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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEVICE AT A CHAIN CONVEYOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1999/015442
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Device at a chain conveyor incorporating a plurality of articulately interconnected links (3), said device incorporating at least one rotatable round disk-like element (4) supported on a bearing (5) and arranged to interact with said links (3) and supporting means (6), said bearing (5) being mounted to said supporting means (6), admitting a rotatable motion of said disk-like element (4), said motion having its axis of rotation at said bearing (5). It is characterized in that said disk-like element (4) is arranged in an oblique position in relation to the principal transporting plane (8) of said nearby links (3), said oblique position being accomplished by said supporting means (6), and that said obliquely inclined disk-like element (4) and said links (3) have mutually interacting surfaces.

Inventors:
Alstmar, Åke (Klevelyckan 13 Partille, S-433 69, SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE1998/001682
Publication Date:
April 01, 1999
Filing Date:
September 18, 1998
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FLEXLINK COMPONENTS AB (Göteborg, S-415 50, SE)
Alstmar, Åke (Klevelyckan 13 Partille, S-433 69, SE)
International Classes:
B65G15/60; B65G17/48; (IPC1-7): B65G15/02; B65G21/16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Graudums, Valdis (Albihns Patentbyrå Göteborg AB P.O. Box 142 Göteborg, S-401 22, SE)
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. Device at a chain conveyor incorporating a plurality of articulately interconnected links (3), said device incorporating at least one rotatable round disk like element (4) supported on a bearing (5) and arranged to interact with said links (3) and supporting means (6), said bearing (5) being mounted to said supporting means (6), admitting a rotatable motion of said disklike element (4), said motion having its axis of rotation at said bearing (5), characterized in, that said disklike element (4) is arranged in an oblique position in relation to the principal transporting plane (8) of said nearby links (3), said oblique position being accomplished by said supporting means (6), and that said obliquely inclined disklike element (4) and said links (3) have mutually interacting surfaces.
2. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that a bevel edge element (9) is arranged to the entire outer perimeter of said disklike element (4), said element being arranged to interact with said links (3).
3. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said disklike element (4) and said bevel element (9) are integrally manufactured.
4. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said device is used as a chain conveyor track supporting means.
5. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said device is used as a part of a chain conveyor bend.
6. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said bevel element (9) is provided with teeth on its outer perimeter, and that said teeth are arranged to engage corresponding teeth of said links (3) in order to improve their engagement.
7. Device according to claim 6, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said bevel element (9) and said teeth are integrally manufactured.
8. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said disklike element (4) is used as a chain conveyor driving wheel.
9. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that at least one wheel (11) is arranged to the supporting means (6) to support said disklike element (4) by receiving the forces caused by the motion of the conveyor chain (1) combined with the oblique position of the disklike element (4).
10. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said device is used in an arrangement incorporating a plurality of chain conveyors.
11. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that a support element (12) and a guide list (13) are arranged to support said conveyor chain.
12. Device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n, that said device incorporates yet one disklike element preferably mounted on the same axis, as the first disklike element (4), the object of the second disklike element being to interact with links of the return chain.
Description:
TITLE Device at a chain conveyor TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates to a device at a chain conveyor incorporating a plurality of articulately interconnected links, said device incorporating at least one rotatable round disk-like element supported on a bearing and arranged to interact with said links and supporting means, said bearing being mounted to said supporting means, admitting a rotatable motion of said disk-like element, said motion having its axis of rotation at said bearing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Conveyors with endless flexible conveying chains are used to transport arbitrary articles and packages on e. g. a plate or one or several hooks. A chain conveyor often consists of conveying links which run on a support beam.

At the points where the conveyor bends are, a wheel normally have to be arranged in order to facilitate the curve of the conveyor chain. Prior art solutions to the technical problem of conveyor bends normally include a disk which is located in the inside curve of the bend and the conveyor chain links partially surround the disk on its outer perimeter. The disk is arranged in the same plane as the principal transporting plane of said nearby links. The diameter of the disk in the conveyor bend must relate to what articles and packages which are to be transported on it.

In EP-A1-0 205 197 a conveyor chain with a curved disk is disclosed. It is based on an arrangement on conveyors of the type which comprises a flexible chain whereupon objects, e. g. parallelepipedic packing containers are conveyed. The conveyor

comprises guide rails located on either side of the chain which steer the packing container. In curves the guide rails are substituted on the one side by a curve disk having a sloping steering surface which acts upon the packing container outwards against the guide rails located on the opposite side of the conveyor.

However, a drawback with prior art conveyor systems including the one described above is that in an industrial plant, in which inventions of this kind are used, the physical space allocated to conveyor systems can often be limited. Hence, the fact that the diameter of the disk being related to what articles to be transported on the conveyor and the often limited space in industrial plants are contradictory, and this can cause problems.

PURPOSE AND MOST ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF THE INVENTION A purpose of the present invention is to offer a device at a chain conveyor, which demands considerably less physical space than devices in the prior art. A second purpose of the present invention is to offer a device at a chain conveyor, which permits the objects transported on the conveyor to pass over the disk without the risk of getting jammed. A third purpose of the present invention is to offer a conveyor chain system comprising at least two conveyor chains arranged next to each other.

Essential features of the device according to the invention are that a disk-like element is arranged in an oblique position in relation to a principal transporting plane of nearby links, said oblique position is accomplished by supporting means, and that said obliquely inclined disk-like element and the links have mutually interacting surfaces.

Another essential feature is the division of the function of

supporting the chain vertically and horisontally by having a support element for the vertical support and said disk-like element for the horizontal support.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Figure 1 shows a preferred first embodiment according to the invention, in which there are two chain conveyors arranged side-by-side in a so called two-string system. The device is fixed to the chain conveyor.

Figure 2 shows a preferred second embodiment of the bevel element of the invention, in which the device can be used to drive the conveyor chain.

DESCRIPTION OF THREE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS According to a first preferred embodiment presented in figure 1, a device at a chain conveyor 1,2 incorporating a plurality of articulately interconnected links 3 is presented. Said device incorporates at least one rotatable round disk-like element 4 supported on a bearing 5 and arranged to interact with said links 3 and at least one supporting means 6. The supporting means 6 can be arranged to a conveyor chain support beam 7 or any other suitable object. The bearing 5 is mounted to the supporting means 6 in such a way that it admits a rotatable motion of the disk-like element 4 around its axis.

The disk-like element 4 is arranged in an oblique position in relation to the principal transporting plane 8 of said nearby links 3 and the oblique position is accomplished by the supporting means 6. The obliquely inclined disk-like element 4 and said links 3 have mutually interacting surfaces in order to facilitate the required contact between them. The mutual interaction is obtained by a bevel edge element 9 being arranged to the entire outer perimeter of said disk-like element 4. The bevel element 9 is arranged to interact with

said links 3. It should be noted that said disk-like element 4 and said bevel element 9 can be integrally manufactured. Instead of arranging the bevel element 9 to the outer perimeter of the disk-like element 4, it is also conceivable to arrange a suitable similar element on a suitable part of the links of the conveyor chain 1,2, such as the sides thereof. For various reasons, e. g. security reasons, the device can be provided with a cover 10 covering the rotatable disk-like element 4.

It should be noted that the term disk-like element'includes elements such as a disk and a wheel of suitable design, or any combinations thereof.

A primarily intended use for the device is to accomplish bends on conveyor chains. The extent of the bends discussed can be arbitrarily chosen between not bending a chain conveyor at all, e. g. only supporting it, and bending a chain conveyor more than 180 degress. Thus, bends are not limited to 90 or 180 degrees. The device according to the invention is not necessarily limited to facilitating bends on conveyor chains, but it can also be used as a chain conveyor track supporting means, as described above. Thus, it can be used to support the conveyor chain in the conveyor track.

According to a second preferred embodiment, the bevel element 9 can be provided with teeth on its outer perimeter and these teeth engage with corresponding teeth of the links 3 in order to improve their engagement and contact. Optionally, the bevel element 9 and the teeth can be integrally manufactured. However, a major reason for providing the bevel element 9 with teeth is to use the disk-like element 4 as a driving wheel driving the conveyor chain 1,2. If the disk-like element 4 with the fixed bevel element 9 is intended to be used as a

driving wheel then a suitable power supply known by the man skilled in the art can be used. In figure 2, another way of obtaining a mutual driving interaction of the disk-like element 4 and links 3 of a conveyor chain 1,2 is to give the bevel element 9 a somewhat alternative design, in which the bevel element 9 is provided with a U-shaped element around the entirety of the perimeter of the disk-like element 4. Such an element makes it possible to drive the links 3 through the bend on both sides of the links 3. Needless to say, this requires a suitable design of the chain conveyor.

If desired, a plurality of conveyor chains 1,2 can be arranged side-by-side to each other in order to provide a chain conveyor system for transportation of wider objects; one side of the object being supported by one conveyor chain 1 and the opposite side of the object being supported by another conveyor chain 2, as is depicted in Figure 1.

In order to eliminate the effects of forces and their momentum on the disk-like element 4, the bearing 5 and the supporting means 6 caused by the motion of the conveyor chain as it curves around a bend, at least one wheel 11 is arranged to the supporting means 6 to support said disk-like element 4 by receiving forces caused by the motion of the conveyor chain 1 combined with the oblique position of the disk-like element 4.

Without the wheel 11, the forces and their momentum would attempt to bend and/or deflict the disk-like element 4 and the bearing 5. The wheel 11 can be arranged so that the contacting surface of the wheel 11 is in contact with the upper side of the disk-like element 4 and in the vicinity of where the bevel element 9 of the disk-like element 4 is in contact with the links 3 of the conveyor chain 1, as described in Figure 1.

Alternatively, the wheel 11 can be arranged on the other side of the disk-like element 4 on the opposite angular location,

i. e. the underside of the disk-like element 4 and a rotation corresponding to half a revolution in angular direction around the bearing 5 compared to the location of the wheel 11 in figure 1. Another arrangement of the wheel 11 is to arrange it so that the axis of rotation of the wheel 11 is perpendicular to the principal transporting plane 8 of the adjacent links 3. However, this requires that the contacting area between the wheel 11 and the disk-like element 4 facilitates engaging contact. Thus, the disk-like element 4 can be provided with an edge resulting in a suitable contact between the surfaces of the disk-like element 4 and the at least one wheel 11. Also, it is possible that the contacting surface of the wheel 11 consists of a bevel surface in contact with the disk-like element 4.

A support element 12 and a guide list 13 are arranged at the cover 10 in order to support said conveyor chain. The purposes of the support element are, first, to receive vertical forces e. g. emanating from heavy load on the conveyor chain, second, to act as a sliding surface for the conveyor chain, and third to serve as a protection device for conveyor operators and other personell.

According to a third preferred embodiment, said device incorporates yet one disk-like element preferably mounted on the same axis as the first disk-like element 4, the object of the second disk-like element being to interact with links of the return chain. This interaction results in different directions of rotation of the two disk-like elements. Due to the oblique position of the disks, their diameter are not the same. It is possible to use both disk-like elements to drive the conveyor chain. Also, it is not necessary that both disk- like elements are mounted on the same bearing.