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Rewind just in time.

By adding two sensors, a pulley, and a pair of air cylinders to a stock traverse assembly, Alternate Mechanical Drives Inc. shortens the time it takes to set up a winder. The wedding of electrics and pneumatics to a purely mechanical device also allows the Atlanta OEM to increase winding accuracy without resorting to expensive servos and their controls.

Technology Focus readers may recognize the Uhing traverse assembly, distributed by Amacoil Inc. of Aston, Pa. Joachim Uhing invented the device in Germany during the 1940s alter watching a belt in a machine shop slip along an overhead driveshaft. The assembly uses three or four tilted bearings, crowned on their inside races, to propel a carriage along a spinning shall A mechanical stop reverses the tilt of the bearings at the end of travel to head the traverser off in the other direction.

In its design, Alternate Mechanical uses an additional pulley to guide wire onto a take-up spool. As the filament nears the spool's flange, a change in direction of the wire pulls the pulley to one side. One of two proximity sensors nearby detects this shift. Based on a signal from the sensor, an air cylinder reverses the traverser bearings.

The system lets a winder wind a range of different spool widths without requiring an operator to readjust the traverser return points on every spool, explained Alternate Mechanical's president, Thomas Dahl. It produces even, flat winds.

The current industry practice for winding wire precisely relies on an operator to carefully adjust mechanical stops to ensure an exact return. The practice also demands spools that are manufactured to a close tolerance, Dahl said.

A badly wound spool can hurt the performance of high-speed equipment situated downstream of the winder. Some customers, by eyeing the wraps near the flange end of a spool, can distinguish an acceptable wind from a bad one by the way the wire climbs up or dips down along the sides of the flange. A good wind lies flat across the width of the spool.

The Alternate Mechanical design ensures a timely return at the end of every traverse, Dahl explained, because the spool flange itself originates the change.

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Title Annotation:Power Transmission And Motion Control
Comment:Rewind just in time.(Power Transmission And Motion Control)
Author:Degaspari, John
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:362
Previous Article:Sub systems engineering.
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