Traction Patents (Class 104/165)
  • Patent number: 9796527
    Abstract: A multi-dimensional automated storage and retrieval system is provided herein that enables the space-efficient storage of containers within a three-dimensional lattice structure. Each container includes one or more drivers to engage with rails of the three-dimensional lattice structure, enabling the container to slide along the rails based on a propulsion system. A control device is provided to selectively engage each container to a desired rail of the lattice structure, and to provide power to the propulsion system, thereby moving the container to a desired location within the lattice structure. Due to the high storage efficiency of the disclosed automated storage and retrieval system, the system may be utilized in space-sensitive applications, such as vending machines for physical goods or in cargo vehicles such as trailers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Vincent Kaukl, Xiaoshan Cai, Avinash Shripathy Bhat, Margaux Eng
  • Patent number: 9751632
    Abstract: Provided is a moving unit capable of easily mounting and dismounting a movable body to and from track rails. The moving unit includes the pair of track rails, which are laid on a fixed portion at an interval therebetween, and respectively have guiding surfaces on surfaces opposed to each other, a plurality of moving blocks, which are accommodated and arranged in an accommodating space sandwiched between the pair of track rails, and are configured to travel on the guiding surfaces of the respective track rails, and the movable body, which is arranged so as to be opposed to the fixed portion across the accommodating space, and is retained by the moving blocks. The movable body includes a mounting and dismounting mechanism, which is configured to change the interval between the moving block to be assembled to one of the track rails and the moving block to be assembled to another one of the track rails to cancel a contact state between the moving blocks and the respective track rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: THK CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroaki Mochizuki, Hiroomi Kuribayashi, Akito Kaneko, Keisuke Hagiwara, Yuji Sudo
  • Patent number: 9561910
    Abstract: An assembly line may include a first pallet elevator, a second pallet elevator, an upper track, and a lower track. The upper track may be connected between the first elevator and the second elevator, and may be configured to transport pallets between the first pallet elevator and the second pallet elevator. The lower track disposed below the upper track, and may be configured to transport pallets between the second pallet elevator and the first pallet elevator. A lower track drive system may be connected between the first pallet elevator and the second pallet elevator, and may be configured to engage a first set of a plurality of pallets. An upper track drive system may be configured to engage at least one of the plurality of pallets and to drive a second set of the plurality of pallets via the at least one pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: Lear Corporation
    Inventors: Frank Cracchiolo Orsini, Luis Ernesto Noe Gonzalez
  • Patent number: 9533830
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a workpiece carrier for a workpiece conveying device for the transportation of workpieces, especially for heavy workpieces, having a conveyor chain for conveying the workpiece carriers by transmitting friction forces and having a guide track for guiding and supporting the conveyor chain and the workpiece carriers. The conveyor chain runs in a U-shaped guide track, wherein support surfaces extend next to the U-shaped guide track and the workpiece carriers are supported with guide rollers on said support surfaces. The workpiece carriers are equipped with a front and a rear carriage which are provided with an entrainer for engagement into the U-shaped cut-out, and wherein the entrainers are designed via a foot part with an adjustable contact force to overcome the sliding friction, with a display serving the visualization of the set contact force in accordance with the present disclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Klaus Lingenhoel, Roman Landerer, Michael Heuberger
  • Publication number: 20150122143
    Abstract: A motorized dolly includes an elongated frame, a first and second arc-shaped rail, a first and second pulley, a continuous belt, a motor, a platform, a first and second set of rollers or wheels, a fastener and one or more controls. The first arc-shaped rail has a first radius to a point in space. The second arc-shaped rail has a second radius greater than the first radius. The first and second pulleys are attached to the elongated frame proximate to each end. The continuous belt is moveably attached to the first pulley and the second pulley. The motor is operably engaged with the first pulley, the second pulley or the continuous belt. The first and second set of rollers or wheels are attached to the platform and moveably engaged with the first and second rails, respectively. The fastener securely is attached to the platform and the continuous belt.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2015
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventor: James D. Hurd
  • Patent number: 8973505
    Abstract: A motorized dolly includes an elongated frame, a first and second arc-shaped rail, a first and second pulley, a continuous belt, a motor, a platform, a first and second set of rollers or wheels, a fastener and one or more controls. The first arc-shaped rail has a first radius to a point in space. The second arc-shaped rail has a second radius greater than the first radius. The first and second pulleys are attached to the elongated frame proximate to each end. The continuous belt is movably attached to the first pulley and the second pulley. The motor is operably engaged with the first pulley, the second pulley or the continuous belt. The first and second set of rollers or wheels are attached to the platform and movably engaged with the first and second rails, respectively. The fastener securely is attached to the platform and the continuous belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Redrock Microsytems, LLC
    Inventor: James D. Hurd
  • Publication number: 20150000547
    Abstract: A cable transportation system has rails and a draw cable, both extending along a transportation path, a drive member for driving the draw cable; at least one vehicle, which moves along the transportation path and has wheels which roll along the rails, and a coupling device for connecting the vehicle to the draw cable, at least one passenger station where the vehicle is stopped and an electric machine located on the vehicle and driven by the wheels to generate electric power.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Federico Bavaresco, Giuseppe Conte
  • Patent number: 8844446
    Abstract: A cable transportation system has rails and a draw cable, both extending along a transportation path, a drive member for driving the draw cable; at least one vehicle, which moves along the transportation path and has wheels which roll along the rails, and a coupling device for connecting the vehicle to the draw cable, at least one passenger station where the vehicle is stopped and an electric machine located on the vehicle and driven by the wheels to generate electric power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Rolic International S.AR.L.
    Inventors: Federico Bavaresco, Giuseppe Conte
  • Patent number: 8783191
    Abstract: The invention provides a drive-in aid for a conveying device provided for transporting a vehicle to be treated in a transport direction through a vehicle treatment system, having a lane running in the transport direction for tires of the vehicle, a base plate movable transversely to the transport direction and two guide elements converging at least partially above the movable base plate in the transport direction, and a corresponding vehicle treatment system. The drive-in aid and vehicle treatment system allow the tires of the vehicle to be treated to be positioned without damage and centrally with respect to the desired lane of the conveying device. The drive-in aid is characterized in that the guide elements are movable to and fro between an approach position, in which they converge in the transport direction and extend into the lane and a drive-through position, in which they define the lane laterally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: WashTec Holding GmbH
    Inventor: Robert Auer
  • Publication number: 20140076192
    Abstract: A motorized dolly includes an elongated frame, a first and second arc-shaped rail, a first and second pulley, a continuous belt, a motor, a platform, a first and second set of rollers or wheels, a fastener and one or more controls. The first arc-shaped rail has a first radius to a point in space. The second arc-shaped rail has a second radius greater than the first radius. The first and second pulleys are attached to the elongated frame proximate to each end. The continuous belt is movably attached to the first pulley and the second pulley. The motor is operably engaged with the first pulley, the second pulley or the continuous belt. The first and second set of rollers or wheels are attached to the platform and movably engaged with the first and second rails, respectively. The fastener securely is attached to the platform and the continuous belt.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2013
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Inventor: James D. Hurd
  • Patent number: 8584594
    Abstract: An overhead mounted friction drive conveyor assembly including a biasing section for biasing objects such as car doors. The conveyor assembly includes a conveying rail and a biasing rail extending in spaced and parallel relationship with the conveying rail. The conveyor assembly also includes at least three trolleys and at least two tow bars extending between and interconnecting the trolleys. A biasing mechanism allows at least two of the trolleys to remain on the conveying rail and guides at least one trolley onto the biasing rail so that one of the tow bars extends between the biasing rails. The object is disposed on the tow bar extending between the biasing rails. A plurality of friction drivers are disposed on the conveying rail for only driving the tow bar extending between the trolleys on the conveying rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Jervis B. Webb Company
    Inventors: Noel F. Dehne, Mark T. Domm
  • Publication number: 20120304884
    Abstract: A transport system according to the invention comprises a guide device having a first guide rail in the form of a first pipe (11) and a second guide rail in the form of a second pipe (12). The transport system comprises a toothed driving disk (330), which is engaged with an engagement element (340) extending along the lower pipe (12) and forms a positive drive. The engagement element (340) comprises counter-toothing, disposed along the pipe (12).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2010
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: MAURER SÖHNE GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Richard Urich, Juerg Jakob
  • Patent number: 8161888
    Abstract: A car wash roller and a manufacturing method are provided. The roller includes a body with first and second apertures and a shaft disposed in the first aperture. The body further includes a third aperture extending from a top surface to the first aperture. The shaft has an aperture that is aligned with the third aperture. The roller further includes a locking member disposed in both the third aperture and the aperture of the shaft that prevents the shaft from rotating relative to the body. The roller further includes first and second plastic sleeves that are disposed on the shaft, such that the sleeves do not rotate relative to the shaft. The roller further includes first and second plastic wheels that are rotatably coupled to the first and second plastic sleeves, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Vaughan Industries Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew Vaughan Balash
  • Patent number: 8146511
    Abstract: A dolly contains a main center link having two arms extending from a central portion. A pair of tire engaging rollers and a pair of track engaging rollers are supported on the arms. Bolts are provided and engage in offset bores formed in the arms. A pair of tire stabilizing rollers is supported on the bolts. The tire stabilizing rollers, the track engaging rollers and the tire engaging rollers each have a different effective diameter to a tangent point of tire contact. The effective diameter of the tire stabilizing rollers is greater than the effective diameter of the track engaging rollers. The effective diameter of the tire engaging rollers is greater than the effective diameter of the tire stabilizing rollers. The tire engaging rollers and the tire stabilizing rollers prevent the tire from engaging the tracking engaging rollers during operation of the dolly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Sonny's Enterprises Inc.
    Inventor: Anthony Analetto
  • Publication number: 20110239896
    Abstract: A rack bar haulage system including a plurality of rack bars, each having spaced apart gear teeth extending between cheek sections at opposite sides of the rack bar. The haulage system also includes a clog including two spaced apart sidewalls, and openings through the sidewalls. One cheek section has a clog wall receiving cavity adapted to receive one of the clog sidewalls, the clog wall receiving cavity being defined by spaced apart cheek section flanges. The cheek section flanges each have an opening there through, and the cheek section flange openings are aligned with the clog sidewall openings. A pin is insertable through the sidewall openings and the openings in the cheek section flanges, and the spaced apart cheek sections are positioned so that the envelope formed by the gear teeth is at the same level on the rack bar as the pin for retaining the rack bar in the clog.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Publication date: October 6, 2011
    Applicant: JOY MM DELAWARE, INC.
    Inventor: Gordon Powell
  • Patent number: 7997209
    Abstract: There is provided a differential propulsion mechanism including two or more concentric and mutually counter-rotating first wheels (4, 6, 8, 10), mutually reacting and balancing the torque of a motor drive (20) interacting with the wheels. The motor drive has a stator attached to one of the first wheels to power a first wheel over a first track (12, 14, 16, 18), a rotor coupled to a mechanical link, at least indirectly connecting the rotor with a second of the two or more first wheels to power the second wheel over a second track, and a concentric connecting device affixed for coupling a payload thereto or for coupling the mechanism itself to another device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Inventor: Yefim Kereth
  • Publication number: 20100024677
    Abstract: A switch assembly for a conveyor is provided. The switch assembly includes a rail section forming a portion of the conveyor assembly. The switch assembly has a first gear assembly pivotable about a first pivot axis and carrying a first gate and a second gear assembly pivotable about a second pivot axis and carrying a second gate, the second pivot axis being positioned below a plane extending perpendicular to the rail section from the first pivot axis. A trolley stop assembly for a conveyor is also provided. The trolley stop includes a body having a first side portion and a second side portion arranged to be disposed on first and second sides of a rail section. A pivot member extends through the body and at least a portion of the rail section. A stop member is carried by an upper portion of the body and a weighted member is also carried by the body arranged to position the stop member for engagement with a trolley. A conveyor assembly including a switch assembly and trolley stop is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2008
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventor: Todd Jager
  • Patent number: 7500435
    Abstract: A modular friction drive system and method for use with a palletized conveyor. The drive system includes drive assemblies located at opposite sides of both a load end and unload end of the palletized conveyor. Each drive assembly comprises at least one drive unit and at least one take-up unit, which are connected by a drive belt. One or more idler units may reside between the drive unit(s) and take-up unit(s). Each drive assembly is provided with an actuating means for pressing the drive belt tightly against the side walls of associated conveyor pallets. Each of the drive unit, take-up unit, and idler unit is preferably modular in nature and can, therefore, be added to or removed from a drive assembly independently of the other unit(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2009
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Samuel Bartlett, Jr., David Betz, Dave Dillard, Jason Harrison, Wayne Hemmelgam, Jerry Maynard, Norm Schrake
  • Publication number: 20080028974
    Abstract: A correlator system for automatic car wash has roller assemblies for supporting the front left and right wheels of a vehicle entering a car wash line. A set of guide rails or bars cooperate with the roller assemblies to adjust axial displacement and angular misalignment between the vehicle's front end and a conveyor track transporting the vehicle through the car wash facility. The rollers in the roller assembly rotate freely with minimal friction, axially displacing the front end of the vehicle and adjusting the angular misalignment of the front wheels. The low friction, easy-to-rotate rollers are provided with a plurality of braking elements that generate friction against the rollers, retarding their rotation when a worker steps thereon. The friction generated by the braking elements is insufficient to prevent roller rotation during alignment of the front end with the conveyor track.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2006
    Publication date: February 7, 2008
    Inventor: Archangel J. Bianco
  • Patent number: 7320396
    Abstract: A load carrier is designed for use with a work piece conveying apparatus, the work piece conveying apparatus including a conveyor chain for conveying a plurality of load carriers via transfer of friction forces onto the load carriers and a guiding rail for guiding and supporting the conveyor chain and the load carriers, the conveyer chain running in a recessed track of the guiding rail and the guiding rail having a supporting surface laterally extending on both sides of the recessed track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: EWAB Holding AG
    Inventor: Walter Oppermann
  • Patent number: 7263210
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and system for volume-specific treatment of ground and plants as required. The aim of the invention is to improve a method and system as above, such that the distribution of plants is scanned with complete spatial coverage and the treatment of the ground or plant condition is efficiently controlled, by simultaneously taking account of morphological, plant physiological, equipment performance and specific local properties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Inventor: Knut Kümmel
  • Patent number: 7185744
    Abstract: A roller system for moving a load a predetermined distance includes a chock frame having a pair of spaced chocks connected between a pair of rigid siderails and a freely moveable roller unit. The roller unit includes a plurality of rollers and is positioned between the siderails and freely moveable between the pair of spaced chocks. The load may then be moved in inchmeal fashion by slowly advancing the roller unit while shuffling the chock frame on the ground at a similar pace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Triodyne Safety Systems, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Ralph Lipsey Barnett
  • Patent number: 7171906
    Abstract: A friction-drive carriage type conveyor includes a carriage 1 so supported as to run in a running direction along a track, which includes a linear path and a turning path 18. The carriage 1 has a frictional surface 6a continuing linearly along its whole length. The conveyor is fitted with first friction drive rollers 15 for contact with the frictional surface 6a, which are positioned near the linear path. The conveyor is also fitted with second friction drive rollers 15A–15C for driving the carriage 1 smoothly and reliably even along the turning path 18. The second friction drive rollers 15A–15C are spaced at intervals along the turning path 18, which are shorter than the frictional surface 6a. The second friction drive rollers 15A–15C are so supported that each of them can move between an advance limit position and a retraction limit position. The advance limit position is on the locus described by the frictional surface 6a when the carriage 1 passes along the turning path 18.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2007
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoji Tada, Yoshito Kaida
  • Patent number: 7027897
    Abstract: A mass transit vehicle traction motor control system includes an automatic control block for receiving and processing a tachometer signal having a first resonance signal superimposed thereon to produce a rate request signal having a corresponding second resonance signal superimposed thereon. A filter is provided for decreasing an amplitude of the second resonance signal whereupon the rate request signal is isolated therefrom. A communication and control block and a propulsion and control block co-act to process the isolated rate request signal to produce a speed control signal that is configured to cause a traction motor of a mass transit vehicle to provide motive force to the mass transit vehicle at a rate related to the value of the speed control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Bombardier Transportation GmbH
    Inventors: Jian Shen, Fred S. Marton, Linda F. Clawson, Kenneth A. Karg
  • Publication number: 20030079641
    Abstract: A power driven conveyor having a drive means and a carrier supported for movement along a path of travel parallel to the path of movement provided by the drive means. The carrier has a contact surface adjacent to the drive means that is movable between a first position wherein the contact surface is disengaged from the drive means and a second position wherein the contact surface is frictionally driven by the drive means so as to cause the carrier to move from a first station to a second station along the path of travel provided by the drive means. An actuator is operatively associated with the carrier for causing the contact surface to move between the first position and the second position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2002
    Publication date: May 1, 2003
    Inventors: William Johnson, Paul Bridgewater
  • Publication number: 20020108529
    Abstract: A system to control the movement of carts in an airplane. It has a set of tracks in which a set of roller wheels is placed. The roller wheels are attached to the bottom of a typical cart. A releasable locking system is used to control the cart as before. In one embodiment, the system has a cart release mechanism to remove it from the tracks for servicing and storage. The system uses a “pop-up” ramp that is embedded in the bottom of the track at specific locations. At these locations, the top of the track is large enough to allow the wheels to pass out of the track. Thus, to remove the cart, the ramps are deployed and the cart is pushed up the ramps until all four wheels have come out of the track.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2001
    Publication date: August 15, 2002
    Inventor: Thomas A. Trujillo
  • Patent number: 6422153
    Abstract: A car wash conveyor including a simplified and improved track structure using cut out flat support plates for mounting three tiers of tracks. The support plates allow equal widths of an intermediate and lower track, and incorporation of integral stanchions for support of tire guide rollers. The chain take up mechanism and the roller control mechanism together form an assembly able to be installed into the conveyor or removed for service as a single unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Inventor: Gilbert J. Reitsch, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20020029719
    Abstract: A pair of rail members have upward wheel supporting surfaces and inward roller guide surfaces, respectively. A fixed path includes linear path portions and a branching-and-joining path portion. Linear-side guide members extending along the linear path portions and a branching-and-joining-side guide member extending along the branching-and-joining path portion are provided in a branching-and-joining section. A moving body is provided with wheels and side guide rollers supported and guided on a wheel supporting surface and a roller guide surface, respectively. A direction restricting member guided by sideward guide sections of the guide members is driven by a lateral-movement unit to move freely in a lateral direction between a location corresponding to the linear-side guide member and a location corresponding to the branching-and-joining-side guide member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2001
    Publication date: March 14, 2002
    Applicant: DAIFUKU CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Kazufumi Matsukawa
  • Patent number: 6324992
    Abstract: A hybrid carrying truck is disclosed which has merits of both of a skid carrier and a carrying truck such that it can successively and smoothly transfer between different carrying lines to carry a work whatever the carrying lines are and can secure a removing position from the carrying line to a refuge area freely and with safety. The hybrid carrying truck includes traveling wheels mounted at front and back positions on the left and right sides of a truck body for being rolled on a pair of rails to allow the truck body to travel along a carrying line, a pair of left and right skid members mounted on a bottom face of the truck body and elongated in a carrying direction of the hybrid carrying truck, and a truck hauling engaging member mounted at a central position of the bottom face of the truck body in a widthwise direction of the truck body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Tsubakimoto Chain Co.
    Inventors: Akira Morikiyo, Susumu Kawano, Ichiro Ueno
  • Patent number: 6123028
    Abstract: The conveyor comprises a carriage (2) movable on four support wheels along the guides (3) of a support structure (4) guided by a further two directional wheels engaged in a track or channel between the guides; the carriage has a transmission shoe (45, 46) adapated to couple by friction with a belt (24) movable parallel to the guides; the guides may be arranged on the ground, resting on the floor, or may be suspended, supported by suitable frames, and are constructed as modular components (8) which can be interconnected in various ways to form straight horizontal courses with upward or downward slopes and curved paths; the belt (24) is tensioned between two pulleys (25, 26) located at the ends of each module (8), of which one is a drive pulley, being connected to its own electric motor mounted on the module itself; the carriage carries attachment members for transporting a pallet or for supporting a load; the belt (24) may be toothed as may also the transmission shoe (45, 46) to achieve a secure grip on the be
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Assignee: CPM S.p.A.
    Inventor: Massimo Bellezza
  • Patent number: 6119601
    Abstract: A transport apparatus comprises two rails 14, 17 arranged side by side for supporting respective right and left metal wheels 21, 22 of a truck 18 thereon. At least one of the two rails 14, 17 is a truck transport movable rail 17 movable longitudinally thereof. A portion of the entire movable rail 17 including at least a rail tread is made of an elastic material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Nakanishi Metal Works, Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shinji Ishikawa
  • Patent number: 5901398
    Abstract: According to a conventional continuous car washing machine in which one of the right and left side brushes is stationary, a roller conveyor which transports a vehicle to be washed is provided with wheel guides to maintain a spacing between a lateral surface of the vehicle and one side brush at a given value. Thus, there has been a problem that it is difficult to drive the vehicle to move itself onto the required position on the roller conveyor. The present invention which is intended to solve the problem provides a car washing machine comprising a stationary car washing machine body in which a pair of side brushes (8a, 8b) are disposed to be retractable in the transverse direction at a right angle with the direction of transport of a vehicle in order for washing at least the lateral surfaces of the vehicle (2), and a conveyor device (3) for transporting the vehicle (2) which is free of wheel guides and has a sufficient width to accommodate a plurality of different car widths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Junzo Ishikawa, Akira Ikari, Masamoto Ueda, Mitsuru Nishimura, Katsuya Kitanaka
  • Patent number: 5590995
    Abstract: A conveying system provided with a rail system, with a trolley or the like, which is movable along the rail system, and with a switch device, by which a trolley can be diverted from one rail track to another rail track connected to the first rail track. The trolley or the like is provided with two guides, which are arranged some distance apart and which cooperate during operation with a fixed guide extending in the longitudinal direction of a rail track. The trolley is furthermore provided with two further guides, which are arranged some distance apart and which are furthermore arranged in staggered relationship with respect to each other, transversely to the intended direction of movement, for cooperation with the guides, which form part of the switch device, for diverting the trolley from one rail track to the other, which guides are disposed near the connection between the two rail tracks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: Vanderlande Industries Nederland B.V.
    Inventors: Antonius J. H. Berkers, Johannes F. G. Smits, Antonius A. P. Van De Ven
  • Patent number: 5577593
    Abstract: A carrier conveyor system wherein carriers are disengaged from a main conveyor in advance of a work station and re-engaged beyond the work station. A transfer conveyor is positioned such that it receives the carriers as they are disengaged from the main conveyor, transfers them as required to the work station, removes them from the work station after the work is performed, and returns them to the main conveyor. The transfer conveyor comprises a plurality of transfer assemblies arranged in succession along the carrier travel path, and each include right and left hand mirror-imaged belt modules that are mechanically drivingly cross-connected to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: FKI Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard G. Hooper
  • Patent number: 5522321
    Abstract: A pair of side-by-side track assemblies are provided and each track assembly has a wheeled, dragster simulating and occupant riding vehicle mounted thereon for guided movement longitudinally therealong. Each track assembly includes bungee cord vehicle accelerating structure for rapidly accelerating the corresponding vehicle along the track assembly toward the other end thereof and each track assembly other end includes bungee cord vehicle decelerating structure operative to engage the corresponding vehicle and to gradually increasingly decelerate the same as the vehicle moves along the track other end portion. In addition, the bungee cord decelerating structure is further operative, after decelerating the corresponding vehicle and terminating its movement toward the track structure other end portion, to accelerate the vehicle back toward the first end of the track assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Inventors: Jimmy D. Mosley, Ernest D. Mosley
  • Patent number: 5445081
    Abstract: A transit system including a vehicle (21), an elongated flexible traction belt (22) coupled to the vehicle (21) to apply a traction force sufficient to propel the vehicle along a transit path (23), and a drive assembly (24) coupled to displace the traction belt (22). The traction belt (22) is oriented with sides (33) in a substantially vertical plane so that the vehicle (21) can be coupled to one edge (38) of the belt and the other edge (39) used to guide the vertical position of the belt. Intermediate the edges ( 38,39 ) drive assemblies (36,37) can be periodically provided along the length of the transit path (23) to frictionally engage and drive the traction belt without interference from either the guiding surfaces (56,57,58) or the vehicle coupling assembly (51). A method of propelling a vehicle (21) and a traction member-based transit system is provided including a step of applying a traction force to the vehicle ( 21 ) through a traction belt ( 22 ) while the belt is vertically oriented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: Yantrak, LLC
    Inventor: Jan K. Kunczynski
  • Patent number: 5402730
    Abstract: The preferred embodiment is a platen drive unit that propels the platens of vehicles moving along a track. The platen drive unit may be readily used at any portion of the track, since it acts as a castor about a kingpin assembly, thereby substantially reducing the effects of roller scrub in curved track portions. A self energizing structure balances a dual-pivot arrangement of frames, such that the drive roller of the unit is balanced to intersect the conveyance plane without imposing a "bump" or lurch upon a vehicle that first engages the drive roller. Additionally, the drive roller is preferably a dual-rate tire which features a compliant range, within which the tire is readily deformed, but which continues to drive the platen with a large normal force. Beyond the compliant range, the tire is not compliant to deformation. The dual-rate tire may be created by constricting the circumference and filling the deformed tire with a urethane filler, which is allowed to cure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: The Walt Disney Company
    Inventors: Kenneth D. Salter, Daniel A. Armstrong
  • Patent number: 5326335
    Abstract: The present invention provides a drive apparatus that is compact in size, low in cost, allows the attaining of a high degree of accuracy as well as high-speed driving, suppresses the production of noise, and demonstrates favorable ease of assembly when incorporating within machine tools and so on. The present invention is able to obtain the effects of reduction of costs, high accuracy and high-speed driving as a result providing a torque generation device on a slider guided by a track rail, attaching a drive roller to the output shaft of the torque generation device, and said drive roller rolling along the track rail. In addition, the above-mentioned effect of improved ease of assembly is obtained by attaching the torque generation device facing horizontally on the side of the slider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1994
    Assignee: Nippon Thompson Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Seiji Takei
  • Patent number: 5241911
    Abstract: A conveyor system includes a support rail with travel surfaces for driven support wheels of vehicles, such as suspended or elevated trolleys or the like. An additional rail is provided for additional wheels which apply contact pressure to the support wheels. Such a conveyor system with a plurality of vehicles and a small number of ascending and descending paths is simplified by supporting the additional rail directly or indirectly through springs on the support rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1993
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Jochen Luck, Johannes Gerhard Spoler
  • Patent number: 5211114
    Abstract: A pulling system for pulling or moving a large object, such as pulling components of an offshore oil/gas production platform onto an adjacent barge that is subsequently transported to the installation site. This pulling system incorporates a single elongated rod that is connected between the object to be moved and a puller unit that pulls the object along a track. During operation, the puller unit causes a gripping unit to grip the rod so that the puller unit can move the object. Afterwards, the gripping unit releases its engagement of the rod, repositions itself with respect to the rod, and regrips the rod so that movement of the object may again be initiated by the puller unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1993
    Assignees: McDermott International, Inc., John Gibson (Lifting Gear) Agencies Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul D. Chaplin, Brian D. Hyde, Edwin A. B. W. Campbell, Paul F. Gibson, Michael J. Taylor
  • Patent number: 4991517
    Abstract: A suspension conveyor system including a plurality of carriers for conveying objects in suspended condition traveling on spaced, parallel rails, and a friction drive wheel located between every two of the carriers wherein the drive wheel is shiftable between a neutral position and first and second operating positions where it is in frictional engagement with one of the carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1991
    Assignee: Veit Transpo GmbH
    Inventor: Karl Lotzer
  • Patent number: 4974519
    Abstract: A transfer system comprising a closed rail circuit and pallets circulating on the rails of the circuit. Each pallet comprises at least two wheels which are designed to be supported by the rails of the circuit and are driven by a belt. The respective wheels comprise an axle to which a first roller is mounted and a second roller is rotatably mounted on the periphery of the first roller by a bearing. The system reduces the wear of the drive belt and the rollers when the pallet is stationary by permitting the first rollers to be rotated by the continuously moving belt when the pallet is stopped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 4, 1990
    Assignee: ISM Equipments Industriels de Montage S.A.
    Inventor: Philippe Miletto
  • Patent number: 4964343
    Abstract: Transfer apparatus having a pallet which is advanced along rails by a rotating shaft disposed between and parallel to the rails. The pallet has a roller frictionally engaging the shaft with its rotary axis adapted for adjustment between a position parallel to the shaft axis and a position transverse to the shaft axis such that the steeper the transverse angle, the faster the pallet is driven. The driven roller is mounted for gyratory adjustment by a lever having a forward end projecting from the pallet with a first roller to engage a stop plate on the preceding pallet which may actuate the lever to displace the roller axis towards the parallel position and thereby reduce the speed of the pallet and eventually stop the same as the pallet approaches the preceding pallet. A second roller is mounted on the lever to depend below the pallet so that it may engage a stop element fixed in the path of the second roller but out of the path of the remainder of the pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 23, 1990
    Assignee: Tsubakimoto Chain Co.
    Inventors: Hideaki Haruna, Hiroki Azeura
  • Patent number: 4936527
    Abstract: An adjustable seating system particularly adapted for use in a passenger aircraft, where there are a pair of tracks mounted in the floor of the aircraft, and a plurality of seating units mounted to these tracks. Each seating unit has a pair of interconnected traction wheels which have positive engagement with the tracks, so as to avoid skewing of the seating units as these are moved along the tracks. Pivotally mounted locking members lock the rear leg portions of the seating units to the tracks at selected locations. Telescoping track cover members cover the track sections that extend between adjacent seating units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 26, 1990
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Frederick J. Gorges
  • Patent number: 4838171
    Abstract: In a transfer apparatus in which a pallet is stationary when the crossing angle between the axes of rotation of a driven roller and a driving shaft is zero, and the pallet may be driven when the angle is greater than zero, a stop-start apparatus comprising a cam follower roller supported by a support member of said driven roller, a stopper block guided and supported at a stop position of the pallet so as to move to and fro in the directions of the transfer and having a notch into which said cam follower roller fits so as to keep said angle zero, a cam the proximal end of which is pivotally supported at a forward position of said stop position having a cam surface on which said cam follower roller makes a rolling contact, a spring urging said cam to a predetermined position, the distal end of said cam, in said predetermined position, being near said notch and said cam being so shaped as to increase said angle from zero to 45 degrees from said distal end toward the proximal end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1989
    Assignee: Tsubakimoto Chain Co.
    Inventors: Satoru Yokoi, Toru Kai
  • Patent number: 4832171
    Abstract: A system for anually and/or automatically processing and/or machining parts includes at least one work station or module, together with substantially rectangular pallets movable through such work station or module under the action of friction between pallets and one or more drive strands of an endless belt or the like. The system includes a base or floor and each of the pallets includes both swivel wheels suitable for running on the base or floor and a resilient friction traction member disposed at each of its corners and suitable for pressing resiliently against drive strand(s) to obtain continuous drive for the pallet and to enable it to change direction with or without changing its absolute orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1986
    Date of Patent: May 23, 1989
    Inventor: Jacques M. Prodel
  • Patent number: 4794863
    Abstract: An improved motive structure for transporting workpieces (wafers, chip, packages, etc.) between processing stations or tools in a manufacturing operation. The structure includes a first circular crankshaft assembly connected to center axles disposed at right angles to the transport motion. A second such crankshaft assembly is located some distance along the path of motion. Three driverods are connected between the first and second crankshaft assemblies, each affixed apart on the circular crankshafts so that each driverod is moved upward, then forward along the transport direction, then downward and backward to its original position as the crankshafts go through a complete rotation. The structure is disposed beneath transport rails which hold movable containers for holding the workpieces. As a driverod moves up and forward, it contacts a spring-loaded element on the movable container and drives it forward by friction contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1989
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen M. Gates, Michael Liehr, Michel G. E. G. Renier, Gary W. Rubloff
  • Patent number: 4770589
    Abstract: Disclosed is a cargo handling system including cargo containers (10) having recesses (68) extending through the lower central region of the containers. The containers straddle and are transported over a route that is formed by four types of conveyor modules: lateral transfer modules (16) which move cargo along a straight line path; turntable/elevator modules (20) for transfer of containers between modules that are horizontally and vertically displaced from one another; ship connector modules (26) for linking shore-bound modules to shipboard modules (28); and shipboard modules for stowage of the containers during transit on a ship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1986
    Date of Patent: September 13, 1988
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: D. Ray Bryan
  • Patent number: 4767048
    Abstract: A mobile robotic platform and guide means therefor having a carriage with one or more uniquely constructed drive rollers having radially-extending metal filaments embedded in a complaint material and which coact with a track defining the guide means which has a length of textured material, such as wire mesh secured thereto. The coaction provides an infinite pitch rack drive. The mobile robotic platform can have the carriage thereof provided with two or more tractor units pivotally mounted thereto and each of which carry a pair of the aforesaid drive rollers whereby the carriage can follow guide means of varying contours with controlled travel and continuous operation of an operative device carried by the carriage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: Kinetic Energy Corp.
    Inventors: Andrew G. Kimbrough, James C. Hammond
  • Patent number: 4766993
    Abstract: There is provided specialized conveying apparatus for transporting articles which are confined to a tube or chamber within which the cleanliness is maintained at extremely high levels by utilizing existing precipitator and other apparatus, the motion of the pallet on which the articles to be processed are carried being produced by a motor-driven truck which is isolated pneumatically from the article-carrying pallet but which is coupled magnetically to elements on that pallet so that the pallet is levitated in the controlled atmosphere and caused to move by the moving of a truck in the isolated driver portion of the apparatus, all of the dust and other contaminants which are produced in the frictional process of driving the truck being isolated from the clean chamber in which the article is being processed by reason of a nonmagnetic wall separating the driver portion from the conveying portion of the apparatus, the result being the ability to obtain previously unachievable, high levels of cleanliness in the cl
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tadae Kita, Akihiro Okuno