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A Quick-Release Coupling for an End of Arm Tool Cooling Tube

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035427D
Publication Date: 2005-Jan-20
Document File: 3 page(s) / 147K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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5447426: PATENT [+2]

Abstract

A quick-release coupling between an end of arm tool (EOAT) tube and an EOAT plate. The coupling comprises a mounting ring disposed within a bore in the plate, an end of the EOAT tube configured as a spigot and a complementary spigot bore within the mounting ring and a plurality of spring-biased detent balls and complementary groove disposed on the EOAT tube. The detent balls are configured to be retractably extensible into the spigot bore such that when the tube is properly seated, the circumferential groove receives the extended detent balls, whereby the intimate fit in combination with the force exerted by the springs holds the tube in place.

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A Quick-Release Coupling for an End of Arm Tool Cooling Tube

Abstract

            A quick-release coupling between an end of arm tool (EOAT) tube and an EOAT plate. The coupling comprises a mounting ring disposed within a bore in the plate, an end of the EOAT tube configured as a spigot and a complementary spigot bore within the mounting ring and a plurality of spring-biased detent balls and complementary groove disposed on the EOAT tube. The detent balls are configured to be retractably extensible into the spigot bore such that when the tube is properly seated, the circumferential groove receives the extended detent balls, whereby the intimate fit in combination with the force exerted by the springs holds the tube in place.

Background to Invention

Presently, the use of robots in injection molding systems is prevalent for assisting with a post-molding handling and conditioning of molded articles (e.g. preforms). As such, efficiency in maintenance of these systems becomes a concern in an attempt to reduce downtime. Traditionally, end of arm tool (EOAT) preform cooling tubes have been connected to EOAT plates by means of screws and clamps. However, such configuration is cumbersome and time consuming in a maintenance perspective. In addition, the present methods for installing and removing the EOAT tubes may lead to the damage thereof (e.g. tool marks on the molding surface).

            As such, an improved EOAT tube to plate mounting configuration has been developed that addresses the problems introduced hereinbefore. In particular, through the use of a spring biased detent ball and socket arrangement, a quick-connect mechanism is configured that allows each EOAT tube to be separated from the EOAT plate quickly...