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Automated Assembly of Key Components Into a Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043484D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 93K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Akam, NJ: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A keyboard is assembled from a one-piece moulded frame 1 (Fig. 1) having an array of key apertures 2, with chimneys 3 extending from one side and shallow sockets 4 formed on the opposite side. The keybuttons 5 have hollow protruding stems which are located inside the chimneys. The pivot plates 6, each having a spring 7 attached, are located in the corresponding sockets with the springs protruding through the apertures into the button stems where they locate on small moulded pips 8 at the bottom of the button stems. When the keyboard is fully assembled, the buttons are fully merged into the chimneys so that the springs are normally in a slightly compressed state.

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Automated Assembly of Key Components Into a Keyboard

A keyboard is assembled from a one-piece moulded frame 1 (Fig. 1) having an array of key apertures 2, with chimneys 3 extending from one side and shallow sockets 4 formed on the opposite side. The keybuttons 5 have hollow protruding stems which are located inside the chimneys. The pivot plates 6, each having a spring 7 attached, are located in the corresponding sockets with the springs protruding through the apertures into the button stems where they locate on small moulded pips 8 at the bottom of the button stems. When the keyboard is fully assembled, the buttons are fully merged into the chimneys so that the springs are normally in a slightly compressed state. For assembly, the frame and buttons are placed in a pallet, with the buttons mismerged, so that when the pivot plate - spring assembly is inserted into the frame, the spring is not located on the pip in the button stem and allows the pivot plate to lie flat in the frame. This pallet is moved continuously through the machine which uses an infrared photoelectric detector and fiber-optic bundle 21 (Fig. 2) to detect each hole and inserts the pivot plate and spring assemblies individually. In order to achieve insertion accuracy and to avoid undue damage, the insertion head 9 of the machine is spring mounted on an angled linear cam drive 10 which produces reciprocal motion of the insertion head in the direction of motion of the part assembly through the machine in such a way that the insertion head and the part assembly are relatively stationary at the time of individual pivot plate and spring assembly insertion. The machine is shown in diagrammatic form in Fig. 2, and is driven by a mixture of compressed air pistons and stepping motors under the control of a processor (not shown). Stepping motor 11 drives the ca...