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Title:
A FULLY AUTOMATED TIRE-FITTING APPARATUS AND RELATED METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/204456
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fully automated tire-fitting process having the steps: automatically conveying a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine; automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine; automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine; automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire-balancing machine; and automatically conveying the mounted, inflated, and balanced tire to a completed-tire-assembly zone, wherein at least one of the above steps is performed within a semi-trailer having a load area that is less than or equal to 3500 square feet.

Inventors:
MANIKAS, Mike (125 Westover Drive, Akron, Ohio, 44313, US)
Application Number:
US2019/027890
Publication Date:
October 24, 2019
Filing Date:
April 17, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MANIKAS, Mike (125 Westover Drive, Akron, Ohio, 44313, US)
International Classes:
B60C25/05; B60P3/14
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013040348A22013-03-21
Foreign References:
DE69808279T22003-04-17
US20090084506A12009-04-02
US8955897B12015-02-17
CN103171480B2016-01-13
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHLUE, Daniel J. (220 Market Avenue South, Suite 1000Canton, Ohio, 44702, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A fully automated tire-fitting process comprising the steps:

automatically conveying a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine;

automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine;

automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine;

automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine; automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire-balancing machine; and

automatically conveying the mounted, inflated, and balanced tire to a completed-tire-assembly zone, wherein at least one of the above steps is performed within a semi-trailer having a load area that is less than or equal to 3500 square feet.

2. The process of claim 1, further comprising the step of automatically dismounting an already mounted tire from the rim using an automated tire-dismounting machine before performing the step of automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine.

3. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

performing the steps of:

i) automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

ii) automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; iii) automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; iv) automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine;

v) automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire

balancing machine

within a semi-trailer having a load area that is less than or equal to 3500 square feet.

4. The process of claim 1, wherein the total weight of the semi-trailer and all automated equipment therein is less than or equal to 80,000 pounds.

5. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

performing the steps of:

i) automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

ii) automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; iii) automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; iv) automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine;

v) automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire

balancing machine

within two or more semi-trailers having a combined load area less than or equal to 7000 square feet.

6. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

performing the steps of:

i) automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

ii) automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; iii) automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; iv) automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine;

v) automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire

balancing machine

within two semi-trailers.

7. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

performing the steps of:

i) automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

ii) automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; iii) automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; iv) automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine;

v) automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire

balancing machine

within a plurality of semi-trailers having a combined total load area of less than or equal to 7,000 square feet.

8. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

performing the steps of:

i) automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

ii) automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; iii) automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; iv) automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine; v) automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire balancing machine

within three semi-trailers.

9. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

performing the steps of:

i) automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine;

ii) automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire-inflating machine; iii) automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; iv) automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine;

v) automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire

balancing machine

within a plurality of semi-trailers having a combined total load area of less than or equal to 10,500 square feet.

10. The process of claim 1, further comprising:

automatically conveying non-mounted tires to the automated tire-mounting machine.

11. The process of claim 2, further comprising automatically conveying non-mounted tires away from the automated tire-dismounting machine.

12. The process of claim 1, further comprising automatically performing tests upon a mounted, inflated, and balanced tire within the completed-tire-assembly zone.

13. The process of claim 1, wherein the process is performed in a time period that is less than five minutes.

14. The process of claim 1, wherein the process is performed in a time period that is less than three minutes.

15. The process of claim 1, wherein the process is performed in a time period that is less than two minutes.

16. The process of claim 1, wherein the automated tire-mounting machine is in a first semi-trailer, the automated tire-inflating machine is in a second semi-trailer, and the automated balancing machine is in a third semi-trailer.

17. A fully automated tire-fitting apparatus housed within a semi-trailer comprising:

a semi-trailer that holds:

a first automated conveyor configured to convey a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine; the automated tire-mounting machine configured to mount a tire onto the tire rim; a second automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted tire from the automated tire-mounting machine to an automated tire-inflating machine;

the automated tire-inflating machine configured to automatically inflate a mounted tire;

a third automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted and inflated tire from the automated tire- inflating machine to an automated tire-balancing machine;

the automated tire-balancing machine configured to automatically balance a mounted and inflated tire; a fourth automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted, inflated, and balanced tire from the automated tire-balancing machine to a completed-tire-assembly zone.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the semi-trailer has a load area less than or equal to 3500 square feet.

19. A fully automated tire-fitting apparatus comprising:

a plurality of semi-trailers that collectively hold:

a first automated conveyor configured to convey a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine; the automated tire-mounting machine configured to mount a tire onto the tire rim;

a second automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted tire from the automated tire-mounting machine to an automated tire-inflating machine;

the automated tire-inflating machine configured to automatically inflate a mounted tire;

a third automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted and inflated tire from the automated tire- inflating machine to an automated tire-balancing machine;

the automated tire-balancing machine configured to automatically balance a mounted and inflated tire; a fourth automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted, inflated, and balanced tire from the automated tire-balancing machine.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the plurality of semi-trailers have a combined load area less than or equal to 7,000 square feet.

21. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the plurality of semi-trailers have a combined load area less than or equal to 10,500 square feet.

Description:
TITLE TO THE INVENTION

A Fully Automated Tire-Fitting Apparatus and Related Methods

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This patent application claims priority to U.S. provisional patent application 62/658,811 that was filed on April 17, 2018. The provisional patent application's subject matter is incorporated by reference into this patent application.

BACKGROUND

There remains a need for more efficient tire fitting at competitive racing locations- more efficient with respect to time, space, and cost.

BRIEF SUM MARY OF THE INVENTION

A fully automated tire-fitting process having the steps: automatically conveying a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine; automatically mounting a first tire onto the tire rim using the automated tire-mounting machine; automatically conveying the mounted first tire to an automated tire- inflating machine; automatically inflating the mounted first tire using the automated tire-inflating machine; automatically conveying the mounted and inflated first tire to an automated tire-balancing machine; automatically balancing the mounted and inflated first tire using the automated tire-balancing machine; and automatically conveying the mounted, inflated, and balanced tire to a completed-tire- assembly zone, wherein at least one of the above steps is performed within a semi-trailer having a load area that is less than or equal to 3500 square feet.

A fully automated tire-fitting apparatus housed within a semi-trailer having: a semi-trailer that holds: a first automated conveyor configured to convey a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine; the automated tire-mounting machine configured to mount a tire onto the tire rim; a second automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted tire from the automated tire-mounting machine to an automated tire-inflating machine; the automated tire-inflating machine configured to automatically inflate a mounted tire; a third automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted and inflated tire from the automated tire-inflating machine to an automated tire-balancing machine; the automated tire balancing machine configured to automatically balance a mounted and inflated tire; a fourth automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted, inflated, and balanced tire from the automated tire balancing machine to a completed-tire-assembly zone.

A fully automated tire-fitting apparatus having: a plurality of semi-trailers that collectively hold: a first automated conveyor configured to convey a tire rim to an automated tire-mounting machine; the automated tire-mounting machine configured to mount a tire onto the tire rim; a second automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted tire from the automated tire-mounting machine to an automated tire-inflating machine; the automated tire-inflating machine configured to automatically inflate a mounted tire; a third automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted and inflated tire from the automated tire-inflating machine to an automated tire-balancing machine; the automated tire balancing machine configured to automatically balance a mounted and inflated tire; a fourth automatic conveyor configured to convey a mounted, inflated, and balanced tire from the automated tire balancing machine.

In competitive racing environments, having a mobile trailer that includes a fully automated and robotic tire-fitting apparatus remains unknown until now.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

Figure 1 is a schematic that shows a top view of a single-trailer embodiment.

Figure 2 is a schematic that shows a top view of a single-trailer embodiment.

Figure 3 is a schematic that shows a top view of a two-trailer embodiment.

Figure 4 is a schematic that shows a top view of a three-trailer embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments are shown in the figures and are directed to fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2. Fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2 is fully automatic and robotically performs all necessary operations for building a mounted, inflated, and balanced tire. Fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2 includes semi-trailer 400 housing a plurality of fully automatic and robotic components; additional embodiments are directed to related methods.

As shown in figure 1, fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2 includes semi-trailer 400 that houses first automated conveyor 6 that is configured to automatically convey used and mounted tire 17 to fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28. Fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28 is configured to automatically receive and robotically remove a first mounted tire 22 from tire rim 18. Second automated conveyor 8 is configured to automatically convey tire rim 18 away from fully automated tire- dismounting machine 28 to fully automated tire-mounting machine 30. Fully automated tire-mounting machine 30 is configured to automatically receive and robotically mount tire 20 onto tire rim 18, thereby creating mounted tire 22. Third automated conveyor 10 is configured to automatically convey mounted tire 22 away from fully automated tire-mounting machine 30 to fully automated tire-inflating machine 32. Fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 is configured to automatically receive and robotically inflate mounted tire 22, thereby creating mounted and inflated tire 24. Fourth automated conveyor 12 is configured to automatically convey mounted and inflated tire 24 away from fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 to fully automated tire-balancing machine 34. Fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 is configured to automatically receive and robotically balance mounted and inflated tire 24, thereby creating mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26. Fifth automated conveyor 14 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from fully automated tire-balancing machine 34.

As shown in figure 2, fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2 includes semi-trailer 400 that houses first automated conveyor 6 that is configured to automatically convey used and mounted tire 17 to fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28. Fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28 is configured to automatically receive and robotically remove a first mounted tire 22 from tire rim 18. Second automated conveyor 8 is configured to automatically convey tire rim 18 away from fully automated tire- dismounting machine 28 to fully automated tire-mounting machine 30. Fully automated tire-mounting machine 30 is configured to automatically receive and robotically mount tire 20 onto tire rim 18, thereby creating mounted tire 22. Third automated conveyor 10 is configured to automatically convey mounted tire 22 away from fully automated tire-mounting machine 30 to fully automated tire-inflating machine 32. Fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 is configured to automatically receive and robotically inflate mounted tire 22, thereby creating mounted and inflated tire 24. Fourth automated conveyor 12 is configured to automatically convey mounted and inflated tire 24 away from fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 to fully automated tire-balancing machine 34. Fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 is configured to automatically receive and robotically balance mounted and inflated tire 24, thereby creating mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26. Fifth automated conveyor 14 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 to completed-tire-assembly zone 36. Sixth automated conveyor 16 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from completed- tire-assembly zone 36.

As shown in figure 3, fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2 includes semi-trailer 400 that houses first automated conveyor 6 that is configured to automatically convey used and mounted tire 17 to fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28. Fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28 is configured to automatically receive and robotically remove a first mounted tire 22 from tire rim 18. Second automated conveyor 8 is configured to automatically convey tire rim 18 away from fully automated tire- dismounting machine 28 to fully automated tire-mounting machine 30. Fully automated tire-mounting machine 30 is configured to automatically receive and robotically mount tire 20 onto tire rim 18, thereby creating mounted tire 22. Third automated conveyor 10 is configured to automatically convey mounted tire 22 away from fully automated tire-mounting machine 30, out of semi-trailer 400, into second semi-trailer 402, to fully automated tire-inflating machine 32. Fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 is configured to automatically receive and robotically inflate mounted tire 22, thereby creating mounted and inflated tire 24. Fourth automated conveyor 12 is configured to automatically convey mounted and inflated tire 24 away from fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 to fully automated tire-balancing machine 34. Fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 is configured to automatically receive and robotically balance mounted and inflated tire 24, thereby creating mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26. Fifth automated conveyor 14 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 to completed-tire-assembly zone 36. Sixth automated conveyor 16 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from completed-tire-assembly zone 36.

As shown in figure 4, fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2 includes semi-trailer 400 that houses first automated conveyor 6 that is configured to automatically convey used and mounted tire 17 to fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28. Fully automated tire-dismounting machine 28 is configured to automatically receive and robotically remove a first mounted tire 22 from tire rim 18. Second automated conveyor 8 is configured to automatically convey tire rim 18 away from fully automated tire- dismounting machine 28 to fully automated tire-mounting machine 30. Fully automated tire-mounting machine 30 is configured to automatically receive and robotically mount tire 20 onto tire rim 18, thereby creating mounted tire 22. Third automated conveyor 10 is configured to automatically convey mounted tire 22 away from fully automated tire-mounting machine 30, out of semi-trailer 400, into second semi-trailer 402 to fully automated tire-inflating machine 32. Fully automated tire-inflating machine 32 is configured to automatically receive and robotically inflate mounted tire 22, thereby creating mounted and inflated tire 24. Fourth automated conveyor 12 is configured to automatically convey mounted and inflated tire 24 away from fully automated tire-inflating machine 32, out of second semi-trailer 402, into third semi-trailer 404, to fully automated tire-balancing machine 34. Fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 is configured to automatically receive and robotically balance mounted and inflated tire 24, thereby creating mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26. Fifth automated conveyor 14 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from fully automated tire-balancing machine 34 to completed-tire-assembly zone 36. Sixth automated conveyor 16 is configured to automatically convey mounted, inflated, and balanced tire 26 away from completed-tire-assembly zone 36.

In single-trailer embodiments, fully automated tire-assembly apparatus 2, including the semi-trailer and all fully automatic and robotic components therein, has a total weight that is less than or equal to 80,000 pounds.

Semi-trailers are well known and commercially available. A person of ordinary skill in the art will be able to select and acquire useful semi-trailers without having to exercise undue experimentation. Any known semi-trailer can be used in the embodiments. These known commercially available semi-trailers can be used for first semi-trailer 400, second semi-trailer 402, and third semi-trailer 404. In embodiments, useful semi-trailers include those that have a load area that is less than or equal to 3500 square feet. In two-trailer embodiments, a useful combined load area for first semi-trailer 400 and second semi-trailer 402 is less than or equal to 7,000 square feet. In three-trailer embodiments, a useful combined load area for first semi-trailer 400, second semi-trailer 402, and third semi-trailer 402 is less than or equal to 10,500 square feet.

Fully automated conveyors are well known and commercially available. A person of ordinary skill in the art will be able to select and acquire useful commercial conveyors without having to exercise undue experimentation. These commercially available fully automated conveyors can be used for first conveyor 6, second conveyor 8, third conveyor 10, fourth conveyor 12, fifth conveyor 14, and sixth conveyor 16.

All of the following are well known and commercially available: fully automated and robotic tire- dismounting machines, fully automated and robotic tire-mounting machines, fully automated and robotic tire-inflation machines, and fully automated and robotic tire-balancing machines. A person of ordinary skill in the art will be able to select and acquire any of these known and useful commercial machines without having to exercise undue experimentation. Respectively speaking, for automated tire-dismounting machine 28, automated tire-mounting machine 30, automated tire-inflating machine 32, and automated tire-balancing machine 34, any of these known commercial machines can be used in embodiments.

Tire rims and tires are well known, and any known fitted combination of tire rims and tires can be used in any of the embodiments.