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Dual-Head Tape Reel Gripper Mechanism

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000041718D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hewett, FA: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A light-weight, short-stroke gripper 10 allows two heads to be used to reduce the cycle time of removing a reel from a winder/tester and replacing it with a full reel. This device, shown in Figs. 1-3, is used for handling individual reels of tape for placing on the drive hub spindles used on the tape testers and the tape-winding machines of a tape-manufacturing process. The gripper head assembly is used at the tape test area and the winder area of the manufacturing process. Only the tape test area gripper head assembly will be described since the concept at the winder of the manufacturing process is virtually identical. The gripper assembly in the tape test area is mounted directly to the top of a robot and is integrated therewith to form a reel-delivery system. Each reel-delivery system services six testers.

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Dual-Head Tape Reel Gripper Mechanism

A light-weight, short-stroke gripper 10 allows two heads to be used to reduce the cycle time of removing a reel from a winder/tester and replacing it with a full reel. This device, shown in Figs. 1-3, is used for handling individual reels of tape for placing on the drive hub spindles used on the tape testers and the tape- winding machines of a tape-manufacturing process. The gripper head assembly is used at the tape test area and the winder area of the manufacturing process. Only the tape test area gripper head assembly will be described since the concept at the winder of the manufacturing process is virtually identical. The gripper assembly in the tape test area is mounted directly to the top of a robot and is integrated therewith to form a reel-delivery system. Each reel-delivery system services six testers. The tape-tester reel-delivery system includes a device called an indexer. This unit dispenses reels to the gripper 10, one at a time, and accepts tested reels from the gripper. A tester under computer control sends a signal to the delivery system indicating that the test has been completed on the reel tape now in place and to deliver a new untested reel. The gripper 10 removes a new untested reel from the indexer arbor. The reel-delivery system transfers the reel to this tester. Since the gripper has two gripper heads, one empty and one full, the empty head is positioned at the tested reel on the tester. The tested reel is removed from the tester. The untested reel is positioned at the tester and deposited. The tested reel is now delivered back to the indexer and deposited on the indexer "finished goods" arbor. One cycle has now been completed. This cycle will be repeated when the next tester calls for a new reel. All untested reels are read with a bar code reader prior to delivery for quality tracking, etc. The two gripper heads on each gripper are identical. Each head consists of three gripper jaws 16, three vacuum blocks 18, one hub latch ring 19, a head-floating compliance device 22 and a head extend/retract cylinder (not shown). The three gripper jaws 16 are actuated by a centrally located compression spring 26. The gripping force of the jaws 16 on the reel of tape is derived from this spring. The intent of using the spring for gripping is in the event of air loss while the r...