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Número de publicaciónUS3871072 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación18 Mar 1975
Fecha de presentación12 Dic 1973
Fecha de prioridad12 Dic 1973
También publicado comoCA1015144A1
Número de publicaciónUS 3871072 A, US 3871072A, US-A-3871072, US3871072 A, US3871072A
InventoresFolk Kenneth Foster
Cesionario originalAmp Inc
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for varying the relative length of a plurality of leads by forming bights in selected leads
US 3871072 A
Resumen
A method and apparatus for varying the relative length of sections of a plurality of leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other at a location spaced away from the ends of the sections. A template is provided having a plurality of grooves in which the sections are disposed, and a bight is formed in intermediate portions of selected leads while other portions of said selected leads are being maintained in portions of said grooves. The ends of the plurality of leads may then be trimmed whereby the relative length of the sections of the various leads is varied.
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1451 Mar. 18, 1975 United States Patent 1191 Folk [ METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR VARYING O05 20 MUM 9O 24 9 .2

3,450,829 6/1969 Paul.......... 3 636,991 1/1972 Webster...............

THE RELATIVE LENGTH or A PLURALITY or LEADS BY FORMING BIGHTS IN Cemka SELECTED LEADS 10/1973 Burns..................... ::..29/203D 3,817,127 6/1974 Soeller.................

[75] Inventor: Kenneth Foster Folk, Harrisburg,

Primary ExaminerC. W. Lanham g n a e K [73] Assignee: AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa,

Dec. 12, 1973 Attorney, Agent, or Firm [22] Filed:

[57] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for varying the relative 21 Appl. No; 424,133

[52] U S Cl 29/628 29/203 D 29/203 DT length of sections of a plurality of leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other at a location spaced 32933- away from the ends of the sections. A template is pro- [51] Int.

vided having a plurality of grooves in which the sections are disposed, and a bight is formed in intermediate portions of selected leads while other portions of said selected leads are being maintained in portions of 4 Dmo M 4 QNZ wMB .13 50 w PM 3 MOB /2 0 m H 33 06 i Ann said grooves. The ends of the plurality of leads may then be trimmed whereby the relative length of the sections of the various leads is varied.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 18 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures Zimmerman et a1. 140/147 29/630 B Kauffman PATENTEU MR1 191ssussrsure PATENTEI] MARI 81975 winner's PATENTED HAR I 8 I975 v sum 5 o METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR VARYING THE RELATIVE LENGTH OF A'PLURALITY OF LEADS BY FORMING BIGHTS IN SELECTED LEADS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application relates to U.S. application Ser. No. 389,924 filed Aug. 20, 1973 and entitled Method And Apparatus For Positioning Leading Portions Of Individual Wires Of A Plurality Of Wires In Spaced Apart Relationships With Respect To Each Other And A Template Utilized In Accomplishing The Same, and also to U.S. application Ser. No. 425,129 filed concurrently with this application and entitled Method And Apparatus For Varying The Relative Length Of A Plurality Of Leads And For Performing Work Operations On The Ends Of Leads Of Differing Relative Length, both of these related applications being assigned to the same assignee as this application, and the second of these related applications being a continuation-in-part of the first application.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for varying the length of a plurality of leads with respect to each other, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for varying the length of associated leads while maintaining portions of the leads in fixed relationship to each other so that subsequent work operations can be performed on the leads after their length has been varied.

BACKGROUND OF TH E INVENTION Prior to the development of the method and apparatus shown in co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 389,924 it was customary to separate the leads of a work piece having a plurality of leads by hand prior to performing subsequent work operation on the ends of the leads. Thus, if it were necessary to apply terminals to the leads of a multi-lead cable it was first necessary to strip the cable insulation from the end of the cable and to then individually place the terminal on each of the leads. If it were also necessary to shorten some of the leads, this was also done by hand.

In U.S. application Ser. .No. 389,924 a method and apparatus is disclosed which positions a plurality of associated leads in spaced apart relationship with respect to each other,'this positioning being done by an apparatus which includes a template having a plurality of spaced apart grooves which emanate from a primary groove, the spaced apart grooves being capable of receiving only one lead and the primary groove being capable of receiving the end of a multi-lead cable from which a plurality of free end sections emanate. According to the method of the aforesaid application, the end of the multi-lead cable is placed in the primary groove with the free end sections overlying the plurality of spaced apart grooves, and the free end sections are then forced into the plurality of grooves by an oscillating roller or the like which is biased towards the template and moved from the primary groove towards the ends of the plurality of grooves which extend away from the primary groove. Once the free end sections have been forced into the plurality of grooves, they are then in a fixed or oriented location suitable for subsequent machine operations whereby the ends may be trimmed and/or a plurality of terminals or the like may be simultaneously applied to the ends. of the free end sections.

When utilizing the principlesof the aforesaid application all of the leads are of approximately the same length. However, in some applications it is necessary to simultaneously vary the length of individual leads. For example, when applying terminals to the ends of the leads of a four-lead cable which is used in the hand set of a telephone, it is necessary to have two leads (that is those leads which go to the mouthpiece of the handset) relatively short and the other two leads (which are to be associated with the earpiece of the handset) relatively long. Thus, it is not possible with the apparatus shown in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. application to automatically vary the lengths of leads of a multi-lead cable or the like, and to simultaneously apply terminals or the like to the ends of the leads which are of different lengths.

In co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 425,129 entitled Method And Apparatus For Varying The Relative Length vOf A Plurality Of Leads And For Performing Work Operations On The Ends Of Leads Of Differing Relative Length a method and apparatus is disclosed which may be utilized to vary the relative lengths of a plurality of leads prior to subsequent automatic operations on the ends of the leads. In one embodiment illustrated in the aforesaid U.S. application, a template is disclosed having a primary groove and a plurality of spaced apart secondary grooves which emanate from the primary groove, the overall length of one or more of the secondary grooves being somewhat longer than the other secondary grooves. In the embodiment referred to the workpiece consists of a multilead cable which has four free end sections emanating therefrom. In the practice of this embodiment the end of the multi-lead cable is placed in the primary groove,

the free end sections are forced into the secondary grooves, the free end sections are trimmed adjacent the ends of the secondary grooves remote from the primary groove, and then terminals or the like are applied to the ends of the free end sections. In the other embodiments illustrated in the aforesaid application leads are also placed in spaced apart grooves of varying overall lengths. In one of these other embodiments the leads are taken from supply spools adjacent one end of the template and are held in a centering device at the other end of the template, the template having a plurality of grooves equal in number to the number of supply spools from which the leads are taken. Portions of the leads which extend between the centering device and the supply spools are then forced into the grooves of varying lengths, and the leads are subsequently trimmed prior to additional operations which may include the application of terminals to the ends of the leadswhich have been trimmed. In another embodiment shown in the aforesaid application the leads extend from a coil or the like, the initial portion of the leads immediately adjacent the coil having fixed centers. The initial portions are placed in spaced apart grooves at one end of a template, the grooves being of varying lengths, and the portions of the leads which extend away from the initial portions are then forced into the grooves of the template prior to subsequent assembly operations.

While'the structures shown in the aforesaidUS. ap-

plication have been suitable when working with a variety of lead assemblies where a relatively small variation in the length of the leads is desired, it has not been possible with the aforesaid structures to obtain a substantial variation in the length of the leads as would be necessary when the leads are to be utilized, as for example, in the hand set of a telephone.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principle object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for substantially varying the relative length of a plurality of leads which-extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other so that subsequent automatic operations can be performed on the leads at a location spaced away from that portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other.

More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to vary the length of a plurality of leads by positioning the leads in a plurality of spaced apart grooves.

on a template, by moving an intermediate portion of selected leads out of their associated grooves to form a bight therein while maintaining other portions of said selected leads within said grooves, and by trimming the leads.

It is a further object of the present invention to vary the length of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other wherein the sections are disposed in a plurality of spaced apart grooves on a template, the template being provided with aperture means between the ends of the grooves and in which an intermediate portion of selected sections are moved out of their associated grooves at an angle relative to the plane of the template by engaging an intermediate portion of the selected sections with push rod means movable through the aperture means.

It is a further object of the present invention to vary the length of a plurality of leads having free end sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other by disposing the held portion of said leads in a primary groove of a template with the free end sections overlying secondary grooves which emanate from the primary groove, by forcing the free end sections into the secondary grooves, and by forming bights in intermediate portions of selected secondary free end sections while maintaining other portions of the leads within the grooves, and subsequently trimming the ends ofthe free end sections so that the length of the free end sections of the selected leads are increased relative to the length of the free end sections of those leads which have not been selected.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for varying the length of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, the apparatus including a template having a planar surface having a plurality of grooves disposed in spaced apart relationship to each other, means capable of forcing the sections of said plurality of leads into the grooves, means associated with the template operable to engage an intermediate portion of selected leads while disposed in said grooves and to move said intermediate portion of said leads out of said grooves to form a bight therein, and means mounted on the frame operable to trim the sections in a common plane whereby the length of the sections of the selected leads are increased relative to the length of the sections of those leads which have not been selected.

These and other objects and advantages ofthis invention are accomplished by providing a template having a plurality of spaced apart grooves, each of the spaced apart grooves being capable of receiving only a single lead, the template also having aperture means which intersects each of the grooves, by disposing the leads whose lengths are to be varied relative to each other within the grooves by moving a roller or the like progressively across the template, theroller being biased toward the template so that the leads are progressively forced into the grooves, and then by engaging an intermediate portion of those leads which are to be lengthened relative to the other leads and by moving the intermediate portion of those leads out-of the grooves to form a bight in the leads, the engaging and moving steps being accomplished by push rod means movable through the aperture means, and by subsequently trimming the ends of all the leads in a common plane at a location remote from that portion of the leads which are held together in fixed relationship to each other so that the lengths of the various leads are varied with respect to each other. Subsequent to the trimming operation, or concurrently with the trimming operation, assembly operations can be performed upon the ends of theleads.

These and other objects and features will be apparent to those skilled in the art after a consideration of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which a preferred form of this invention is shown.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus which may be utilized to perform the method of this application, parts being broken away and omitted for purposed of clarity.

FIG. 2 is a sectional plan view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a section taken along the line 33 of FIG.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view, illustrating in 'a schematicvmanner how subsequent work operations may be performed on ends ofleads after their relative lengths have been varied. 4

FIGS. 6 through 11 are somewhat schematic perspective views illustrating the sequence of operations which may be performed upon a workpiece.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT SHOWN THE DRAWINGS In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings an apparatus is illustrated which is utilized to vary the length of free end sections of a multi-lead cable. It should be noted that the method of this invention is suitable for varying the relative length of leads other than a multilead cable having free end sections emanating from the cable, and that slightly different forms of apparatus may be employed for differing workpieces.

Referring first to FIG. 1, a frame, indicated generally at 10, is illustrated, the frame having upper and lower plates l2, 14, respectively, which are spaced apart from each other by front and rear rails l6, 18, respectively. Mounted on the upper plate 12 are template means indicated generally at 20. The template means illustrated in this application is generally of the same type shown in co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 389,924 in that it has a generally planar surface 21 provided with a primary groove 22 and a plurality of spaced apart secondary grooves 24 (FIGS. 4 and 6) which emanate from the primary groove and which are also formed in the generally planar surface 21. The secondary grooves are spaced apart adjacent the primary groove a distance sufficient to accomodate all the leads in a side-by-side disposition as can best be seen in FIGS. 711, and portions of the grooves 24 are spaced a greater distance apart at locations spaced away from the primary groove. The template means is also provided with a plurality of aperture means 26 which intersect each of the secondary grooves 24, the aperture means 26 extending through the full width of the template means from the upper planar surface 21 to the lower surface. In the embodiment shown in this application the template means is shown associated with a multi-lead cable 28 which has a plurality of leads having free end sections 30 which extend outwardly from the insulation about the multi-lead cable. It should be noted at this point that each of the plurality of secondary grooves is able to accomodate only one of the leads 30. Similarly, in the embodiment shown in these drawings, the primary groove 24 is able to accommodate the end of the multi-lead cable 28 from which the plurality of free end lead sections 30 emanate. It should also be noted that the insulation of the multi-lead cable serves to hold that portion of the leads which it surrounds in fixed relationship to each other.

Mounted adjacent to the upper surface 21 of the template means 20 are means, indicated generally at 32, which are operable to position the plurality of free end lead sections 30 in the plurality of spaced apart secondary grooves 24, the positioning means 32 including a pair of spaced apart rollers 34, 36 which are mounted for relative movement with respect to the template to progressively force the free lead sections 30 into the secondary grooves. In this regard it should be noted that one end of each of the rollers 34, 36 are mounted in downwardly extending portions 38, 40 respectively, of spaced apart arms 42, 44. Each of the arms 42, 44 extend outwardly from a support element 46, and each of the other ends of the rollers 34, 36 are also secured to the support element 46. The support element 46 is in turn mounted on the outer end of a rod 48, the inner end of the rod 48 carrying a piston (not shown) which is mounted within the cylinder 50 ofa double acting hydraulic cylinder assembly or the like, said cylinder assembly being indicated generally at 52. As can best be seen from FIG. 1 the cylinder assembly is rigidly mounted upon the upper surface of the upper plate 12. Also mounted on the upper plate 12 is a clamping means indicated generally at 54, the clamping means including upper and lower arms 56, 58 respectively, each of the arms being swingably mounted about a stub shaft 60, the stub shaft having a portion 62 at right angles to the principal axis of the stub shaft, the portion 62 being butt-welded to the plate 12. The portions of the arms remote from the stub shaft have seats which are adapted to engage the multi-Iead cable 28 and to hold it in place when the arms 56 and 58 are in the position shown in FIG. 1.

The structure so far described, with the exception of the apertures 26 and the spaced apart rollers 34, 36,

generally parallels the structure shown in co-pending I U.S. application Ser. No. 389,924. When utilizing this structure in order to dispose the plurality of free end lead sections 30 in'the plurality of spaced apart secondary grooves 24 it would be necessary first to extend the cylinder assembly 52 to the left as viewed in FIG. 1 to a point where the roller 36 is to the left of the plurality of secondary grooves and then to rotate the support element 46 about the axis of the rod 48 to facilitate the loading of the multi-lead cable 28 into the primary groove 24. It should be noted at this point that the support element 46 is rotatably journaled about the rod 48 on spaced apart bearings 66 (only one of which is shown) so that it can be swung from its lowered operative position shown in FIG. 1 to a raised cable loading position. In order to insure that the support element 46 is in its lower position when the rollers 34, 36 pass over the plurality of spaced apart secondary grooves a cam assembly, indicated generally at 68, is provided. The cam assembly 68 has a cam track 70 which cooperates with a cam follower surface 72 on the support element 46. The cam track 70 is in turn rigidly mounted upon a support structure 74 which is in turn secured to the upper surface of the upper plate 12 by bolts 76 or the like which pass through apertures in the end of the support structure and rubber grommets 78 or the like which are disposed between the support structure 74 and the upper surface of the upper plate 12.

Thus, after the rod 48 has been extended to a point where the cam follower 72 clears the cam track 70 the support element 46 can be rotated in a counter clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1 to facilitate loading of the multi-lead cable 28. The upper arm 56 of the clamping assembly is then rotated about the stub shaft 60 to a raised position. The end of the multi-lead cable is then placed in the seat (not shown) of the lower arm 58 and the primary groove 24 with the plurality of free end lead sections overlying the plurality of secondary grooves 24. The upper arm 56 is then swung to its lowered position to securely hold the multi-lead cable within the primary groove 24 and the support element 46 is then swung to its lower operative position. The cylinder assembly 52 is then retracted causing the rod to move from the left tothe right in FIG. 1. As the rod progressively'moves to the right the rollers 36, 34'

will be biased into engagement with the plurality of free end lead sections 30 which are overlying the plurality of spaced apart secondary grooves 24 by the cam track 70 and the rubber grommets 78 which are slightly compressed during the movement of the rollers over the template, the rollers progressively forcing thefree end lead sections into the secondary grooves as the rollers move from the left to the right. This sequence of operations is somewhat schematically illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 wherein a single bar 80 rather than a pair of spaced apart rollers 34, 36 is illustrated. It may be desirable to oscillate either the rollers 34, 36 or the bar 80 as they move across the template to insure that the leads will be forced into the grooves, this oscillation being found necessary with certain types of insulation. No means to oscillate these members have been shown in this application, however, any conventional means may be applied such as the type shown in co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 389,924.

Once the roller 36 or the bar 80 has passed the apertures 26, that is to the right in FIG. 1 and to the left in FIGS. 5 through 11, the relative length of the plurality of free end'lead sections may be varied in accordance with the principles of this invention. Stated in its simplest terms this variation in length is achieved by initially engaging an intermediate portion of selected leads of the plurality of free end lead sections with a push rod means or the like and then moving the push rod means through the aperture means 26 in the template to form a bight in the selected leads. The push rod means may either move downwardly through the apertures as illustrated in FIGS. 8 through 10, or upwardly through the apertures in the manner indicated in FIGS. 1, 4 and Thus, when it is desired to vary the length of four leads when making a cable assembly for a telephone hand set, two leads will be engaged by the push rod means to lengthen these leads while the other two leads are not engaged, and after the two leads have been lengthened the ends of the leads will be sheared in a common plane and terminals affixed thereto.

Referring again to FIGS. 1 through 5, the push rod means are indicated generally at 82 and include in this embodiment four push rods 84. Each of the push rods 84 has a bifurcated upper end portion 86 having spaced apart side portions and a lower intermediate portion which are adapted to engage the leads in the manner illustrated in the drawings. A lower portion of the push rods are provided with a stop in the form ofa notch 88. Each of the push rods 84 is mounted for sliding motion in spaced apart apertures in a mounting bar 90. Rigidly secured to the mounting bar 90 on one side thereof is a latch mounting bar 92, the latch mounting bar having a plurality of spaced apart apertured ears 94, each of the ears 94 receiving a transversely extending pivot pin 96. Mounted on the pivot pin 96 between associated pairs of cars 94 are a plurality of latches 98. Each latch, as can best be seem from FIGS. 3 and 4 has a lower cam surface 100 and an upper tang portion 102 which is adapted to engage the stop or notch 88 in an associated push rod 84. Each of the latches 98 has its tang portion 102 normally biased towards the notches 88 by a compression spring 103 which is mounted below the pivot pin 96 between a lower portion of the latch 98 and the latch mounting bar 92. The push rod mounting bar 90 and the latch mounting bar 92 are mounted for vertical sliding movement between a pair of spaced apart gibs 104 (FIG. 2), each of the gibs extending between a lower surface of the upper plate 12 and an upper surface of the lower plate 14.

Means are provided to cause the push rods to move through the apertures 26 and to engage the leads to form bights therein, these means being a hydraulic cylinder assembly indicated generally at 106, the cylinder assembly 106 being mounted on the upper surface of the lower plate 14 by a mounting block 108. The rod 110 of the cylinder assembly 106 is provided with a yoke 112 at its outer end, the yoke carrying a pivot pin 114 which is adapted to engage one end of a bell crank 116. An intermediate portion of the bell crank 116 is pivotally mounted on a pivot pin 118 which passes through spaced apart portions of a bell crank mounting block 120 which is in turn mounted on the upper surface of the lower plate 14. The other end of the bell crank 116 carries a pivot pin 122 (FIG. 4) about which a roller 124 is journaled. The roller 124 is disposed within an elongated aperture 126 in the back of the push rod mounting bar 90. In order to raise and lower the push rod mounting bar it is only necessary to retract 8 and extend, respectively, the hydraulic cylinder assembly 106. l

If all of the latches were engaged in all of the various notches 88 it would be apparent that all of the push rods would be raised during the retraction of the hydraulic cylinder assembly 106. Therefore, means are provided to selectivelydisengage various of the latches. Before these means are described in detail it should be observed that when applying terminals to the ends of the leads of a multi-lead cable employed in a telephone hand set, and in other similar applications, it will be desired to lengthen various leads relative to the others, and that the leads are to be lengthened may be color coded. For example, in one form of telephone hand set red and black colored leads are interconnected to the mouthpiece while white colored leads are connected to the ear piece. When working upon themulti-lead cable of this example it is necessary to engage the two white leads for lengthening. As the leads are randomly positioned into the spaced apart grooves 24 it is necessary to provide some means for the operator of the apparatus to control which of the various push rods are to be utilized to lengthen the selected leads. For example, if the two white leads were to be found to be in grooves 24 and 24 as indicated in FIG. 4 it would be necessary for the operator to cause the latches for the push rods which extend through grooves 24 and 24 to become disengaged from the notches of their respective push rods. Therefore a control box indicated generally at 128 is provided in the vicinity of the operators station, the control box having a plurality of lead position buttons or switches 130 equal in number to the various rods. Each of the switches or buttons 130 is interconnected to an electrical solenoid 132 by a lead 131 so that when the button or switch 130 is engaged the solenoid associated with the particular button or switch is caused to be energized. Thus, in the embodiment illustrated in the drawings there are four solenoids 132, one for each of the push rods 84. Each of the solenoids 132 has an outwardly extending shaft 134 which is norm ally biased outwardly by a spring mounted within the solenoid. Upon actuation of the solenoid, caused by the button or the switch being actuated, the shaft is drawn inwardly into the solenoid until the stops 136 on the solenoid shaft l34 engage the outer end ofthe solenoid. Each of the shafts 134 is interconnected with a pivoted latch release 138 that is journaled upon a pivot shaft 140, the pivot shaft in turn being supported by a pair of brackets 142 which are secured to the bottom plate 14. Annular spacers 144 are disposed between the various pivoted latch releases and hold them in their proper oriented position with respect to the various latches 98. The shaft 134 is interconnected with the lower end of the pivoted latch release through a pivot pin 146. The upper end of the latch release is provided with a surface 148 (FIG. 3) which is adapted to engage the cam surface of the latch 98. Thus, when it is desired to have two wires out of four which are to be shorter than the others, the operator of the apparatus determines in which of the two grooves the shorter wires are located, (the red and black leads in the given example), presses the appropriate buttons which causes the pivoted latch releases 138 to rotate in a clockwise direction as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 3 to engage the latch 98 and swing it in a counter-clockwise direction to release it from the notch 88 on the push rod, and then the operator causes the cylinder assembly 106 to be actuated causing the push rod mounting bar 90 and latches 98 to be raised. Those push rods supported bythe mounting bar whose latches have not been disengaged will also be raised with the mounting bar. The other push rods are maintained in their lower position by a hold downspring 150, and the lower ends of the push rods engaging a stop not shown.

As each of the push rods 84 which are still engaged by the latches 98 are raised, their upper bifurcated end will initially pass through the associated apertures 26, and the end 86 will then engage the lead disposed in the associated groove 24. Continued upward movement will cause the push rods to form bights 152 (FIG. in the associated leads. In FIGS. 1 and 5 two push rods areshown in their fully raised position and it canbe seen from these Figures that the bifurcated ends 86 of each of the raised push rods has formed a bight in a portion of its associated lead while other portions of the associated lead are still maintained in the groove 24 by the rollers 34, 36. This is also illustrated by the phantom lines in FIG. 4. FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate an alternative embodiment wherein two push rods are shown which have moved downwardly through their associated apertures 26. It should be appreciated that those leads which have bights formed therein have a greater overall length between the first portion 154 ofeach of the plurality of secondary grooves and a second portion 156 of the secondary grooves which is disposed adjacent to the primary groove 22.

It should be appreciated that as the leads extend beyond the end of the template it is necessary to perform additional work operations on the end of the leads in order to insure that the desired length differentiation is maintained. In order to obtain such differentiation the ends of the leads are sheared by a shear blade 158 (FIG. 5) in a common plane as indicated in the manner in FIG. 9. After the ends of the leads have been sheared it is then possible through automatic machinery to apply terminals or other desired elements to the ends of the work pieces. Thus, four terminals 160 may be automatically fed below the ends of the leads with the barrel portion 162 of the terminals being adapted to contact the ends of the leads. If the terminals are of an insulation piercing type it is then only necessary to affix them to the ends of the leads by forcing them between crimping anvils 164 and a crimper 166. In FIG. 1, the shear 158, crimping anvils 164, and crimper 166 have not been illustrated for purposes of clarity. It should be obvious that other work operations could be performed upon the ends of the leads such as, for example, stripping the insulation from the ends of the leads, applying color identification bands, etc. If this were the case, then the apparatus would be suitably modified.

With reference to FIGS. 9 and 10, it should be noted that the shear plane, indicated by the broken line, is shown some distance away from the end of the template 20. However, in the practice of this invention it is generally desirable to shear the leads 30 adjacent the end of the template so that the ends of the leads, after shearing, are in a relatively fixed location so that subsequent automatic operations may be performed on the sheared ends of the leads, such as affixing terminals to the ends ofthe leads, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 10. After the desired work operations have been performed on the ends of the leads, the leads are then stripped from the template as indicated from FIG. 11.

It should be noted that the stroke of the push rods which are engaged by the latches may be varied. Thus, the stroke of the push rods can bevaried by varying the stroke of the cylinder assembly 106. Alternatively, the stroke can be adjusted by mounting the latch mounting bar 92 on the push rod mounting bar for vertical adjustment with the tang portion 102 of the latches being disposed below the notches 88 when the latch mounting bar is in its lowered position to permit the latches to move upwardly varying amounts before the notches are engaged.

, While the push rods have been shown with stops in the form of notches, other obvious alternatives of stops should be apparent to. those having ordinary skill in the art.

While this invention has been described with reference to an apparatus for varyingthe length of a multilead cable having four leads extending beyond the end of the insulationof the multi-lead cable, it should be appreciated that this invention is suitable for other applications. Thus, it may be utilized when making a harness from a plurality of individual leads which are initially stored upon spools. If this were the case then it would be necessary to vary the template somewhat. For example, the template could have parallel spaced apart grooves extending the .full length of the template and have means operable to hold the ends of the leads adjacent one end of the template in a fixed relationship to each other with a portion of the leads between the ends of the leads and the supply spool overlying the tem plate. After-the portions of the leads overlying the template have been forced into the various grooves by a roller or the like, it is then only necessary to maintain the roller in engagement with the leads on the template at that end adjacent the spools (or remote from the clamping device), to cause selected push rods to be extended through the apertures to form bights in the desired leads, and then to perform subsequent operations on either or both ends of the leads.

While two rollers have been illustrated in this application it should be obvious that it is not essential to have both of the rollers 34, 46 provided that the ends of the leads are secured in some manner during the bight forming process. Thus, it may be desirable to employ only the clamping means 64 or its equivalent at one end and the roller 36 at the other.

While a preferred structure in which the principles of the present invention have been incorporated is shown and described above, it is to be understood that this invention is not to be limited to the particular details shown and described above, or the variations described above, but that, in fact, widely different means may be employed in the broader aspects of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A method of varying the lengths of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, comprising the steps of:

providing an apparatus including a template having a plurality of grooves having spaced apart first and second portions;

positioning said sections of said plurality of leads in said plurality of grooves with the sections extending between said first and second portions and with the held portion of said leads being disposed adjacent to the second portion of said grooves; and

varying the overall length of said sections of selected leads by engaging. an intermediate portion of said sections of said selected leads and forming a bight in said intermediate portion between the first and second portions of the grooves while maintaining the sections in said first portions of the grooves.

2. A method of varying the length of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, comprising the steps of:

providing a template having a plurality of spaced apart grooves extending the length of the template, each groove being capable of receiving only one lead;

positioning said sections of said plurality of leads in said plurality of grooves with the held portion of said leads being disposed adjacent one end of said template;

moving an intermediate portion of said sections of selected leads out of their associated grooves to form a bight in said sections while maintaining other portions of said sections of said selected leads within saidgrooves; and

trimming theend sections of the leads in substantially a common plane at a location adjacent the other end of said template. 3. A method of varying the lengths of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, comprising the steps of:

providing an apparatus including a template having a generally planar surface in which a plurality of grooves are formed, each groovebeing able to accomodate only one lead and each groove having spaced apart first and second portions;

positioning said sections of a plurality of leads in said plurality of grooves with said sections extending between said first and second portions of said grooves, and with said held portion of the leads being disposed adjacent to said second portion of said grooves;

moving an intermediate portion of said sections of selected leads out of the associated groove at an angle to the plane of said template to form a bight in said sections while maintaining other portions of said sections within said grooves; and

subsequently trimming said sections adjacent to said first portion of the grooves to vary the lengths of said sections of said plurality of leads.

4. The method as set forth in claim 3 in which said template is provided with aperture means disposed between the first and second portions of said grooves, and in which said intermediate portion of said sections is moved out of the groove at an angle relative to the plane of the template by engaging said intermediate portion with a push rod means movable through said aperture means.

5. The method as set forth in claim 4 in which said push rod means is normally disposed above said aperture means and moves downwardly through said aperture means to form a bight in said section.

6. The method as set forth in claim 4 in which said push rod means is normally disposed below said aperture means and moves upwardly through said aperture means to engage and form a bight in said sections and in which said apparatus is further provided with means to one side ofsaid aperture means capable of engaging 12 and maintaining said sections in said first portion of said grooves during the movement, of said push rod means.

7. A method of varying the length of a plurality of leadshaving free end sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, comprising the steps of:

providing an apparatus including a template having a primary groove and a plurality of secondary grooves emanating from said primary groove, each secondary groove being able to accomodate only one lead and each secondary groove having a first portion spaced away from said primary groove;

positioning the held portion of said leads in said primary groove with the free end sections overlying that portion of the template which contains the secondary grooves; applying a compressive force to said free end sections and moving the compressive force from said primary groove to the first portion of the secondary groove to force said free end sections of the leads into the secondary groove; and

moving an intermediate portion of the free end sections of selected leads out of said secondary groove to form a bight therein while maintaining other portions of said free end sections of the selected leads in said secondary grooves at positions adjacent said first portion and said primary groove whereby the length of the-free end sections of the selected leads between the primary groove and the first portion of the secondary grooves are increased relative to the length of the free end sections of those leads whichhave not been selected.

8. The method as set forth in claim 7 further characterized by the steps of:

trimming the free end sections of the plurality of leads at a location adjacent said first portion of the secondary grooves; and

affixing terminals to the free ends of said leads.

9. The method as set forth in claim 7 in which said template is provided with aperture means between the first portion of said secondary grooves and said primary groove, said step of moving an intermediate portion of the free end sections of selected leads out of the secondary grooves including the steps of engaging the leads by structure movable through said aperture means and moving the structure through said aperture means to form the bight in said leads.

10. An apparatus for varying the lengths of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, comprising:

template means having a plurality of grooves, each of said plurality of grooves having first and second spaced apart portions, and each groove being able to accomodate only one lead;

means operable to position said sections of a plurality of leads in said plurality of grooves with said sections extending between said first and second portions of the grooves; and

means associated with said template means and operable to vary the overall length of said sections of selected leads between said first and second portions of selected grooves.

11. The apparatus defined in claim 10 wherein said means to vary the overall length of the free end sections includes means operable to engage a portion of selected leads between said first and second portions of the grooves; and

means operable to cause said engaging means to move out of the groove while still engaging an intermediate portion of said selected lead to form a bight therein.

12. The apparatus set forth in claim wherein said means to vary the overall length of the free end sections includes means operable to trim the. leads.

13. An apparatus for varying the lengths of a plurality of leads having sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, said apparatus comprising:

a frame;

template means supported by said frame, said template means having a planar surface having a plurality of grooves formed in said planar surface, each of said grooves having spaced apart first and second portions;

means carried by said frame operable to position said sections of said leads in said grooves;

means mounted on said frame operable to engage an intermediate portion of selected leads while disposed in said grooves at a position between said first and second portions and to move said intermediate portion of said leads out of said grooves to form a bight therein to vary the length of said selected leads relative to the non-selected leads; and

means mounted on the frame operable to trim the ends of said sections adjacent said first portion of said grooves.

14. The apparatus set forth in claim 13 wherein said template means is provided with aperture means disposed between said first and second portions of said grooves, and wherein said means operable to engage selected leads to form a bight therein passes through said aperture means.

15. The apparatus set forth in claim 14 wherein said last mention means are push rods which move through said aperture means.

16. An apparatus for varying the length ofa plurality of leads having free end sections which extend away from a portion of the leads which are held in fixed relationship to each other, said apparatus comprising:

a frame;

template means mounted on said frame, said template means having a surface provided with a primeans further being provided with aperture meanswhich intersect said secondary grooves at a location spaced between said first portion of the secondary grooves and said primary groove;

means mounted on said frame and operable to clamp the held portion of said plurality of leads within said primary groove with the free end sections overlying said secondary grooves;

means mounted on said frame and movable relative to said template to progressively force said free end sections into said secondary grooves, said means moving from said primary groove towards said first portion of said secondary grooves; and p a plurality of means mounted on said frame and selectively operable to move through said aperture means to engage said free end sections of selectedleads and to form bights in said free end sections to thereby increase the length of said free end sections of selected leads between said primary grooves and the first portions of said secondary grooves.

17. The apparatus set forth in claim 16 further characterized by the provision of means mounted on the frame and operable to trim the ends of said leads adjacent the first portion of said secondary grooves.

18. The apparatus set forth in claim 16 further characterized by the provision of a plurality of control means equal in number to the number of secondary grooves, each control means being interconnected with the means operable to pass through said aperture means in such a manner that an operator of the apparatus can control the various means operable to form bights in said free end sections to effectively lengthenselected leads which have been randomly positioned in said secondary grooves.

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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.29/872, 29/56.5, 140/105
Clasificación internacionalH01R43/052, H01R43/04, H01B13/012, H01B13/00
Clasificación cooperativaH01R43/052, H01B13/012
Clasificación europeaH01B13/012, H01R43/052