, a pile support means which may be moved vertically and which is adapted to support the sheets as they are piled, and laterally spaced assemblies forming guides for the opposite side edges of the sheets as they are deposited onto the pile so as to cause the sheet edges to align vertically in the pile as the sheets accumulate, said side guide forming assemblies comprising longitudinally extending, generally parallel support frames mounted on said main supporting frame and guide members having oppositely disposed, generally vertical faces which are engaged by the sheet edges as they settle onto the pile, and means mounting said guide members for limited movement in vertical planes thereby to avoid damage to said side guide forming assemblies upon vertical upward movement of said pile supporting means beyond a predetermined elevation so as to strike the bottom portions of said guide members, said side guide forming assemblies comprising elongate support frames having oppositely disposed vertical faces and said guide members comprising plate members slidingly mounted on said vertical faces.

5. In a machine for piling metal sheets as set forth in claim 4 wherein said plate members have top and bottom flange members which extend outwardly of the path of the sheets and above and below said support frames and which are spaced apart vertically a distance greater than the depth of said support frames.

6. In a machine for piling metal sheets as set forth in claim 4 wherein said plate members have flange formations extending outwardly of the path of the sheets, which flange formations are spaced apart vertically a distance greater than the depth of the associated support frames, and wherein said flange formations are connected at their outer margins by one or more vertically disposed guide bar members.

7. In a machine for piling metal sheets as set forth in claim 4 wherein said plate members have outwardly extending top flange members which present an outwardly and upwardly slanted top surface for guiding sheets into vertical side edge alignment on the pile support means.

8. In a machine for piling metal sheets comprising an upright main supporting frame having conveyor means for advancing the sheets to a piling area between frame members and releasing the same for deposit in a pile, a pile support means which may be moved vertically and which is adapted to support the sheets as they are piled, and laterally spaced assemblies forming guides for the opposite side edges of the sheets as they are deposited onto the pile so as to cause the sheet edges to align vertically in the pile as the sheets accumulate, said side guide forming assemblies comprising longitudinally extending, generally parallel support frames mounted on said main supporting frame and guide members having oppositely disposed, generally vertical faces which are engaged by the sheet edges as they settle onto the pile, and means mounting said guide members for limited movement in vertical planes thereby to avoid damage to said side guide forming assemblies upon vertical upward movement of said pile supporting means beyond a predetermined elevation so as to strike the bottom portions of said guide members, said plate members having outwardly extending top and bottom flange formations which are disposed above and below the top and bottom faces of the associated support frames and which are spaced vertically a distance greater than the depth of said support frames, at least one guide bar connecting said flange formations and means on said support frames for guiding said guide bar in a vertical path.

9. In a machine for piling metal sheets comprising an upright supporting frame having end frame members, means for advancing the sheets to a piling area between said end frame members and releasing the same for deposit in a pile, a means in said piling area to support the sheets as they are piled, and laterally spaced assemblies forming guides for the opposite side edges of the sheets as they are dropped onto said pile support means so as to cause the sheet edges to align vertically in the pile as the sheets accumulate, said side guide forming assemblies comprising generally parallel support frames and guide members having oppositely disposed generally vertical faces which are engaged by the sheet edges as they drop, and means mounting said guide members on said support frames for limited sliding movement in a vertical direction thereby to permit limited upward movement of said side guide members upon relative movement of said pile support means and said side guide assemblies so as to contact the bottom portions of said guide members with the top face of said pile support means.

Description:
This invention relates to machines for piling metal sheets and is more particularly concerned with improvements in mechanism for guiding the side edges of the sheets as they are deposited in a pile.

In the handling of metal sheets in a processing line, for example, where the sheets are cut to the desired length at the end of the processing, machines have been provided for piling the sheets, which machines comprise an upright supporting frame having overhead rail-type conveyors extending between the end frame members for advancing the sheets to a piling area between the latter and releasing the same for deposit on a pile supporting hoist. The hoist may be moved vertically and is adapted to support thereon a skid, or the like, on which the sheets are piled. There is a mechanism for arresting the advance of the sheets and guiding the edges of the sheets as they are dropped onto the pile so as to hold the sheet edges in generally vertical alignment in the pile as the sheets accumulate. Generally, the guide mechanisms are supported on the frame so that they are adjustable to accommodate sheets of different size. Most often, the guide mechanisms are supported on the machine frame so as to be suspended above the hoist, with the latter being adapted to be raised at the start of the piling operation and lowered as the height of the pile increases. In many cases it is desirable to employ a hoist having top surface dimensions which exceed the corresponding dimensions of smaller size sheets which the piler will handle. This means that when the guide mechanisms are adjusted for smaller size sheets and the hoist is raised too high initially so as to strike the bottom of the guide mechanisms there may result damage to the guide mechanisms. In some designs of pilers, such as U.S. Pats. No. 3,061,305, granted Oct. 30, 1962; No. 3,256,010, granted June 14, 1966; and No. 3,395,914, granted Aug. 6, 1968, provision is made for avoiding or minimizing damage to the side guide mechanisms. This has taken the form, in some designs, of limit switches for controlling the height of the platform on the hoist. In other designs means have been provided for supporting the side guide mechanisms on linkages or spring tensioned hanger members and in still other designs separable or readily breakable connections have been provided in the mounting means for the side guides. These arrangements have operated satisfactorily in the pilers in which they have been incorporated. However, each such arrangement has been designed for the particular side guide mechanism which is employed in the machine and use of these machines has indicated the desirability of providing an arrangement which is less complicated and less expensive than the side guide arrangements heretofore provided for incorporation in this type machine. It is a general object, therefore, of the present invention to provide an improved side guide mechanism of simple construction which is effective in minimizing or preventing damage to the side guide structures through carelessness of the operator in raising a hoist having a width which is greater than the distance between the side guides so as to apply a damaging force to the bottom of the same when raised beyond a predetermined point.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide a sheet piling machine, in which sheets are delivered to a hoist in a piling area by a conveyor means which delivers the sheets onto a pile on the hoist, wherein there is provided a side guide mechanism having oppositely disposed, vertically extending face members adapted to be engaged by the sheet side edges for guiding the same onto the pile, which face members are mounted for limited vertical movement upon the application of upward force upon the bottom edges or faces thereof.

A still more specific object of the invention is to provide a sheet piling machine having conveyor means for depositing the sheets on a hoist or other pile supporting means in a piling area between the end supports of a piler frame, and having side guide mechanisms which are disposed on opposite sides of the path of the sheets, with face plates adapted to be engaged by the side edges of the sheets, wherein the face plates are mounted for sliding vertical movement on supporting frame members so as to avoid damage to the same when the lower side edge of the face plates are engaged by the pile supporting platform upon excessive upward movement of the latter.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the sheet piling machine which is shown by way of illustration in the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a sheet piler embodying therein the principal features of the invention, with portions broken away and other portions omitted;

FIG. 2 is a partial cross section taken on the line 2--2 of FIG. 1, to an enlarged scale and with portions broken away;

FIG. 3 is a portion of FIG. 2 to a greatly enlarged scale, the view showing a cross section through the longitudinally extending side guide mechanism; and

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, elevational view taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 3.

The piler machine which is illustrated in the drawings by way of example has incorporated therein the principal features of the invention. It is designed to receive individual metal sheets 10 from a processing line, or the like, and to deposit a plurality of the sheets, one by one, on a stack or pile 11 for removal from the open side of the machine.

The illustrated machine comprises an upright supporting frame structure 12 which includes upright end frames 13 and 14 supporting opposite ends of a horizontally disposed, overhead magnetic conveyor 15, which conveyor 15 may comprise a plurality of laterally spaced conveyor rail units 16 (FIG. 2) of the magnetic type, for example, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,642,174, granted June 16, 1953; U.S. Pat. No. 3,150,764, granted Sept. 29, 1964; or U.S. Pat. No. 3,199,654, granted Aug. 10, 1965. The machine includes an infeed conveyor 17 which is mounted on a supporting structure 18 at the entrance end of the machine and provided with a suitable drive means 19 for advancing the sheets 10 to the bottom face of the conveyor 15 on which the sheets are carried to the piling area between the end frames 13 and 14 and released for deposit on a skid 20, or the like. The skid 20 is positioned on top of a hoist or pile supporting platform or table 21 which is mounted for vertical movement on the frame structure 12. The hoist or table 21 may be provided with raising and lowering mechanism of either a mechanical or hydraulic type. A suitable arrangement for raising and lowering the table 21 may be that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,996,297, granted Aug. 15, 1961. The present machine includes a back stop device at 22 and an end stop mechanism 23 which may be carried on a carriage structure 24 supported on longitudinally extending top frame structure 25 and provided with a drive mechanism, as indicated at 26, for adjusting the position of the same. The machine also includes longitudinally extending, parallel, laterally positionable side guide structures 30 and 30' which are suitably mounted at opposite ends for movement laterally of the center line of the machine so as to provide for the guiding of the opposite side edges of the sheets 10 onto the pile 11. The side guide mechanisms 30 and 30' may be supported for lateral adjustment, for example, in the manner provided in U.S. Pat. No. 3,061,305 so as to accommodate sheets of varying width.

The side guide mechanisms 30 and 30' are of identical construction except for being rights and lefts and only one thereof will be described in detail. An elongate beam-like, double tube structure 31 forms a frame for supporting a face plate 32 which is disposed in a vertical plane so as to provide a vertical guide surface for the side edges of the sheets as they are dropped onto the pile 11 on the skid 20. The face plate 32 has a top flange 33, the forward portion 34 of which conforms to the upwardly and outwardly inclined surface of a top reinforcing angle member 35 on the main frame structure 31 so that in the normal lowermost position of the face plate 32 the inclined portion 34 of the top flange 33 presents a surface which is inclined inwardly and downwardly in the direction of the pile 11 for sheets which may be somewhat off-center when dropped onto the pile. The face plate 32 has a bottom flange 36 which is spaced relative to the top flange 33 so as to form with the face plate 32 a channel area having a depth which is greater than the maximum depth of the main frame beam structure 31 and which encompasses the latter. A guide bar or slide bar 37 extends vertically between the outside margins of the top and bottom flange plates 33 and 36 at a point intermediate the ends of the face plate 32 and a keeper 38 mounted on the back or outside face of the beam 31 together with a bearing plate member 39, provides a guideway for retaining the guide bar 37 in a vertical path. A plurality of the guide bars 37 and keepers 38 may be spaced along the beam 31, if desired. The arrangement is such that the face plate 32 is adapted to slide vertically on the beam to a limited extent with the weight of the face plate 32 and associated members being utilized to normally hold the face plate in its lowermost position. The frame beam structure 31 has incorporated therein a longitudinally extending shaft 40 having suitable connections with cross beam structures 41 at the ends of the frame 12 for accomplishing lateral adjustment of the assemblies 30, 30'. Such connections may be, for example, as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,061,305.

In the use of the machine which is illustrated, the pile supporting hoist or platform 21 is adapted to be initially raised so that the top face contacts the bottom flanges 36 on the side guide plate structures 32, or is closely adjacent to the same and the sheets delivered to the piling area will be guided onto the skid 20 by the same. There will be a provision for lowering the hoist 21 as the sheets accumulate in a pile 11. In adjusting the machine for use, the top face of the hoist or platform 21 may be of a width which exceeds the distance between the side guide assemblies 30, 30', when the latter have been adjusted for a particular width of sheet, in which event the raising of the platform 21 may be accomplished carelessly by the operator so that it will be raised too high and strike the bottom flanges 36 on the guide plates 32 with substantial force. With the illustrated arrangement there is an appreciable path of free vertical movement available for the guide plates 32 which allows the operator to bring the top face of the hoist into engagement with the flanges 36 so as to insure that the first sheet deposited will not be free to slide sidewise beneath either face plate 32. The operator is able to observe the movement and to bring the hoist 21 to a stop without damage to the side guide assemblies 30, 30'.

While there is illustrated herewith a piler machine having an overhead magnetic conveyor for delivering the sheets to a piling area it will be understood that the sheets may be projected into a position to drop on the pile by other sheet advancing means, such as for example pinch rolls, an entrance conveyor, such as 17, in FIG. 1 or the like, and that the sheets may be floated into position on an air cushion, or the like, so as to position them for settling onto the pile with the side guide mechanisms aligning the side edges of the sheets in the manner described. When an air cushion is employed the top face of the skid 20 will preferably be imperforate and the vertical height of the skid relative to the side guide assemblies will be adjusted to contact the top face thereof with the bottom edges of the face plates 32 so as to form a box for containing the air while the sheet settles onto the pile.

In the machine illustrated the side guide assemblies 30 and 30' are mounted so that the supporting beams 31 are in a relatively fixed vertical position or elevation and the skid 20 is supported on a vertically adjustable hoist. In an alternate arrangement the assemblies 30 and 30' may be hinged or pivoted so as to swing on an upward arc about a longitudinal pivot axis and clear the piling area. A skid may then be employed which has its top face at a fixed elevation and the assemblies 30 and 30' may be swung to the operative position where the face plates 32 are vertical and the bottom flanges 36 are resting on the top face of the skid. The assemblies 30 and 30' will be designed so as to allow sufficient vertical or upward sliding movement of the face plates 32 to enable the assemblies to be swung to the desired operative position.