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PublicatienummerUS3612524 A
Publicatiedatum12 okt 1971
Aanvraagdatum17 juli 1970
Prioriteitsdatum17 juli 1970
PublicatienummerUS 3612524 A, US 3612524A, US-A-3612524, US3612524 A, US3612524A
UitvindersKenneth Clark Sherman
Oorspronkelijke patenteigenaarKenneth Clark Sherman
Citatie exporterenBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Externe links: USPTO, USPTO-toewijzing, Espacenet
Sweep apparatus for an automatic bowling pinsetting machine
US 3612524 A
Samenvatting  beschikbaar in het
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Beschrijving  (OCR-tekst kan fouten bevatten)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Kenneth Clark Sherman P. 0. Box 6, Gambrills, Md. 21054 [21] Appl. No. 55,684 [22] Filed July 17, 1970 [45] Patented Oct. 12, 1971 [54] SWEEP APPARATUS FOR AN AUTOMATIC BOWLING PINSETTING MACHINE 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl .1 273/54 A [51] Int. Cl A63d 5/08 [50] Field of Search 273/43 R, 43 A, 54 A, 54 E [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,498,587 2/1950 Snyder 273/54 A 2,735,681 2/1956 Sherman 273/54 A 3/1959 Zuercher 273/54 A 2,920,891 1/1960 Sherman 273/54 A X 3,158,371 11/1964 Kemp... 273/5415 3,224,768 12/1965 Webb 273/54 E 3,380,739 4/1968 Linnemann 273/43 R Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attorney-Wenderoth, Lind and Ponack PATENTEBom 12 I9" 3, 5 1 2 524 sum 1 UF 3 6 lfi 5% INVENTOR KENNETH C. Sl-IERMAN ATTORNEYS PAIENTEnnm 12 Ian SHEET 20F 3 3,612,524

INVENTOR KENNETH, 5. SHERMAN f ATTORNEYS PATENTEDDBT 12 197i SHEET 3 0F 3 INVENTOR KENNETH C. SHERMAN BY fii ATTORNEYS SWEEP APPARATUS FOR AN AUTOMATIC BOWLING PINSE'ITING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention i This invention relates to an automatic bowling pinsetting machine for automatically setting bowling pins. More particularly, it relates to a sweep for a pinsetting machine of the type which is mounted on a vertical rotatable shaft from which it is driven in its sweeping motion, the sweep being driven according to the invention first in a pivoting movement, and then in a rectilinear movement along the end of the bowling alley on which the pins are set.

2. Description of the Prior Art In my US. Pat. No. 2,920,891, there is described a complete pinsetting machine which has a sweep which is mounted on a vertical shaft for pivotal movement from a position to the side of the alley to a position across the alley, during the course of which pivotal movement the pins which have been knocked down by a bowling ball are swept to the pit at the rear end of the alley from where they are picked up by another part of the machine. The movement of the sweep is only a pivotal movement, the sweep at all times moving along the arc of a circle.

While this type of sweep has many advantages over the type of sweep which is driven from a horizontal overhead shaft, such as requiring only a single drive connection of the vertical shaft, and requiring only a single mounting of the sweep carrying arm on the shaft, there is a disadvantage that with the circular arc movement of the sweep, the pins being swept tend to be swept into the gutter nearest the sweep drive shaft, rather than to be swept back into the end of the alley along paths along the alley. This results in a large number of pins being sweptinto the pit on the near side of the alley from the drive shaft for the sweep, while a relatively few number of pins are swept into the center and far side of the pit. This results in overloading of the pin pickup means on one side of the pit and relatively little use of the pin pickup means on the other side of the pit and also can result in pins bridging the gutter on the rear side of the alley. These conditions slow the orderly movement of pins from the pit to the pinsetting portion of the machine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide an improved pivoted sweep apparatus for a pinsetting machine which first sweeps in a pivoting movement and then sweeps rectilinearly along the alley.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a sweep mechanism which can be made a part of existing pinsetting machines and which is simple and rugged in construction and reliable in operation.

These objects are achieved by providing a sweep mechanism which has a sweep mounted on a guide means for movement in a generally pivoting sweeping movement in order to reach a position in which it extends across the alley substantially perpendicular to the length of the alley and then in a rectilinear movement along the alley, and which has a sweep drive arm mounted on a vertical drive shaft and articulated to the sweep for driving it along the guide means in said movement. All that is necessary to incorporate the new sweep mechanism in existing pinsetting machines having a vertical drive shaft for the sweep is to add the guide means and appropriately mount the sweep, and then provide the articulated connection between the sweep and the drive shaft.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the end of a bowling alley with the sweep mechanism according to the invention in position thereover;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view, on a somewhat enlarged scale, of the sweep and the articulated connection to the drive Shaft;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view taken from the left side of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a detail of the connection between the sweep drive arm and the sweep; and

FIG. 5 is a detail, in perspective, of an alternative structure for mounting the sweep on the guide means.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown the end of a bowling alley 10 having gutters 11 along the sides thereof and a pit 12 at the end thereof into which pins P are swept. Reference is made to US. Pat. No. 2,920,891 for details of the portions of the pinsetting machine other than the sweep, such as belts 16 in the gutters 11, these portions forming no part of the present invention. In FIGS. 1, 4 and 8 of the patent is shown a drive shaft 364 which corresponds to drive shaft 364 of FIG. 1 of the present application. In the patented apparatus and in the apparatus of the present invention, a drive arm 380 is attached to the drive shah, and pivoted to the end of ann 380 is rod 406 having a rack 408 on the free end thereof. Rack 408 meshes with pinion 410 on the upper end of a sweep drive shaft 412 which is mounted in bearings, not shown, on the frame of the apparatus. These parts and their arrangement are the same in both cases.

In one embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention there is provided guide means for guiding a sweep first in a generally pivoting sweeping movement from a position along side the alley to a position transversely across the alley, and then in a rectilinear movement along the alley. In the preferred embodiment, this guide means is in the form of a bent guide rod 505 which has a circular cross section, and which has a short transversely extending portion 505a toward the front of the alley remote from the pit 12, a circular arc portion 505b, and a rectilinear portion 505c extending along the side of the alley parallel to its length. The guide rod 505 is mounted on the pinsetting machine by means of hangers 505d, or the like.

The sweep of the present invention has a sweep member 520, shown clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, which has the bottom end curved in the direction in which the sweep is moving from the start to the finish of the sweeping movement. The sweep member is mounted on a sweep frame 502 which has vertical members 517 welded to the bottom thereof with a horizontal shaft 518 extending between the vertical members. Pivoted on the shaft 518 are two channel-shaped hinge members 519 which extend upwardly along the front or forwardly facing sides of the vertical members and downwardly below the ends of the vertical members. The sweep member 520 is secured to the lower ends of the hinge members by rivets, bolts, or the like. With this arrangement the hinge members 519 can pivot only in one direction on the shaft 518, Le. in the direction in which the sweep is hinged toward the pit and up away from the alley. This permits the sweep to be swung up out of the path of a bowling ball accidentally thrown while the sweep is in position across the alley.

Attached to one end of the sweep frame 502 by welding, riveting, or the like, is a frame plate 503 having a plurality of grooved rollers 504 having a contour such that they will closely embrace the guide rod 505. The rollers are arranged in a pattern on the guide plate such that they will engage the guide rod at all times, even when the plate is moving around the circular arc portion 505b of the guide rod. In this embodiment the rollers are arranged in a row of four with a fifth roller spaced from the row by a distance only slightly less than the diameter of the guide rod 505. Thus, the rod 505 is embraced snugly between the row of four rollers and the single fifth roller so that the plate 503 is guided smoothly around the circular are portion 50%. Other arrangements of rollers are, 0 course, possible.

Mounted on the sweep drive shaft 412 is a sweep drive arm 500 which is shown as being a T-shaped rod with a slightly bent portion 500a at the end toward the drive shaft 412. This sweep drive arm 500 is articulated to the sweep by articulation means which in the present embodiment is a slidable and rotatable coupling shown in detail in FIG. 4. At the free end of the sweep drive arm 500 is a bearing 501 in which is rotatably held a stud 507 with a nut 508 on the upper end thereof and which has a cylindrical portion within the bearing 501 and a generally cubic portion with a bore therethrough below the bearing 501. Attached to the lower end of the cubic portion is a transverse plate 512 having two shafts depending from the ends thereof with rollers 516 mounted thereon. On the top edge of the sweep frame 502 is mounted a slide rod 513 which extends through the bore in the cubic portion of the stud 507. A carriage 509 is attached to the upper part of the stud 507 and has a plate 509a extending in a direction along the slide rod 513. The plate 5090 has two circular guides 50912 depending therefrom through which the slide rod 513 extends. The assembly of the stud 507 and the carriage 509 are thus held in alignment with the slide rod 513 for sliding movement therealong, and the assembly is also rotatable in the bearing 501 with respect to the end of the sweep drive arm 500.

The slide rod 513 is mounted in two blocks 512 and 514 on the top of the sweep frame 502 at a distance above the top of the sweep frame such that the rollers 516 bear against the side surfaces of the sweep frame. The sweep frame and the sweep are thus kept from rocking with respect to the carriage 509 and the stud 507 so that the sweep is held upright with respect to the alley 10.

In the operation of the apparatus, the drive shaft 364 is driven through one complete revolution for each actuation of the sweep in coordination with the operation of the rest of the pinsetting machine. A complete explanation of this operation will be found in the patent referred to hereinbefore, and will therefore not be repeated here. During such rotation, the drive am 380 makes one complete revolution, and the rod 406 and the rack 408 are reciprocated. This movement is sufficient to rotate the pinion 410 and sweep drive shaft 412 through an angle of about 180 from the position shown in dotted lines to the left in FIG. 1 to a position just past the solid line position in FIG. 1. At the start of this rotation, the sweep drive arm 500 starts to swing clockwise in FIG. 1 and first moves the sweep frame 501 and the plate 503 along the short transversely extending portion 5050. This moves the sweep away from its position along side the alley 10, but it remains generally parallel with the length of the alley. As the rotation of the sweep drive shaft 412 continues, the sweep frame 502 and the plate 503 are moved around the circular arc portion 505b of the guide rod 505, being guided by the rollers 504. During this portion of the movement, the sweep is moved in a generally pivotal movement to a position in which it is transverse of the alley 10, the carriage 509 pivoting relative to the end of the sweep drive arm 500 and sliding slightly on the slide rod 513. Continued movement moves the sweep frame to the dotted line position shown in the middle of FIG. 1, at which time the carriage 509 has pivoted further relative to the sweep drive arm 500. Further rotation of the sweep drive shaft 412 drives the sweep frame 502 rectilinearly along the alley, the one end being guided along guide rod 505, and the middle portion being driven by the sweep drive arm 500. The carriage and stud assembly permit the proper relative rotation and slid ing of the end of the sweep drive arm 500 so that the sweep frame 502 is moved properly along the alley.

Near the end of the rotation of the sweep drive shaft 412 in one direction the sweep frame 502 and the sweep drive arm 500 are in the solid line position shown in FIG. 1. Continued rotation moves the sweep to the end of the alley sweeping all of the pins into the pit 12. At this point, the rod 406 and rack 408 start their reverse movement, driving the sweep drive shaft 412 in the opposite direction, and the sweep is driven back in the opposite direction to its original position.

An alternative means for mounting the sweep on the guide means is shown in FIG. 5. In this embodiment, the guide means is a generally T-shaped guide track 605 which is mounted on the machine in the same position and in the same manner as the guide rod 505, except that the guide track is a simple straight track. A frame plate 603 is provided which has a plurality of rollers 604 mounted thereon which engage over the flange 605a of the track 605 and run on the main part 605b of the track. The flange 605a thus prevents the plate 603 from falling off the track. Pivotally mounted in a bearing 606 on the frame plate 603 is a pivot plate 607 on which the end of the sweep drive arm 500 is fixed. The pivot plate has a projection 608 projecting perpendicularly therefrom through which a bolt 609 or the like extends into the bearing 606 and the sweep drive arm 500 is secured to the end of the plate 607 and to the surface of the projection 608, thus firmly securing in to the pivot plate. A stop 610 is mounted on the free end of the plate 607 which abuts against the frame plate 603 when the sweep drive arm 500 is perpendicular to the guide track 605.

The remainder of the apparatus, the vertical drive shaft and the articulation of the drive shaft to the sweep drive arm, and the structure of the sweep, is identical with the embodiment described in connection with FIGS. 1-4.

In operation, the parts shown in FIG. 5 will normally rest in a position rotated counterclockwise from the position shown in FIG. 5, with the sweep drive arm 500 parallel to the guide track 605 and nearly aligned with it, so that the sweep rests near the sidewall of the alley. Upon the start of the operation of the drive shaft, the sweep drive arm 500, carrying the sweep along with it, is pivoted in the bearing 606 until the stop 610 comes to rest against the frame plate 603. At this point, the sweep has completed a generally pivoting motion and is extending across the alley. Further movement of the drive shaft drives the frame plate 603 along the guide track 605, the rollers 604 rolling along the guide track 605 in the same way the rollers 504 roll along the guide rod 505. During the reverse drive of the drive shaft, the reverse sequence of operations takes place to return the sweep to its rest position along side the alley.

It will be seen that the initial pivoting movement of the sweep takes place well up the alley from where pins which have been knocked over will normally be lying. Thus the rectilinear sweep motion of the sweep occurs along the area of the alley where the pins will normally be lying, and the sweep will sweep the pins in a rectilinear movement straight back into the pit. This produces a better distribution of the pins in the pit, thereby speeding up the operation of the machine.

Moreover, as compared to the type of sweep which descends from overhead and moves along the alley rectilinearly, the present sweep reaches much farther up the alley toward the bowler and will gather deadwood which will not be reached by the conventional rectilinear sweep.

Further, as compared to prior horizontally pivotal sweeps, the sweep of the present invention does not rely on the belts in the gutter to remove the pins from the alley. The sweep moves along the gutters from the point at which it first is positioned transverse of the alley, sweeping the pins in the gutter and which may be lodged across the gutter ahead of it into the pit. With the presently existing pivotal sweeps, pins lodged in or across the gutters must be removed by hand or by a bowler throwing a ball. This not only delays the game, but sometimes results in damage to the pinsetting machine.

In one presently existing form of a horizontally pivotal sweep, there is an extensible portion on the free end of the sweep which extends as the sweep pivots in order to reach farther up the alley. The extensible portion is retracted when the sweep reaches the position across the alley. This movement is distracting, especially to bowlers in adjacent lanes. There is no such movement of the present apparatus, and such distractions are not present with this machine.

Since all of the deadwood is cleared by the sweep according to the present invention, there is no need to repeat machine operations, and the game is thus speeded. Likewise, it is not necessary for the bowlers to throw additional balls to move or dislodge pins which are not properly swept, thus further speeding the game and allowing the bowlers to concentrate on the game.

It will, of course, be understood that other structural arrangements can be devised which will accomplish the same type of movement of the sweep, and the invention is not limited to the specific structure described and shown.

What is claimed is:

l. A sweep apparatus for an automatic bowling pinsetting machine comprising a vertical sweep drive shaft adapted to be driven from the pinsetting machine in a reciprocal rotation motion, a sweep guide means adapted to be positioned along one side of a bowling alley on which one end of said sweep is movably mounted for a generally pivoting motion and a rectilinear motion along the alley, a sweep drive arm mounted on said sweep drive shaft and having a free end articulated to said sweep for driving said sweep in said generally pivoting motion and then rectilinearly along said guide means.

2. 'A sweep apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said guide means is a guide rod having a short portion extending in a direction transversely of the alley, a curved portion, and a portion extending in a direction along the alley, and said sweep has a plurality of rollers thereon embracing said guide rod for guiding the sweep along the guide rod.

3. A sweep apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said sweep drive arm and said sweep are articulated to each other by a pivoting and sliding coupling.

4. A sweep apparatus as claimed in claim 3 in which said coupling comprises a bearing on the free end of said sweep drive arm, a stud rotatably mounted in said bearing, a carriage on said stud having means for slidably engaging a slide rod, and a slide rod on said sweep with which said means of said carriage is slidably engaged.

5. A sweep apparatus as claimed in claim 4 in which said coupling further comprises means on said carriage movably engaging said sweep and holding the sweep in a fixed upright orientation to the surface of the alley.

6. A sweep apparatus as claimed in claim 5 in which said means on said carriage comprises a plate member extending on either side of said carriage transversely to said slide rod, and rollers rotatably mounted on said plate and engaging the opposite sides of said sweep below said slide rod and holding said sweep in position relative to said carriage.

7. A sweep apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said guide means is a guide track extending in a direction along the alley, and said sweep has a frame plate pivoted thereto having a plurality of rollers thereon engaged with said guide track for rolling along said track and holding the end of the sweep in engagement with said track, said frame plate and sweep including means for blocking pivotal movement of said sweep in one direction with the sweep extending perpendicularly to the guide track, and allowing pivoting movement in the other direction.

Geciteerd patent Aanvraagdatum Publicatiedatum Aanvrager Titel
US2498587 *23 dec 194621 feb 1950Ivol J SnyderSweeping mechanism for bowling alleys
US2735681 *1 mei 195221 feb 1956by mesne assignmentssherman
US2878019 *2 april 195617 maart 1959American Mach & FoundryBowling alley sweep mechanism
US2920891 *2 aug 195512 jan 1960Sherman Entpr IncBowling pin setting machine
US3158371 *14 maart 196224 nov 1964Cleveland Trust CoApparatus including a reciprocable pin sensing member for use in detecting pinfall ina bowling game
US3224768 *1 maart 196321 dec 1965Cleveland Trust CoApparatus for use in detecting pinfall in a bowling game
US3380739 *3 nov 196530 april 1968Linnemann HelmutPin-setting apparatus including sorting means for segregating pins of different types
Classificatie in de VS473/100
Internationale classificatieA63D5/08
CoŲperatieve classificatieA63D5/08
Europese classificatieA63D5/08