US20110151753A1 - Edge grinding apparatus - Google Patents

Edge grinding apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110151753A1
US20110151753A1 US12/972,918 US97291810A US2011151753A1 US 20110151753 A1 US20110151753 A1 US 20110151753A1 US 97291810 A US97291810 A US 97291810A US 2011151753 A1 US2011151753 A1 US 2011151753A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
grinding
glass sheet
edge
carriage
head
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Abandoned
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US12/972,918
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Charles Gottschalk
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Glassline Corp
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Glassline Corp
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Priority to US28892409P priority Critical
Application filed by Glassline Corp filed Critical Glassline Corp
Priority to US12/972,918 priority patent/US20110151753A1/en
Assigned to GLASSLINE CORPORATION reassignment GLASSLINE CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GOTTSCHALK, CHARLES
Publication of US20110151753A1 publication Critical patent/US20110151753A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B24GRINDING; POLISHING
    • B24BMACHINES, DEVICES, OR PROCESSES FOR GRINDING OR POLISHING; DRESSING OR CONDITIONING OF ABRADING SURFACES; FEEDING OF GRINDING, POLISHING, OR LAPPING AGENTS
    • B24B9/00Machines or devices designed for grinding edges or bevels on work or for removing burrs; Accessories therefor
    • B24B9/02Machines or devices designed for grinding edges or bevels on work or for removing burrs; Accessories therefor characterised by a special design with respect to properties of materials specific to articles to be ground
    • B24B9/06Machines or devices designed for grinding edges or bevels on work or for removing burrs; Accessories therefor characterised by a special design with respect to properties of materials specific to articles to be ground of non-metallic inorganic material, e.g. stone, ceramics, porcelain
    • B24B9/08Machines or devices designed for grinding edges or bevels on work or for removing burrs; Accessories therefor characterised by a special design with respect to properties of materials specific to articles to be ground of non-metallic inorganic material, e.g. stone, ceramics, porcelain of glass
    • B24B9/10Machines or devices designed for grinding edges or bevels on work or for removing burrs; Accessories therefor characterised by a special design with respect to properties of materials specific to articles to be ground of non-metallic inorganic material, e.g. stone, ceramics, porcelain of glass of plate glass
    • B24B9/102Machines or devices designed for grinding edges or bevels on work or for removing burrs; Accessories therefor characterised by a special design with respect to properties of materials specific to articles to be ground of non-metallic inorganic material, e.g. stone, ceramics, porcelain of glass of plate glass for travelling sheets
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B24GRINDING; POLISHING
    • B24BMACHINES, DEVICES, OR PROCESSES FOR GRINDING OR POLISHING; DRESSING OR CONDITIONING OF ABRADING SURFACES; FEEDING OF GRINDING, POLISHING, OR LAPPING AGENTS
    • B24B41/00Component parts such as frames, beds, carriages, headstocks
    • B24B41/005Feeding or manipulating devices specially adapted to grinding machines

Abstract

An edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass includes a conveyance device coupled to a support structure, wherein the conveyance device includes a conveying position and a grinding position, a carriage support disposed adjacent the conveyor, and a grinding carriage slidingly coupled to the carriage support, the grinding carriage including at least one movable grinding head, wherein a glass sheet is carried by the conveyance device from the conveying position to the grinding position, the glass sheet secured to one of the conveyance device and a fixed table while in the grinding position, at least one edge of the glass sheet ground by the at least one moveable grinding head while in the grinding position.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This patent application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/288,924 filed on Dec. 22, 2009, hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to grinding equipment, and more specifically to an edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Glass produced using a float process is cut into sheets and subjected to secondary operations before being incorporated into a product or a building. Typically, the peripheral edges of the glass sheets are ground for a variety of reasons such as appearance, ease of handling, safety, ability to perform secondary operations, and to militate against damage that may occur to the edges. Glass sheets are typically rectangular in shape and therefore, require grinding on the four sides of the glass sheet. Equipment used to grind the edges is typically automated to reduce processing time and for consistency.
  • Single sided edge grinding devices known in the art may be used to grind a single edge of the glass sheet at one time by one or more grinding wheels. The glass sheet is passed adjacent a grinding wheel or series of grinding wheels having a fixed position. The wheels or wheels are effective to remove a desired amount of material from a first edge of the glass sheet. The glass sheet is then rotated on a transfer unit and a remainder of the edges are ground by the same grinding device or by another similar grinding device. While effective, the single sided edge grinding device requires at least four grinding operations to be performed on the glass sheet, which may amount to considerable processing time.
  • To increase productivity, multiple single sided edge grinding devices may be arranged in series to ensure a continuous supply of parts. Four single sided edge grinding devices and three transfer units placed between the grinding devices are required to minimize a processing time of the glass sheet. A large amount of manufacturing floorspace is needed to accommodate an apparatus comprising multiple single sided edge grinding devices and multiple transfer units. The large amount of manufacturing floorspace needed to accommodate multiple single sided edge grinding devices reduces the advantages afforded by increased productivity.
  • It would be desirable to have an edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass that minimizes processing time, the amount of necessary equipment, and the footprint of the edge grinding apparatus.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Presently provided by the invention, an edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass that minimizes processing time, the amount of necessary equipment, and the footprint of the edge grinding apparatus has surprisingly been discovered.
  • In one embodiment, an edge grinding apparatus comprises a conveyance device coupled to a support structure, wherein the conveyance device includes a conveying position and a grinding position, a carriage support disposed adjacent the conveyor, and a grinding carriage slidingly coupled to the carriage support, the grinding carriage including at least one movable grinding head, wherein a glass sheet is carried by the conveyance device from the conveying position to the grinding position, the glass sheet secured to one of the conveyance device and a fixed table while in the grinding position, at least one edge of the glass sheet ground by the at least one moveable grinding head while in the grinding position.
  • In another embodiment, an edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass comprises a platen slidingly coupled to a guide rail, a first grinding bridge adjacent the guide rail, a first grinding head slidingly coupled to the first grinding bridge, a second grinding bridge adjacent the guide rail, and a second grinding head slidingly coupled to the second grinding bridge, wherein the first grinding head and the second grinding head cooperate to grind a plurality of edges of a glass sheet coupled to the platen.
  • In yet another embodiment, an edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass comprises a fixed table, a conveyor movably coupled to a support structure adjacent the fixed table, the conveyor having a conveying position and a grinding position, a carriage support adjacent the conveyor, and a grinding carriage slidingly coupled to the carriage support, the grinding carriage including a pair of movable grinding heads, wherein a glass sheet is carried by the conveyor and deposited on the fixed table when the conveyor is moved into the grinding position, and wherein the glass sheet is selectively secured to the fixed table and a plurality of edges of the glass sheet are ground when the grinding carriage head traverses at least a portion of the carriage support.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The above, as well as other advantages of the invention, will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention when considered in the light of the accompanying figures, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an edge grinding apparatus according to the present invention; and
  • FIG. 2 is a top plan view of an edge grinding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • The following detailed description and appended drawings describe and illustrate various exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description and drawings serve to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any manner.
  • FIG. 1 shows an edge grinding apparatus 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The edge grinding apparatus 10 includes a vacuum platen 12, a first angled bridge 14, a first movable grinding head 16 (i.e. first grinding carriage), a second angled bridge 18, a second movable grinding head 20 (i.e. second grinding carriage), and a conveyance device 22. As illustrated, the edge grinding apparatus 10 is at least a portion of a manufacturing line.
  • The vacuum platen 12 includes a carriage 30, a plurality of vacuum points 32, a slide mount 34, and an actuator 36. The carriage 30 is a rigid, rectangular frame typically formed from aluminum. Alternately, the carriage 30 may be any shape and formed from any conventional material. A first side of the carriage 30 defines a carriage plane. A second side of the carriage 30 defines a mounting plane.
  • The plurality of vacuum points 32 is disposed on the carriage 30 adjacent the carriage plane. Alternately, the plurality of vacuum points 32 may be disposed on at least one mounting spar that spans an interior of the carriage 30. Each of the vacuum points 32 includes a sealing cup and is in fluid communication with a vacuum pump (not shown).
  • The slide mount 34 is disposed on the carriage adjacent the mounting plane. Alternately, the slide mount 34 may be disposed on at least one mounting spar that spans an interior of the carriage 30. At least three slide mounts 34 are typically disposed on the carriage 30 to maintain a substantially planar relationship therebetween. Each of the slide mounts 34 engages a guide rail 38. As shown, two parallel guide rails 38 substantially equal to a length of the edge grinding apparatus 10 engage the slide mounts 34, permitting the carriage 30 to traverse the rails 38 in a linear motion. The guide rails 38 have a loading end and an unloading end and are mounted to a first fixed support structure (not shown). The first fixed support structure is a metal frame affixed to a floor, but any similarly rigid structure may be used.
  • The actuator 36 is a servo motor having a drive screw affixed to at least one of the guide rails 38 that applies a force upon a threaded portion of the slide mount 34, causing the carriage 30 to traverse the rails 38. Alternately, the actuator 36 may be any other device such as a fluid piston; a rack and motor operated pinion; or a track actuator that imparts a force between a fixed object and at least one of the slide mount 34 and the carriage 30 to traverse the carriage 30 on the guide rails 38.
  • The first angled bridge 14 includes a first main body 40 (i.e. a first carriage support) having a first grinding head guide 42 and a first grinding head actuator 44. The first main body 40 is a three sided frame having a transverse top rail coupled to two fixed vertical supports, but any shape may be used. The first main body 40 is obliquely disposed across the guide rails 38. The first grinding head guide 42 is formed in the transverse top rail, and the first grinding head actuator 44 is disposed at an end of the transverse top rail. In certain embodiments, the first movable grinding head 16 is slidingly coupled to the first main body 40. As a non-limiting example, the first grinding head actuator 44 is a servo motor having a drive screw rotatingly coupled to the transverse top rail that applies a force upon a threaded portion of the first movable grinding head 16, causing the first movable grinding head 16 to traverse the first grinding head guide 42. Alternately, the first grinding head actuator 44 may be any other device such as a fluid piston; a rack and motor operated pinion; or a track actuator that imparts a force between the first main body 40 and the first movable grinding head 16 to traverse the first movable grinding head 16 on the first grinding head guide 42.
  • The first movable grinding head 16 includes a first grinding wheel 46 rotatingly coupled to a motor disposed in the first movable grinding head 16. The first grinding wheel 46 is typically a diamond grinding wheel as is known in the art, but other types of grinding wheels may be used. An axis of the first grinding wheel 46 is substantially perpendicular to the carriage plane. A position of the first grinding wheel 46 may be adjusted along the axis of the first grinding wheel 46 to align a peripheral edge of the first grinding wheel 46 with a peripheral edge of a glass sheet secured to the vacuum points 32 of the carriage 30.
  • The second angled bridge 18 includes a second main body 50 (i.e. a second carriage support) having a second grinding head guide 52 and a second grinding head actuator 54. The second main body 50 is a three sided frame having a transverse top rail coupled to two fixed vertical supports, but any shape may be used. The second main body 50 is obliquely disposed across the guide rails 38. The second grinding head guide 52 is formed in the transverse top rail, and the second grinding head actuator 54 is disposed at an end of the transverse top rail. In certain embodiments, the second movable grinding head 20 is slidingly coupled to the second main body 50. As a non-limiting example, The second grinding head actuator 54 is a servo motor having a drive screw rotatingly coupled to the transverse top rail that applies a force upon a threaded portion of the second movable grinding head 20, causing the second movable grinding head 20 to traverse the second grinding head guide 52. Alternately, the second grinding head actuator 54 may be any other device such as a fluid piston, a rack and motor operated pinion, or a track actuator that imparts a force between the second main body 50 and the second movable grinding head 20 to traverse the second movable grinding head 20 on the second grinding head guide 52.
  • The second movable grinding head 20 includes a second grinding wheel 56 rotatingly coupled to a motor disposed in the second movable grinding head 20. The second grinding wheel 56 is typically a diamond grinding wheel as is known in the art, but other types of grinding wheels may be used. An axis of the second grinding wheel 56 is perpendicular to the carriage plane. A position of the second grinding wheel 46 may be adjusted along the axis of the second grinding wheel 56 to align a peripheral edge of the second grinding wheel 56 with a peripheral edge of the glass sheet secured to the vacuum points 32 of the carriage 30.
  • The conveyance device 22 is coupled to the first fixed support structure and includes two motor operated conveyor belts movably mounted adjacent the unloading end of the guide rails 38. The two conveyor belts are spaced apart and are substantially aligned with the guide rails 38. A conveyance device actuator 58 rotates the conveyance device 22, causing a transfer surface of the conveyor belts to enter the carriage plane adjacent the carriage 30. Alternately, a series of rollers, a shuttle carrier, or the like may be used as the conveyance device 22.
  • In use, the edge grinding apparatus 10 facilitates efficient edge grinding of the glass sheet in a compact footprint. Several pieces of the glass sheet are stored in a glass rack 60 at an apparatus first end 62. A rack turntable 64 that rotates about a central axis allows two glass racks 60 facing opposite directions to be placed on the rack turntable 64 simultaneously. A loading device 66 is an arm-style industrial robot having an attachment affixed thereto. The attachment is a plurality of vacuum powered suction cups. The loading device 66 and the attachment move into a loading position and lift the glass sheet from the glass rack 60. The loading device 66 and the attachment including the glass sheet move into an unloading position. The unloading position aligns the glass sheet with the vacuum platen 12 and the vacuum points 32 while the glass sheet is substantially parallel to the carriage plane. The attachment releases the plurality of vacuum powered suction cups, depositing the glass sheet on the vacuum points 32. A plurality of fixed or movable sheet guides may be used to align the glass sheet on the vacuum platen 12. The vacuum pump is activated, securing the glass sheet to the vacuum points 32 of the vacuum platen 12.
  • The actuator 36, the first movable grinding head 16, and the second movable grinding head 20 are activated after the glass sheet is secured to the vacuum platen 12. The actuator 36 causes the vacuum platen 12 to move along the guide rails 38 at a desired rate. The first grinding head actuator 44 causes the first movable grinding head 16 to move along the first main body 40 to a first grinding position 68. The motor disposed in the first movable grinding head 16 causes the first grinding wheel 46 to spin at a desired rate. The second grinding head actuator 54 causes the second movable grinding head 20 to move along the second main body 50 to a second grinding position 70. The motor disposed in the second movable grinding head 20 causes the second grinding wheel 56 to spin at a desired rate.
  • The glass sheet secured to the vacuum platen 12 includes a first lateral edge, a second lateral edge, a leading edge, and a trailing edge. The first lateral edge and the second lateral edge are positioned substantially parallel to the guide rails 38. The leading edge and the trailing edge are positioned substantially perpendicular to the guide rails 38.
  • The first grinding wheel 46 in the first grinding position 68 comes into contact with the first lateral edge of the glass sheet as the glass sheet passes under the first angled bridge 14. As the vacuum platen 12 continues to move along the guide rails 38, the first movable grinding head 16 remains stationary, grinding the first lateral edge of the glass sheet. After grinding of the first lateral edge is completed, the first grinding head actuator 44 moves the first movable grinding head 16 along the first grinding head guide 42, grinding the trialing edge of the glass sheet. The first grinding head actuator 44 may move the first movable grinding head 16 in a manner that forms a chamfered corner or a rounded corner between the leading edge and the first lateral edge, the first lateral edge and the trailing edge, and the trailing edge and the second lateral edge of the glass sheet.
  • The second grinding wheel 56 grinds the leading edge and the second lateral edge of the glass sheet. The second grinding wheel 56 in the second grinding position 70 comes into contact with the leading edge of the glass sheet as the glass sheet approaches the second angled bridge 18. The second grinding head actuator 54 moves the second movable grinding head 20 along the second grinding head guide 52, grinding the leading edge of the glass sheet. After the leading edge is ground, the second grinding head actuator 54 stops moving the second movable grinding head 20, grinding the second lateral edge of the glass sheet as the vacuum platen 12 continues to move along the guide rails 38. The second grinding head actuator 54 may move the second movable grinding head 20 in a manner that forms a chamfered corner or a rounded corner between the first lateral edge and the leading edge, the leading edge and the second lateral edge, and the second lateral edge and the trailing edge of the glass sheet.
  • After the leading edge, the first lateral edge, the second lateral edge, and the trailing edge of the glass sheet are ground, the vacuum platen 12 continues to a distal end of the guide rails 38 and stops. The conveyance device actuator 58 is engaged, lifting the conveyance device 22 at least partially into the carriage plane. Simultaneously, the vacuum pump is deactivated. The conveyance device 22 is engaged, removing the glass sheet from the vacuum platen 12. After removal of the glass sheet, the vacuum platen 12 is returned to the system first end 62, the first movable grinding head 16 is returned to the first grinding position 68, and the second movable grinding head 20 is returned to the second grinding position 70. The conveyance device 22 transports the glass sheet to a packing station 72 where the glass sheet is packed for shipping. Alternately, the packing station 72 may be any type of secondary operation. Upon return of the vacuum platen 12, a second glass sheet is placed on the vacuum platen 12 and the edge grinding process is repeated.
  • FIG. 2 shows a second embodiment of an edge grinding apparatus 110 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The edge grinding apparatus 110 includes a conveyor 112, a first fixed vacuum table 114, a first pair of movable grinding heads 116, a part rotation table 118, a second fixed vacuum table 120, and a second pair of movable grinding heads 122. As illustrated, the edge grinding apparatus 110 is at least a portion of a manufacturing line.
  • The conveyor 112 includes a roller portion 130 and a first belt portion 132. The roller portion 130 is a motor operated series of rollers aligned with the first belt portion 132 and is coupled to a second fixed support structure (not shown). The first belt portion 132 includes three motor operated conveyor belts and is movably coupled to the second fixed support structure. A belt portion actuator coupled to the first belt portion 132 and the second fixed support structure moves the first belt portion 132 from a grinding position to a conveying position and from the conveying position to the grinding position. The glass sheet disposed on the first belt portion 132 when the first belt portion 132 moved from a conveying position to a grinding position is disposed on the first fixed vacuum table 114.
  • The first fixed vacuum table 114 includes a plurality of first vacuum points 134 coupled to the second fixed support structure. The first vacuum points 134 are disposed in a common plane to support the glass sheet when the first belt portion 132 moves from a conveying position to a grinding position. Each of the vacuum points 134 includes a sealing cup and is in fluid communication with a vacuum pump (not shown).
  • The first pair of movable grinding heads 116 is movably coupled to a first grinding carriage 140. Servo motors, each having a drive screw rotatingly coupled to the first grinding carriage 140, are first head actuators. The drive screw applies a force upon a threaded portion of each of the first pair of movable grinding heads 116, allowing a distance between the first pair of movable grinding heads 116 to be adjusted. The first pair of movable grinding heads 116 includes a first pair of grinding wheels 144 rotatingly coupled to a pair of motors in the first pair of movable grinding heads 116. The first pair of grinding wheels 144 are typically diamond grinding wheels as is known in the art, but other types of grinding wheels may be used. A pair of axes of the first pair of grinding wheels 144 is substantially perpendicular to the common plane formed by the first plurality of vacuum points 134. A position of the first pair of grinding wheels 144 may be adjusted along the pair of axes to align a peripheral edge of the first pair of grinding wheels 144 with a peripheral edge of the glass sheet secured to the first plurality of vacuum points 134 of the first fixed vacuum table 114.
  • The first grinding carriage 140 is slidably coupled to a first carriage support 146. The first carriage support 146 includes two three sided frames 148, each having a transverse top rail coupled to two fixed vertical supports, joined by a carriage guide (not shown). The carriage guide is perpendicular to each of the top rails. The first carriage support 146 is disposed across the first belt portion 132 and the first fixed vacuum table 114, the carriage guide disposed parallel to the first belt portion 132 of the conveyor 112.
  • A first carriage actuator (not shown) is a servo motor having a drive screw rotatingly coupled to the carriage guide that applies a force upon a threaded portion of the first grinding carriage 140, causing the first grinding carriage 140 to traverse the carriage guide. Alternately, the first carriage actuator may be any other device such as a fluid piston, a rack and motor operated pinion, or a track actuator that imparts a force between the carriage guide and the first grinding carriage 140 to traverse the first grinding carriage 140 on the carriage guide.
  • The part rotation table 118 is disposed at an end of the conveyor, between the first belt portion 132 and a second belt portion 160. The part rotation table 118 includes a second roller portion (not shown) and a rotating unit (not shown). The second roller portion is a motor operated series of rollers aligned with the first belt portion 132 and is coupled to the second fixed support structure. The rotating unit is positioned above the second roller portion and is motor and actuator operated. The second roller portion and the rotating unit cooperate to rotate the glass sheet 90 degrees around an axis normal to a side of the glass sheet.
  • The second belt portion 160 includes three motor operated conveyor belts and is movably coupled to the second fixed support structure. A belt portion actuator coupled to the second belt portion 160 and the second fixed support structure moves the second belt portion 160 from a grinding position to a conveying position and from the conveying position to the grinding position. The glass sheet disposed on the second belt portion 160 when the second belt portion 160 moved from a conveying position to a grinding position is disposed on the second fixed vacuum table 120.
  • The second fixed vacuum table 120 includes a second plurality of vacuum points 162 coupled to the second fixed support structure. The second plurality of vacuum points 162 is disposed in a common plane to support the glass sheet when the second belt portion 160 moves from a conveying position to a grinding position. Each of the vacuum points 162 includes a sealing cup and is in fluid communication with a vacuum pump (not shown).
  • The second pair of movable grinding heads 122 is movably coupled to a second grinding carriage 164. Servo motors, each having a drive screw rotatingly coupled to the second grinding carriage 162, are second head actuators. The drive screw applies a force upon a threaded portion of each of the second pair of movable grinding heads 122, allowing a distance between the second pair of movable grinding heads 122 to be adjusted. The second pair of movable grinding heads 122 includes a second pair of grinding wheels 166 rotatingly coupled to a pair of motors in the second pair of movable grinding heads 122. The second pair of grinding wheels 166 are typically diamond grinding wheels as is known in the art, but other types of grinding wheels may be used. A pair of axes of the second pair of grinding wheels 166 is substantially perpendicular to the common plane formed by the second plurality of vacuum points 162. A position of the second pair of grinding wheels 166 may be adjusted along the pair of axes to align a peripheral edge of the second pair of grinding wheels 166 with a peripheral edge of the glass sheet secured to the second plurality of vacuum points 162 of the second fixed vacuum table 120.
  • The second grinding carriage 164 is slidably coupled to a second carriage support 168. The second carriage support 168 includes two three sided frames 148, each having a transverse top rail coupled to two fixed vertical supports, joined by a carriage guide (not shown). The carriage guide is perpendicular to each of the top rails. The second carriage support 168 is disposed across the second belt portion 160 and the second fixed vacuum table 120, the carriage guide disposed parallel to the second belt portion 160.
  • A second carriage actuator (not shown) is a servo motor having a drive screw rotatingly coupled to the carriage guide that applies a force upon a threaded portion of the second grinding carriage 164, causing the second grinding carriage 164 to traverse the carriage guide. Alternately, the second carriage actuator may be any other device such as a fluid piston, a rack and motor operated pinion, or a track actuator that imparts a force between the carriage guide and the second grinding carriage 164 to traverse the second grinding carriage 164 on the carriage guide.
  • A utility device 171 is disposed adjacent the second pair of movable grinding wheels 122 and is coupled to the second fixed support structure. In FIG. 2, the utility device 171 is generically represented as a part rotation table, but any other device such as a part washer, a drilling station, and a checking fixture may be used.
  • In use, the edge grinding apparatus 110 facilitates efficient edge grinding of the glass sheet in a compact footprint. Several pieces of the glass sheet are stored in a second glass rack 172 at a second apparatus first end 174. A second rack turntable 176 that rotates about a central axis allows two second glass racks 172 facing opposite directions to be placed on the second rack turntable 176 simultaneously. A second loading device 178 is an arm-style industrial robot having an attachment affixed thereto. The attachment is a plurality of vacuum powered suction cups. The second loading device 178 and the attachment move into a loading position and lift the glass sheet from the second glass rack 172. The second loading device 178 and the attachment including the glass sheet move into an unloading position. The unloading position aligns the glass sheet with the roller portion 130, substantially parallel to the series of rollers. The attachment releases the plurality of vacuum powered suction cups, depositing the glass sheet on the roller portion 130. A plurality of fixed or movable sheet guides may be used to accurately align the glass sheet on the roller portion 130. The roller portion 130 and the first belt portion 132 are activated, transporting the glass sheet to the first belt portion 132.
  • The glass sheet continues on the first belt portion 132 until the glass sheet is aligned with the first fixed vacuum table 114. An optical sensor or other type of sensor is used to locate the position of the glass sheet on the first belt portion 132 to ensure alignment of the glass sheet with the first fixed vacuum table 114. The belt portion actuator is activated, moving the first belt portion 132 from the conveying position into a grinding portion, depositing the glass sheet on the first fixed vacuum table 114. The vacuum pump in communication with the first fixed vacuum table 114 is activated, securing the glass sheet. The motors disposed in the first pair of movable grinding heads 116 are activated to cause the first pair of grinding wheels 144 to spin at a desired rate. The first carriage actuator causes the first grinding carriage 140 including the first pair of movable grinding heads 116 to move along the carriage guide from a primary grinding position 180. The first pair of grinding wheels 144 grinds the peripheral edges of the glass sheet as the first grinding carriage 140 traverses the carriage guide. Upon the first grinding carriage 140 traversing a length of the carriage guide, the first pair of grinding wheels 144 has traversed past the peripheral edges of the glass sheet. The vacuum pump is deactivated and the belt portion actuator is activated, moving the first belt portion 132 from the grinding position into a conveying position, lifting the glass sheet from the first fixed vacuum table 114. The first belt portion 132 and the second roller portion are activated, transporting the glass sheet from the first belt portion 132 onto the second roller portion of the part rotation table 118.
  • The glass sheet traverses across the second roller portion until the glass sheet is in a rotation position. An optical sensor or other type of sensor is used to locate the position of the glass sheet on the second roller portion to ensure alignment of the glass sheet with the rotating unit. Once the glass sheet is positioned, the rotating unit is lowered until the rotating unit contacts the glass sheet. A plurality of vacuum powered suction cups couple the glass sheet to the rotating unit. The rotating unit is raised from the second roller portion and rotated 90 degrees around the axis normal to the side of the glass sheet. After rotation is completed, the rotating unit is lowered until the glass sheet contacts the second roller portion. The plurality of vacuum powered suction cups is released, separating the glass sheet from the rotating unit. The rotating unit is then raised from the glass sheet and the second roller portion. The second roller portion and the second belt portion 160 are then activated and the glass sheet traverses from the part rotation table 118 onto the second belt portion 160.
  • The glass sheet continues on the second belt portion 160 until the glass sheet is aligned with the second fixed vacuum table 120. An optical sensor or other type of sensor is used to locate the position of the glass sheet on the second belt portion 160 to ensure alignment of the glass sheet with the second fixed vacuum table 120. The belt portion actuator is activated, moving the second belt portion 160 from the conveying position into a grinding portion, depositing the glass sheet on the second fixed vacuum table 120. The vacuum pump in communication with the second fixed vacuum table 120 is activated, securing the glass sheet. The motors disposed in the second pair of movable grinding heads 122 are activated to cause the second pair of grinding wheels 166 to spin at a desired rate. The second carriage actuator causes the second grinding carriage 164 including the second pair of movable grinding heads 122 to move along the carriage guide from a secondary grinding position 182. The second pair of grinding wheels 166 grinds the peripheral edges of the glass sheet as the second grinding carriage 164 traverses the carriage guide. Upon the second grinding carriage 164 traversing the length of the carriage guide, the first pair of grinding wheels 166 has traversed past the peripheral edges of the glass sheet. The vacuum pump is deactivated and the belt portion actuator is activated, moving the second belt portion 160 from the grinding position into a conveying position, lifting the glass sheet from the second fixed vacuum table 120. The second belt portion 160 is activated, transporting the glass sheet from the second belt portion 160 onto the utility device 171.
  • As shown, the utility device 171 rotates the glass sheet 90 degrees about an axis normal to a side of the glass sheet similar to the rotating unit. Rotation of the glass sheet into a packing position facilitates handling and storage of the glass sheet. A conveyance portion of the utility device 171 transports the glass sheet to a packing station 184 where the glass sheet is packed for shipping. Alternately, the packing station 184 may be any type of secondary operation. Upon return of the first pair of movable grinding heads 116 to the primary grinding position 180 and return of the second pair of movable grinding heads 122 to the secondary grinding position 182, a second glass sheet is placed on the roller portion 130 and the edge grinding process is repeated.
  • In addition to grinding the edges of the glass sheet, the edge grinding apparatus 10, 110 may also be used to grind the corners of the glass sheet into a chamfer or an arcuate shape by the first movable grinding head 16, the second movable grinding head 20, the first pair of movable grinding heads 116, and the second pair of movable grinding heads 122. The chamfer or the arcuate shape is formed between the successive edges of the glass sheet when excess glass is ground from the glass sheet by at least one of the grinding heads 16, 20, 116, 122. A profile of the chamfer or the arcuate shape is able to be programmed by an operator of the edge grinding apparatus 10, 110 into a controller of the heads 16, 20, 116, 122 prior to the start of a grinding operation.
  • From the foregoing description, one ordinarily skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications to the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.

Claims (20)

1. An edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass comprising:
a conveyance device coupled to a support structure, wherein the conveyance device includes a conveying position and a grinding position;
a carriage support disposed adjacent the conveyor; and
a grinding carriage slidingly coupled to the carriage support, the grinding carriage including at least one movable grinding head, wherein a glass sheet is carried by the conveyance device from the conveying position to the grinding position, the glass sheet secured to one of the conveyance device and a fixed table while in the grinding position, at least one edge of the glass sheet ground by the at least one moveable grinding head while in the grinding position.
2. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the conveyance device includes a vacuum point to secure the glass sheet thereto.
3. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the at least one edge of the glass sheet is ground by moving the grinding carriage along at least a portion of the carriage support such that the at least one moveable grinding head grinds the at least one edge of the glass sheet.
4. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the at least one edge of the glass sheet is ground by moving the glass sheet past at least a portion of the carriage support such that the at least one moveable grinding head grinds the at least one edge of the glass sheet.
5. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the carriage support is disposed at least one of transversely and obliquely across the conveyor.
6. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the glass sheet has four edges, the four edges ground during one pass of the glass sheet past the carriage support.
7. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a flat chamfer is ground between the edges of the glass sheet.
8. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 7, wherein a profile of the chamfer is able to be programmed by an operator of the edge grinding apparatus.
9. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein an arcuate shape is ground between the edges of the glass sheet.
10. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 9, wherein a profile of the arcuate shape is able to be programmed by an operator of the edge grinding apparatus.
11. An edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass comprising:
a platen slidingly coupled to a guide rail;
a first grinding bridge adjacent the guide rail;
a first grinding head slidingly coupled to the first grinding bridge;
a second grinding bridge adjacent the guide rail; and
a second grinding head slidingly coupled to the second grinding bridge, wherein the first grinding head and the second grinding head cooperate to grind a plurality of edges of a glass sheet coupled to the platen.
12. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the platen includes at least one vacuum point for securing the glass sheet to the platen.
13. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 11, wherein at least one of the first grinding bridge and the second grinding bridge is disposed at least one of transversely and obliquely across the guide rail.
14. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 11, wherein at least one edge of the glass sheet is ground by moving the first grinding head along at least a portion of the first grinding bridge.
15. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 11, wherein at least one edge of the glass sheet is ground by moving the second grinding head along at least a portion of the second grinding bridge.
16. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 11, wherein at least one edge of the glass sheet is ground by moving the platen along the guide rail such that the glass sheet traverses at least one of the first grinding bridge and the second grinding bridge.
17. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the glass sheet has four edges, the four edges ground during one pass of the glass sheet past each of the first grinding bridge and the second grinding bridge.
18. An edge grinding apparatus for sheets of glass comprising:
a fixed table;
a conveyor movably coupled to a support structure adjacent the fixed table, the conveyor having a conveying position and a grinding position;
a carriage support adjacent the conveyor; and
a grinding carriage slidingly coupled to the carriage support, the grinding carriage including a pair of movable grinding heads, wherein a glass sheet is carried by the conveyor and deposited on the fixed table when the conveyor is moved into the grinding position, and wherein the glass sheet is selectively secured to the fixed table and a plurality of edges of the glass sheet are ground when the grinding carriage head traverses at least a portion of the carriage support.
19. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 18, wherein the fixed table includes at least one vacuum point for securing the glass sheet to the fixed table.
20. The edge grinding apparatus according to claim 18, further comprising a part rotation table disposed adjacent the conveyor to rotate the glass sheet around an axis normal to a side of the glass sheet.
US12/972,918 2009-12-22 2010-12-20 Edge grinding apparatus Abandoned US20110151753A1 (en)

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CN108638341A (en) * 2018-07-26 2018-10-12 蚌埠淮畔精密机械有限公司 A kind of glass frame cutter device

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CN108638341A (en) * 2018-07-26 2018-10-12 蚌埠淮畔精密机械有限公司 A kind of glass frame cutter device

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