Automated pipe making machine

The automated pipe making machine of the invention utilizes an automatic feeding system in which a feed tray and its feed pan are mounted on a carrier that moves from a retracted position into a feeding position where the feed tray is aligned with and locked to the pan at the top of the form or forms to be filled. In a machine of the pressureheading type, the forms are secured to the base of the turntable, and when an empty form is moved into position in the feeding station, the feed tray is advanced and locked to the form. The feed pan is then advanced onto the top of the form pan, and the concrete is fed into the pan while a rotor distributes the concrete into the forms. At the appropriate time after the forms have been filled, the feed pan is withdrawn onto the feed tray, which is then unlocked from the tray at the top of the form and retracted by the carrier. By a unique mounting of the feed tray on its carrier, the feed tray is free to move in any direction, and by the use of guide pins on the feed tray that enter corresponding guide openings on the tray at the top of the form, proper alignment will be assured.
This relates to pipe milling machine for producing concrete products such as concrete pipe, manholes, catch basins and the like. Such steel pipe mills are used to produce pipe in a dry cast operation which involves the three basic steps of filling the forms, pressureheading the concrete in the forms and then stripping the forms from the pipe and allowing them to cure. As is well known, the three basic operations are performed simultaneously at three separate stations, and three form sets are mounted at equally spaced stations on a turntable that is controllably rotated so that each of the operations can be performed on each form set as it is rotated into the filling, pressureheading and stripping stations. In this manner, the three-station turntable allows three different pipe sizes or types to be produced side by side in a single cycle of operations that occurs during one complete rotation of the turntable. An example of a machine of this type is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,708,621 which shows a seamless tube mill capable of producing multiple forms at a single station of the turntable.