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Title:
PROFILE CUTTING SYSTEM AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/024123
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A profile cutting system for profile cutting a workpiece comprises: a workpiece carrier having a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith; and a profile cutting assembly actuable for cutting a profile into the workpiece supported by the workpiece carrier. It also comprises a workpiece roll assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece about its longitudinal axis on the workpiece supporting surface and/or a carrier displacement assembly to displace the workpiece carrier with respect to the profile cutting assembly.

Inventors:
JOBIN MARC (CA)
Application Number:
CA2014/050799
Publication Date:
February 26, 2015
Filing Date:
August 20, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PRODEVCO IND INC (CA)
International Classes:
B23Q7/00; B23Q1/25; B23Q15/22
Foreign References:
US4519429A1985-05-28
US5163793A1992-11-17
US4087890A1978-05-09
US4766703A1988-08-30
US5549024A1996-08-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBIC LLP (Bloc E - 8th Floor1001 Square-Victori, Montréal Québec H2Z 2B7, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A profile cutting system for profile cutting a workpiece, the profile cutting system comprising: a workpiece carrier having a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith; a profile cutting assembly actuable for cutting a profile into the workpiece supported by the workpiece carrier; and a carrier displacement assembly to displace the workpiece carrier with respect to the profile cutting assembly.

2. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the carrier displacement assembly comprises at least one linear actuator engageable with the workpiece carrier for translating same.

3. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the workpiece carrier comprises at least one outer wall and the at least one linear actuator comprises at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the workpiece carrier and rotatable to displace the workpiece carrier.

4. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the carrier displacement assembly comprises a guiding assembly to guide displacement of the workpiece carrier.

5. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the guiding assembly comprises at least one driven roller engageable with an outer wall of the workpiece carrier.

6. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly is selectively displaceable on the workpiece supporting surface.

7. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises frictional workpiece supports.

8. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly supports the workpiece onto the workpiece supporting surface.

9. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with workpiece supporting surface in a plurality of positions and engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

10. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips removably mountable to the carrier supporting surface and engageable with the workpiece and preventing movement thereof by friction.

1 1 . The profile cutting system as claimed in one of claims 9 and 10, wherein the carrier supporting surface comprises a rack with a plurality of spaced- apart rows of position grooves and the workpiece grip is selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves.

12. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 9 to 1 1 , wherein the workpiece grip comprises frictional workpiece supports.

13. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 1 1 , wherein the rack comprises a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves.

14. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12, further comprising a workpiece roll assembly selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece on the workpiece supporting surface.

15. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 14, wherein the workpiece roll assembly comprises a pivotable arm and at least one drive roller mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm and selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and rotatable to rotate the workpiece about its longitudinal axis.

16. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 15, wherein the pivotable arm is configurable into a proximal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller engages the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and a distal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller is disengaged from the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

17. A profile cutting system for profile cutting a workpiece, the system comprising: a displaceable workpiece carrier for displacing the workpiece along a production line; a carrier displacement assembly for displacing the displaceable workpiece carrier along the production line; at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with the displaceable workpiece carrier for bearing and stabilizing the workpiece upon being placed thereon, the at least one workpiece grip stabilizing the workpiece by frictional engagement therewith; and a profile cutting assembly for cutting a profile into the workpiece stabilized by the at least one workpiece grip.

18. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 17, wherein the displaceable workpiece carrier is substantially rectangular and comprises a workpiece supporting surface having a plurality of position grooves for selectively receiving the at least one workpiece grip, the at least one workpiece grip being removably engageable in corresponding ones of the position grooves of the workpiece supporting surface.

19. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 18, wherein the carrier supporting surface comprises a rack with the position grooves being aligned in a plurality of rows and the workpiece grip is selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves.

20. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 19, wherein the rack comprises a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves.

21 . The profile cutting system as claimed in one of claims 17 and 18, further comprising a carrier position sensor for detecting a position of the displaceable workpiece carrier along the production line.

22. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 21 , wherein the carrier displacement assembly includes a displacer operatively engageable with the displaceable workpiece carrier to displace the displaceable workpiece carrier along the production line.

23. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 22, wherein the displaceable workpiece carrier comprises at least one outer wall and the displacer comprises at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the displaceable workpiece carrier.

24. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 22, wherein the carrier displacement assembly comprises driven rollers disposed opposite to the displacer, the driven rollers engaging the displaceable workpiece carrier to guide its displacement along the production line.

25. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 24, wherein the at least one workpiece grip includes a plurality of workpiece grips, each one of the workpiece grips including a plurality of frictional workpiece supports coupled together by a connecting member.

26. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 25, wherein each one of the frictional workpiece supports is rounded.

27. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 26, further comprising a workpiece roll assembly configured to apply a roll force to the workpiece, the roll force being greater than a frictional force of the at least one workpiece grip applied to the workpiece to roll the workpiece about itself to a cutting position.

28. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 27, wherein the workpiece roll assembly comprises a pivotable arm pivotable towards and away from the workpiece, and at least one drive roller mounted to the pivotable arm configured to apply the roll force to the workpiece.

29. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 28, wherein the at least one drive roller is configurable in a proximal stationary configuration to apply a stabilizing force to the workpiece supported by the at least one workpiece grip.

30. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 29, wherein, the workpiece roll assembly further comprises a rotational position sensor detecting at least one of an angular position and an amount of roll of the workpiece.

31 . The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 30, wherein the roll assembly is configurable between a proximal configuration wherein the roll assembly engages the workpiece, and a distal configuration wherein the roll assembly is disengaged from the workpiece.

32. A method for profile cutting a workpiece, the method comprising: displacing a workpiece carrier along a production line until it reaches a first cutting position; cutting the workpiece in the first cutting position; at least one of : rolling the workpiece about itself on the workpiece carrier until it reaches a second cutting position; and translating the workpiece carrier along the production line until it reaches the second cutting position; and cutting the workpiece in the second cutting position.

33. The method as claimed in claim 32, wherein loading the workpiece onto the workpiece carrier comprises stabilizing the workpiece onto the workpiece carrier.

34. The method as claimed in claim 33, wherein stabilizing the workpiece comprises applying a frictional force to counter a roll movement of the workpiece.

35. The method as claimed in claim 34, wherein rolling the workpiece comprises applying a roll force to the workpiece to roll the workpiece about itself to the second cutting position.

36. The method as claimed in claim 35, wherein the roll force applied to the workpiece is greater than the frictional force to roll the workpiece about itself to the second cutting position.

37. The method as claimed in any one of claims 32 to 36, wherein rolling the workpiece comprises simultaneously cutting the workpiece.

38. A profile cutting cell for profile cutting a workpiece, the profile cutting cell comprising: a workpiece conveyor defining a production line; a profile cutting assembly mounted along the production line; and a workpiece carrier engageable with the workpiece conveyor and including a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith.

39. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 38, further comprising a carrier displacement assembly including at least one linear actuator engageable with the workpiece carrier for translating same along the production line.

40. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 39, wherein the workpiece carrier comprises at least one outer wall and the at least one linear actuator comprises at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the workpiece carrier and rotatable to displace the workpiece carrier.

41 . The profile cutting system as claimed in one of claims 39 and 40, wherein the carrier displacement assembly comprises a guiding assembly to guide displacement of the workpiece carrier along the production line.

42. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 41 , wherein the guiding assembly comprises at least one driven roller engageable with an outer wall of the workpiece carrier.

43. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 38 to 42, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly is selectively displaceable on the workpiece supporting surface.

44. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 38 to 43, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly supports the workpiece onto the workpiece supporting surface.

45. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 38 to 44, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with workpiece supporting surface in a plurality of positions and engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

46. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 38 to 45, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips removably mountable to the carrier supporting surface and engageable with the workpiece and preventing movement thereof by friction.

47. The profile cutting system as claimed in one of claims 45 and 46, wherein the carrier supporting surface comprises a rack with a plurality of spaced- apart rows of position grooves and the workpiece grip is selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves.

48. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 45 to 47, wherein the workpiece grip comprises frictional workpiece supports.

49. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 47, wherein the rack comprises a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves.

50. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 38 to 48, further comprising a workpiece roll assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece on the workpiece supporting surface.

51 . The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 50, wherein the workpiece roll assembly comprises a pivotable arm and at least one drive roller mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm and selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and rotatable to rotate the workpiece about its longitudinal axis.

52. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 51 , wherein the pivotable arm is configurable into a proximal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller engages the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and a distal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller is disengaged from the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

53. A profile cutting system for profile cutting a workpiece, the profile cutting system comprising: a workpiece carrier having a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith; a workpiece roll assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece about its longitudinal axis on the workpiece supporting surface; and a profile cutting assembly actuable for cutting a profile into the workpiece supported by the workpiece carrier.

54. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 53, wherein the workpiece roll assembly comprises a pivotable arm and at least one drive roller mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm and selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and rotatable to rotate the workpiece about its longitudinal axis.

55. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 54, wherein the pivotable arm is configurable into a proximal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller engages the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and a distal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller is disengaged from the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

56. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 53 to 55, further comprising a carrier displacement assembly including at least one linear actuator engageable with the workpiece carrier for translating same along a production line.

57. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 56, wherein the workpiece carrier comprises at least one outer wall and the at least one linear actuator comprises at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the workpiece carrier and rotatable to displace the workpiece carrier.

58. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 56 to 57, wherein the carrier displacement assembly comprises a guiding assembly to guide displacement of the workpiece carrier.

59. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 58, wherein the guiding assembly comprises at least one driven roller engageable with an outer wall of the workpiece carrier.

60. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 53 to 59, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly is selectively displaceable on the workpiece supporting surface.

61 . The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 53 to 60, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly supports the workpiece onto the workpiece supporting surface.

62. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 53 to 61 , wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with workpiece supporting surface in a plurality of positions and engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

63. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 53 to 62, wherein the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips removably mountable to the carrier supporting surface and engageable with the workpiece and preventing movement thereof by friction.

64. The profile cutting system as claimed in one of claims 62 and 63, wherein the carrier supporting surface comprises a rack with a plurality of spaced- apart rows of position grooves and the workpiece grip is selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves.

65. The profile cutting system as claimed in any one of claims 62 to 64, wherein the workpiece grip comprises frictional workpiece supports.

66. The profile cutting system as claimed in claim 64, wherein the rack comprises a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves.

Description:
PROFILE CUTTING SYSTEM AND METHOD

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority under 35USC§1 19(e) of US provisional patent application 61 /868.752 filed on August 22, 2013, the specification of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The technical field relates to machining an item, and more particularly, to a system and method for profile cutting a workpiece. It also relates to a profile cutting cell for processing a workpiece. BACKGROUND

[0003] Profiling machines have been developed to machine, cut, or carve profiles into various sized workpieces. A profiling machine can be any cutting or milling machine for cutting irregular profiles into a workpiece. In many instances, these workpieces are elongated hollow objects, such as angles, corners, tubes or conduits, and they can be made of many different types of materials.

[0004] These workpieces can be fed into the machine lengthwise, and the cutting operation is performed by displacing a machine cutter or by displacing the workpiece along a production line. One of the known disadvantages of existing machines is that they are designed and operated to cut either angled workpieces or round workpieces but are not designed to process both types of workpieces. Round workpieces tend to rotate during cutting operations, which can affect the profiling of the workpiece. These round workpieces therefore need to be secured against rotation with restraints. Traditional profiling machines, which are usually used on angled pieces, are thus not suitable for securing round workpieces against rotation. Should a machinist operating a profiling machine designed to profile angled workpieces wish to profile a round workpiece, he or she must use a different machine, or do so by hand, which is difficult and labour intensive.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0005] It is therefore an aim of the present invention to address the above mentioned issues.

[0006] According to a general aspect, there is provided a profile cutting system comprising: a workpiece carrier having a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith; a profile cutting assembly actuable for cutting a profile into the workpiece supported by the workpiece carrier; and a carrier displacement assembly to displace the workpiece carrier with respect to the profile cutting assembly.

[0007] In an embodiment, the carrier displacement assembly comprises at least one linear actuator engageable with the workpiece carrier for translating same. The workpiece carrier can comprise at least one outer wall and the at least one linear actuator can comprise at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the workpiece carrier and rotatable to displace the workpiece carrier.

[0008] In an embodiment, the carrier displacement assembly comprises a guiding assembly to guide displacement of the workpiece carrier. The guiding assembly can comprise at least one driven roller engageable with an outer wall of the workpiece carrier.

[0009] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly is selectively displaceable on the workpiece supporting surface. [0010] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises frictional workpiece supports. [0011] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly supports the workpiece onto the workpiece supporting surface.

[0012] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with workpiece supporting surface in a plurality of positions and engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

[0013] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips removably mountable to the carrier supporting surface and engageable with the workpiece and preventing movement thereof by friction. The carrier supporting surface can comprise a rack with a plurality of spaced-apart rows of position grooves and the workpiece grip can be selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves. The workpiece grip can comprise frictional workpiece supports. The rack can comprise a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves. [0014] In an embodiment, the profile cutting system comprises a workpiece roll assembly selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece on the workpiece supporting surface. The workpiece roll assembly can comprise a pivotable arm and at least one drive roller mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm and selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and rotatable to rotate the workpiece about its longitudinal axis. The pivotable arm can be configurable into a proximal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller engages the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and a distal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller is disengaged from the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

[0015] According to another general aspect, there is provided a profile cutting system for profile cutting a workpiece. The system comprises: a displaceable workpiece carrier for displacing the workpiece along a production line; a carrier displacement assembly for displacing the displaceable workpiece carrier along the production line; at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with the displaceable workpiece carrier for bearing and stabilizing the workpiece upon being placed thereon, the at least one workpiece grip stabilizing the workpiece by frictional engagement therewith; and a profile cutting assembly for cutting a profile into the workpiece stabilized by the at least one workpiece grip.

[0016] In an embodiment, the displaceable workpiece carrier is substantially rectangular and comprises a workpiece supporting surface having a plurality of position grooves for selectively receiving the at least one workpiece grip, the at least one workpiece grip being removably engageable in corresponding ones of the position grooves of the workpiece supporting surface. The carrier supporting surface can comprise a rack with the position grooves being aligned in a plurality of rows and the workpiece grip can be selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves. The rack can comprise a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves. The profile cutting system can further comprise a carrier position sensor for detecting a position of the displaceable workpiece carrier along the production line.

[0017] In an embodiment, the carrier displacement assembly includes a displacer operatively engageable with the displaceable workpiece carrier to displace the displaceable workpiece carrier along the production line. The displaceable workpiece carrier can comprise at least one outer wall and the displacer can comprise at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the displaceable workpiece carrier. The carrier displacement assembly can comprise driven rollers disposed opposite to the displacer, the driven rollers engaging the displaceable workpiece carrier to guide its displacement along the production line.

[0018] In an embodiment, the at least one workpiece grip includes a plurality of workpiece grips, each one of the workpiece grips including a plurality of frictional workpiece supports coupled together by a connecting member. Each one of the frictional workpiece supports can be rounded.

[0019] In an embodiment, the profile cutting system comprises a workpiece roll assembly configured to apply a roll force to the workpiece, the roll force being greater than a frictional force of the at least one workpiece grip applied to the workpiece to roll the workpiece about itself to a cutting position. The workpiece roll assembly can comprise a pivotable arm pivotable towards and away from the workpiece, and at least one drive roller mounted to the pivotable arm configured to apply the roll force to the workpiece. The at least one drive roller can be configurable in a proximal stationary configuration to apply a stabilizing force to the workpiece supported by the at least one workpiece grip. The workpiece roll assembly can further comprise a rotational position sensor detecting at least one of an angular position and an amount of roll of the workpiece. The roll assembly can be configurable between a proximal configuration wherein the roll assembly engages the workpiece, and a distal configuration wherein the roll assembly is disengaged from the workpiece.

[0020] According to a further general aspect, there is provided a method for profile cutting a workpiece. The method comprises: displacing a workpiece carrier along a production line until it reaches a first cutting position; cutting the workpiece in the first cutting position; at least one of : rolling the workpiece about itself on the workpiece carrier until it reaches a second cutting position; and translating the workpiece carrier along the production line until it reaches the second cutting position; and cutting the workpiece in the second cutting position.

[0021] In an embodiment, loading the workpiece onto the workpiece carrier comprises applying a frictional force to counter a roll movement of the workpiece. Rolling the workpiece can comprise applying a roll force to the workpiece to roll the workpiece about itself to the second cutting position. In an embodiment, the roll force applied to the workpiece is greater than the frictional force to roll the workpiece about itself to the second cutting position. In an embodiment, the workpiece is cut while it is rolled about itself on the workpiece carrier.

[0022] According to still another general aspect, there is provided a profile cutting cell for profile cutting a workpiece. The profile cutting cell comprises: a workpiece conveyor defining a production line; a profile cutting assembly mounted along the production line; and a workpiece carrier engageable with the workpiece conveyor and including a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith. [0023] In an embodiment, the profile cutting system further comprises a carrier displacement assembly including at least one linear actuator engageable with the workpiece carrier for translating same along the production line. The workpiece carrier can comprise at least one outer wall and the at least one linear actuator can comprise at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the workpiece carrier and rotatable to displace the workpiece carrier. The carrier displacement assembly can comprise a guiding assembly to guide displacement of the workpiece carrier along the production line. The guiding assembly can comprise at least one driven roller engageable with an outer wall of the workpiece carrier. [0024] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly is selectively displaceable on the workpiece supporting surface.

[0025] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly supports the workpiece onto the workpiece supporting surface.

[0026] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with workpiece supporting surface in a plurality of positions and engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface. [0027] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips removably mountable to the carrier supporting surface and engageable with the workpiece and preventing movement thereof by friction. The carrier supporting surface can comprise a rack with a plurality of spaced-apart rows of position grooves and the workpiece grip can be selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves. The workpiece grip can comprise frictional workpiece supports. The rack can comprise a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves.

[0028] In an embodiment, the profile cutting system comprises a workpiece roll assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece on the workpiece supporting surface. The workpiece roll assembly can comprise a pivotable arm and at least one drive roller mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm and selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and rotatable to rotate the workpiece about its longitudinal axis. The pivotable arm can be configurable into a proximal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller engages the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and a distal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller is disengaged from the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface. [0029] According to still another general aspect, there is provided a profile cutting system for profile cutting a workpiece. The profile cutting system comprises: a workpiece carrier having a workpiece supporting surface and a workpiece stabilizing assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and preventing movement thereof on the workpiece carrier when engaged therewith; a workpiece roll assembly engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and actuable for rotating the workpiece about its longitudinal axis on the workpiece supporting surface; and a profile cutting assembly actuable for cutting a profile into the workpiece supported by the workpiece carrier. [0030] In an embodiment, the workpiece roll assembly comprises a pivotable arm and at least one drive roller mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm and selectively engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and rotatable to rotate the workpiece about its longitudinal axis. The pivotable arm can be configurable into a proximal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller engages the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface and a distal configuration wherein the at least one drive roller is disengaged from the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

[0031] In an embodiment, the profile cutting system further comprises a carrier displacement assembly including at least one linear actuator engageable with the workpiece carrier for translating same along a production line. The workpiece carrier can comprise at least one outer wall and the at least one linear actuator can comprise at least one driving roller engageable with the at least one outer wall of the workpiece carrier and rotatable to displace the workpiece carrier. The carrier displacement assembly can comprise a guiding assembly to guide displacement of the workpiece carrier. The guiding assembly can comprise at least one driven roller engageable with an outer wall of the workpiece carrier.

[0032] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly is selectively displaceable on the workpiece supporting surface. [0033] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly supports the workpiece onto the workpiece supporting surface.

[0034] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises at least one workpiece grip selectively engageable with workpiece supporting surface in a plurality of positions and engageable with the workpiece supported by the workpiece supporting surface.

[0035] In an embodiment, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips removably mountable to the carrier supporting surface and engageable with the workpiece and preventing movement thereof by friction. The carrier supporting surface can comprise a rack with a plurality of spaced-apart rows of position grooves and the workpiece grip can be selectively insertable in a respective one of the rows of position grooves. The workpiece grip can comprise frictional workpiece supports. The rack can comprise a plurality of spaced apart supports, each one of the supports including a plurality of the position grooves.

[0036] In this specification, the terms "profiling", "to profile", "cutting", and "cut" are interchangeable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0037] Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a system for profile cutting a workpiece in accordance with an embodiment, including a workpiece and a cutting assembly;

[0038] Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the system of Fig. 1 , being shown without the workpiece and without the cutting assembly;

[0039] Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a workpiece carrier of the system of Fig. 1 , in accordance with an embodiment; [0040] Fig. 4 is a perspective of the system of Fig. 2, being shown without the workpiece carrier;

[0041] Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the system of Fig. 2, wherein a roll assembly engages a small workpiece in accordance with an embodiment with the workpiece carrier and the small workpiece are shown in a first configuration; [0042] Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the system of Fig. 5, wherein the workpiece carrier and the small workpiece are shown in a second configuration; and

[0043] Fig. 7 is a perspective view of the system of Fig. 1 housed in a profile cutting cell.

[0044] It will be noted that throughout the appended drawings, like features are identified by like reference numerals. DETAILED DESCRI PTION

[0045] Referring now to the drawings and, more particularly, referring now to Figs. 1 and 2, there is shown an embodiment of a system 10 for profile cutting a workpiece 70. The profile cutting system 10 can be any group or combination of interrelated, interdependent, or interacting elements forming a collective mechanical entity which can be used to profile cut a workpiece 70. The profile cutting system 10 can be used or installed by itself, or can be added on to an existing mechanical assembly. The profile cutting system 10 can also be enclosed in a profile cutting cell 80 (Fig. 7). [0046] The expressions "profile cutting", "to profile cut", or "profiling" refer to the ability of the profile cutting system 10 to form, in the workpiece 70, a cut-out having an outline of any required complexity. The profile which is cut out of the workpiece 70 can vary depending on numerous factors such as, but not limited to: the shape of the workpiece 70, the type of cutting assembly being used, and the desired complexity of the cut-out. The workpiece 70 can be any object made of any suitable material which requires machining. Examples of possible workpieces 70 which can be profiled with the profile cutting system 10 include, but are not limited to: tubes, conduits, angles, polygonal objects, elongated objects, sheets, beams such as I-beam and C-beam, hollow objects, solid objects, and any combination of these. In the example shown in Figure 1 , the workpiece 70 is a hollow tube. As discussed above, hollow tubes can be difficult to profile cut with traditional profiling machines.

[0047] Still referring to Figs. 1 to 3, the profile cutting system 10 includes a displaceable workpiece carrier 20 for displacing the workpiece 70, for instance, along a production line. The production line extends along a longitudinal axis. In an embodiment, the workpiece 70 is displaced in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis along the production line.

[0048] The workpiece carrier 20 supports the weight of the workpiece 70, displaces the workpiece 70 along the production line so as to position it in the desired position before it is cut. The workpiece carrier 20 also stabilizes the workpiece 70 by preventing any movement thereof during displacement and profile cutting, as will be described in more details below. As such, the workpiece carrier 20 can be any suitable device which can support and convey the workpiece 70 from one position to another. In the example shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the workpiece carrier 20 is shown as being displaceable in one direction (i.e. into and out of the page), along the production line, but the workpiece carrier 20 can also be displaced in more than one direction.

[0049] The terms "displacing" and "displaceable" refer to the ability of the workpiece carrier 20 to itself be moved, often by translation, from one position to another, and also refers to the ability of the workpiece carrier 20 to move the workpiece 70 placed upon it from one position to another. The displacement or the position of the workpiece carrier 20 along the production line or within the profile cutting cell 80 can be measured and recorded with a carrier position sensor (not shown), such as but without being limitative an optical detector. The carrier position sensor can then relay this information to the cutting assembly, a roll assembly, or other central processor, which can in turn use this information to conduct the cutting and displacement operations.

[0050] In some embodiments, examples of which are shown in Figs. 1 to 3, the workpiece carrier 20 is a substantially rectangular body. Such a body can advantageously accommodate workpieces 70 of varying sizes and dimensions. The workpiece carrier 20 includes a workpiece supporting surface 21 for supporting the workpiece 70 thereon. In the embodiment shown, the workpiece supporting surface 21 of the workpiece carrier 20 is defined by multiple transversal supports 22 interspersed along a length of the workpiece carrier 20 and spanning its width. The assembly of the transversal supports 22 defines a rack 23. These transversal supports 22 can supply the structure required to support the weight of the workpiece 70 and maintain its stability during displacement. In the embodiment shown, each transversal support 22 further includes a plurality of position grooves 24 defined therein. The position grooves 24 substantially span the length of each transversal support 22, and provide slots into which grips, described below, can be inserted. In the embodiment shown, each one of the position grooves 24 of the transversal supports 22 is in register with a respective one of the position grooves 24 of the other transversal supports 22. Thus, the rack 23 is provided with a plurality of spaced-apart rows of position grooves 24. In so doing, the position grooves 24 advantageously contribute to stabilizing the workpiece 70 on the workpiece carrier 20, as will be described in more detail below.

[0051] In the embodiment shown, the profile cutting system 10 comprises a frame 26 supporting a plurality of components. In the embodiment shown, the frame 26 extends continuously under a path of the workpiece carrier 20 and includes a first section extending on a first side of the workpiece carrier path and a second section extending on a second side of the workpiece carrier path. It is appreciated that the shape and the configuration of the frame 26 can vary from the embodiment shown. [0052] The profile cutting system 10 also includes a displacement assembly 30, an example of which is shown in Figs. 2 and 4. The displacement assembly 30 operatively engages the workpiece carrier 20 so that it can displace the workpiece carrier 20 by moving it from one position to another. The expression "operatively engages" refers to the ability of the displacement assembly 30 to apply a motive force to the workpiece carrier 20 so as to displace it. In most embodiments, but not necessarily all, the displacement assembly 30 is a separate component from the workpiece carrier 20. This advantageously keeps the construction and operation of the workpiece carrier 20 relatively simple because it does not need to be motorized. In light of the preceding, it can be appreciated that the displacement assembly 30 can take many different forms and configurations. In an alternative embodiment, the displacement assembly 30 can be mounted to the workpiece carrier 20. For instance and without being limitative, the workpiece carrier 20 can be motorized. [0053] As shown in Fig. 2, the displacement assembly 30 includes a displacer 32. The displacer 32 is mounted to the frame 26 or other suitable fixture and is in contact with the workpiece carrier 20, such as with a side of the workpiece carrier 20, and operates so as to translate the workpiece carrier 20 forward and backward along the production line and with respect to the cutting assembly 60. Although shown in Fig. 2 as being vertically oriented, the displacer can be oriented differently provided that it can displace the workpiece carrier 20 as required. In some embodiments, the displacer 32 comprises a vertically-oriented driving roller 34 which operatively engages a peripheral wall of the workpiece carrier 20. As the vertical driving roller 34 rotates, the workpiece carrier 20 is translated forward and backward. The vertical roller 34 can be powered by any suitable electric, pneumatic, hydraulic or other drive system so as to provide the necessary force to displace the workpiece carrier 20. Optionally, the surface of the vertical roller 34 can be covered with a friction-enhancing mesh, as shown in Figs. 2 and 4, which can enhance the frictional engagement of the vertical roller 34 with the workpiece carrier 20 and advantageously reduce any slip.

[0054] In an alternative embodiment, the displacer 32 can comprise a rack and pinion assembly. For instance, the workpiece carrier 20 can comprise the rack, i.e. a bar with teeth on one edge, and the teeth of the pinion, i.e. a tooth wheel, can be engaged with the teeth of the rack to displace linearly the workpiece carrier 20 along the production line. The pinion can be mounted to the frame 26 or other suitable fixture. In this embodiment, the profile cutting system can be free of carrier position sensor, such as an optical detector, to measure the displacement of the workpiece carrier 20 along the production line. It is appreciated that the displacement assembly 30 can comprise other linear actuator(s).

[0055] The displacement assembly 30 can also include a guiding assembly to guide the displacement of the workpiece carrier 20. One possible guiding assembly includes free or driven rollers 36 located adjacent to the workpiece carrier 20. In most embodiments, the driven rollers 36 are located on opposite sides of the workpiece carrier 20, and spaced apart from the displacer 32, such as the driving roller(s) 34, so as to define a carrier path along the production line. The term "free" refers to the ability of the driven rollers 36 to rotate in response to the movement of the workpiece carrier 20. Stated differently, the driven rollers 36 do not need to be motorized. The driven rollers 36 engage with various surfaces of the carrier 20 (e.g. its sides, bottom, etc.) and prevent the motion of the workpiece carrier 20 from deviating from the desired direction, and guide the workpiece carrier 20 along the production line. In the example shown in Fig. 4, there are four driven rollers 36 - two for engaging a side of the workpiece carrier 20 opposite the driving roller 34, and two for engaging the bottom surface of the workpiece carrier 20. It will be appreciated that other driven roller configurations are possible.

[0056] It is appreciated that the guiding assembly of the displacement assembly 30 can differ from the driven rollers 36. For instance and without being limitative, the guiding assembly can include guiding tracks or guiding bars abutting at least one side of the workpiece carrier 20 and guiding its displacement along the production line.

[0057] The workpiece carrier 20 also includes a workpiece stabilizing assembly. In the embodiment shown, the workpiece stabilizing assembly comprises a plurality of workpiece grips 40, examples of which are shown in Figs. 2 and 3. In the embodiment shown, the grips 40 are removably engageable with the workpiece supporting surface 21 of the workpiece carrier 20, meaning that they can be placed upon, and removed from, the supporting surface 21 of the workpiece carrier 20. The grips 40 can also be positioned at different positions on the workpiece carrier 20, thereby advantageously allowing the grips 40 to adapt to the size and shape of the workpiece 70 to be profiled. Once in position, the grips 40 can support or bear the weight of the workpiece 70. The purpose of the grips 40 is to counter a movement, such as a roll movement, of the workpiece 70 which can be generated by the cutting assembly or roll assembly or during displacement thereof, as further described below. In so doing, the grips 40 advantageously stabilize the workpiece 70 by preventing it from being moved, or from rolling about itself, which improves profile cutting operations.

[0058] It can thus be appreciated that the grips 40 can be any suitable device which engages the workpiece 70 and prevents it from being moved. In most embodiments, the grips 40 are able to prevent the workpiece 70 from moving by applying a frictional force, which is generated by the weight of the workpiece 70 interacting with the material of each grip 40. Alternatively, the workpiece 70 itself could be sized and configured so that it does not move when placed on the grips 40, even if no frictional force is generated. The frictional forces generated by each grip 40 in contact with the workpiece 70 resist or counter a movement or displacement, such as a roll movement or a translation movement. This roll or translation movements can be generated by different sources as will be explained further below, and refers to the tendency of the workpiece 70 to move or be caused to move by turning over about itself or translate, while remaining in place on the workpiece carrier 20. The grips 40 can thus be made of any suitable material, such as rubbers or other polymers, or can be textured or profiled, so as to resist the movement of the workpiece 70 on the workpiece carrier 20.

[0059] In some embodiments, the workpiece stabilizing assembly can comprise a clamp or another similar mechanical device which can secure the workpiece 70 and prevent its movement.

[0060] In the embodiment shown in Figs. 2 and 3, each grip 40 comprises multiple frictional workpiece supports 42 which can be connected together by a connecting member 44, which can be a rod or other suitable link. In such a configuration, the frictional workpiece supports 42 of each grip 40 engage the surface of the workpiece 70 so as to resist the movement and support the weight of the workpiece 70. Optionally, each frictional workpiece support 42 can be round so as to better engage the workpiece 70 placed upon it, and so as to lower the force required to generate a movement, such as a roll movement, when required (i.e. for positioning the workpiece 70 in a different cutting position, as explained below). [0061] Each of the grips 40 can be selectively removably engageable at different positions on the workpiece carrier 20 so as to adapt to the size of the workpiece 70 being profiled. As mentioned above, this positioning can be achieved by selecting a row of position grooves 24 corresponding to the desired configuration and inserting the connecting member 44 of the grips 40 in the selected row of position grooves 24 of the workpiece carrier 20. Other techniques for modifying the position of the grips 40 on the workpiece carrier 20 can also be used. This ability to change the position of the grips 40 is better illustrated by comparing Figs. 1 and 5. In Fig. 1 , a relatively large workpiece 70 is being machined and two rows of grips 40 are used to stabilize the workpiece 70 on the workpiece carrier 20. To accommodate the relatively large workpiece 70, the two rows of grips 40 are spaced far apart on the workpiece carrier 20. In Fig. 5, a relatively small workpiece 70 is being machined and also stabilized with two rows of grips 40 on the workpiece carrier 20. To accommodate the smaller workpiece 70, the two rows of grips 40 are spaced closer from one another in the position grooves 24 of the workpiece carrier 20. It can thus be appreciated that the displacement of the grips 40 on the workpiece carrier 20 advantageously allow for workpieces 70 of various sizes, as well as configurations (e.g. round workpieces 70, rectangular workpieces 70, vertical workpieces 70, etc.) to be stabilized and thus efficiently profiled. The grips 40 further advantageously allow for relatively thin workpieces 70, as well as angular workpieces 70, to be efficiently profiled.

[0062] It is appreciated that the shape and the configuration of the grips 40 can vary from the embodiment shown. Furthermore, the number of grip(s) 40 used to stabilize the workpiece 70 on the workpiece carrier 20 can vary from the embodiment shown.

[0063] The profile cutting system 10 can also include a roll assembly 50, an example of which is shown in Fig. 1 . The roll assembly 50 applies a roll force so as to roll the workpiece 70 about its longitudinal axis into a cutting position. This allows the workpiece 70 to be placed into a cutting position where the cutting assembly can continue cutting the profile, or can begin cutting a new profile. The roll force can be any tangential or circumferential force which, when applied to the workpiece 70, causes it to turn about itself, thus causing the roll movement described above. In order to roll the workpiece 70 to the cutting position, the roll force must be greater than the combined frictional forces produced by the weight of the workpiece 70 acting against the grips 40 or any other suitable workpiece stabilizing assembly. This will cause the workpiece 70 to roll about itself until it has reached the desired cutting position. Once it has reached the desired cutting position, the roll assembly 50 can cease applying the roll force. [0064] The roll assembly 50 can be mounted to the frame 26 or other suitable fixture, and can take different forms and configurations so as to achieve the above- described functionality. In the embodiment shown, the roll assembly 50 comprises a pivotable arm 52 which can pivot towards and away from the workpiece 70 and drive rollers 54 mounted to a distal end of the pivotable arm 52. In the embodiment shown, the roll assembly 50 comprises two drive rollers 54. However, in an alternative embodiment (not shown), the roll assembly 50 can comprise one or more drive rollers 54. The pivotable arm 52 can be configured between two configurations: a proximal configuration and a distal configuration. More particularly, the pivotable arm 52 pivots the drive rollers 54 toward and away from the workpiece 70. In the proximal configuration, the drive rollers 54 engage the workpiece 70 and in the distal configuration, the drive rollers 54 are disengaged from the workpiece. The pivotable arm 52 can be powered by any suitable electric, pneumatic, hydraulic or other drive system so as to provide the necessary force to pivot the pivotable arm 52. In the proximal configuration, the drive rollers 54 can be either stationary or operative.

[0065] When the drive rollers 54 are pivoted towards the workpiece 70 (i.e. , in the proximal configuration), as shown in Figs. 1 and 5, so as to engage the workpiece 70, they can apply the roll force described above. The application of the roll force to the workpiece 70 can be achieved by rotating the drive rollers 54 once they have engaged the surface of the workpiece 70 (i.e. a proximal operative configuration), thus causing the roll movement once the roll force is greater than the combined frictional forces of the grips 40. The drive rollers 54 can be powered by any suitable drive system, and can be made of any suitable material which enhances their engagement with the surface of the workpiece 70.

[0066] In some embodiments, the drive rollers 54 can apply a stabilizing force to the workpiece 70. This can be achieved, for example, by forcing the drive rollers 54 against the surface of the workpiece 70 such it is prevented from rolling, i.e. a proximal stationary configuration. Such a stabilizing force therefore advantageously contributes to the stability of profiling operations. The angular displacement of the workpiece 70 due to the roll movement, and other relevant information, can be detected by using a rotational position sensor (not shown). In an embodiment, the rotational position sensor can comprise the encoder of a servo-motor. In an alternative embodiment, another encoder can be used as rotational position sensor. As with the carrier position sensor, described above, configured to monitor the position and/or the displacement of the workpiece carrier 20, the information gathered by the rotational position senor can then be relayed to the cutting assembly or other central processor, which can in turn use this information to conduct the cutting operations or displacement operations. [0067] The profile cutting system 10 also includes a cutting assembly 60, an example of which is shown in Fig. 1 . The cutting assembly 60 cuts the profile into the workpiece 70 once it has been positioned to the desired cutting position. As such, the cutting assembly 60 can include any suitable cutting tool, such as a plasma, a laser, a milling tool, a boring tool, etc. [0068] The profile cutting system 10 can also include a workpiece sensor, such as an encoder, which can track and log the movement of the workpiece 70 as it is being profiled, and which can track and log the configuration of the workpiece 70 after, and between, the profiling operations. [0069] The profile cutting system 10 can also include a central processor, such as a controller, to receive instructions regarding the workpiece to be profiled, receive information from the sensors during the profile cutting process, process the information received in accordance with the instructions received, and transmit information to the actuators. In an embodiment, the sensors from which information can be received include the carrier position sensor, the rotational position sensor, and/or the workpiece sensor. In an embodiment, the actuators to which information can be transmitted include the roll assembly 50, the cutting assembly 60, and/or the displacement assembly 30. Thus, in an embodiment, the central processor is operatively connected to carrier position sensor, the rotational position sensor, the workpiece sensor, the roll assembly 50, the cutting assembly 60, and/or the displacement assembly 30.

[0070] Referring now to Fig. 7, there is shown that the profile cutting system 10 can be at least partially housed in the profile cutting cell 80. The profile cutting cell 80 comprises a housing 82, defining a cutting chamber 83, with a workpiece inlet 84 and a workpiece outlet 86 providing access to the cutting chamber 83. The profile cutting system 10 is at least partially contained in the cutting chamber 83 and the production line extends within the cutting chamber 83 and through the workpiece inlet 84 and the workpiece outlet 86. The workpieces 70 supported by the workpiece carrier 20 enter the cutting chamber 83 through the workpiece inlet 84, are profiled cut in the cutting chamber 83, and exit the cutting chamber 83 through the workpiece outlet.

[0071] Having described some of the optional components and features of the profile cutting system 10, the operation of the profile cutting system 10 and a method for profile cutting the workpiece 70 will now be described in reference to Figs. 1 to 6.

[0072] The method includes the step of loading the workpiece 70 onto the workpiece carrier 20. In most embodiments, the workpiece 70 is loaded onto the grips 40 described above, which can support its weight and prevent it from undesired displacement on the workpiece supporting surface 21 . Prior to loading the workpiece 70 onto the grips 40, the position of the grips 40 on the workpiece carrier 20 can be adjusted to accommodate the size and configuration of the workpiece 70 to be profiled, thus allowing the workpiece 70 to be moved to different positions on the workpiece carrier 20.

[0073] Once the workpiece 70 is loaded and stabilized on the workpiece carrier 20, the workpiece carrier 20 can be displaced from one position to another, as exemplified in Figs. 5 and 6. The reasons for this displacement can include the following: to place the workpiece 70 in the cutting position, to place another area of the workpiece 70 before the roll assembly 50 or the cutting assembly 60, or to remove the workpiece 70 from the workpiece carrier 20.

[0074] In an embodiment, the displacement of the workpiece carrier 20 is performed in discrete instances, i.e. the roll assembly 50 and the cutting assembly 60 are inoperative when the workpiece carrier 20 is displaced.

[0075] In alternative embodiments, the displacement of the workpiece carrier 20 need not be performed in discrete instances. It is understood that the workpiece carrier 20 can be displaced simultaneously with the operations of the roll assembly 50 or the operations of the cutting assembly 60, if so required. For instance, the workpiece 70 can be profiled simultaneously while it is rolled about itself by the roll assembly 50.

[0076] Once the workpiece carrier 20 including the workpiece 70 is in the desired cutting position, the method can include the step of rolling the workpiece 70 about itself, such as by using the roll assembly 50, until the workpiece 70 reaches the desired cutting position. The rolling of the workpiece 70 can be achieved by applying the roll force described above.

[0077] The method also includes the step of stabilizing the workpiece 70 on the workpiece carrier 20 when the workpiece 70 is in the cutting position. This stabilization can be achieved with the grips 40, which bear the weight of the workpiece 70 and counter any roll movement it may undergo by applying the above-described frictional forces. This can also be achieved by forcing the drive rollers 54 against the surface of the workpiece 70 such it is prevented from rolling.

[0078] The method also includes the step of cutting the profile into the workpiece 70, such as by using the cutting assembly 60 described above.

[0079] In some embodiments, the workpiece 70 can be further displaced or rolled to be placed in a second cutting position. Once in this second cutting position, the workpiece 70 can be stabilized and cut, as described above. As mentioned above, the displacement of the workpiece carrier 20 and/or the positioning of the workpiece 70 can be carried out simultaneously with the cutting process.

[0080] The above-described profile cutting system 10 can be used to profile angled workpieces and round workpieces. The round workpieces are loaded on the workpiece carrier 20 while the angled workpieces can be either loaded on the workpiece carrier 20 or mounted directly on a conveyor, which is part of the displacement assembly 30.

[0081] One skilled in the art will appreciate that the shape and the configuration of the profile cutting system 10 and its components can differ from the embodiments shown in the attached drawings.

[0082] Moreover, although the embodiments of the profile cutting system and corresponding parts thereof consist of certain geometrical configurations as explained and illustrated herein, not all of these components and geometries are essential and thus should not be taken in their restrictive sense. It is to be understood that other suitable components and cooperation thereinbetween, as well as other suitable geometrical configurations, may be used for the profile cutting system, as briefly explained herein and as can be easily inferred herefrom. Moreover, it will be appreciated that positional descriptions such as "above", "below", "left", "right" and the like should, unless otherwise indicated, be taken in the context of the figures and should not be considered limiting. [0083] Several alternative embodiments and examples have been described and illustrated herein. The embodiments of the invention described above are intended to be exemplary only. A person of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate the features of the individual embodiments, and the possible combinations and variations of the components. A person of ordinary skill in the art would further appreciate that any of the embodiments could be provided in any combination with the other embodiments disclosed herein. It is understood that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present examples and embodiments, therefore, are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein. Accordingly, while the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention.