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1. WO2020142488 - COMPONENT REEL PICKING

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A method of picking a top component reel from a stack of component reels, the method comprising:

lowering a picking arm over a rod extending through the stack of component reels to above a top component reel of the stack, the arm comprising a gripper positioned such that, with the picking arm lowered the rod extends through the gripper of the picking arm; aligning the rod with respect to the picking arm;

with the rod aligned; inserting a portion of the gripper into a hole defined in the top component reel;

actuating the gripper to engage opposing inner surfaces of the top component reel at the hole of the top component reel; and

with the gripper engaging the opposing inner surfaces, raising the picking arm to lift the top component reel from the stack of component reels.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the arm further comprises a plurality of tabs positioned such that, with the picking arm lowered, the rod extends through the tabs, and wherein aligning the rod comprises actuating the tabs to engage the rod and align the rod with respect to the picking arm.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the tabs comprise gripping tabs of the gripper.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein aligning the rod comprises actuating the gripping tabs to substantially dispose the gripping tabs within respective longitudinal grooves of the rod to align the rod through engagement of the grooves.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein inserting a portion of the gripper into the hole of the top component reel comprises continuing to lower the picking arm as the gripping tabs are substantially disposed within respective longitudinal grooves of the rod to insert the gripping tabs into the hole of the top component reel.

6. The method of claim 3, wherein the gripper comprises two opposing jaws each comprising a gripping tab arranged to fit substantially within a respective longitudinal groove of the rod, and wherein actuating the gripper comprises expanding a gap between the jaws such that each gripping tab moves from a respective groove of the rod to engage a respective one of the opposing inner surfaces.

7. The method of claim 4, wherein the rod comprises a minimum web thickness, measured between bases of the longitudinal grooves, of less than about 40% of the diameter of the rod.

8. The method of claim 2, wherein the tabs comprise alignment tabs disposed between the gripper and the picking arm.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the alignment tabs comprise a first pair of opposing, parallel tabs disposed above a second pair of opposing, parallel tabs, and wherein the first pair of tabs extends in a direction perpendicular to the second pair of tabs.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein actuating the alignment tabs to align the rod comprises moving at least one of two opposing tabs to narrow a gap between the two opposing tabs.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein the alignment tabs comprise rollers.

12. The method of claim 8, wherein the gripper comprises two opposing jaws each comprising an arched gripping tab, and wherein actuating the gripper comprises expanding a gap between the jaws such that each gripping tab engages a respective one of the opposing inner surfaces.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising, prior to inserting the portion of the gripper into the hole of the top component reel, actuating the two jaws to narrow a gap between the two respective gripping tabs to embrace the rod with the gripping tabs.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein the picking arm comprises an aperture configured to receive the rod as the picking arm is lowered over the rod.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein actuating the tabs comprises aligning the rod with respect to the aperture of the picking arm.

16. The method of claim 1, wherein the rod extends through aligned holes of the stack of component reels.

17. The method of claim 1, wherein the rod extends through center holes of the stack of component reels.

18. The method of claim 1, wherein the hole of the top component reel comprises a center hole.

19. The method of claim 1, wherein inserting a portion of the gripper into the hole of the top component reel comprises continuing to lower the picking arm to insert a portion of the gripper into the hole of the top component reel.

20. A method of picking a top component reel from a stack of component reels, the method comprising:

lowering a picking arm over a rod defining longitudinal grooves and extending through the stack of component reels to above a top component reel of the stack, the arm comprising a gripper positioned such that, with the picking arm lowered the rod extends through the gripper of the picking arm;

positioning a portion of the gripper substantially within the grooves;

inserting the portion of the gripper into a hole of the top component reel by moving the portion of the gripper along the grooves;

actuating the gripper to engage opposing inner surfaces of the top component reel at the hole of the top component reel; and

with the gripper engaging the opposing inner surfaces, raising the picking arm to lift the top component reel from the stack of component reels.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the gripper comprises two opposing jaws each comprising a gripping tab, and wherein positioning a portion of the gripper substantially within the grooves comprises positioning the gripping tabs substantially within the grooves of the rod.

22. A component reel picking system, comprising:

a base configured to support a vertical stack of component reels;

a rod extending from the base and positioned to extend through aligned holes of a vertical stack of component reels supported on the base; and

a component reel pick assembly comprising

a controllably movable picking arm;

a plurality of tabs carried by the picking arm, the tabs spaced apart to receive the rod therebetween as the picking arm is lowered over a distal end of the rod, the tabs actuatable to engage opposite sides of the rod to align the arm and the rod with the picking arm lowered; and

a reel gripper carried by the picking arm and comprising two portions configured to receive the rod therebetween as the arm is lowered, the reel gripper operable to separate the portions to receive the rod, and then to narrow a gap between the portions to insert the portions into a top reel of a vertical stack of reels supported on the base, and then to expand the gap to grip opposing surfaces of the top reel, such that subsequent raising of the arm lifts the top reel from the stack.

23. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the rod comprises two opposite grooves each configured to receive a respective one of the two portions of the reel gripper.

24. The component reel picking system of claim 23, wherein the rod comprises a minimum web thickness, measured between bases of the longitudinal grooves, of less than about 40% of the diameter of the rod..

25. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the plurality of tabs comprise gripping tabs of the reel gripper.

26. The component reel picking system of claim 25, wherein the two portions of the reel gripper comprise two gripping tabs arranged to fit substantially within a respective groove of the rod, and wherein the reel gripper is operable to expand a gap between the gripping tabs such that each of the two gripping tabs moves away from the respective groove to engage a respective one of the opposing surfaces of the top reel.

27. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the tabs comprise two sets of opposing alignment tabs disposed between the reel gripper and the picking arm, a first set of alignment tabs disposed above a second set of alignment tabs, the first set of alignment tabs extending in a direction perpendicular to the second set of alignment tabs such that the rod extends between each set of tabs when the tabs receive the rod.

28. The component reel picking system of claim 27, wherein the alignment tabs comprise rollers.

29. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the reel gripper comprises two opposing jaws each comprising one of the two portions of the reel gripper, and wherein the reel gripper is operable to expand a gap between the jaws such that each of the two portions engages a respective one of the opposing surfaces of the top reel.

30. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the picking arm comprises an aperture configured to receive the rod as the picking arm is lowered over the distal end of the rod.

31. The component reel picking system of claim 30, wherein the tabs are actuatable to aligning the rod with respect to the aperture of the picking arm.

32. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the rod extends through center holes of the vertical stack of component reels.

33. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the hole of the top reel comprises a center hole.

34. The component reel picking system of claim 22, wherein the rod comprises a diameter of between 6 millimeters and 8 millimeters.

35. A component reel picking system, comprising:

a base configured to support a vertical stack of component reels;

a rod extending from the base and positioned to extend through aligned holes of a vertical stack of component reels supported on the base; and

a component reel pick assembly comprising

a controllably movable picking arm; and

a reel gripper carried by the picking arm and comprising

a plurality of fingers spaced apart to receive the rod therebetween as the arm is lowered, the fingers controllably movable to engage opposite sides of the rod to align the rod with the picking arm; and

opposing gripping tabs extending downward and movable between a closed position, in which the tabs fit within a central hole of a top reel of the vertical stack on either side of the rod, and an open position in which outer surfaces of the tabs grip the top reel within the central hole to lift the top reel from the stack with the picking arm.

36. The component reel picking system of claim 35, wherein the picking arm comprises an aperture configured to receive the rod as the picking arm is lowered over a distal end of the rod.

37. The component reel picking system of claim 36, wherein the fingers are actuatable to aligning the rod with respect to the aperture of the picking arm.

38. The component reel picking system of claim 35, wherein the fingers comprise two opposing sets of fingers disposed on a same plane to receive the rod between the two sets of fingers, each set of fingers comprising two pivotable fingers connected to a common pivot and configured to pivot in opposite directions about the pivot to align the rod.

39. The component reel picking system of claim 38, wherein the gripping tabs move to the closed position as the fingers pivot to align the rod.