System for transferring workpieces through a series of work stations

  • US 4,887,446 A
  • Filed: 06/23/1988
  • Issued: 12/19/1989
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/23/1988
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. For use in conjunction with an article forming press which includes a ram having an upper die associated therewith adapted to be driven along a path of travel in a Z-axis and engagable with a lower die supported by a bolster for forming a workpiece inserted therebetween, a system for transferring work stations aligned linearly along an X axis perpendicular to the Z axis, to perform a predetermined sequence of operations on the workpieces, said system comprising:

  • a transfer rail extending longitudinally in spaced and parallel relation to the X axis and having a finger operator rail mounted thereupon for movement with respect thereto in a direction parallel to the X-axis;

    a plurality of workpiece gripping finger operators mounted on the finger operator rail at equally spaced locations thereon corresponding to the spacing of the work stations, said finger operators extending laterally in a Y axis, perpendicular to the X axis and Z axis and each terminating in a free end having a workpiece engaging section adapted to engage the workpieces and transfer them between adjacent work stations;

    individually controllable means for imparting reciprocal motion, along the X-axis, to the finger operator rail for a distance equal to the spacing between adjacent work stations; and

    at least one individually controllable, modular actuator unit, the entirety of said actuator unit supported independently from the transfer rail and disposed at a location displaced laterally along the Y axis from the ram, dies, bolster and path of travel of the ram, said actuator unit having an arm which extends therefrom in the Y direction and which is operative to move the transfer rail along both the Y and Z axes.

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