Track Control Patents (Class 104/129)
  • Patent number: 9604795
    Abstract: The transport device for conveying products comprises at least one pair of movable slides and an endless guide rail for guiding the at least one pair of slides, one behind the other, in a variable conveying direction. A linear motor drive device serves to drive the at least one pair of slides. A retaining element is provided on each of the two slides, wherein the retaining elements of the first slide and of the second slide form a product receiving space between them. The retaining elements on the first and second slides are each rotatably supported around a rotational axis, which is substantially perpendicular to the variable conveying direction. At least one connecting element is provided to connect the retaining elements of the first and second slides together in such a way that the relative orientation of the retaining elements to each other is determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Aumann, Daniel Zieher, Fritz Fochler
  • Patent number: 9446902
    Abstract: The conveying device for conveying products comprises a plurality of slides individually movable with respect to each other to hold the products and a guide rail, on which the slides are guided. A linear motor drive unit serves to drive the slides, wherein each of the slides comprises permanent magnets, which interact with the coils of the linear motor drive unit. Each slide comprises a horseshoe-shaped or U-shaped base carrier with two legs, which enclose the guide rail from opposite sides. The base carrier is divided into at least two interconnected subsections, each of which comprises a leg. The subsections are movable relative to each other, as a result of which the gap width between the legs can be adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Aumann, Juergen Haaga, Wolfgang Rodi
  • Patent number: 9242837
    Abstract: A method controls a set of semi-active actuators arranged in an elevator system represented with a model of a virtual elevator system having a single virtual semi-active actuator arranged to compensate a virtual disturbance proportional to a sum of disturbances from the set of disturbances. The method determines the virtual disturbance during an operation of the elevator car using a motion profile of position of the elevator car during the operation and a disturbance profile of the virtual disturbance, and determines amplitude of a virtual force of the virtual semi-active actuator using the model and the virtual disturbance. A gain of a controller for controlling the set of semi-active actuators is adjusted based on the amplitude of the virtual force and a reference force of the virtual semi-active actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Inventors: Yebin Wang, Scott A Bortoff
  • Patent number: 8573890
    Abstract: An offshore structure for deploying and retrieving underwater electrical power generators that converts energy derived from water currents into electrical energy. The offshore structural platform includes a pair of vertical guide rails to guide a propulsion device lowering said generator underwater onto a seabed propulsion device. The seabed propulsion device is engaged on an underwater seabed rail system and transports the generator onto one of many unique frames specifically designed to support underwater generators. Securing devices are utilized to ensure the generators remain anchored to each propulsion device and to the unique frame. Rail transferring elements are also utilized for a smooth and safe transition during the transport process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Inventor: Donald H Gehring
  • Patent number: 8127687
    Abstract: A material handling system includes a first independent track assembly configured to transport a forward trolley along a first path, and a second independent track assembly configured to transport a trailing trolley along a second path. The second path is substantially parallel to the first path. A carrier is configured to support an article and has a first end pivotably supported by the forward trolley and a second end pivotably supported by the trailing trolley. The material handling system also includes a third independent track assembly configured to transport the forward trolley and the trailing trolley along a third path. Each of the first independent track assembly, the second independent track assembly, and the third independent track assembly includes an independent drive system for independently moving a respective one of the forward trolley and the trailing trolley and a station control system including a microprocessor in communication with the independent drive system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: John M. Spangler, David G. Bilson
  • Patent number: 7913627
    Abstract: An upper and lower path switching device for a traveling body for transportation has an elevating guide rail supported horizontally by an elevating body, upper fixed guide rails which are connected to the elevating guide rail at a lifted position of the elevating body, and lower fixed guide rails which are connected to the elevating guide rail at a lowered position of the elevating body. The elevating guide rail is supported movably vertically in a predetermined range with respect to the elevating body. Receiving members are provided for receiving the elevating guide rail at a level at which the elevating guide rail is connected to the lower fixed guide rails before the elevating body reaches a lower limit of an elevation path of the elevating body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Assignee: Daifuku Co. Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshio Shimizu, Teruaki Nabeta
  • Patent number: 7823511
    Abstract: An installation conveys individuals by way of a transporting device along a track located above the ground and borne by supports. The installation further has a base station, an apparatus for conveying the transporting device from the base station to a top station, and a running rail for the transporting device which starts from the top station and runs predominantly downward. The running rail extends along curves and loops from the top station to the base station. Provided in the region of the base station, in which the boarding location for the passengers is located, is a conveying tower configured with an upward-conveying apparatus for the transporting device. Located in a region of the top station is a transfer location at which the transporting device occupied by passengers is transferred from the upward-conveying apparatus to the running rail, along which they descend to the base station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Innova Patent GmbH
    Inventors: Stephan Lins, Reinhard Albrich
  • Patent number: 7584704
    Abstract: An assembly adapted for aiding the alignment of and interlocking a vertical lift station (VLS) rail and the main rail of an electro-monorail system (EMS), the assembly includes a locator pin, a pin receiver having tapered walls for funneling the pin towards an aligned position, and a clamping device fixedly attached to the main rail and configured to apply a holding force to the pin, so as to hold the rails in a fixed condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2009
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: David E. Schutte, James D. Oakley
  • Patent number: 5960911
    Abstract: An elevator system includes a guide roller having a contact surface and a flange that extends outward from the roller. A guide rail for the elevator system includes a cam that is disposed to engage the flange of the roller. During extended periods of non-use, the elevator car is positioned such that the flange engages the cam and the loading on the contact surface of the roller is minimized or eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Otis Elevator Company
    Inventors: Erminio Guaita, Luigi Angelo Sala
  • Patent number: 5329077
    Abstract: Rail learning is combined with feedback in a control for improving ride quality in an elevator. For example, a pre-stored signal indicative of a horizontal deviation of the rail's surface from a vertical reference is retrieved and used along with a sensed signal indicative of a horizontal position (or other parameter indicative of a disturbance of the elevator) relative to the rail's surface (or a reference) for controlling an actuable horizontal suspension for reducing horizontal disturbances of the elevator while guiding an elevator vertically in a hoistway along a rail. As another example, a sensed force signal is averaged over a plurality of trips under differing load conditions and the average is pre-stored for retrieval at various vertical points in the hoistway and may be used, in combination with a feedback loop, to predict horizontal forces about to act on the car.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: Otis Elevator Company
    Inventors: Clement A. Skalski, Randall K. Roberts
  • Patent number: 5312074
    Abstract: This apparatus relates to a safety mechanism for a rail system having tracks adapted to be moved in an out of alignment for the transfer of an object from one track to the other. More specifically, the apparatus relates to a mechanism which prevents the accidental movement of an object off the end of one track unless the tracks are in substantial alignment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1994
    Assignee: Eastman Chemical Company
    Inventors: Glen R. Keith, Steven J. Hrivnak
  • Patent number: 5297483
    Abstract: Left side panels and right side panel are produced in a left side panel production line and a right side panel production line, respectively By vertical lifters, each left side panel and each right side panel are lifted at the delivery stations and then transferred to runners at work transfer positions. The runner with the left side panel held thereon travels along a rail while the runner with the right side panel held thereon travels along a rail. Both runners are stopped at a standby position and then conveyed to a runner transfer position simultaneously. The runners with the left and right side panels held thereon, respectively, are loaded on the traverser and then conveyed to a drop lifter arranged above a main body assembly line. The left and right side panels are transferred to the drop lifter. The drop lifter then descends and feeds the left and right side panels simultaneously on opposite sides of a floor panel in the main body assembly line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 29, 1994
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Jidosha Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takuya Kakida, Noriyuki Inoue, Shoichi Okada, Yoshiki Nakamura, Wakaharu Ikeda, Akira Mikami, Akiyoshi Kimura, Masayuki Aihara, Hisashi Fujiwara, Yuji Watanabe
  • Patent number: 5016541
    Abstract: A greenhouse transport system for moving plants and plant trays through a greenhouse comprising a cart including a carriage assembly having at least one roller extending upwardly from the cart, an overhead track assembly including at least one track channel to selectively receive the roller to support the cart thereon, and at least one lift station including a lift member movable between a lower and upper position having a lift channel formed thereon to receive the roller therein and an alignment assembly such that when the lift member is in the lower position the roller is operatively disposed in the lift channel and the lift channel is axially aligned relative to the track channel by the alignment assembly as the lift member is moved from the lower position to the upper position to permit the cart to be moved from the lift channel to the track channel whereby the roller is disposed within the track channel for movement through the greenhouse on the overhead track assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1991
    Inventor: William L. Feaster, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4922829
    Abstract: A variable height workstation includes a trolley delivery apparatus for moving a rail section from a gap formed in a subsidiary loop rail to a workstation located remotely from the loop. A pivotal cam moves with the rail section and arrests travel of a trolley on the movable rail section so that rail section may be moved toward the workstation while carrying the trolley. As the rail section moves upwardly toward the gap formed in the subsidiary loop, the cam rotates and accelerates the trolley off the rail section. The trolley delivery apparatus is employed in a subsidiary loop system whereby a first escapement device is located upstream of it to advance selected one of the diverted trolleys onto the moveable rail section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 8, 1990
    Assignee: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Kuchta, Larry Billings, Vladimir Evenzon
  • Patent number: 4876965
    Abstract: The present invention refers to a device for the centering of a movable rail section relative to a stationary rail section of an overhead trolley conveyor, notably a lifting station of a trolley conveyor. There is at least one centering body attached to the stationary or to the movable rail section. The centering body has a recess. At the movable rail section and at the stationary rail section, respectively, a centering piece is provided which can be moved into the recess. The centering piece can be rotated within the recess about an axis which extends in the direction of the rail so that it comes into engagement with at least one of the walls of the recess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1989
    Assignee: ROFA Rosenheimer Forderanlagen GmbH
    Inventors: Gunter Koslowski, Georg Uttscheid
  • Patent number: 4817533
    Abstract: A transportation system of a floated-carrier type according to the present invention has a guide rail cover extending in a longitudinal direction. The guide rail cover comprises a guide rail. A carrier is made to float, in a non-contact manner, from the guide rail, by means of floating device and is propelled along the guide rail by a transfer device. An electrical device and a battery for supplying a current thereto are mounted on the carrier. In this transportation system, a charging device is provided for charging the battery. The charging device comprises a first terminal connected to the battery, a charging power source located on the guide rail cover, and a second terminal, which is connected to the charging electric power source and can be brought into contact with the first terminal when the carrier is stopped at a predetermined position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1987
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1989
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Teruo Azukizawa, Mimpei Morishita
  • Patent number: 4807537
    Abstract: A transport apparatus is provided with a track including a predetermined transport path. At least two runners travel on the transport path. The track includes a pair of first guide portions individually in rolling contact with first wheels of the runner on the upper side, and a pair of second guide portions individually in rolling contact with second wheels of the runner on the lower side. A lift mechanism is provided with the track and adapted temporarily to remove the runner from the transport path. The lift mechanism includes cut portions formed individually in the first guide portions and allowing the runner to be lifted, and driving mechanism for lifting up the runner through the cut portions to open the transport path when the runner is opposed to the cut portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1989
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Yukito Matsuo
  • Patent number: 4111130
    Abstract: A station for a transport system comprising a track, an entry level, a transit level vertically spaced from the entry level and at which vehicles or trains may be stopped and two pairs of lifts arranged one pair on each side of the track, the lifts being arranged so that successive lifts arrive at the transit level on opposite sides of the track. A method of synchronizing the passenger lifts and train arrivals and departures is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1976
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1978
    Inventor: Frederic B. Rodot
  • Patent number: 4004765
    Abstract: An accessory bridge for use with a model train set, a model car race set, or the like, wherein the vehicles traverse a path of travel defined by a specific track layout. Particularly, the bridge accessory is designed for use with a track layout having a cross-over point where one segment of the track crosses over another segment, such as a "figure 8" configuration layout. The bridge accessory includes a pivotally mounted bridge portion which supports the upper or cross-over track segment at an elevated height above the lower or cross-under track segment. The bridge is movable by a selectively actuatable drive unit between a down position where a vehicle may pass over the bridge and an up position where a vehicle may pass under the bridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1976
    Date of Patent: January 25, 1977
    Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates
    Inventor: Gordon A. Barlow