US 9,808,857 B2
Continuous fastener feeding apparatus and method
Velibor Kilibarda, West Bloomfield, MI (US); and William Maybee, Southfield, MI (US)
Assigned to Comau LLC, Southfield, MI (US)
Filed by Comau, Inc., Southfield, MI (US)
Filed on Feb. 5, 2014, as Appl. No. 14/173,298.
Claims priority of provisional application 61/761,050, filed on Feb. 5, 2013.
Prior Publication US 2014/0217227 A1, Aug. 7, 2014
Int. Cl. B21J 15/32 (2006.01); B21J 15/02 (2006.01)
CPC B21J 15/323 (2013.01) [B21J 15/025 (2013.01); Y10T 29/5377 (2015.01)] 9 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method for continuously feeding fasteners to a fastener installation device through use of a fastener tape having a plurality of mechanical fasteners sequentially positioned along the tape and extending transversely thereto, the method comprising the steps of:
feeding a first fastener tape from a first fastener reel through a tape merging device toward a fastener installation device, the first fastener tape having a plurality of sequentially positioned mechanical fasteners extending transversely to the first fastener tape, the first fastener tape having a tail section, the tape merging device being partially closed and defining an interior cavity having a tape joining device positioned therein;
partially uncoiling a second fastener tape from a second fastener reel, the second fastener tape having a plurality of sequentially positioned mechanical fasteners extending transversely to the second fastener tape, the second fastener tape having a leading section, the leading section of the second fastener tape having no fasteners;
positioning the leading section of the second fastener tape in the tape merging device in spaced proximity to and in alignment with the first fastener tape;
the tape joining device engaging mechanical fasteners in the tail section of the first fastener tape with the leading section of the second fastener tape at an end of the first fastener tape so that the second fastener tape begins supplying mechanical fasteners to the fastener installation device.