CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This patent application is based upon and claims priority to and benefit of pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/622422 filed 11 Jan. 2007 entitled “Closure Sealant Dispenser” by William W. Weil, et al., which is a divisional application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/670,176 entitled “Closure Sealant Dispenser” by William W. Weil, et al and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,179,333 on 20 Feb. 2007, which in turn claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/412988 entitled “Can Sealant Dispenser” by William W. Weil, et al. filed 23 Sep. 2002, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/194,380 filed 19 Aug. 2008 entitled “Rotary Machine with Separately Controllable Stations” by William W. Weil, et al., the entire contents of which are hereby specifically incorporated by reference for all they disclose and teach.
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Rotary processing machines are used in many types of high speed processes, such as in the packaging industry. A rotary machine has a center axis about which multiple stations rotate. Each station may process a unit as the station rotates about the axis. Such machines may be used for various manufacturing processes from forming containers to filling, capping, and labeling, as well as other operations.
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A rotary machine may have multiple stations that have a linear motion operated by a cam and a rotational motion operated by individual motors mounted on each station. Each station may perform a motion profile that is proportional to the machine's central axis rotation or, in some cases, independent of the central axis rotation. In some embodiments, each station may rotate to orient a part prior to processing. In one embodiment, the cam driven linear motion may enable a station to lower for loading and unloading, then raise for processing. The rotary machine may have various mechanisms at each station for processing a part. One such embodiment is a rotary machine that may be outfitted with compound dispensing mechanisms at each station.
This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
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In the drawings,
FIG. 1 is a diagram illustration of an embodiment showing an example of a rotary machine.
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional diagram illustration of an embodiment showing a station with an individually controllable motor and a cam driven linear motion.
FIG. 3 is a top view diagram illustration of an embodiment showing a rotary machine with various operational zones.
FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustration of an embodiment showing a method for controlling a rotary machine.
FIG. 5 is a diagram illustration of an embodiment showing a system for controlling a rotary machine.
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A rotary machine with multiple modular stations may use independently controllable motors on each station. The independently controllable motors may enable many different types of motion profiles that may not be readily available or even possible with other types of rotary machines.
The stations may be constructed with a motor and a cam operated linear motion. The cam may cause the station to move linearly as the rotary machine turns about its axis. In one such embodiment, a cam may enable a station to lift a part into place and rotate the part under an applicator or other processor. After the processing is complete, the cam may lower the station into place so that the part may be removed and another part added. Such an embodiment may be useful for depositing liner compound on can ends, lids, caps, and other products.
The types of station motion profiles that may be performed may include constant speed profiles, variable speed profiles, and motion that may be coordinated with other sensors, such as an orientation profile.
Throughout this specification, like reference numbers signify the same elements throughout the description of the figures.
When elements are referred to as being “connected” or “coupled,” the elements can be directly connected or coupled together or one or more intervening elements may also be present. In contrast, when elements are referred to as being “directly connected” or “directly coupled,” there are no intervening elements present.
The subject matter may be embodied as devices, systems, methods, and/or computer program products. Accordingly, some or all of the subject matter may be embodied in hardware and/or in software (including firmware, resident software, micro-code, state machines, gate arrays, etc.) Furthermore, the subject matter may take the form of a computer program product on a computer-usable or computer-readable storage medium having computer-usable or computer-readable program code embodied in the medium for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system. In the context of this document, a computer-usable or computer-readable medium may be any medium that can contain, store, communicate, propagate, or transport the program for use by or in connection with the instruction execution system, apparatus, or device.
The computer-usable or computer-readable medium may be, for example but not limited to, an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus, device, or propagation medium. By way of example, and not limitation, computer readable media may comprise computer storage media and communication media.
Computer storage media includes volatile and nonvolatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can accessed by an instruction execution system. Note that the computer-usable or computer-readable medium could be paper or another suitable medium upon which the program is printed, as the program can be electronically captured, via, for instance, optical scanning of the paper or other medium, then compiled, interpreted, of otherwise processed in a suitable manner, if necessary, and then stored in a computer memory.
Communication media typically embodies computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. The term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared and other wireless media. Combinations of the any of the above should also be included within the scope of computer readable media.
When the subject matter is embodied in the general context of computer-executable instructions, the embodiment may comprise program modules, executed by one or more systems, computers, or other devices. Generally, program modules include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc. that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. Typically, the functionality of the program modules may be combined or distributed as desired in various embodiments.
FIG. 1 is a diagram of an embodiment 100 showing a rotary machine with multiple stations. Embodiment 100 is a simplified example of a rotary machine that has independent motors on each station, plus a cam driven linear motion for each station. Embodiment 100 is an example of a rotary machine that may be used to apply liner compound, for example. Many other embodiments may perform different functions using similar or different configurations.
The rotary machine 102 has a base 104 on which a table 106 may rotate. Disposed around the center axis 107 are stations 108, 110, 112, 114, 116, and 118. The portion of the machine 102 above and including the table 106 may rotate at a constant speed, while each station may process a single part as the rotary machine 102 rotates about the center axis 107.
A motor may be used to cause the rotary machine 102 to rotate about the center axis 107. Such a motor may be mounted inside the base 104 or may be externally mounted. In many cases, a belt drive or gear drive transmission may be used to couple the main drive motor to the rotating portion of the rotary machine 102.
As the stations progress around the center axis, the stations may pass a loading zone where a part to be processed may be loaded onto a station. The station may pass a lifting zone where the station may lift the part into position for processing, and a processing zone where the part undergoes processing. After processing, the station may rotate past a lower zone and then to an unload zone. An example of such a progression is illustrated in FIG. 3 of this specification.
The rotary machine 102 is an example of a six station rotary machine. Other embodiments may have 3, 4, 8, 10, 16, 32, or any other number of stations. The number of stations is roughly correlated with the throughput of the overall machine. As the number of stations doubles, the machine may be able to process about twice as many items.