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Title:
LOCKING MECHANISM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/162670
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A locking mechanism (10) and an animal containment apparatus (16) incorporating the locking mechanism. The locking mechanism includes a pair of spaced profiled arcuate passages (26) between the outside of an inner coaxial member (12) and the inside of an outer coaxial member (14). Each passage has end sections (28) and a mid-section (30), the mid-section being of reduced width. A locking member (34) is movably located in each end section and is of a size such that it cannot fully pass through the mid-section so that if the locking member is urged into the mid-section it will jam between the coaxial members thereby preventing relative rotational movement between the coaxial members and engaging the locking mechanism. An engagement member (36) is provided locatable in the mid-section and is selectively movable along the mid-section to urge a respective one of the locking members out of the mid-section towards the respective end section, to disengage the locking mechanism.

Inventors:
ALLEN, Robert Edward (IAEMossfield Road, Adderley Green, Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire ST3 5BW, ST3 5BW, GB)
Application Number:
GB2019/050472
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 20, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
F KLUCZNIK & SON LIMITED (IAEMossfield Road, Adderley Green, Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire ST3 5BW, ST3 5BW, GB)
International Classes:
A01K1/06; F16C19/50; F16C41/00
Foreign References:
EP0884494A11998-12-16
FR3007335A12014-12-26
GB1528615A1978-10-18
FR2936397A12010-04-02
EP0447150A21991-09-18
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HIGGIN, Paul et al. (Swindell & Pearson Ltd, 48 Friar Gate, Derby Derbyshire DE1 1GY, DE1 1GY, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A locking mechanism to permit relative rotational movement between inner and outer coaxial members when the mechanism is disengaged, and prevent such relative rotational movement when the mechanism is engaged, the locking mechanism including a pair of spaced profiled arcuate passages between the outside of the inner coaxial member and the inside of the outer coaxial member, each arcuate passage having respective end sections and a mid-section, the mid-section being of reduced width relative to the end sections,

a respective locking member being movably located in each end section, the locking member being of a size such that it cannot fully pass through the mid-section so that if the locking member is urged into the mid-section it will jam between the inner and outer coaxial members thereby preventing relative rotational movement therebetween and engaging the locking mechanism, an engagement member being provided beatable in the mid-section and selectively movable along the mid-section to urge a respective one of the locking members out of the mid-section towards the respective end section, to disengage the locking mechanism and permit relative rotational movement.

2. A locking mechanism as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the locking mechanism is automatically urged to an engaged condition.

3. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the locking members are resiliently urged towards the mid-section so as to cause automatic engagement of the locking mechanism.

4. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein a respective spring is located at the far end of each end section to urge the respective locking member towards the mid-section.

5. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the engagement member is connected to a control member which is rotatably movable to a limited degree relative to the inner member.

6. A locking mechanism as claimed in claim 5, wherein a handle arrangement is connected to the control member.

7. A locking mechanism as claimed in claim 5 or 6, wherein the control member is in the form of a cover rotatably mounted on the inner member.

8. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the locking members and/or engagement members are in the form of cylindrical members slidably movable along the respective arcuate passages.

9. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the outer coaxial member is in the form of a drum, with the inner coaxial member located wholly within the drum.

10. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the inner coaxial member is in the form of a rotor.

1 1 . A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the profiled arcuate passages are diametrically opposite each other.

12. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the profiled arcuate passages each extend for between 80 and 150°.

13. A locking mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein bearings are provided between the inner and outer coaxial members to facilitate rotational movement therebetween.

14. An animal containment apparatus, the apparatus including a restraining member rotatably mounted to a frame with an end of the restraining member rotatably movable into or out of the frame, and a locking mechanism according to any of the preceding claims to permit the restraining member to be rotated relative to the frame to a required position by an operator, and to automatically lock in the required position.

15. An animal containment apparatus as claimed in claim 14, when dependent upon claim 5, wherein a handle is provided on one side of the frame connected to the control member, and engageable by an operator to rotate the locking mechanism and hence restraining member.

16. An animal containment apparatus as claimed in claim 15, wherein a respective handle may be provided on each side of the frame.

17. An animal containment apparatus as claimed in any of claims 14 to 16, wherein the restraining member is connected to the outer coaxial member.

18. An animal containment apparatus as claimed in any of claims 14 to 17, when dependent upon claim 5, wherein the control member connects to a control member axle.

19. An animal containment apparatus as claimed in any of claims 14 to 18, wherein an outer axle may connect between the inner coaxial members.

20. An animal containment apparatus as claimed in claim 19, when dependent upon claim 18, wherein the control member axle extends through the outer axle.

Description:
Locking Mechanism

This invention relates to a locking mechanism, particularly a locking mechanism to selectively permit relative movement between two members, and more especially an automatically engageable locking mechanism to automatically prevent relative movement between two members except when the mechanism is disengaged.

Automatic locking mechanisms are required in a number of applications to automatically prevent relative movement between two members except when the mechanism is positively disengaged. One such application includes animal handling apparatus where it may be required for the apparatus to be closed to a required position relative to the size and/or location of an animal, and then to automatically lock such that the apparatus cannot be opened by movement of the animal.

In animal containment apparatus such as a cattle or sheep crush, a rump bar is often closed by rotational movement against the rear of an animal. This requires to be closed to a required position by an operator and then automatically lock in position until it is required to release the animal.

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a locking mechanism to permit relative rotational movement between inner and outer coaxial members when the mechanism is disengaged, and prevent such relative rotational movement when the mechanism is engaged, the locking mechanism including a pair of spaced profiled arcuate passages between the outside of the inner coaxial member and the inside of the outer coaxial member, each arcuate passage having respective end sections, and a mid-section, the mid-section being of reduced width relative to the end sections, a respective locking member being movably located in each end section, the locking member being of a size such that it cannot fully pass through the mid-section so that if the locking member is urged into the mid-section it will jam between the inner and outer coaxial members thereby preventing relative rotational movement therebetween and engaging the locking mechanism, an engagement member being provided beatable in the mid-section and selectively movable along the mid-section to urge a respective one of the locking members out of the mid-section towards the respective end section, to disengage the locking mechanism and permit relative rotational movement.

The locking mechanism may be automatically urged to an engaged condition.

The locking members may be resiliently urged towards the mid-section so as to cause automatic engagement of the locking mechanism. A respective spring may be located at the far end of each end section to urge the respective locking member towards the mid-section.

The engagement member may be connected to a control member which is rotatably movable to a limited degree relative to the inner member. A handle arrangement may be connected to the control member.

The control member may be in the form of a cover rotatably mounted on the inner member.

The locking members and/or engagement members may be in the form of cylindrical members slidably movable along the respective arcuate passages.

The outer coaxial member may be in the form of a drum, with the inner coaxial member located wholly within the drum. The inner coaxial member may be in the form of a rotor.

The profiled arcuate passages may be diametrically opposite each other. The profiled arcuate passages may each extend for between 80 and

150°.

Bearings may be provided between the inner and outer coaxial members to facilitate rotational movement therebetween.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided animal containment apparatus, the apparatus including a restraining member rotatably mounted to a frame with an end of the restraining member rotatably movable into or out of the frame, and a locking mechanism according to any of the preceding ten paragraphs to permit the restraining member to be rotated relative to the frame to a required position by an operator, and to automatically lock in the required position.

A handle may be provided on one side of the frame connected to the control member, and engageable by an operator to rotate the locking mechanism and hence restraining member. A respective handle may be provided on each side of the frame.

The restraining member may be connected to the outer coaxial member.

The control member may connect to a control member axle.

An outer axle may connect between the inner coaxial members. The control member axle may extend through the outer axle.

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a locking mechanism according to the invention; Fig. 2 is a similar view to Fig. 1 but with a cover removed;

Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic side view of the apparatus of Fig. 1 with the cover removed, and in an engaged condition;

Fig. 4 is a similar view to Fig. 3 but with the locking mechanism in a disengaged condition;

Fig. 5 is a perspective rear view of a cattle crush animal containment apparatus according to the invention;

Figs. 6 and 7 are respectively diagrammatic side and perspective views illustrating part of the cattle crush of Fig. 5 and potential movement thereof;

Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic perspective sectional view of part of the cattle crush of Fig. 5;

Fig. 9 is a similar view to Fig. 8 but with a component removed; and

Fig. 10 is a diagrammatic sectional end view of part of the cattle crush of Fig. 5.

Figs. 1 to 4 show a locking mechanism 10 to permit relative rotational movement when disengaged between inner and outer coaxial members 12, 14, and to prevent such relative rotational movement when engaged. Figs. 5 to 7 show a cattle crush animal containment apparatus 16 with such locking mechanisms 10 controlling movement of a rump bar 50.

The locking mechanism 10 includes an outer coaxial member 14 in the form of a drum 14 with a plurality of spaced mounting holes 20 provided therearound. An inner coaxial member 12 in the form of a rotor 12 is provided within the drum 14. The rotor 12 has a profiled central mounting hole 22. Two diametrically opposite profiled recesses 24 are provided in the outside of the rotor 12 each extending for a little over 90°, to define a profiled arcuate passage 26 between the outside of the rotor 12 and the inside of the drum 14. Each profiled passage 26 has closed end parts 28 which extend to meet at a mid- part 30, which mid-part 30 is narrower than the end parts 28.

A respective spring 32 is located in each end part 28 and engages against a respective locking member 34 in the form of a cylindrical disc. The springs 32 urge the locking members 34 towards the mid-part 30. The locking members 34 are diametrically too wide to fully enter the mid-part 30, and therefore the locking members 34 will when entering the mid-part 30 jam between the rotor 12 and drum 14 as shown in Fig. 3, to prevent movement of the rotor 12 relative to the drum 14.

An engagement member 36 is provided between each respective pair of locking members 34. The engagement member 36 is of smaller diameter than the locking members 34, and can pass right through the mid-part 30. Each engagement member 36 is mounted on the inside face of a cover member 38 to extend between the rotor 12 and drum 14. A mounting boss 40 extends on the outer side of the cover member 38, and a handle 58 can be mounted thereto for example in the form of a steering wheel as illustrated in Figs. 5 to 7. The cover member 38 is mounted to an inner shaft 44 coaxial with the rotor 12 and drum 14.

A pair of bearings 46 are provided in the two parts of the rotor 12 between the profiled arcuate passages 26 to facilitate rotation of the rotor 12 relative to the drum 14.

When in a rest position as shown in Fig. 3, the springs 32 will urge the locking members 34 to jam between the rotor 12 and drum 14 to prevent relative rotational movement therebetween. If it is required to rotate the rotor 12 relative to the drum 14, rotation of the cover member 38 for instance by using the handle 58, will cause the engagement members 36 to rotate relative to the passages 26, so as to urge the locking members 34 encountered in the direction of rotation, for instance clockwise as shown in Fig. 4, to urge the respective locking members 34 away from the mid-part 30, thereby preventing them jamming between the rotor 12 and drum 14, thereby disengaging the locking mechanism 10.

Further rotation of the cover member 38 will then cause the rotor 12 to rotate relative to the drum 14. The trailing locking members 34 will rotate between the rotor 12 and drum 14 and without causing a jam as they will be urged against the respective springs 32 by virtue of the movement of the rotor 12. As soon as the handle 58 is released, the engagement members 36 will be urged back into the position shown in Fig. 3 and the rotor 12 will again be prevented from rotating relative to the drum 14 by engagement of the locking mechanism 10.

Figs. 5 to 10 show a cattle crush 16 including a frame 48 with a rump bar 50 rotatably mounted at one end thereof to the top of the frame 48 towards the rear thereof. The rump bar 50 comprises a profiled U-shape member which can be rotated from an out of use generally horizontally extending position as shown in Fig. 5 permitting an animal to pass therebelow, to an in use position for instance as shown in Fig. 7, where the lower part of the rump bar 50 engages against a cow 52 to prevent the cow 52 from moving backwards out of the cattle crush 16.

The rump bar 50 is mounted to an outer axle 54 which surrounds the inner shaft 44 and connects to the rotor 12. The outer axle 54 extends across the frame 48 at the top and rear thereof between two mounting brackets 56, one of which mounts the drum 14 of the locking mechanism 10 on a one side of the frame 48, with the handles 58 in the form of steering wheels 58 connected to the cover member 38. As indicated the inner shaft 44 extends coaxially within the outer axle 54 for the rump bar 50. Accordingly, in use rotation of a one of the handles 58 will cause the other handle 58 to be similarly rotated by virtue of the interconnecting shaft 44. Initially rotation of the handles 58 will move the locking mechanism 10 to a disengaged condition by virtue of the engagement members 36 urging the respective locking members 34 from a position jammed between the rotor 12 and drum 14. Further rotation in the same direction will cause rotation of the axle 54 and hence rump bar 50.

Accordingly, once a cow 52 is driven into the frame 48 a one of the handles 58 can be rotated to bring the rump bar 50 to engage against the rear of the cow 52. Once the handle 58 is released the rump bar 50 will automatically lock in position by virtue of the locking mechanism 10 engaging as the locking members 34 are urged into the respective mid-parts 30. Once the cow 52 has been released forwards, the rump bar 50 can be rotated back to an out of use position with initial turning of one of the handles 58 causing the locking mechanisms 10 to move to a disengaged condition.

There is thus described a locking mechanism, and also a cattle crush incorporating such a mechanism which provides for automatic locking when a handle is not engaged. The provision of the diametrically opposite arcuate passages provides for a balanced and very strong arrangement, providing strong resistance to movement when the handle is not engaged, but readily permitting disengagement of the locking mechanism when rotational movement is required. The apparatus should provide for long term essentially maintenance free operation.

It is to be realised that a wide range of modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For instance, a different number or arrangement of arcuate passages could be provided. The locking members and/or engagement members may take a different form. A different control member for rotating the engagement members and hence rotor could be provided.

Whilst endeavouring in the foregoing specification to draw attention to those features of the invention believed to be of particular importance it should be understood that the Applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred to and/or shown in the drawings whether or not particular emphasis has been placed thereon.