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Patent Searching and Data

Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1979/001143
Kind Code:
In the past, the ease of assembly in calibration mechanisms of the cam-type for pressure switches has not been acceptable. The present invention greatly improves the ease of assembly. The invention is used for actuating and calibrating pressure-type switches. A calibration mechanism (10) for a pressure switch (12) of the type utilizing a rotary cam (16) controls the setting of a spring-biased plunger (22) to establish pressure levels required to actuate the switch (12). The calibration mechanism (10) includes a support bracket (20) mounted on the switch (12) and a cam assembly including an integrally formed cam member (16) and a camshaft (18). A plunger adjustment mechanism includes a pivotally mounted lever (14) having a cam follower (42) in following engagement with the cam (16). The support bracket (20) defines a bore (50) adapted to receive the camshaft (18). The cam (16) has a range of rotational orientations in which the cam follower (42) engages the operative portion of the cam profile. The camshaft (18) includes a projection (56) extending radially therefrom which is axially disposed from the cam (16) a predetermined distance greater than the axial length of the bore (50) in the support bracket (20). The support bracket (20) defines a slot (54) extending from the bore (50). The cam assembly is assembled to the support bracket (20) by orienting the cam assembly relative to the bracket (20) such that the projection (56) on the camshaft (18) passes through the slot (54) as the camshaft (18) is inserted in the bore (50). The cam assembly is then rotated to the operable range of angular displacement in which the projection (56) is angularly offset from the slot (54), thus axially retaining the shaft (18) of the cam assembly in the bore (50) of the support bracket (20).

Berlin D.
Application Number:
Publication Date:
December 27, 1979
Filing Date:
April 30, 1979
Export Citation:
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International Classes:
H01H35/26; (IPC1-7): H01H35/24; F16H53/00
Foreign References:
Other References:
See also references of EP 0016780A1
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1. P> 11 Clai 3 Continued therethrough, said actuator arm including an abutment member circumferentially aligned with said lobed por¬ tion for engagement therewith, whereupon rotation of said shaft by a predetermined amount, said lobed por¬ tion of said shaft moves circumferentially relative to said bore in said actuator arm and said actuator arm remains stationary with respect to said bracket means, whereupon rotation of said shaft beyond said predeter¬ mined amount said lobed portion engages said abutment member and said actuator arm is rotated, said lobed portion being angularly displaced from said actuator arm slot for axially retaining said actuator arm on said shaft.
2. 4 The device as defined in claim 1, wherein said cam member, said shaft, and said lobed portion are integral¬ ly molded as a onepiece assembly.
3. 5 A calibration mechanism adapted to be mounted on a base surface and to control the setting of a spring biased control member, the control member including a cam follower, said calibration mechanism comprising: (a) support means mounted on the base surface and defining a bore oriented generally parallel to the base surface; (b) a cam assembly including a cam member de¬ fining a cam profile and a camshaft with said shaft received in said bore and said cam member disposed axiallyadjacent said support means, said cam assembly having a first generally continuous range of rotational orientations in which the cam follower is in following engagement with said cam profile; ^ 5RE" OMPI 12 Clai 5 Continued (c) said cam assembly having a second range of orientations rotatably displaced from said range of first rotational orientations; (d) said camshaft having a projection extending radially therefrom, axially spaced from said cam mem ber; (e) said support means defining a channel, said channel being circumferentially oriented to receive said projection when said cam assembly is in said sec¬ ond orientation and to permit said projection to pass axially therethrough when said cam assembly is there¬ upon moved axially; and (f) said support means and said channel being configured to permit rotation of said cam assembly, to said first range of rotational orientations.
4. 6 A calibration mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein said projection is axially disposed, relative to said cam, to prevent substantial axial movement of said cam assembly when said cam assembly is operating within said range of rotational orientations.
5. 7 A calibration mechanism for a pressure switch of the type having a springbiased plunger arrangement ad¬ justable to establish different pressure levels required to actuate the switch, said calibration mechanism comprising: (a) a support bracket assembly mounted to the body of the pressure switch; (b) a cam assembly including a cam member defini a cam surface, and a camshaft; (c) plunger adjustment means pivotally mounted relative to said bracket assembly and including a cam follower; Claim 7 Continued (d) said support bracket assembly defining a bore having said camshaft received therein with said cam member rotatably disposed adjacent said support bracket assembly; (e) said cam assembly being rotatable to an operable condition comprising a continuous range of rotational positions in which said cam follower is in following engagement with said cam surface, said cam assembly being rotatable to an entry condition, rotatably displaced from said operable condition; (f) said camshaft including a projection ex¬ tending radially therefrom, said projection being axially disposed from said cam member a distance slightly greater than the axial length of said bore; and (g) said support bracket assembly defining an axiallyextending aperture communicating with said bore and disposed to permit said projection to pass axially therethrough when said cam assembly is placed in said assembled position with said cam assembly in said entry condition, said projection being out of circumferential alignment with said aperture when said cam assembly is rotated to said operable con dition.



The present invention relates to calibration mechanisms of the cam-type such as are used for pressure switches and, more particularly, to an improved configura¬ tion of the camshaft and support bracket which simplifies and facilitates assembly of the mechanism.


Conventional actuation mechanisms for pressure switches such as illustrated in pending reissue applica¬ tion Serial No. 737,293, filed November 11, 1976, pre¬ viously issued as U. S. Patent No. 3,846,600 and assigned to the assignee of the present invention have utilized stamped metal support brackets, cams, plunger adjustment and cam follower mechanisms and metal camshafts. Typically, as in the mechanism of the above-cited patent, the camshaft is assembled with the support bracket, and then the cam member is placed on the projecting end of the camshaft which is then coined or staked to maintain the cam rigidly attached to the camshaft, which normally must be lubricated where it engages the support bracket. Although such actu¬ ation mechanisms have been generally satisfactory in opera¬ tion, the necessity for lubricating the metal parts is un¬ desirable from a processing standpoint, the manufacturing expense of the metal stampings and machined shaft is excessive, and the need to stake the cam to the shaft merely requires additional assembly steps and equipment, further diminishing the economic feasibility of the actuation mechanism.

The use of plastic moldings for the support bracket and cam assembly has been considered as a means of eliminating


the need for lubrication, but until the present invention, the use of such plastic parts has not provided any particu advantage from the standpoint of the assembly process.


Accordingly, it is an object of the present inven tion to provide an actuation mechanism, such as is used fo pressure switches, in which the assembly of the cam, cam¬ shaft and support bracket is greatly simplified and may be performed manually, without the need for expansive jigs, f tures and assembly equipment such as staking presses.

It is a more specific object of the present inven tion to provide a calibration mechanism in which the con¬ figuration of the support bracket and camshaft are utilize -to retain the cam assembly in its assembled position durin normal operational rotation of the cam assembly.

The above and other objects of the present inven¬ tion are accomplished by the provision of an improved cal¬ ibration mechanism for controlling the setting of a spring biased control member which includes a cam follower. The calibration mechanism comprises a support means defining a axial bore and a cam assembly including a cam member de¬ fining a cam profile and a camshaft adapted to be received in the bore and to permit the cam assembly to be rotatably disposed in an assembled position with the cam member axially-adjacent the support bracket. The cam assembly ha a range of rotational orientations, when the cam assembly in the assembled position, in which the cam follower is in following engagement with the cam profile. The cam assemb also has an assembly orientation, rotatably displaced from the range of rotational orientations. The camshaft has a projection extending radially therefrom, and axially space

from the cam member, and the support bracket defines a slot in communication with the bore. During assembly, the slot is circumferentially oriented to receive the projection when the cam assembly is in the assembly orientation and permits the projection to pass axially therethrough as the cam assembly is moved axially to the assembled position. The support bracket and slot are configured to permit rotations of the cam assembly, when the cam assembly is in the assembled position, to the range of rotational orienta- tions. In this condition, the projection is out of circum¬ ferential alignment with the slot and prevents substantial axial movement of the cam assembly.

A second embodiment of the invention incorporates an actuator arm having a bore and a slot communicating therewith for receiving the camshaft and projection. The actuator arm also defines a radial projection circumfer¬ entially and axially aligned with the projection on the cam-' shaft. The actuator arm is spring-biased to a predetermined angular position with respect to the support bracket in which the projection on the shaft is disengaged from the projection on the actuator arm and also angularly offset from the actuator arm slot. After the cam assembly has rotated through a portion of its total angular displacement, the shaft projection then engages the actuator arm projection and rotates it through a given angular displacement. Through¬ out the complete range of camshaft angular displacement the shaft projection remains in abutment with a transverse shoulder adjacent the bore in the actuator arm, thereby axially retaining the camshaft to the support bracket.


Fig. 1 is a top plan view of the calibration mechanism of the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the calibra¬ tion mechanism taken on section lines 2-2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a partial view taken along section lines 3-3 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a partial top plan view of a second embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 5 is a partial end view taken along section lines 5-5 of Fig. 4;

. Fig. 6 is an enlarged partial view of the actuato arm; and

Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along section lines 7-7 of Fig. 6.




Referring now to Figs. 1 and 2, there is shown gen¬ erally by reference numeral 10 a calibration mechanism mounted on a pressure switch 12. The calibration mechanism 10 in- eludes a pivotally mounted lever 14, a cam member 16, a cam¬ shaft 18, and a support bracket indicated generally by refer¬ ence numeral 20. The pressure switch 12, forming no part of this invention, includes a spring-biased plunger 22 slidably received in a bore 24 formed in an upper housing section 26 of pressure switch 12. As shown in Fig. 2, a biasing spring 28 has its upper end reacting against the bottom surface of plunger 22 and its bottom end reacting against the top sur¬ face of an actuator member 30. A switch blade (not shown) is disposed intermediate the bottom surface of actuator 30 and the top surface of a diaphragm (not shown) . The dia¬ phragm is responsive to pressures developed by varying water levels. A second biasing spring 32 is mounted between upper housing 26 and lever 14 and functions to continuously maintain an upward biasing force -upon the lever 14. Lever 14 is pivot- ally mounted at its right end by a fastener 34 having a spherical head 36 which seats against a corresponding spher¬ ical follicle 38 having a central opening 40 through which fastener 34 is received. A cam follower 42 is formed by the left end of lever 14 and is continuously biased against cam 16 by spring 32 and, during a portion of its pivotal movement, by spring 28. A pair of downwardly extending tabs 44 engage the top surface of plunger 22.

Support bracket 20 includes outer and inner verti¬ cal legs 44 and 46, having bores 48 and 50, respectively, which are horizontally aligned and also in line with a cen¬ tral longitudinal axis through lever 14. Inner vertical leg 46 includes a vertically extending slot 52 having cam follower


42 extending therethrough. Slot 52 functions to guide the pivotal motion of lever 14. A keyhole slot 54 is aligned with slot 52 and communicates with bore 50.

A radially extending projection 56 is formed on camshaft 18 and has a width permitting entry through keyhol slot 54. The right transverse edge of projection 56 with respect to Fig. 2 is spaced from the face of cam 16 a prede mined amount in order to establish desired camshaft end pla with respect to bracket 20. In the preferred practice of the invention, cam 16, projection 56 and camshaft 18 are in tegrally molded in one piece from a suitable plastic materi This feature of the invention eliminates the need for lubri cating the camshaft and cam member. A material found to be particularly suitable is marketed under the trademark "ZYTEL" by Ξ. I. du Pont de Nemours, Wilmington, Delaware.

As illustrated in Fig. 3, cam member 16 defines first and second radially extending stop surfaces 58 and 60 respectively, which abut the sides of cam follower 42 and function to limit the angular displacement of camshaft 18. A circular bead 61 is formed on the transverse face of cam member 16 and provides a bearing surface for contacting against inner leg 46. Projection 56 is angularly positione within that portion of the cam profile between stop surface 58 and 60 not contacted by follower 42. Keyhole slot 54, aligned with follower 42, remains continuously offset from projection 56. By maintaining projection 56 angularly off¬ set from keyway slot 54, camshaft 18 is axially retained in bore 50 with inner vertical leg 46 being captured between projection 56 and cam 16. End play of camshaft 18 can ther fore be determined by establishing the axial space between projection 56 and the face of cam 16 to an amount slightly greater than the thickness of inner vertical leg 46.


The calibration mechanism is assembled by first aligning projection 56 with keyhole slot 54 and inserting camshaft 18 through bores 50 and 48 of support bracket 20 until projection 56 clears slot 54. Support bracket 20 with the camshaft mounted therein is then attached to the upper housing section 26 of the pressure switch. Lever 14 is then aligned over plunger 22 and biasing spring 32 so that cam follower 42 extends into slot 52 and engages with the cam profile of cam section 16. Fastener 34 is then in- serted through opening 40 in lever 14 and threaded into upper housing section 26. Cam follower 42 is now continu¬ ously in engagement with cam 16, thereby limiting the total angular displacement of the cam to an angle defined between first and second stop positions 58 and 60. Referring now to Fig. 4, there is shown a second embodiment of the invention which includes an actuator arm 62 rotatably mounted on camshaft 64 through a bore 66. As best shown in Figs. 6 and 7, actuator arm 62 includes a counterbore 68 which terminates in a transverse shoulder 70. A slot 72 extends axially through shoulder 70 and permits projection 76 to pass therethrough. A projection 74 extends inward radially from bore 68. As illustrated in Fig. 5, cam¬ shaft 64 has a radial projection 76 extending therefrom an amount sufficient to clear bore 68 when the actuator arm is positioned on camshaft 64. As illustrated in Fig. 4, the actuator arm projection 74 and the camshaft projection 76 are axially aligned. Actuator arm 62 is biased in the posi¬ tion as shown by Fig. 5 and has a connecting linkage 78 attached to its free end with the other end of the linkage (not shown) connected to an associated appliance control member. With the actuator arm biased to the position as shown in Fig. 5 and with stop surface 58 abutting follower 42, camshaft 64 can only rotate initially in a counterclock¬ wise direction. Continued counterclockwise rotation of cam- shaft 64 results in projection 76 rotating away from slot 72


until it abuts projection 74. Further rotation of cam¬ shaft 64 is then effective to rotate actuator arm 62 counterclockwise for the remaining portion of cam displac ment until stop surface 60 abuts follower 42. Shoulder 7 prevents projection 76 from passing through keyhole slot (identical to first embodiment) as it rotates past align¬ ment therewith. By maintaining projection 76 offset from slot 72 and in axial abutment with shoulder 70, the actu¬ ator arm 62 and camshaft 64 are axially retained to the support bracket.

The second embodiment of the invention is assembl in a manner identical to that described for the first em¬ bodiment wherein projection 76 is aligned with slot 52 in the support bracket and actuator arm 62 is rotated to per mit projection 76 to pass through slot 72. The support bracket is then attached to the pressure switch followed assembly of lever 14.

Modifications and variations of the preferred em¬ bodiment will occur to others upon a reading of the speci ication, and it is my intention to include all such modi¬ fications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims.