Special Track Patents (Class 104/250)
  • Patent number: 8973506
    Abstract: The invention relates to an in-house track-bound transporting system with self-propelling carriages that move on rails. The system has stoppers to prevent said carriages from crossing over open rail ends or track borders, and the system is provided with stops. The stoppers collide with the stops in order to prevent a crossing-over, said stops having first and second fixed stop elements. The stoppers can be moved between a first crossing-over position and a second crossing-over position such that the first stop elements can be crossed over in the first crossing-over position of the stoppers, and the second stop elements can be crossed over in the second crossing-over position of the stoppers, wherein the first stop elements cannot be crossed over in the second crossing-over position of the stoppers, and the second stop elements cannot be crossed over in the first crossing-over position of the stoppers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Dematic Systems GmbH
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Patent number: 8688306
    Abstract: Aspects of the present disclosure relate generally to limiting the use of an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle by particular occupants based on permission data. More specifically, permission data may include destinations, routes, and/or other information that is predefined or set by a third party. The vehicle may then access the permission data in order to transport the particular occupant to the predefined destination, for example, without deviation from the predefined route. The vehicle may drop the particular occupant off at the destination and may wait until the passenger is ready to move to another predefined destination. The permission data may be used to limit the ability of the particular occupant to change the route of the vehicle completely or by some maximum deviation value. For example, the vehicle may be able to deviate from the route up to a particular distance from or along the route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Philip Nemec, Christopher Paul Urmson, Bradley Templeton, Nathaniel Fairfield, Anthony Scott Levandowski
  • Patent number: 8087361
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device, particularly for safety braking of vehicles on rails having at least one flap unit (1) connected in a rotatable fashion to a rail, wherein the flap unit (1) may be moved into a locking position and a release position by rotation about a rotational axis (D), wherein, in a locking position, the balance point SPK of the flap unit (1) is located above a horizontal plane (E) in which the rotational axis (D) is located.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: MAHA Maschinenbau Haldenwang GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Joerg Kuehne
  • Patent number: 8020494
    Abstract: An anti-roll back (ARB) assembly for use with vehicles that ride on a track, which has inclined portions that include a set of ARB or lift pins. The assembly includes a linear magnet assembly positioned along the track in the ARB portion, and this assembly includes spaced apart magnet arrays that define a slot or elongated magnetic force zone. The ARB assembly includes an ARB element with a body pivotally supported on a vehicle frame and further includes an electrically conductive reaction plate supported on the vehicle frame, and the plate passes through the magnet assembly slot when the vehicle travels on the track. The reaction plate is connected to the ARB body to pivot it in response to displacement of the reaction plate in response to magnetic forces to rotate it up into a suspended position in which the ARB body is spaced apart from the ARB pins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: John Douglas Smith, Katherine Kelly, L. Keith Forbis
  • Patent number: 7836829
    Abstract: The invention relates to a rail-bound vehicle for an amusement park ride. The vehicle has an upper part 10 with vehicle seats 12, as well as a carriage 20 whose running wheels 22 and lateral wheels 23 run on rail-tubes, as do its lift-off rollers 24. The upper part 10 can rotate freely around a vertical axis 16 relative to the carriage 20. A brake disk 14? made of a metallic material is provided on the underside of the upper part 10. Permanent magnets 31 connected to the rail system are assigned to this brake disk 14?. The brake disk 14, upon passing these permanent magnets 31, enters the latter's magnet field, with the result that the upper part 10 of the vehicle is braked and set into rotational motion due to the continued linear movement of the carriage 20.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Mack Rides GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: G√ľnter Burger
  • Publication number: 20100147179
    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 first gear, and a second gear assembly pivotable about a second pivot axis and carrying a second gate and a second gear, the second pivot axis being positioned below a plane extending perpendicular to the rail section from the first pivot axis, and the second gear in rotational engagement with the first gear. 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, the stop member including a rail section portion and a stop portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Publication date: June 17, 2010
    Inventor: Todd Jager
  • Patent number: 7685948
    Abstract: A track traveling toy, including: a track; at least a part of the track being made to be a double track; and automotive vehicle stopping sections which are respectively provided on railway tracks of the double track, wherein an automotive vehicle entering the railway track on one side operates the stopping section of the railway track on the one side to stop the automotive vehicle on the railway track, and operates the stopping section on the other railway track to release a stopping state of an automotive vehicle on the railway track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Tomy Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tomohiro Tezuka
  • 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: 7430966
    Abstract: A roller coaster installation comprising a stretch of water, along which runs a train of vehicles (104) provided laterally with hydrodynamic brakes comprising a fin (102) or a nozzle, becoming immersed in the mass of water (A) and discharging this in the form of rising sprays (B).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: Bolliger & Mabillard Ingenieurs Conseils S.A.
    Inventors: Claude Mabillard, Walter Bolliger
  • Patent number: 7140302
    Abstract: The present invention provides a releasable skate retarder for railway cars. The retarder includes a plurality of spring packs including springs which bias shoe carrying beams toward running rails, trapping wheels of a railway car entering the retarder between the shoes and the running rails, and applying a frictional force to the railway car wheels for stopping the railway car and retaining the railway car in the retarder. The retarder is operable in a release mode in which an operating mechanism moves the shoe beams to a release position in which the spring force is released, allowing the railway car to move freely through the retarder. The retarder is operable in a service mode in which the operating mechanism moves the shoe beams outwardly, allowing the insertion of shims which cause the shoes to be repositioned closer to the running rails to compensate for shoe wear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2006
    Assignee: Trackside Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory F. Kickbush
  • Patent number: 7117799
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a material handling system (100) and method (200) for isolating a carrier mechanism (110) from the system. The system (100) comprises a track (103) having a channel (105), a turntable (115), and a carrier mechanism (110) coupled to the track structure via the channel. The system (100) further comprises a maintenance station (125), comprising a stub track (130), wherein the stub track is operably coupled to the track structure (103) via the turntable (115). The maintenance station (125) further comprises a power supply (135) and one or more connectors (140) operable to electrically couple the carrier (110) to the power supply (135). One or more stop blocks (145) are provided which are removably coupled to the stub track (130), wherein the stop blocks each comprise a body (155) having a rod (160) extending therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Richard J. Davis, Leonard Paul Siemantel
  • Patent number: 7117800
    Abstract: A material handling system (100) and method (200) for isolating a carrier mechanism (110) from the system. The system (100) comprises a track (103) having a channel (105), a turntable (115), and a carrier mechanism (110) coupled to the track structure via the channel. The system (100) further comprises a maintenance station (125), comprising a stub track (130), wherein the stub track is operably coupled to the track structure (103) via the turntable (115). The maintenance station (125) further comprises a power supply (135) and one or more connectors (140) operable to electrically couple the carrier (110) to the power supply (135). One or more stop blocks (145) are provided which are removably coupled to the stub track (130), wherein the stop blocks each comprise a body (155) having a rod (160) extending therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Richard J. Davis, Leonard Paul Siemantel
  • Patent number: 7040238
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a material handling system (100) and method (200) for isolating a carrier mechanism (110) from the system. The system (100) comprises a track (103) having a channel (105), a turntable (115), and a carrier mechanism (110) coupled to the track structure via the channel. The system (100) further comprises a maintenance station (125), comprising a stub track (130), wherein the stub track is operably coupled to the track structure (103) via the turntable (115). The maintenance station (125) further comprises a power supply (135) and one or more connectors (140) operable to electrically couple the carrier (110) to the power supply (135). One or more stop blocks (145) are provided which are removably coupled to the stub track (130), wherein the stop blocks each comprise a body (155) having a rod (160) extending therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Richard J. Davis, Leonard Paul Siemantel
  • Patent number: 6561103
    Abstract: A pallet conveyor system includes a rail assembly and a pallet assembly. The rail assembly including parallel and spaced-apart rail supports that each has a cylindrical rail disposed thereon. An intermediate support is positioned between the rails and includes a removable stop bar. The pallet assembly engages the rails and is adapted for forward or reverse motion along the rails. A first and second sensor are secured to the pallet assembly and adapted to detect the stop bar as the pallet moves along the rails. When the first sensor detects the stop bar, the pallet assembly is slowed. Thereafter, as the second sensor detects the stop bar, the pallet assembly is stopped. Therefore, by simple movement of the stop bar, a pallet assembly may be easily and precisely positioned at any location along, a conveyor line without the need to reprogram the pallet assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Peck Assembly Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Glen Peck
  • Patent number: 6550392
    Abstract: The installation enables the downhill transportation of passengers from a higher station to a lower station along a rail. Cars that are guided along the rail are equipped with the first of two interacting elements of an electromagnetic braking device, in particular with one or more permanent magnets, and the guide rail being equipped with the second elements, in particular braking strips made from an electrically conductive nonmagnetizable material, such as copper or aluminum, which interact with said first elements of the braking device. Each car is equipped with one or more first elements with an operating brake that is adjustable as a function of its load, and with one or more first elements of a safety brake that is activatable during downhill travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Innova Patent GmbH
    Inventor: Reinhard Albrich
  • Patent number: 6253684
    Abstract: A stop mechanism for detaching a conveyor trolley from a drive system which normally drives the trolley along a conveyor track. A ramp can be moved into the path of a trolley dog so that the trolley dog moves upwardly along an inclined ramp surface to disengage the trolley dog from a drive dog carried by a driven chain of the conveyor system. The actuating mechanism for the ramp includes a pivotal cam plate actuated by a power cylinder. A cam slot in the cam plate receives a cam roller connected with a guide link which moves in a vertical guide slot. The guide link is connected with the ramp to move it up and down under the control of the actuating cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Conveyor Technology Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Gareth D. Summa, Andrew L. Meyer
  • Patent number: 6240852
    Abstract: A highway-vehicle system for high speed travel which comprises a below-ground structure defining a cavity and a narrow slot extending upwardly therefrom to the roadway surface. Each vehicle in the system is equipped with a projecting member which, in its folded configuration, can be lowered into the slot. The projecting member includes a pair of stabilization wheels and a pair of hydraulically or pneumatically-actuated brake shoes. Once the projecting member has been lowered into the cavity, the wheels automatically unfold, so that they assume horizontal positions and press against opposing sidewalls of the cavity. With the wheels so deployed, the vehicle can be safely driven during high speed cornering and under windy conditions. The wheels can also be used to automatically steer each vehicle. In addition, the wheels are used to conduct electricity in the cavity sidewalls as part of the power takeoff for an electric vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Inventor: William R. Camp
  • Patent number: 6216601
    Abstract: Apparatus for limiting a travel path of running gears, in particular hoists, traveling along a running rail of a type having at least one flange and a web, includes a pair of side elements which are securable to opposite sides of the flange and provided with at least one buffer, and a clamping unit in the form of a tie element, for bracing the side elements together and pressing the side elements against the sides of the flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Mannesmann AG
    Inventor: Karl Zacharias
  • Patent number: 6135029
    Abstract: A brake (10) includes a first friction element (30) secured to the sliding plate (16) of a linear motor (12) and a second friction element (36) secured to the base plate (14) of the linear motor (12), with the friction elements (30, 36) located outside of the linear motor (12) in a direction generally perpendicular to the linear movement direction. The second friction element (36) includes first and second caliper elements (54) between which the first friction element (30) can be sandwiched and which are separated by movement of a release bar (62) parallel to the linear movement direction and including cam followers (72) which engage cam wedges (74) secured on the inner surfaces of the first and second caliper elements (54). The first and second caliper elements (54) are slideable upon standoffs (44) extending between side plate (42) of a frame (38). Wave springs (58) are positioned in recesses (60) and between the caliper elements (54) and the side plates (42) for biasing the caliper elements (54) together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: Nexen Group, Inc.
    Inventor: Karl W. Oberjohn
  • Patent number: 5967051
    Abstract: An amusement ride for humans which utilizes at least one vehicle which is to be operatively moved on a track. The vehicle is to be tied to the track so as to prevent separation of the vehicle from the track with this tying to the track being accomplished by a guide blade that is attached to and protrudes from the vehicle which rides within a slot arrangement formed in the track. The track includes a braking area, and within that braking area there are a plurality of braking units located in an in-line sequence. Prior to each braking area, there is a centering rail section which is included within the track. The guide blade has to pass through a centering rail section prior to the entering of each braking unit. The centering rail section includes a through centering slot. The through centering slot narrows in width with the narrowness occurring in the direction of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Thrilltime Entertainment International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael V. Ragsdale, Michael L. Gutknecht
  • Patent number: 5947030
    Abstract: A recoil blocking device for vehicles (1) for roller-coasters, monorails or the like. To avoid the ratchet noises occurring in the case of prior-art ratchet-type blocking mechanisms of such recoil blocking devices, the present invention provides a catch drive (21), which is designed as an eddy current drive and spaces the catch (2) from the countercatch (5) when the vehicle (1) is moving forward and allows the catch (2) to engage the countercatch (5) when the vehicle (1) is standing or moving backward. The catch (2) is mounted rotatably at the vehicle, whereas the countercatch (5) is arranged stationarily in the form of a toothed rack in the area of the rail arrangement (4) of an uphill section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Inventors: Robert Spieldiener, Reinhold Spieldiener, Patrick Spieldiener, Alfons Saiko
  • Patent number: 5884564
    Abstract: In a power-and-free conveyor system an anti-backup devise for attachment at a work station comprising a block, and a stop and a cam mounted on the block and a spring for applying force to the cam to frictionally engage a wheel of a trolley on the power-and-tree system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Custom Conveyor & Supply Corp.
    Inventor: Thomas A. Fountas
  • Patent number: 5842421
    Abstract: A power and free conveyor system is provided which utilizes a difference in height between the wipe in power trolley and the wipe out power trolley, with or without a camming down of a retractable wide dog of the free trolley, to allow the wipe in power chain to wipe in over the retractable dog without any possibility of lateral interference. Thereafter the elevation of the wipe in power trolley and the wipe out power trolley are the same. Improved stop device operating to push down the retractable dog and therefore cause disengagement of the retractable dog from the power chain dog are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Dennis W. Desilets, Raymond L. Carlson, Steven J. Dale
  • Patent number: 5823116
    Abstract: A shock-absorbing tow bar coupler is disclosed. The tow bar coupler includes a housing dimensioned and configured at forward end to engage a trolley of a power and free conveyor. At its rearward end, a clevis is disposed within and rotatably attached to the housing. A hitch dimensioned and configured to engage a tow bar is rotatably attached to the clevis. The tow bar hitch provides a resilient, shock-absorbing attachment between the trolley and the tow bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Inventor: David F. Williams
  • Patent number: 5778796
    Abstract: An electromagnetic switching system for use in a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system having a personal rapid transit vehicle with an attached chassis operating over a network of interconnected guideways. The electromagnetic switching system comprises an electromagnetic switching unit mounted on each side of the chassis for directing the transit vehicle into a predetermined path at a switch section of the guideway. The electromagnetic switching unit has an electromagnet for exerting magnetic force on a continuous reaction rail which is attached to an internal sidewall of the guideway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Inventor: In Ki Kim
  • Patent number: 5738017
    Abstract: A rail vehicle has a pivotal latch pivotally mounted to its frame so that gravity urges one end of the locking latch toward a rack extending along the railway on which the rail vehicle is positioned for movement. A smooth slideway extends parallel to and adjacent the rack and a rocker arm pivotally mounted on the locking latch has a lower end pivotally urged by gravity into contact with the slideway so that forward movement of the rail vehicle pivots the rocking arm to cause the locking latch to be pivoted upwardly out of contact with the rack with any initiation of rearward movement causing reverse pivoting of the rocker arm to lower the locking latch into engagement with the rack to prevent further reverse movement of the vehicle. Maintaining the locking latch out of contact with the rack during forward movement reduces wear and avoids the generation of clacking noise during forward movement of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Assignee: Heinrich Mack GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Georg Behringer
  • Patent number: 5715756
    Abstract: An amusement ride attraction has an anti-roll back track with stops or cross bolts covered by a continuous brush material. A vehicle such as a roller coaster car or water flume boat has an anti-roll back pawl which rides above the fiber material on skis, when the vehicle moves forward. If the vehicle begins to move backward, the skis move downwardly through the brush material and the pawl engages a stop on the track, to prevent further reverse movement. The brush material prevents the pawl from banging over each of the stops on the track, thereby reducing noise and wear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Assignee: Universal Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank K. Weigand, Alan Black, Nick Drobnis
  • Patent number: 5685227
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a brake assembly, for overhead conveyers of the type which are suspended from and move along a rail and more particularly, a leaf spring brake or wedge assembly for an overhead trolley which wedges two pairs of wheels in a track for a secure braking system to stabilize the suspended system against movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: Premark FEG L.L.C.
    Inventors: Joseph M. Gaccetta, Karl S. Schroeder
  • Patent number: 5636575
    Abstract: A retarder apparatus controls the speed of a free, load-carrying conveyor as it moves in a predetermined direction along a path of travel defined by the track in which the conveyor runs. Paddle members are spaced at regular intervals along an endless movable chain and each, in turn, is positioned in the track in the path of the next conveyor. Upon engagement of an individual paddle by an oncoming conveyor, the chain is instantly accelerated to the speed of the conveyor and this motion is transmitted through a chain sprocket to a centrifugal brake which, if a normal speed is being exceeded, limits the speed of movement of the chain to hold back a runaway conveyor and return it to the normal speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1997
    Assignee: Lico, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Hoehn, Mark A. Pollard
  • Patent number: 5626082
    Abstract: A linear motor driven transport system of an improved design is presented. The conventional roller configuration for holding the transport vehicle on the rail track has been replaced with a spring-loaded design so as to maintain the contact between the roller and the rail surface regardless of the curvatures in the routing track. Weighing device of an improved direct-loading design is adopted to improve the ruggedness of the device. Devices for controlling the positioning of the transport vehicle, including the carrier, have been simplified and the number of component pieces reduced to lower the cost of manufacturing the transport system. The container and track configurations have also been modified to enable efficient track set-up and loading/unloading of goods in complex track routing in a limited space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1997
    Assignee: Shinko Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takashi Nozaki
  • Patent number: 5584249
    Abstract: A control device for trolley shackles used to carry animal carcasses or parts thereof on a track for weighing and disposal. The control comprises a snubber device including extending teeth adapted so that each tooth can catch a shackle. Speed control of the teeth and their carrying device may be controlled by electrical or hydraulic devices in addition to mechanical brakes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: Vande Berg Scales
    Inventor: David M. Vande Berg
  • Patent number: 5551347
    Abstract: An amusement ride for humans which is constructed to include a plurality of separate tracks located in a side-by-side relationship. On each track is located a vehicle, with this vehicle including a propulsion system which is activated and controlled by a human operator located within the vehicle. The vehicle is mounted in conjunction with a track which keeps each vehicle confined to its particular track and permits the vehicle to move between a Start position and Finish position on the track. Associated with each track is an automatic brake system to stop the vehicle. Each track is composed of a plurality of separate guide rail sections which are located in a spaced apart arrangement with the separate guide rail sections being mounted in an in-line manner within the track. A guide blade is mounted on each vehicle and is to connect with each of these guide rail sections as the vehicle moves along the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: Newera Capital Corporation
    Inventor: Leroy H. Gutknecht
  • Patent number: 5537933
    Abstract: A safety system for restraining and preventing a person from falling off an elevated structure such as a locomotive. The safety system includes a segmented rail structure comprising a plurality of releasable and/or removable rail sections that are supported by a series of rail posts. The rail sections can be released and/or removed in order to provide access to an adjacent locomotive compartment to be serviced. A pair of spring biased support members are attached to each of the rail posts and automatically extend when corresponding section is removed. A moveable trolley apparatus engages the rail sections with a plurality of wheels, and has an extendable arm that can be connected to a lanyard worn by a maintenance person. When extended, the raised support members prevent the trolley from coming off the end of a rail section adjacent to a rail section that has been removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Inventor: Bjorn Ablad
  • Patent number: 5115747
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a free transfer machine equipped with independent motorized carriages. Each carriage comprises a variable speed motor, a rechargeable battery connected to contact blocks, and an individual travelling control system comprising a motor supply and control circuit which is controlled by a switch actuated by a front bumper and by a contactor mounted in series with the switch and carried by the lower face of the carriage in such a way as to be actuated by the retractable stop members. The circuit is also under the control of environment sensors. The trackway comprises, in relation to each work station, reed-contacts connected to an electric charge device and designed to cooperate with the contact blocks. The invention finds an application in transfer machines for production and assembly lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1992
    Assignee: ADL Automation
    Inventors: Etienne M. Teissier, Bruno A. E. Marie
  • Patent number: 4987834
    Abstract: An accumulating conveyor formed by a series of self propelled pallets (18) running on a track (20), with non-contacting proximity detectors (24A, 24B) located on the front and rear of each pallet (18), and an on board control circuit (26) causing deenergization of the drive motor (22) when a stopped pallet (18) is detected ahead, or when barrier members (28, 30) are positioned ahead. Slow down, stopping and reversing of the drive may be controlled by side mounted photo detector switches (40A, 40B, 52A, 52B) activated by photo emitter devices (42A, 42B, 54A, 54B) mounted along the path of the pallets (18). A bilevel feed and return track (20A, 20B) may be traversed by the pallets (18), reversed to be driven in either direction, and either the forward or rear proximity switch (24A or 24B) activated by the control circuit (26) depending on the direction of travel of the car.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 29, 1991
    Assignee: Roberts Sinto Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn L. Peck, Jr., James F. Foster, Kenneth J. Pol
  • Patent number: 4961386
    Abstract: Gravity fed trolleys are stacked up for storage on a rail and the lead trolley is accelerated downstream away from the stack by an air operated device that includes a single bellcrank with trolley engaging surface portions that not only hold back the stack, but that also accelerate each trolley away from the stack to avoid depending solely on the potential energy of the trolley to move it out of the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 9, 1990
    Assignee: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard Kuchta
  • Patent number: 4934278
    Abstract: A displacing apparatus includes a moving table provided movably on a guide rail mounted on a fixed base. A guide bar is provided on the fixed base in parallel with the guide rail. The guide bar is formed with a recess. Also provided is a driving roller maintained in contact with the guide bar and driven by a driving source provided on the moving table for moving the moving table. A device is provided on the moving table for generating a contact pressure for maintaining the driving roller in pressure contact with the guide bar at a position on the guide bar opposite to the drive roller. A detector is also provided in relation to the moving table for detecting the position of the moving table. Finally, a device is provided for nullifying the contact pressure. The nullifying device drops the driving roller into the recess of the guide bar to nullify the contact pressure of the drive roller, the drive roller moving on the guide bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 19, 1990
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takeo Tanita, Yusaku Azuma, Toshihiro Yamamoto, Masateru Yasuhara, Shozo Kasai, Norio Nikaido
  • Patent number: 4928601
    Abstract: A bicycle monorail system is provided and consists of a series of bicycles which are to be peddled by riders to run about an elevated monorail track having an irregular continuous path. Each bicycle includes a structure thereon to prevent another bicycle from behind to bump into it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 29, 1990
    Inventors: Leroy Harder, George Spector
  • Patent number: 4901648
    Abstract: A weight bearing trolley moves along a track having flanges between which a guide wheel of said trolley is positioned. The movement of the trolley is monitored to determine when braking is desired and, when desired, pressure is applied to said guide wheel, forcing it into contact with one of said flanges and producing frictional retarding force braking said trolley. A fail-safe actuator utilizes fluid pressure to keep a brake operating spring compressed when braking is not wanted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1990
    Assignee: Mid-West Conveyor Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Archie S. Moore, Stephen R. Bode
  • Patent number: 4821647
    Abstract: An amusement ride down a ramp containing two air suspension flumes and a return conveyor belt system. The ramp is in a climate controlled transparent housing. There is ducting in the ramp for air conditioning, compressed air, and other possible fluid needs along the ramp and at its top portion. The upper half of the housing may be transparent. The cars have a transparent canopy and enclose room enough for three passengers. The ramp has modular sections supported by stanchions the height of which are hydraulically adjustable by automatic sensing devices; possibly using laser light or other types of electrical sensing apparatuses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1989
    Inventors: Tyrone E. Powell, George Ladyman
  • Patent number: 4819564
    Abstract: A conveying installation with a linear motor drive including a stator placed along a travel path and at least one conveyor unit guided along the stator in a constrained manner. The stator is divided into a plurality of stator portions. To each stator portion is assigned a braking device whose operation is dependent upon the current supply to a stator. The conveyor units are guided spaced apart by a predetermined distance. If the current supply fails, the braking devices are actuated and stop the movements of the conveyor units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1987
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1989
    Assignee: Maschinenfabrik Scharf GmbH
    Inventors: Curt Brandis, Heinrich Schulze-Buxloh, Siegfried Pirags
  • Patent number: 4794864
    Abstract: At each station of the overhead cable transport installation the vehicles which have been released or unclamped from the conveying cable are decelerated or accelerated by pneumatic wheels. Between the V-belt drive and the hub of each pneumatic wheel there is arranged a free-wheeling clutch or slip coupling equipped with a pre-biased restoring or return spring. The free-wheeling clutch transmits in one direction the torque or rotational moment from the V-belt drive to the pneumatic wheel without play. In the opposite direction such free-wheeling clutch rotates against the restoring moment of the pre-biased restoring spring. As a result there is eliminated the slip and the resultant wear of the pneumatic wheels upon the friction plate with which they come into contact during such time in which two neighboring pneumatic wheels engage with the friction plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1989
    Assignee: Von Roll Habegger AG
    Inventors: Fritz Feuz, Ferdinand Hora
  • Patent number: 4790247
    Abstract: A trolley stop assembly is provided for use with an inverted power and free conveyor system having a trolley member driven along a track. A depending trolley dog is engaged by drive dogs on a drive mechanism for pushing the trolley along the track and is movable between upper and lower positions for disengagement and engagement with the drive dogs. The assembly includes a stop arm pivotally mounted within the conveyor system for pivoting about a horizontal axis. Provisions are made for lifting the stop arm into an upper position to engage a portion of a trolley dog on a trolley to be stopped to lift the trolley dog out of possible engagement with the drive dogs. The stop arm includes an upper cam surface with an abutment portion for braking the trolley by mating with a portion of the trolley dog. An actuator mechansim includes a cam engageable with the stop arm to pivot same between upper and lower positions. The cam member is actuated by a piston and cylinder arrangement positioned on a side of the assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1986
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1988
    Assignee: MidWest Conveyor Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Gareth D. Summa
  • Patent number: 4787788
    Abstract: A bomb handling system includes a plurality of mobile frames, each having a pair of rails and carrying members on the rails. Each pair of carrying members supporting corresponding ends of a bomb and there being locking mechanisms with separate, common actuators at particular locations along the lengths of the rails selectively to arrest a pair of carrying members in transversely aligned positions at a location and to allow such pair to travel past a location. The mobile frames may be attached in a train with their pairs of rails in end-abutting relation and including blocking mechanisms which releasably prevent transfer of a pair of carrying members from one frame to the next. A mobile frame may include a mechanism to elevate its rails so that loaded and positioned bombs may be raised for attachment to an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1987
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1988
    Assignee: B.V. Industriele Handelsondernedming, Etc.
    Inventor: Gijsbert Versteeg
  • Patent number: 4648325
    Abstract: A linear drive unit having a carriage reciprocal along a path of travel and having a plurality of pairs of angularly adjustable drive wheels engaging opposite sides of a rotatable drive tube whereby rotation of the drive tube imparts linear motion to the carriage. The angle of the drive wheels is controlled by a remotely-operable air motor mounted directly on the carriage. A plurality of cams provide controlled acceleration and deceleration of the carriage adjacent the ends of its path of travel. A selectively operable inching control is remotely operable to provide for a reduced speed of travel of the linear drive unit. The linear drive unit is easily associated with the mass to be moved, such as a travelling hoist, and the forces generated by opposed drive wheels compressively engaging the drive tube are self-contained within the carriage. Additional control cams can be provided along the path of travel, if additional stopping locations are desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1985
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1987
    Assignee: Heico Inc.
    Inventors: Stanley K. Gutekunst, Russell H. Scheel, Barry L. Ziegenfus
  • Patent number: 4603639
    Abstract: The device controls the speed of a driverless vehicle by way of a cam having an acceleration surface and a deceleration surface for contact with a cam follower on the driverless vehicle. The cam is mounted for reciprocation in a horizontal direction between an operative position wherein the deceleration surface will cause a driverless vehicle to stop and an inoperative position wherein the cam will not cause such vehicle to stop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: August 5, 1986
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Craig F. Sleep
  • Patent number: 4574706
    Abstract: A conveyor has vertically spaced carrier and power tracks respectively supporting carriers and primary pushers, each carrier being propellable by a driving dog movable between retracted and extended positions and drivingly engageable only in the extended position by one of the primary pushers. Carriers are also advanceable along a portion of the carrier track from engagement of their driving dogs by secondary pushers movably connected to a reciprocatable transfer member supported alongside of the power track and driven on forward and return strokes by a linear motor. When operational, the secondary pushers are moved to a driving position, each driving dog engaged by a secondary pusher is held thereby in retracted position, and carriers are advanced by a forward stroke of the transfer member. When non-operational, the secondary pushers remain in a non-driving position, the driving dogs remain in extended position, and carriers are propelled by the primary pushers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1986
    Assignee: Jervis B. Webb Company
    Inventor: Clarence A. Dehne
  • Patent number: 4542698
    Abstract: A power-and-free trolley conveyor comprising carriers adapted to run on a free line and each including a free trolley provided with a pair of opposite pivotable engaging dogs. Each of the engaging dogs has a downwardly projecting engaging projection and a disengaging wing. A power line is disposed immediately below the free line or toward one side thereof to bring a pusher dog on a power trolley into engagement with the engaging projection of at least one of the pair of engaging dogs, whereby the carrier is transferred to another line for joining or diversion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1983
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1985
    Assignee: Nakanishi Metal Works Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takao Wakabayashi
  • Patent number: 4526499
    Abstract: An improved rail lock for the meat transportation industry has a pair of legs which extend below the rail. The inner surface of one of the legs is substantially flush against a side of the rail. A first clamping means is carried by the other leg and bears against the other side of the rail, thereby exerting a force tending to spread the legs apart. A second clamping means is carried by the one leg, just below the rail, and exerts a counterforce tending to bring the legs together. As a result, the rail lock is rigidly retained on the rail and will not vibrate loose during transportation, thereby solving a vexatious problem in the meat industry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1983
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1985
    Inventor: Vincent P. Bonolis
  • Patent number: RE35999
    Abstract: An amusement ride for humans which is constructed to include a plurality of separate tracks located in a side-by-side relationship. On each track is located a vehicle, with this vehicle including a propulsion system which is activated and controlled by a human operator located within the vehicle. The vehicle is mounted in conjunction with a track which keeps each vehicle confined to its particular track and permits the vehicle to move between a Start position and Finish position on the track. Associated with each track is an automatic brake system to stop the vehicle. Each track is composed of a plurality of separate guide rail sections which are located in a spaced apart arrangement with the separate guide rail sections being mounted in an in-line manner within the track. A guide blade is mounted on each vehicle and is to connect with each of these guide rail sections as the vehicle moves along the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Thrilltime Entertainment International, Inc.
    Inventor: Leroy H. Gutknecht