What is claimed is
1. Automatic pipe swaging apparatus comprising
2. The automatic pipe swager apparatus as recited in claim 1 and further comprising control means for said swaging fluid motor means and said collet holding fluid motor means to move said swaging piston rod toward said swaging area and to move said top collet holder plate toward said bottom collet holder plate simultaneously.
3. The automatic pipe swager apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein said swaging fluid motor means includes a swaging cylinder controlling said swaging piston rod and having an advance port and a retract port, said collet holding fluid motor means includes a collet holding cylinder controlling said collet holding piston rod and having an advance port and a retract port, and said control means includes valve means adapted to receive fluid under pressure from a source and having a first state supplying fluid to said retract ports of said swaging and collet holding cylinders and a second state supplying fluid to said advance ports of said swaging and collet holding cylinders to simultaneously control said swaging fluid motor means and said collet holding fluid motor means.
4. The automatic pipe swager apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said support frame includes screw means threadedly engaging said upstanding supports and contacting said side walls of said swager frame.
5. The automatic pipe swager apparatus as recited in claim 4 wherein said collet holder assembly includes a mounting block attached to said collet holding piston rod, screw means mounting said top collet holder plate on said mounting block, and said top member has holes therein aligned with said screw means.
6. Automatic collet holding apparatus for use with pipe swaging apparatus including a swager frame supporting a swaging fluid motor for moving a swage die toward a swaging area and a pipe clamping assembly for holding a pipe to be swaged stationary with an end at the swaging area, said pipe clamping assembly including a stationary bottom collet holder plate having a top edge with an arcuate recess therein and collet means for gripping a pipe to be swaged and adapted to be received in said arcuate recess in said bottom collet holder plate, said automatic collet holding apparatus comprising
7. The automatic collet holding apparatus as recited in claim 6 wherein said top end member supports said collet holding fluid motor and further comprising a mounting block attached to said piston rod, and screw means mounting said top collet holder plate on said mounting block, said top end member having holes therein aligned with said screw means.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention pertains to swaging pipe and, more particularly, to apparatus for automatically swaging pipe.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
In many industries, particularly the automative industry, it is required that pipe have specially configured or swaged ends either to provide a desired appearance or to facilitate the joining or coupling of pipes. Vehicles, particularly automobiles, require pipes having swaged ends for exhaust systems, and the fabrication of such pipes presents a problem in the exhaust system and muffler replacement industry due to the vast inventory required to service the various makes and models of automobiles. In order to overcome this problem, many establishments have pipe bending and swaging machinery on the premises such that a supply of straight pipes may be stocked and each pipe may be bent to the configuration required for the automobile to be serviced at that time.
Many attempts have been made to automate pipe bending machines in order to decrease the element of human error in the bending of pipes and the time required to bend a pipe. In patent application Ser. No. 187,099, filed Oct. 7, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,766,764, an automatic pipe bender is disclosed which permits the bending of pipe inexpensively and with great speed, and the use of this automatic pipe bender has been found to be so effective as to permit a central pipe bending shop utilizing the automatic pipe bender to supply specially bent pipes to a large number of establishments servicing automobiles by replacing exhaust systems and mufflers. The use of this automatic pipe bender, however, permits the production of bent pipes at much faster rates than the rate at which existing swagers can be utilized to swage the ends of the pipes.
One of the primary reasons for the slowness of existing swagers is that prior to a swaging operation, an operator must manually loosen a collet holding plate, insert a pipe to be swaged, position a set of collets around the pipe and within the collet plate and then tighten the collet holding plate. The steps required of the operator are time consuming both due to the manual operation required in loosening and tightening the collet holding plate and the fact that the clamping of the pipe by the collet holding plate must be accomplished prior to the swaging operation; that is, the movement of a swage die into contact with the end of the pipe.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to accelerate the speed of operation of swaging apparatus.
Another object of the present invention is to automatically operate a pipe clamping assembly for swaging appartus.
A further object of the present invention is to clamp a set of collets around a pipe to be swaged by moving a top collet holder plate toward a stationary bottom collet holder plate with a fluid motor.
The present invention has another object in the actuation of a collet holding fluid motor simultaneously with a swaging fluid motor such that pipe clamping and swaging are accomplished effectively in a single step.
The present invention is generally characterized in automatic pipe swaging apparatus including a swager frame; a swaging fluid motor supported at a swage die driving station in the swager frame and having a piston rod axially movable toward a swaging area in the swager frame, the piston rod having an end adapted to carry a swage die; a collet set for gripping a pipe to be swaged at a pipe clamping station in the swager frame; and a collet holder assembly disposed at the pipe clamping station and including a stationary bottom collet holder plate having a top edge with an arcuate recess therein, a movable top collet holder plate having a bottom edge with an arcuate recess therein, the arcuate recesses in the collet holder plates receiving the collet set and defining a path through which a pipe to be swaged extends to position an end of the pipe in the swaging area, and a collet holding fluid motor disposed at the pipe clamping station and including a piston rod carrying the top collet holder plate, the piston rod being axially movable to move the top collet holder plate to a rest position away from the bottom collet holder plate and to move the top collet holder plate toward the bottom collet holder plate to an operative position clamping the collet set around the pipe to be swaged to hold the pipe stationary during swaging.
Some of the advantages of the present invention over the prior art are that the automatic swaging apparatus of the present invention substantially decreases the time and manual labor required to swage a pipe and, accordingly, decreases costs.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a broken perspective, partly in section, of automatic swaging apparatus according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the automatic collet holding apparatus utilized with the swaging apparatus of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention.
FIGS. 3 and 4 are diagrammatical views, partly in section, of the apparatus of FIG. 1 in rest and operative states, respectively.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Apparatus for swaging the end of a pipe is illustrated in FIG. 1 and includes a swager frame 10 having a base 12 and opposing side walls 14 and 16. A swaging area 18 is defined in swager frame 10 with a swage die driving station 20 disposed on one side of the swaging area and a pipe clamping station 22 disposed on the other side of the swaging area 18.
A swaging fluid motor 24 is supported at the swage die driving station 20 of the swager frame 10 and includes a cylinder 26 having a piston movable therein and a piston rod 28 axially movable toward and away from the swaging area 18. Piston rod 28 has an end 30, preferably threaded, to receive a swage die 32, and the piston rod is slidably movable through an aperture in a wall 34. A peeling plate 36 is disposed in channels in side walls 14 and 16 spaced from wall 34 and has an aperture 38 therein of a size to accomodate the swage die being used.
At the pipe clamping station 22, side walls 14 and 16 each have a channel formed therein to receive a bottom collet holder plate 40 having a top edge with an arcuate recess 42 therein. A pair of collets 44 have an external configuration to be received in arcuate recess 42 and have a ribbed internal surface to grip a pipe to be swaged. The bottom collet holder plate 40 remains stationary during swaging operations.
Automatic collet holding apparatus according to the present invention for use with the swaging apparatus as thus far described is shown in FIG. 1 mounted on the swager frame 10 at the pipe clamping station 22 and in FIG. 2 and includes a support frame 46 having parallel, upstanding side supports 48 and 50, a top end member 52 transversely secured to the top ends of upstanding supports 48 and 50 and a bottom end member 54 transversely secured to the bottom ends of upstanding supports 48 and 50 parallel to top member 52 such that the support frame 46 has a hollow, generally rectangular configuration. A collet holding fluid motor 56 is mounted on the top member 52 and includes a cylinder 58 controlling a piston rod 60 which extends through the top member 52 and carries a mounting block 62 at the end thereof. A movable top collet holder plate 64 having an arcuate recess 65 in the bottom edge thereof is secured to mounting block 62 by means of allan screws 66 and 68 set in mounting block 62 and threadedly engaging top collet holder plate 64, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Top member 52 has holes 70 and 72 therein aligned, respectively, with allan screws 66 and 68 on opposite sides of piston rod 60. A pair of allan screws 74 threadedly engage each upstanding support 48 and 50 and are adapted to contact side walls 14 and 16 to mount the support frame 46 on the swager frame 10 at the pipe clamping station 22.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the swaging cylinder 26 of swaging fluid motor 24 has an advance port 76 at one end thereof and a retract port 78 at its opposite end; and, similarly, the collet holding cylinder 58 of collet holding fluid motor 56 has advance and retract ports 80 and 82, respectively, at opposite ends thereof. A control system for the swaging and collet holding fluid motors includes valve means 84 receiving fluid from a source at an inlet 86 and exhausting fluid to the atmosphere when air is used or to a reservoir when a closed system is utilized, such as a hydraulic system, through an outlet 88. Valve means 84 is operative in a first state to supply fluid pressure from the source through inlet 86 to a port 90 and to connect conduit 88 with a port 92 such that fluid pressure is supplied through conduits 94 and 96 to retract ports 78 and 82, respectively, of the swaging and collet holding cylinders while movement of pistons within the swaging and collet holding cylinders is permitted by fluid flow through conduits 98 and 100 from the advance ports 76 and 80, respectively, from the swaging and collet holding cylinders to port 92 and through the valve 84 to conduit 88. In a second state, valve 84 supplies fluid pressure from port 92 through conduits 98 and 100 to the advance ports 76 and 80, respectively, of the swaging and collet holding cylinders and connects port 90 with conduit 88 to permit exhausting of the fluid within the cylinders.
In operation, valve 84 is normally in its first state such that the swaging apparatus is in the rest position illustrated in FIG. 3 with swaging piston rod 28 and collet holding piston rod 60 retracted. With the swaging apparatus in the rest position, a suitable swage die 32 is threaded on the end 30 of piston rod 28, and a pipe P to be swaged is positioned in swager frame 10 with the end to be swaged positioned at the swaging area 18. The set of collets 44 are disposed around the pipe P and are received in the arcuate recess 42 in the bottom collet holder plate 40. An operator then actuates valve 84 to place it in its second state thereby simultaneously operating swaging fluid motor 24 and collet holding fluid motor 56 to move piston rod 28 axially toward the end of the pipe P to be swaged and to axially move piston rod 60 such that the top collet holder plate 64 is moved toward the bottom collet holder plate 40. The top and bottom collet holder plates are aligned such that the arcuate recess 65 of the top collet holder plate 64 receives the set of collet 44 to clamp the collets together and grip the pipe P. In this manner, the pipe P is held stationary during the swaging operation accomplished by movement of the swage die 32 into the end of pipe P; and, once the swaging operation is completed, the valve 84 is returned to its first state to retract piston rods 28 and 60 to their rest positions. With the simultaneous retracting movement of the swage die 32 and the top collet holder plate 62, the pipe P will be free to move along with the swage die 32, and the pipe is peeled from the swage die by peeling plate 36.
Any desirable swage die 32 may be secured to the end 30 of piston rod 28 having a configuration to provide a desired swaged end on a pipe. When various configuration of swage dies are utilized, the peeling plate 36 may be changed to provide an apropriate size aperture 38 to permit advance and retracting movement of the swage die. The top collet holder plate can be changed if desired by inserting allan wrenches through holes 70 and 72 to engage allan screws 66 and 68 to loosen the same, and a new top collet holder plate can be attached to the mounting block 62 by the allan screws. However, if it is desired to have the top collet holder plate 64 permanently attached, the top collet holder plate may be directly secured to piston rod 60 of the collet holding fluid motor. The control system for the swaging and collet holding fluid motors is desirably a hydraulic system and the collet holding fluid motor 56 may have hoses with T-fitting at the ends thereof communication with the advance and retract ports 80 and 82. The use of a hydraulic control system permits the automatic collet holding apparatus to be integrally connected with the control system for conventional pipe benders and swagers. The support frame 46 for the automatic collet holding apparatus must be very sturdy and is desirably, integrally constructed of cast iron.
Inasmuch as the present invention is subject to many variations, modifications and changes in detail, it is intended that all matter described above or shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.