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Title:
VERTICAL OVEN FOR MAINLY FLAT PARTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/158550
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Vertical oven (51, 61) for panels, comprising trays (41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, …)for supporting mainly flat panels arranged in a multiple of two stacks (31, 32; 81, 82, 83, 84) circulating in opposed directions (e.g. the first moving in an ascending direction and the second in a descending direction), wherein the trays (41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, …) are arranged at a distance d to each other. According to the invention, the movement of the trays is such that at least one (42, 44, 46, …) every other tray (41, 43, 45, …) is withdrawn from the circulation, so doubling the distance d between trays.

Inventors:
DOVADOLA, Massimo (Via Selice Provinciale 23/A, Imola, 40026, IT)
GIOVANNINI, Cristian (Via Selice Provinciale 23/A, Imola, 40026, IT)
Application Number:
IB2017/051536
Publication Date:
September 21, 2017
Filing Date:
March 16, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CEFLA SOCIETA' COOPERATIVA (Via Selice Provinciale 23/A, Imola, 40026, IT)
International Classes:
F27B9/02; F26B15/10; F26B15/14; F26B25/00
Foreign References:
DE1299550B1969-07-17
IT221807Z21994-10-20
EP2609021B12014-10-29
GB2078651A1982-01-13
ITMI970463A11998-09-03
IT1309018B12002-01-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KARAGHIOSOFF, A. Giorgio (C/O STUDIO KARAGHIOSOFF E FRIZZI, Via F. Baracca 1R, Savona, 17100, IT)
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Claims:
C L A I M S

Vertical oven (51, 61) for drying painted objects, mainly flat parts both made of wood and its derivatives and plastics, metal, fibrocement and suchlike, the oven comprising:

at least two vertical transit chambers (21, 22);

a plurality of trays (41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, ...) for supporting the said painted objects, the said plurality of trays being arranged in a stack (31, 32; 81, 82, 83, 84) of superimposed trays within each of the said at least two transit chambers (21, 22);

motorized tray conveyor units for displacing the trays along a path comprising at least an ascending portion inside a first of the at least two transit chambers, a lateral shifting portion from the said first transit chamber to a second of the said at least two transit chambers and a descending portion inside the said second transit chamber;

an input and/or output port being provided at the bottom of the said at least two transit chambers at which there is provided alternatively or in combination a loading unit, an unloading unit of the dried parts from the trays and a conveyor unit for shifting the trays from the lower and of the second transit chamber to the lower end of the first chamber for recirculating the trays along the said path inside the at least two transit chambers,

the trays (41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, ...) having a predefined distance "d" one from the other in the stacks inside the at least two chambers (21, 22),

characterized in that

the oven includes at least one further parking chamber (23);

the said parking chamber (23) being destined for temporarily parking one or more trays (42, 44, 43) in a stack of parked superimposed trays;

transferring devices for withdrawing trays from the stack of a first or a second transit chamber of the said at least two transit chambers and feed the said trays to the at least one parking chamber or vice versa for re-insertion of the trays in the stack of the said first or said second transit chamber of the said at least two transit chambers, a control unit being provided controlling the transferring devices for operating the withdrawal of every second tray in a stack and the parking of the said trays in the at least further parking chamber (23) thus doubling the distance d between the trays in the stacks (31, 32; 81, 82, 83, 84), which becomes 2d, in at least one transit chamber of the at least two transit chambers (21, 22).

Vertical oven (51) according to claim 1, wherein the at least one parking chamber (23) is positioned between the said at least two transit chambers (21, 22).

Vertical oven (61) according to claim 1, in which the at least one parking chamber (75, 76) is arranged at one side of the meandering path or of one of the said at least two transit chambers (71, 72, 73, 74).

Vertical oven (51,) according to one or more of the preceding claims characterized in that it has only two transit chambers.

Vertical oven (61) characterized in that it has a number of transit chambers (71, 72, 73, 74) having a multiple bigger than one of two transit chambers or stacks (81, 82, 83, 84), and the path of the trays following a meandering path.

Vertical oven (51, 61) for panels according to claim one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the oven is provided with two parking chambers (75, 76)

Vertical oven according to one or more of the preceding claims characterized in that the parking chambers (23, 75, 76) are or not provided with heating means.

Vertical oven (51, 61) for panels according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the circulating trays (41, 43, 45, ...) having 2d distance from each other due to withdrawals of every second tray in the stack support panels having a thickness higher than standard thickness.

Vertical oven (51) according to one or more of the preceding claims, in which the control unit is configured to set different dwelling times for trays in the parking chamber.

Method for drying mainly flat painted panels according to claims 1-9, wherein the even trays (42, 44, 46, ...) in a stack of trays follow a path different from the odd trays (41, 43, 45, ...) in the said stack of trays, the even trays (42, 44, 46, ...) being parked in a pre-set area (22; 75, 76) for any desired time, while the odd trays are driven along a predefined path and with an increased distance between the said odd trays (41, 43, 45, ...) the said increased distance corresponding to the double distance of the stack before transferral of the even trays into the pre-set area (22; 75, 76).

Method according to claims 10, wherein the even trays (42, 44, 46, ...) in the parking area (22; 75, 76) support or do not support panels.

Method for drying painted mainly flat panels according to claims 11, wherein if the even trays (42, 44, 46, ... ) support panels, the parking area (22, 75, 76) is heated.

Method for drying painted mainly flat panels according to one of claims 10 to 12, wherein the dwell time of even trays (42, 44, 46, ...) in the parking area (22; 75, 76) is inputted by a human operator when loading the oven itself, or is decided when the reinsertion of even trays (42, 44, 46, ...) is necessary.

Description:
CEFLA Societa Cooperativa

VERTICAL OVEN FOR MAINLY FLAT PARTS

[001] The present invention relates to the technical field of ovens for drying paint applied on products; in particular, the invention relates to ovens for drying mainly flat parts (panels), both made of wood and its derivatives and plastics, metal, fibrocement and similar materials.

[002] Said products typically have a length over 6 metres, a width up to 1300-1500 mm, and a thickness 5 to 300 mm.

[003] Said ovens work at temperatures suitable for treating painted materials; said temperatures are typically in the range of 30°C - 120°C.

[004] Said ovens are well known in the art, being e.g. described in the utility model IT221807 of the same applicant, in EP2609021B1 of Haenel or in GB2078651 of Lienhard. In said documents, vertical ovens for drying panels are described, having trays moved through motorized belt conveying systems or combined (slat and belt) conveying systems, i.e. wherein trays can be moved by suitable motor drive means fixed to oven frame, to allow the loading and unloading of panels.

[005] Typically, vertical ovens with trays comprise a plurality of superimposed trays in a plurality of adjacent stacks inside transit chambers of the oven, along which transit chambers the trays are shifted through lifting chains. When a tray reaches the top of an ascending transit chamber (i.e. in which the chain moves trays towards the top), it is shifted on the top of a descending transit chamber (in which the chain moves the trays towards the bottom) through suitable devices for horizontal shifting. Through similar devices, at the end of the last descending transit chamber, the trays are shifted to the base of the first ascending transit chamber to be collected by the relative lifting chain. In this way, each oven tray follows a complete path through the entire oven, during which the panels, arranged on the trays, dry. [006] The loading and unloading of the panels on trays occurs thanks to the fact that the trays are moved through a motorizable conveying system, which allows to automatically load and unload the panels, without the need to extract the tray from the oven.

[007] The shape of vertical ovens, having a plurality of superimposed trays, allows a good storing capability with a limited footprint, allowing a dwell time inside the oven itself that can vary from some ten minutes to over a couple of hours, according to production line speed and dimensions of the oven itself.

[008] In their simplest embodiment, vertical ovens comprise two transit chambers; nonetheless other embodiments are known, comprising a plurality of transit chambers, typically a multiple of a couple of transit chambers, i.e. e.g. from two to six transit chambers. Such ovens are described e.g. in IT MI97A000463 Elmag and IT1309018 CEFLA. In such ovens, the trays typically follow a meandering path, and are habitually loaded and unloaded from their outer transit chambers.

[009] The above kind of construction is common to the oven according to the present invention.

[0010] Typically, panels need be painted on both their main surfaces, and this entails a double passage in the oven. To this end, an oven having two transit chambers and three transit chambers is convenient, as will be better clarified in the following description of Figure 2.

[0011] In the known oven having three chambers and two stacks, the trays are arranged on two stacks, each stack is housed inside one transit chamber, while a central space of the oven forming the third chamber is not used. Moreover, the distance between two superimposed trays is linked to chain pitch, and this allows to load panels up to a predetermined thickness, typically 70 mm. Should panels having a higher thickness need to dry, such ovens cannot be used.

[0012] The present invention aims to provide a vertical oven for drying painted products, mainly flat products, which allows a better load capacity, if possible without increasing their footprint, and having a limited additional cost.

[0013] A further aim of the present invention is to provide a vertical oven allowing to load and dry painted products, mainly flat products such as panels, having a thickness (i.e. their smaller dimension) bigger than the standard thickness of 70 mm. [0014] This object is achieved by an apparatus and a method having the features of the independent claims 1 and 10. Advantageous embodiments and refinements are specified in claims dependent thereon.

[0015] The aim is achieved using a different path of the trays with respect to the known art, allowing to increase the distance between trays, and providing a parking place for trays which are withdrawn from the stacks in the transit chambers of the oven and which dwell inside the said chambers on the drying path.

[0016] In a generic embodiment, the oven comprises a number of transit chambers and corresponding stacks greater than two, and conveying means conveying a sequence of trays, the trays being positionable at a pre-set distance to each other. The trays of said sequence are moveable by said conveying means in the direction of the vertical extension of the transit chambers, in an ascending and descending direction, and from a transit chamber to another along a closed path, while in a position adjacent to at least one of oven's transit chambers there is provided at least a further parking area, which has a shape similar to a transit chamber. In the parking area at least some of the trays of the said sequence of trays can be transferred, which according to a pre-set scheme of transfer are withdrawn from said sequence.

[0017] Said at least one parking area, i.e. parking chamber, can be provided, or not, with heating means, and can have the function of temporary removal of some trays from the trays sequence only, according to the pre-set scheme. Alternatively, it can have the function of modifying the drying times of the products supported by the trays in a preset and controllable way, beyond the drying time provided for the passage of said trays along a path through one or more of the transit chambers of said oven.

[0018] Always according to a further feature, the oven is provided in combination with a control unit executing a control program, having a man-machine interface for the input of commands or data, and for visualizing information about the thermal treatment process. Said control unit controls the transfer devices and applies the withdrawal and/or re-insertion of pre-set trays of the sequence of trays from and/or into the path defined by the conveying means.

[0019] Different schemes of withdrawal and re-insertion can be provided and set up, as well as different dwelling time of the trays in the parking area, which are defined according to the specific treatment requirements thanks to a set up program. The set up program can comprise either a manual setting input interface or an automated definition program of the scheme of the trays to be withdrawn and of the times of withdrawal from a stack in a transit chamber, the times of duration of the parking in the parking chamber and the times of re-insertion of the trays in the stack in one transit chamber. This automated program may consider the provided number of products to be treated, their dimensions and treatment parameters in order to compute the above setting parameters of the process of withdrawing trays from stacks in the transit chambers, parking and reinserting trays in stack in a transit chamber.

[0020] In a more specific implementation, two main embodiments are provided:

1. In the first embodiment, the oven has three chambers and two stacks of trays each one moving in a transit chamber. The third central chamber, typically empty, is used to park the trays, which can be loaded or unloaded by transferring means under the control of the control unit. When every other tray is parked (i.e. every second tray in the stack), the distance d between two consecutive trays doubles. This increase in distance between trays in the stacks transiting in the transit chambers allows to load the trays with panels having a thickness up to about 200 mm, or anyway having a thickness higher than standard thickness.

When the trays are removed from their normal path, the oven can be loaded with panels having a higher thickness. If the central trays are loaded, they can be loaded with panels having standard thickness, which can dwell inside the oven for any time, independently from the transit time of the oven.

2. In the second embodiment, the oven has a multiple of two transit chambers and two stacks of trays other than one (e.g., four chambers and four stacks, or six chambers and six stacks). An empty space is provided next to the existing chambers, forming a parking chamber wherein every other loaded or unloaded tray is parked, so that the distance d between shifting trays doubles (2d). Now the oven can be used like in the first embodiment, to load panels with a higher thickness. The parking area can also host loaded trays, and in this case can must be heated.

[0021] The advantages of the present invention are linked to the possibility of using a structure of oven already in use exploiting all the loading capacity of the oven. This has different consequences: - Possibility to dry panels having a thickness higher than standard thickness, which normally cannot dry in an oven, and the possibility to perform drying cycles having different duration.

- In one of the embodiments, the footprint being equal, the possibility to perform drying cycles having different duration.

[0022] Further advantages and properties of the present invention are disclosed in the following description, in which exemplary embodiments of the present invention are explained in detail on the basis of the drawings:

Figure 1 Typical painting production line, in a top view;

Figure 2 Oven with three chambers and two stacks according to the known art; Figure 3 First embodiment: oven having three chambers and two stacks;

Figure 4 Second embodiment: oven having four/six chambers with external parking area.

[0023] The shown embodiments are meant as examples of the different and various possibilities of plant configuration, and in particular of the oven according to the present invention, as well as of its possible multiple operating modes. The embodiments illustrated and discussed in this specification are intended only to teach those skilled in the art the best way known to the inventors to make and use the invention. Nothing in this specification should be considered as limiting the scope of the present invention. Modifications and variations of the above-described embodiments of the invention are possible without departing from the invention, as appreciated by those skilled in the art in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the claims and their equivalents, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described, the configuration being determined by the requirements of treatment of the products to be dried and of their shape and dimension features.

[0024] Different features provided in combination with a specific embodiment may be provided also in combination with other embodiments. This particularly relates to the number and relative position of the transit chambers and of the parking chambers of the different embodiments shown in the figures. As it will appear from the following description, the lateral position of the one or more parking chambers may apply to the embodiment having only two transit chambers as well as the intermediate positioning of at least one parking chamber between two transit chamber may apply also to the embodiment showing four of more than four transit chambers.

[0025] When more than one parking chamber is provided, also a combination of the said lateral and intermediate positioning of one parking chamber may be applied to both the embodiments with only two and with more than two transit chambers.

[0026] Figure 1 shows a typical painting production line 1 comprising a typical vertical oven 1. Typically, the (not shown) panel, loaded on a conveying system 11, is painted in a spraying booth 12 and from that point conveyed through a conveying system 13 to an oven 1 for drying. The panel is automatically loaded on a tray of the oven 1, lifted, horizontally shifted, and then lowered to be finally unloaded from the same loading side 14, to be conveyed to the painting booth again.

[0027] Figure 2 shows a typical oven 1, wherein three transit chambers 21, 22, 23 and two stacks 31, 32 according to the known art are formed inside respectively two of the said three chambers which are indicated as transit chambers 21, 23. Each stack 31, 32 is provided with a plurality of trays 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, ... for loading panels, arranged in two stacks 31, 32. When a tray 41 reaches the top of the ascending chamber 23, it is shifted on the top of the descending chamber 21 through suitable horizontal shifting devices, for example as the one disclosed above in relation to the prior art documents. With similar devices, at the end of the last descending chamber, the trays are shifted to the base of the first ascending chamber 23 to be taken from the relative lifting chain. In this way, every tray of the oven follows a complete path through the entire oven, as shown with the arrows, during which the panels arranged on trays dry. As can be clearly observed from Figure 2, the central chamber 22 is empty.

[0028] The path of the trays is normally closed while the dried objects may be loaded and unloaded at an input and at an output port of the said transit chambers, preferably at the bottom end of the said transit chambers.

[0029] Figure 3 shows an oven 51 having three chambers 21, 22, 23 and two stacks 31, 32 according to the present invention. The oven 51 is substantially equal to the oven 1 of the known art, with the difference that the panels in oven 51 can perform two different paths:

- a first path equal to the known art; - a second path wherein odd trays 41, 43, 45... follow the path of the known art along stacks 31, 32, while even trays 42, 44, 46, when charged with the (not shown) panels to be dried, are stored in the central parking chamber 22. Alternatively, empty even trays 42, 44, 46, ... are parked in the central parking chamber 22.

[0030] This allows to double the distance between an odd tray 41 and its consecutive tray 43 (from d to 2d), which in turn allows to load the trays with panels having a thickness up to 200 mm, or anyway thicker than the standard thickness.

[0031] Moreover, this also allows to use the same oven 51 for two distinct drying processes at the same time, each having a different drying time:

- The panels loaded on odd trays 41, 43, 45, ... have a drying time equal to the panels following the normal path, which is substantially linked to oven's design parameters (a fixed time determined by chain features, distance between trays, conveying system, production line speed);

- The panels loaded on even trays 42, 44, 46, ... have drying times which can be freely chosen, in the sense that they can dwell in the central parking chamber 22 until the operator decides to re-insert them in the normal path and allow their unloading according to normal modalities.

[0032] In this way, the oven 51 according to the present invention allows to perform the drying of panels having different drying requirements, and moreover to dry panels having a thickness higher than standard, which normally cannot dry in an oven, the oven footprint being equal with respect to known art ovens.

[0033] On the other hand, Figure 4 shows a second embodiment of the present invention, i.e. an oven 61 having four transit chambers 71, 72, 73, 74 and four stacks 81, 82, 83, 84, per se already known in the art. The invention adds to the oven a side couple of parking chambers 75, 76, wherein even trays 42, 44, 46, ... are temporarily parked, while odd trays continue in their typical meandering path, as shown by the arrows.

[0034] In this embodiment, too, odds trays are spaced of a double distance 2d with respect to the habitual arrangement of trays. Therefore odd trays can host panels having a thickness higher than standard, continuing their meandering path with the standard time of oven 61. On the other hand, even trays 42, 44, 46, ... can dwell in the two parking chambers 75, 76 for any desired time before being re-inserted in the normal path of trays to be unloaded after a desired time.

[0035] The two parking chambers 75 and 76 can, or cannot, be heated being provided or not with heating means.

[0036] In the embodiment wherein the two parking chambers 75 and 76 are heated, the working of the oven doubles as explained in paragraph 0031, and therefore in the same oven 61 panels having distinct drying time are loaded at the same time.

[0037] In the embodiment wherein the parking chambers 75 and 76 are not heated, they become simply a sort of parking area for even trays 42, 44, 46, ... , which have to be removed from the normal meandering path in order to allow the loading of panels thicker than standard on odd trays 41, 43, 45, ... following the normal meandering path with its characteristic time.

[0038] Concerning the conveying of trays, and the possibility of sending even trays in the parking area, the design of mechanical solution allowing to send the trays to two different directions is part of the known art for the skilled person, and therefore will not be discussed in detail.

[0039] When even trays are sent to parking area 22; 75, 76, different working possibilities are provided.

[0040] If the trays are loaded with panels, when loading a human operator, through man-machine interface, will have to possibility to input a dwell time inside the parking area that, as already explained, is independent from the cycle time characteristic of the oven. E.g. if the cycle time of the oven is one hour, the dwell time in the parking area could be two, three, ... twenty- four hours according to operator's choice.

[0041] If the trays are unloaded, a human operator can deviate even trays to the parking area, which dwell there until they are manually called back in the cycle by the human operator. I three chambers, two stack oven according to known art

10 typical painting production line

I I loading device

12 spraying booth

13 conveyor to the oven

14 back conveyor to spraying booth

21, 22, 23 three chambers

31, 32 two stacks

41, 43, 45, ... odd trays

42, 44, 46, ... even trays

51 three chambers, two stack oven according to the present invention 61 four chambers, four stack oven according to the present invention 71, 72, 73, 74 chambers

81, 82, 83, 84 stacks