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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN STRAPPING DEVICE AND ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/162171
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The current invention concerns a strapping device (1) for securing loads, comprising a strapping module (2) and an adaptor module (3), said adaptor module (3) is configured for receiving an external power supply (4). In a further aspect, the current invention describes an assembly comprising such a strapping tool (1), releasable connected to an external power supply (4).

Inventors:
SOWA, Mario Gert (An der Hasel 235, Suhl, 98527, DE)
Application Number:
EP2015/058702
Publication Date:
October 29, 2015
Filing Date:
April 22, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CORDSTRAP B.V. (Nobelstraat 1, GA Oostrum, NL-5807, NL)
International Classes:
B25F3/00; B25B25/00; B60P7/08; B65B13/02; B65B13/18; B65B59/04
Foreign References:
US20140007781A12014-01-09
EP1454710A12004-09-08
US20050279517A12005-12-22
US20030085534A12003-05-08
EP1749620A12007-02-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRANTSANDPATENTS BVBA (Pauline Van Pottelsberghelaan 24, 9051 Ghent, BE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

A strapping device (1) for securing loads, comprising a strapping module (2) and an adaptor module (3), said adaptor module (3) is configured for receiving an external power supply (4) by power supply receiving means and whereby said adaptor module (3) comprises means for transmitting the electrical force generated by said power supply to a mechanical force.

Strapping device according to claim 1, characterized in that a quick release (11) is provided for releasable attaching said adaptor module to said external power supply.

Strapping device according to claim 2 whereby said quick release allows a rotational movement of said power supply (4) in view of said strapping strapping module (2) and adaptor module (3).

Strapping device according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said quick release (11) is provided at the level of said strapping module housing (6).

Strapping device according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said transmitting means comprise a worm (5), which is at least partially contained within the housing (6) of said strapping module (3) and in connection with a worm gear (7) present in said strapping module.

Strapping device according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said power supply receiving means comprise a tappet (8), said tappet (8) comprises a longitudinal element (10), for connecting to a threaded compartment (9) or Hex compartment of said power supply (4).

Strapping device according to claim 4, characterized in that said worm (5) is connected to said tappet (8) by tappet receiving means (12), located between said worm (5) and tappet (8), and whereby said longitudinal element (10) is in direct or indirect contact with said worm (5).

Strapping device according to claim 5, characterized in that said longitudinal element (10) comprises a longitudinal body, said body is ending towards a head (13), said head (13) rests in an indentation of said tappet receiving means (12).

9. Strapping device according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said strapping module (2) comprises means for cutting, braking and/or welding straps.

10. An assembly comprising a strapping device (1) according to any one of the claims 1 to 9, releasable connected to an external power supply by means of a quick release (11).

11. Assembly according to claim 10, characterized in that said power supply (4), when connected to said strapping tool (1), is rotatable in view of said strapping strapping module (2) and adaptor module (3).

12. Assembly according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said external power supply comprises one of the following : an electric drill; a pneumatic drill; or an electric screwdriver.

13. Assembly according to claim 12, characterized in that said power supply (4) is an electrical drill.

14. Assembly according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said power supply (4) is battery-powered.

15. Assembly according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said assembly has a maximal strapping force of 4000 daN.

16. Assembly according to claim 15, characterized in that said strapping force is set by torque selection means (19) present on said power supply.

17. Method for securing a load by means of an assembly according to any one of the claims 10 to 16, characterized in that said applied securing force is set by torque selection means (19) on said power supply.

Description:
ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN STRAPPING DEVICE AND ASSEMBLY TECHNICAL FIELD The invention pertains to the technical field of electrically driven strapping tools. More particularly, the invention relates to an externally-powered strapping or packaging tool that includes a strapping tool subassembly powered by an external power source. BACKGROUND

Various tools are known in the packaging art for performing numerous functions related to the manipulation of strapping, which is commonly used as a closing mechanism for securing loads in e.g. containers, and as a convenient means for easily attaching two objects to one another (e.g., attaching a box to a pallet). Some of these conventional tools are powered directly from a centralized system, such as a building electrical system or a central pneumatic system. A limited amount of strapping tools are internally provided with a power supply, whereby such supply is an integral part of the tool. Aforementioned types of conventional packaging tools have numerous limitations and drawbacks. The tools powered directly from a centralized system are not readily portable, and are rendered inoperable if the centralized system experiences an outage. While the packaging tools containing an integral power source are more portable, they have other significant limitations and drawbacks. For example, if there is a problem with the power source in one of these tools, the entire tool is rendered inoperable until the power source is repaired or replaced. Moreover, these tools are only designed to be powered by one particular power source, and thus, do not offer the user the flexibility to interchange the power sources if desired or required. Finally, although pneumatically driven strapping tools perform well, these are often cumbersome in use, and require a significant amount of man power. Moreover, the applied force is variable and hence cannot be applied uniformly amongst different loads.

Therefore, what is needed is a strapping tool that incorporates an external power source that is both portable and interchangeable, thereby greatly facilitating the replacement of the power source if required. WO 2014 008 493 describes a strapping tool that provides for an external power source which is coupled to the strapping tool. Downside of the tool as described in WO 2014 008 493 is the fact that when coupled, the strapping tool and the power source assembly are substantially immovable to each other. This restricts the use of the tool and the freedom of movement of the user. Moreover, due to its specific construction, the power supply is, once attached to the strapping tool, not readily and quickly interchangeable.

There remains a need in the art for an improved strapping device that can be alternatively powered by different external power sources. Moreover, there is a need for a strapping device that is powered by an external power source that is durable, reliable, sufficiently light, and both quick and easily interchangeable. Furthermore, there is a need for a packaging tool that is powered by an external power source that is compact and properly balanced with respect to the remainder of the device. The device should provide a force independently from its user and from other variables. Lastly, the device should allow a certain degree of flexibility to the user, and should allow movement of the power supply around a certain angle, in view of the strapping module.

The present invention aims to resolve at least some of the problems mentioned above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a strapping device according to claim 1 suitable for being connected to an external power supply. The current invention further describes an assembly of such a device connected to the power supply according to claim 10. Both modules are easily engaged and disengaged by means of an adaptor module which in certain embodiments allows a certain degree of rotational flexibility of the power supply in view of the strapping and adaptor module. The latter allows a better ergonomic use in view of the existing tools on the market. Moreover, the specific design of the adaptor module allows a flexible interchange of alternative power supplies, thereby broadening the action radius of the assembly. As such, the assembly is able to apply considerable forces, to date unknown to the current existing tools on the market. Finally, the assembly is easy in use and has a lightweight configuration but is yet robust and trustworthy. In a final aspect, the current invention equally relates to lashing and strapping of loads by means of the assembly according to the current invention. By doing so, a high degree of uniformity is achieved as the desired force can be pre-set in advance.

DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

Figure 1 shows a conventional pneumatic strapping device known in the art.

Figure 2 shows a strapping device and adaptor module engageable to an external power supply according to a possible embodiment of the current invention.

Figure 3 shows the device of figure 2, whereby the sub-modules are engaged as a functional unit. Figures 4 to 6 show various embodiments of the adaptor module according to the current invention, and its different components.

Figures 7 A and B show possible embodiment of an assembly according to the current invention with sectional view of the adaptor and strapping module.

Figure 8 shows a possible quick release according to an embodiment of the current invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a strapping device for securing loads, comprising a strapping module and an adaptor module, which is connectable to an external power supply. Unless otherwise defined, all terms used in disclosing the invention, including technical and scientific terms, have the meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. By means of further guidance, term definitions are included to better appreciate the teaching of the present invention.

As used herein, the following terms have the following meanings: "A", "an", and "the" as used herein refers to both singular and plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. By way of example, "a compartment" refers to one or more than one compartment. "About" as used herein referring to a measurable value such as a parameter, an amount, a temporal duration, and the like, is meant to encompass variations of +/-20% or less, preferably +/-10% or less, more preferably +/-5% or less, even more preferably +/-1% or less, and still more preferably +/-0.1% or less of and from the specified value, in so far such variations are appropriate to perform in the disclosed invention. However, it is to be understood that the value to which the modifier "about" refers is itself also specifically disclosed.

"Comprise," "comprising," and "comprises" and "comprised of" as used herein are synonymous with "include", "including", "includes" or "contain", "containing", "contains" and are inclusive or open-ended terms that specifies the presence of what follows e.g. component and do not exclude or preclude the presence of additional, non-recited components, features, element, members, steps, known in the art or disclosed therein. The recitation of numerical ranges by endpoints includes all numbers and fractions subsumed within that range, as well as the recited endpoints.

The expression "% by weight" (weight percent), here and throughout the description unless otherwise defined, refers to the relative weight of the respective component based on the overall weight of the formulation.

The strapping device according to the current invention comprises a strapping module and an adaptor module, connected to said strapping module. The adaptor module is configured to receive an external power supply by power supply receiving means.

To this purpose, the adaptor module comprises means for transmitting the electrical force generated by said power supply to a mechanical force and whereby said means hence allow a functional link between the strapping function (and optionally other functions of the strapping module such as welding and cutting) and the external power supply. As such, the power provided by the power supply is translated into mechanical force by means of the adaptor module. More preferably, said device will make use of the torque provided by the external power supply. The latter is made possible by the specific construction and form of the adaptor module. Said transmitting means may comprise various suitable elements such as a worm and worm gear, bearings, etc. These elements will be outlined in detail below.

Preferably, said strapping module will be a conventional pneumatic strapping device known in the art, suitable for receiving or engaged with an adaptor module according to the current invention. As such, when engaged to the external power supply, the device may be used both in the conventional pneumatic way as in an electrically driven manner. Said strapping module may further comprise means for cutting and/or welding straps. Suitable strapping modules known in the art include the Cordstrap CT 30PN, CT 35PN, CT 40PN, CT 50PN and CT 60PN. The connection between the strapping device and the external power supply may be obtained by attachment means, which allows fast and easy (dis)connection. Said attachment means are preferably a quick release. Quick releases are typically known in the art. For the purpose of the current invention, said 'quick release' is to be understood as a type of connection which allows easy assembling and disassembling of compartments, preferably by a minimal of applied force by the user. Examples of quick releases may comprise for instance, but are not limiting to a male and female portion, snap-fit elements, a screw/bore/pin and clamping body etc. Said quick release is provided for releasably attaching said adaptor and strapping module to said power supply. This allows the user to easily interchange between various sorts of power supplies, and to quickly attach/detach the power supply to said strapping device. Preferably, said quick release is provided at the level of said strapping module housing.

When connected to said strapping tool, the power supply as well as the adaptor module may in an embodiment be rotatable along a longitudinal axis of said strapping tool, e.g. allowing a rotational movement of said power supply (4) in view of said strapping strapping module (2) and adaptor module (3). This rotational movement is allowed by said quick release. This way the ergonomic use of the assembly is greatly enhance, as well as its user friendliness. The user may freely amend the position of the power supply in view of the strapping tool, e.g. by utility means such as a hex key or Allen key. This may be important in situations where the working area is unconventional or difficult to be reached (e.g. above the head, in difficult angles), as is often the case when securing loads. If the device is provided with a rotational movement function, said rotation may be between 1┬░ and maximally 360┬░.

Said strapping device is attached to the power supply by power supply receiving means present in the adaptor module. The latter ensure adequate connection of both modules, and may comprise various elements such as a tappet.

The external power comprises preferably one of the following : an electric drill; a pneumatic drill; or an electric screwdriver; a pneumatic drill; a right- angle grinder; or a circular saw.

Most preferably, said power supply is an electrical screwdriver or drill. Said power supply is preferably battery-powered, such as comprising a battery pack. The nature and design of the adaptor module part of the assembly according to the current invention allows attachment of various sorts of power supplies (on one and the same adaptor module), readily known on the market. Possible examples of suitable power supplies are for instance the Milwaukee® M 12 or M 18 drill model, the Dewalt DCD 785/ 795/ 985/ 995 model, the Makita DDF 451 or the Bosch GSR 18 model (amongst others) and the right-angle drill, e.g. Milwaukee 12v Right Angle Drill C12RAD & BAG Angled Drill - C12RAD22.

The high degree of versatility of the device and assembly according to the current invention offers a great advantage in view of the tools currently known. The device and assembly according to the current invention is useful for at least two different applications in the field of load securing. The assembly may be used for strapping, whereby relatively small bands are used, e.g. from 13 to 20 mm, and relatively low forces, preferably up to 500 daN are needed. Secondly, the device and assembly according to the current invention may be used for lashing purpose. Typically, bands for lashing have a width between 20 and 60 mm. Applied forces may vary between 500 and 4000 daN. Hence, said assembly according to the current invention has a maximal strapping force of 4000 daN, which is much higher than what is currently known in the art. Said desired force can be chosen (e.g. by the torque selection means or ring on the power supply) and pre-set by the user or operator. The settings will depend on the type of load to be secured. This is again an advantage in view of the devices and assemblies known in the art.

In a preferred embodiment of the current invention, said strapping device is provided with force setting means, which allow setting of a preferred force to be applied. These force setting means allow the choice of force dependent on the strap and buckle combination that is used. In a more preferred embodiment, said force setting means allow a scaled setting of the force, e.g. from a scale from 1 to 10, whereby 1 represents the lowest force and 10 the highest force.

In a further embodiment, said assembly is provided by a forward running and reverse function. The latter allows ease of use and optimal performance.

The assembly may further be provided with accessory connecting means for allowing the addition of accessories which are to be used in conjunction with strapping and lashing applications.

In a preferred embodiment, a rubber padding is provided for protecting the device and assembly in case of accidental falls.

Straps or bands suitable to be used according to the current invention include composite straps, polypropylene straps or polyester straps with or without a polymer coating. By preference, the current invention is used in conjunction with polyester straps, comprising polyester yarns, either woven or composite yarns. Straps produced of composite yarns will by preference be coated in a polymer coating such as polypropylene or polyethylene.

In a final aspect, the current invention provides for a method for securing a load by means of an assembly as described herein.

The present invention will be now described in more details, referring to examples that are not limitative. Figure 1 shows a conventional strapping tool or tensioner known in the art, which is pneumatically driven. The tool is powered by a pneumatic motor and the force is set via the air pressure feeding the pneumatic tool. In the current invention, such conventional tool may be readily converted to an electrically powered device and assembly according to the current invention.

Figures 2 to 7 show possible embodiments of the current invention. Figure 2 shows the three modules of the assembly according to the current invention : the strapping module (2) is engageable to the adaptor module (3), forming a strapping device (1). Said adaptor module (3) is on its turn configured for receiving a power supply (4). The adaptor module is shown in sectional view. Figure 3 and 7 show views of possible embodiments of the assembly according to the current invention, whereby said three modules are connected. The assembly as such allows securing of loads by the electrically driven assembly. In figures 3 and 7, both the strapping and the adaptor module are shown in sectional view.

Figure 7A shows a possible embodiment of the current invention, whereby said power supply (4) comprises a pistol-like grip. An alternative embodiment is shown in figure 7B, where the power supply (4) comprises a right angle tool. Both embodiments are provided with a lever (24), preferably located under the power supply (4), for controlling the device or specific functions of the device. To that purpose, said lever (24) may be (inter)connected with the housing of the strapping module (2) or with one or more units within the strapping module (2) such as for instance the braking unit (18). As such, the lever (24) is suitable for adapting the functioning of e.g. the braking unit (18) to the personal needs of the user (e.g. depending on hand width). This is particularly the case for the embodiment as shown in figure 7B. The embodiments shown in figure 7A and 7B comprise an ergonomic grip and are suitable to be used with one hand.

Figures 4 to 6 show detailed and sectional views of the strapping device according to an embodiment according to the current invention, engaged to different versions of power supplies, as well as dissected sectional views the various sub- elements of the adaptor module and top views of certain sub-elements. In an embodiment, the strapping device (1) according to the current invention is suitable for securing loads, and comprises a strapping module (2) and an adaptor module (3). As shown in figures 2 to 7, said adaptor module (3) is configured for receiving an external power supply (4) and comprises to that purpose power supply receiving means. The specific configuration of the adaptor and strapping module further allows the transmission of the electrical force generated by the power supply to a mechanical force. To that purpose the adaptor module (3) comprises a worm (5), which is at least partially contained within the housing (6) of said strapping module (3) and which is in connection with a worm gear (7) present in the strapping module (2).

Said worm (5) is further connected to a tappet (8) comprising a longitudinal element (10), whereby said element (10) is either in direct or indirect contact with said worm (5), and whereby said tappet (8) and said element (10) are suited for connecting to a threaded compartment (9) or Hex compartment of an external power supply. When said power supply (4) is engaged to the strapping device (1), the torque generated by the power supply (4) is transmitted via the internal design of the adaptor module (3) to the worm gear (7) of the strapping device (1). The longitudinal element (10) which is comprised in the area formed by the tappet (8) will fit into the threaded compartment (9) of the power supply (4). Said threaded compartment (9) or Hex compartment can for instance be part of the chuck of an electrical drill and is suited for receiving for instance a drill bit.

The tappet (8) is designed such that it can surround the threaded compartment (9) or Hex compartment when engaged to the power supply (4). When the adaptor module (3) is engaged to the strapping module (2), the tappet (8) and the longitudinal element (10) are preferably at least partially comprised within the housing (7) of said strapping module (2). The tappet (8) may be directly into contact with the worm (5) downstream within the adaptor module (3) by means of one or more bearings (16). In another embodiment, as shown on the figures, the tappet (8) may be mounted on or engaged to tappet receiving means (12), for instance a plate or compartment in contact with the downstream worm (5) or bearings (16), whereby said tappet receiving means (12) are provided with an indentation (15) suitable for receiving part of the longitudinal element (10) located within the tappet (8). The longitudinal element (10) preferentially comprises of a longitudinal body which ends towards a head (13). Said longitudinal element (10) may for instance be a screw, a bolt or nut. Said head (13) may for instance take the form of conventional forms known in the art such as a pan head, a button or dome head, a round head, a mushroom or truss head, a countersunk or flat head, an oval or raised head, a bugle head, a cheese head, a fillister head or a flanged head and any other heads known in the art and suitable to be implemented in the current invention. The tappet receiving means (12) are preferably located between the worm (5) and the tappet (8).

As shown in figures 4A, 5A and 6A, the head (13) rests in an indentation of said tappet receiving means (12). When operating the assembly (14), the applied torque will hence be transmitted via the tappet and the longitudinal element in contact with the tappet receiving means to the underlying bearings (16) and the worm (5), in order to finally be transmitted to said worm gear (7). As such, the electrical power generated by the power supply (4) is translated to mechanical power, suitable for performing strapping and/or lashing. The desired force is set by torque setting or selection means (19) present on said power supply. As such, the assembly according to the current invention allows reproducibility of the applied force during its performance. Figures 4C, 5C and 6D show a top view of the tappet (8) according to the current invention.

The tappet (8) is provided with a partition for receiving the longitudinal element (10). Figures 4B, 5B and 6C show a top view of the threaded compartment (9) according to the current invention. As can be derived from these figures, both tappet (8) and threaded compartment (9) can be interconnected, preferably by formfitting means.

As shown in figure 4 and figure 6, the adaptor module (3) may further be provided by additional elements such as handles, connector elements, etc. which allow perfect connection of a specifically chosen power supply to the adaptor module (3). The latter elements can be provided as add-ons (20) to the basic configuration of said adaptor module (3) and may be connected by means of a quick release. These add-ons allow that almost any of the known battery powered screw drivers or drills are connectable to adaptor module (4). The external power supply (4) is releasable connected to the strapping tool (1) by means of a quick release (11). Said quick release (11) is present at the level of the housing of the strapping module. The latter allows easy connecting and disconnecting of various power supplies to the strapping tool according to the current invention. As shown in figure 8, a possible embodiment of a quick release (11) according to the current invention may comprise a tubular body (21), such as a pin, said pin has a threaded end which is suitable for receiving a screw or threaded cap (22). The other end of said pin (21) is provided with clamping means (23) such as a lever. Said clamping means are preferably movable from a non- clamping, "open" position to a clamping, "closed" position. Said closed position is substantially perpendicular to the pin (21). The quick release (11) is provided at the level of the housing of the strapping module (4), more specifically there where the housing of the strapping module, the adaptor module and the power supply meet. By a simple mechanism, the user may attach or de-attach the power supply from the assembly, hence increasing the user-friendliness of the device.

Features on the figures

1 strapping device

2 strapping module

3 adaptor module

4 power supply

5 worm

6 housing

7 worm gear

8 tappet

9 threaded compartment

10 longitudinal element

11 quick release

12 tappet receiving means

13 head

14 assembly

15 indentation

16 bearings

17 cutting unit

18 braking unit

19 torque selection means

20 add-on tubular body threaded cap clamping means lever