Title:
Automatic screw feeder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An automatic screw feeder serves to automatically align a plurality screws laying in disarray and feed the aligned screws one by one to a power screwdriver so as to avoid screw clogging.



Inventors:
Lin, Allen (Taichung City, TW)
Application Number:
12/221359
Publication Date:
02/04/2010
Filing Date:
08/01/2008
Assignee:
Lins Air Tools Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RANDALL, JR., KELVIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLES E. BAXLEY, ESQUIRE (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An automatic screw feeder, comprising: a feeding device, having an immovable seat and sliding block, wherein the immovable seat consistently stands at a predetermined position while the sliding block is able to linearly reciprocate with respect to the immovable seat; and a distribution board, configured to be perpendicular to the feeding device and is able to linearly reciprocate with respect to the sliding block between a receiving position and a feeding position, said distribution board having one lateral formed with a receiving recess, wherein when the distribution board is at the receiving position, the receiving recess receives one screw and when the distribution board is at the feeding position, the screw at the receiving recess is pushed by the sliding block and falls into a feeding pipe.

2. The automatic screw feeder of claim 1, wherein the immovable seat and the sliding block jointly define a blowing vent at between and the feeding pipe connected with the immovable seat has an upper opening communicated with the blowing vent, so that when a blowing unit gives a high-pressure air to the blowing vent, the screw falling into the feeding pipe is pushed to advance along the feeding pipe and delivered to a power screwdriver.

3. The automatic screw feeder of claim 1, wherein the sliding block is driven by an extendable shaft of a feeding cylinder to linearly reciprocate.

4. The automatic screw feeder of claim 1, wherein the distribution board is driven by an extendable shaft of a distribution cylinder to linearly reciprocate.

5. The automatic screw feeder of claim 1, further comprising a rail that allows a plurality of screws aligned therein, wherein a screw body of each said screw is received in a groove of the rail while a screw head of each said screw is propped by a top surface of the rail.

6. The automatic screw feeder of claim 5, wherein a depressor is set along the top surface of the rail and separated from the top surface of the rail by a predetermined distance so that the depressor contacts tops of the screws in the rail to level the screws.

7. The automatic screw feeder of claim 5, wherein two ends of the rail are defined as an inlet end and an outlet end, respectively, said rail tilting with the inlet end standing higher than the outlet end that contacts the lateral of the distribution board where the receiving recess is formed.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present relates to automatons and, more particularly, to an automatic screw feeder which serves to automatically align a plurality of screws and feed the aligned screws one by one to a power screwdriver.

2. Description of Related Art

Power-driven screwdrivers or pneumatic screwdrivers are tools facilitating rapidly screwing screws one the strength of electric power or pneumatic power. For the convenience of illustration, power-driven screwdrivers or pneumatic screwdrivers are hereinafter referred to as power screwdrivers. In one conventional application of the screwdriver, a user may manually hold and position a screw at a preset location and operate a power screwdriver to screw the screw tight. Such manual delivery of screws however retards the overall operation and nullifies the advantageous efficiency of the power screwdriver. Therefore, a screw feeder has been developed to align plural screws with heads of the screws upward and deliver the aligned screws to a feeding pipe for a power screwdriver to use. However, the conventional screw feeder tends to suffer from screw clogging and is not adaptive to screws smaller than a certain extent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One primary objective of the present invention is to provide an automatic screw feeder that serves to automatically align a plurality of screws laying in disarray and automatically deliver said screws one by one to a power screwdriver so as to prevent the feeder from screw clogging. Besides, since the screws are delivered one by one to the screwdriver, it is possible to count the amount of the screws used in one process by providing a counter to the automatic screw feeder.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide an automatic screw feeder that is adaptive to screws of various dimensions, and is especially advantageous to fit very small screws.

To achieve the aforesaid objectives, the automatic screw feeder of the present invention primarily comprises a feeding device, a distribution board and a rail. The feeding device has a sliding block that is able to linearly reciprocate. The distributing board is able to linearly reciprocate between a screw receiving position and a screw delivering position. The distributing board receives one screw at the screw receiving position, and then moves to the screw delivering position to make the sliding block abut against an immovable seat so that the screw is pushed into a blowing vent formed between the sliding block and the immovable seat by the sliding block and in turn falls into a feeding pipe. Then, when a high-pressure air is introduced into the feeding pipe, the screw is pushed to advance along the feeding pipe and delivered to a power screwdriver.

Thereupon, the present invention enables delivering the screws one by one to the screwdriver with a predetermined time interval. Besides, it is possible in the present invention to use the rail and distribution board 30 of dimensions fitting specifications of the desired screws.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an automatic screw feeder of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention, wherein a distribution board is moved to receive a screw;

FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention, wherein the distribution board returns and the screw received thereby is delivered to a feeding device;

FIG. 4 is another perspective view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention, wherein a sliding block pushes the screw at the feeding device into a feeding pipe;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is another top view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention, wherein the distribution board is moved to receive a screw;

FIG. 7 is another top view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention, wherein the distribution board returns and the screw received thereby is delivered to the feeding device; and

FIG. 8 is another top view of the automatic screw feeder of the present invention, wherein the sliding block pushes the screw at the feeding device into the feeding pipe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While a preferred embodiment is provided herein for illustrating the concept of the present invention as described above, it is to be understood that the components in these drawings are made for better explanation and need not to be made in scale.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, an automatic screw feeder of the present invention comprises a feeding device 10, a feeding pipe 20, a distribution board 30, and a rail 40.

The feeding device 10 includes an immovable seat 11 and a sliding block 12. The immovable seat 11 consistently stands at a predetermined position while the sliding block 12 is able to linearly reciprocate with respect to the immovable seat 11 along a direction described by Arrow A in the drawings so as to approach or leave the immovable seat 11. The immovable seat 11 and the sliding block 12 jointly define a blowing vent 13 at contacting surfaces therebetween. In the present embodiment, the sliding block 12 is driven by an extendable shaft 51 of a feeding cylinder 50 to perform a linear reciprocation.

The feeding pipe 20 is connected to the immovable seat 11 and has an upper opening communicated with the blowing vent 13.

The distribution board 30 is configured to be perpendicular to the feeding device 10 and is capable to perform a linear reciprocation with respect to the sliding block 12 between a receiving position and a feeding position, as indicated by Arrow B. The distribution board 30 has one lateral 31 formed with a receiving recess 32 (shown in FIGS. 2 and 6), whose upped end and lower end open to a top and a bottom of the distribution board 30, respectively. When the distribution board 30 is at its receiving position, the receiving recess 32 receives one screw 33 and when the distribution board 30 is at its feeding position, the screw at the recess 32 falls into the feeding pipe 20. The screw 33 is a known one having an expanded screw head and a screw body. The screw body of the screw 33 is received in the receiving recess 32 while the expanded screw head of the screw 33 is propped by the top of the distribution board 30 surrounding the receiving recess 32. In the present embodiment, a distribution cylinder 60 has its extendable shaft 61 driving a driven board 62 so as to move the distribution board 30 fastened to the driven board 62.

The rail 40 allows a plurality of screws 33 aligned therein in the manner that the screw bodies of the screws 33 are received in a groove 41 of the rail 40 while the screw heads of the screws 33 are propped by a top of the rail 40. A depressor 42 is set along the top of the rail 40 and separated from the top of the rail 40 by a predetermined distance so that the depressor 42 contacts tops of the screws 33 in the rail 40 to level the screws. Two ends of the rail 40 are defined as an inlet end 43 and an outlet end 44, respectively, while the rail 40 tilts with the inlet end 43 standing higher than the outlet end 44 that contacts the lateral 31 of the distribution board 30 where the receiving recess 32 is formed.

As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 6, when the distribution board 30 leaves the feeding device 10 along a direction indicated by Arrow B1 to a preset position, the headmost screw 33 at the outlet end 44 of the rail 40 slides into the receiving recess 32 of the distribution board 30. Meanwhile, the sliding block 12 leaves the immovable seat 11 along a direction indicated by Arrow Al.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 7, the distribution board 30 moves along a direction indicated by Arrow B2 to meet the feeding device 10 so that the receiving recess 32 and the screw 33 correspond to the upper opening of the feeding pipe 20. Then the lateral 31 of the distribution board 30 abuts against the outlet end 44 of the rail 40 to uphold the screws 33 in the rail 40 from falling.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 4 and 8. The sliding block now moves along a direction indicated by Arrow A2 to meet the feeding device 10 and pushes the screw 33 to make the screw 33 in turn fall into the feeding pipe 20. When the immovable seat 11 and the sliding block 12 are completely combined, a blowing unit can be implemented to give a high-pressure air to the blowing vent 13 so that the screw 33 is pushed to advance along the feeding pipe 20 to a power screwdriver (not shown).

Through the previous description, it is learned that each time of said reciprocation of the distribution board 30 merely allows one screw to be received and delivered to the feeding device, so as to deliver the screws one by one to the screwdriver with a predetermined time interval. The rail 44 aligns and levels the screws in advance so that the screw can slide into the receiving recess 32 of the distribution board 30 one by one. According to specifications of the desired screws, the rail 40, distribution board 30 and feeding device 10 can be properly designed or replaced, thereby allowing the present invention to be used with screws of various dimensions. The present invention is particularly advantageous for being adaptive to very small screws.

Although the particular embodiment of the invention has been described in detail for purposes of illustration, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that numerous variations will be possible to the disclosed embodiment without going outside the scope of the invention as disclosed in the claims.