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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CUTTING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/085157
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cutting device for use with animal limbs or tails, which includes a plurality of curved cutting blades, wherein the blades form a cutting blade assembly with a passage at its centre to substantially encompass the circumference of a limb of an animal when in use, and a movement transfer mechanism, wherein the movement transfer mechanism is linked to the cutting blade assembly, and characterised in that the movement transfer mechanism is driven by a portable power tool. A method of using the cutting device is also claimed.

Inventors:
SAYWELL, Ian, Desmond (Unit 1, 19 Lorna StreetNew Plymouth, 4310, NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2009/000261
Publication Date:
July 29, 2010
Filing Date:
November 26, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SHOOF INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (Private Bag 522, 224 Laurent RoadCambridge, 3450, NZ)
SAYWELL, Ian, Desmond (Unit 1, 19 Lorna StreetNew Plymouth, 4310, NZ)
International Classes:
A01K13/00; B26B15/00; B26B19/12; B26B19/24
Domestic Patent References:
1984-10-11
Foreign References:
EP1236401B12003-11-19
US6938348B22005-09-06
US3052980A1962-09-11
US3357103A1967-12-12
US20050060893A12005-03-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLAR, Jared et al. (James & Wells Intellectual Property, Private Bag 3140Hamilton, 3240, NZ)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT WE CLAIM IS:

1. A cutting device for use with animal limbs, wherein the cutting device includes:

a plurality of curved cutting blades, wherein the blades form a cutting blade assembly with a passage at its centre to substantially encompass the circumference of a limb of an animal when in use, and

a movement transfer mechanism, wherein the movement transfer mechanism is linked to the cutting blade assembly, and

characterised in that

the movement transfer mechanism is driven by a portable power tool.

2. A cutting device as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cutting device includes a blade assembly having an inner blade and an outer blade.

3. A cutting device as claimed in either claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the blades are circular.

4. A cutting device as claimed in either claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the blades have a semi circular cutting surface.

5. A cutting device as claimed in either claim 3 or claim 4 wherein the inner blade is positioned inside the outer blade.

6. A cutting device as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 5 wherein the inner blade is fixed relative to the outer blade

7. A cutting device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the cutting blade assembly includes a housing for the blades.

8. A cutting device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the movement transfer mechanism includes a plurality of toothed gears, linked to the blade assembly via a conrod driven by at least one of the gears.

9. A cutting device as claimed in claim 8 wherein one of the gears includes an axle extending from its face.

10. A cutting device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the movement transfer mechanism includes a rack and pinion, wherein the rack is positioned about at least a portion of an outer face of a blade.

11. A cutting device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the movement transfer mechanism includes a driveshaft driven by the portable power tool, wherein the driveshaft is linked to a blade via a conrod.

12. A cutting device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the cutting device includes a body housing.

13. A cutting device as claimed in claim 12 wherein the body housing includes a torque assembly.

14. A cutting device as claimed in claim 13 wherein the torque assembly is configured to straddle the body of the portable power tool.

15. A cutting device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the portable power tool is a cordless drill.

16. A method of using a cutting device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15, the method characterised by the steps of:

a) connecting a portable power tool to the movement transfer mechanism of the cutting device ; and b) passing a limb of an animal through the blade assembly of the cutting device.

17. A method of using a cutting device as claimed in claim 16 wherein the animal is a cow.

18. A method of using a cutting device as claimed in either claim 16 or claim 17 wherein the limb of the animal is the tail.

19. A cutting device substantially as herein described and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

20. A method of using a cutting device substantially as herein described and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Description:
CUTTING DEVICE

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a cutting device.

In particular, the present invention relates to a cutting device suitable for trimming animal hair from appendages such as animal tails. It should be appreciated however that the present invention could have applications wider than this.

BACKGROUND ART

The tail of a cow quickly becomes matted with mud and faecal matter, and is an obvious source of bacteria which could subsequently cause mastitis in the cow. Mastitis is particularly undesirable as it affects the quality of milk produced by the cow.

It is commonly believed in the dairy industry that the incidence in mastitis in cows can be reduced through either tail trimming or docking.

However, the docking of the tail of the cow is not always desirable due to the extra time and energy required to attend to this task, particularly when the cow is part of a large herd of animals.

Furthermore, docking of cow's tails is no longer widely practiced due to animal welfare issues. It is recognised that it is desirable for the cow to be able to use its tail to swat flies and the like. However, this means that as noted above, the tail becomes matted with mud and fecal matter.

The dirty and matted tail can be undesirable when the cow is in the dairy shed being milked. The operator of the milking equipment can be hit in the face with the tail as he or she is attempting to put the milking cup apparatus on the teats of the cow.

Tail trimming is also carried out to reduce the potential for faecal or urine contamination of the collected milk.

It is common practice to trim the hairs of the tail with a pair of scissors. Sometimes electric clippers are used for this purpose as well. It is usually convenient to attend to the tail trimming when the cow is in a dairy stall.

However, tail trimming using scissors and clippers is particularly labour intensive and time consuming. Repetitive use of scissors can lead to user fatigue very quickly, given the number of times they are required to articulate the grips of the scissors. Clippers are easier to use, but are still time intensive as the operator has to work their way around the tail in multiple passes.

This causes the person doing the trimming to be selective about of the cow's tails requiring trimming. Only the dirtiest tails tend to be selected for trimming.

However, mastitis can be caused by relatively insignificant amounts of bacteria which may present even on what may be a relatively clean tail. It is preferable, although very impractical to trim the tails of most if not all cows, rather than just the dirtiest.

It is an object of the present invention to address the foregoing problems or at least to provide the public with a useful choice.

All references, including any patents or patent applications cited in this specification are hereby incorporated by reference. No admission is made that any reference constitutes prior art. The discussion of the references states what their authors assert, and the applicants reserve the right to challenge the accuracy and pertinency of the cited documents. It will be clearly understood that, although a number of prior art publications are referred to herein, this reference does not constitute an admission that any of these documents form part of the common general knowledge in the art, in New Zealand or in any other country.

Throughout this specification, the word "comprise", or variations thereof such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.

Further aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the ensuing description which is given by way of example only.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a cutting device for use with animal limbs, wherein the cutting device includes:

a plurality of curved cutting blades, wherein the blades form a cutting blade assembly with a passage at its centre to substantially encompass the circumference of a limb of an animal when in use, and

a movement transfer mechanism, wherein the movement transfer mechanism is linked to the cutting blade assembly, and

characterised in that

the movement transfer mechanism is driven by a portable power tool.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of using a cutting device substantially as described above, the method characterised by the steps of: a) connecting a portable power tool to the movement transfer mechanism of the cutting device ; and

b) passing a limb of an animal through the blades of the cutting device.

The curved cutting blades should be understood to mean a plurality of curved cutting blades, arranged concentrically inside each other.

Preferably, the blades are circular blades. However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that blades with a semi circular cutting surface may also be used.

Reference shall now be made throughout the reminder of the present specification to the plurality of blades as being a blade assembly.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the cutting device includes a blade assembly having an inner blade and an outer blade.

Preferably, the inner blade is fixed relative to the outer blade.

This arrangement is preferred as this means that the moving outer blade is not in contact with the flesh of the animal. It will be appreciated that this minimizes the risk of inadvertently cutting the animal being trimmed.

However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that this is not meant to be limiting, and other alternative blade arrangements are envisaged.

For example, the blade assembly may include three pairs of concentrically arrangement blades, arranged such that in a plan view the axle of rotation of each pair of blades approximates the points of a triangle. This arrangement forms an aperture at the centre of the triangle through which the limb of the animal passes. It should be appreciated that the cutting portion of the blades includes a plurality of teeth. It is the movement of the teeth of the outer blade relative to the teeth of the inner blade that performs the actual cutting.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the blade assembly is located within a cutter body. This holds the blade assembly in place as well as keeping the various components together. The user of the invention is able to hold the cutting device by gripping the cutter body.

The animal may be any type of animal which has limbs which are substantially circular in cross-section. For example, the animal may be a dog or cat, but preferably is a cow.

The limb may be the legs or arms of the animal, but preferably is the tail. Reference throughout this patent specification shall now be made to the use of the present invention in relation to trimming cow's tails.

However, it should be appreciated that the principles in the present invention can be applied to the tails of other types of animals, such as pedigree dogs, or in even some circumstances to trim the fur or hair off the legs of animals.

The movement transfer mechanism should be understood to mean a mechanism which transfers the rotational movement of the power tool into rotational movement of the cutting blades of the present invention. For example, the movement transfer mechanism may be a belt or chain.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the movement transfer mechanism is a plurality of toothed gears, linked to the blade assembly via a conrod driven by at least one of the gears. Preferably, the conrod is pivotedly mounted to the outer blade, such that actuation of the movement transfer mechanism causes rotation of the outer blade relative to the inner blade.

However, the use of gears and a conrod as the movement transfer mechanism should not be seen as limiting. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the outer blade may be caused to rotate relative to the inner blade via a number of methods.

For example, the movement transfer mechanism may include a rack and pinion arrangement.

In this embodiment, the gear interacts with a rack fully circumscribing the outer face of the outer blade. Thus, as the gear rotates, so does the outer blade.

In another embodiment, the movement transfer mechanism may include bevel gears interacting with a rack partially circumscribing the outer face of the outer blade.

In yet another embodiment, the movement transfer mechanism may include a crank mounted to an eccentrically shaped disc at one end of the crank. In this embodiment, the disc is provided with a driveshaft to which the portable power tool is mounted when in use.

An arm at the other end of the crank pivotally mounted to a conrod or drivepin linked to the outer blade.

In this embodiment, gears, may or may not be included as intermediary members of the movement transfer mechanism. However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that elimination of the gears will result in less loss of energy through friction. Furthermore, by suitably configuring the various components of this embodiment of the movement transfer mechanism, the cutting efficiency of the blades can be improved by greater movement of the outer blade relative to the inner blade.

It will be appreciated that as the outer blade reaches the extent of its travel, it slows down and stops as it reverses direction, with a resulting loss of cutting speed. Increasing the range of movement of the outer blade relative to the inner blade means that the blades are cutting at full speeds for a greater period of time.

Other ways of moving the outer blade relative to the inner blade will be readily apparent to persons skilled in the art.

Preferably, one of the gears includes an axle extending from its face.

Preferably, the axle of the gear is complementary to the chuck of the cordless drill with which the present invention is to be used.

In some embodiments of the present invention, the cutting device may be provided with a housing or shroud for the gears. This reduces the exposure of the gears to the external environmental, and reduces the potential for dirt and detritus to foul the operation of the gears.

In some embodiments of the present invention, the housing is provided with an oil hole. In use, lubricant may be dispensed as required to ensure the smooth running of the present invention.

The portable power tool may be any power tool which has its own power source, such as a hammer drill, saber saw or jigsaw.

It will be appreciated that a power tool with its own power source such as an internal or external battery is much easier to use, and requires no electrical lines to a separate power source. Preferably the power tool is a cordless drill such as those typically manufactured by Ryobi™, Black & Decker™ and Makita™. However, this is not meant to be limiting and cordless drills produced by other manufacturers may be used.

This is one of the advantages of the present invention. A cordless power drill is usually standard equipment in a typical household, workshop, garage, or dairy farm. The user of the present invention should be able to readily source a suitable cordless drill.

However, it will be appreciated that a hammer drill or the like may also be used with the present invention subject to minor modifications readily apparent to a person skilled in the art.

Preferably, the cordless drill is powered by a battery of at least 14 volts. The applicants have found that lower powered drills are less than adequate for operating the present invention under normal operating conditions such as those found on a dairy farm.

However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that in some situations, such as the occasional grooming of a pedigree dog, a lower powered cordless drill, such as a 12 volt drill may be adequate.

Preferably, the cordless drill has an operating speed of no more than 1250 revolutions per minute. The applicants have found that higher speeds are no more efficient in cutting and trimming hair or fur, but may damage the cutters.

Preferably, the cutting device includes a torque assembly.

A torque assembly should be understood to mean an assembly which prevents rotation of the body of the portable power tool relative to the cutting device. This ensures that only the blades of the cutting device are rotating. Preferably, the torque assembly includes a pair of arms, between which the body of the portable power tool is fitted when in use. This locks the invention in place relative to the power tool.

In use, the present invention requires to be connected to a portable power tool, such as a cordless drill. Once the drill has been linked to the movement transfer mechanism of the invention, the invention is ready to be used.

The animal's tail may be inserted into the housing such that the blades circumscribe the tail. Actuation of the drill causes rotation of the outer blade relative to the inner blade.

This movement of the blades allows any stray and matted clumps of hair present on the tail to be trimmed away from the tail. This reduces the available surface area for dirt, detritus and other matter to accumulate.

It will be appreciated that the present invention has a number of advantages:

• it provides a quick and easy-to-use apparatus for trimming excess hair from the tails of animals; and

• it is easily portable due to its independent power source; and

• readily adapted to all brands of cordless drills;

• improves the hygiene of the animal due to reduction of surfaces to which dirt and detritus may accumulate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further aspects of the present invention will become apparent from the ensuing description which is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 2 is an exploded perspective view of the cutting assembly of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the movement transfer mechanism; and

Figure 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the movement transfer mechanism; and

Figure 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the movement transfer mechanism.

BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

The present invention (generally indicated by arrow 1) is illustrated in Figure 1 , and includes a housing (2) for the circular cutting blade assembly (3). A cap (4) protects the blade assembly (3) when not in use.

To one side of the housing (2) is arranged is arranged a movement transfer mechanism (5) in the form of gears (6, 7). The main gear (6) includes a driveshaft (8) to which a power tool such as a drill (not shown) is fitted.

The movement transfer mechanism (5) is partially covered by a gear cover (9) to help prevent excessive amounts of dirt and detritus from entering the mechanism (5).

Fixed to the gear cover (9) is a torque arm assembly (10), which includes a pair of torque arms (11 , 12). The handle of the power tool (not shown) is fitted between these arms when in place. The torque arm assembly (10) includes a dock (13) for the cap (4) when not required to protect the blade assembly (3).

In use, the power tool in the form of a cordless drill (not shown) is fitted to the torque arm assembly (10).

The chuck of the drill (not shown) is opened, and the driveshaft (8) of the movement transfer mechanism (5) is fitted into the chuck (not shown).

When the chuck (not shown) is tightened up to fix the driveshaft (8) in the chuck (not shown), the drill (not shown) can be activated. Activation of the drill (not shown) will cause rotation of the gears (6, 7) of the movement transfer mechanism (5).

The mechanism (5), which is linked to the blade assembly (3) via a drive pin (not shown) causes rotation of the drive pin (not shown) and subsequently the blade assembly (3).

The stump end of the tail of the cow (not shown) is inserted into the mouth (14) of the blade assembly (3). The user of the cutting device (1) then activates the drill (not shown) to start rotation of the blade assembly (3).

As the blade assembly (3) is moving, the entire cutting device (1) is moved up and down the portion of the tail (not shown) which requires trimming.

An exploded view of the blade assembly (3) is shown in Figure 2. Here it can be seen that there are two blades (14, 15) with the outer blade (14) rotating around the inner blade (15).

The drive pin (16) is connected to the outer blade (14), while the inner blade (15) is held in place with the cutter key (17), which prevents the inner blade (15) from turning. The cutter key (17) also facilitates adjustment of the blades (14, 15) relative to each other.

The conrod (not shown) of the movement transfer mechanism (not shown) is linked to the drive pin (16).

When in motion, the conrod (not shown) causes the drive pin (16) to move back and forth, repeatedly moving the outer blade (14) relative to the inner blade (15).

The range of movement of the drive pin (16) can be appreciated by the slot (18) provided in the housing (2).

The movement transfer mechanism (5) is illustrated in Figure 3. In this view, the gears (6, 7) can be appreciated. The main gear (6) includes a driveshaft (8) arising from one side of the gear (6) with which the chuck (not shown) of the cordless drill (not shown) interacts.

Rotation of the main gear (6) cause rotation of the second gear (7) to which a conrod (19) is pivotally mounted. At the opposing end of the conrod (19), the drive pin (16) engages with the outer blade (14).

As the second gear (7) rotates it will be appreciated that the conrod (19) also moves back and forth, moving the drive pin (16) and outer blade (14) as well in a back and forth motion.

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the gears (6, 7) are not strictly necessary, as illustrated in Figure 4. In this view, it can be seen that the driveshaft (8) is provided with an elliptical disc (20) at its end. The conrod (19) is mounted offset from the centre of the disc (20). Upon rotation of the disc (20) via the driveshaft (8), the conrod (19) moves in an elliptical path, causing corresponding movement of the drive pin (16) and thus the outer blade (14).

This alternative arrangement as depicted in Figure 4 provides a more direct means of transferring the movement of the cordless drill (not shown) to the outer blade (14) with less loss of energy through friction.

Another embodiment of the movement transfer mechanism (5) is illustrated in Figure 5. In this view, the outer blade (14) is provided with a rack (21), which interacts with a gear (22) mounted to the driveshaft (8) powered by the portable power tool (not shown).

Aspects of the present invention have been described by way of example only and it should be appreciated that modifications and additions may be made thereto without departing from the scope thereof as defined in the appended claims.