Automatic Thread-up of Glass Web to Bead Removal Machine
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-28
The IP.com Prior Art Database
When forming a thin sheet of glass from a down draw production unit, a continuous ribbon of the glass is supplied from the vertical melting/forming process to a horizontal bead removal unit. When the ribbon flow is interrupted for some reason, the web needs to be reconnected to the bead removal unit. This technology solves the problems associated with a two person manual process that can easily introduce alignment errors.
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Abstract: When forming a thin sheet of glass from a down draw production unit, a continuous ribbon of the glass is supplied from the vertical melting/forming process to a horizontal bead removal unit. When the ribbon flow is interrupted for some reason, the web needs to be reconnected to the bead removal unit. This technology solves the problems associated with a two person manual process that can easily introduce alignment errors.
Introduction: In the production of thin flexible glass, a continuous ribbon of thin sheet glass is delivered from the melting/forming process. In the fusion or slot draw process, the thin glass ribbon is delivered in a vertical downward orientation. When the thin ribbon has a thickness less than about 0.3mm, most often the post processing is done in a horizontal orientation so it can be continuously wound up on spools. Therefore as the thin ribbon changes orientation from vertical to horizontal it forms a catenary shape. When the catenary must be re-formed after a stop in production due to stopping the flow, a ribbon break or some form of maintenance, the present method of reforming the catenary is to use a manual device with vacuum cups. Two operators will grab the leading edge of the vertically moving web and direct it to the traction wheels of the horizontally oriented bead removal machine. This procedure is presently accomplished by two operators, one on each side of the web and requires a great deal of skill and coordination. Not only does this require a great amount of skill, it places the operators in a dangerous environment. By its nature, the results are variable depending on the amount of time the operators have worked together on this task. This technology will automate threading the vertical glass ribbon from a down draw process into a horizontal bead removal machine, eliminating the need for manual threading with its accompanying variability.
Detailed Description: In the current fusion (or slot) draw manufacturing method, the glass sheet is processed in a vertical orientation. The continuous ribbon of glass proceeds downward from the Fusion Draw Machine (FDM) and is cut into discrete sheets while still in a vertical orientation. After they are cut, these discrete sheets are typically moved by a robot to a vertically oriented bead removal machine. This machine positions the sheet in a vertical orientation and the beads on both edges are removed. However a very thin flexible glass ribbon or web that is to be spooled must be processed in a horizontal orientation. Therefore the beads are removed in a horizontal position. A continuous process is needed for effective spooling but sheets could be cut and stacked from the ribbon after bead removal if desired. To achieve the transition from a vertical to a horizontal orientation, the web must form a suitable catenary to be fed into the bead removal machine before spooling. If continuous handling of the web is interrupted when the web breaks or is...