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US6641511: Movable arm activated tool changer for machine tool system

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Himat Patel · Walter Bautz ·
Assignee(s) Hurco Companies, Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Baker & Daniels ·
Primary Examiner A. L. Wellington ·
Assistant Examiner Dana Ross ·
Application Number US10084570
Filing date 02/27/2002
Issue date 11/04/2003
Prior Publication Data
Predicted expiration date 08/31/2020
U.S. Classifications 483/1  · 483/59  · 483/54  · 483/49  ·
International Classifications --
Kind CodeB2
International Classifications 483 1 · 483 49 · 483 59 · 483 38 · 483 39 ·
Related U.S. Application DataCROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED U.S. APPLICATION
This is a continuation-in-part application of a U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/652,935, filed Aug. 31, 2000 U.S. Pat. No. 6,494,821.
20 Claims, 17 Drawings


Abstract

The present invention provides a tool changer for removal and installation of tools in a machining center having a spindle for holding a tool including a tool rack having a plurality of locations for holding tools and a rotatable arm movable between the spindle and the plurality of locations. Each of the plurality of locations has a clip for holding a tool and each clip has two arms with the arm on a first side of the clip having an inclined surface. The rotatable arm includes at least two grippers with each gripper defining at least one cam surface, the cam surface being structured and arranged to engage the inclined surface of the clip to allow for the removal of a tool in the clip.

Independent Claims | See all claims (20)

  1. 1. A tool changer for removal and installation of tools in a machining center having a spindle for holding a tool, said tool changer comprising: a tool rack having a plurality of locations for holding tools, each of said plurality of locations having a clip for holding a tool, each said clip having two arms, an arm on a first side of said clip having an inclined surface; and a rotatable arm movable between the spindle and said plurality of locations, said rotatable arm including at least two grippers, each said gripper defining at least one cam surface, said cam surface structured and arranged to engage said inclined surface of said clip to allow for at least one of insertion and removal of a tool in said clip.
  2. 8. A machining center comprising: a machine having a spindle, said spindle holding one of a plurality of tools; and a tool changer for removal and installation of said plurality of tools in said machine, said tool changer comprising: a tool rack having a plurality of locations, each said location holding a said tool, and having a clip for holding a said tool, each said clip having two arms, an arm on a first side of said clip having an inclined surface; and a rotatable arm movable between said spindle and said plurality of locations, said rotatable arm including at least two grippers, each said gripper defining at least one cam surface, said cam surface structured and arranged to engage said inclined surface of said clip to allow for at least one of insertion and removal of a tool in said clip.
  3. 19. A method of changing tools in a machining center having a tool changer with a rotatable arm for removing and placing tools in a spindle of a machine or a tool rack having locations for holding tools, the method comprising: providing at least two grippers on the rotatable arm, the grippers defining a cam surface; providing a tool holding device at each location on the tool rack, the tool holding device including two arms with one of the arms having an inclined surface; moving one of the grippers into engagement with the tool holding device; engaging the tool holding device arm having the inclined surface with the cam surface of the gripper; unlocking the tool holding device; and disengaging the tool holding device arm having the inclined surface from the cam surface of the gripper.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

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Foreign Patent Documents

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* cited by examiner

Other Publications

Copy of International Search Report for PCT Application No. US/01/2717 mailed on Mar. 28, 2002.
Copy of International Search Report for International Application No. PCT/US02/35122 completed on Feb. 27, 2003.