Gargrave Nov. 19, 1974 DIE APPARATUS Primary Examiner-C. W. Lanham  Inventor. Robert J. Gargrave, Dayton, Ohio Assistant Examiner cene P. Crosby Assigneel Dayton Progress Corporation, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Jerome P. Bloom Dayton, Ohio  Filed: Mar. 20, 1973 57 ABSTRACT PP 342,971 The disclosure affords die apparatus enabling that a previously set die may be taken from storage and im- 521 US. Cl 72/448, 72/462, 83/637, mediately P to use in a W in its embodiment, the
83/700 disclosure employs a simple grind plug which is re- [5l] Int. Cl B21j 13/02 formable in conjunction with the tool and die  Field of Search 72/446, 448, 462, 470, mm which are required to be adjusted in use of a die 72/472 456 461; 83/637 685, 700 as well as with their associated feed and stock control components. The nature and arrangement is such to 5 References Cited facilitate maintaining a constant working stroke for UNITED STATES PATENTS the die tools upon a requirement for their replacement or adjustment, and a proper frame of reference for the 2/):4 Walgs 83/700 related work piece The disclosure also features 2445574 ga g proved means for establishing the shut height of a die 5/1959 72/415 and improved means for use in guiding and controlling 251917 3/1964 Smeets n 83/685 the positioning of stock or a work piece being fed to a 3,379,083 4/1968 Burns 83/700 3,64l.860 2/1972 Whistler..... 83/700 3,742,797 7/1973 Vecchi 83/637 20 Clams 8 D'awmg PATENTEmV 1 91974 SHEET iiv 0F 3 our APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to improvements in die apparatus and associated feed and stock control components as used in a punch press and like equipment. It features means of a universal nature incorporated in the die setup which facilitate a maintaining of a coordinated relation of the die tools and their related die elements. It also embodies means for more readily and more precisely establishing the correct shut height of a die as employed in a punch press, for example.
In accordance with prior art, it has been the practice to establish the shut height of a die by applying set 1 blocks in connection with the upper and lower die shoes. The set blocks have been divorced from the die halves as well as the means for guide thereof in approaching and retracting motions. The lower set block has been arranged to receive a short length of small diameter lead wire in a slot formed in its upper surface, which wire is then caused to be flattened by a single stroke of the press ram. Once the lead wire has been flattened to the prescribed thickness, this has determined the proper shut height. Per the prior art, this procedure must be repeated in each setting and interchange of a die.
While the prior art means for establishing shut height has been relatively satisfactory, it has produced neither precise nor reliably accurate results in many instances. The system of establishing shut height as heretofore practiced, moreover, does not lend itself readily to maintaining the precisely selected shut height in the instance of die servicing, adjustment or interchange. Moreover, it has no specific and direct interrelation with the die parts which are adapted to interfit with one another. For this reason, the prior art system and apparatus for establishing shut height has not been fully satisfactory.
Further, the frequent instances of wear of die components has made the servicing of dies and specific components thereof and related components a time consuming and delicate procedure. For example, in dies which employ both punch and forming tools in combination, the problems of maintaining a proper coordination and relation therebetween has been particularly acute. This is due to the fact that forming tools do not wear as rapidly as punches, for example, but when one or the other has to be adjusted or repaired their respective positions have to be coordinated. Similar problems exist in maintaining a proper frame of reference for the die tools with respect to their related die elements. Even more important, there must be maintained a proper frame of reference for the work piece to be acted upon by the die tools. In this last respect, when there is to be an adjustment in die tools, die elements or a lower die plate, one must make corresponding adjustments in the stock control devices such as feed and guide devices which are employed in conjunction with the die to establish the work piece in a required position for operation thereon by the die tools with the desired results.
In the prior art, to deal with the foregoing problems it has been the practice to make individual and extensive and time-consuming adjustments in all related components of a die when any element thereof becomes out of phase or uncoordinated with other elements of the die.
Problems have also existed in the prior art referenced to difficulties created by frictional interference in stock 5 feed and the expense entailed in providing for and adjusting stock feed in a die.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention presents an optimal solution to the above mentioned problems which simplifies the handling, servicing and adjustment of any die and its related operating components.
In the first instance, the invention provides new and unique means for establishing the correct shut height for a die, the same being embodied in conjunction with a guide post and a related bushing, the post and bushing being dually employed for alignment and control of die halves in their movements to and from a working position in reference to an interposed work piece. In preferred embodiments of this aspect of the invention, a punch ring and a die ring are positioned about each guide post which is included in the die set-up. However, the punch ring on one guide post is provided with a particularly contoured upper surface while the related bushing, dependent from the upper die shoe, has its lower extremity contoured in a manner complementary to the upper surface of this punch ring. As will be seen, the contoured punch ring is rotatable 180, between set and run positions which are 180 apart. With the punch ring in its set position a lead wire may be placed on the punch ring for flattening by a single stroke of the ram in the press in which the die apparatus is incorporated, to establish the required shut height of the related die. In its run position, the punch ring is so positioned as to obviate any chance of interference between it and the related bushing in the course of die operation.
It is a feature of the die ring and the punch ring that the same may be simply modified, as will be further described, to respectively coordinate the position of the die ring with the upper surface of the lower die plate of the related die and the punch ring with the position of the die tools.
Further improvement is embodied in the invention die structure by a selective and critical use of disc or ring-shaped elements constituting grind plugs. These plugs are employed in conjunction with and in backing relation to the die components which are normally subject to wear and/or adjustment. The net effect is that when specific tools or dies need be subjected to modifying or grinding, merely by virtue ofa common or universal adjustment or grinding of the plugs one can simply re-establish a proper and precise frame of reference for the die tools and their related die elements and the die tools and the work piece. As will be seen, these grind plugs are embodied not only in reference to the die components which require them but also in the stock feed and control elements which are interrelated therewith for establishing the proper frame of reference of the work piece to the die components.
A primary object of the invention is to provide improvements in die apparatus and related equipment applied to a punch press or the like rendering such apparatus economical to fabricate, more efficient and satisfactory in use and unlikely to malfunction.
Another object of the invention is to provide means which facilitate the installation, adjustment and servicing of a die.
A further object of the invention is to provide simple means facilitating the establishment of a proper shut height for a die in a punch press or like equipment.
Another object of the invention is to embody in a conventional die and related controls a new and unique means facilitating the establishing and maintaining of a proper frame of reference as between tool and die elements and the work piece to be acted upon by such tool and die elements.
An additional object of the invention is to provide means for feeding and guiding a work piece into a die introducing significant improvements in stamping systems and facilitating that the work piece will be repeatedly positioned in its proper frame of reference within a die, even upon adjustment being required of the die components, or any part thereof which relate to the working portions thereof.
Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the type described possessing the advantageous structural features, the inherent meritorious characteristics and the means and mode of use herein described.
With the above and other incidental objects in view as will more fully appear in the specification, the invention intended to be protected by Letters Patent consists of the features of construction, the parts and combinations thereof, and the mode of operation as hereinafter described or illustrated in the accompanying drawings, or their equivalents.
Referring to the drawings wherein are illustrated some but not necessarily all the forms of embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly diagrammatic, illustrating improved die structure in accordance with the invention with a strip of stock material constituting a work piece being introduced into the die;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged view of the portion of the structure of FIG. 1 showing the containment and feed control of the work piece as it is fed into the die;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view, in perspective, illustrating some details of the structure shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view illustrating further detail of the die of FIG. 1, with portions of the view actually being taken in different planes but brought into a single vertical plane for clarity of disclosure;
FIG. 5 is a further sectional view illustrating, in particular, on an enlarged scale, details of the structure enabling the ready establishing ofa shut height for the die structure;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating structure thereof in an alternate position of use; and
FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate details of a further die component which embodies the invention concept.
Referring to the drawings, the invention is, for convenience of disclosure, illustrated as embodied in a die adapted to be installed in a suitable press to perform punching, forming, coining and like operations. The drawings are in part diagrammatic and elements unnecessary to an understanding of the present invention have been omitted.
As seen in the drawings, the components of the die include an upper die or tool retainer plate 10 fastened to an upper die shoe 12 which in turn is adapted to be suitably fixed to the ram of a press. The latter is not shown since the detail thereof is well understood and is not per se necessary to an understanding of the invention. Also included in the die is a lower die plate or matrix 14 fixed in superposed abutting relation to a die shoe 16. The plates 10 and 14 are positioned, of course, in a directly superposed and aligned spaced relation. The die shoe 16 will be suitably and conventionally secured to the bed of the press. In this instance, the die shoe 16 will remain fixed in place while the die shoe 12 and the tool retainer plate 10 will be moved by the related ram in an approaching and retractins relation in respect to the lower die plate 14. Further, interposed between the plates 10 and 14 and suspended from the plate 10 is a stripper plate 18. The suspension means for the stripper plate 18 will be further described.
In the example shown the die shoes 12 and 16 will be interrelated by guide posts 15 and bushings 13 positioned outwardly of the die plates. The bushings 13 are tubular and have their upper ends anchored so they depend from the undersurface of the upper die shoe 12, in a perpendicular relation thereto, to telescope about respective guide posts 15. The latter project upwardly from and perpendicular to the lower die shoe 16 and have their base portions anchored thereto. The base portion of each post 15 is encircled by a die ring 22 and apunch ring 24, the die ring seating at its base to the upper surface of the die shoe 16 and having the punch ring in superposed relation thereto. The die ring and the punch ring will, in preferred embodiment, have equal depth or thickness and similar peripheral configuration.
In the illustrated embodiments of the invention, the coupled posts and bushings are three in number, two being positioned to the rear of the die shoes and one at a forward corner portion thereof. To facilitate description of distinguishing features the forward bushing is identified by the numeral 13' and the related post by the numeral 15. Also, the die and punch rings on the post 15 are similarly distinguished by the respective numerals 22 and 24. As will be seen, the bushings 13, 13 and their related posts 15, 15' cooperate to provide for a controlled and guided movement of the upper die portion to and from the lower die portion.
The preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated does not have conventional set blocks. In lieu thereof the means for establishing the shut height of the die is incorporated in conjunction with the forwardmost bushing identified by the number 13' and its related guide post, identified as 15'.
As previously noted, and as shown in FIG. 6, seating to the uppermost planar surface of the lower die shoe l6 and about the bottom portion of the post 15 is an annular die ring 22. Also positioned about the guide post 15' and seated on and in superposed relation to the die ring 22' is an annular punch ring 24 of equal depth. The ring 24 is rotatable about the post 15 and has a contoured upper surface 26 in which is formed, in a chord-like portion thereof, a groove or channel 28. The dependent extremity 32 of the bushing 13 which positions directly above and in opposed relation to the surface 26 of the punch ring 24' is contoured in a substantially complementary fashion. The punch ring 24 is rotatably adjustable through an arc of to provide set and run positions thereof. The former provides for a positioning of the punch ring to establish the shut height of the related die in a manner to be further described. Suitable means are included to frictionally hold the ring 24' in its respective set and run positions. Such are neither shown nor described, being well within the comprehension of a mechanic.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly FIG. 4 thereof, the invention die apparatus is illustrated in some detail. It is to be noted, however, that the tool and die elements there shown are only by way of example to teach the invention concept. They are not shown with reference to what would normally be a complete assembly nor necessarily in the particular position that a particular stamping procedure might require. The assembly of tool and die elements does, however, indicate a representative combination of elements that might normally occur, in single and plural relationship, in a die. As shown in FIG. 4, the tool retainer plate is suitably bored and counterbored to accommodate die components, with the backing die shoe 12 being appropriately configured, where required, in a complementary sense. Specifically as illustrated, one bore 38 of the plate 10 has a counterbore 40 formed therein at its uppermost end which is capped by the planar bottom surface of the die shoe 12. The bore 38 accommodates the shank of a punch 34, the flanged head end of which seats in the counterbore 40 and in flush abutment with the bottom surface of the die shoe 12. In the open position of the die shown in FIG. 4, the working end of the punch 34 depends within a passage or bore 42 in the stripper plate 18. The passage 42 is in a vertically spaced aligned relation to the bore 38 and also to a tubular die button 44 fixed in an opening in the die plate 14. The button 44 is abutted at its bottom by a disc shaped annular ring 45 forming an extension thereof and seated at its bottom to the die shoe 16.
A second bore 50 illustrated in the plate 10 accommodates the uniform diameter shank 48 of a forming tool 46. The uppermost end of the tool 46 positions substantially flush with the uppermost surface of the plate 10 and is backed by an annular disc-like element 56 which has a greater transverse sectional dimension than the shank of the forming tool. As may be seen, the die shoe 12 has a small diameter passage 52 aligned with the bore 50, the passage 52 being counterbored at its lower end to accommodate the disc 56 in abutted relation to the shoulder formed by such counterbore. A screw 58 is inserted through a central opening in the disc 56 by way of the passage 52 and is threadedly engaged in a tapped hole in the upper end of the forming tool 46. In the assembly of the screw its head is firmly abutted to the backing disc 56. It will be seen that by virtue of the application of the backing disc to the head end of the forming tool that not only is there effectively produced an extension thereof but such extension is applied in a manner to precisely position the working end of the forming tool within an aligned bore 62 in the stripper plate 18. An opening 64 in the lower die plate 14 positioning in aligned relation to the bore 62 accommodates a die button 66 for the forming tool 46. The button 66 is backed by an annular disc segment 68 which effectively forms an extension thereof and seats in a counterbore 70 in the upper end ofa bore 72 in the lower die shoe 16. The opposite end of the bore 72 has a counterbore 74 accommodating the head end of a screw 78. The body of this screw is thrust through a central opening in the disc 68 to engage the die button 66 and establish the same in a firmly based relation to the disc 68. The latter seats to the shoulder provided by the counterbore and has a depth equal to that of the ring 45.
It will be seen that the screws 58 and 78 are releasable for separation of the forming tool and its die button from their respective extensions, as and when required.
The die plate 10 also mounts pilot pins, one of which is illustrated, the function of which is to maintain an aligned relation of the respective plates included in the die structure illustrated. As seen in FIG. 4, a bore 82 in the plate 10 is extended by a coaxial passage 88 in the upper die shoe 12. The passage 88 is provided at its lower end immediately adjacent the die plate 10 with a counterbore 86, the diameter of which is slightly larger than the diameter of the bore 82. The bore 82 accommodates the shank portion of a pilot so the upper end thereof is substantially flush with the upper surface of the plate 10. Moreover, the upper end of the pilot 80 is backed by an annular disc-like segment 84 which seats in and fills the counterbore 86, in abutment to the shoulder formed thereby. The upper end of the passage 88 has a counterbore 90 forming a further shoulder to which is seated the flanged head end of a screw 83, the body of which is thrust through the passge 88, a central aperture in the disc 84 and into a threaded engagement with the upper end of the pilot 80. This positions the pilot 80 to depend vertically from the plate 10 and have its operating end pass through an aligned bore 92 in the stripper plate 18 and in the direction of a coaxial pilot bushing 93 fixed in an aligned opening 94 in the lower die plate 14. The pilot bushing 93 abuts and is backed by the uppermost planar surface of the lower die shoe 16.
As further seen in FIG. 4, the stripper plate 18 is suspended by hangers 96. The latter each include a tubular sleeve 98 which is positioned within a bore 100 in the plate 10, to be suspended from the plate 10 by reason of an externalflange 102 at its upper end seating in abutment with the uppermost surface of the plate 10, about the bore 100. A relatively enlarged passage 104 in the die shoe 12 forms a direct extension of the passage 100, which permits a screw 101 to be thrust through the sleeve 98 to threadedly engage in a vertically aligned tapped hole in the stripper plate 18. An annular disc-like segment 106 is interposed between the lower end of the sleeve 98 and the stripper plate whereby the flanged head end of the screw 101 will suspend the stripper plate by reason of its seating, at its peripheral edge portions to the flange at the upper extremity of the sleeve 98. The segment 106 thus extends the sleeve 98 to a length which determines the proper position of the stripper plate in the open condition of the die.
A further bore 108 in the plate 10 is extended by a cylindrical cavity 110 of similar transverse section which is formed in the bottom surface of the die shoe 12. The uppermost surface of the stripper plate 18 also has a similar cylindrical cavity 112 in which is based the lower end of a caged spring assembly 114.
The assembly 114 is comprised of an outer housing of cylindrical form having internally directed flanges at its extremities on the lower one of which is based a spring means 116. A plate-like segment seats to the upper end of the spring means to be biased thereby to the internal flange at the upper end of the spring cage or housing and incorporates a stud 118 which projects outwardly through the central aperture defined at the upper end of the housing. So formed, the assembly 114 projects perpendicular to its base on the stripper plate and through the bore 108 to have the stud-like projection 118 biased outwardly of the spring cage by its contained spring 116 to position in the cavity 110. Superposed on the stud-like projection 118 is a disc-like segment 122 having a slight clearance with respect to the base of the cavity 110 thereabove.
It is noted to be of significance that in the preferred embodiment of the invention the disc-like segments 56, 84, 106, 122, 45, 70, 134 and the punch rings and die rings will all have the same length or depth. Moreover, it is contemplated that they be of similar material facilitating their ready and simultaneous and identical reforming from their original length or depth to a lesser depth by grinding, cutting or separation, as will be further described.
FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 of the drawings reveal stock guides and feed controls in accordance with the present invention. At what might be considered the entrance throat of the die above described, the lower die shoe l6 mounts transversely spaced perpendicularly projected pegs. Each peg includes a pin-like portion 130 uppermost which projects from the center and axially of a relatively enlarged body portion 132. Projected axially from the center of the opposite or bottom end of the body portion 132 is a screw portion 133; which is thrust through a central aperture in an annular disc-like element 134 to threadedly engage in a tapped hole in the die shoe 16. At theirjuncture with the pin portions 130, the body portions 132 of the transversely spaced pegs define horizontal surface portions outwardly of the pins which lie in a common plane, which plane is also occupied by the upper surface of the die plate 14. Accordingly, as may be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, in feeding stock or a work piece W into the die, the pegs provide a base for the lateral extremities of the work piece or stock while the pin portions 130 provide guide and lateral control of the stock as it is fed to the die. Attention is directed to the fact that the disc-like elements 134 which are in backing relation to the body portions 132 of the pegs not only determine the feed plane defined by the pegs but, as will be further described, they provide the means for readily accommodating a need for adjustment of the feed plane.
Contributing further to control the stock or work piece W in the movement thereof into the die to seat on the platform provided by the lower die plate 14 are cap posts 138. The posts 138 have their lowermost and relatively enlarged ends installed in cylindrical cavities in the die retainer plate 14, seated on and backed by disc-like segments 140 of a nature similar to the segments 134 and the segment 68 backing the forming die button 66. The uppermost and upwardly projected portions of the posts 138 comprise pin-like portions having a depth substantially corresponding to the thickness of the stock or work piece fed on to the die plate 14. The upper extremities of the pin-like portions of the cap posts include flanged head portions. As shown in the drawings, the cap posts 138 are disposed in this instance in transversely spaced apart longitudinally offset relation to one another and dispose their flanged head portions in overlying relation to opposite side edges of the stock.
Accordingly, viewing FIG. 2 ofthe drawings, the pegs as described and the cap posts 138 provide, with a minimum of material and apparatus, a control over the feed of the stock in what are identifiable as y and z directions, these identifications having regard to the .r, y, z terminology as used in the die art. Control of the x direction is a function of the feed means, whatever they might be, which is utilized to advance the stock into the die.
Considering further the FIG. 2 of the drawings, the stock control and guide means there illustrated includes also a pusher device which is in this instance shown opposite to and transversely spaced from one of the cap posts 138. The pusher device shown comprises a cap plate 142 which overlies an edge of the stock or work piece W while an eccentric resilient neck portion 144 serves as a means adjustable to a position to push the stock to maintain its alignment by appropriate and controlled abutment with the cap post 138 op posite the pusher. While not specifically illustrated, it is to be understood that the lower pin-like portion of the pusher device is also oriented in a cylindrical cavity in the die plate 14, and backed by a disc similar to the disc 134. Attention is directed to the fact that the base discs employed in backing relation to the body portions of the pegs, to the cap post 138 and to the pusher device described are all of an identical character in preferred embodiments and all are of equal depth and thickness. The considerable advantage and importance in the use of the discs or disc-like segments will be soon described.
It is noted that the stock guides and feed control previously described have particular reference to applications where one is primarily dealing with flat stock.
Attention is directed to FIGS. 7 and 8 of the drawings wherein are illustrated stock lifters. Lifters are employed for interior lifting of stock where required by the stock or work piece configuration at particular points. Where employed the lifters may be installed, by way of example, in a bore 151 of a lower die plate 14'. As may be observed in FIG. 7, in alignment with the bore 151 is a relatively enlarged bore 156 provided in the backing die shoe 16'. The lifter of FIG. 7 includes an inverted cup-shaped element the lip of which is lowermost and includes an external flange disposing in the bore 156. This flange has a greater diameter than that of the bore 151. under the influence of a biasing spring nested in the cup 150 and based on the backing die shoe, the external flange on the cup is biased toward the undersurface of the die plate 14' within the bore 156. Seated on the base surface of the cup 150 which is uppermost is an annular disc-like element 158 similar in nature and identical in depth with the other disc-like elements or segments which would be associated, in accordance with the invention, with the lower die plate and lower die shoe, of a die installation, such as the elements 134, 68, etc. The lifter device further embodies a flanged cap-like element 148 which seats at a reduced diameter base portion on the disc-like segment 158 and has a central aperture accommodating a screw. The threaded shank portion of this screw projects through the central aperture in the element 158 to threadedly engage in a tapped hole in the base of the cup element 150. As may be seen, in the application of the particular lifter shown, the element 158 has its uppermost surface positioned substantially flush with the upper surface of the lower die plate 14', under the influence of the bias of spring 154 on the cup 150. This positions the flanged uppermost extremity 148 of the lifter assembly in a spaced relation to the upper surface of the die plate 14', to form with the underlying element 158 a groove which may be utilizedin accommodating the passage of stock or a work piece W. The function of the lifter, other than its unique construction, is conventional and it need not be here described. It is indicated in FIG. 7 that there will under normal circumstances be provided a cylindrical cavity in the bottom of the associated stripper plate, for obvious reasons. FIG. 8 of the drawings illustrates the device of FIG. 7 in an exploded view thereof. It is to be understood, of course, that the lifters may be related specifically to the lower die shoe, as and where required.
It should be pointed out, with reference to the pegs and cap posts employed in the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the pegs replace conventional aprons or outrigger arms and function for open guide means of the stock or work piece W into the die during starting and are particularly applicable to manual feeding of strip stock.
Attention is now directed once more to the interrelation of the guide post 15 embodying the rings 22' and 24' at its base and the bushing 13, the combination of which facilitates establishing and maintaining the required shut height of the described die. Reference is made to FIG. 5 of the drawings in this respect. As seen, the rotatable ring 24' has a contoured upper surface which, as previously described, includes a channel '28 adapted to receive therein, in the set position thereof, a lead wire 27. In the initial setup of the die, in a trial stroke, producing a relatively approaching motion of the upper half of the illustrated die to the lower half, the bushing 13 will move down to impact on and flatten the wire 27. Depth of the wire is observed to the point of the required and desired relation of the die tools to the related die elements, at which point the wire has been flattened to a particular thickness and the shut height of the die is established. Once this is accomplished, one need only rotate the ring 24 180 to establish the same in its run position, which is shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings. Having effected the determination of the thickness of the wire for the required shut height of the particular die installation, one insures that a same or like die may with facility and accuracy be prepared for use without repeated trial and fitting. In the run position of the parts, the complementary relation of the contoured lower end of the bushing 13 and the surface 26 uppermost on the ring 24' insures that the die will not be damaged if it is accidentally closed without stock in place on the platform provided by the lower die plate 14. The invention improvements in this respect, eliminating the conventional set blocks and the old method of obtaining shut height, is important from the fact that a die set may be closed more accurately and with a definite shut position, of particular advantage where forming tools are incorporated in the die.
Considering now the operation of the die and associated apparatus as described, the die will in the first instance function in conventional manner. Assuming the stock or work piece W has been fed into its proper position on a platform provided by the upper surface of the lower die plate 14, through the medium of the ram of the press in which the die is installed, the tool retainer plate 10, backed by the die shoe 12 and having in advance thereof the stripper plate 18, will descend until the stripper plate makes contact with the work piece. Continued lowering movement of the ram of the press will result in a compression of the caged springs 116.
This causes a relatively powerful pressure to be exerted through the stripper plate to hold the work piece flat to the lower die plate. In respect to the caged spring assemblies employed in backing relation to the stripper plate, attention is directed to the fact that in the first instance there is a slight clearance as between the disc element 122 in backing relation to the stud 118 and the base of cavity 110. This insures that a preload set in reference to the caged spring 116 in each backing spring assembly employed will be uniform and as originally prescribed, and the effect of the spring or springs 116 upon compression can be reliably predicted.
In further continued movement of the ram of the press, the punch components and forming tools such as indicated by the numbers 34 and 46 will have their operating ends moved to function, as required, in respect to the work piece. The projecting tips of the tools will perform their appropriate punching, cutting, bending or like operations and the movements thereof will be accommodated within the respectively related die elements embodied in the lower die plate 14. At the same time, of course, the other components related to the upper die plate such as the pilots will serve their normal guiding functions. On a relatively upward movement of the ram of the press in which the die is incorporated, the working tools will be withdrawn from the die plate 14 and relative the stripper plate 18 in the first instance. This will gradually reduce the reactant pressure applied to the stripper plate through the medium of the backing spring assemblies 114. As will be obvious, during a closing of the die, the hanger devices will project into the passages 104 in the upper die show and with the opening of the die, they will respectively return to their appropriate positions, extending precisely, by virtue of the sleeves 98 and the disc-like elements 106 forming their extensions, from the uppermost surface of the tool retainer plate 10 to the uppermost surface of the stripper plate 18 in its open position.
As is well recognized, the tools such as punches 34 have a limited useful life as compared to forming tools such as 46. The punches must be frequently ground off for sharpening and reforming their operating ends, in which instance the effective length thereof is shortened. With this shortening, all the other elements related thereto which are mounted to project in dependent relation to the tool retainer plate must be adjusted so the interrelation between the parts will be recaptured. Conventionally this has been a time consuming, expensive and relatively difficult procedure. However, by virtue of the present invention, this adjustment process has been simplified. All one needs to do to recapture the relative position of the parts, such as illustrated in FIG. 4, for example, is to simply remove the disc-like segments 84, 122, 106 and 56, which may be termed grind plugs, and fix them relative to each other by any suitable mechanical means so their upper surfaces are disposed in a common plane, whereupon one can simultaneously remove a portion of these segments which is equal in depth to that portion of the punch or punches 34 which has been removed in the sharpening thereof due to wear. Similarly, punch ring 24 on the post 15 will be reduced in depth. With this change in dimension obviously easily determined, one can then adjust the stops for the ram of the press whereupon the required shut height is simply recaptured. It will of course be obvious that on replacement of the disc-like segments in respect to their related die components,
the related screws such as 83, 101 and 58 will be simply turned to firmly seat the connected die elements.
Taking the concept described a step further, in the event the lower die plate requires a dressing or grinding of its platform or upper surface, one need only remove those die elements such as 44, 66 and the discs which form extensions thereof, such as 68, prior to grinding. It being readily determined as to the depth by which the thickness of the plate 14 will be reduced, one need only assemble the discs such as 68 and reduce them by like amounts in a simple and obviously similar manner. Of course, since the plane of the platform provided by the lower die plate 14 will be displaced from its original plane, those discs associated with the pegs such as 134, the cap posts such as 138 and the pusher, etc. will also be reduced by like amount and by a simple screw type tightening in most instances all the operating surfaces of the related components which determine the plane in which the work piece W is to move will be quickly reestablished in a common plane with the upper surface of the lower die plate 14. The die ring 22 will be reduced at the same time a like amount where the position of the dies embodied in the apparatus described dictates the necessity. Of course, where lifter or guide roll devices such as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 are employed, the disc elements 158, depending on their application, will be similarly modified.
It should be recognized that the invention uniquely obviates the need for working to modify any tools or guides per se, the materials of which might be highly resistant to removal of portions or adjustment thereof in any respect. Moreover, the considerable savings in time as well as the savings in money that may be achieved in a maintenance procedure should be well evident to those versed in the art.
It is emphasized, moreover, that the use of the rings 22 and 24 in lieu of the conventional set blocks enables a die to be immediately put to use from storage with all depths to be initially and quickly determined already set. The facility of being able to grind or otherwise modify the punch ring 22' a like amount with regrind of punches, along with the other disc-like segments related to the tool retainer plate, and the die ring 24 a like amount along with those disc segments related to the lower die plate, enables the mechanics who effect the setup of a die and the maintenance thereof to have their operations readily synchronized and in effect automatic. Of course use of the bushing 13 in relation to the ring 24 will come into play only in the instance that setup is required at the time the die set is put to use. However, the inherent accuracy provided in the system described makes the time involved for this purpose minimal.
It should be obvious that, if during operation of the die there should be any reason for the die to override the depth of set, the major force of bottoming out will be absorbed by the impact of the quide bushings against the rings 22 and 24, thereby preventing further damage to the total tooling within the die.
Practice enabled by the invention has further advantage since it obviates the need also for regenerating the often complex working end shapes offorming tools. Attention is directed to the fact also that in the employment of the disc 122 in conjunction with the backing springs for the stripper plate, on is able to maintain consistent plate pressure throughout the grind life of the die. This obviates conditions which might cause warping of the plate 18. Also obviated by the invention is the often requirement for readjusting pressure conditions throughout a die. This is eliminated employing the invention system.
In summary, the invention enables an establishment of and a servicing of a die so as to maintain therein a constant working height that is coordinated throughout the included components in a simple and highly effective manner.
It should be obvious from the foregoing that a new structure and a highly advantageous practice is enabled by the invention here described.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. Die apparatus including upper and lower die halves comprising means to receive therebetween a work piece and to act thereon to modify said work piece, said lower die half including a lower die plate defining a platform for said work piece, and said upper half including a tool retainer plate mounting die tools movable therewith to and from said platform to engage said work piece and modify the same, and a discshaped element in association with at least a portion of said die tools for establishing the effective position thereof, said disc-shaped element being reformable as to its depth in an axial sense in correspondence with the shortening or modification of one or more of said die tools so as to maintain a prescribed relative positioning of the working portions of said die tools.
2. Die apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said discshaped element is independent of the associated die tool and forms an axial extension thereof.
3. Die apparatus as in claim 2 wherein said discshaped element is positioned in backing relation to the die tools which have less tendency to wear than other of said die tools.
4. Die apparatus as in claim 3 wherein said discshaped elements as originally applied, are all of equal length or depth.
5. Die apparatus as in Claim 1 including a stripper plate interposed between said tool retainer plate and said platform and suspended relative said tool retainer plate by hangers, and biasing means interposed between said tool retainer plate and said stripper plate, said hangers and said biasing means each having one of said disc-shaped elements in association therewith to provide for the adjustment of the effective position thereof to accommodate a modification of the effective length of die tools mounted to said tool retainer plate.
6. Die apparatus as in claim 5 wherein said discshaped elements have a form facilitating a simultaneous reforming thereof to accommodate a change in the effective projected length of said die tools in reference to said tool retainer plate.
7. Die apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said lower die plate incorporates die elements having a mating relation to tools and/or other die elements projected from said tool retainer plate, and at least a portion of said mating die elements including, as an extension thereof, means for varying the position thereof to maintain a prescribed operating condition of said die apparatus.
8. Apparatus as in claim 1 characterized by guide means interrelating said die halves to control the alignment thereof as one thereof moves relative the other, said guide means incorporating means for determining the shut height of the die apparatus.
9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 8 characterized by said means for determining the shut height of said apparatus having in association therewith means reformable to compensate within the guide means for a reduction of the projected length of said one or more of said die tools so as to facilitate the precise positioning thereof in reference to said lower die plate.
10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 characterized by said lower die plate having backing plate means which extend peripherally thereof and peg means mounted to said backing plate means for guiding a work piece onto said platform and said peg means having in association therewith means reformable to compensate for a change in the level of said platform to maintain a feed plane which is constant relative to the plane of said platform.
11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 10 characterized by die elements embodied in said lower die plate for cooperation with said die tools, at least a portion of said die elements having means defining extensions thereof, said extensions providing means reformable to compensate for reduction in thickness of said lower die plate to obviate the need for grinding die elements per se in maintaining said die elements in a proper frame of reference to the associated die tools.
12. For use in a stamping system, die apparatus including a tool retainer plate mounting die tools to project therefrom and an opposed die retainer plate mounting die elements having an aligned working relation to respective die tools, and including elements constituting guide and alignment means having a hearing relation to each other in movement of one said plate relative the other to punch, cut and/or form a work piece disposed therebetween, at least a portion of said guide and alignment means having means embodied therein for establishing the shut height of the die apparatus. the last mentioned means including related means at least one element of which is mounted for a rotative movement to be selectively positioned for establishing the shut height or to provide for an operation of said die apparatus without interference and with the elements of said die apparatus disposed in position to inhibit damage thereto.
13. For use in a stamping system, die apparatus including a tool retainer plate mounting die tools to project therefrom and an opposed die retainer plate mounting die elements having an aligned working relation to respective die tools, and including elements constituting guide and alignment means having a bearing relation to each other in movement of one said plate relative the other to punch, cut and/or form a work piece disposed therebetween, at least a portion of said guide and alignment means having means embodied therein for establishing the shut height of the die apparatus including a post and a telescopically related bushing and adjustable means on said post having a ring-like configuration and being rotatable on said post, a surface of said ring-like means and an end portion of said telescopically related bushing being contoured in complementary fashion to provide optionally for said ring-like means in one position to serve a function in establishing the shut height of the die apparatus and in the other position to provide for the free operation of said die apparatus.
14. Apparatus as in claim 13 characterized by means for varying the axial placement of said ring-like structure to prevent interference in the operation of previously set die tools and die elements.
15. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 characterized by said plates each having backing plate means, the said backing plate means for said die retainer plate extending peripherally thereof and the said guide and alignment means positioning in connection with said backing plates.
16. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 characterized by stock guide means in association with said die retainer plate having in a connected relation therewith means reformable to compensate therein for any modification of the level of the surface of said die retainer plate so as to readily maintain a predetermined and prescribed disposition in reference thereto.
17. For use in a stamping system, die apparatus including a tool retainer plate mounting die tools to project therefrom and an opposed die retainer plate mounting die elements having an aligned working relation to respective die tools, and means constituting independent disc-like segments in association with selected of said die tools, said disc-like segments being reformable per se as to their depth, in an axial sense, independent of said selected tools to accommodate a change in position of the tools whereby to provide for a change in their effective projected length so as to maintain the relative position of the working portions of all said die tools as originally established.
18. Apparatus as in claim 17 characterized by said die retainer plate incorporating therein die elements which have in associated relation therewith means defining an effective extension thereof, said means defining effective extensions thereof being reformable grind plugs.
19. Apparatus as set forth in claim 18 characterized by guide means providing for a controlled and aligned movement of one of said tool retainer plate or said die retainer plate to the other, said guide means incorporating means in association therewith for determining the required shut height of said die apparatus and in cluding means to prevent interference in the operation of previously set die tools and die elements.
20. Apparatus as set forth in claim 19 including feed and stock control means in association with said die retainer plate incorporating therein means constituting grind plugs reformable to change the level of said feed and stock control means in correspondence with changes in the plane of said die plate which serves as a platform for a work piece interposed between said tool retainer plate and said die retainer plate.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE r CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Pat No- 3,848,452 Dated November 19-; 1974 lnv nt fl Robert J. Gargrave It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Col. 4, line 12, "retractins" has been corrected I to read retracting Col. 10, line 32, "show" has been corrected to .rea'd shoe Col. 11, line 65 "on" is corrected to read-- one Signed and sealed this 4th day of February 1975.
McCOY M. GIBSON JR. c. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC 603764 69 U,S. GOVERNMENT PIIIR'I IG OfFICE "II O-iii-SS, v
FORM PO-IOSO (10-69)