Title:
Wire coil drum
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drum having: a cylindrical body with an inner surface, and upper and lower ends; a circular drum bottom secured across the lower end or the drum; a cylindrical core with an inner and outer surface and upper and lower ends, the lower end of the core securely attached to the drum bottom to define an annular wire coil receiving space between the core and drum body; and a securing mechanism having anchors integrally formed with the core for generating and applying a downwardly-biasing force to the drum-received wire coil.



Inventors:
Zymon, Mariusz (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/903357
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/30/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/160.1
International Classes:
B65D85/66; B65H18/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GEHMAN, BRYON P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATZIK, FRANK & SAMOTNY LTD. (200 SOUTH WACKER DRIVE SUITE 2700, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A drum assembly for transporting a drum-received wire coil, the drum assembly comprising: a) a drum comprising a cylindrical drum body having an inner surface, a lower and upper end, and a drum bottom affixed to the body across the lower end; b) an inner core comprising a core wall having an inner and outer surface, an upper end, and a lower end mounted to the drum bottom; c) a wire coil receiving space defined by the inner surface of the drum body, the outer surface of the inner core and the drum bottom; and d) a wire coil securing assembly comprising a first anchor integrally formed with the inner core and a biasing assembly removably attached to the anchor.

2. The drum assembly of claim 1 wherein the biasing assembly comprises a first and second slot disposed on opposite sides of the inner core, a rod configured to insert through and travel in the first and second slot, and a biasing member having a first end removably attached to the first anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod.

3. The drum assembly of claim 2 wherein the biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

4. The drum assembly of claim 2 wherein the biasing member comprises a ribbon composed of an elastomeric material.

5. The drum assembly of claim 1 further comprising a second anchor integrally formed with the inner core on the opposite side of the inner core from the first anchor.

6. The drum assembly of claim 5 wherein the biasing assembly comprises a first and second slot disposed on opposite sides of the inner core, a rod configured to insert through and travel in the first and second slots, and a biasing member having a first end removably attached to the first anchor, a second end removably attached to the second anchor, and middle segment removably attached to the rod, the biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod.

7. The drum assembly of claim 6 wherein the biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

8. The drum assembly of claim 5 wherein the biasing assembly comprises a first and second slot disposed on opposite side of the inner core, a rod configured to insert through and travel within the first and second slots, a first biasing member having a first end removably attached to the first anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod, the first biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod, and a second biasing member having a first end removably attached to the second anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod, the second biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod.

9. The drum assembly of claim 8 wherein the first biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

10. The drum assembly of claim 8 wherein the second biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

11. A drum assembly for transporting a drum-received wire coil, the drum assembly comprising: a) a drum comprising a cylindrical drum body having an inner surface, a lower and upper end, and a drum bottom affixed to the body across the lower end; b) an inner core comprising a core wall having an inner and outer surface, an upper end, and a lower end mounted to the drum bottom; c) a wire coil receiving space defined by the inner surface of the drum body, the outer surface of the inner core and the drum bottom; and d) a wire coil securing assembly comprising a first and second anchor integrally formed with and disposed on opposite sides of the inner core, and a biasing assembly removably attached to the anchor.

12. The drum assembly of claim 11 wherein the biasing assembly comprises a first and second slot disposed on opposite sides of the inner core, a rod configured to insert through and travel in the first and second slots, and a biasing member having a first end removably attached to the first anchor, a second end removably attached to the second anchor, and a middle segment removably attached to the rod; the biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod.

13. The drum assembly of claim 12 wherein the biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

14. The drum assembly of claim 12 wherein the biasing assembly comprises a first and second slot disposed on opposite sides of the inner core, a rod configured to insert through and travel within the first and second slots, a first biasing member having a first end removably attached to the first anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod, the first biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod, and a second biasing member having a first end removably attached to the second anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod, the second biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod.

15. The drum assembly of claim 14 wherein the first biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

16. The drum assembly of claim 14 wherein the second biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

17. A drum assembly for transporting a drum-received wire coil, the drum assembly comprising: a) a drum comprising a cylindrical drum body having an inner surface, a lower and upper end, and a drum bottom affixed to the body across the lower end; b) an inner core comprising a core wall having an inner and outer surface, an upper end, and a lower end mounted to the drum bottom; c) a wire coil receiving space defined by the inner surface of the drum body, the outer surface of the inner core and the drum bottom; and d) a wire coil securing assembly comprising a first and second anchor integrally formed with and disposed on opposite sides of the inner core and a biasing assembly removably attached to the anchor, the biasing assembly comprising a first and second slot disposed on opposite sides of the inner core, a rod configured to insert through and travel in the first and second slots, and a biasing member having a first end removably attached to the first anchor, a second end removably attached to the second anchor, and a middle segment removably attached to the rod; the biasing member configured to apply a downward force on the rod..

18. The drum assembly of claim 17 wherein the biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a drum assembly with an inner core on which a wire coil is loosely wound, and a mechanism for applying a downward force to the drum-received wire coil.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A preferred manner of packaging wire uses a paperboard cylindrical drum with a paperboard bottom heading. Inclusion of an inner core attached to the bottom of the drum and extending into the interior of the drums defines an annular space for receiving a loosely-wound wire coil. The raw-material and assembly cost of this arrangement is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, the use of paperboard materials reduces the shipping weight of the drum as well as easing the handling of the drum.

In filling the drum, wire is continuously drawn from a processing machine and is loosely fed into the drum and around the inner core as the drum is rotated. After the desired amount of wire is deposited into the drum, the drum is normally closed-off with a top heading or lid. Wire packaged in this manner is paid-off from the coil at the point of use. A wide variety of wire, including welding wire, coaxial cable, and electrical wiring, may be packaged and dispensed using this type of drum assembly.

However, certain problems arise during transport of the drum described above and containing a loosely wound wire coil. The loosely-wound wire coil will shift and settle during transport often times becoming tangled, preventing easy pay-off from the inner core at the point of use. Additionally, the shifting of the coil may cause damage to the lightweight materials used to compose the drum and inner core.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A drum assembly for transporting a drum-received wire coil comprises: a drum comprising a cylindrical drum body having an inner surface, a lower and upper end, and a drum bottom affixed to the body across the lower end; an inner core comprising a core wall having an inner and outer surface, an upper end, and a lower end mounted to the drum bottom; a wire coil receiving space defined by the inner surface of the drum body, the outer surface of the inner core and the drum bottom; and a wire coil securing assembly comprising an anchor integrally formed with the inner core and a biasing assembly removably attached to the anchor.

The biasing assembly comprises a first and second slot disposed on opposite sides of the inner core. A rod is configured to insert through and travel within the first and second slots. A biasing member has a first end removably attached to the anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod. In one embodiment of the present invention, the biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the biasing assembly comprises a second anchor integrally formed with the inner core on the opposite side of the inner core from the first anchor. A first and second slot are disposed on opposite sides of the inner core above the first and second anchors, respectively. A is rod configured to insert through and travel within the first and second slots. A biasing member has a first end removably attached to the first anchor, a second end removably attached to the second anchor and a middle segment removably attached to the rod, where the attachment of the biasing member to the rod causes a downward force to be supplied to the rod. In one embodiment of the present invention, the biasing member comprises a band composed of an elastomeric material.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the biasing assembly comprises first and second anchors integrally formed with and disposed on opposite sides of the inner core and first and second slots disposed on opposite sides of the inner core and above the first and second anchors, respectively. A rod is configured to insert through and travel within the first and second slots. A first biasing member has a first end removably attached to the first anchor and a second end removably attached to the rod. A second biasing member has a first end removably attached to the second anchor and second end removably attached to the rod. The first and second biasing members apply a downward force to the rod.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a cut-away elevation view of a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a cut-away view of the inner core of a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a second cut-away view of the inner core of a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows a cut-away view of the inner core of a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows a cut-away elevation view of a third preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 shows a cut-away elevation view of a third preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 shows an exploded view of a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a drum 10 for receiving a loosely wound wire coil in accordance with the present invention. The wire, such as a coil of welding wire or coaxial cable, is wound and deposited in the drum 10 for transportation to the end user's site. The drum 10 comprises a cylindrical body 12 having a lower end 14 and an inner surface 16. The drum body 12 is composed from an appropriate pasteboard material, such as kraft paper. The lower end 14 of the drum is closed by a cylindrical drum bottom 18, composed of a similar pasteboard construction, and edge-mounted to the lower portion of the drum body 12 in a conventional manner, such as by crimping.

A drum according to the present invention further comprises an inner core 20 having upper and lower ends 22, 24 and inner and outer surfaces 26, 28. The inner surface 16 of the drum body, the outer surface 28 of the inner core and the drum bottom 18 define an annular receiving space 30 for receiving a loosely wound wire coil.

A disc 32 with an outer circumference dimensioned to fit snuggly into the drum 10 is affixed to the drum bottom 18 by suitable means, preferably an adhesive. The circumference of the central aperture 34 of the disc 32 is dimensioned to receive the lower end 24 of the inner core 20, and provides a guide for mounting the inner core 20 to the drum bottom 18. Preferably, the inner core 20 is bonded to the drum bottom 18 by, first, applying a layer of adhesive to the bottom edge of the lower end 24, and then setting the inner core 20 into position on the drum bottom 18. The upper end 22 of the inner core, when assembled in the drum body 12, is below the top of the drum to enable an appropriate closure means to be affixed to the top of the drum.

FIGS. 1-3 show a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The inner core 20 includes a securing assembly 36 to apply a constant, downward force to a drum-received wire coil (not shown). The securing assembly 36 comprises a first and second anchor 38, 40 integrally formed into opposite sides of the inner core wall 20, a first and second elongated slot 42, 44 formed into the inner core wall 20, and a rod 46 that extends across the receiving space 30, travels in the slots 42, 44. The rod 46 is biased towards the bottom of the drum by a biasing member 48 that is removably attached to the first and second anchors 38, 40. When the rod 46 overlies the drum-received wire coil, the downward biasing effect of the biasing member 48 is transferred to the wire coil to hold it in place.

Each anchor 38, 40 comprises a U-shaped aperture with a wider base segment 50 and a first and second narrow branch portions 52, 54 extending from opposite sides of the base segment 50 towards the top of the drum, thereby defining a tongue segment 56. The anchors 38, 40 are positioned on the inner core wall at approximately the mid-height of the inner core 20 for easy assembly and disassembly of the securing mechanism and drum. Each elongated slots 42, 44 is in substantially vertical alignment with the corresponding anchor 38, 40. In this embodiment of the invention, the biasing member 48 comprises an elastomeric band 58 having a first and second end 60, 62, and a midpoint 64.

In operation, the ends of the band 60, 62 wrap around the tongue portions 56, 56 of the anchors 38, 40 enabling the band 58 to span the inner diameter of the inner core 20. Preferably, the anchored band 58 is sized to tightly fit onto the anchors 38, 40 and span the inner diameter of the core 20, while not approaching its maximum state of elastic deformation before failure.

The anchored band 58 is stretched upwards toward the top of the inner core by pulling upwards at the midpoint 64. The band 58 stretches upwards until it clears the top of the drum-received wire coil. The rod 46 inserts through the first slot 42, underneath the upwardly-stretched band 58, and through the second slot 44. Releasing the band 58 causes the band to contract, pulling the rod 46 downward. The constant downward force prevents the loosely wound wire coil from settling and bird nesting during transport.

The securing assembly may also include a compression disc 66 that seats between the rod 46 and top of the drum-received wire coil. In this arrangement, the downward biasing force exerted by the biasing member 48 is evenly distributed across the top of the drum-received wire coil.

A second preferred embodiment, shown in FIG. 4, comprises a first and second anchor 38, 40 as previously described. The biasing member 48 comprises a first and second elastomeric band 58, 59, each band having a first and second end. The first end of each band 58, 59 wraps around the tongue portions 56, 56 of the first and second anchors 38, 40. Both bands 58, 59 are stretched upwards to receive the diametrically extending rod 46. This drum and securing mechanism described in this embodiment offers added security in the event that one of the two elastomeric bands breaks during transport of the drum, the remaining band still applies the downward, biasing force on the drum-received wire coil.

In this embodiment the distance between the top of the first and second anchors 38, 40 and the bottom of the elongated slots 42, 44 must be greater than the length of the bands 58, 59 when the bands are pulled towards the top of the drum, but are not in a stretched, elastically deformed state. If the pulled, but not stretched, band is positioned above the bottom of the elongated slots 42, 44, the bands 58, 59 can become slacked and disengage their respective anchors 38, 40 during operation. This would enable the drum-received wire coil to freely move within the receiving space 30 and become birds nested and tangled.

FIGS. 5-7 show another preferred embodiment of the present invention. The drum and inner core structure are the same as was described in the first preferred embodiment. Accordingly, common element numbering is utilized whenever possible.

In this embodiment, the anchors 38, 40 each comprise a pair of inwardly-orientated, teardrop-shaped apertures 68, 70, 72, 74 and a first and second vertical post 76, 78 separating the apertures. Referring to the first anchor 38 in FIGS. 5 and 7, each aperture 68, 70 includes a first straight edge 80, 82 that runs parallel to the central axis (not shown) of the inner core 20.

The biasing mechanism 48 comprises a first and second elastomeric band 58, 59 each having a first and second end 84, 86. The band 58 removably attaches to the first anchor 38 by inserting the first end 84 through the aperture 68 outwardly from the interior of the inner core 20. Next, the first end 84 wraps over the vertical post 76 and through the aperture 70 back into the interior of the inner core 20. The first end 84 inserts through the second end 86 and is pulled taught to remove any slack.

The same procedure is utilized to attach a second biasing member 59 to the second anchor 40. It is preferred that the biasing members 58, 59 comprise elastomeric bands, such as rubber bands. However, any other suitable elastomeric material formed into a band can be used.

The apertures 68, 70, 72, 74 are bored into the inner core wall 20 at approximately the midheight of the inner core 20. This enables easy assembly of the securing mechanism 34 and easy disassembly of the securing mechanism 34 and drum 10 for recycling after the wire coil is entirely paid out from the drum 10.

The elongated slots 42, 44 are disposed on opposite sides of the inner core 20 and are positioned in substantially vertical alignment with a corresponding pair of apertures 68, 70, 72, 74. The elongated slots are at an appropriate width to enable passage of the rod 46 through the inner core wall 20 and into the wire coil receiving space 30. The rod 46 also inserts through the first ends of the biasing members 58, 59. In this arrangement, the biasing members 58, 59, when tensioned, apply a downward biasing force on the rod 46. The user of the drum 10 may also wish to insert a compression disc 66 between the top of the drum-received wire coil and the rod 46 to enable an even distribution of the downward force to the wire coil.

Referring back to FIG. 5 and 6, the distance between the bottom of the elongated slot 42 and the straight edges 84, 86 of the apertures 68, 70 is slightly longer than the length of the biasing member after it is attached to the anchor 38 and pulled taught but not stretched from its resting, non-tensioned state. This arrangement enables the rod 46 to travel the full length of slot 42 under the influence of the downward biasing force exhibited by the biasing member. The positioning of the second elongated slot 45 and the apertures 72, 74 follows the same convention.

In an alternative embodiment, the biasing members are comprised of elastomeric ribbons or strips (not shown) having first and second ends. The elastomeric ribbon is attached to the inner core by tying the first end around the appropriate anchor or attaching the first end to the inner core with another suitable means, such as an adhesive or staple. The second end of the elastomeric ribbon is formed into a loop or attached to a hook for receiving the rod and to enable the elastomeric ribbon to exert a downward force on the rod.

In operation, first the biasing members are removably attached to an anchor 38, 40. After the loosely-wound wire coil is inserted into the drum 10, the compression disc 66 is placed on top of the coil. Next, the biasing members 58, 59 are pulled towards the top of the drum 10 and the rod 46 inserts through the second ends of the biasing members 58, 59. The ends of the rod 46 extend through the inner core 20 walls and overlie the compression disc 66. Finally, the biasing members 58, 59 apply a downward force on the compression disc 66.

In all the preferred embodiments described herein, after the wire coil is secured in the drum by the securing assembly, the drum is sealed with an appropriate top heading (not shown).

It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention, but it is understood that this application is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.