Title:
Cable guide for cable insulation stripping machines
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to an insulation stripping device comprising an essentially tubular cable guide whose inside diameter can be continuously adjusted thereby enabling it to be adapted to different cable diameters.



Inventors:
Burri, Martin (Thun, CH)
Application Number:
10/515410
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
05/22/2003
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
226/196.1
International Classes:
B26D3/00; H02G1/12; (IPC1-7): B65H57/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030160123Hydraulic reel adapted for attachment to a skid steerAugust, 2003Utecht et al.
20070018026Enclosure system for supporting a sink and hose reel assemblyJanuary, 2007Uffner et al.
20090121067METAL HOSE REEL WATER SYSTEMMay, 2009Arcati et al.
20050247817Paper towel dispenser with fixed frictional gripping barNovember, 2005Holden
20040084558Automatic winding device for strap fastenerMay, 2004Huang
20030132339Wire dispenserJuly, 2003Mccarthy
20090294569DOUBLE SPREAD-HEAD CAROUSEL WINDERDecember, 2009Baumhoff
20030230665Gift wrap cutting and holding systemDecember, 2003Small
20100096488WINDING FRAME WITH MONITORED SECONDARY TRAVELApril, 2010Naulet et al.
20100084906RETRACTOR WITH PRETENSIONER FOR AUXILIARY LOAD LIMITATIONApril, 2010Burrow et al.
20050218258Locking saddle for mandrelOctober, 2005Valerio



Primary Examiner:
DONDERO, WILLIAM E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIS & BUJOLD, P.L.L.C. (CONCORD, NH, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. A cable guide comprising: at least one longitudinal guide segment, a cable guide passage at least indirectly formed by the at least one longitudinal guide segment, and, a ring gear operationally connected to the at least one longitudinal guide segment so as to effect diameter adjustment of the cable guide passage.

18. The cable guide according to claim 17, further including a plurality of longitudinal guide segments together at least indirectly forming the guide passage.

19. The cable guide according to claim 17, further including a toothed segment on the at least one longitudinal guide segment, the toothed segment turning as a result of ring gear rotation.

20. An adjustable cable guide comprising: a spiral spring, and, an adjustable cable passage formed at the center of the spiral spring.

21. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 20, further including a pressure-applying mechanism adapted to exert force on the spiral spring to adjust the diameter of the cable passage.

22. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 21, wherein the pressure-applying mechanism adjusts the diameter of the cable passage at least approximately symmetrically relative to a longitudinal axis of the passage.

23. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 21, further including an electronic control system operationally controlling the pressure-applying mechanism.

24. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 20, wherein the spiral spring is at least in part formed of a plastic material.

25. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 20, further including a conically tapering infeed region formed in the passage.

26. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 20, wherein the spiral spring is adapted to respond to direct contact with a pressurized medium to controllably adjust the diameter of the passage.

27. An adjustable cable guide comprising: a broad spring, a loop formed by the broad spring, and, an adjustable cable passage delimited by the loop.

28. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 27, further including a force-applying mechanism adapted to exert force on the broad spring to adjust the diameter of the cable passage.

29. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 28, further including an electronic control system operationally controlling the force-applying mechanism.

30. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 28, wherein the force-applying mechanism adjusts the diameter of the cable passage at least approximately symmetrically relative to a longitudinal axis of the passage.

31. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 27, wherein the broad spring has a longitudinal body, and an end of the broad spring passes through the longitudinal body to form the loop.

32. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 27, further including a conically tapering infeed region formed in the passage.

33. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 27, wherein the broad spring is adapted to respond to direct contact with a pressurized medium to controllably adjust the diameter of the passage.

34. A cable guide comprising: at least one curved flexible guide plate, an adjustable-radius cable passage delimited by the at least one flexible guide plate, and at least one radially adjustable guide roller operably connected to the at least one curved flexible guide plate to effect adjustment of cable passage radius.

35. The cable guide of claim 34, further including a plurality of curved flexible guide plates.

36. The cable guide of claim 35, wherein the at least one radially adjustable guide roller adjusts diameter of the cable passage at least approximately symmetrically relative to a longitudinal axis of the passage.

37. An adjustable cable guide comprising: a plurality of generally arcuate, radially arranged flexible spring segments, and; an adjustable cable passage delimited by the radially arranged spring segments.

38. The adjustable cable guide of claim 37, further including at least one pressure-applying mechanism acting on the plurality of spring segments to adjust the diameter of the cable passage.

39. The adjustable cable guide of claim 38, wherein the at least one pressure-applying mechanism adjusts the diameter of the passage at least approximately symmetrically relative to a longitudinal axis of the passage.

40. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 38, further including an electronic control system operationally controlling the at least one pressure-applying mechanism.

41. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 37, further including a conically tapering infeed region formed in the passage.

42. An adjustable cable guide comprising: a plurality of elongated longitudinal guide segments, an adjustable diameter longitudinal cable passage delimited by the plural longitudinal guide segments, a first radially extending end surface for at least one guide segment, a second radially extending end surface for the at least one guide segment, bearing elements located on both the first radially extending end surface and the second radially extending end surface, and, an actuating assembly positioning the at least one guide segment so as to controllably adjust the diameter of the cable passage.

43. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 42, further including a guide segment body connected to the at least one guide segment, with the first and second radially extending end surfaces located at least in part on the guide segment body.

44. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 42, wherein the actuating assembly positions the at least one guide segment via at least one of the bearing elements.

45. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 42, further including respective first radially extending end surfaces for a plurality of the segments, respective second radially extending end surfaces for a plurality of the segments, and, respective bearing elements located on both the respective first radially extending end surfaces and the respective second radially extending end surfaces of a plurality of the segments, the actuating assembly operatively connected to at least some of the bearing elements to position a plurality of the guide segments.

46. The adjustable cable guide according to claim 42, further including an electronic control system operationally controlling the actuating assembly.

Description:

This application is a national stage completion of PCT/IB03/01954 filed May 22, 2003 which claims priority from Swiss Application Ser. No. 2002 0868/02 filed May 23, 2002.

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to a cable guide for cable insulation stripping machines.

Cable insulation stripping machines are frequently designed as continuously operating machines processing continuous cables and provide—before, after and between drive means and cable processing devices—guides for the cable to be processed. These guides are generally formed by tubes which have partly funnel-shaped infeed regions.

In many cases, these tubes are pivotable (longer guide tube in PS 9500 Powerstrip) or displaceable (shorter guide tubes in PS 9500 Powerstrip) or are fixed, so that cable sections can optionally be fed to a processing device or in a direction pointing away from the processing device, or that the guides are removable from their operating position, or that guides are always arranged in the same place.

Conventional cable guides are formed in each case for specific cable diameters and accordingly have to be changed manually.

However, this manual changing requires a relatively long time and some manual skill, so that it is an object of the invention to reduce the effort involved in manipulating the known cable guides.

The use of a revolver head having a plurality of tubes of different internal diameters fastened therein, which can be brought as required into their operating position by turning the revolver head, is proposed as an obvious solution to this problem. Such a solution is also provided in the PS 9500 Powerstrip of the Applicant before a first transport means.

Such a revolver head having cable guides has also become known in the case of insulation stripping machines MP 8015 of the Applicant. However, the cable guide used there is not employed for continuous cable processing but for an insulation stripping device by means of which in each case insulation can be stripped only from end regions of individual cable sections.

This previous solution has the following disadvantage compared with the original solution with changeable guide tubes: since the axis of rotation of the revolver has to be located outside the centre of the cable, the lateral construction size increases. During the rotation operation of the revolver, the cable has to be removed from the guide and at the same time no cable feed can take place. In the event that incorrect guide tubes are selected in error, the original solution as well as the revolver head solution is inconvenient in that the cable has to be completely unthreaded again before the guide can be changed. This is disadvantageous and time-consuming for the user.

Moreover, the known solutions can be used only in association with existing, stepped guide tube diameters, so that cable diameters which are between the steps of the individual guide tubes can be guided only with greater difficulty than cable diameters which exactly fit the step present.

The prior art also discloses further superstructures having adjustable guides:

U.S. Pat. No. 4,489,490 describes a manual device for cable slitting and insulation stripping, in which a prismatic support which centres the cable is provided. A back-stop which is adjustable in height and presses the cable against the prismatic support and thus centres it laterally in one direction is present opposite the prismatic support. In this design, concentric guidance is not possible since the cable lies at a greater or lesser depth in the prismatic support depending on the cable diameter.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,181,047 describes a cable insulation stripping device having a total of four guide rollers which are arranged in pairs one behind the other and, viewed in cross-section, form a rectangular guide channel (cf. FIG. 3), which, however, is open in each case on two sides and cannot therefore perform complete guidance and support of the cable on all sides.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,979,286 describes a two-sided guide in which two elongated guide bars can be displaced relative to one another by means of threaded spindles. This design, too, therefore does not permit guidance on all sides and also does not provide continuous centring of the cable since the centre of the cable is displaced upwards or downwards depending on the cable diameter.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,008 shows, in FIGS. 7 and 8, a guide which—controlled by means of a cone—permits the displacement of two jaws having guide surfaces (228 and 248). It is true that this permits closing of the jaws onto a small cable diameter; however, the centre of the cable is likewise displaced depending on the cable diameter. Moreover, this design, like that described directly above, lacks true concentric guidance since there are no symmetrical support surfaces for a cable.

SUMMARY

It is therefore an object of the invention to facilitate the manipulation with guides in association with a change of cable diameter. A second object, to be achieved simultaneously, is to permit continuous adaptation to different cable diameters.

It is intended thereby to eliminate the disadvantages which arise in the case of the original solution and in the case of the solution involving the revolver head.

The two objects are achieved by providing a system having at least one tube whose internal diameter can be changed by changing the tube geometry at least approximately symmetrically relative to the longitudinal axis of the tube.

Such a change of geometries can be effected, for example, by a segment-like design whose segments can be adjusted relative to one another so that the internal tube diameter changes continuously. It can also be effected if the tube wall is made flexible and can be stretched or compressed. Thus, the tube may be designed, for example, as a spring which is spiral in cross-section and can be adjusted in its internal diameter by the action of a force from outside.

A specific embodiment of the invention envisages that the segments are formed from elongated, rigid plates which are guided relative to one another, similarly to an iris diaphragm in a camera or similarly to the centring jaws in the rotary box of the Scheulinger model PS 9500 Powerstrip machine, or in models MP 8015 or JS 8300. The centring jaws of the rotary box and those of the JS 8300 are stationary, whereas the centring jaws of model MP 8015 rotate with the knives.

In contrast to these known centring means or clamping devices, elongated plates are several times longer than the maximum adjustable diameter of the guide tube.

Another specific embodiment uses an elongated spiral spring or a spiral spring body which is composed of spiral spring segments and can be operated with diameter variation so that the inner end or ends of the spiral spring or of the spiral spring segments rests or rest against the inner wall of the spiral spring or against the inner wall of an adjacent spiral spring segment, or slide along this during the adjustment. Suitable material for the spiral spring (segments) are conventional spring metals, for example spring steels, or plastics, in particular fibre-reinforced plastics.

Both specific embodiments described can also be combined with one another by connecting spiral spring segments to the rigid segment plates so that the segment plates provide a seal against one another.

The advantage of the segment plate solution is a robust, rigid design, while the advantage of the spiral spring or spiral spring segment construction entails less mechanical complexity.

A seal between tube segments sliding against one another may be advantageous for certain cable types (in particular for fine wires), in order to prevent jamming of such wires.

In a further development of the invention, the adjustment is effected by means of a motor—in particular with electronic actuation—so that an operator or a sensor-controlled controller sets the internal tube diameter required in each case. Embodiments in which the cable information—either detected by sensors or input by programming—automatically sets the correct diameter via the machine control are particularly advantageous.

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings, where:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a version of a universal guide in exploded view.

FIG. 1a further shows the universal guide of FIG. 1 in the assembled state.

FIG. 2 shows another version of the universal guide in exploded view.

FIG. 2a further shows the universal guide of FIG. 2 in the assembled state.

FIG. 3 shows yet another version of the universal guide in exploded view.

FIG. 3a further shows the universal guide of FIG. 3 in the assembled state.

FIG. 4 shows a short guide segment.

FIG. 5 shows a long guide segment.

FIG. 6 shows another version of the adjustable guide.

FIG. 7 shows a further version of the adjustable guide.

FIG. 8 illustrates another version of the adjustable guide.

FIG. 9 shows a further version of the adjustable guide.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another version of the adjustable guide.

FIG. 11 further shows the adjustable guide of FIG. 10 in an exploded view.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The description of the figures and the list of reference numerals form a unit which supplement one another through the other parts of the description and claims in the context of a complete disclosure.

Identical reference numerals denote identical components; reference numerals having identical numbers but different indices denote different components having the same function or tasks. The figures are described as a whole and in association with one another and are shown only by way of example and not necessarily in correct proportions.

Since they only represent embodiments, the description of the figures does not limit the invention.

The invention is described in more detail by way of example with reference to diagrams.

FIG. 1 shows the design of a universal guide in an exploded view, in which, starting from a cover 3, a multi-part guide segment body 4, which is held by a guide holder 1, is shown. It is evident here that opening or closing of guide segments 17 is effected by means of guide slots 18 in the cover 3 via the straight pins 12 and 13 acting as bearing elements as shown. The guide segments 17 are connected to the respective coordinated parts of the guide segment body 4, and are optionally formed integrally therewith. Per partial guide segment body 4, straight pins 12, 13 are likewise firmly connected to it. The parts of the guide segment body 4 provide mutual support or slide past one another during adjustment.

Socket-head cap screws 11 clamp the cover 3 to the guide holder 1 and a scale-bearing cover 5 which is connected to a casing 19. The casing 19 and/or the cover 3 or the guide segments 17 can be provided at their end, for example, with a funnel-shaped conical infeed region.

A cam plate 2 on which the scale-bearing cover 5 is held by means of a nut, for example a knurled nut 7, so as to be axially displaceable rests on a sliding bearing 6 on the guide holder 1. The scale-bearing cover 5 has the task of making it possible for a user to set a chosen tube diameter setting. Spring-loaded thrust pieces 8 which are secured by hexagon nuts 14 lock the scale-bearing cover 5 relative to the cam plate 2.

FIG. 1a shows the universal guide according to the invention, as shown in FIG. 1, in the assembled state.

FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of a universal guide which is distinguished by particularly short guide segments 17a. Depending on requirements, it is fixed rigidly in position or is mounted before and after the knife head (in PS 9500 Powerstrip) so as to be vertically displaceable, analogously to the known vertically displaceable guides, which is not shown. However, it has no casing 19, as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2a shows the embodiment according to FIG. 2 in the assembled state.

FIG. 3 shows a variant of FIG. 1 in which the guide segments 17b are designed to be particularly long and in which the entire guide head is pivotably held by a deflecting means 16 which acts as a support. The deflecting means 16 is controlled, as known per se (i.e. pipe in PS Powerstrip 9500), by a suitable mechanism or by, for example, a motor, pneumatic or electromagnetic drive and is driven in such a way that the longitudinal axis of the universal guide is present on the one hand in the cable axis and is oblique thereto in the swivelled-out state. The deflecting means is connected by means of metal retaining plates 20 and socket-head cap screws 15 to an extended retaining part 21 of the scale-bearing cover 5.

FIG. 3a showed the design according to FIG. 3 in the assembled state.

FIG. 4 shows a short guide segment 17a in detail with its guide segment body 4a and

FIG. 5 shows a long guide segment 17b in combination with its guide segment body 4b.

The length of the segments 17 may be a multiple of the adjustable cable diameter.

The actuation of the guide segments 17, 17a and 17b is effected similarly to the actuation of those of the clamping or centring jaws of the Applicant's machines mentioned in the introductory part of the description and is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,010,797. Details of the actuation, such as, for example, the drives, spring return travel, etc., and variants thereof can be derived or adopted without problems from the prior art by a person skilled in the art. The content of U.S. Pat. No. 5,010,797 is hereby incorporated by reference in the present Application text. The pins 12, 13 mentioned in the figures can therefore also be replaced, for example, by lever arms (31 and 32) from FIG. 13 of the U.S. Pat. No. 5,010,797. Solutions which make use of, for example, pins (11) and grooves (14) according to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 of U.S. Pat. No. 5,010,797 are also within the scope of the invention.

A version of the invention which is based on another principle is shown in FIG. 6, in which spring-loaded segments 22 engage one another in such a way that they enclose a variable tube space and can be caused to perform a diameter reduction by pressure from outside (arrow A), but the segments expand again to a larger diameter on reduction of the pressure. The pressure can be applied by rods, spindles or eccentric cams known per se, which are not shown here in detail. The spiral spring segments 22 may be connected to rigid segment plates 17 and thus seal the segment plates 17 against one another.

A further somewhat different principle is evident from FIG. 7, in which a single elongated spiral spring 23 is used as a guide tube. This spring 23 is designed so that it tends to open to the largest internal diameter. When pressure is applied from outside (arrow B), the internal diameter decreases by virtue of the fact that the inner end of the spiral spring 23 is displaced or rolled in along the spring wall in the closing direction. Thus, the spiral spring 23 may have its internal diameter adjusted by the action of an outside force. In these versions, the spiral spring segments 22 or the elongated spiral spring 23 can be operated in such a way that the inner end or ends of the spring 23 or the segments 22 rests against the inner wall of the spiral spring 23 or rest against the inner wall of an adjacent spiral spring segment 22 or slides along said wall on adjustment. The spiral spring segments 22 or the spiral spring 23 may be composed of conventional spring steels or of plastic, particularly fibre-reinforced plastic.

A further version is shown schematically in FIG. 8, in which a broad spring 24 serves as a guide tube and is based on the principle of a loop. One end of the spring 25 passes through the other spring end 26, through a slit so as to intermesh, the two ends being formed in a comb-like manner. The diameter of the guide can thus be adjusted over wide ranges by a tensile force (arrow C) at the two spring ends 25, 26. If it is intended for the centre of the guide always to remain in the same position, the tensile force at both spring ends 25 and 26 must be applied symmetrically and a diameter reduction must additionally be compensated by a lateral displacement of the entire structure (transverse arrow D). Thus, as described in the foregoing paragraphs, in several versions of the invention the tube wall is designed to be flexible and may be stretched or compressed.

After a study of these exemplary data, various specific possible implementations will automatically occur to a person skilled in the art so that these details will not be explained in more detail here.

FIG. 9 shows a further version of a radially adjustable cable guide. This has three guide rollers 28 radially adjustable in the direction of the arrows “E” and guide plates 29 connected to said rollers. The guide plates 29 preferably consist of elastic spring steel and are connected to the guide rollers, for example, by welding or riveting. The radius of curvature R of the guide plates 29 corresponds approximately to half the diameter d of the smallest cable 27 to be held. In the case of larger cable diameters, the guide plates 29 can thus adapt in terms of the radius R to the external diameter of the cable. The free ends of the guide plates 29 are rolled up or bent over in order to avoid damage to the surface of the cable by sharp edges.

The perspective FIG. 10 and FIG. 11 shown as an exploded diagram show a further possibility for an adjustable cable guide. There, guide segments 34 are in each case mounted at both ends by means of journals 35. A toothed segment 33 having teeth is mounted on each of these guide segments. The teeth of the toothed segment 33 engage from the inside a toothed ring 31 which is rotatably mounted in a housing 30. A pin 38 which is movable in a recess 36 in the housing 30 is fixed radially on the outside of the toothed ring 31. Two coaxial adjusting screws 39 are arranged in such a way that they pass through the housing 30, their free ends coming to a stop loosely on one side each of the pin 38. If the adjusting screws 39 are displaced axially in diametrically opposite directions, the toothed ring 31 is rotated by means of the pin 38. This in turn drives the displaceably mounted guide segments 34 by means of the toothed segments 33. Thus, the adjustment of displaceably mounted guide segments 34 may be effected by rotation of toothed ring 31 via teeth engaging therein, or toothed segments 33 of the guide segments 34. The size of the recess 36 in the housing 30 determines the maximum angle of rotation and hence the smallest and largest possible diameter of the cable guide. Securing screws 40 serve for fixing the adjusting screws 39. All the guide segments 34 are arranged in a casing 37. A cover 32 which closes the housing 30 is fixed by means of hexagon socket head screws 41.

Advantageously, a funnel-shaped, preferably conically tapering infeed region (19a) may be located upstream of the adjustable guide region in the several versions of the invention.

In all versions of the invention, adjustment may be effected by a motor—in particular electronically—so that an operator or a sensor—controlled controller sets the respective required internal tube diameter. Thus, a control may be provided, with the aid of which the cable information—either detected by sensors or input be programming—automatically sets the correct diameter. In the versions of the invention, the adjustment of the segments and/or of the elastic tube wall segments or tube wall elements may be effected by hydraulic or pneumatic actuators or by means of contact with a pressure medium.

The following list of reference numerals is part of the description. The assemblies, devices and details mentioned in the Patent Claims are considered also to have been disclosed in the description. The spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.

LIST OF REFERENCE SYMBOLS

  • 1—Guide holder
  • 2—Cam plate
  • 3—Cover
  • 4a, b—Guide segment body
  • 5—Scale-bearing cover
  • 6—Sliding bearing
  • 7—Knurled nut
  • 8—Spring-loaded thrust piece
  • 9—Threaded pin
  • 10—Socket-head cap screw
  • 11—Socket-head cap screw
  • 12—Straight pin
  • 13—Straight pin
  • 14—Hexagon nut
  • 15—Socket-head cap screw
  • 16—Deflecting means
  • 17, a, b—Guide segment
  • 18—Guide slot
  • 19—Casing
  • 20—Metal retaining plate
  • 21—Retaining part
  • 22—Spring-loaded segments
  • 23—Spiral spring
  • 24—Broad spring
  • 25—One spring end
  • 26—Other spring end
  • 27—Cable
  • 28—Adjustable guide roller
  • 29—Guide plate
  • 30—Housing
  • 31—Toothed ring
  • 32—Cover
  • 33—Toothed segment
  • 34—Guide segment
  • 35—Journal
  • 36—Recess
  • 37—Casing
  • 38—Pin
  • 39—Adjusting screw
  • 40—Securing screw
  • 41—Hexagon socket head screw