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AN INTERMITTENT MOTION MECHANISM INCORPORATING A GENEVA WHEEL AND A GEAR TRAIN

David B. Dooner 1 , Antonio Palermo 2 and Domenico Mundo 2

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 2 Department of Mechanical, Energy, and Management Engineering, University of Calabria, Italy E-mail: david.dooner@upr.edu

Received August 2013, Accepted June 2014 No. 13-CSME-151, E.I.C. Accession 3609

ABSTRACT This paper presents a kinematic study of a mechanism incorporating a Geneva wheel and a gear train to achieve intermittent motion. The goal of this mechanism is to eliminate the acceleration jump at the begin- ning and end of the Geneva wheel motion. An epitrochoidal path replaces the circular path for the driving pin in a classical Geneva wheel drive. The epitrochoidal path is generated using a gear train and results in zero velocity, acceleration, and jerk at the beginning and end of the Geneva wheel motion. Presented is a comparison of the position, velocity, acceleration, and jerk between the classical Geneva wheel mechanism and the proposed mechanism. Subsequently, the motion of the Geneva wheel is modified by introducing a non-circular gear pair to adjust the timing of the epitrochoidal path. The motion of the non-circular gear pair is determined by reducing the extreme jerk of the Geneva wheel.

Keywords: Geneva wheel; planar path generation; epitrochoid; non-circular gears.

INCORPORATION D’UNE ROUE DE MALTE ET D’UN TRAIN D’ENGRENAGE DANS UN MÉCANISME À MOUVEMENT INTERMITTENT

RÉSUMÉ Cet article présente une étude cinématique d’un mécanisme incorporant une roue de Malte et un train d’en- grenage pour obtenir un mouvement intermittent. Le but d’un tel mécanisme est d’éliminer au début et à la fin les sauts brusques d’accélération de mouvement de la roue de Malte. La trajectoire épitrochoïde remplace la trajectoire circulaire pour l’axe de commande dans un mécanisme classique de roue d’entraînement de Malte. La trajectoire épitrochoïde est générée par l’utilisation d’un train d’engrenage ; le résultat est nulle vitesse, nulle accélération et saut au début et à la fin du mouvement de la roue de Malte. On présente une comparaison de la position, de la vitesse, de l’accélération, et de saut en début et en fin pour la roue de Malte classique, et le mécanisme proposé. Par la suite, le mouvement de la roue de Malte est modifié en introduisant un engrenage non circulaire pour l’ajustement de la trajectoire épitrochoïde. Le mouvement de l’engrenage non circulaire est déterminé en réduisant le saut extrême de la roue de Malte.

Mots-clés : roue de Malte; planification planaire de trajectoire; épitrochoïde; engrenage non circulaire.

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1. BACKGROUND

One task of a mechanical designer is to synthesize a mechanism that achieves a particular task. Synthesis procedures are usually classified as either function generation, path generation, or motion generation. Cams, gears, and linkages can be combined where a point on one of the links traces a general planar curve. Planar path generation can be central to the kinematic design of a Geneva wheel mechanism. The available literature documenting mechanism synthesis for planar path generation is enormous. An introduction to mechanism design is provided by Erdman and Sandor [1], Waldron and Kinzel [2], and Uicker et al. [3]. A 4-bar mechanism is a basic 1-dof (degree of freedom) mechanism. A 4-bar is created by selecting

four link lengths and joining the links with revolute joints to form a loop. A wide variety of paths are possible by arbitrarily choosing a point on the coupler curve. These different curves can be obtained by constructing a physical model of the mechanism and viewing the path of various points without detailed mathematical analysis (e.g. see [4]). It is also possible to develop a mathematical model of the mechanism in terms of its four link lengths. The analytical expressions for these paths are algebraic and require many computations to determine the coordinates for points on the path. Handbooks were developed to catalogue many curve forms, their instantaneous properties, and the corresponding mechanism used to produce them. Burmester [5] developed a procedure to determine the link lengths of a 4-bar mechanism that will guide its coupler curve in a prescribed manner. The mathematical formulation of this procedure for designing a 4-bar mechanism is referred to as Burmester theory. Freudenstein introduced the use of a computer for the design of 4-bar mechanisms [6]. This activity precipitated much interest in creating additional analytical approaches to specify mechanisms capable of satisfying a desired task. Much of the work fostered by Freudenstein is highlighted by Erdman [7]. The methodology developed by Freudenstein and Sandor [8] for path generation consists of specifying a finite number of points (precision points) on the desired curve and results in a 4-bar mechanism where a point on the coupler curve passes through the specified precision points. Interestingly, the number of points is usually three, four or five. This methodology of path generation

is

referred to as an exact method. One problem with designing a 4-bar mechanism for path generation is that the final 4-bar mechanism

is

rarely able to produce the desired path. For this reason, optimal synthesis methods were used to design

mechanisms for path generation. The objective is to minimize the structural error defined as the difference between a prescribed path and the generated path [9–11]. An optimal mechanism is synthesized by summing the difference between these paths over the full operative domain and changing the mechanism parameters to reduce this net difference. One disadvantage of the exact method is that only a few precision points can be used whereas one disadvantage of optimal methods is that an approximation to the desired task exists. These disadvantages can be eliminated by integrating higher order pairs (viz., cams, gears, and pin-in-slots) with linkages. In 1967, Hain [12] cited the existence of cam-linkage mechanisms, while in 1981 Singh and Kohli

[13] used the complex loop closure method and the envelope theory to define a general approach for the

synthesis of combined cam-linkage systems for exact path generation. In 2006, Mundo et al. [14] proposed

a method for the optimal synthesis of planar mechanisms where a combination of cams and linkages are

used to obtain precise path generation. Task performing mechanisms can also be obtained by integrating linkages with geared-bodies. Roth and

Freudenstein [15] proposed a numerical method for the synthesis of a geared five-bar mechanism (GFBM) for path generation tasks defined by nine precision points. Zhang et al. [16] proposed an algorithm for the optimal synthesis of a symmetric GFBM as a path generating mechanism. Starns and Flugrad [17] used continuation methods to synthesize a GFBM for a path generation task defined by seven precision positions. Nokleby and Podhorodesky [18] proposed a method for the optimal synthesis of GFBM based on

a quasi-Newton optimization routine.

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Recently, a combination of linkages with non-circular gears was proposed for different purposes, such

as balancing shaking moments in spatial linkages [19], reducing speed and torque fluctuations in rotating

shafts [20], reducing the driving torque fluctuations in GFBMs [21], synthesizing path-generating mecha- nisms with time-prescription [22]. Mundo et al. [23, 24] proposed the integration of five-bar linkages with non-circular gears to synthesize a mechanism capable of precisely moving a coupler point along a desired path, while a non-circular gear pair is designed in [25] to drive a ball-screw mechanism according to an optimal law of motion. Presented are different gear trains incorporating circular and non-circular gears as driving mechanisms for a classical Geneva wheel. The goal is to achieve intermittent motion with improved kinematic behavior.

2. GENEVA WHEEL

Intermittent drives are used in industry for counting mechanisms, indexing, sequencing, motion-picture mechanisms, feed mechanisms, and watches, although less common today with programmable controllers.

A Geneva wheel is an example of an intermittent motion mechanism. Typically, the Geneva wheel is driven

by a pin that traverses a circular path; this is the classical Geneva wheel mechanism. The path of the pin will vary later. One undesirable feature of the classical Geneva wheel mechanism is that an acceleration jump exists at the start and stop of the Geneva wheel motion. Several mechanisms have been proposed to reduce

and eliminate this acceleration jump. Hunt [26] proposed a 4-link crank-rocker to generate a coupler curve

to eliminate these acceleration jumps. Dijksman [27] presented more complex mechanisms to eliminate the

acceleration jump at the onset of Geneva wheel motion. Later, Sujan and Meggiolaro [28] used a 4-bar mechanism for improving Geneva wheel dynamics. None of the proposed mechanisms are as compact as the classical Geneva wheel drive. Further, balancing these mechanisms becomes a challenge where Geneva wheels driven by linkages are not common. Fenton et al. [29] proposed curved slots along with a slot offset to improve the motion characteristics of the Geneva wheel. Figliolini and Angeles [30] presented an algorithm on the synthesis of Geneva wheel drives with curved slots using a specified motion. More recently, Lee and Jan [31] expanded this concept with focus on undercutting. Quaglia et al. [32] introduced counter rotating geared wheels that engage and disengage with an output wheel to generate an oscillating motion in the output wheel. The output wheel is held stationary using slots akin to the Geneva wheel. Acceleration spikes at engagement and disengagement are eliminated by using specially shaped slots. Figliolini et al. [33] eliminated the sliding motion inherent between the pin and slot using cams. Hasty and Potts [34] consider wear and maximum contact stress for a classical drive Geneva wheel mechanism. These same considerations can be extended today using updated design formulations for wear and stress along with optimizations procedures. Recent applications incorporating a Geneva wheel mechanism include the design of a shoulder joint [35] and an insect like flapping wing mechanism [36]. A classical 4-slotted Geneva wheel mechanism is illustrated in Fig. 1. 1 Typically, mechanical designers will incorporate a circular wheel with a pin as shown in Fig. 1. The rotation of the Geneva wheel is prevented when the pin is not in the slot using the locking cam illustrated in Fig. 1. Referencing Fig. 1, the following relation is obtained via the law of sines:

where for n slots

R

L

sin φ = sin[π (φ + θ )]

π/n < φ < π/n

1 The Geneva drive is also referred to as a Maltese cross mechanism.

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(1)

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Fig. 1. Classical Geneva wheel mechanism with circular wheel drive. Note that the angle φ

Fig. 1. Classical Geneva wheel mechanism with circular wheel drive.

Note that the angle φ spans the open interval (π/n, π/n). Solving for the angular position φ of the Geneva wheel in terms of the Cartesian coordinates (x p , y p ) of the pin yields 2

φ = tan 1

L+x p

y p

(2)

Expressing the angle θ in terms of the coordinates (x p , y p ) gives

θ

=

π tan 1 x p

y p

(3)

3. PATH GENERATION

The motion of the classical Geneva wheel mechanism is based on the circular path of the driving pin. The Cartesian coordinates (x p , y p ) of the pin are expressed

x p = R cos v i

y p = R sin v i

where R is the radius of the pin and v i is the angular position of the input wheel. The Geneva wheel motion can be altered by utilizing a path other than a circular pin path. An alternative path can be produced using a gear pair where the input gear is held stationary and the connecting link is allowed to rotate [24, 37]. Illustrated in Fig. 2 are two non-circular gears where the “input” non-circular gear (centrode) is held stationary and the output non-circular gear (centrode) is moving. The point p in the output gear traces a planar path. The output centrode rotates without slip along the input centrode. Depicted in Fig. 3 is a special case where the gears are circular. The motion of the point q embedded in the moving output gear describes an epitrochoid. One special case is when the distance r d is equal to the gear radius where the resulting path is an epicycloid. When the input gear and the output gear are of equal diameters, there exists one cusp and the epicycloid is defined as a cardioid. When two cusps exist (i.e., diameter of the fixed gear is twice the diameter of the moving gear), the epicycloid is defined as a nephroid. The goal is to determine a suitable pin path for driving the Geneva wheel and subsequently determine the corresponding non-circular gear pair. A suitable pin path is one that yields smooth and continuous velocity

2 Implicit is tan 1(a/b) is a quadrant arctangent function where the sign of both the numerator a and the denominator b determine the angle φ .

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Fig. 2. A point p traces a planar path ( x p , y p

Fig. 2. A point p traces a planar path (x p , y p ) using non-circular output gear (moving NC output gear) rotating without slip relative to the fixed input gear.

and acceleration of the Geneva wheel. The driving pin path determines the non-circular gear shapes and the non-circular gear shapes define the pin path. Thus, the relation between the instantaneous gear ratio and the pin path is presented. Subsequently, zero acceleration of the Geneva wheel is defined in terms of the driving pin path and its derivatives. The Cartesian coordinates (x p , y p ) for a general planar path are

x p = E cos v i r d cos(v i +v o )

(4a)

y p = E sin v i r d sin(v i +v o )

(4b)

where E is the connecting link center distance between the two gears, r d is the distance of the driving pin p from the center of the moving gear, v i is the angular position of the connecting link and v o is the corresponding angular position of the output gear. The path tangency is defined using the angle β (see Fig. 2) where

(5)

= tan 1

y

x

β

Using a Geneva wheel with n slots, tan(π/n) = tan β at initial engagement. For example, β = 240 for n = 3, β = 225 for n = 4, and β = 210 for n = 6. The angle v i that satisfies this relation provides an initial value to determine the instantaneous gear ratio g and the derivative g (g dg/dv i ). Zero acceleration is ensured when

 

d

dv i tan β = 0

(6)

This occurs when

 

x y = y x

(7)

Differentiating Eq. (4) gives

x p = E sin v i +r d sin(v i +v o )(1 + g)

(8a)

y p = E cos v i r d cos(v i +v o )(1 + g)

(8b)

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Fig. 3. An epitrochoid traced by the point ( x p , y p )

Fig. 3. An epitrochoid traced by the point (x p , y p ) on a circle (moving output gear) rotating without slip.

where g dv o /dv i is defined as the instantaneous gear ratio. Differentiating the above gives

x p

= E cos v i +r d cos(v i +v o )(1 + g) 2 +r d sin(v i +v o )g

y p = E sin v i +r d sin(v i +v o )(1 + g) 2 r d cos(v i +v o )g

(9a)

(9b)

Candidate driving pin paths (x p , y p ) are expressed in terms of the instantaneous gear ratio g. Subsequently,

g is expressed using a Fourier series with N terms as follows:

g(v i ) = 1+

N

n=1

[a n sin(nv i )+b n cos(nv i )]

(10)

, function in this case due to the symmetry of the Geneva wheel drive. The “evenness” enables the “odd” terms (viz., the sine terms) in the Fourier series to be ignored. Each function g is evaluated using the following integral relation:

where the coefficients a n and b n (n = 1,

N) are unknown variables to be determined. g is an “even”

I(g) =

2π

0

(1g) 2 dv i

(11)

g = 1 = constant for circular gears. One of the N terms in the Fourier series together with v i are used to sat- isfy Eqs. (5) and (7) simultaneously. The remaining N 1 terms are optimized to minimize Eq. (11) yielding gears as circular as possible. This procedure was implemented and multiple solutions were obtained. How- ever, a feasible solution with acceptable non-circular gears (e.g., both gear elements remain convex) using a 1:1 net speed reduction was not obtained. One unacceptable solution is provided in Fig. 4. A suitable driving pin path can be generated using circular gears. In this case, the instantaneous gear ratio

g is constant for circular gears and g = 0. Depicted in Fig. 5 is an epitrochoidal path where the diameter of

the input gear is three times bigger than the diameter of the moving gear. Also presented is a Geneva wheel with 6 slots (i.e., n = 6). Substituting Eqs. (8–9) into Eq. (7) yields a relation for the radial distance r d . For

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Fig. 4. A non-circular gear pair based on Eq. (10). Fig. 5. Special epitrochoid with

Fig. 4. A non-circular gear pair based on Eq. (10).

Fig. 4. A non-circular gear pair based on Eq. (10). Fig. 5. Special epitrochoid with three

Fig. 5. Special epitrochoid with three inflections.

the special case where the fixed input gear is three times bigger than the output gear, the radial distance r d that ensures an inflection is (v o = gv i for circular gears)

where

r d = B± B 2 4AC

2A

A = (1+g) 3

B = (1 + g)(2 + g)cos(gv i )E

(12)

C = E 2

For n = 6, the gear ratio g = 3, v i = 120 , and r d = E/16. Additional combinations of n, g, and r p exist which satisfy Eq. (7).

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Fig. 6. Angular position of Geneva wheel using a circular pin path drive and an

Fig. 6. Angular position of Geneva wheel using a circular pin path drive and an epitrochoidal pin path drive.

4. MOTION COMPARISON

Figure 6 shows the functional relation between the angular position φ (Eq. 2) of the Geneva wheel versus the angular position v i of the input wheel for the classical case where the driving pin path is circular. Also shown is the angular position φ of the Geneva wheel versus the angular position v i of the connecting link for the case where the driving pin path is epitrochoidal. A third motion case involving a variable speed drive is presented that will be used in the next section. An evaluation of the Geneva wheel motion for the circular pin path drive and the epitrochoidal pin path drive is extended by comparing the kinematic velocity, acceleration, and jerk as presented in Figs. 7, 8, and 9 respectively. The angular position v i is valid on the open interval (120 , 240 ) and Figs. 6, 7, and 8 do not consider the endpoints. This is especially important in Fig. 8 where a jerk spike exists at the endpoints for the circular path drive curve.

5. MOTION MODIFICATION

The Geneva wheel motion in the previous section is based on a uniform speed of the input wheel. One method for modifying the Geneva wheel motion is to use a variable speed input wheel. This is the concept proposed by Heidari et al. [38] to the classical Geneva wheel drive. Heidari et al. reduced both the extreme acceleration and jerk, yet did not eliminate the acceleration spike at the engagement/disengagement of the driving pin with the Geneva wheel. A variable speed input can be applied to both the circular pin path drive and the epitrochoidal pin path drive. Non-circular gears are used to drive the pin along an epitrochoidal path and reduce the extreme values in kinematic jerk of the Geneva wheel. The Geneva wheel motion that minimizes the magnitude of the kinematic jerk depicted in Fig. 9 is sought. In turn, the Geneva wheel motion depends on the motion of the non-circular gear pair. This coupling of motions is balanced through the following objectives:

• zero velocity at engagement/disengagement of driving pin with Geneva wheel;

• zero acceleration at engagement/disengagement of driving pin with Geneva wheel;

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Fig. 7. Kinematic velocity of Geneva wheel using a classical circular pin path and epitrochoidal

Fig. 7. Kinematic velocity of Geneva wheel using a classical circular pin path and epitrochoidal pin path drive.

circular pin path and epitrochoidal pin path drive. Fig. 8. Kinematic acceleration of Geneva wheel using

Fig. 8. Kinematic acceleration of Geneva wheel using a classical circular pin path and an epitrochoidal pin path.

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Fig. 9. Kinematic jerk of Geneva wheel using a classical circular pin path drive and

Fig. 9. Kinematic jerk of Geneva wheel using a classical circular pin path drive and an epitrochoidal pin path drive.

circular pin path drive and an epitrochoidal pin path drive. Fig. 10. Non-circular gear pair for

Fig. 10. Non-circular gear pair for epitrochoid drive with single reduction.

• zero jerk at engagement/disengagement of driving pin with Geneva wheel;

• continuous and smooth velocity of non-circular gear pair;

• continuous and smooth acceleration of non-circular gear pair;

• continuous and smooth jerk of non-circular gear pair.

One approach is to synthesize the non-circular gears that minimize the extreme values in kinematic jerk. A second approach is to specify the motion of the non-circular gears and analyze the motion of the Geneva wheel. A dilemma of the first approach is that the non-circular gears that optimize the Geneva wheel motion may exhibit unacceptable dynamic characteristics. A third approach for modifying the Geneva wheel motion involves the use of non-circular gears in place of the 3:1 ratio circular gear pair. The second approach is used in two scenarios below. One scenario is to use a non-circular gear pair to directly drive the arm of the gear train. The non-circular gear pair necessary to make this transformation is depicted in Fig. 10. The non-circular gear pair shown is not practical.

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Fig. 11. Gearbox for generating a variable speed drive for the epitrochoidal pin path drive.

Fig. 11. Gearbox for generating a variable speed drive for the epitrochoidal pin path drive.

a variable speed drive for the epitrochoidal pin path drive. Fig. 12. Motion characteristics of non-circular

Fig. 12. Motion characteristics of non-circular gear pair.

Another scenario is to introduce a 3:1 gear reduction between the non-circular gear pair and the gear train as illustrated in Fig. 11. The constant speed input must be “three” times greater than the earlier cases to compensate for the 3:1 reduction. The kinematic velocity motion for the non-circular gear is assumed to be

g(v i ) = 1 + A sin v i .

(13)

The amplitude A is determined iteratively and interactively. A value of A is specified where velocity, ac- celeration, and jerk are displayed. The final value A = 0.275 is selected based on a qualitative balance between maximum acceleration and maximum jerk. The position, velocity, acceleration, and jerk for the variable speed epitrochoidal pin path is depicted in Figs. 6–9 along with the values for the classical Geneva wheel and the constant speed epitrochoid. The reduction in maximum velocity, acceleration, and jerk are presented in Figs. 7–9. The motion characteristics for the non-circular gear pair are shown in Fig. 12 and the corresponding non-circular gear pair is depicted in Fig. 13. The non-circular gears are practical (convex) and hence a 3D view is shown. The non-circular gear pair of Fig. 13 are the NC gear pair in Fig. 11 and the variable speed output drives the connecting link of the epitrochoidal driving pin path.

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Fig. 13. Non-circular gear pair for variable speed drive to epitrochoidal pin path. 6. CONCLUSIONS

Fig. 13. Non-circular gear pair for variable speed drive to epitrochoidal pin path.

6. CONCLUSIONS

A Geneva wheel mechanism with zero velocity, acceleration, and zero jerk at the beginning and end of

the Geneva wheel motion is presented. This mechanism consists of a 6-slotted Geneva wheel driven with an epitrochoidal path. The epitrochoidal path is generated using a gear pair with a 3:1 speed ratio. The Geneva wheel motion is compared to the classical Geneva wheel driven by a circular driving pin path. Subsequently the epitrochoidal path drive is modified using a variable speed drive. This variable speed motion is generated using a non-circular gear pair along with a 3:1 gear reduction. The resulting mechanism yields a Geneva wheel with the same extreme jerk that the classical Geneva wheel while eliminating the

acceleration discontinuity at engagement/disengagement of the Geneva wheel with the driven pin. The maximum velocity and acceleration of the presented Geneva wheel mechanism are increased by 12 and 45%

respectively over the classical Geneva wheel drive. Conversely, the maximum velocity, acceleration, and jerk

of the epitrochoidal pin path drive are reduced by 27, 41, and 77% using a variable speed drive. Presented

are the non-circular gear motion and the corresponding non-circular gears that produce the variable speed

motion.

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