Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A TRANSPORT SYSTEM ADAPTED TO BE ABLE TO OFFER A SEQUENTIAL ASSEMBLY OF HOUSE BODIES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/102268
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention encompasses primarily a transport system (T) which is adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly of a plurality of house bodies (5, 6, 8, 8'), structured in accordance with the "assembly line principle", by making for the positioning, on a prefabricated floor element (2), of modules, construction units, construction parts etc. and under the utilisation of a movably ("D1") disposed sets of platforms, for supporting one or more floor elements (2, (2)) for one or more house bodies, said sets of platforms being, by displacement means (T), movably disposed in at least two directions oriented towards or opposite one another, where a first direction ("D1") is given first sets of platforms and a second direction ("D2") is given second sets of platforms. On a selected number of platform segments (A6, A7) included in said platform (IA), there are manufactured or positioned one or more floor elements (2) and according, as it or they (2, (2)) are displaced in said first direction ("D1"), there are applied to these floor elements modules, construction units, construction parts etc. When the displacement distance of the first direction ("D1") is completed, a coordinated number of platform segments ((A2-A4); (A6, A7, A8)) are displaced ("D3" and ("D3")) over so as to be included in the second sets of platforms and are there given a second displacement direction (D2"), and during this transport the house bodies are further supplemented to finished product.

Inventors:
KINAST, Gerhard (Alexander Monski Strasse 9, Eilenbueg, DE)
KLERSY, Hans-Berth (Moritzstrasse 41, Wiesbaden, 65185, DE)
Application Number:
IB2008/001019
Publication Date:
August 28, 2008
Filing Date:
February 20, 2008
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BAU-HOW AS (Pb. 1993 Vika, N-Oslo, NO)
KINAST, Gerhard (Alexander Monski Strasse 9, Eilenbueg, DE)
KLERSY, Hans-Berth (Moritzstrasse 41, Wiesbaden, 65185, DE)
International Classes:
B28B15/00; E04B1/348
Foreign References:
US3820216A
DE2338445A1
US3958320A
US4272050A
Other References:
See also references of EP 2125313A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GROTH & CO I MALMÖ HB et al. (P.O. Box 6153, Malmö, S-200 11, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A transport system (1) adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly of a plurality of house bodies or products, such as whole or semi-manufactures, structured in accordance with the "assembly line principle", by making for the positioning, on a floor element, modules, construction units, construction parts etc., and under the utilisation of a movably disposed platform structure with coordinated sets of platforms for supporting one or more floor elements (2, (2)) for one or more house bodies or products, said sets of platforms being by displacement means, movably disposable in at least two directions ("Dl", "D2") oriented opposite one another, where a first direction ("Dl") is given first sets of platforms and a second direction ("D2") is given second sets of platforms, characterised in that, on a selected number of platform related segments (IA, 2A, 3 A, 4A and 5A), included in a virtual platform set, there are manufactured or positioned one or more floor elements, according as it or they are displaced in said first direction ("Dl"), there being applied to these floor elements (2, (2)) modules, construction units, construction parts etc. and when a displacement distance for said first direction ("Dl") is completed, only one or a coordinated number of platform segments (A2, A3, A4 and A6, A7, A8), supporting one or more complementable semi-manufactures (2, (2)) are displaced over so as to form a part of the second sets of platforms and are there given the second displacement direction ("D2"), and that during this transport the house body and/or bodies are further supplemented, to a finished semi-manufacture and/or finished product.

2. The system as claimed in Claim 1, characterised in that a displacement of platform segments from the second sets of platform to the first sets of platforms takes place piecewise, pairwise and/or in coordination.

3. The system as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, characterised in that a displacement of platform segments supporting one or more house bodies in semi-manufacture, from the first sets of platforms to the second sets of platforms, takes place piecewise,

pairwise and/or in coordination, such as one coordinated set, such as containing 5-10 or 4-8, of platform segments.

Description:

TITLE OF THE INVENTION: A transport system adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly of house bodies

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates in general to a transport system, and more specifically to a transport system which is directly adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly, structured in accordance with the "assembly line principle", of one or a plurality of semi-house bodies and/or complete house bodies or units as modules.

The transport system, according to the present invention, is based on a method or a process for creating semi-house bodies and/or complete house bodies or units, by placing and securing, on a prefabricated floor element, modules, construction units, construction parts etc. which, coordinated in successive assembly stations, finally form a desired house body and/or a house unit or alternatively a semi-manufacture thereof.

The transport system is intended, for a continuous (or stepwise) production of the house bodies, to utilise a movably disposed, horizontally displaceable platform structure or set of platform segments for supporting one or more floor elements for one or more house bodies, said platform structure being movably disposed, by specifically configurated displacing means, as hydraulic operated piston-cylinder- arrangements, in two opposite directions, oriented towards one another, where a first direction is given first sets of platform structures and a second direction is given second sets of platform structures.

It should be observed that the expression "platform structure" and/or "platform set" is to be considered "virtually" in that there is, in practice, no clearly defined border or interface between a "first" platform structure or platform set and an adjacent

"second" platform structure or platform set, as each platform structure is formed

from a predetermined plurality of platform related segments, the expression here selected having come into use simply for purposes of simplification and clarification.

A transport system, disclosed according to the present invention finds its particular field of application within a production plant adapted for series or mass production of the same and/or different partly finished and/or completely finished house bodies, but may also be put into use for the production of more or less finished house units, such as semi-manufactures.

BACKGROUND ART

Methods, arrangements and constructions, relating to the above-disclosed technical field and possessing a function and a nature which satisfy set requirements, are previously known in the art in a plurality of different embodiments.

Thus, it is known in the art, within production plants for house bodies, to create a successive construction of these house bodies, more or less in accordance with an "assembly line principle".

The term "assembly line principle" is basically taken to signify that, during a production sequence, a floor element is to be moved, during a successive mounting sequence in position of applying modules, construction elements and/or units, from one assembly station to another.

The displacement of heavy platform structures and heavy house bodies or house constructions supported by the platform structure, and built from a floor element, formed from concrete, with a subjacent platform structure utilised and supporting the house bodies normally takes place stepwise, but can nevertheless still be considered as falling under the concept of the continuous "assembly line principle".

As regards the construction and production of less voluminous units, it is also known in the art to position semi-manufactures as units on specifically produced platforms and to impart to these platforms a continuous or stepwise displacement movement,

with the aid of a used transport system, accordingly as the semi-manufacture is completed, in laterally related assembly stations, towards a finished product or unit.

It is further known in the art to cause said platforms, by per se known displacing means (such as hydraulically operated piston and cylinder assemblies), to be movably disposed in at least two main directions, oriented towards or opposite one another, where first direction is given first sets of platforms and a second direction is given second sets of platforms and where platform sets are coordinated in parallel side-by-side relation.

In such instance, the platforms consist of individual units and/or segments, with an outer circumference corresponding to or exceeding somewhat the circumference of the intended product as a unit or a module.

It is also known in the art methods and arrangements shown and described in the following patent publications;

US-A-3 820 216 US-A-3 958 320 US-A-4 272 050 and DE-A1-2 338 445

Patent publication US-A-3 820 216 discloses a production line for the manufacture of prefabricated buildings.

It is here suggested a production line which is generally L-shaped.

The floor (1) has a long section (2) which comprises an assembly line (7) and a short section (3) which accommodates the greater part of a manufacturing line (10), said lines (7 and 10) extending generally at right-angles and optionally being located at different horizontal levels.

Various stores and other depots are provided along the two lines (7 and 10) which together constitute the production line of the factory.

The short section (3) includes an office (4) having direct access to the floor (1), a canteen and cloakroom (5) and a watch room (6) with toilet facilities.

At one corner of the floor (1) there is a depot or station (35) located at the head of the assembly line (7) in the long section (2) of the floor, said depot or station (35) also being at one end of the manufacturing line (10) and being fitted for the assembly of prefabricated panel elements to form cell-like building sections or room units intended for the construction of prefabricated dwelling or other buildings.

The term "cell-like building sections or room units" is to be interpreted as implying the provision of at least one wall and/or a floor and/or a ceiling.

Once assembled, said building sections or room units are conveyed along the assembly line (7) in common and are there provided with wallpaper or other wall coverings, doors, windows and so on as required.

Each building section or room unit is composed of a plurality of panel-like elements and normally will basically consist of a floor (80), upright walls (81 and 82) and a ceiling (83).

Patent publication US-A-3 958 320 discloses methods for the manufacture of pre fabricated building sections or room units and factories for the implementation of such methods.

It is here suggested the use of a hall (1) forming part of a factory, in which hall a production line (2) is arranged.

The production line (2) comprises a construction part (3), a manufacturing part (4) and an assembly part (5).

The panels that are to form walls, floors, ceilings and so on of the building sections are made in the parts (3 and 4) of the line (2) and are the assembled at the beginning of the part (5) of that line.

The assembled building sections are subject to further finishing techniques as they pass towards the end of the assembly part (5) of the production line (2) so that, when they reach said end, the sections are substantially complete and finished and are ready for use in the construction of prefabricated buildings.

A prefabricated building section (10) that may be made on the production line (2) is comprised principally by a floor panel (6), two wall panels (7 and 8) and a panel (9) for the ceiling or roof.

When the four panels (6 to 9) inclusive are assembled, the section (10) has the shape of a horizontally elongated rectangular parallelepiped, two opposite longer vertical side of which are missing.

Patent publication US-A-4 272 050 discloses a method and apparatus for pre-casting steel reinforced concrete box-like modules.

More specifically, the method and apparatus may be employed to form modules in a variety of ways.

They find their maximum utilization in an assembly line.

A completed pre-cast monolithic concrete module (300) including a floor (302), two longitudinally extending side walls (304), a roof (306) and a window opening (308).

Not shown are end walls which may partly or completely cover the end opening (310).

However, steel reinforcement means in the form of vertical rods (74) and horizontal rods (79) extending respectively from the floor and side walls are shown in preparation for the subsequent inclusion of a cast concrete end wall.

The assembly line is generally designated by the reference numeral (13) and comprises three sets of casting beds (15), each set including four casting beds.

The full advantages of the assembly line (13) can be realized whenever a set of interior forms (14) and a set of exterior forms (16), are associated with four casting beds (15). Thus, in the assembly line (13) it will be seen that there are three sets of interior forms (14) and three sets of exterior forms (16), one set for each four casting beds (15).

The patent publication DE-Al -2 338 445 discloses a method and a device for the production of units or arrangements in the form of pallets.

It is here suggested preparatory sections (1-3) in a first production line segment, a perpendicular to said production line arranged transporting line or displacement means to transport the pallets to production sections (4, 5, 6 and7).

Sections (1-3) within the preparatory transporting line and the sections (4-7) within the production line are oriented in parallel.

Each pallet is exposing a rectangular form and is transported in a direction along the long sides.

Definitions:

The present invention is based upon predetermined "virtual" platform constructions where each platform consists of a number of platform related segments.

One platform may consist of a first number of segments, a second platform may consist of a first or a second number of segments, and so on.

Thus, a "virtual" platform consists of a number of segments which in a closed position may cover and support a ground or a floor unit for a building (and eventually thereto added segments).

Thus, the platforms simultaneously displaced may have the same or different forms and the same or different number of rectangular segments.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION TECHNICAL PROBLEM

Taking into account the circumstance that the technical considerations which a person skilled in the art must do in order to be able to offer a solution to one or more set technical problems is, on the one hand, initially a necessary insight into the measures and/or the sequence of measures to be implemented and, on the other hand, a necessary selection of the means required, in view hereof the following technical problems are likely to be relevant in the evolution of the subject matter of the present invention.

Taking into account the state of the art as described above, it is probably likely therefore to be seen as a technical problem to be able to realise the importance of, the advantages associated with and/or the technical measures and considerations which will be required in order, in a transport system, adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly, structured, in accordance with the "assembly line principle", of a plurality of house bodies under construction by placing, on a prefabricated floor element, modules, construction units, construction parts etc. and utilising a movably disposed platform structure as for supporting one or more floor elements for one or more house bodies, said platform structure being in the form of a set or a number of platform sections or segments, by displacement means, movably disposed in at least two directions, oriented towards or opposite one another, where a first direction is given to first sets of platforms or sections and a second direction is given to second sets of platforms or sections, to be able to offer simplified routines in the production line of house bodies, to simplify an adapted transport system to fulfil a selected

production and a more compact set of requisite assembly stations and/or create the preconditions for a buffer zone.

There resides a technical problem in being able to realise the importance of, the advantages associated with and/or the technical measures and considerations which will be required in order to cause a selected number of platform sets and/or platform segments, included in said platform structure and/or sets of platforms, to serve as a coordinated platform in order to manufacture or position one or more floor elements, and accordingly, as it or they are displaced in said first direction, there are applied to these floor elements modules, construction units, construction parts etc. and when a displacement distance in the first direction is completed, one or more number of platform segments coordinated to a virtual platform set or thereof, are displaced over in order, in such instance, to be included as second sets of platforms and are there given a second direction of displacement and that, during this transport or displacement distance, the house body and/or bodies are further completed towards a finished product.

There resides a technical problem in being able to realise the importance of, the advantages associated with and/or the technical considerations which will be required in order to cause a displacement of platform segments, from a second virtual platform set to a first virtual platform set, to take place piecewise, pairwise and/or in coordination.

There resides a technical problem in being able to realise the importance of, the advantages associated with and/or the technical considerations which will be required in order to cause a displacement of platform segments coordinated to a virtual set supporting one or more house bodies in a semi-manufacture sequence, from a first virtual platform set to a second virtual platform set, to take place piecewise, pairwise and/or in coordination, such as in coordination, such as with 5-10 or 4-8 platform segments, preferably 6-8 such platform segments.

SOLUTION

In such instance, the present invention takes as its point of departure or origin the prior art, as disclosed by way of introduction, where a transport system is directly adapted in order to be able to offer a sequential assembly production sequence, in accordance with the "assembly line principle", of a plurality of house bodies, by positioning, on a prefabricated floor element, house body allocated modules, construction units, construction parts etc., and under the utilisation of a movably disposed platform structure, for supporting one or more floor elements for one or more house bodies, said platform structure being movably disposed, by displacement means, in at least two main directions, oriented towards or opposite one another, where a first direction is given to first sets of virtual platforms and a second direction is given to second sets of virtual platforms.

In order to be able to resolve one or more of the above-disclosed technical problems, the present invention more specifically discloses that the prior art be supplemented by the feature that, on a selected number of platform segments, included in a platform structure or a virtual set of platforms, there are manufactured or positioned one or more floor elements, according as it or they are displaced as semi- manufactures in a first direction, there are applied to and mounted on to these floor elements modules, construction units, construction parts etc. and when the displacement distance for said first direction is completed, one virtual platform set or a coordinated number of real platform segments, supporting said floor unit with mounted modules, construction units, construction parts as semi-manufactures, are displaced over so as to be included in second sets of virtual platforms and are there given said second displacement direction, and that during this transport the house body and/or bodies, in the form of semi-manufactures, are supplemented further with construction parts towards a finished product.

As proposed embodiments, falling within the scope of the basic concept of the present invention, it is moreover disclosed that a displacement of platform segments,

from as first sets of second platforms to the first platform set takes place piecewise, pairwise and/or in coordination using a chosen number of platform segments.

A displacement of a plurality of platform segments, forming a virtual platform set, carrying one or more house bodies in semi-manufacture, from first sets of platforms to second sets of platforms, may take place piecewise, pairwise and/or in coordination, such as in coordinated, such as with 5-10 or 4-8, platform segments.

ADVANTAGES Those advantages which may principally be deemed to be characteristic of the present invention and the specific significative characterising features disclosed thereby are that there have hereby been created the preconditions in order, in a transport system, adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly of at least one but preferably a plurality of house bodies, structured in accordance with the "assembly line principle", by making for the positioning, on a prefabricated floor element or platform, of house building associated modules, construction units, construction parts etc. and under the utilisation of a movably disposed platform structure as platform segments or sets of platforms, for supporting one or more floor elements for one or more semi-manufactures and/or house body and/or bodies, said sets of platforms being movably disposed by displacement means in at least two main directions, oriented opposite one another, where a first direction is given first sets of virtual platforms and a second direction is given second sets platforms, each virtual platform is built up by a selected number of adjacently oriented platform sections.

In particular, the present invention discloses the constructional disclosure for the transport system that, on a selected number of virtual sets of platforms and platform segments included therein, included in said transport system, there are manufactured or positioned one or more floor elements and that, according as it or they are displaced in said first direction, individual house body associated modules, construction units, construction parts etc. are applied to these floor elements, in order to commence a production towards and offer a semi-manufacture and/or finished product.

When the displacement distance for said first direction is completed, a coordinated number of platform segments supporting one or more semi-manufactures, is displaced over so as to be included in the second sets of virtual platforms and there be given a second displacement direction, and that during this transport the semi- manufacture forming a body, bodies, units and/or modules is further completed towards a finished semi-manufacture and/or a finished product.

That which may principally be deemed to be characteristic of a transport system, according to the present invention, is disclosed in the characterising clause of appended Claim 1.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS

One currently proposed embodiment, displaying the significative characterising features associated with the present invention, will now be described in greater detail hereinbelow for purposes of exemplification, with reference to the accompanying Drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 shows in principle a transport system with a platform structure, with sets of virtual platforms oriented in two parallel rows and where these are displaceable in each one of two counter-directed movements, where first coordinated sets of platforms are given a first direction of movement, while second coordinated sets of platforms are given a second, an opposing, direction of movement;

Fig. 2 shows a lateral displacement, significative of the invention, of a collection of coordinated platform segments (eight segments), supporting one or more semimanufactures, from right-related sets of first platforms to left-related sets of second platforms; Fig. 3 shows a lateral displacement, significative of the invention, of a single platform segment (9A4) from left-related second sets of platforms to right-related first sets of platforms;

Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a coordinated "virtual" platform in the form of an imaginary unit, with a number of total eight platform segments, illustrated supporting two floor units supported by selected segments; and

Fig. 5 is a sectional view through a floor unit, such as a unit which is placed to rest against only a few, say two or three, platform segments.

DESCRIPTION OF CURRENTLY PROPOSED EMBODIMENT

By way of introduction, it should be emphasised that, in the following description of one currently proposed embodiment, which displays the significative characterising features associated with the invention and which is clarified by means of the figures shown in the accompanying Drawings, we have selected terms and a special terminology with the intention in such instance principally of clarifying the inventive concept.

However, in this context it should be observed that expressions selected here should not be seen as restricted exclusively to the terms selected and utilised here, but that it should be understood that every such selected term is to be interpreted so that it in addition encompasses all technical equivalents, which function in the same or substantially the same manner in order in such instance to attain the same or substantially the same intention and/or technical effect.

With reference to accompanying Figs. 1-5 there are thus shown schematically and in detail not only the basic preconditions for the present invention but likewise the significative properties associated with the present invention have been given concrete form by means of the embodiment now proposed and described in greater detail hereinbelow.

Thus, Figs. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate the function of an endless transport system 1, constructed from platform structures, with coordinated virtual sets of platforms, where each such virtual platform set consists of a like or unlike number, forms and/or structures but each of a plurality, of platform segments, in different transport sequences and positions, and which system 1 is intended to be able to displace,

continuously or stepwise, an elongate set of platform segments Al to A8, transversely oriented in relation to the transport direction "Dl" and "D2", applicable to each one of the platform sets IA, 2A, 3A .... 9A. Each platform segment, such as Al , has a rectangular surface Al '.

The invention is intended, with the aid of a transport device "T" which, via displace means, cooperates with a plurality of adjacently oriented platform segments Al, A2, A3 ... A8, oriented in parallel and coordinated to individual sets of platforms, such as IA, where the pattern of movement for these sets of platforms 1A-9A and each exposing platform segments Al .... A8, are adapted to be able to offer a sequential assembly, structured in accordance with the "assembly line principle", of a plurality of house bodies or finished product.

Initially, this takes place in that, on platform segment A6, A7 and part of A8 (Fig. 4) within a platform set IA, there is placed a metal frame 5 and coordinated module profiles 8, 8' and on site manufactured first floor element 2, and thereafter make for the positioning on the floor element 2 and its concrete slab 6 house associated modules, construction units, construction parts etc. (not shown), and under the utilisation of movably disposed sets of platforms, which are to displace themselves successively from platform IA to 9A, for supporting of one, illustrated as 2 or more

(2), floor element for one or more house bodies.

The floor element (2) accommodates the platform segments A2, A3 and A4.

Said platform structure, with its sets of platforms IA ... 9A and where each platform set, such as IA in Figure 4, is composed of a selected plurality of platform segments, here illustrated as segments Al, A2, ... A8, are, by not shown displacement means associated with the transport system "T" movably disposed in two directions, oriented opposite to one another, where a first direction "Dl" is given first sets of platforms IA, 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A and a second direction "D2" is given second sets of platforms 6A, 7A, 8A and 9A, under the exposure of a free buffer zone (in Fig. 1 located under the platform set 6A).

Fig. 2 illustrates how a coordinated set, in the form of a selected number of platform segments 5Al ... 5A8 within the platform set 5 A, included in said first sets of platforms IA ... 5A, have been displaced "D3" to the left by a transport device "T" in order to take the place of the free buffer zone and thereby be able to be included in the second sets of platforms 5 A; and 6 A ... 9A in coordinated fashion.

Fig. 3 illustrates an intermediate position, where a platform set 9A empty of house bodies allocated to the platform segments 9A8, 9A7, has been displaced over so as to form a new platform set (IA).

Figs. 1 to 4 are intended to illustrate that, on a complete platform set IA, with its platform segments Al to A8, (Fig. 4) there are manufactured or placed one or more prefabricated floor elements 2, (2) with an outer "L" or here "U" shaped metal frame 5, transversely oriented metal profiles 8, 8' with through-going holes, a subjacent insulation panel or mat 7 and a concrete slab 6, divided in sections 4', 4" and forming an upper wear or floor surface 4a (according to Fig. 5).

The construction of this floor element 2 is shown in greater detail and described in a co-pending Swedish Patent Application, filed on today's date, and entitled "Floor element", filed by the same Applicant, and its corresponding International Patent Application allotted the Serial Number PCT/SE2008/

The present invention is based on the feature that according as this or these floor elements 2, (2) are displaced in said first direction "Dl" separate modules, construction units, construction parts etc. are applied to these floor elements 2 (2), within int. al. the platform sets IA, 2 A, 3 A, 4A and 5 A. Thus, one and the same construction is moved from one platform set IA to 2 A, to 3 A and so forth.

When the displacement distance, along the first direction "Dl", is completed for the platform set IA, downstream to reference numeral 5 A, a coordinated number (eight) of platform segments, such as 5Al to 5A8, is displaced over so as to be included in

the second sets of platforms and there be given a second displacement direction "D2", according to Fig. 2, and that during this transport distance 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A and to 9A the house bodies and/or semi-manufactures thereof (not shown) are supplemented further, towards a finished product, still resting against their original platform segments allotted the reference numerals A6, A7, A8 and A2, A3 and A4, respectively.

Displacement of platform segments from the second sets of platforms to the first set of platforms, according to Fig. 3, may be depending upon needs and take place piecewise and/or pairwise.

A displacement of platform segments, from the first set of platforms to the second set of platforms, normally takes place in a coordinated, as with 5-10, preferably 5-8, platform segment.

When the platform set IA, with its two floor element 2, (2), has been displaced to the position 5 A in Fig. 1, the platform segments A1-A4 can of course, as a unit, be displaced to the left, while platform segments A6, A7....A8 are displaced a selected time period later to the left, the floor elements 2 and (2) being able to change place in the production line.

According to the present invention a number of segments are transported along the displace direction "Dl", each to an end and final position, along a displace direction "D3" in single cooperating number over to the displace direction "D2", each to an end and final position (9A4) and further long a displace direction "D4" to the first set (IA).

According to the present invention the displace direction "Dl" and "D2" are supporting the sections by two or three sliding surfaces 10, 10a, however the displace directions "D3" and "D4" require a number of parallel sliding surfaces (or pair of surfaces) corresponding to the maximum number of segments included in a platform

5A.

Thus, as each virtual platform includes its number of segments, a computer (not shown) is allotted information of the number of and which segments are allocated to its virtual platform and its position in the transportation path and thus said computer may activate relevant displacement means.

The present invention is naturally not restricted to the embodiment disclosed above by way of example, but may undergo modifications without departing from the scope of the inventive concept as illustrated in the appended Claims.

In particular, it should be observed that every illustrated unit and/or circuit can be combined with every other illustrated unit and/or circuit within the scope in order to be able to attain the desired technical function.