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Title:
ICE CUTTING MAINTENANCE MACHINE AND METHOD FOR USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/197091
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An ice leveling and maintenance device. The ice sheet maintenance device is designed to be moved across an ice surface for maintaining a level ice surface. The device includes a cutting assembly having a rotary cutter for engagement with the ice surface. The depth of cut is adjustable during operation and includes independent adjustment at opposed ends of the device to improve performance. Preferably, the depth of cut is maintained through communication with a remote leveling feature, wherein the depth of cut is autonomously controlled.

Inventors:
EIJL, Paul, Van (W579 Rocky Ridge Rd, Fountain City, WI, 54629, US)
EIJL, Dave, Van (115 Main Street, Elgin, MN, 55932, US)
Application Number:
US2017/032118
Publication Date:
November 16, 2017
Filing Date:
May 11, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EIJL, Paul, Van (W579 Rocky Ridge Rd, Fountain City, WI, 54629, US)
EIJL, Dave, Van (115 Main Street, Elgin, MN, 55932, US)
International Classes:
E01H4/02; A63C19/10; E01H4/00; E01H5/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016086094A12016-06-02
Foreign References:
US3044193A1962-07-17
US3705746A1972-12-12
US6948267B22005-09-27
US7698837B22010-04-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GEISER, Greg, N. (Gutwein Law, 200 S. Meridian StSuite 42, Indianapolis IN, 46225, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

An ice cutting and maintenance device for an ice surface, the device adapted for movement across the ice surface, the ice cutting and maintenance device comprising:

a frame portion, the frame portion providing support for the components of the device and having opposed ends, the opposed ends defining a width of the device;

at least one shaft, the at least one shaft received in rotational

communication on the frame and extending the width of the device;

a motor, the motor coupled to the shaft, wherein movement of the motor

rotates the shaft in a direction perpendicular to the ice surface; a cutter, the cutter received along the width of the shaft, the

cutter having a cutting blade, the cutting blade having a cutting edge movably positioned for engagement with and removal of a portion of the ice surface;

a pair of height adjustment means, each of the height adjustment means of the pair of height adjustment means positioned on an opposed end of the frame of the device, the height adjustment means adapted to raise and lower the height of the end independently relative to the ice surface; and

an attachment means, the attachment means coupled to the frame and allowing for removable attachment to the pulling vehicle.

2. An ice cutting and maintenance device for an ice surface as in claim 1, wherein the device includes a pair of shafts of the at least one shaft, each shaft of the pair of shafts coupled to the motor and including a plurality of cutters, the plurality of cutters received along the width of the shaft, the plurality of cutters each having a cutting blade, the cutting edge movably positioned with for engagement with and removal of the ice surface.

3. A device as in claim 2, wherein the plurality of cutters are arranged across the device width to form a continuous cutting path.

4. A device as in claim 1, wherein the device ends include wheels, the wheels

coupled to the frame and having an adjustable height.

5. A device as in claim 1, wherein the cutting blades are removable.

6. A device as in claim 1, wherein the each height adjustment means is

independently coupled to a signaling device, wherein each end of device can be independently moved in an up or down direction relative to the ice surface.

7. An ice cutting and maintenance device for an ice surface, the device adapted for coupling to a pulling vehicle, the ice cutting and maintenance device comprising: a frame portion, the frame portion providing support for the components of the device and having opposed ends, the opposed ends defining a width of the device;

at least two shafts, the at least two shafts received in rotational communication on the frame and extending the width of the device;

a motor, the motor coupled to the shafts, wherein movement of the motor

rotates the shafts in a direction perpendicular to the ice surface; a plurality of cutters, the cutters received along the width of the shafts, the

plurality of cutters having a cutting blade, the cutting blade having a cutting edge movably positioned for engagement with and removal of a portion of the ice surface;

a pair of height adjustment means, each of the height adjustment means of

the pair of height adjustment means positioned on an opposed end of the frame of the device, the height adjustment means adapted to raise and lower the height of the end independently relative to the ice surface;

an attachment means, the attachment means coupled to the frame and allowing for removable attachment to the pulling vehicle; and a pair of wheels, each wheel of the pair of wheels positioned on an opposed end of the frame, each wheel movable up and down relative to the ice surface to allow for the movement and transport of the device.

8. A device as in claim 7, wherein the plurality of cutters are arranged across the device width to form a continuous cutting path.

9. A device as in claim 8, wherein the cutting blades are removable.

10. A device as in claim 7, wherein the each height adjustment means is

independently coupled to a signaling device, wherein each end of device can be independently moved in an up or down direction relative to the ice surface. 11. A device as in claim 10, wherein the signally device is a laser.

12. A device as in claim 7, wherein the device is affixed to an ice resurfacer.

13. A device as in claim 7, wherein the device includes a pair of motors, each motor of the pair of motors is individually coupled to one shaft of the pair of shafts.

14. A method for leveling and ice surface, the method comprising utilizing a device as in claim 1 on an ice surface to cut, shave, and remove ice.

Description:
TITLE: Ice Cutting Maintenance Machine and Method for Use

SPECIFICATION CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to United States Provisional Patent Application No. 62/335908 filed 13 May 2016 to the above named inventors, and is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT Not Applicable SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM Not Applicable

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cutting device for leveling an ice rink or related ice surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Traditional ice resurfacing machines are utilized on an ice surface to scrape, clean, and place fresh water onto the ice surface. A typical ice surface includes a boarder area, such as the area known as "the boards" on a hockey rink, surrounding the ice surface. This boarder area defines the ice surface and functions as a barrier to the surrounding areas keeping water and flying objects within its interior.

Throughout the use of the ice surface, spent ice, or as it is sometimes called, snow, collects along this boarder. As a traditional ice-resurfacing machine is unable to condition or resurface the ice directly against the boards, this snow and ice directly along the boards begins to collect and build up. This build up along the boards results in an uneven ice surface that can effect safety and gameplay on a given ice surface.

Additionally, over time, through various resurfacing conditions and operators, a given ice surface can develop an uneven surface. This uneven surface is typically caused through the placement of too much or too little resurfacing water onto the ice surface. Typically, due to the resurfacing path, the corners and edges of an ice surface can be the most problematic areas.

Traditionally, to combat the problem of an uneven ice surface, an ice edger is used. This ice edger is structured similar to a walk behind or push mower and includes a cutting blade that has a rotational path parallel to the ice surface. As the blade spins, the ice is shaved and directed towards the center of the rink. Typically, an operator of the edger walks behind the edger and slowly adjusts the depth of cut to remove high spots. This process can be time consuming, potentially dangerous, and difficult to ensure that the proper amount of ice is removed to create a level surface.

Although a traditional ice edger is suitable for leveling the ice surface along the boards, it is difficult to operate across the entire rink surface to remove high spots not along the boards. Additionally, due to the time consuming nature of the task, ice edging is done too infrequently. Therefore, there is a need for an improved ice cutting or edging device that does not suffer from the deficiencies of the standard edger.

Preferably, this cutting device has the ability to be affixed to a new or traditional ice resurfacing device, has an automatic means to adjust the depth of cut, and is able to be utilized effectively across the entire ice surface.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A new and improved ice-cutting device is disclosed. The ice-cutting device is generally designed for placement behind an ice-resurfacing device where it may be coupled to an ice-resurfacer and pulled around an ice surface. Alternately, the device can be affixed to a handle and pushed around the ice surface. The device includes a cutting blade placed upon a rotating shaft. The shaft is positioned parallel to the ice surface and rotated in a direction perpendicular to the ice surface, wherein the cutting blade "digs" into the ice surface, effectively cutting the ice surface to remove unwanted and accumulated ice. Preferably, the cutting blade is comprised of a plurality of cutters paced upon the shaft. The device includes a frame member for the mounting, storage, and placement of the various components of the device. The height of the cutters is adjusted through a height adjustment means located at opposed ends of the device, wherein the depth of cut can be adjusted independently at each end of the device. The height adjustment means may be in communication with additional devices and systems, wherein the height adjustment means is controlled remotely. Accordingly, the height adjustment means may be coupled to a leveling system, such as a laser leveling system.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a plurality of cutters are mounted on a pair of rotating shafts positioned adjacent to each other. The pair of rotating shafts including a plurality of independent cutting teeth. The independent cutting teeth arranged in a pattern to cut continuously across the width of the device as it is measured from to end to end.

Preferably, the cutting device includes a bracket allowing for the coupling of the cutting device to an ice-resurfacer, wherein the device is pulled behind the resurfacer. Accordingly, the cutting device can be coupled to any number of vehicles, including self propelled, self-driven, automatic, or traditional ice resurfacers. Alternately, the bracket can be coupled to a handle, wherein the device can be manually pushed along the ice surface and propelled though the rotation of the cutting assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING (S)

The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present invention and together with the description serve to further explain the principles of the invention. Other aspects of the invention and the advantages of the invention will be better appreciated as they become better understood by reference to the Detailed Description when considered in conjunction with accompanying drawings, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the bottom of the cutting device, according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the top of the cutting device with the cover raised, according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the bottom of the cutting device with the cover raised, according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the top of the cutting device with the cover removed, according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the bottom of the cutting device with the cover removed, according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an isometric and isolated view of the bottom of the cutting portion of the cutting device, according to the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is an isometric and isolated view of the bottom of the cutting portion of the cutting device with various components removed, according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description includes references to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the detailed description. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, which are also referred to herein as "examples," are described in enough detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. The embodiments may be combined, other embodiments may be utilized, or structural, and logical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

Before the present invention is described in such detail, however, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular variations set forth and may, of course, vary. Various changes may be made to the invention described and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation, material, composition of matter, process, process act(s) or step(s), to the objective(s), spirit or scope of the present invention. All such modifications are intended to be within the scope of the disclosure made herein.

Unless otherwise indicated, the words and phrases presented in this document have their ordinary meanings to one of skill in the art. Such ordinary meanings can be obtained by reference to their use in the art and by reference to general and scientific dictionaries.

References in the specification to "one embodiment" indicate that the embodiment described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but every embodiment may not necessarily include the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the knowledge of one skilled in the art to affect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described.

The following explanations of certain terms are meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive. These terms have their ordinary meanings given by usage in the art and in addition include the following explanations.

As used herein, the term "and/or" refers to any one of the items, any

combination of the items, or all of the items with which this term is associated.

As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

As used herein, the terms "include," "for example," "such as," and the like are used illustratively and are not intended to limit the present invention.

As used herein, the terms "preferred" and "preferably" refer to embodiments of the invention that may afford certain benefits, under certain circumstances. However, other embodiments may also be preferred, under the same or other circumstances. Furthermore, the recitation of one or more preferred embodiments does not imply that other embodiments are not useful, and is not intended to exclude other embodiments from the scope of the invention. As used herein, the term "coupled" means the joining of two members directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary in nature or movable in nature and/or such joining may allow for the flow of fluids, electricity, electrical signals, or other types of signals or communication between two members. Such joining may be achieved with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being attached to one another. Such joining may be permanent in nature or alternatively may be removable or releasable in nature.

It will be understood that, although the terms first, second, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, these elements should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one element from another. For example, a first element could be termed a second element, and, similarly, a second element could be termed a first element without departing from the teachings of the disclosure.

Referring now to FIG. 1-7, various views of a cutting device for use in the maintenance and leveling of an ice surface, generally referred to as device 10, are shown. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the device 10 is comprised of a frame 100 defining a perimeter of the device 10 and defining a width and a length of the device 10. This frame 100 is preferably rigid and designed to support the internal components of the device providing strength and support to internal components. In use, the frame 100 is surrounded by a cover 200. The cover 200 protecting the internal components of the device 10. The device 10 width extends from opposed ends of the device 10. The frame 100 is generally supported on the ice surface through a pair of wheels 102 located on each end of the device 10. The wheels 102 aid in the transport of the device 10 and are primarily engaged to move the device 10 onto and off of the ice surface the device 10 is operated upon. The device 10 is designed to be pulled behind an ice resurfacing machine or other pulling vehicle and coupled to the resurfacing machine or pulling vehicle through a pair of brackets 103 positioned on each end of the device 10 and acting as an auxiliary component in the maintenance of a sheet of ice. Alternately, the brackets 103 can be coupled to a handle member and the device 10 manually pushed across the ice surface.

The primary purpose of the device 10 is to cut, shave, or generally remove high spots or uneven areas present on an ice surface. To complete this task, the device 10 includes a plurality of cutters 101. These cutters 101 are mounted to and around a shaft 110 and include cutting blades 111 having a cutting edge positioned to contact and remove a portion of the ice surface along this cutting edge. The shaft 110 extends the relative width of the device 10 parallel to the sheet of ice the device 10 is placed upon. The shaft 110 is coupled to at least one motor 104 providing rotational energy to the shaft 110. Preferably, the at least one motor 104 is coupled to a power source, such as a battery or batteries 105. Although, an electric motor is preferred, other motor types, such as propane, could be used. This shaft 110 and correspondingly affixed cutters 101 rotate in a direction perpendicular to the ice surface, wherein the cutter 101 blades 111 contact the ice surface with downward force to remove undesired material.

Preferably, the cutters 101 are provided in a plurality and mounted on a pair of shafts 110 adjacent to each other in a redundant assembly structure. The cutters 101 are spatially aligned along a length each shaft of the pair of shafts 110 extending the width of the device 10, wherein the cutters 101 provide for continuous cutting across the width of the device 10. Accordingly, there is some overlap in the alignment the cutters 101 between each shaft of the pair of shafts 110 to ensure a continuous and smooth cut of the ice surface. The pair of shafts 110 and cutters 101 is preferred to allow for mounting of the shafts 110 to the frame 10 across the width of the shaft 110 as opposed to affixing the shafts 110 only at the ends of the device 10. This allows for an alignment of the cutters 101 to compensate for the presence of a supporting bracket along the shaft 110 width. This spatial arrangement allows for improved stiffness and is preferred to support the weight of the individual cutters 101. Further, this arrangement improves cutting efficiency as several areas of the ice surface are cut redundantly through the pair of the cutters 101 on the adjacent shafts 110.

The cutters 101 of the device 10 are individually affixed to the shaft 110 though a securing means and are preferably arranged individually in a helical pattern, wherein each successive cutter 101 blade edge is slightly directionally offset in its rotational positioning as it is affixed to the shaft 110. The cutters 101 of the device 10 are generally found within the art in the form of a jointer, planar, or surfacer rotating cutting assembly with a cutting edge 111 in the form of a knife blade. This is preferred as it allows for the replacement of the individual cutting blades 111 installed onto the cutting head of the cutter 101. Accordingly the cutters 101 are generally cylindrical and have a central aperture sized to receive the shaft 110. The cutters 101 positioning on the shaft 110 is secured though a fastener, wherein the alignment of individual cutters 101 can be adjusted.

Although individual cutting blades 111 are preferred for the cutting of the device 10, it is to be understood that a single cutting blade or a few cutting blades could alternately be used in an equivalent fashion.

The height and corresponding depth of the cut of the device 10 is adjusted on each end to allow for a raising and lowering of each end of the device 10 cutters 101, wherein the device 10 depth of cut can be manipulated in a tilted or angular fashion relative to the plane created along the ice surface to remove a greater or lesser amount of material at one end of the device 10. Preferably, the depth of cut is adjusted mechanically through a downward or upward motion of the cutters 101 through a coupling with a height adjusting means 120. The height adjustment means 120 is preferably an independent stepper motor (or as they are additionally known, step motor or stepping motors) coupled to a threaded rod, wherein movement of the motor turns the rod and moves the cutter 101 assembly in a vertical position perpendicular to a plane corresponding to the sheet of ice. Each side of the device 10 has its own individual height adjusting means 120 and stepper motor. Preferably, the height adjusting means 120 is in communication with external signal generating device, wherein the height of the depth of cut of the cutters 101 is based upon a fixed point external to the ice surface to ensure a completely level surface. Preferably, this is based upon laser level technology, wherein the device 10 includes a pair of signal receivers 300 coupled to each of the height adjusting means 120 to receive a laser signal and make adjustments accordingly. Although, an external system is preferred, the depth of cut can be manipulated manually.

In use, the device 10 is coupled to an existing ice resurfacing vehicle in a trailered configuration. Preferably the device 10 is coupled both mechanically and electronically, wherein the operator can make necessary adjustments to the operation of the device 10. The device 10 is pulled across the surface of the ice, where the device 10 cutters 101 remove high ice spots.

While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment(s), it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) but that the invention will include all embodiments falling with the scope of the appended claims.