DEVICE FOR BINDING TOGETHER AT LEAST ONE OBJECT, IN PARTICULAR A CABLE BUNCH, BY A BINDING MEANS
The invention relates to a device for binding together at least one object, e.g. a cable bunch or cable coil, by a binding means .
As is known, the cable spectrum for such a binding device in the cable industry is very large, and indeed everything from true flexible parts, such as PVC and silicone cables, to stiff cables, such as thick coaxial cables, should be processed. Many cable processers wind the cables into coils in order better to be able to carry out the subsequent processing steps of the cable end processing and in order to be able to transport the cables more easily. After the coiling of the cable, the coil must be transferred in a firmly held state to a binding station, the cable coil being bound together at at least one point over its full cross-section (around all cables) by a binding means.
In general, wires or tapes ("twist tie") which generally likewise have a centrally mounted, permanently deformable wire which is embedded between two strips of paper, plastic or the like serve as such binding means or closure means. Such tapes subject the enclosed object to less stress and can easily be opened by human fingers and, if required, also tied up again.
The prior art (EP-0711704 and US-5518045) discloses a device for twisting the ends of a binding means which wraps around an object. This device has a means for feeding the binding means from a tape store to the
object to be packed, and a single rotatable articulated arm for guiding the tape around the object, which device can be tilted from its working position into an opened position for insertion of the object. In addition, a cutting means and a twisting means are provided. The articulated arm is provided with a channel for holding the tape. The twisting means is approximately S-shaped and has two hook-like parts for forming a twisted section of the two ends of the binding means.
GB-1087200 (also DE-1285380) describes a device for closing a bag by means of a tape piece which is placed in a U-shape around the bunched-together end of the bag and is twisted. Said device is provided with a combined shear-off/twist head which has a driver for positive gripping of the two U-limbs of the binding means. The driver on the shear-off/twist head is in the form of a Z-shaped hook whose free ends encompass the ends of the binding means simultaneously from opposite sides. The free ends of the driver are circular so that there is contact between the driver and the limbs of the tape.
A further known binding device (US-5121682 or EP- 0460880) has two articulated arms for guiding the tape around the object. These articulated arms can be pivoted from their position in which they are swiveled against one another to an open position for insertion and removal of the object. The arms are provided with one open guide groove each for the tape. Before the twisting, one end of the tape is fastened in a first fixing unit but the other end is fastened in a second
f ixing uni t .
The mechanical design of such devices is just as complicated and expensive as their control. Moreover, their use requires technical knowledge and some skill on the part of the operator. On the other hand, the orientation of the binding tape in the twisting apparatus is also problematic, which can often adversely affect the quality of the binding work.
From the point of view of the applicant, the most important preconditions regarding a device of this type would be:
• Relatively small dimensions and simple construction and actuation,
• Construction as elongated as possible, i.e. in particular small dimensions in the width - where binding takes place,
• Rapid binding process (max 1-2 sec) , • Universal applicability,
• Possibility of using a continuous tape material,
• Tapes tied together should be capable of being easily opened manually without a tool,
• The tape material must not damage the cable or the other object.
However, this complex requirement cannot be met by any of the known solutions.
It is therefore the object of the invention to provide a device for binding together at least one object, e.g. a cable bunch, securely and rapidly. Said device
should have an uncomplicated, compact design and should improve and simplify the binding process with respect to quality. On the other hand, the device should be universally applicable.
The object set is achieved to a comprehensive extent by the features of the main claim. Advantageous further developments of the invention are stated in the dependent claims.
The proposed device for binding together at least one object, in particular a cable bunch, with the aid of a binding means, e.g. binding tape, has, according to the invention, the following units: • a rack or a baseplate having a stock roll for the binding means;
• a feed apparatus for feeding the free end of the binding means taken off from the stock roll to the object to be bound together; • two articulated arms for guiding the binding means around the object. The articulated arms can be opened from a working position forming a guide channel into an opened position for insertion or removal of the object and for release of the binding means for the twisting process;
• a cutting apparatus for cutting off the rear end of the binding means after a predetermined length has been reached;
• a twisting apparatus for twisting the two free ends - after the rear end has been cut off - of the binding means wrapped around the object, which twisting apparatus is provided with a rotary head
and therein with an opening for the two free ends of the binding means.
The essence of the invention is now seen in detail in the fact that the rotary head of the twisting apparatus has, on its end face, an axial feed opening and an axial removal opening for the binding means. However, the feed opening and the removal opening are, according to the invention, formed in such a way that they themselves can securely hold the two ends of the binding means - and also the binding means loop formed from the binding means - in the rotary head during the twisting (when the articulated arms are in the opened state) exclusively by friction, i.e. without any additional fastening means.
According to a further feature of the invention, each articulated arm - as already mentioned - has a split design and preferably consists of two arm parts which have a first position in which they are closed together in pairs and form a closed guide channel for the binding means, and a second position opened laterally away from one another and intended for releasing the binding means (or binding means loop) from the guide channel. Preferably, the closed guide channel consists of a main arc around the object and, at the beginning and at the end, of at least two smaller arc sections which are curved in the opposite direction. This measure serves for centrally oriented and therefore improved feeding and removal of the binding means. In other words, the location where the binding means is fed in and the location where the binding means is removed are close together. In addition, owing to the
smaller arc sections leading in opposite directions, the binding means can be removed in the same direction as that in which it is fed in. This circumstance is primarily responsible for enabling the binder to be designed so as to be compact and rod-like. This in turn permits a very compact design because the feed unit can be arranged firstly for the feeding in and clamping the binding tape and secondly in line with the cutting unit and the twisting unit. This leads to the desired compact design which permits installation of the device even where little space is available or where the device must as far as possible be elongated
(rod-like) in order to reach the object to be bound or to be capable of being displaced. In contrast, the device shown in US5121682 is, for example, much less compact .
The achievable further advantages and details of the invention are to be found below in the description of the figures.
The invention is described in more detail below with reference to the attached drawings of a working example . • Fig.l shows a schematic perspective diagram of a working example of the device according to the invention,
• Fig. IA shows a part of the solution according to Fig.l on a larger scale and in the laterally opened state,
• Fig.2 shows a front view of a detail of the solution according to Fig.l,
• Fig.3 shows a side view, partly cut away, of the mutual arrangement of the articulated arms and of the rotary head according to Fig.l,
• Fig.4 shows a specific embodiment of the most important components of the device according to
Fig.l - 3.
The invention relates to a device 1 for binding together an object 2, e.g. a cable bunch, or a plurality of objects, with the aid of a binding means 4 taken off from a stock roll 3 and cut off, in this case of a binding tape ("twist tie") . The stock roll 3 and the further units of the device 1 according to the invention which are discussed below are all arranged on a rack 34 (it is shown only partly and schematically in Fig.l and is omitted in Fig.4) .
According to Fig.l and 4, the device 1 has a feed apparatus 5 which is suitable for feeding in a front (free) leading end 6 of the binding means 4 taken off from the stock roll 3 to the object 2 to be bound together. In this example, the feed apparatus 5 consists of a driven pair of rollers. The feed direction of the binding means 6 is designated by an arrow 7 in Fig.l and 4.
The device is provided with two separable articulated arms 8 and 9 whose function is to guide the binding means 4 around the object 2 to be bound together (cf. Fig.3) . The articulated arms 8 and 9 are arranged so that they can be brought from their working position in which they are swiveled against one another to their opened position (cf. Fig.l and 4 and the
position designated by the dash-dot line in Fig.3) for insertion or removal of the object 2 to be bound together. Of course, the invention is not limited to the insertion and removal of bunches but also comprises in particular the movement of the device toward such bunches and the withdrawal of it from said bunches after the binding.
In the embodiment shown, each articulated arm 8, 9 is split in the middle and consists of two arm parts 8A and 8B and 9A and 9B, respectively, which can be opened and closed in pairs laterally relative to one another by a translational movement. In this embodiment, by lateral closing of the two arm parts 8A and 8B, and 9A and 9B, a closed guide channel 10 forms and makes it possible to guide the binding means 4 through arcs of different and opposite curvature. Faultless guidance of the binding means 4 is therefore ensured.
For releasing a resulting binding means loop guided in such a manner, the two arm parts 8A and 8B and 9A and 9B, can each be opened laterally by a translational movement (cf. arrows 11 and 12 in Fig.l) by means of a drive which is not shown (Fig. IA) . As mentioned above, the articulated arms 8 and 9 can also be opened (cf. arrows 32 and 33 in Fig.3) and closed (cf. arrows 32 and 33 in Fig.l) by means of a drive which is not shown (e.g. by means of one pneumatic working cylinder each) .
Thus, in the working example illustrated, first the arm parts 8A and 8B, and 9A and 9B, are opened
laterally (Fig. IA) and then the two articulated arms 8 and 9 are opened about their pivot points 13 and 14, respectively (their opened position is designated by a dash - dot line in Fig.3) .
In the closed state of the two articulated arms 8 and 9 (Fig.3), the closed guide channel 10 contains a main arc H, which here is in the form of an arc of a circle around the object 2, the central angle β of which preferably has a value of 250° - 320°. According to Fig.3, this angle value is chosen to be about 300°. In addition, the guide channel 10 forms, at the beginning and at the end, at least two smaller arc sections 15, 16 which are curved in the opposite direction and which permit centric, i.e. centrically oriented feeding of the binding means 4 from the feed opening 24 into the guide channel 10 and removal thereof from the guide channel 10 into the removal opening 25. The arc sections 15 and 16 are in the form of equal arcs of a circle in Fig.3, the central angle α of which has a value of about 50° - 70°, preferably about 60°.
This, i.e. the so to speak triple arc form of the closed guide channel 10, is an important property of the present invention. As a result, the binding means 4 can therefore be fed in centrically and removed again at almost the same point in the same direction.
On the other hand, this also permits the centric positioning of a twisting apparatus 17. In addition, this permits a very compact design because the feed apparatus 5 can be arranged firstly for feeding and
clamping the binding means 4 and secondly in line with a cutting apparatus 18 and the twisting apparatus 17 (Fig.l and 4) .
This special arrangement therefore leads to the desired compact design which permits the installation of the device 1 according to the invention even where little space is present or where the binder must have a rod shape in order to reach the object 2 to be bound. (As already mentioned, the known binder apparatuses sited above are much less compact.)
The twisting apparatus 17 serves for twisting the two ends of the binding means 4, which then already completely encompasses the object 2. In this case, the twisting apparatus 17 comprises a rotary head 20 whose end face 21 is opposite an entrance 22 and an exit 23 of the guide channel 10 in the two articulated arms 8, 9 (Fig.3) . This is therefore the guide channel which is closed on all sides when the articulated arms 8 and 9 are in the closed working position .
The end face 21 of the rotary head 20 comprises an axial feed opening 24 for the binding means 4 and an axial removal opening 25 for leading out the leading end 4 of the binding means 4 at the end of the feed process. The binding means 4 therefore emerges from the feed opening 24, enters the closed guide channel 10, passes through it and, at the end of the guide channel 10, emerges again from the articulated arms 8 and 9 in order to enter the removal opening 25.
Behind the rotary head 20, the arrival of the leading end 6 is registered by means of the optical sensor 19 (Fig.l, 3 and 4) in order to stop the further advance of the binding means 4 and in order, under sensor control, to cut off the rear end of the binding means 4 by actuation of a cutting apparatus 18.
The rotary head 20 is connected to a rotary drive 26, with the aid of which the two tape ends - after opening of the articulated arms 8 and 9 and their arm parts 8A and 8B, and 9A and 9B, respectively - are twisted once, twice, three times or as often as desired or appropriately nonintegral multiples of 1.
The feed opening 24 and the removal opening 25 in the rotary head 20 are preferably formed as parallel slots having outer feed bevels 27 and 28, respectively, for a binding tape.
The feed opening 24 and the removal opening 25 in the rotary head 20 are dimensioned according to the invention so that they themselves are suitable, even during the twisting, for securely holding the two ends of the binding means 4 - and at the same time also the binding means loop exclusively by frictional resistance - i.e. without additional fastening means - and for holding them until the object has been completely encompassed by the binding tape. This simplifies the construction according to the invention in a surprising manner.
In Fig.3, the lower articulated arm 9 is provided (in the parting plane) with an aligning pin 29 and the
upper articulated arm 8 with a bore receiving the aligning pin 29, for closing together the two articulated arms 8 and 9 with exact orientation.
In the case shown, the rotary drive 26 of the rotary head 20 consists of a pair 30, 31 of cog wheels (Fig.2) and a drive motor, and a control known per se (not shown) .
The cutting apparatus 18 thus serves for cutting the rear end of the tape at a predetermined length. Fig.l and 4 show that the cutting apparatus 18 is arranged as a pair of knives between the stock roll 30 and the twisting apparatus 17. In the case of the cutting apparatus, it is unimportant whether the cutting knife is moved toward a stationary cutting edge downward from above or vice versa, or whether two moveable cutting knives move toward one another.
According to the invention, the cutting process is initiated when the leading end 6 of the binding means 4 is withdrawn slightly from the region of the optical sensor 19 by means of the feed apparatus 5. In Fig.l, 2 and 4, the optical sensor 19 is arranged behind the rotary head 20 (i.e. in the region of the exit of the removal opening 25) .
The feed apparatus 5 pushes the binding means 4 through the feed opening 24 and through the guide channel 10 until said binding means is detected on the exit side of the removal opening 25 (behind the rotary head 20) by the optical sensor 19 (cf . Fig.3) .
On the other hand, according to a further development of the invention, the feed apparatus 5 also serves, according to the invention, for withdrawing the binding means 4 after encompassing is complete to such an extent that the binding means 4 rests cleanly over its entire circumference on the object 2 before it is twisted. This moment is reached when the leading end 6 of the binding means 4 is slightly withdrawn from the region of the optical sensor 19 by means of the feed apparatus 5. Alternatively, the entire device could also be pushed back in order to tighten the binding means around the coil.
In the context of the invention, the frictional conditions are chosen so that, in this phase, the binding means 4 rests cleanly on the object 2 but exerts no substantial pressure on the bound object 2.
The binding means 4 is therefore guided in the guide channel 10 in succession through three different arcs, first through the first arc section 15, then through the main arc H and finally through the second arc section 16. However, this is possible only because of the proposed closed cable channel 10. It is only through this that the centric feeding and removal of the binding means 4 is possible at all. This is one of the most important properties of this working example of the binding device 1 according to the invention .
The rack 34 can also be replaced by a housing or by a baseplate. Preferably, the rack 34 is displaceable or drivable between a working position and a rest
position of the device 1. In the working example shown, the rack 34 is in the form of a chassis which can be driven on rails 35 and has an automatically actuatable drive (not shown) .
The more substantial advantages of the invention are as follows:
• relatively small total volume of the device 1,
• rod-like form of the device 1 also possible, permitting access to the object 2 to be bound even under adverse installation conditions,
• the feed apparatus 5 serves for feeding and also for slightly withdrawing the binding means 4,
• unambiguous and precise orientation and trouble- free guidance of the binding means 4, in particular in the region of the twisting apparatus 17 and in the closed guide channel 10,
• relatively simple construction,
• small number of moving parts.
The proposed closed guide channel 10 could be formed analogously from more than three sections which may be at least partly arc-shaped but not necessarily in the form of an arc of a circle.
Regarding Fig.4, it should also be noted that the operating state shown, with the leading end 6 of the binding means, does not usually occur since this end is held in the guide channel and comes to rest there. This diagram is intended merely to schematically show the course of the binding means before the guide channel .
Finally, it should be emphasized that the invention is not limited to the working example described above. Further developments, modifications and combinations are within the scope of the patent claims and are conceivable for a person skilled in the art from the above disclosure.
For the purpose of the combination of the device according to the invention or disclosed device, the patent applications (Applicant's references S73CH, S75CH and S79CH) filed on the same date are hereby stated.
This combination is stated with regard to the grounds for priority of any later combined application.
In relation to S73CH, there is the following possibility for combination: The device for binding with a tape can be completely replaced by the device described above. All other components of the coiler can remain unchanged.
In relation to S75CH, there is the following possibility for combination:
The coiler with a transport apparatus according to S75CH can readily be equipped with a device described above .
In relation to S79CH, there is the following possibility for combination:
A coiler which produces ends true to position, as according to S79CH, is also suitable for fixing the
resulting coil by means of wire or tape according to the present application. However, it is precisely a coil fixed in this manner that fits particularly well on a transport apparatus according to S75CH.
LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS
1 Device (binder)
2 Object (e.g. cables or wires) 3 Stock roll
4 Binding means
5 Feed apparatus
6 Free/leading end of the binding means (e.g. wire or wire-supported tape) 7 Arrow (direction of advance of the binding means)
8 First articulated arm 8A, 8B Arm parts
9 Second articulated arm 9A, 9B Arm parts
10 Guide channel
11 Arrow (lateral opening direction of the arm part 8A or 9A)
12 Arrow (lateral opening direction of the arm part 8B or 9B)
13 Pivot point (of the articulated arm 8)
14 Pivot point (of the articulated arm 9)
15 First arc section
16 Second arc section 17 Twisting apparatus
18 Cutting apparatus
20 Rotary head
21 End face 22 Entrance (to the guide channel)
23 Exit (from the guide channel)
24 Feed opening
25 Removal opening
26 Rotary drive
27 Feed bevel
28 Feed bevel
29 Aligning pin
30 Cog wheel (drive)
31 Cog wheel (drive)
32 Arrow (opening direction of the split arm 8
33 Arrow (opening direction of the split arm 9
H Main arc α Angle β Angle