(19)
(11)EP 2 664 395 A2

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
20.11.2013 Bulletin 2013/47

(21)Application number: 13167884.9

(22)Date of filing:  15.05.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B21D 43/05  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 15.05.2012 JP 2012111831

(71)Applicant: Aida Engineering, Ltd.
Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa 252-5181 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • Takeda Keisuke
    Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa 252-5181 (JP)

(74)Representative: Brookes Batchellor LLP 
46 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1JE
London WC2A 1JE (GB)

  


(54)Workpiece transfer apparatus


(57) The invention provides a workpiece transfer apparatus which can transfer workpieces at high speed with controlling respectively the posture of the right and left of workpieces. The workpiece transfer apparatus (1) includes an arm (2) moving back and forth between machines (11a, 11b) in order to transfer workpiece(s) (W), a crossbar (3) being coupled to the arm, a pair of right and left workpiece holding devices (4) being provided at the left and right sides of the crossbar (3) and tilt drive devices (5) being provided on the arm (2), respectively controlling the workpiece holding devices (4) to rotate around an axis of a longitudinal direction of the crossbar (3).




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to a workpiece transfer apparatus which transfers a workpiece. For further details, it relates to the workpiece transfer apparatus which transfers the workpiece between adjacent machines by swinging arm(s) thereof. In the specification, the terms "work" and "workpiece" are interchangeable and have the same meaning.

[0002] There is a conventional prior art that, in case of conveying plural works in parallel, can tilt (tilting) the works in the same direction by rotating the works in the same direction around an axis of a crossbar.

[0003] In Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open Publication No. 2008-517770, a work conveying device (hereinafter, conveying device) is disclosed. The conveying devices are extended on both sides of a conveying line to convey the works from an upstream press machine to a downstream conveyor belt. A cross traverse (crossbar) is bridged among transfer devices. The crossbar is provided with two holding devices. The holding device is provided rotatably around an axis of the crossbar and is rotated by a tilt drive device on the crossbar. The transfer devices on both sides cooperate in order to move the crossbar with the holding devices from the press machine to the conveyor belt. When the holding device moves, the tilt drive device is moved together with the holding device.

[0004] In United States Patent No. 6,968,725 B2 (WO2006/045283), another work conveying device which has a pair of pivot arms and a cross-member (crossbar) bridged among the pivot arms is disclosed. Both a drive device and a toothed belt driven by the drive device are respectively provided on a pair of the pivot arms. By driving the toothed belt, it is possible to rotate the crossbar around an axis extending in a longitudinal direction of the crossbar.

[0005] In order to prevent deterioration of machining accuracy due to an inclination of a press slide, it is effective to reduce an imbalance of a load applied to a press machine at the time of pressing in general. Therefore, even if the same shaped two works are processed, there is a case that those works are processed by reversing directions of each other left and right. In such case, as the prior art, when transfer devices which tilt the right and left works in the same direction are used, it is difficult to remove the left and right works from dies respectively and place the left and right works into left and right dies of next press machine respectively with suitable posture corresponding to the dies in left and right reversed. In other words, it is difficult to transfer the works in parallel, and when one attempts to do this, the conveying speed should be lowered.

[0006] In the apparatus of JP 2008-517770, the holding device is supported and driven by the tilt drive device provided with the crossbar so that the holding device is rotatable around the longitudinal axis of the crossbar. Therefore, a weight of the crossbar is increased by a weight of the tilt driving device, and a transfer speed and a production efficiency are reduced. Further in the transfer apparatus of US 6,968,725, a work holding unit rotated around a longitudinal axis of its by rotating whole of the crossbar. Therefore, it is impossible to control separately right and left control devices. Further, since the crossbar is rotated, the driving devices for rotating become large.

[0007] With that, the present invention is directed to provide a work transfer apparatus which can transfer works at high speed with controlling respectively the posture of the right and left of works.

[0008] The work transfer apparatus of the present invention including: an arm moving back and forth between machines in order to transfer work(s); a crossbar being coupled to the arm; a pair of right and left work holding devices being provided at the left and right sides of the crossbar; and tilt drive devices being provided on the arm, respectively controlling the work holding devices to rotate around an axis of a longitudinal direction of the crossbar.

[0009] In preferable work transfer apparatus, the arm is provided with a pair of right and left arms, the crossbar is a crossbar unit being bridged among the right and left arms, the crossbar unit includes a long internal member and a pair of right and left, cylindrical external members, both ends of the internal member are respectively supported by the right and left arms, the external members are provided on a periphery of the internal member, and are respectively rotated by a pair of left and right tilt drive devices, the right and left external members are respectively provided with the right and left holding devices, at least one of the external member is rotatable on a periphery of the internal member, outer edges of the external members are respectively coupled of a pair of the tilt drive devices, and inner edges of the external members are respectively extending inwardly along the internal member. Moreover, it is preferable that the right and left external members are rotatably provided on the periphery of the internal member. Moreover, one external member is preferable rotatably provided on the periphery of the internal member, and another external member is fixed on or provided with the internal member integrally. Further, is preferable case, each external member has the bottom part which is coupled to the tilt drive device, and both edges of the internal member are respectively supported by the arms via the bottom parts.

[0010] In the work transfer apparatus of the present invention, since the right and left work holding devices independently rotate around the periphery of the crossbar, it is possible to tilt for each of the right and left work holding devices respectively according to the shape of the left and right dies. Therefore it is possible to improve a transfer speed (See Figures 1 and 8).

[0011] In the case that such work transfer apparatus is equipped with the arm is provided with a pair of right and left arms, the crossbar is a crossbar unit being bridged among the right and left arms, the crossbar unit includes a long internal member and a pair of right and left, cylindrical external members, both ends of the internal member are respectively supported by the right and left arms, the external members are provided on a periphery of the internal member, and are respectively rotated by a pair of left and right tilt drive devices, the right and left external members are respectively provided with the right and left holding devices, at least one of the external member is rotatable on a periphery of the internal member, outer edges of the external members are respectively coupled of a pair of the tilt drive devices, and inner edges of the external members are respectively extending inwardly along the internal member, it is possible to drive two holding devises separately with the single crossbar unit. Moreover the external members are rotatably provided to the internal member. Therefore a driving torque by the tilt drive device on each work holding device is not transmitted to the internal member. Further, since the internal member is bridged among the right and left arms, the right and left of external members are respectively supported by the right and left arms (not a with cantilever support). Therefore even if both the internal member and external members are lightweight, it is easy to obtain the necessary strength for a load of movement in a transferring directions and a load of lifting. Moreover, the tilt drive device, to rotate the external members, can be reduced. Further, since the outer edges of the external members are respectively coupled of the tilt drive devices, and the inner edges of the external members are rotatably supported by the internal member. Therefore, though the external member is supported and is driven at the ends thereof by each tilt drive device, the rotation of the external member is stable.

[0012] In the case that the right and left external members are rotatably provided on the periphery of the internal member, two holding devises can be separately driven with single crossbar unit. Moreover even though the tilt drive devices drive for rotating two external members, each rotation torque is not transmitted to the internal member. Therefore, it is not necessary to increase a rigidity of the internal member and the internal member can become compact. Further, since the outer edges of the external members are respectively coupled of the tilt drive devices, and the inner edges of the external members are rotatably supported by the internal member. Therefore, the external member is supported and driven to rotate at the edge of the external member by each tilt drive device, the rotation of the external member is stable.

[0013] Further, in the case that one external member is rotatably provided on the periphery of the internal member, and another external member is fixed on or provided with the internal member integrally, since the outer edge of one external member is coupled of the tilt drive device, the inner edge of the external member is supported by the internal member, despite of transmitting driving force for a rotation of the internal member via the outer edge of one external member by the tilt drive device, the rotation of one external member is stable.

[0014] Moreover, in the case that each external member has the bottom part which is coupled to the tilt drive device, and both edges of the internal member are respectively supported by the arms via the bottom parts, the tilt drive devices can be respectively coupled to the bottom parts with a simple configuration and the internal member can be supported by the arms. Further, since at least one bottomed cylindrical external member embraces a near portion of the edge of the internal member, the assembly and disassembly of the crossbar unit is easy.

[0015] An embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1a is an outline front view showing an embodiment of the crossbar unit of the present invention and Figure 1b is an cross-sectional view of the crossbar taken along the line I - I of Figure 1a;

Figure 2 is an isometric summary view of a press line;

Figure 3 is a side view of the press line shown in Figure 2;

Figure 4a is a front view of the crossbar unit, and Figure 4b is a top view of the crossbar unit shown in Figure 4a;

Figure 5 is an isometric view of the crossbar unit;

Figure 6 is a front view of the press machine;

Figure 7 is a side view showing a state of using the work transfer apparatus;

Figure 8 is a partially enlarged view of the work transfer apparatus of the present invention; and

Figure 9 is an arrow B view of Figure 7.



[0016] First, the outline of the press line using the work transfer apparatus of the present invention is described using Figure 2. In addition, an arrow A in Figure 2 indicates a direction in which the work W is conveyed. And that the conveying direction of the work W is referred to as the front and rear directions. The direction in which the arrow A directs front (or downstream), and the work W is conveyed from rear to front. Further, the left and right directions are based on the left hand side and right hand side when one faces to the front direction. Two press machines 11a, 11b shown in Figure 2, are disposed in a transfer line 10. The front press machine is shown in "a" of subscript, the rear is shown in "b". Between these press machines 11a, 11b, a work transfer apparatus 1 of the present invention is located. Further the number of press machines, may be three or more. Moreover instead of the press machine, other machines such as a punching device, or a belt conveyor to transfer the work W, a table to place a work or works before and after processing can be used.

[0017] Since the front and rear press machines 11a, 11b is the same, only the rear press machine 11b will be described hereafter, and description of the front press machine is omitted. The above described press machine 11b is a conventional press machine and, for example, is equipped with a rack-shaped frame consisting of a bed, four columns 12 standing up from four places of front and back, right and left, and a crown 13 (see Figure.3) provided on the top of those columns 12. On the bed, a bolster 14 is provided. Moreover, end portions of a crank shaft are rotatably supported by the crown 13. To the crank shaft, a connecting rod is jointed, and a slide (not shown in figure) moves up and down through the connecting rod. To the bottom face of the slide, an upper tool not shown in figure is attached. To the top face of the bolster 14, a lower tool not shown in figure is attached.

[0018] The work transfer apparatus 1 includes: a pair of arms which moves back and forth between adjacent machines 11a, 11b in order to transfer works W; a crossbar unit 3 being bridged among a pair of the arms 2, 2; holding devices 4 for holding the work provided on the crossbar unit; and tilt drive devices 5, 5 provided on the arms respectively in order to rotate the holding devices 4, 4. The pair of arms 2, 2 are arranged on both sides of the conveying line respectively, and driven by arm drive devices 15, 15.

[0019] The right and left arm drive devices 15, 15 are provided between the columns 12, 12 of the rear press machine 11b and the colums12, 12 of the front press machine 11a. In this embodiment of the present invention, a bracket 12a (see Figure. 3) such as an attachment member is bridged among rear columns 12, 12 of the front press machine 11a, and the work transfer apparatus 1 is fixed to the attachment member. In addition the work transfer apparatus 1 can be fixed to a member so as to be hung from a member or ceiling of a building in which the work transfer apparatus 1 is placed. In addition, the arm drive devices 15, 15 are described later.

[0020] The crossbar unit 3 will be described hereafter using Figure 1a. The crossbar unit 3 includes: a long internal member 6 of which both ends are supported by a pair of the arms; cylindrical external members 7, 7 being rotatable on a periphery of the internal member 6, and rotated by the tilt drive device 5, 5. And at least one external member 7 is rotatable by mounted on a periphery of the internal member 6. The wording that the both ends of the internal member 6 are supported by a pair of the arms, means that at least a load applied to the internal member 6 is supported in a state transmittable to the arms 2. That is to say, the both ends of the internal member 6 can be connected not only directly to the arm but also linked indirectly. Moreover, that the internal member 6 is long means that a length of an axial direction of the internal member 6 is larger than a width of the internal member 6. Further, at least one external member 7 is rotatable on a periphery of the internal member 6, includes both one case of that while one external member 7 is rotatable on the periphery of the internal member 6 by the tilt drive unit 5 provided on the one arm 2, the other external member 7 is rotatable on the other internal member 6, and another case of that the other external member 7 can also be connected directly to the internal member 6 and linked indirectly. In the latter case, the internal member 6 rotates together with the other external member 7. And the rotation of the other external member 7 is performed by the other tilt drive device 5 provided on the other arm.

[0021] The internal member 6 has: a body part 6a; and end parts 6b, 6b respectively provided both ends of the body part 6a. The body part 6a is a (cylindrical) pipe of which cross-sectional shape is circular (see Figure 1b). In addition, the body part 6a can be rod-like shape. The body part 6a is formed of a fiber-reinforced plastic, such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic. As a fiber-reinforced plastic, in addition to carbon fibers, can be used a fiber reinforced plastic with glass fibers, and polyethylene fibers. The end parts 6b, 6b are made of aluminum. In addition, as the end parts 6b, 6b, steel member, such as iron, stainless steel and the likes can be used. The end part 6b has a cylindrical or column shape, and the region of near the middle in the longitudinal direction of the end part 6b is enlarged. An inner ring of the angular bearing 8 is fitted on an outer periphery of the end part 6b. An inner ring of the angular bearing 8 is set around the end part 6b until it abuts against the enlarged portion of the end part 6b, and it is positioned by the locking plate 6c fixed with bolts or the like from the opposite side so as not to pulled out the end part 6b.

[0022] The external member 7 has a square tube shape (see Figure 1b), and it rotates around the surface of the internal member 6 by the tilt drive device 5 provided on one arm 2. The work holding device 4 is attached on the external member 7. Further, an outer end of the external member 7 is connected to the tilt drive device 5, and an inner end extends inwardly along the internal member 6. In this way, since external member 7 is provided rotatable to the outer surface of the inner member 6, therefore a load (torque) due to a rotation of the work holding device 4 is not transmitted to the internal member 6. Further the internal member 6 is bridged among the right and left external members, and furthermore the internal member 6 rotatably supported at two different portions in a longitudinal direction of the external member 7. Therefore, the left and right external members 7, 7 are not cantilevered, and a crossbar unit of intensity close to both ends support structure can be obtained. Therefore, even if both the internal and external members 6, 7 are lightweight, it is easy to obtain the necessary strength for a load of movement to the transferring direction and a load of lifting. Further, since the outer edge of the external member 7 is coupled of the tilt drive device 5, and the inner edge is supported by the internal member 6. Therefore, despite of transmitting driving force for rotation of the external member 7 via the edge of the external member 7 by the tilt drive device 5, the rotation of the external member 7 is stable. One or two (Figure 2 shows two) external member 7 is provided around the internal member 6. In this embodiment, the external member 7 has a bottom member 7a (to be described later). However, even if the external member 7 has a peripheral wall, such as described above, this embodiment can provide effects that torque not transmitting to the internal member 6, and that a rotation driving in cantilever can be stable.

[0023] As shown in Figures 2 and 4a, the work transfer apparatus 1 has two external members 7, 7 which are rotatably provided around the outer surface of one internal member 6. The work holding devices 4, 4 are respectively mounted on the external members 7, 7. And the outer ends of the external member 7, 7 are connected to the tilt drive devices 5, 5 respectively, and their inner ends respectively extend inwardly along the internal member 6. In addition, the members common to the left and right are denoted by the same reference numerals, with omitting the detailed description of both. Since for one internal member 6, two external members 7, 7 are rotatably disposed, the two holding devices 4, 4 can respectively be rotationally driven by the tilt drive device 5, 5 (see Figure 5). In addition, the axial length of two external members 7, 7 can be different. When a large work W is held, it is preferable to use the long external member 7 in an axial direction.

[0024] Also, another embodiment in which one external member 7 is provided rotatably on the outer periphery of the internal member 6, and the other external member 7 is fixed to the internal member 6 or is integrally formed of the internal member 6 can be employed. In case that the internal member 6 is fixed to the other external member 7, the tilt drive device 5 can drive either the internal member 6 or the external member 7. The wording that to be integrally formed of the internal member 6 in the other external member 7 includes a case that there is no other external member 7 substantially. That is, the tilt drive unit 5 provided in the other arm 2, is connected to the internal member 6 without via the external member 7. And the work holding device 4 is attached to the internal member 6, and is driven to rotate by the tilt drive device 5 around the longitudinal axis of the internal member 6. Even in such case, it is possible to rotationally drive two work holding device 4, 4 separately by using the one crossbar unit 3. The outer end part of the internal member 6 is connected to the tilt drive device 5 provided on the other arm, the inner end part supported one the external member 7. Therefore, the rotation of the internal member 6 is stable at the inner end part connected to the tilt drive device 5.

[0025] Returning to Figure 1a, the external member 7 has a bottom part 7a. In addition, a tubular portion extending from the bottom part 7a is a peripheral wall 7b. The peripheral wall 7b is formed of a fiber-reinforced plastic, such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic. As a fiber-reinforced plastic, carbon fibers, glass fibers or polyethylene fibers can be used. The bottom part 7a is made of aluminum. As the bottom part 7a, steel member, such as iron or stainless steel can be used. The bottom member 7a is fixed to the bracket 5c of the tilt drive device 5 with fasteners such as bolts. And the end member 6b of the internal member 6 is supported by the arm 2 via the bottom part 7a. The external member 7 has a tubular intermediate member 7c between the bottom part 7a and the peripheral wall 7b. Also, an outer ring of the angular bearing 8 is fitted to a cylindrical intermediate member 7c. On the other hand, an annular sliding bearing 9 is mounted on the inner surface of the distal end of the peripheral wall 7b via a mounting bracket 9a. In such case, since the external member 7 has the bottom part 7a, it is possible to connect to the tilt drive device 5 to the bottom part 7a with a simple configuration and to support the end part 6b of the internal member 6 by arm2 via the bottom part 7a. Also, since the bottomed cylindrical external member 7 embraces a near portion of the outer end of the internal member 6, the assembly and disassembly of the crossbar unit 3 is easy.

[0026] The angular bearing 8 rotatably couples the end part 6b of the internal member 6 to the bottom part 7a of the external member 7. And they support the load in the axial direction and the radial direction. Also, the sliding bearing 9 supports the load in the radial direction. As shown in Figure 1b, the peripheral wall 7b of the external member 7 is an square pipe (like a rectangular tube). For this reason, the external member 7 does not slide expect for the part in contact to the internal member 6, the angular bearing 8 and sliding bearing 9. Instead of angular type ball bearing 8, a usually known normal ball bearing such as a deep groove ball bearing or a slide bearing which can support a thrust and a radial load can be used. Further, instead of slide bearing 9, a ball bearing can be used. Further, the outer surface of the body part 6a of the internal member 6 can slide on the external member 7 with contacting directly.

[0027] As shown in Figure 5, the holding device 4 is provided with plural vacuum cups 4a. However, instead of vacuum cups or together with the vacuum cups, another known device using magnetic force or the like can be employed. The left and right holding devices 4, 4 are respectively controlled by the tilt drive device 5, 5 so that the vacuum cups 4a are turned in the predetermined directions according to the motion of the arms 2.

[0028] Returning to Figure 1a, the tilt drive device 5 has a servomotor 5a mounted on a tip end of the arm 2 or a neighborhood thereof, a reduction gear 5b for reducing the rotation of an output shaft (not shown) of the servomotor 5a and a bracket 5c to which the reducing rotational motion is transferred. The rotational motion of the servomotor 5a is controlled by a not shown control device. These servomotors are provided with encoder for detecting rotating angle, and the position of the work W held by the holding device 5 arms is controlled by counting pulse of the encoder. Instead of the servomotor, a usually known motor of which rotating angle and rotating velocity can be controlled can be employed.

[0029] An arm drive device 15 to drive arm 2 is shown in Figure 3 and Figure 6. The arm drive device 15 is a device to swing the arm 2 by mean of a Scott-Russell-Link mechanism. The arm drive device has a frame 16 attached on the column 12 of the front press machine 11a. The frame 16 is provided with a servomotor 17, and the servomotor drives to rotate a male screw shaft 18a of a ball screw vertically extending in the frame. A female screw 18b formed in an up-down frame 19 is screwed on the male screw 18a. The up-down frame 19 is guided by the frame 16 so that the up-down frame 19 goes up and down, and the up-down frame 19 moves up and down by the rotating drive motion of the servomotor 17.

[0030] The up-down frame 19 is provided with a shuttle base 20 at upper position thereof. On the other hand, the up-down frame 19 is provided with transfer servomotor 21 at the bottom thereof. The transfer servomotor 21 is connected with a base end of the guide arm 22, and the top end of the guide arm 22 is extended in the upper direction. The guide arm 22 is swung by reciprocating rotating motion in the front-rear directions around the base end, that is to say, around the base end of the Scott-Russell-Link mechanism, as the swing center (axis).

[0031] The arm 2 is jointed in rotatable manner at the upper end thereof to the shuttle base 20, and extends downward. The middle position of the arm 2 is connected with the top end or distal end of the guide arm 22 in the rotatable manner. As the arm drive device 15, a known mechanism which can reciprocally drive the arms 2, 2 between adjacent machines 11a, 11b can be employed.

[0032] Though, in the above mentioned embodiment, the internal member 6 is capable of rotating to both external members 7, 7, the internal member 6 can be fixe to one of external member 7. Further, the external member 7 can be formed as one body with the internal member 6, and a rigid pipe or rod can serve as both internal member and external member.

[0033] In Figure 7, another embodiment of the transfer device of the present invention is shown. To the same part as the transfer device 1 of Figure 1, the same numeral is attached, and explanation is omitted. The transfer device 23 shown in Figure 7, has a second arm 31 which reciprocates between the front and rear press machines 11a, 11b to transfer the works W. As shown in Figure 8, the second arm 31 is driven by an arm drive device 25 (explained later). From the tip end of the second arm 31, two crossbars 39, 39 extend in the left and right directions. On those crossbars 39, 39, holding device 4, 4 are attached respectively.

[0034] Those holding devices 4, 4 are swung around a longitudinal axis of the crossbar 39, 39 individually by tilt drive devices 40, 40 mounted on the second arm 31. By the way, the transfer device 23 including the one second arm 31 is arranged at the upper position of a line through which the work W is transferred. This embodiment of the work transfer device 23 has no internal member 6. Therefore, the crossbar 39 corresponds substantially to the above-mentioned external member 7. The shape and material of the crossbar are the same as the above-mentioned external member 7.

[0035] The tilt drive devices 40, 40 have a driving shaft (not shown) connected to respective output shaft of the servomotors 40a, 40a which are to be individually operated. The tilt drive devices 40, 40 are arranged so that each driving shaft rotates around an axis parallel with the longitudinal axis of the second arm 31. The rotation of the drive shaft is converted to a rotation around a left-right axis by bevel gear 40b, 40b and transmitted to crossbar 39 through reduction gear 40c, 40c.

[0036] Referring to Figure 7 again, the above-mentioned arm drive device 25 has a frame 26 which is supported by an attachment member such as the bracket 12b or the like and extends downward (see Figure 9). The bracket 12b can be attached on the column 12 of the front press machine 11a.

[0037] A first arm 27 is supported on the frame 26. The first arm 27 has a base end which is guided by the frame 25 so that the base end can move vertically, and the first arm 27 is connected to the frame 25 so that the base end can swing around an axis extending left-right directions as facing a transferring direction. An up-down motor 28 is mounted on the frame 26. The up-down motor 28 lifts and lowers the up-down base 30 which is guided by the frame 26 in up-and-down directions. The first arm 27 is mounted on the up-down base 30 with using a swing motor 29. The frame 26 is provided with upper and lower pulleys 32, 32 at the upper end and lower end thereof, respectively. Those pulleys are teethed pulleys and wrapped with two teethed belt (timing belt) 33 meshing with teeth of the pulleys 32, 32 in parallel manner. The up-down base 30 is fixed to the teethed belt 33, 33, and is guided by the frame 26. The up-down motor 28 can drive the upper pulley to rotate, and therefore, can drive the first arm 27 vertically along the frame 26 through the up-down base 30. By the way, an output shaft (not shown) of the swing motor 29 is attached on the up-down base 30. Therefore, due to the rotating motion of the swing motor 29, the first arm 27 can swing to the frame 26.

[0038] The first arm 27 supports the second arm 31. The base end of the second arm 31 is mounted on the first arm 27 movably in the longitudinal direction of the first arm, and is connected to the first arm 27 so that the second arm 31 can rotate around an axis parallel with the swing axis of the first arm 27. The second arm 31 is moved by a driving force of a movement motor 34 mounted on the first arm 27. By the way, the second arm 31 is provided with a swing motor 35, and due to the driving force of the swing motor 35, the second arm 31 is swung around an axis parallel with the swing axis of the first arm 27.

[0039] The first arm 27 has the same shape as the frame 26. In the first arm 27, the movement motor 34 is arranged. In the present embodiment, the second arm 31 moves along the first arm 27 based on the same mechanism as the first arm 27 mentioned above. Therefore, to the same part, the same number is set to the corresponding part, and detailed explanation is omitted. The first arm 27 is provided with upper and lower pulleys 36, 36 at the upper end and lower end thereof, respectively. The upper pulley 36 is driven to rotate by the movement motor 34. Those pulleys 36, 36 are wrapped with two teethed belt 37, 37 in parallel manner. The movement base 38 is fixed to the teethed belt 37, 37. The movement base 38 is guided movably along the first arm 27. An output shaft of the swing motor 35 is fixed to a base end of the second arm 31. And an output shaft (not shown) is attached to the movement base 38.

[0040] In the arm driving device 25, when the frame 26, the first arm 27 and the second arm 31 are arranged in the longitudinal direction so that one piled up on another, the total length can be shortened. Then, those members can be extendable in the longitudinal direction. Therefore, with saving space, the movable range of the work holding device 4 can be enlarged. On the other hand, in a state that the first arm 27 is moved to a lower end of the frame 26, and is swung to the slide-side (bolster 14-side) of the front press machine 11a, the second arm 32 can extend linearly in the horizontal direction. Therefore, the holding device 4 can be moved in the horizontal direction at the same level as the slide of the press machine 11 to enter into the space under the slide on the press machine 11.
Reference Number List
1 workpiece transfer apparatus
2 arm
3 crossbar unit
4 workpiece holding device
4a vacuum cup
5 tilt drive device
5a servomotor
5b reduction gear
5c bracket
6 internal member
6a body part
6b end part
7 external member
7a bottom member
7b peripheral wall
7c intermediate member
8 angular bearing
9 sliding bearing
10 transfer line
11a press machine (front)
11b press machine (rear)
12 column
12a bracket
13 crown
14 bolster
15 arm drive device
16 frame
17 servomotor
18a male screw shaft
18b female screw
19 up-down frame
20 shuttle base
21 transfer servomotor
22 guide arm
23 transfer device
25 arm drive device
26 frame
27 first arm
28 up-down motor
29 swing motor
30 up-down base
31 second arm
32 pulley
33 teethed belt
34 movement motor
35 swing motor
36 pulley
37 teethed belt
38 movement base
39 crossbar
40 tilt drive device
40a servomotor
40b bevel gear
W workpiece



Claims

1. A workpiece transfer apparatus comprising:

an arm moving back and forth between machines in order to transfer workpiece(s);

a crossbar being coupled to the arm;

a pair of right and left workpiece holding devices being provided at the left and right sides of the crossbar; and

tilt drive devices being provided on the arm, respectively controlling the workpiece holding devices to rotate around an axis of a longitudinal direction of the crossbar.


 
2. The workpiece transfer apparatus according to claim 1,
wherein the arm is provided with a pair of right and left arms,
the crossbar is a crossbar unit being bridged among the right and left arms,
the crossbar unit includes a long internal member and a pair of right and left, cylindrical external members,
both ends of the internal member are respectively supported by the right and left arms,
the external members are provided on a periphery of the internal member, and are respectively rotated by a pair of left and right tilt drive devices,
the right and left external members are respectively provided with the right and left holding devices,
at least one of the external member is rotatable on a periphery of the internal member,
outer edges of the external members are respectively coupled of a pair of the tilt drive devices, and
inner edges of the external members are respectively extending inwardly along the internal member.
 
3. The workpiece transfer apparatus according to Claim 2,
wherein the right and left external members are rotatably provided on the periphery of the internal member.
 
4. The workpiece transfer apparatus according to Claim 2,
wherein one external member is rotatably provided on the periphery of the internal member, and
another external member is fixed on or provided with the internal member integrally.
 
5. The workpiece transfer apparatus according to any one of Claim 2, 3, 4,
wherein each external member has the bottom part which is coupled to the tilt drive device, and
both edges of the internal member are respectively supported by the arms via the bottom parts.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description