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Title:
TRANSPORT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/117614
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a transport system for load and unload of large flat items (4) onto a process board (6) such as a printer, which system comprises a transport board (8). The object of the pending patent application is to achieve automatic system for load and unload of large flat items in a full automatic and fast load and unload process. The object can be fulfilled by a transport board comprising at least first loading cavity (10) and second unloading cavities (12) formed between a plurality of set of belts. Hereby is achieved that by printing or processing larger flat item, handling of these items is very difficult and more persons are probably involved each time manual handling has to be performed. This is critical for all flat board processes of large items. Especially in situations where large printing processes are performed or maybe drilling and grinding processes that takes a long time, it is very critical because no person can watch the process during operation. Therefore, when the process ends there is probably further waiting time until maybe two persons are ready to change an item.

Inventors:
LOLK, Søren (Skolevej 4, Hørning, DK-8362, DK)
HANSEN, Jacob (Højgårdsvangen 9, Hinnerup, DK-8382, DK)
HANSEN, Peter (Stjerneparken 3, Søften, Hinnerup, DK-8382, DK)
Application Number:
DK2015/050023
Publication Date:
August 13, 2015
Filing Date:
February 03, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
INVATOR GROUP APS (Knudsminde 4 B, Odder, DK-8300, DK)
International Classes:
B65H5/02; B65H11/00; B65H15/00; B65H83/00
Foreign References:
US20110233845A12011-09-29
DE2438960A11976-02-26
EP1122198A22001-08-08
GB1252112A1971-11-03
EP2090532A22009-08-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRADE A/S (Fredens Torv 3A, Aarhus C, DK-8000, DK)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. System (2) adapted for load and unload of large flat items (4) onto a process board (6) such as a printer, which system (2) comprises a transport board (8), characterized in that the transport board (8) comprises at least first loading cavity (10) and second unloading handling cavity (12), which first loading cavity (10) is formed between a plurality of first set of belts (14, 16), which first set of belts (14, 16) are forces to move an item (4) in the direction of the process board (6), which second unloading handling cavity (12) is formed between a plurality of second set of belts (16, 18), which second set of belts (16, 18) are forced to move an item (4) away from the process board (6), which set of belts (14, 16, 18) are forced to move by rotating wheels (20,22,24), which rotating wheels (20,22,24) are rotated by motors, which motors are controlled by a control system (26), which transport board (8) further comprises loading and unloading rollers (28,30).

2. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the loading and unloading rollers (28,30) are driven by motors controlled by the control system (26), which loading and unloading roller (28,30) are carried at arms (32,34), which arms (32,34) are forced to move around fixation means by actuators (40,42), which actuators (40,42) are con- trolled by the control system (26).

3. System according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the transport board (6) is carried by a first vertical frame (44) comprising actuator (46) for vertical displacement.

4. System according to claim 3, characterized in that the transport board (6) and the first vertical frame (44) is carried by a second horizontal frame (48), which vertical frame (44) is moveable in at least one horizontal direction in relation to the second horizontal frame (48).

5. System according to one of the claims 1-4, characterized in that the first set of belts (14) is forced to move by rotating wheels (20ab), which second set of belts (16) is forced to move by rotating wheels (22ab), which third set of belts (18) are forced to move by rotating wheels (24ab).

6. System according to one of the claims 1-5, characterized in that in the first cavity comprises the first and second set of belts (14, 16) having same direction of movement towards the process board , which second cavity comprises the second and third belt (16, 18) having same direction of movement towards a magazine (50) of processed items (4).

7. System according to one of the claims 1-6, characterized in that the transport board (8) is connected to the vertical frame (44) by bearing means and further a motor for turning the transport board and an item (4) upside down.

8. Method for operating a flat board process such as a large scale printer or any other flat board process by a system as disclosed in one or more of the claims 1-7, characterized in the following sequence of steps: a. let the transport board (8) collect a new item (4) from a first storage into the first cavity of the transport board,

b. move the transport board (8) towards the process board (6),

c. let the transport board (8) collect a processed item (4) from the process board (6) and place the processed item in the second cavity of the transport board (8), d. let the transport board (8) deliver the new item (4) to the process board (6) e. move the transport board (8) toward a second storage,

f. deliver the processed item (4) to the second storage,

g. wait until next item (4) is processed. 9. Method according to claim 8, characterized in that the transport board (8) is turned upside down for double side processing.

10. Use of a system as disclosed in one of the claims 1-7 or in one of the method claims 8 or 9, characterized in that the system and the method are used for large scale printing.

Description:
Transport system

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a transport system for load and unload of large flat items onto a process board such as a printer, which system comprises a transport board.

Background for the invention

US 8459183 relates to a method of printing panel material with a printed image, whereby the panel material is moved from a feeding station into a printing station in which an image is applied and out of which it is fed onwards in the transport direction by means of a conveyor system. The panel materials to be printed are disposed immediately one after the other in rows in the transport direction at least in an inlet region to the printing station and are fed jointly through the printing station during the print- ing operation, and the printed image is applied by means of an inkjet printing device.

Object of the Invention

The object of the pending patent application is to achieve automatic system for load and unload of large flat items in a full automatic and fast load and unload process. A further object of the invention is to preform load and unload mostly simultaneously. A further object of the invention is to turn an item upside down for double side processing.

Description of the Invention

The object can be fulfilled if the transport board comprises at least first loading cavity and second unloading handling cavity, which first loading cavity is formed between a plurality of first set of belts, which first set of belts are forces to move an item in the direction of the process board, which second unloading handling cavity is formed between a plurality of second set of belts, which second set of belts are forced to move an item away from the process board, which set of belts are forced to move by rotating wheels, which rotating wheels are rotated by motors, which motors are controlled by a control system, which transport board further comprises loading and unloading rollers.

Hereby is achieved that by printing or processing larger flat item, handling of these items is very difficult and more persons are probably involved each time manual handling has to be performed. This is critical for all flat board processes of large items. Not only by the printing process is it very critical to handle the large items, but also for example in the production of printed boards where drilling machines also are flat board process units. Also for different grinding operations flat board processings are now and then necessary and in all these situations handling of the items up at the process board and back from the process board is rather time consuming. Especially in situations where large printing processes are performed or maybe drilling and grinding processes that takes a long time, it is very critical because no person can watch the process during operation. Therefore, when the process ends there is probably further waiting time until maybe two persons are ready to change an item. Handling of different items is rather critical because fingerprints of the items are probably not acceptable in many situations, therefore personnel who has to perform the handling also has to wear gloves in order not to destroy the items. All in all it is a very time consuming process where for example the printer is in a standstill situation waiting to start the next process.

Therefore, the pending application is able to solve these problems because the system as such is able to pick up and flat item at a storage and move the flat items towards the process board where probably a previous processing is taking place at an item. At the moment for changing the items, the system at first picks up the item at the process board, but as soon as movement has started moving the item into a second cavity of the transport board, the transport board starts to load the next item at the process board. In that way the loading can take place extremely fast and the standstill period for example for a printer, a drilling machine or a grinding machine is extremely short. The waiting time for the handling is only very few seconds. Further is achieved that no fingerprints have had any access to the item.

In a preferred embodiment for the invention can the loading and unloading rollers be are driven by motors controlled by the control system, which loading and unloading roller are carried at arms, which arms are forced to move around fixation means by actuators, which actuators are controlled by the control system. By loading and unloading rollers the transport board can pick up items even if there is some distance to the item. Because the rollers are placed on arms, these arms can be turned around a bearing by an actuator so that the rollers can have access to the surface of the item. By rotating the rollers, the item is moved in the direction of rotation of the rollers. Hereby the item can be picked up and placed in one of the cavities where the belt that has the same direction of movement, further moves the item into the storage in the cavity. After an item is placed at for example the process board, the rollers are also active in moving the items the last few centimetres onto the board simply because the item at that moment has left the cavity and the belts. Therefore, the end movement maybe into a stop at a process board is made by the rollers. Direct position indication with help by the rollers is also possible. But the most direct position control is probably still a manual stop that the item is moved into contact with the stop. Further when the printed item is returned to a storage can, the rollers perform the last movement of the item at the storage so that an item is correct placed maybe on the top of other items at a storage. By correct dimension of rollers and arms and actuators an adjustment of the forces that are acting by the rollers at the items can be adjustable by a connected computer system.

In a further preferred embodiment for the invention can the transport board be carried by a first vertical frame comprising actuator for vertical displacement. Especially in relation to storage it is important that the transport board is able to change its vertical position. Probably the process board will have the same vertical position, but produc- ing a system that can be used for different purposes, it can also in relation to the production at the process board be important that the vertical distance can be changed easily, probably by the connected computer system.

In a further preferred embodiment for the invention can the transport board and the first vertical frame be carried by a second horizontal frame, which vertical frame is moveable in at least one horizontal direction in relation to the second horizontal frame. In many situations there will be some distance between storage and the process board. Therefore, it is rather important that the system as such is movable in horizontal direction. It is in some situations of course possible to place the storage so that only horizontal movement in one direction is necessary. But in other situations the system can be designed as a robot that is able to move at a floor in different directions.

In a further preferred embodiment for the invention can the first set of belts be forced to move by rotating wheels, which second set of belts is forced to move by rotating wheels, which third set of belts are forced to move by rotating wheels. Hereby is achieved that an item only is in touch which belts having the correct direction of movement for moving the item. By letting as well lower and upper belts have mostly the same velocity and the same direction, there will be very limited friction between the belts and the item. Thereby a very effective and very soft handling of an item is achieved. The belts can be relative small for some possible embodiments for the inventions, but for other processes the belts can have a sufficient dimension so they are more or less filling the whole area and even in some situations only one very large belt can be used to fulfil requirements for very soft items to be sent to the processing.

Therefore, in some embodiments a simple very small rubber belt can be used and in some situations there will be a high number of these parallel rubber belts. In the extreme situation to the other side there is simply one belt having the same size and the item. Therefore, this invention is able to handle a high number of different items. Starting with thin, solid plates up to very week material such as cloth, the same invention can probably be used.

In a further preferred embodiment for the invention can the first cavity comprise the first and second set of belts having same direction of movement towards the process board, which second cavity comprises the second and third belt having same direction of movement towards a magazine of processed items. Hereby is achieved that there is formed two cavities in the transport board, which two cavities have different direction of movement. In the upper cavity so to say is the movement always forwards towards the process board. At the lower cavity the movement is backwards and towards a magazine.

In a further preferred embodiment for the invention can the transport board be connected to the vertical frame by bearing means and further a motor for turning the transport board and an item upside down. Especially in performing printing at larger items it can in some situations be necessary to print both sides of an item. By printing double-sided large items it is until now rather critical that the item has to be manually turned during the process where there is a risk of misplacing of the item and also a risk of fingerprints. Fingerprints at the printed side of an item is probably not any big problem, because fingerprints can afterwards be removed but at the side which has to be printed it can be very critical, because different kind of printing inks cannot cure if they are printed upon a fingerprint.

The pending invention further concerns a method for operating a flat board process such as a large scale printer or any other flat board process by a system as previously disclosed in the following sequence of steps: a. let the transport board collect an item from a first storage into the first cavity of the transport board,

b. move the transport board towards the process board,

c. let the transport board collect a processed item from the process board and place the item in the second cavity of the transport board,

d. let the transport board deliver the item to the process board,

e. move the transport board (8,108) toward a second storage,

f. deliver the item (4, 104) to the second storage,

g. wait until next item (4, 104) is processed.

By this method a very effective and fast load and unload of larger flat items can be achieved. The flat items can be printed but it could also be flat items that have to be tooled for example drilling or other mechanical processed that has to be performed at a flat board. Even for stamping processes of metal items, it is possible to use the system as here disclosed.

In a further preferred embodiment for the invention can the transport board be turned upside down for double side processing. Hereby very simple and effective double- sided printing can be achieved.

The pending patent application can of course be used in the printing industry, especially effective for large-scale printing. Large-scale printing can be performed at a large different number of items starting with metal plates over to maybe wood and a lot of plastic materials can also form plates. Other possibilities are simply to use the pending application for production of printed circuit boards because also large effects are made for printing at printed circuit boards but also to place large printed circuit boards at for example automatic drilling machines the pending application can be highly effective. In fact the pending application can be used everywhere large flat items have to be moved from a storage to a process and from the process back to another storage.

Description of the Drawing

Fig. 1 shows one possible embodiment for the invention.

Fig. 2 shows a side view of four different situations of the system in operation. Fig. 3 shows a side view of an alternative embodiment for the invention.

Fig. 4 shows same embodiment but now in a three-dimensional view.

Fig. 5 shows a side view of the same embodiment as previous seen at fig. 3 and 4. Fig. 6 shows same embodiment as seen at fig. 5 but now at in a three-dimensional view.

Fig. 7 shows a side view of the same embodiment as indicated at fig. 5.

Fig. 8 shows a three-dimensional view of the system as seen at fig. 7.

Fig. 9 shows a side view of the same invention as indicated at fig. 7 but now in another mode of operation.

Fig. 10 shows a three-dimensional view of the same embodiment as fig. 9.

Fig. 11 shows a side view of same embodiment as fig. 9, but in a new mode of operation, where

fig. 12 shows a three-dimensional view of the same mode of operation as indicated at fig. 11.

Fig. 13 shows a side view of the same embodiment of the invention as seen at fig. 11 but now in another mode of operation.

Fig. 14 shows a three-dimensional view of same embodiment of the invention as indicated at fig. 13.

Detailed Description of the Invention

Fig. 1 shows a system 2, which system comprises a flat board working station such as a large-scale printer or maybe any other flat board machine system. It could for example be large-scale drilling of printed boards or any other stamping process in large- scale flat items. The item 4 is placed at the process board 6, where a transport board 8, comprises a first cavity 10 and a second cavity 12 in which cavities item 4 can be stored temporary. The transport board 8 consists of a plurality of belts 14, 16, 18 forming the cavities 10 and 12 between the belts 14, 16, 18. The belts are moving around wheels 20,22,24. All these wheels are driven by motors so that the belts are moved by the motors. In the upper cavity 10 can transport of an item 4 in direction towards the process board 6 be achieved by the belts 14, 16. In the lower cavity 12 will the belts perform transportation from the process board 6 into the transport board 8 and from here further into storage 50. Further is indicated transport wheels 28,30 which transport wheels are mounted at arms 32 and 34. The arms 32 and 34 are both connected to actuators 40,42 in order to activate the transport wheels 30,32. The transport board 8 is carried at a vertical frame 44, which vertical frame is carried at a horizontal frame 48. Further is indicated a storage 50 for finished products such as printed sheets and a storage 52 for unprinted sheets.

In operation will the transport board 8 pick up an item 4 and by horizontal movement transport the board 8 into near contact towards the process board 6 and start to load the item 4. At the same time unload of the existing now finished printed sheet 4 will take place. The lower cavity 12 will be placed so that the wheels 30 are able to transport the item 4 into the lower cavity, where the belts take over for further transportation. More or less at the same time the new item 4 is transported from the upper cavity 10 towards the process board 6. In that way a very rapid change of operation of for example a large printing machine can be performed. This change of item can take place automatically in a very fast way without any human involved in the handling.

Fig. 2 shows four different operation positions for transport board 8 according to the previous described fig. 1. Especially the second mode of operation will be discussed. At the second picture we can see the process board 6 with an item 4 placed at the surface. The transport wheel 30 has contact to the item 4 and starts rolling the item 4 into the second cavity. The transport board 8 comprises belts 14, 16, 18. These belts are rotating around wheels 20a and 20b for the belt 14, and around wheel 22a and 22b for the belt 16, and around wheel 24a and 24b for the belt 18. The wheels 30 are carried at arms 34 and as further indicated a wheel 28 carried at an arm 32. It can be seen at the next figure at fig. 2 that the item 4 is moving forwards where the other item 4 is being pulled into the second cavity. The operation can continue when the upper item 4 is in place and that can at first happen after the lower item 4 is fully away from the process board 6 then the upper item 4 will fall down on the board and probably can the wheel 30 move into contact and move the item 4 further into a stop is reached at the process board 8. At the fourth figure at fig. 2 is indicated that the item 4 is moved out from the cavity and onto storage 50.

Fig. 3 shows a more detailed side view according to the same embodiment of the invention as previously disclosed. A system 2 comprises a process board 6 and the transport board 8. At the process board 6 is placed an item 4 which is under preparation or maybe under printing. At the same time an item 4 is picked up at the storage 52 and moved into the first cavity 10 of the transport board 8. The wheels 28 are helping in performing the transportation, at least in the beginning until the belts in the cavity can take over and perform the rest of the transportation. The upper belt 14 is indicated as well as the lower belt 18. The belt 16 cannot be seen at this figure. Further is disclosed wheels rotating the belts, these wheels have the numbers 20a and 20b for the belt 14, where the lower belt 18 is moving around wheels 24a and 24b. Further is disclosed the wheel 30 which is carried at an arm 34. Below the board 8 is indicated an actuator 40,42 for moving the arms 32 and 34 when one of the wheels 28 or 30 is in operation. The transport board 8 is carried at a vertical frame 44 and this vertical frame 44 is horizontal movable in relation to a horizontal frame 48. Further is indicated a storage 50 and 52.

Fig. 4 shows the same embodiment as seen at fig. 3 but now seen in a three- dimensional view.

Fig. 5 shows the same embodiment as seen at fig. 3 but now in a new mode of operation. The transport board 8 has been horizontal moved at the horizontal frame 48 and also moved downwards at the vertical frame 44 so that an adjustment in the height of the process board is achieved. At the process board 6 is the wheel 30 now by rotation pulling the item 4 into the second cavity of the transport board 8. In the first cavity is just the end of the item 4 to be seen, waiting to be transported to the process board 6. Fig. 6 shows the same but now in a three-dimensional view. At fig. 6 can be seen that the first item 4 is placed in the first cavity between the belts and the other item 4 is being pulled towards the second cavity by the wheels 30. Fig. 7 shows the same features as at fig. 5 and the single features are therefore not further mentioned. The difference to the previous figures is that the process of moving the new item 4 onto the process board 6 is further in process and the already printed item 4 is now being pulled into the second cavity where the upper first cavity is loading the item 4 above the item 4 that is pulled out. In that way it is achieved that unload and load of new items are performed mostly simultaneously.

Fig. 8 indicates further that the upper item 4 is being moved onto the transport board 8 and below in the second cavity at the same time a transportation of the new item 4, which is also partly in place at the board 6.

Fig. 9 shows the same embodiment as the previous figures but now is the board 8 moved at the horizontal frame and also in the vertical direction to an unload position. The item 4 is now being moved to the storage 50 by the belts internal in the second cavity together with the wheel 28. At the end of the movement of the item 4, the wheel 28 will take over for the last few centimetres of the transportation. In operation will the board 8 after unload be ready for loading again by movement to the storage 52 and pick up a new item 4.

Fig. 10 shows the same embodiment but now in a three-dimensional view where un- load of item 4 is indicated.

At fig. 11 is the same items disclosed as previous, the difference is that the board 8 is now performing a rotation in order to turn a printed item 4 upside down in order to perform two-sided printing. Therefore is the board 8 made of an outer frame which is fixed and an inner frame that can be rotated, at least half a circle.

Fig. 12 shows the same that the frame 8 is turning upside down. At fig. 13 the now rotated item 4 is replaced at the surface of the process board 6. For a printer it is now possible to perform printing of the second side of the item.

Fig. 14 shows the same embodiment in which the item 4 is being replaced at the pro- cess board 6.

It is of course to be understood that after printing the second side of item 4, the board 8 will again pick up the item 4 and move it to the storage 50. The transport board 8 can be used for many different materials. The size of the belts can be changed depending on the job the transport board will be performing.