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Title:
STRUCTURE OF A ROTATION DEVICE, AND A CORRESPONDING ROTATION DEVICE, AND A FOREST MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/203107
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a structure of a rotation device, a rotation device, and a forest machine. The rotation device includes - a first inner body part (12) comprising first conduits (26) fitted to the first inner body part (12) for leading a pressure medium through the first inner body part (12), - a second outer body part (14), arranged at least partly around the first inner body part (12) completely rotatably, comprising connections (28) fitted to the second outer body part (14), - second conduits (30) arranged to lead the pressure medium from the said first conduit (26) to the said connections (28), - an axial conduit (16) for leading electrical conductors (56) through the first inner body part (12) and comprising two ends (16.1, 16.2), - bearing means (20) arranged to permit the second outer body part (14) to rotate relative to the first inner body part (12) and vice versa, and - suspension means (90) for suspending the structure (10) of the rotation device (1) from a boom (2). The structure (10) according to the invention includes attachment means (22) for attaching a direct-drive pressure-medium operated turning device (24) to the structure (10) coaxially in order to transmit torque. In the structure (10) there is an axial conduit (16) extending from the suspension means (90) through the structure (10) and the turning device (24) attached to it for carrying electric conductors (56).

Inventors:
KAATRASALO, Tero (Ponssentie 22, VIEREMÄ, 74200, FI)
Application Number:
FI2017/050397
Publication Date:
November 30, 2017
Filing Date:
May 26, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PONSSE OYJ (Ponssentie 22, VIEREMÄ, 74200, FI)
International Classes:
B66C3/00; A01G23/083; E02F3/36; H01R13/00
Foreign References:
US5632625A1997-05-27
FR2501823A11982-09-17
EP2460758A12012-06-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KESPAT OY (Vasarakatu 1, JYVÄSKYLÄ, 40320, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Structure of a rotation device, which includes

- suspension means (90) for suspending the structure (10) of the rotation device (1) from a boom (2),

-a first inner body part (12) comprising first conduits (26) fitted to the first inner body part (12) for leading a pressure medium through the first inner body part (12),

-a second outer body part (14), arranged at least partly around the first inner body part (12) completely rotatably, comprising connections (28) fitted to the second outer body part (14) for leading the pressure medium through the second outer body part (14) ,

-second conduits (30) fitted to either the outer surface (32) belonging to the first inner body part (12) or to the inner surface (34) belonging to the second outer body part (14) or to both for leading the pressure medium in all the mutual attitudes of the first inner body part (12) and the second outer body part (14) from the first conduit (26) to the said connections (28), -an axial conduit (16) for leading electrical conductors (56) through the first inner body part (12) and comprising two ends (16.1, 16.2),

- bearing means (20) arranged to permit the second outer body part (14) to rotate relative to the first inner body part (12) and vice versa, which bearing means (20) are arranged to carry loads both axially and radially,

characteri zed in that the structure (10) includes in addition attachment means (22) for attaching a direct-drive pressure-medium operated turning device (24) to the structure (10) coaxially relative to the axis of rotation between the first inner body part (12) and the second outer body part (14) in order to transmit torque, in which structure (10) there is an axial conduit (16) extending from the suspension means (90) through the structure (10) and the turning device (24) attached to it for carrying electric conductors (56) .

2. Structure according to Claim 1, characteri zed in that the said suspension means (90) are attached to the first inner body part ( 12 ) .

3. Structure according to Claim 1 or 2, characteri zed in that the said axial conduit (16) is formed of a separate sleeve shaft (36) fitted to the first inner body part (12) for carrying electrical conductors through the first inner body part (12) .

4. Structure according to any of Claims 1 - 3, characteri zed in that the structure (10) includes an additional conduit (80) for leading fluid through the structure (10) .

5. Structure according to any of Claims 1 - 4, characteri zed in that the said attachment means (22) are arranged to attach the said turning device (24) to the second outer body part (14) .

6. Structure according to any of Claims 1 - 5, characteri zed in that the said bearing means (20) are a ring bearing (40) fitted between the first inner body part (12) and the second outer body part ( 14) .

7. Structure according to any of Claims 1 - 6, characteri zed in that there are at least three first conduits (26), connections (28), and second conduits (30), so that there is at least a pressure line (60.1), a return line (60.2), and a drainage line (60.3) for the pressure-medium flow.

8. Structure according to Claim 1 or 2, characteri zed in that the axial conduit (16) is formed as an integrated part o the first inner body part (12) .

9. Structure according to any of Claims 1 - 8, characteri zed in that around the axial conduit (16) there is a drainage line (60.3) for guiding leaks from both the pressure-medium operated turning device (24) and the harvester head ' s (3) operating devices back towards the boom (2) through the structure (10) of the rotation device (1) .

10. Rotation device, which includes a direct-drive pres- sure-medium operated turning device (24) attached to a structure

(10) coaxially relative to the axis of rotation, characteri zed in that the rotation device (1) includes a structure (10) according to any of Claims 1 - 9 and the rotation device (1) includes an adapter (48) for permitting the complete rotation of electric conductors (96), attached to the under-surface (94) belonging to the turning device (24) in the operating attitude of the rotation device (1) .

11. Arrangement according to Claim 10, characterized in that the said pressure-medium operated turning device (24) is a radial piston motor (42) .

12. Arrangement according to Claim 10 or 11, characteri zed in that a hydraulic drainage line is formed between the said structure (10) and the turning device (24) for connecting and leading a hydraulic leakage flow coming from a work device (3) to the hydraulic drainage line of the turning device (24) .

13. Arrangement according to any of Claims 10 - 12, charac- teri zed in that the turning device (24) is attached, in the operating attitude of the rotation device, underneath the second outer body part (14) of the structure of the rotation device, to the under-surface (92) belonging to the second outer body part (14) .

14. Forest machine, characteri zed in that the forest machine (100) comprises a structure (10) of the rotation device (1) according to any of Claims 1 - 9.

15. Forest machine according to Claim 14, characterized in that the forest machine (100) includes a harvester head (3) .

Description:
STRUCTURE OF A ROTATION DEVICE, AND A CORRESPONDING ROTATION DEVICE, AND A FOREST MACHINE

The invention relates to the structure of a rotation device, which includes

- a first inner body part comprising first conduits fitted to the first inner body part for leading a pressure medium through the first inner body part,

-a second outer body part, arranged at least partly around the first inner body part completely rotatably, comprising connections fitted to the second outer body part for leading the pressure medium through the second outer body part,

-second conduits, fitted to either the outer surface belonging to the first inner body part or to the inner surface belonging to the second outer body part or to both, for leading the pressure medium in all the mutual attitudes of the first inner body part and the second outer body part from the first conduit to the connections ,

- an axial conduit for leading electrical conductors through the first inner body part and comprising two ends,

- bearing means arranged to permit the second outer body part to rotate relative to the first inner body part and vice versa, which bearing means are arranged to carry loads both axially and radially .

The invention also relates to a corresponding rotation device and to a forest machine.

The invention relates to rotation devices and their structures, particularly to the rotation devices used in forest machines or in work machines. In particular, the invention relates to a rotation device and its structure, to be used between the boom and harvester head in a forest machine. At present, the rotation devices used in forest machines mainly use vane-operated hydraulic motors. One such is disclosed in publication EP 2460758 Bl. In known solutions, the hydraulic hoses going to the harvester head are taken outside from the boom or the end of the boom to the rotation device or harvester head. Taking the hydraulic hoses to the rotation device or harvester head restricts the rotation of the rotation device, and thus the harvester head, due to the limited length of the hydraulic hoses, because the hydraulic hoses must rotate along with the rotation of the harvester head.

A rotation device, in which a feed-through is formed for feeding through an electric cable, is known from publication EP 2460758 Bl . A drawback of this construction is that the rotation device does not, however, freely or unlimitedly rotate, as the hydraulic flow is not taken through the rotation device, but instead the hydraulic hoses are attached directly to the harvester head. An additional problem in the solution of the publication is that the hydraulic hoses run externally from the boom to the harvester head or operating device, which limits the rotational movement of the harvester head relative to the boom and exposes the hydraulic hoses and their connections to external impacts and stresses. In practice, the maximum rotational angle of the harvester head is limited, due to the limited length of the hydraulic hoses. In addition, the structure of the rotation device is high, large, and heavy. All the problems referred to above make the rotation device impractical to use and its structure liable to damage.

In addition, publication W09937136, which discloses a completely rotating rotation device, in which both the hydraulics and the electric conductors can be led through the rotation device, is known from the prior art. In this construction, the turning device of the rotation device is, however, integrated in the side of the rotation device and rotates the body parts of the rotation device relative to each other as a side drive. It is therefore very difficult to adapt the structure to be compatible with components from different manufacturers, thus confining the user of the structure of the rotation device to one component supplier.

The invention is intended to create a better structure for a rotation device than rotation device structures according to the prior art, which permits the pressure-medium flow and the electric conductors to be fed through the rotation device, the free rotation of the rotation device, and the modularity of the structure so that the structure can be combined with the turning devices, bearings, and CAN adapters of different manufacturers. The characteristics features of the present invention are stated in the accompanying Claim 1. The invention is also intended to create a better rotation device than rotation devices according to the prior art, which permits the pressure-medium flow and the electric conductors to be fed through the rotation device, the free rotation of the rotation device, and the modularity of the structure so that the structure can be combined with the turning devices, bearings, and CAN adapters of different manufacturers. The characteristic features of the rotation device according to the invention are stated in the accompanying Claim 10 and the characteristic features of the forest machine using it in Claim 14. The invention is also intended to create a better forest machine than forest machines according to the prior art, which permits the pressure-medium flow and the electric conductors to be fed through the rotation device, the free rotation of the rotation device, and the modularity of the structure so that the structure can be combined with the turning devices, bearings, and CAN adapters of different manufacturers.

This intention can be achieved by means of a rotation-device structure, which includes a first inner body part comprising first conduits fitted to the first inner body part for leading a pressure medium through the first inner body part, a second outer body part fitted at least partly around the first inner body part completely rotatably, comprising connections fitted to the second outer body part for leading the pressure medium through the second outer body part and second conduits fitted either to the outer surface belonging to the first inner body part or to the inner surface belonging to the second outer body part or to both, for leading the pressure medium from the first conduits to the connections in all the mutual attitudes of the first inner body part and the second outer body part. In addition, the structure includes an axial conduit comprising two ends for taking the electric conductors through the first inner body part and bearing means arranged to permit the rotation of the second outer body part relative to the first inner body part and vice versa, which bearing means are arranged to carry loads in axially and radially. The structure further includes connection means for connecting a direct-drive pressure-medium operated turning device coaxially relative to the axis of rotation between the first inner body part and the second outer body part to the structure in order to transmit torque, in which structure the end of the axial conduit on the turning device's side arranged to be attached to the structure is coaxial relative to the essentially common axis of rotation between the first inner body part and the second outer body part in order to bring the electric conductors through the turning device attached to the structure.

The suspension devices belonging to the structure are preferably attached to the first inner body part, in order to suspend the rotation device's structure from the boom. It is then simple to fit a standard motor under the coaxially arranged inner and outer body parts, even though the adapter permitting rotation is on the under-surface of the motor. Unlike the hydraulic connections, the electrical supply/data transfer permitting rotation needs little space radially and the electrical conductors can be brought to the adapter in a relatively narrow conduit.

With the aid of the structure according to the invention, both the pressure-medium flow and the electric conductors can be taken through the rotation device in such a way that the rotation device can be freely rotated completely. In other words, the said pressure-medium hoses and electric conductors coming from the boom to the rotation device are attached to the non-rotating upper part relative to an essentially vertical axis of the boom carrying the rotation device, and the separate other pressure-medium hoses and electric conductors and other, for example, additive hoses, which are not physically attached to the upper pressure-medium hoses and electric conductors are connected to the rotation device's rotating lower part, and are connected by means of the rotation device to the harvester head or other similar tool attached to the boom. The axial conduit formed in the structure permits electric conductors to be taken through the rotation device attached to the structure, whereas the first conduits, connectors, and second conduits for their part permits the pressure-medium flow to be taken through in all the mutual attitudes of the first inner body part and second outer body part of the rotation device's structure. By leading the electric conductors to the structure through the rotation device attached in a direct lead with the aid of connection means, turning devices of different manufacturers can be combined with the structure, as the rotation shafts of the turning devices are generally hollow. The sides of the structure then remain free, permitting the use of different bearing means, such as, for example, a ring bearing, in connection with the structure.

The first inner body part and the second outer body are preferably mutually radial. In this connection, radiality means that the parts nest in the direction of the radius. In this connection, it should be understood that the said axial conduit is essentially axial, which means that the conduit can also be at a slight angle relative to the axis of rotation between the first inner body part and the second outer body part.

Preferably, there are at least three first conduits, connections, and second conduits, so that there is at least a pressure line, a return line, and a drain line for the pressure-medium flow, which can be taken separately from each other between the boom and the harvester head.

The axial conduit is preferably coaxial relative to the essentially common axis of rotation between the first inner body part and the second outer body part. The axial conduit can then be completely straight and coaxial.

In this connection, it should be understood that the first conduits and connections form a group of conduits passing through the structure of the rotation device, which are open/available in all the rotation attitudes of the rotation device. At the same time, it should be understood that the term electric conductor refers to electric conductors that are intended for transmitting one or more voltage, current, or electric signal.

Preferably at least one of the following functionalities: electrical feed-through, bearings, and turning device, are arranged modularly in the structure. Thus, these components of the rotation device can be easily detached and/or changed, i.e. in other words they are not integrated in the structure.

Preferably the first inner body part or the second outer body part is arranged to be suspended from the boom, so that the other of these is arranged to suspend a harvester head from the rotation device. Instead of a harvester head, some other work device or tool can also be suspended from the rotation device, for example, a grab or other similar device, which must be rotated and for which electrical control and a presser-medium flow must be provided.

The axial conduit is preferably formed of a separate sleeve shaft fitted in the first inner body part for taking the electric conductors through the first inner body part. With the aid of the sleeve shaft, it is possible to use, in connection with the structure of the rotation device, a pressure-medium operated turning device that is coaxial relative to the axis of rotation of the first inner body part and the second outer body part, as the sleeve shaft permits the turning device to be placed as a continuation of the first inner body part and the second outer body part in their longitudinal direction. In addition, the sleeve shaft permits the turning device to be placed after the first inner body part and the second outer body part, so that the first inner body part can be wider, thus permitting the conduits for the feed-through of the pressure-medium flow to be taken to the first inner body part without increasing the overall width of the rotation device and with a wide cross-section.

According to one embodiment, the axial conduit is formed as an integrated part of the first inner body part. The structure of the rotation device can then be manufactured without separate attachment or locking between the sleeve shaft and the body part, so that the structure is extremely strong and can be made as a single piece either by machining or, for example, as a cast piece. The attachment means are preferably arranged to join the said turning device to the second outer body part.

According to another embodiment, the sleeve shaft is a separate part to be attached to the first inner body part. With the aid of a separate sleeve shaft, the properties of the pressure-medium-operated turning device can vary more, as the sleeve shaft can be manufactured to be compatible with different turning devices without a separate adapter. This in turn increases the considerable modularity of the structure of the rotation device.

According to one embodiment, the second conduits are annular ring conduits formed on the outer circumference of the first inner body part .

The structure preferably includes an additional conduit for leading fluid through the structure. Thus the rotation device can be implemented without the hoses needed to lead fluid, which would limit the rotation of the rotation device. The fluid is preferably a tree-stump treatment agent or a lubrication agent for the centralized lubrication equipment, for example, lubricating oil or grease.

The additional conduit is preferably formed either in the outer surface of the first inner body part or in the inner surface of the second outer body part, or in both. The additional conduit can then be annular, which will permit the transmission of tree-stump treatment agent in all the mutual attitudes of the first inner body part and the second outer body part.

The pressure medium is preferably hydraulic oil. The operating devices and turning devices of modern harvester heads are generally hydraulic operating devices. According to one embodiment, the turning device can also be electric, when the power it requires can also be led along the axial conduit using electric conductors. The attachment means can be fitted to the second outer body part. Thus the pressure-medium-operated turning device can be attached to the second outer body part, which is in a rotating relationship with the first inner body part.

The bearing means are preferably a ring bearing fitted between the first inner body part and the second outer body part. A ring bearing is easy to change and there are several manufacturers of ring bearings. The ring bearing is arranged to carry axial and radial loads between the first inner body part and the second outer body part of the rotation device.

A drain line can be formed coaxially around the axial conduit in order to guide leaks in the pressure-medium operated turning device and the operating devices of the harvester head back to the boom through the rotation device. The rotation device can then be implemented without a separate ring line for leaks. In this connection, the term leak refers to an internal leak appearing in the pressure-medium motor, in which the pressure medium moves past the piston to the casing of the pressure-medium motor. This leaked pressure medium should be led out of the casing, so that the pressure in the pressure-medium motor will not grow so large that it could cause internal damage to the pressure-medium motor. The intention of the invention can be achieved using a rotation device which includes the structure according to the invention, a direct-drive pressure-medium operated turning device to be attached coaxially to the structure relative to the axis of rotation, and an adapter for permitting the complete rotation of the electric conductors attached to the under-surface belonging to the turning device in the operating position of the rotation device. The rotation device according to the invention can be manufactured modularly using the turning devices and ring bearings of different manufacturers, as the structure can be easily adapted according to different manufacturers' components. In other words, each feature and property of the rotation device can be implemented in the best possible manner and with the most suitable components. With the aid of the adapter, the electric conductors can rotate completely.

According to one embodiment, the pressure-medium-operated turning device of the rotation device is a radial piston motor. For example, compared to a vane motor a radial piston motor is more precise to operate when working. The seal in a radial piston motor takes place over a long distance in the jacket of the cylinder, so that its pressure resistance is better than in a vane motor, in which sealing takes place as a linear contact between the vane and the cylinder. Because of this a radial piston motor is more precise to operate and the torque it produces is greater than that of a vane motor.

According to another embodiment, the pressure-medium operated turning device is a vane motor. A vane motor too can be installed to drive directly to the sleeve shaft after the structure, so that the rotation device retains a narrow structure.

The turning device is preferably hydraulic. An even output of power is obtained with the aid of hydraulics.

Alternatively, the turning device can also be electrically operated. An electrically operated turning device requires fewer connections than a hydraulic turning device. Preferably the rotor of the completely rotating CAN or other similar adapter is arranged to be attached to the axial conduit of the first inner body part of the structure thus permitting the conductor to be installed to be stationary. Thus the electric conductor in the axial conduit cannot twist. The rotor of the adapter is attached to the circumferential part of the hydraulic motor. The CAN adapter can also be selected from among the adapters of different manufacturers. The adapter is inductive, capacitive, galvanic, or a combination of these. The power supply can be, for example, by means of a galvanic connection and the data transfer by means of an inductive connection . The adapter used can be, for example, Penlink AB ' s (SE) model "COMPACT SLIP RINGS - SRC025".

The turning device of the rotation device is preferably fitted between the first inner body part and the adapter of the electric conductors.

A hydraulic drain line is preferably formed between the structure and the turning device for connecting and leading the hydraulic drain flow coming from the harvester head to the hydraulic drain line of the turning device. This makes it possible to avoid having to form an additional annular conduit in the structure.

In this connection it should be understood that the first inner body part and the second outer body part can each be elements consisting of one or more components.

The electric conductors and conduits required for the hydraulics, tree-stump treatment agent and the data-transfer buses (CAN/Arcnet buses) can also be taken through the feed-through in the centre of the structure of the rotation device according to the invention to the harvester head. In addition to the data-transfer buses, electrical power/current /voltage supply can also be led to the harvester head. Thanks to the structure according to the invention, the harvester head can be rotated without limit. The structure also permits modularity when forming the rotation device, as using the same structure the rotation device can be assembled without changes, or with at most minor changes, to be compatible with the turning devices, CAN adapters, and rotation rings of different manufacturers. In other words, the rotation device can be implemented using known components and/or commercially available components. The structure according to the invention is a floating structure, so that the loading is not directed to the hydraulics feed-through or the CAN feed-through. In this context, the term floating refers to the fact that the first inner body part rests by gravity on top of the turning device and the first inner body part can be freely rotated relative to the second outer body part and the rotation device's lug. The structure permits the CAN feed-through component to be located under the rotation device. The advantage gained with the structure according to the invention is that the rotation device can be operated without needing to watch out for or allow for hanging connection hoses, and also without the danger of cutting the connection hoses during work when rotating the harvester head. The free rotatability of the rotation device brings with it new working possibilities, accelerates work, and improves productivity. On the other hand, by means of the rotation device according to the invention it is possible to avoid device damage due to the previously limited rotation angle, which can be caused by an inexperienced operator. In its overall dimensions, the structure according to the invention is shorter longitudinally than rotation devices according to the prior art.

In addition to the electric conductors and conduits, pres- sure-medium lines, for example hydraulic leads, can also be taken through the feed-through in the centre of the structure of the rotation device according to the invention. In the operating position of the rotation device, the turning device is preferably attached underneath the second outer body part of the structure of the rotation device, to the under-surface of the second outer body part. The attachment of the turning device is then simple to make and turning devices from different manufacturers can easily be used.

One preferred hydraulic turning device, which can be used with the structure of the rotation device according to the invention to form the rotation device according to the invention, is the turning device marketed under the product name MCR5 or MCR10, manufactured by Bosch Rexroth AG.

In this context, the term direct drive refers to the fact that there is no mechanical transmission between, for example, the turning device and the first inner body part, but that the turning device directly rotates the first inner body part.

The intention of the forest machine according to the invention can be achieved by means of a forest machine, which includes a structure of a rotation device according to any of the aforementioned embodiments.

The forest machine preferably includes a harvester head. Especially in connection with a harvester head, several pressure-medium flows and possibly also electric conductors need to be taken through the rotation device.

In the rotation device according to the invention, the first inner body part and the second outer body part together form a completely rotating totality, which distributes the pressure-medium flow from the rotation device. Underneath this totality a standard model coaxial turning device is preferably attached, comprising an opening for taking an axial conduit through the turning device. An adapter is preferably further attached to the under-surface of the turning device, to permit the complete rotation of the electric conductors.

It should be understood that the structure of the rotation device and the rotation device according to the invention can also be used in connection with any work device using a pressure medium, control and/or measurement. In connection with the rotation device according to the invention, besides a harvester head, such work devices can be, for example, a grab saw, a felling grab/device, a stump lifting device, or some other work device suspended from the boom or at the end of the boom. Instead of a boom, the structure of the rotation device according to the invention can also be suspended from some other similar suspension structure .

In the following, the invention is described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings showing some embodiment of the invention, in which

Figure 1 shows an axonometric simplified schematic image of the rotation device according to the invention in connection with a forest machine,

Figure 2 shows an axonometric rear view of the rotation device according to the invention suspended from a boom and attached to a harvester head,

Figure 3a shows a side cross-section of a first embodiment of the structure and rotation device according to the invention,

Figure 3b shows a side cross-section at an angle of 90° relative to Figure 3a of a first embodiment of the structure and rotation device according to the invention, Figure 4a shows a side cross-section of a second embodiment of the structure and rotation device according to the invention,

Figure 4b shows a side cross-section at an angle of 90° relative to Figure 4a of a second embodiment of the structure and rotation device according to the invention,

Figure 5 shows an axonometric view of the separated rotation device according to the invention, Figure 6 shows a side view from the same direction as

Figures 3b and 4b of the separated rotation device according to the invention,

Figure 7 shows a top view of the separated rotation device according to the invention,

Figure 8 shows an axonometric exploded view of a third embodiment of the rotation device and structure of the rotation device according to the invention, Figure 9 shows a fourth embodiment in cross-section in two directions ,

Figure 10 shows an axonometric exploded view of a fourth embodiment of the rotation device and structure of the rotation device according to the invention.

According to Figure 1, the rotation device 1 according to the invention is suitable for use preferably in connection with forest machines 100. The rotation device can also be termed a rotator, which is widely used in the field of technology. In forest machines 100, there is generally a set of working booms 102, to the end of the last boom 2 of which the rotation device 1 is attached in a pivoted manner. The pivoting of the rotation device 1 to the boom 2 can be made according to the prior art using two transverse rotating joints at different directions to each other, which permit the rotation device 1 to always hang vertically, irrespective of the attitude of the set of working booms 102. The rotation device 1 can be attached to a shackle 5 belonging to the harvester head 3, which can be rotated unrestrictedly around the axis of rotation of the rotation device 1 with the aid of the rotation device 1. According to the prior art, the pressure-medium flow required by the operating devices of the harvester head 3 is taken through the set of working booms 102 with the aid of hoses, from the forest machine's 100 pressure-medium pump 106, which is operated with the aid of the engine 104 of the forest machine 100 to create pressure. According to Figure 1, the rotation device 1 according to the invention permits the pressure-medium flows coming from the set of working booms 102 to be taken through the rotation device 1 to the harvester head 3. Correspondingly, the electrical control of the harvester head 3 is also brought from the forest machine 100 by way of the set of working booms 102 through the rotation device 1 to the harvester head 3.

According to Figure 2, when using the rotation device 1 according to the invention, the pressure-medium flows taken through the rotation device 1 are led along the lines 60.1 - 60.3 to the harvester head's 3 valve block 4, from where the flow is further distributed to the harvester head's 3 operating devices and the turning device 24 intended to turn the rotation device 1. The harvester head's operating devices can be, for example, a cutting device's cylinder, the feed motors of the feed rollers, and the stripping claws' cylinders. The rotation device according to the invention is preferably intended to be used in connection with a forest machine, in which the pressure medium is hydraulic oil, but the invention is also suitable for use with pneumatic pressure-medium flows. In this connection, it should be understood that, instead of a forest machine, the rotation device and structure of a rotation device according to the invention are also suitable for use, for example, with excavators and other work machines equipped with a set of working booms, in which a work device, which has operating devices, such as a bucket or grab or something similar, requiring a pressure medium, is attached to the set of working booms.

The leading of the pressure-medium flows from the boom 2 to the rotation device 1, shown in Figure 2, can be implemented in several ways. The connections of the pressure-medium lines connected to the cover 88 of the rotation device 1 shown in Figure 7 can be arranged to travel parallel to the axis of rotation of the rotation device and to be at right-angles to the second axis of rotation pivoting the rotation device 1 to the boom. In other words, the connections connecting the lines to the rotator are oriented, according to Figure 2, upwards, if the connection is examined relative to its longitudinal direction. The lines of the pressure-medium flows, which leave the boom 2, i.e. in this case the end of the boom, preferably travel through the rotating joint between the boom 2 and the rotation device 1 and through its axis of rotation. Alternatively, in their longitudinal direction the connections of the pressure-medium flows can be at an angle of 5 - 85° relative to the plane of the cover of the rotation device, so that, in other words, the connection of the lines lie at a slanting angle to the cover, most preferably the connection's longitudinal direction intersecting the imaginary axis of rotation of the lower joint of the rotating joints between the rotation device and the boom. Further, alternatively the connections of the lines of the pressure-medium flows can be arranged on the side of the rotation device next to the boom and the lines can travel in the direction of the axis of rotation of the rotating joint on the harvester head side transferred past this rotating joint, i.e. through the first rotating joint, but bypassing the end of the second rotating joint and from there to the connectors fitted to the forest-machine side on the side of the rotation device. The aforementioned are only exemplary ways of leading the pressure-medium flow to the rotation device. Figure 3a shows a cross-section of a first embodiment of the rotation device 1 and the structure 10 of the rotation device according to the invention. The rotation device 1 according to the invention includes a structure 10 of a rotation device and a turning device 24 attached to it as well as the electric-conductor 96 adapter 48 visible in Figure 9. The adapter 48 is preferably attached to the under-surface 94 belonging to the turning device 24 (shown in Figures 3b and 4b) . The turning device 24 is, for its part, preferably attached to the under-surface 92 of the second outer body part 14. In this connection, the under-surface is defined, according to the suspension attitude of the rotation device, as the opposite side of the structure of the rotation device to the suspension means. The structure 10 of the rotation device 1 includes, as principal components, a first inner body part 12, a second outer body part 14, bearing means 20, connection means 22, an axial conduit 16 comprising two ends 16.1 and 16.2, first conduits 26, second conduits 30, and connections 28. The end 16.1 includes an electric-conductor holder (not shown) . The first inner body part 12 is a cylindrical piece, through which the axial conduit 16 of the body part 12 is formed for electric conductors, and first conduit 26 for feeding through a pressure medium. The axial conduit 16 forms a connection at that end of the cylindrical first inner body part that is opposite to the turning device 24 attached to the structure of the rotation device 1 and external to the turning device 24. The other end 16.2 of the axial conduit 16 is the end that is at that end of the first inner body part 12 to which the turning device is arranged to be attached. In the embodiments of Figures 3a - 4b, there are three first conduits 26 for taking three separate pressure-medium flows through the first inner body part 12. The first conduits 26 are preferably axial relative to the first inner body part 12, i.e. parallel to the axial conduit 16, and each first conduit 26 has two ends. The first of each of the ends of the first conduit 26 forms a connection at the end of the cylindrical first inner body part 12 that is opposite to the turning device 24 to be attached to the structure of the rotation device 1. The other end, in turn, forms a connection radially to the side of the first inner body part. The first conduits 26 can also be at a slight angle relative to the longitudinal direction of the first inner body part 12, when the second ends of the first conduits 26 will form a direct connection to the sides of the first inner body part. In Figure 3a, the left-hand first conduit 26 relative to the axial conduit 16 is a pressure line, while the right-hand first conduit 26 is a return line. The first conduit 26 and the axial conduit 16 can have a diameter of 2 - 50 mm and be preferably circular in cross-section. The conduits 26 and 16 are preferably 15 - 30 mm in diameter, for optimal volume flow.

In the embodiments of Figures 1 - 9, the first inner body part 12 is intended for suspending the rotation device 1 on the boom

2 of a forest machine with the aid of the suspension means 90 belonging to it. In this embodiment, lugs 54 as the suspension means 90 are formed to the first inner body part 12, in which lugs there are in turn openings 50 for pivoting the rotation device 1 to the forest machine's boom 2. The second outer body part 14 is, for its part, preferably formed as a sleeve-like structure, which is fitted radially on top of the cylindrical first inner body part 12. Between the first inner body part 12 and the second outer body part 14 are bearing means 20, which permit the first inner body part 12 and the second outer body part 14 to rotate mutually relative to each other. If the rotation device 1 is suspended as in Figures 1 - 7, i.e. from the first inner body part 12 to the boom 2, when the harvester head

3 rotates, the first inner body part 12 remains in place and the second outer body part 14 rotates on top of the first inner body part 12 attached to the harvester head 3. The bearing means 20 are preferably a ring bearing 40, which has the advantages of easy changeability and a large selection of manufacturers. The bearing means comprise preferably the bearings and teeth being arranged to permit the second outer body part 14 to rotate relative to the first inner body part 12 and vice versa. As has been stated earlier, the bearing means 20 are arranged to carry axial and radial loads. The axial load arises from the load of the harvester head 3, which is transmitted mainly as a vertical load through the turning device 24 to the second outer body part 14 and through it to the bearing means 20. On the other hand, the horizontal movements of the harvester head 3 cause forces that are transmitted through the second outer body part 14 to create radial loads on the bearing means 20.

The second outer body part 14 also includes its radial connections 28, which are intended to lead the pressure medium from the first inner body part 12 through the second outer body part 14. There are preferably as many connections 28 as there are first conduits 26. In order for the connections to be connected in all the attitudes of the first inner body part and the second body part relative to each other, second conduits are formed in the outer surface belonging to the first inner body part or the inner surface belonging to the second outer body part or in both. In the embodiments of Figures 3a - 4b, the second conduits 30 are formed in the outer surface 32 of the first inner body part 12. The inner surface of the second outer body part is shown with the reference number 34. Each second conduit 30 is preferably an annular ring conduit, which permits the flow of the pressure medium irre- spective of the mutual attitudes of the first inner body part 12 and the second outer body part 14. In other words, each second conduit is a continuous annular radial recess in the first inner body part, the second outer body part, or both. According to Figures 3a - 4b, there are preferably as many second conduits 30 as there are first conduits 26 and connections 28. Rotating movement seals are preferably formed in the first inner body part or the second outer body part to prevent leakage of the pressure medium from the second conduit between the first inner body part and the second outer body part. In the embodiment of Figures 3a - 4b, rotating movement seals 70 are formed in the first inner body part 12.

Connection means 22 are arranged to attach the direct-drive pressure-medium operated turning device 24 to the structure 10 coaxially relative to the axis of rotation of the first inner body part 12 and the second outer body part 14 for transmitting torque. In this connection, the term direct-drive refers to the fact that power is preferably transmitted directly to the first inner body part 12, for example, with the aid of a sleeve shaft 36. The turning device 24 together with the structure 10 forms the rotation device 1 according to the invention. The connection means 22 are preferably arranged to connect the said turning device 24 to the second outer body part 14, so that the turning device 24 is permanently attached to the second outer body part 14.

The structure 10 preferably includes a sleeve shaft 36, to which power-transmission elements 76 are formed. According to Figures 3a and 3b, the sleeve shaft 36 can be a separate shaft penetrating the first inner body part 12, in which the said axial conduit 16 is formed. According to Figures 3a and 3b, the sleeve shaft 36 can be attached to the first inner body part 12 using shape-closing locking, for example, with the aid of fluting 74 (shown in greater detail in Figure 8) and transmit the torque of the turning device 24 directly to the first inner body part 12, thus rotating the second outer body part 14 around the first inner body part 12. It is, however, also possible to attach the sleeve shaft 36 to the first inner body part using a friction joint, for example a thermal joint. The length of the sleeve shaft 36 can be such that it extends both to the first inner body part 12 and at least partly to the distance of the turning device 24 attached to the structure 10. The power-transmission elements 76 formed in the sleeve shaft 36 are preferably also fluting, which transmits torque between the turning device 24 and the first inner body part 12. When the rotation device 1 rotates, the first inner body part 12 and the sleeve shaft 36 attached to it remain stationary, while the turning device 24 and the second outer body part 14 attached to it rotate. Second attachment means 78 are formed in the turning-device 24 side end of the sleeve shaft 36, which permit a separate electric-conductor adapter 48 to be attached to the end of the sleeve shaft 36. According to Figures 4a and 4b, the sleeve shaft 36 can be formed to be a fixed part of the first inner body part 12, so that the sleeve shaft 36 is a structure protruding from the first inner body part 12, in the centre of which the axial conduit 16 for electric conductors runs.

The axial conduit 16 permits the electric conductors coming from the boom to be taken through the rotation device 1 to the turning-device 24 end 16.2 of the axial conduit 16, at least in the case of the end 16.2 coaxially with the first inner body part 12 and through the turning device 24 fitted to the rotation device. So that the electric conductors do not prevent the complete rotation of the rotation device, the electric conductors must be preferably connected to the electric-conductor adapter 48 belonging to the rotation device. The adapter 48 rotates completely in such a way that the electric conductors can be attached rotatably to the upper part of the adapter and electricity is transmitted through the adapter to the connector 64 rotating in its lower part, to which the electric conductors going to the harvester head are attached. The adapter can be any completely rotating adapter whatever on the market. Preferably the electric conductors taken through the rotation device according to the invention are data-transfer buses, preferably a CAN bus or an ArcNet bus, and the adapter 48 is a CAN adapter or correspondingly an Arcnet adapter. With the aid of the CAN bus or ArcNet bus electronic control is taken for the harvester head's functions of its operating devices, measurement sensors, and valve control. The electric conductors can also be more than one. For the adapter 48, the rotation device 1 can also include a protective casing 52, which can be attached to the turning device 24. An adapter connected under the turning device for its part permits a lower and simpler construction than that in rotation device according to the prior art.

The turning device to be used in the rotation device according to the invention is preferably a turning device placed coaxially around the sleeve shaft, so that the axial conduit 16 parallel to the axis of rotation of the rotation device is arranged to extend through the structure and at least partly also to the length of the turning device fitted to the structure. The rotation device can then be implemented in such a way that it does not widen the turning device radially. The turning device 24 used in the rotation device 1 is preferably a hydraulic radial piston motor 42. The advantages of a radial piston motor are its precise usability and long service life, as in it sealing takes place with the aid of the rotating movement of the bearings. Alternatively, the turning device can also be a vane motor, which can also be fitted around the sleeve shaft to provide direct drive.

According to the embodiments of Figures 3a - 4b, the structure 10 of the rotator 1 according to the invention can also include an extra conduit 80 formed by extra first conduit 26, a second conduit 30, and a connection 28, for leading fluid through the rotation device l. The fluid can be, for example, tree-stump treatment prevention agent or a lubrication agent, for example, lubricating oil or grease. The urea generally used as a prevention agent is used in a forest machine for treating the stump in connection with felling a tree. In connection with felling a tree, the tree's stump remains open, when a parasitic infection, for example rot fungus, can easily attack the open timber surface. Rot fungus can spread from the stump's roots to other healthy trees and thus destroy the tree stock.

In the embodiment according to Figures 3a and 3b, in which the sleeve shaft 36 is a separate part of the first inner body part 12, one of the first conduits 26 can be formed between the sleeve shaft 36 and the first inner body part 12, coaxially around the sleeve shaft 36. In other words, an empty space remains between the sleeve shaft 36 and the first inner body part 12, along which the drainage of the pressure-medium flow from both the turning device 24 and the harvester head can be taken through the rotation device 1. The use of one extra conduit and two rotating movement seals in the structure is then avoided.

Figure 5 shows the rotation device 1 according to the invention separated from a forest machine. In the figure, the pres- sure-medium lines 60.1, 60.2, and 60.3 going to the harvester head are connected to the connectors 28. Of these, pressure-medium line 60.1 is preferably the pressure line, 60.2 the return line, and 60.3 the drainage line. Connections 62, with the aid of which the pressure-medium flow is led from the harvester head to the turning device 24, can be seen under the pressure-medium limes 60.1, 60.2, and 60.3. Reference number 46 marks the holes, through which the rotation device 1 can be bolted to the shackle 5 of the harvester head 3 according to Figures 1 and 2. In Figure 5, the electric conductors are shown by reference number 56. The hose 82 is, in turn, a tree-stump treatment prevention agent line arranged as additional fluid.

Figure 6 shows in greater detail the connectors 28, to which the pressure-medium lines 60.1, 60.2, and 60.3 of Figure 5 are connected. The connectors 62 of the turning device 24 can be seen from Figure, to which connectors the pressure-medium lines 62.1 - 62.3 according to Figure 2, of which the pressure-medium lines 62.1 and 62.2 are the pressure line and the return line and the middle pressure-medium line 62.3 is a drainage line. Reference number 86 shows the prevention-agent line connector.

Figure 7 shows a top view of the rotation device 1 according to the invention. In this embodiment, connectors for the first conduits 26 and the axial conduit 16 are formed in the cover 88 belonging to the rotation device 1. Here the first conduit 26 with a smaller diameter on the right-hand side of the axial conduit 16 is the prevention-agent line. In turn, the connector underneath the axial conduit 16 in the figure is the pressure-medium flow pressure line, the upper connector is the return line, and the connector on the left-hand side is the drainage line. It should, however, be understood that the different first conduits can be used for different purposes, i.e. the pressure line, return line, and drainage line can be in different sequences.

Figure 8 shows an exploded view of the rotation device 1 according to the invention. According to Figure 8, the first inner body part 12 preferably consists of two parts 12.1 and 12.2, of which, in this embodiment, part 12.1 includes the first conduits 26 and the second part 12.2 the second conduits 30. According to Figure 8, the rotation device 1 also includes a cover 88, which can be attached to the first inner body part 12. In the third embodiment of the rotation device 1 and the structure 10 of the rotation device of Figure 8 continuation conduits are formed in the cover 88 as continuations of the first conduits 26, which turn connectors for the hoses of the pressure-medium flow by essentially 90° relative to the orientation of the first conduits. Thus the hoses leave the cover 88 of the rotation device 1 sideways, unlike in the embodiments of Figures 1 - 7. According to Figure 8, several parts are attached to each other with the aid of bolts or other locking means, so that the rotation device can be dismantled when necessary. In Figure 8, the parts of the ring bearing 40 are shown by the reference numbers 40.1 and 40.2.

Differing from the embodiments of Figures 1 - 9, the rotation device according to the invention can also be manufactured in such a way that the second outer body part of the structure of the rotation device is attached to lugs and through them to the boom, whereas the harvester head is attached to the first inner body part .

Figures 9 and 10 show a fourth embodiment of the body structure of the rotation device according to the invention. Here, unlike the embodiment of Figure 8, the inner body part 12 is a unified piece and does not comprise two parts 12.1 and 12.2 as in the embodiment of Figure 8. The locations of the pressure line 60.1, the return line 60.2, and the drainage line 60.3 are altered in the embodiment of Figure 9 relative to the embodiment of Figure 8. According to Figure 9, the drainage line 60.3 is formed between the inner body part 12 and the axial conduit 16. Figure 9 shows the cable input holder 16.3 and the electric conductors (cable) 96. The rotation device and rotation-device structure according to the invention are, except for the various seals, preferably manufactured from steel or some similar material suitable for the purpose. The axial height of the axial conduit of the rotation device according to the invention can be 300 - 800 mm and its diameter 200 - 400 mm, preferably 250 - 350 mm. The weight of the rotation device can be in the order of 50 - 200 kg, preferably 100 - 150 kg, for an optimal power-weight ratio. The bearings used can be, in an as such known manner, preferably rolling bearings, such as needle, ball, roller, or conical-roller bearings, or more preferably ring bearings. On the other hand, the bearings can also be sliding bearings, when they will carry the same loadings as a ring bearing, and when the material can be bearing bronze, brass, or some polymer.

A variation of the solutions shown in Figures 3a - 4b (not according to the invention) could be such, in which neither the central conduit not the adapter permitting rotation would be needed at all, as the electrical energy required is produced in the harvester and the data traffic is arranged wirelessly to the harvester head from suspension device or directly from the base machine. It is also possible to move the adapter permitting rotation to above the rotation device, which is, however, difficult if it is wished to use standard-type components.