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Title:
REWINDING AND UNWINDING OF A RUBBER STRIP AND A LINER CARRYING THE RUBBER STRIP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/078499
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is directed to a winding device (100) for a rubber strip dispensing installation (10). The device (100) includes a frame (102); a winding reel (104) mounted for rotation and translation; an elongated swing arm (108) with an attachment end (108a) being pivotably connected to the frame and an opposite application end (108b); and a pivoting head (110) disposed at the application end of the swing arm that contacts a product reel (200) when the swing arm is in an application position, the head having an upper roller (110a) and a lower roller (110b) rotatably mounted relative to an applicator (110c) that pivots about an axis of rotation so that the head (110) pivots between an attachment position and a retrieval position.

Inventors:
DUBOIS VINCENT (FR)
LEBOURG NICOLAS (FR)
SARTOUT PHILIPPE (FR)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2020/077823
Publication Date:
April 29, 2021
Filing Date:
October 05, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MICHELIN & CIE (FR)
International Classes:
B29D30/00; B65H23/182; B65H23/195; B65H54/72; B65H75/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROUSSY, Delphine (FR)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A winding and unwinding device (100) of an installation (10) for dispensing a rubber strip (300), the device performing a process for winding a rubber strip (300) and a liner (400) carrying the rubber strip, characterized in that the device (100) comprises: a frame (102) comprising:

- a platform (124) that slides along an inclined path (126) of the frame to move up and down the path between a lower end (126a) and a higher end (126b) of the path;

- a fixed deflection roller (120) rotatably mounted relative to the platform (124) so that it remains fixed to the frame (102); and

- a sliding deflection roller (122) movably mounted with the platform (124) so that it slides with the platform between the lower end and the upper end of the path during winding processes; a winding reel (104) having a substantially cylindrical shape adapted to wind the liner (400) thereon, the winding reel being rotatably mounted with respect to a frame reel shaft (102) and being mounted in translation with respect to the frame (102), and the winding reel (104) being rotated by a motor (15) during the winding processes; an elongated swing arm (108) with a predetermined length between an attachment end (108a) and an opposite application end (108b), the attachment end (108a) being pivotally joined to the frame so as to allow the swing arm to move between an application position, where the application end (108b) of the swing arm (108) is inside the flanges (202) of a product reel (200) of the installation (10), and a retracted position, where the swing arm is outside of the product reel (200) ; and a pivoting head (110) at the application end (108b) of the swing arm (108) that makes contact with the product reel (200) when the swing arm is in the application position, the head comprising an upper roller (110a) and a lower roller (110b) rotatably mounted relative to an applicator (110c) that pivots about an axis of rotation so that the head (110) pivots between an attachment position and a retrieval position. 2. The device (100) of claim 1, wherein the winding reel (104) is removably attached to a pivot arm (106) that moves to allow adjustment of a position of the winding reel during winding processes.

3. The device (100) of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the swing arm (108) further comprises a liner sensor (116) at the application end (108b) that determines a bearing position for attaching the liner (400).

4. The device (100) of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein: each of the upper roller (110a) and the lower roller (110b) has a predetermined diameter, and the two diameters are substantially equal; and the upper and lower rollers are maintained at an acute angle.

5. A rubber strip dispensing installation (10) for effecting a winding process, characterized in that the installation (10) comprises: at least one product reel (200) with a pair of flanges (202) and a hub therebetween comprising a substantially cylindrical shape adapted to wind the rubber strip (300) and the liner (400) thereon, the product reel (200) being rotatably mounted with respect to the device (100); and at least one winding device (100) according to any of claims 1 to 4.

6. A winding process effected by the installation (10) of claim 5 during a tire manufacturing cycle, wherein the product reel (200) is empty and the liner (400) is wound on the winding reel (104) at the beginning of the winding process, the process comprising the following steps:

- a step of loading the liner (400) on the device (100) by loading the liner (400) at a predetermined position relative to the fixed and sliding deflection rollers (120, 122);

- a step of winding the liner (400) on the product reel (200), this step including a step of introducing the rubber strip (300) to the product reel (200);

- a step of winding the rubber strip (300) on the product reel (200), this step including a step of rotating the product reel (200) and depositing the rubber strip (300) thereon; and

- a step of closing the liner (400) on the product reel (200) with the rubber strip (300) being deposited on the liner (400).

7. The winding process of claim 6, further comprising a step of stopping the rotation of the product reel (200) that is performed after the step of closing the liner (400) on the product reel (200).

8. The winding process of claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the step of loading the liner (400) on the device (100) includes a step of allowing a predetermined length (L400) of the liner (400) on the top roller (110a) to protrude to allow application of the liner to the product reel (200).

9. The winding process of claim 8, further comprising a step of incorporating a marker on one of the swing arm (108) and the liner (400) to indicate the predetermined length (L400) sufficient for attachment to the hub within the flanges (202) of the product reel (200).

10. The winding process of any one of claims 6 to 9, wherein the predetermined position of the liner (400) relative to the deflection rollers (120, 122) is maintained for the duration of an ongoing winding process.

11. A tire manufacturing cycle comprising the winding process of any one of claims 6 to 10.

Description:
Rewinding and Unwinding of a Rubber Strip and a Liner Carrying the Rubber Strip

Technical Domain The invention relates to the storage of a rubber strip around a product reel that is adapted to be continuously wound and unwound. In particular, the invention relates to a device that effects winding processes, the device being part of an installation for the manufacture of tires. Background

In the manufacture of tires, rubber strips are intended to be stored by being wound around a product reel that is rotatably mounted relative to a frame of a rubber strip dispensing installation (or "dispensing installation"). Such an installation is used to deposit locally a semi-finished product such as rubber strips on a tire being assembled.

A rubber strip (or "product") that is wound in a winding process by a dispensing installation contains a conventional rubber mixture for the manufacture of tires. A rubber from such a strip is generally uncured and therefore has a high level of adhesion. Therefore, when the strip is wrapped on itself in a product reel, it is difficult to unwind the strip without damaging it. Since uncured rubber is a relatively adhesive material, it is recommended to place the rubber strip on a weakly adhesive liner strip to facilitate its subsequent unwinding from the product reel. As the rubber strip is unwound from the product reel, so too is the liner strip.

It is common practice for the rubber strip dispensing installation to include a second reel (a winding reel) carried by the frame for winding the liner strip as the rubber strip is unwound. When the product reel is full and needs to be replaced with an empty product reel, the full product reel and the empty liner winding reel are first removed. Then a new empty product reel and a new full liner winding reel are placed on the installation There are already different dispensing installations incorporating these elements (e.g., see the installations disclosed by patent US4,447,014 and by publications EP1236669 and WO2010/015782).

It is also known that, when the liner strip is wound onto a winding reel, the liner is wound in a spiral from the part of the liner with the smallest width to the part of the liner with the largest width. In order to attach the liner from the get-go, the liner and the winding reel can be fitted with so-called "Velcro®" strips, assuring fixation by simple contact and allowing release by sufficient force and in the correct pulling direction. It is noted that the part of this "Velcro®" strip attached to the winding reel provides a clearly visible reference point for the operator to easily identify the starting point of winding on the winding reel. In order to maintain the liner at the end of the winding process, "Velcro®" strips can also be used, these strips being disposed on one hand on an extension of the liner beyond a surface supporting a rubber strip, and on the other hand, on the back of the liner and back a distance of one turn, so that the "Velcro®" strips overlap at the end of the winding process. It is also possible to ensure that the liner is longer than one turn, so that the last turn of the winding protects the exposed surface of the rubber strip (see US patent 5,641,132).

The disclosed invention incorporates a winding and unwinding device in a rubber strip dispensing installation for processing a variety of products for use in the manufacture of tires. Using the device of the invention, the installation performs winding processes (which may incorporate one or more unwinding processes) reliably without reducing industrial productivity. These benefits are obtained by also allowing the rapid and ergonomic positioning of all types of products (rubber strips and liners) with the aim of ergonomic use for the operators.

Summary of the invention

The invention is directed to a winding and unwinding device of a rubber strip dispensing installation that effects a process for winding a rubber strip and a liner carrying the rubber strip, characterized in that the device includes: - a frame including:

- a platform that slides along an inclined path of the frame to move up and down the path between a lower end and an upper end of the path;

- a fixed deflection roller rotatably mounted relative to the platform so that it remains fixed to the frame; and - a sliding deflection roller mounted movably with the platform so that it slides with the platform between the lower end and the upper end of the path during the winding process;

- a winding reel having a substantially cylindrical shape adapted to wind the liner, the winding reel being rotatably mounted with respect to a reel shaft of the frame and being movably mounted in translational movement with respect to the frame, and the winding reel being rotated by a motor during the winding process;

- an elongated swing arm with a predetermined length between an attachment end and an opposite application end, the attachment end being pivotally joined to the frame so as to allow movement of the swing arm between an application position, where the application end of the swing arm is within the flanges of a product reel of the installation, and a removal position, where the swing arm is out of the product reel; and

- a pivoting head at the application end of the swing arm that contacts the product reel when the swing arm is in the application position, the head having an upper roller and a lower roller rotatably mounted relative to an applicator that pivots about an axis of rotation so that the head pivots between an attachment position and a retrieval position.

In some embodiments of the device, the winding reel is removably attached to a swing arm that moves in order to allow adjustment of a winding reel position during the winding process.

In some embodiments of the device, the swing arm also includes a liner sensor at the application end that determines a bearing position for attachment of the liner.

In some embodiments of the device, each of the upper roller and the lower roller has a predetermined diameter, and the two diameters are approximately equal; and the upper and lower rollers are maintained at an acute angle.

The invention is also directed to a rubber strip dispensing installation that effects a winding process, characterized in that the installation includes:

- at least one product reel with a pair of flanges and a hub therebetween having a substantially cylindrical shape adapted to wind the rubber strip and the liner, the product reel being rotatably mounted relative to the device; and

- at least one winding and unwinding device of the invention.

The invention is further directed to a winding process effected by the installation of the invention during a tire manufacturing cycle, wherein the product reel is empty and the liner is wound onto the winding reel at the beginning of the winding process, the process having the following steps:

- a step of loading the liner on the device by loading the liner at a predetermined position relative to the fixed and sliding deflection rollers; - a step of winding the liner onto the product reel, this step including a step of feeding the rubber strip to the product reel;

- a step of winding the rubber strip onto the product reel, this step including a step of rotating the product reel and depositing the rubber strip thereon; and - a step of closing the liner on the product reel with the rubber strip being deposited on the liner.

In certain embodiments of the process, the process further includes a step of stopping the rotation of the product reel that is performed after the step of closing the liner on the product reel. In certain embodiments of the process, the step of loading the liner on the device includes a step of allowing a predetermined length of the liner to protrude from the upper roller to allow the liner to be applied to the product reel.

In certain embodiments of the process, the process further includes a step of incorporating a marker on one of the swing arm and the liner to indicate the predetermined length sufficient for attachment on the hub within the flanges of the product reel.

In certain embodiments of the process, the predetermined position of the liner in relation to the deflection rollers is maintained for the duration of an ongoing winding process. The invention is further directed to a tire manufacturing cycle including the winding process of the invention.

Other aspects of the invention will become evident from the following detailed description. Brief description of the drawings

The nature and the various advantages of the invention will become more obvious when reading the following detailed description, together with the attached drawings, in which the same reference numbers designate identical parts everywhere, and in which: Figure 1 represents a side view of a rubber strip dispensing installation incorporating a winding and unwinding device of the invention.

Figure 2 represents a side view of a swing arm of the device shown in Figure 1.

Figures 3 to 6 represent steps of an embodiment of a winding process of the invention.

Figure 7 represents a perspective view of a head of the swing arm of Figure

2

Figure 8 represents a perspective view of a clamp of the head of figure 7. Figures 9 to 15 represent steps of another embodiment of a winding process of the invention.

Detailed Description

Referring now to the figures, in which the same numbers identify identical elements, Figures 1 and 3 to 6 represent a rubber strip dispensing installation (or "dispensing installation" or "installation") 10 that carries out winding processes. A "winding process" or processes as described below may include one or more unwinding processes as understood by a skilled person.

The installation 10 includes at least one winding and unwinding device (or "device") 100 and at least one product reel 200. The product reel 200 incorporates a pair of flanges 202 (see Figures 3 and 4) and a hub between them having a substantially cylindrical shape adapted to wind a rubber strip (or "product") 300 and a liner strip (or "liner") 400 carrying the rubber strip 300. The product reel 200 is rotatably mounted relative to the device 100. In the figures, the product reel 200 is shown in a fixed position relative to the device 100. It is understood that the positioning of the product reel 200 relative to the device 100 can be adjusted according to the properties of the rubber strip 300 and/or the liner 400.

The device 100 of the installation 10 includes a frame 102 supporting a winding reel 104. The winding reel 104, which has a substantially cylindrical shape around which the liner 400 is wound, is mounted rotatably with respect to a reel shaft of the frame 102. The winding reel 104 is also mounted so that it can be moved in translation relative to the frame 102, thus allowing it to be aligned with and mounted on the reel shaft in a loading area of the installation 10.

A motor 15 rotates the winding reel 104 in both directions (a winding direction and an unwinding direction of the liner 400) during the winding processes effected by the installation 10. The winding reel 104 is attached to a pivot arm 106 that moves in response to an actuator Vi (which can be operated by hydraulic, pneumatic or equivalent means) or one or more equivalent actuator(s). The pivoting range of the pivot arm 106 maintains the position of the winding reel 104 relative to the frame 102 of the device 100 during the winding processes effected by the installation 10.

Referring further to Figure 2, the device 100 of the installation 10 also includes an extended swing arm 108 having a predetermined length between an attachment end 108a and an opposite application end 108b. The attachment end 108b is attached to the frame 102 in a pivoting manner between an application position, where the application end 108b of the swing arm 108 is inside the flanges 202 of the product reel 200 (shown, for example, in Figures 6, 9, 10 and 15), and a retracted position, where the swing arm 108 is outside the product reel 200 (shown, for example, in Figures 1, 3 to 5 and 11 to 14). The swing arm 108 is moved between the retracted position and the application position in response to an actuator V2 (which can be operated by hydraulic, pneumatic, or equivalent means) or one or more equivalent actuator(s).

Referring again to Figure 2, the swing arm 108 includes a pivoting head 110 at the application end 108b that manages the winding of the product and the recovery of the liner during the winding process. The head 110 includes an upper roller 110a and a lower roller 110b rotatably mounted relative to an applicator 110c. Each roller 110a, 110b has a predetermined diameter, and the two diameters are approximately equal. The two rollers 110a, 110b are maintained at an acute angle (an angle no greater than 45°), but neither roller pivots.

The applicator 110c rotates about an axis of rotation so that the head 110 pivots freely relative to a support 112 fixed to the application end 110b of the swing arm 108. The head 110 pivots between an attachment position, where the upper roller 110a engages the liner 400 (shown, for example, in Figures 6, 14, and 15), and a retrieval position, where the lower roller 110b engages the liner 400 (shown, for example, in Figures 9, 11, and 13). The head 110 toggles between the attachment position and the retrieval position in response to an actuator V3 that effects a roller selection (which can be operated by hydraulic, pneumatic or equivalent means) or by one or more equivalent actuator(s). It is understood that the positioning of the two rollers of the head 110 can be switched with respect to the positioning shown in the figures.

The swing arm 108 also includes a liner sensor 116 at the application end 108b that determines a bearing position for the attachment of the liner 400. In some embodiments of the device 100, a known hook and loop fastener is used to attach the liner 400 (e.g., of a commercially available type designated "Velcro®").

The device 100 of the installation 10 also includes a fixed deflection roller 120 and a sliding deflection roller 122, which maintain a predetermined position of the liner 400. The fixed deflection roller 120 remains fixed to the frame 102, and it is rotatably mounted relative to the device 100 to control the positioning of the rubber strip 300 relative to the liner 400 during a winding process. The sliding deflection roller 122 is movably mounted with a platform 124 of the frame 102 that slides along an inclined path 126 of the frame. During a winding process, the platform 124 moves up and down the path 126 between a lower end 126a and a higher end 126b of the path, ensuring the control of the position of the rubber strip 300 and/or the liner 400. The predetermined position is maintained during rotation of the product reel 200, during rotation of the winding reel 104 and also during stops of both reels.

Referring again to Figures 1 to 6, a detailed description is given of an exemplary winding process of the invention that is effected by the installation 10 incorporating the device 100. Such a winding process is effected during a tire manufacturing cycle of a system in which the installation 10 is installed. It is understood that the winding process can be easily adapted for all embodiments of a system incorporating the installation 10.

At the beginning of a winding process of the invention (see Figure 1), the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 arrive at a loading area of the installation 10. Upon arrival, the product reel 200 is empty and the liner 400 is already wound on the winding reel 104.

Referring to Figure 3, the winding process of the invention includes a step of loading the liner 400 (stored on the winding reel 104) on the device 100. During this step, the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position. During this step, the platform 124 remains at the lower end 126a of the path 126. During this step, neither the product reel 200 nor the winding reel 104 rotates.

The loading step is done manually by loading the liner 400 at a predetermined position relative to the fixed and sliding deflection rollers 120,122. During this step, a predetermined length L400 of the liner 400 should protrude over the upper roller 110a to allow attachment of the liner to the product reel 200. A marker can be used (either on the swing arm 108 or on the liner 400) to indicate the predetermined length L400 that facilitates attachment to the hub inside the flanges 202 of the product reel 200. In an embodiment of the winding process, this step includes a step of detection of the integrated marker. This detection is performed by the liner sensor 116.

Referring to Figure 4, the winding process also includes a step of winding the liner 400 onto the product reel 200. During this step, the winding reel 104 and the product reel 200 rotate in opposite directions (see respective arrows A and B in Figure 4). During this step, the platform 124 is set in motion to slide toward the upper end 126b of the path 126 of the frame 102 (see arrow C in Figure 4). The movement of the platform 124 and its position on the path 126 can be adjusted according to the diameter of the product reel 200. This movement and this position can also be adjusted according to the target angle between the liner 400 and the product that will be introduced to the product reel 200 (represented by the rubber strip 300).

During the winding step, the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position. Thus, the upper and lower rollers 110a, 110b, being outside of the product reel 200, do not touch the liner 400. After the liner 400 has been wound onto the hub inside the flanges 202 of the product reel 200 (for a maximum of one revolution), the product reel is ready to receive the rubber strip 300.

The step of winding the liner 400 onto the product reel 200 includes a step of feeding the rubber strip 300 to the product reel 200. The introduction of the rubber strip 300 is effected by a known means of transport (represented in Figure 4 by a conveyor belt 500). It is understood that other means of transport may be used.

Referring to Figure 5, the winding process also includes a step of winding the product onto the product reel 200, which step includes a step of rotating the product reel 200 (see arrow D in Figure 5) and depositing the product upon it (the rubber strip 300 introduced by the belt 500). During this step, the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 continue to rotate in opposite directions until the end of the product reel (i.e., the product reel is filled with product placed on the liner 400).

During the step of winding product onto the product reel 200, the platform 124 is set in motion to slide it toward the lower end 126a of the path 126 of the frame 102 (see arrow E in Figure 5). The movement of the platform 124 and its position on the path 126 can be adjusted according to the diameter of the product reel 200. The movement and the position can also be adjusted according to the target angle between the liner 400 and the rubber strip on product reel 200.

During this step, the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position. At least one of the upper and lower rollers 110a, 110b engages the liner 400 during the rotation of the product reel 200 and deposits the rubber strip 300 upon it.

Referring to Figure 6, the winding process of the invention further includes a step of closing the liner 400 upon the product reel 200. At this stage of the process, the product is deposited on the liner 400 and the product reel 200 continues to rotate (see arrow F in Figure 6). During this step, the platform 124 remains near the lower end 126a of the path 126. During this step, the actuator V2 is activated to move the swing arm 108 from the retracted position to the application position (see arrow G in Figure 6). With the head 110 in the attachment position (shown in Figure 6), at least one of the upper and lower rollers 110a, 110b presses the liner 400 so as to ensure an adhesive closure to an overlap 400a of the liner (effected, for example, by a commercially available hook and loop fastener of the type known as "Velcro® ").

In addition, the winding process includes a step of stopping the rotation of the product reel 200. This step is performed after the step of closing the liner 400 in order to allow the application of a label by the operator.

Referring again to Figures 1 and 2 and furthermore to Figures 7 and 8, a second embodiment of the device 100 includes all of the elements described and represented with respect to Figures 1 and 2. This second embodiment of the device 100 also includes a clamp 114 at the application end 108b of the swing arm 108. The clamp 114 has two articulated arms 114a that hinge between a closed position (see Figure 7) and an open position (see Figure 8). In the closed position, the arms 114a capture a rigid end support of the liner 402 (or "rigid support" or "support") between them (see Figure 7). During winding processes using the second embodiment of the device 100, the rigid support 402 is conveyed by a substrate 402' driven by the winding reel 104 (see Figure 9). The clamp 114 can be integrated with or it can be detached from the head 110.

Referring again to Figures 1 and 2 and Figures 7 and 8, as well as to Figures 9 to 15, a detailed description is given of an exemplary embodiment of a winding process of the invention. This embodiment of the winding process is effected by the installation 10 incorporating the second embodiment of the device 100. Such a winding process is effected during a tire manufacturing cycle of a system in which the installation 10 is installed, and the installation 10 incorporates the second embodiment of the device 100. By using the second embodiment of the device 100, it is understood that there are partially or fully automated modes of the winding process.

At the beginning of a winding process of the invention, the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 arrive at a loading area of the installation 10. Upon arrival, the product reel 200 is present with the liner 400 already wound, and the winding reel 104 is empty.

Referring to Figures 9 and 10, the winding process of the invention includes a step of retrieving the liner 400 from the winding reel 104. During this step, the product reel 200 rotates in a predetermined direction (see arrow H in Figure 9) that allows contact between the liner 400 and at least one of the upper and lower rollers 110a, 110b of the head 110. During this step, the swing arm 108 is in the application position with the head 110 in the retrieval position. During this step, the rigid support 402 is secured by the clamp 114.

During the step of retrieving the liner 400, the liner sensor 116 can detect the adhesion of the liner 400 to the lower roller 110b when the rigid support 402 is secured by the clamp 114. In response to the detection of the secured liner 400, a signal can be sent to stop the rotation of the product reel 200 and to prepare for the retraction of the swing arm 108 from the reel.

Referring again to Figure 9, the winding process of the invention includes a step of conveying the liner 400 from the product reel 200 and a step of forming a loop (or "tongue") 404 in the liner 400 that allows this conveyance. During this step, the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 rotate in opposite directions (see arrows H and I, respectively, in Figure 9). During this step, the swing arm 108 remains in the application position and the head 110 remains in the retrieval position. During this step, the platform 124 remains near the lower end 126a of the path 126 of the frame 102 (the precise position of the platform being adjustable according to the diameter of the product reel 200). During this step, the upper roller 110a begins its engagement of the liner 400.

During the step of conveying the liner 400 from the product reel 200, the product reel and the winding reel 104 continue to rotate until the loop 404 disappears. Referring to Figure 11, the winding process of the invention further includes a step of rewinding the liner 400 on the winding reel 104. At this stage of the winding process, the winding reel 104 begins the rewinding of the liner 400. This step is performed at the beginning of a winding cycle of the invention using the second embodiment of the device 100.

During the step of rewinding, the product and winding reels 200,104 continue to rotate so that the conveyance of the liner 400 from the product reel 200 can continue (see respective arrows J and K in Figure 11). During this step, the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position. During this step, the platform 124 remains near the lower end 126a of the path 126 (the precise position of the platform 124 being adjustable according to the diameter of the product reel 200). During the step of rewinding, the head 110 releases the rigid support 402 while maintaining the retrieval position (for example, see Figure 11 where the head 110 pivots upward).

During the step of rewinding, the fixed and sliding deflection rollers 120, 122 provide a predetermined position for pulling the liner 400. The winding of the liner 400 on the winding reel 104 is thus controlled. At this stage of the process, a preparation phase is completed and the rubber strip 300 can be introduced upon the product reel 200 during the winding process.

Referring to Figure 12, the step of rewinding the liner 400 includes a preparation step where the directions of rotation of the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 are reversed (see arrows L and M respectively in Figure 12). During this step, the two reels 200, 104 rotate in their reverse and opposite directions for the controlled introduction of the liner 400. At this stage of the process, the predetermined position of the liner 400 remains well controlled by the deflection rollers 120, 122. The winding reel 104 continues to rotate to wind the liner 400.

During the step of rewinding the liner 400, the platform 124 is set in motion to slide it toward the upper end 126b of the path 126 (see arrow N in Figure 12). The movement of the platform 124 and its position on the path 126 can be adjusted to match the diameter of the product reel 200. During this step, the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position, and the lower roller 110b no longer touches the liner 400.

The step of rewinding the liner 400 also includes a step of stopping the rotation of the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104. This step is effected at the end of the rewinding of the liner 400 on the winding reel 104.

Referring to Figure 13, the winding process also includes a step of ending the winding of the liner 400 on the winding reel 104. During this step, the directions of rotation of the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 are reversed, and both reels 200, 104 rotate in their reverse and opposite directions (see respective arrows O and P in Figure 13). During this step, the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position, and the head 110 remains in the retrieval position.

At this stage of the process, the rubber strip 300 is introduced to the product reel 200 (for example, by a known means of transport such as the belt 500 shown in Figure 4). The directions of rotation of the two reels 104, 200 are reversed. The product reel 200 is rotated together with the winding reel 104, and a predetermined length of product is wound up. When the end of this predetermined length of wound product is detected, the product reel 200 is ready for closing.

During the step of ending the winding of the rubber strip 300, the platform 124 is moved and it slides toward the lower end 126a of the path 126 of the frame 102 (see arrow Q in Figure 13). The movement of the platform 124 and its position on the path 126 can be adjusted according to the diameter of the product reel 200. During this step, where the swing arm 108 remains in the retracted position, the liner 400 is wound onto the winding reel 104 until the rigid support 402 falls between the upper roller 110a and the lower roller 110b of the head 110.

During the step of ending the winding of the rubber strip 300, the liner sensor 116 can detect when the rigid support 402 falls between the upper roller 110a and the lower roller 110b of the head 110. In response to the detection of the fallen rigid support 402, a signal can be sent to put the clamp 114 in the closed position with the rigid support 402 clamped between the hinged arms 114a. In this manner, the clamp 114 secures the rigid support 402 to effect the attachment of the liner 400 without giving up the retrieval position.

During this step, the fixed and sliding deflection rollers 120,122 ensure the predetermined position required to convey the liner 400.

Referring to Figure 14, the winding process of the invention further includes a step of conveying the rigid support 402 toward the product reel 200.

This step includes a step of forming a loop 404' in the liner 400 that allows the rigid support to be released. During this step, the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 continue to rotate in opposite directions (see arrows R and S, respectively, in Figure 14). During this step, the actuator V2 is activated to move the swing arm 108 from the retracted position to the application position and the head 110 pivots toward the attachment position.

During the step of conveying the rigid support 402, the platform 124 remains near the lower end 126a of the path 126 so that the deflection rollers 120,122 manage the predetermined position of the liner 400 (the precise position of the platform 124 being adjustable according to the diameter of the product reel 200). At this stage of the process, the liner 400 is well obtained from the winding reel 104.

During the step of conveying the rigid support 402, the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 continue to rotate until the loop 404' disappears. At this point in the process, the rigid support 402 is separated from the product reel 200, and the liner 400 is wound onto the product reel 200. The conveyance of the rigid support 402 facilitates the feeding of the product reel 200 while the sliding deflection roller 122 retains the liner 400.

Referring to Figure 15, the winding process of the invention further includes a step of closing the product reel 200. During this step, the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104 continue to rotate in opposite directions (see respective arrows T and U in Figure 15). During this step, the head 110 pivots toward the attachment position so that the upper roller 110a conveys the rigid support 402 toward the product reel 200. In the application position, the rotation of the product reel 200 ensures the complete separation of the liner 400 from the rigid support 402. The swing arm 108 maintains the head 110 in the attachment position so that the upper roller 110a engages the product reel 200, thus ensuring the closure of the rubber strip.

At the end of the winding process of the invention, the product reel 200 is filled with product, and the swing arm 108 returns to the retracted position. The device 100 is put on standby in order to resume the winding process again, realizing a reduction in the tire manufacturing cycle time.

The two embodiments of the device 100 manage well the predetermined position of the liner 400 in relation to the deflection rollers 120, 122 during the winding process. It is understood that the pre-determined position of the liner 400 in relation to the deflection rollers 120, 122 is maintained for the duration of an ongoing winding process.

The winding processes of the invention (and also a winding cycle of which the processes are a part) can be controlled by PLC control and can include pre programming of management information. For example, a process setting can be defined using the properties of the rubber strip 300 and the liner 400. A process setting can be defined using the parameters of the product reel 200 and the winding reel 104.

A monitoring system could be set up for all embodiments of the installation 10. At least part of the monitoring system may be provided in a portable device such as a mobile network device (e.g., cell phone, laptop computer, network- attached portable device(s) (including "augmented reality" and/or "virtual reality" devices, network-attached portable clothing and/or any combination and/or equivalent)).

In certain embodiments of the invention, the device 100 and/or the installation 10 (and/or a system that incorporates the device and/or the installation) may receive voice commands or other audio data representing, for example, the current state of a process in progress compared to the planned state. The response may be generated in audible, visual, tactile (e.g., using a haptic interface) and/or virtual and/or augmented form.

In an embodiment, a winding process may include a step of training the device 100 and/or the installation 10 (or training a system that incorporates the device and/or the installation) to recognize characteristics representative of the rubber strip 300 and the liner 400 (e.g., length and width and tensile strength values) and to make comparisons with expected values. This step may include a step of training the device 100 and/or the installation 10 (or training a system that incorporates the device and/or the installation) to recognize non-equivalence between the values being compared. Each training step includes a classification generated by self-learning means. This classification may include, without limitation, the parameters of the materials used in the rubber strip 300 and the liner 400, the duration of the winding cycles and the values expected at the end of a current cycle (for example, the value of a quantity of the liner 400 recovered by the winding reel, etc.). The terms "at least one" and "one or more" are used interchangeably. Ranges that are presented as "between a and b" include the values "a" and "b".

While specific embodiments of the disclosed device have been illustrated and described, it is understood that various changes, additions and modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of this disclosure. Consequently, no limitations should be imposed on the scope of the invention described except those set forth in the claims annexed hereto.