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Title:
WEDGE ARM BASED DEVICE PROVIDING VARIABLE OPERATION OF A DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/214708
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device for providing variable operation of a component coupled to the device, the device comprising: a housing; a wedge arm pivotally mounted in the housing for reciprocation along a reciprocation axis, the wedge arm having an incline surface at an angle to the reciprocation axis and a second surface adjacent to the incline surface extending along the reciprocation axis, such that the incline surface and the second surface are at different angles with respect to the reciprocation axis; an actuator mounted to the housing for positioning a follower on the second surface at a variety of initial positions with respect to a junction point between the incline surface and the second surface; a rod connected to the wedge arm and configured for coupling to a camshaft lobe, such that operation of the camshaft lobe causes said reciprocation via the rod towards and away from the follower; wherein selection of one of the variety of initial positions provides for said variable operation of the component.

Inventors:
CANNATA, Antonio (14 Patience Crescent, London, Ontario N6E 2K9, CA)
Application Number:
CA2017/000150
Publication Date:
December 21, 2017
Filing Date:
June 16, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CANNATA, Antonio (14 Patience Crescent, London, Ontario N6E 2K9, CA)
International Classes:
F01L1/02; F01L1/04; F01L1/14; F16C3/28; F16H53/06
Foreign References:
US7814875B22010-10-19
US9109468B22015-08-18
US7213551B22007-05-08
US7430997B22008-10-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOWLING WLG (CANADA) LLP (Suite 1600, 1 First Canadian Place100 King Street Wes, Toronto Ontario M5X 1G5, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
We claim

1. A device for providing variable operation of a component coupled to the device, the device comprising:

a housing;

a wedge arm pivotally mounted in the housing for reciprocation along a reciprocation axis, the wedge arm having an incline surface at an angle to the reciprocation axis and a second surface adjacent to the incline surface extending along the reciprocation axis, such that the incline surface and the second surface are at different angles with respect to the reciprocation axis;

an actuator mounted to the housing for positioning a follower on the second surface at a variety of initial positions with respect to a junction point between the incline surface and the second surface;

a rod connected to the wedge arm and configured for coupling to a camshaft lobe, such that operation of the camshaft lobe causes said reciprocation via the rod towards and away from the follower;

wherein selection of one of the variety of initial positions provides for said variable operation of the component.

2. The device of claim 1 , wherein the component is an engine valve coupled to the wedge arm via a valve stem, such that pivoting of the wedge arm causes movement of the valve via the valve stem depending upon said selection.

3. The device of claim 1 , wherein the component is an hydraulic piston and cylinder arrangement coupled to the wedge arm, such that pivoting of the wedge arm causes movement of the piston between a top dead center and a bottom dead center depending upon said selection.

4. The device of claim 1 , wherein the component is an engine valve coupled to the wedge arm via a valve stem, such that said reciprocation of the wedge arm occurs while the valve remains closed depending upon said selection.

5. The device of claim 1 , wherein the component is an hydraulic piston and cylinder arrangement coupled to the wedge arm, such that said reciprocation of the wedge arm occurs while the piston remains stationary depending upon said selection.

6. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a second incline surface and third surface positioned on an arm pivotally connected to the housing; and a second follower coupled to the wedge arm, such that the second follower is configured to reciprocate along the surfaces during said reciprocation depending upon said selection; wherein the second incline surface and the third surface are at different angles to the reciprocation axis.

7. The device of claim 1 , wherein the wedge arm is pivotally connected to the rod.

8. The device of claim 1 , wherein the wedge arm is pivotally coupled to the housing opposite to the rod.

9. The device of claim 1 , wherein a rocker arm is positioned between the rod and the camshaft lobe.

10. The device of claim 1 further comprising: an arm pivotally connected to the housing; and a second follower coupled to the wedge arm, such that the second follower is configured to reciprocate along the arm during said reciprocation depending upon said selection.

11. The device of claim 10, wherein the component is positioned adjacent to the arm such that pivoting of the arm with respect to the housing causes operation of the component.

12. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a second incline surface and third surface positioned on the component; and a second follower coupled to the wedge arm, such that the second follower is configured to reciprocate along the second incline and third surfaces during said reciprocation depending upon said selection; wherein the second incline surface and the third surface are at different angles to the reciprocation axis.

Description:
WEDGE ARM BASED DEVICE PROVIDING VARIABLE OPERATION OF A DEVICE

BACKGROUND

[0001] Variable timing for operation of engine components (e.g. intake and exhaust valves) and variable output hydraulic devices (e.g. variable displacement hydraulic pumps) can be complicated to implement using today's technology, especially where complex cam configurations are used to influence variable timing of intake/exhaust valves. These complex camshaft configuration designs are costly to build, and maintain, involving many moving parts, thus making these current designs inefficient and undesirable in the marketplace.

[0002] In terms of hydraulic pumps, current variable displacement methods can rely upon complex hydraulic circuitry and/or additional control mechanisms external to the hydraulic pump, in order to effect desired variable displacement functionality. As such, it is recognized that the current state of the art in variable displacement pump design can be costly costly to build, and maintain, involving many moving parts, thus making these current designs inefficient and undesirable in the marketplace.

SUMMARY

[0003] It is an object of the present invention to provide a variable timing mechanical device to obviate or mitigate at least one of the above presented disadvantages.

[0004] It is an object of the present invention to provide a variable timing hydraulic device to obviate or mitigate at least one of the above presented disadvantages.

[0005] A first aspect provided is a device for providing variable operation of a component coupled to the device, the device comprising: a housing; a wedge arm pivotally mounted in the housing for reciprocation along a reciprocation axis, the wedge arm having an incline surface at an angle to the reciprocation axis and a second surface adjacent to the incline surface extending along the reciprocation axis, such that the incline surface and the second surface are at different angles with respect to the reciprocation axis; an actuator mounted to the housing for positioning a follower on the second surface at a variety of initial positions with respect to a junction point between the incline surface and the second surface; a rod connected to the wedge arm and configured for coupling to a camshaft lobe, such that operation of the camshaft lobe causes said reciprocation via the rod towards and away from the follower; wherein selection of one of the variety of initial positions provides for said variable operation of the component.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The foregoing and other aspects will now be described by way of example only with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

[0007] Figure 1 is a cross sectional view of a mechanical device for operating a valve;

[0008] Figure 2 is an operational example of the mechanical device shown in Figure 1 with variable valve timing;

[0009] Figure 3 shows is a further operational example of the mechanical device shown in Figure 2 with variable valve timing;

[0010] Figure 4 is a further operational example of the mechanical device shown in Figure 1 with fixed valve timing;

[0011] Figure 5 is a further operational example of the mechanical device providing valve opening for the device of Figure 4 with fixed valve timing;

[0012] Figure 6 is a cross sectional view of a buffer system embodiment of the device of Figure 1 ;

[0013] Figure 7 is a further operational embodiment of the buffer system of Figure

6; [0014] Figure 8 is a further operational embodiment of the buffer system of Figure

7;

[0015] Figure 8a to Figure 11 are a further embodiment of the mechanical device of Figure 1 with a single ramp;

[0016] Figure 12 to Figure 15 are a still further embodiment of the mechanical device of Figure 1 with a double ramp;

[0017] Figure 16 is a still further embodiment of the mechanical device of Figure 1 with cam placement differences;

[0018] Figures 17 and 18 show a still further alternative embodiment of the device of Figure 1 for an hydraulic application; and

[0019] Figures 19-22 show a further alternative embodiment of the devices of Figure 1 and Figures 17,18.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] Referring to Figure 1 , shown is a mechanical device 10 for varying valve 130 (of valve assembly 131) timing driven by a consistent mechanical input of a camshaft lobe 20 rotating on a camshaft 21. The device 10 provides for reciprocation of a pushrod 60 connected at one end to a drive plate 30 (e.g. wear shim plate) and at the other end to an anchor piston 230 reciprocating in piston bore 220. The drive plate 30 follows the cam lobe 20 under influence of one or more return springs 40 (e.g. biasing elements) for biasing the drive plate 30 into contact with the cam lobe 20. The device 10 further has a wedge arm 70 (of wedge assembly 71) coupled at one end by a pivot point 240 (e.g. pin), for rotation about the pivot point 240 away from the pushrod 60 and towards a valve timing adjustment assembly 261 , as further described below. The degree of rotation or placement of the wedge arm 70 about the pivot point 240 (as dictated by the adjustment assembly 261) controls positioning of a wedge surface 72 with respect to the valve assembly 131 , thereby affecting a degree of opening of the valve 130 with respect to valve seat 132 as further described below. [0021] For context, further described below, Figure 1 shows valve 130 fully seated against the valve seat 132 and thus in the closed position, whereby position of the drive plate 30 is at TDC (Top Dead Center) in view of the position of the lobe 20. Whereas Figure 3 shows the valve 130 partially open (i.e. experiencing variable valve timing) due to rotation of the wedge arm 70 about the pivot point 240 when the drive plate 30 is at BDC (Bottom Dead Center) in view of the position of the lobe 20. In Figure 5, shown is the valve 130 fully open (i.e. experiencing no variable valve timing) due to non-rotation of the wedge arm 70 about the pivot point 240 when the drive plate 30 is at BDC in view of the position of the lobe 20.

[0022] Referring again to Figure 1 , the valve assembly 131 has the valve 130 connected to valve stem 140 and seated in seat 132. For example, the valve seat 132 could be part of an intake manifold of a combustion engine (not shown). Once the valve 130 is open, combustion gases can flow from the combustion chamber via open valve 130 or air-fuel injection can flow into the combustion chamber via open valve 130, depending upon the operational state (e.g. intake, exhaust) of the engine. The valve stem 140 is connected to a valve guide piston 160 configured for reciprocation in valve guide piston bore 150. Return spring 40 can be used to bias the valve 130 in the closed position and thereby biasing the valve piston 160 towards the wedge arm 70. The valve assembly 131 can include a cam follower or slider 170 positioned between the wedge arm 70 and the valve piston 160. It is recognized that the wedge arm 70 and associated assemblies 81 , 261 , 220/230 can be provided as a one to one with each valve assembly 131 or can be configured as a one to many (i.e. one wedge arm 70 and associated assemblies 81 , 261 , 220/230 controlling a plurality of valve assemblies 131).

[0023] Referring again to Figure 1 , the valve timing adjustment assembly 261 has a servomotor 270 (or other actuation means) for controlling positioning of an actuator arm 260 connected to timing piston 262 configured for reciprocation in timing piston bore 280. The valve timing adjustment assembly 261 can include a cam follower or slider 250 positioned between the wedge arm 70 and the timing piston 262. As further described below, the follower 250 is positioned a selected offset distance with respect to a set surface 74 of the wedge arm 70 through operation of the actuator 270 (i.e. positioning the timing piston 262 within the timing bore 280). [0024] Referring again to Figure 1 , the wedge assembly 71 is housed in a cavity 120 in the interior of the device 10, recognizing that the cavity 120 can contain lubricating fluid for lubrication of the various moving components of the wedge assembly 71 , valve timing adjustment assembly 261 , valve assembly 131 and anchor piston 230 exposed to the lubricating fluid. The wedge assembly 71 includes the wedge arm 70 connected to the pivot point 240 (e.g. connected to the pushrod 60 at the anchor piston 230), the wedge surface 72 of the wedge arm 70 biased into contact with the follower 170 by return spring 40 of the valve assembly 131 , the set surface 74 (e.g. opposite the wedge surface 72) of the wedge arm 70 that is opposed to the follower 250 of the adjustment assembly 261 , and a buffer assembly 81 mounted thereon. The buffer assembly 81 includes a buffer arm 290 connected at one end to the wedge arm 70 at a pivot point 180 and at the other end to a buffer piston 90 via link 310 (recognizing that link 310 can be connected to a buffer piston 90 and buffer arm 290 by pivot or ball joints 80). It is recognized that the pivot points 180, 240 can be at the same location or spaced apart along the length of the pushrod 60, as desired. Buffer piston 90 is configured to reciprocate in piston bore 100 containing a compressible medium (e.g. air) located between the buffer piston 90 and a bore end 101. As further described below, placement of the buffer arm 290 about the pivot point 180 is dependent upon positioning of the follower 250 by the actuator 270, as the buffer arm 290 is biased into engagement with the follower 250 by return spring 40.

[0025] Referring again to Figure 1 , it is recognized that given the arrangement described above, reciprocation of the pushrod 60 towards the anchor piston 230 provides for movement of the anchor piston 230 towards bore end 210 against the bias of the return spring(s) 40 (e.g. associated with the drive plate 30 and/or the piston bore 220). In the event that the follower 250 is set in position (by the actuator 270), as spaced apart from the set surface 74 - see Figure 1 , movement of the piston 230 towards bore end 210 provides for travel of the follower 170 along wedge surface 72. Since return spring 40 of the valve assembly 131 is designed to have a spring force stronger than any friction force(s) associated with the pivot points 180,240 as well as the return spring 40 of the buffer assembly 81 , the interaction of the follower 170 translating along the wedge surface 72 forces rotation of the wedge arm 70 about the pivot point 240 as the wedge arm 70 moves away from the pushrod 60 and towards the follower 250 of the adjustment assembly 261. As the wedge arm 70 pivots towards the follower 250, the return spring 40 of the buffer assembly 81 is compressed as the set surface 74 comes into alignment with the buffer arm 290 (see Figure 2 for partial compression of the return spring 40 of the buffer assembly 81 and Figure 3 for completed compression of the return spring of the buffer assembly 81).

[0026] As per Figure 3, once the set surface 74 and the buffer arm 290 are aligned and therefore both in contact with the follower 250, further travel of the pushrod 60 towards the anchor piston 230 will result in reciprocation of the valve piston 160 against the return spring 40 of the valve assembly 131 (during continued translation of the follower 170 against the wedge surface 72) and thus opening of the valve 130 with respect to the valve seat 132. It is noted that in Figure 3, the drive plate 30 is at BDC and thus any further movement of the cam lobe 20 will result in travel of the pushrod 60 away from the anchor piston 230 and the positioning of the wedge assembly 81 and the valve assembly 131 will return to the positions shown in Figure 1 under the influence of the respective return springs 40. Once returned, the drive plate 30 is again at TDC (see Figure 1) and the cycle is set to repeat for subsequent rotation (i.e. TDC back towards BDC) of the drive plate 30 under influence of cam lobe 20 via the camshaft 2 . As noted in the sequence of operations of Figures 1 to 3 provided above, a portion of the travel of pushrod 60 towards the anchor piston 230 (under influence of cam lobe 20) is directed to pivoting of the wedge arm 70 about the pivot point 240, while the valve 130 remains seated in the valve seat 132 (i.e. remains closed). As such, operation of the device 10 shown in Figures 1-3 is an example embodiment of delayed timing of valve 130 opening, as the initial portion (until the set surface 74 and buffer arm 290 come into alignment) of the pushrod 60 travel does not affect movement of the valve 130. As noted above, the degree of delayed timing depends upon initial positioning or offset distance (as controlled by the actuator 270) between the set surface 74 and the follower 250 of the adjustment assembly 261.

[0027] Referring to Figure 4, shown is an operational embodiment of the device 10 with no timing delay, such that the offset distance between the set surface 74 and the follower 250 is set as zero (i.e. no offset), thereby positioning the set surface 74 and the buffer arm 290 into alignment when the drive plate 30 is at TDC. Accordingly, any movement of the pushrod 60 towards the anchor piston 230 will result in translation of the follower 170 along wedge surface 72, which will result in overcoming of the bias of return spring 40 of the valve assembly 131 (as the set position of the follower 250 is held fixed during reciprocation of the pushrod 60). Referring to Figure 5, shown is the valve 130 in a fully open position when the drive plate 30 is at BCD. It is recognized that in the operational example shown in Figures 4 and 5, valve 130 position in Figure 4 represents a fully closed valve 130 and valve 30 position in Figure 5 represents a fully open valve 130 position, such that any travel of the drive plate 30 from TDC will force the follower 170 to overcome the bias of the return spring 40 of the valve assembly 131 and cause the valve 130 to begin to open. It is noted that in Figure 5, the drive plate 30 is at BDC and thus any further movement of the cam lobe 20 will result in travel of the pushrod 60 away from the anchor piston 230 and the positioning of the wedge assembly 81 and the valve assembly 131 will return to the positions shown in Figure 4 under the influence of the respective return springs 40. Once returned, the drive plate 30 is again at TDC (see Figure 4) and the cycle is set to repeat for subsequent rotation (i.e. TDC back towards BDC) of the drive plate 30 under influence of cam lobe 20 via the camshaft 21.

[0028] Given the example operation of valve 130 timing delay of Figures 1-3 and of no valve 130 timing delay of Figures 4-5, it is appreciated that variations of delay/no delay can be accommodated by the device 10 in view of initial positioning of the follower 250 with respect to any off set distance from the set surface 74. For example, it is recognized that a maximum selected offset distance between the follower 250 and the set surface 74 can be configured such that the set surface 74 and the buffer arm 290 only become aligned when the drive plate 30 is at BDC, thus meaning that the valve 130 could remain closed throughout the entire TDC to BDC cycle. Conversely, as described above a minimum offset distance can be zero such that any travel of the drive plate 30 from TDC will effect opening of the valve 130. It is also recognized that variable positions of the cam lobe 20 with respect to the drive plate 30 can also be performed, as desired, which can also affect valve timing. For example, travel can be designed into the system such that the equivalent rotation of the cam lobe 20 is needed to have the valve 130 opening "in advance". Further, it is recognized that positioning of the follower 250 (via the actuator 270) can be varied during travel of the drive plate 30 between TDC and BDC, as desired. However, preferably, the position of the follower 250 (i.e. defining the off-set distance) is fixed or static for a selected valve timing delay as effected by travel of the drive plate 30 between TDC and BDC for a given cycle or cycles.

[0029] Referring to Figures 1 and 6, shown is are oil drain passageways 190 in a housing 1 of the device 10 (e.g. coupled to collection hoses 191 connected to the housing 1 1) for keeping the various piston bores 100,150,220 clear of lubricating fluid deposited from the cavity 120 (e.g. if/when bleeding by piston seals 200 during reciprocation of the pistons 90, 230, 262).

[0030] Referring to Figure 6, passageway 331 can be located in the wedge arm 70 body and connected to passageway 330 located in the anchor piston 230 via flexible passage coupling 332 coupled (e.g. via ball joints 350) to a flex joint bores 340, 360 at either end of the flexible coupling 332. As such, in the event lubricating fluid is deposited in bore 100, it can be forced via reciprocation of buffer piston 90 through passageways 331 , 330 via the flexible coupling 332 and out into the anchor bore 220. Any collection of lubricating fluid in anchor bore 220 (see Figure 1 ) would be directed out of the housing 1 1 via passageway 190 connected to hose 191. However, it is recognized that lubricating fluid may not enter bore 100 due to the air pressure therein always being greater than pressure outside 100, i.e. air pressure in cavity 120.

[0031] Referring to Figures 7 and 8, shown is the operation of the buffer assembly 81. In Figure 7, as the wedge arm 70 approaches the buffer arm 290 (due to reciprocation of the pushrod 60 towards the anchor piston 230), the return spring 40 is compressed and the buffer piston 90 moves in the piston bore 100 towards the bore end 101. As the buffer piston 90 moves in the piston bore 100 towards the bore end 101 , compressible fluid (e.g. air) in the piston bore 100 is forced out of the piston bore 100 via outlet port 333 and into hose 191 via passageways 330,331 ,332 and eventually out passageway 190 (see Figure 1 ). Noting that the outlet port 333 is spaced apart from the bore end 101 , as the buffer piston 90 passes the outlet port in the sidewall of the piston bore 100, the body of the buffer piston 90 closes/blocks the outlet port 333 and therefore restricts the remaining compressible fluid in the piston bore 100 from escaping out of the bore 100 via the adjacent passageway 331. Once the outlet port 333 is blocked, see Figure 8, as the buffer piston 90 continues travel towards the bore end 101 , the compressible fluid is compressed between the buffer piston 90 and the bore end 101 , thus providing for a damping of the travel of the buffer piston 90 towards the bore end 101. In this manner, compression of the compressible fluid between the outlet port 333 and the bore end 101 provides for shock absorption of any impact of the follower 250 with the set surface 74 of the wedge arm 70 (i.e. when the buffer arm 290 and the set surface 74 become aligned). Upon return travel of the pushrod 60 away from the anchor piston 230, the compressed fluid expands in the piston bore 100 until the buffer piston 90 passes the outlet port 333, thus providing for a drawing of compressible fluid in via the adjacent passageway 331 back into the piston bore 100 as the buffer piston 90 continues travel in the piston bore 100 away from the bore end 101 (e.g. under influence of the return spring 40 of the buffer assembly 81). As such, the air breather port 330 can be connected between ambient (at hose 191) and the buffer piston 90.

[0032] Referring to Figure 8a, shown is an alternative embodiment of the mechanical device 10 for varying operation of valve 130 of valve assembly 131 , by effecting timing driven by a consistent mechanical input of the camshaft lobe 20 rotating on camshaft 21. It is shown that pushrod 60 is connected to rocker arm 300 receiving pushrod 60 at one end and connected to the housing 1 1 at the other end by pivot connection 302. Pushrod 304 and follower 306 are actuated by pivoting of rocker arm 300 during reciprocation of the camshaft lobe 20. As the pushrod 304 reciprocates, wedge arm 70 of wedge assembly 71 reciprocates 308 within the housing 1 1. Follower 310 rides along arm 312 during reciprocation of the wedge arm 70, such that any pivoting of the wedge arm 70 on pivot 314 will deflect 316 the arm 312 as further described below, thus affecting open/close positioning of the valve 130.

[0033] Referring again to Figure 8a, servo 270 is configured to position 322 timing arm 318 with follower 320 towards or away from the wedge arm 70, thus affecting the timing (or not) of the deflection 316, as further described below. Clearly, timing arm 318 can be mounted within the housing 11 , as the servo motor 270 is coupled thereto. In terms of affecting of the timing of the deflection 316, follower 320 positioning in Figure 8 is such that the wedge arm 70 will reciprocate 308 towards the timing arm 318 (due to motion of the camshaft lobe 20), without causing the deflection 316 until the follower 320 travels along surface 322 and reaches wedge surface 72. Riding of the follower 320 up wedge surface 72 will cause the deflection 316 of the timing arm 312 and thus movement of the valve stem 140 towards valve seat 132 and thus cause opening of the valve 130 (see Figure 11). As shown, Figure 9 shows rotation of the camshaft lobe 20 and pivoting of the rocker arm 300, while the follower 320 remains on the surface 322 of wedge arm 70 and thus the deflection 316 does not occur due to the follower 320 not meeting the incline or wedge surface 72 (i.e. when follower 320 reaches junction point 324). As such, Figure 9 shows the timing arm 312 in an undeflected state and thus the valve 130 remains closed, which can be referred to as a cylinder antitheft mode, as the camshaft lobe 20 has performed full travel (i.e. from rotational position shown in Figure 8a to that shown in Figure 9) but the valve 130 has remained closed. In other words, as the wedge arm 70 reciprocates 308, the follower 320 remains (i.e. reciprocates) on the surface 322 and thus does not reach or otherwise travel on the incline surface 72.

[0034] Referring to Figure 10, second servo 271 can be used to provide for a cylinder deactivation mode of the device 10. For example, servo 271 can retract/move 275 a pin 273 adjacent to arm 276 (connected to wedge arm 70), thus causing a slight tilt of the wedge arm 70 about pivot 314 irrespective of the position of the follower 320 on the surfaces 72,322 during the reciprocation 308. In other words, actuation of servo 271 can cause a bypass of the dynamic positioning of the follower 320 on the surfaces 72,322 and its effect on the tilting of the wedge arm 70 about pivot 314, i.e. the follower 320 can continue to operate as discussed above but actuation of the servo 271 inhibits the valve 130 from completely seating or otherwise becoming completely closed (i.e. a total seal) in order to inhibit compression pressure building in the cylinder bore as the follower 320 continues to travel along the surfaces 322,72.

[0035] Referring to Figure 10, the follower 320 can start at or nearer to the junction point 324, due to positioning of the follower 320 via actuation of the servo 270. Accordingly, once the camshaft lobe 20 rotates to effect movement 308 of the wedge arm 70 towards the follower 320, this time the timing arm 312 deflects 316 due to positioning (i.e. riding) of the follower 320 on the incline surface 72 of the wedge arm 70 (see Figure 11) and therefore the valve 130 opens. As such, it is recognized that as discussed previously, timing of when the follower 320 reaches (or not in the case of cylinder deactivation) is dictated by where the servo 270 positions the follower 320 on the surface 322, i.e. where between the junction point 324 and an end 325 of the surface 322. For example, if the servo 270 positions the follower 320 on the surface 322 such that during reciprocation 308 of the wedge arm 70 the follower 320 does not ride on the incline surface 72, then the valve 30 remains closed during the full travel of the camshaft lobe 20. If on the other hand, if the servo 270 positions the follower 320 at the junction point 324, then immediately once the reciprocation 308 begins (due to movement of the camshaft lobe 20 from a bottom dead center position - see Figure 8a - towards a top dead center position - see Figure 9), the valve 130 will open immediately and remain open as the camshaft lobe 20 travels between the BDC and TDC positions. On the other hand, if the servo 270 is used to position the follower 320 somewhere between the end 325 and the junction point 324, the valve 130 will remain closed only until such time as the follower 320 reaches the junction point 324 and begins to ride the incline surface 72 as the wedge arm 70 continues to travel towards the follower 320 during movement from BDC towards TDC of the camshaft lobe 20.

[0036] Figures 12, 13, 14, 15 show an alternative embodiment of the mechanical device 10 with a second incline surface 330 on arm 312, such that travel of the follower 310 on the incline surface 330 provides for optional usage of two incline surfaces 71 ,330 during the reciprocation 308. The second incline surface 330 of the arm 312 can also have a surface 331 with junction point 327 similar to the surfaces 72,330 of the wedge arm 70. One advantage of the two incline surfaces 72,330 being employed in parallel is that the opening of the valve 130 can be speed up. As appreciated by a person skilled in the art. Further, the stroke of the valve stem 140 may have to be adjusted in order to limit travel of the valve 130 during opening into the cylinder bore. As such, it is recognised that any combination of usage of the two surfaces 71 ,330 can be realized, depending upon the initial positioning by the servo 270 of the follower 320 on the surface 322. For example, Figures 12 and 14 show utilization of a single incline surface 330 during rotation of the camshaft lobe 20 during reciprocation 308, while Figures 13,15 shown full utilization of the two surfaces 72,330 due to the initial positioning of the follower 320 on the surface 322. It is also recognized that different camshaft lobe 20 positionings can be realized, different from that shown in Figure 8a. For example, the camshaft lobe 20 can be positioned in Figure 16 adjacent to the housing 1 1 (rather than below the housing shown in Figure 8a). Alternatively, the camshaft lobe 20 can be positioned above the housing 1 1 (not shown).

[0037] Further to the above, it is recognized that the device 10,10a can be for providing variable operation of a component (e.g. valve 130 or piston 350/bore 340 arrangement) coupled to the device 10,10a. The device can have the housing 1 1 ; the wedge arm 70 pivotally mounted in the housing 1 1 for reciprocation along a reciprocation axis (e.g. direction 308), the wedge arm 70 having the incline surface 72 at an angle to the reciprocation axis 308 and a second surface 322 adjacent to the incline surface 72 extending along the reciprocation axis 308 (e.g. parallel to the axis 308), such that the incline surface 72 and the second surface 322 are at different angles with respect to the reciprocation axis 308 (e.g. surface 72 is angled at an acute angle between 0 and 90 degrees and surface 322 is parallel to axis 308); an actuator(e.g. servo 270) mounted to the housing 1 1 for positioning the follower 320 on the second surface 322 at a variety of initial positions (e.g. towards or away from the junction point 324) with respect to the junction point 324 between the incline surface 72 and the second surface 322; a rod 60,304 connected/coupled to the wedge arm 70 and configured for coupling to the camshaft lobe 20, such that operation of the camshaft lobe 20 causes the reciprocation 308 along the axis via the rod 60,3094 towards and away from the follower 320; wherein selection of one of the variety of initial positions provides for the variable operation (e.g. displacement or timing) of the component 130, 340/350.

[0038] Further, the component can be an engine valve 130 coupled to the wedge arm 70 via a valve stem 140, such that pivoting of the wedge arm 70 causes movement of the valve 130 (e.g. opening) via the valve stem 140 depending upon the selection/positioning of the follower 320 on the surface 322 between the junction point 324 and the end 325. [0039] Further, the component is an hydraulic piston 350 and cylinder bore 340 arrangement coupled to the wedge arm 70, such that pivoting of the wedge arm 70 causes movement of the piston 350 between a top dead center and a bottom dead center depending upon the selection/positioning of the follower 320 on the surface 322 between the junction point 324 and the end 325..

[0040] The device 10a, 10, wherein the component is an engine valve 130 coupled to the wedge arm 70 via a valve stem 140, such that the reciprocation 308 of the wedge arm 70 occurs while the valve 130 remains closed depending upon the selection.

[0041] The device 10,10a, wherein the component is an hydraulic piston 350 and cylinder 340 arrangement coupled to the wedge arm 70, such that the reciprocation 308 of the wedge arm 70 occurs while the piston 350 remains stationary depending upon the selection.

[0042] The device 10,10a can further have a second incline surface 330 and third surface 331 positioned on an arm 312 pivotally connected to the housing 11 ; and a second follower 310 coupled to the wedge arm 70, such that the second follower 310 is configured to reciprocate along the surfaces 330,331 during the reciprocation 308 depending upon the selection; wherein the second incline surface 330 and the third surface 331 are at different angles to the reciprocation axis 308.

[0043] Referring to Figure 17, shown is a hydraulic pump 10a operating on similar principles to that of the mechanical device 10 embodiments shown in Figures 8a- and 12-15. The hydraulic pump 10a can have a hydraulic fluid bore 340 with intake 342 and exhaust 344 ports with associated valves 346 providing for the intake and exhaust of hydraulic fluid into and out of the bore with respect to a hydraulic circuit 348 coupled to the housing 11 of the hydraulic device 10a. Received in the bore 340 is a piston 350 which reciprocates in the bore 340 due to motion of the camshaft lobe 20 driving the wedge arm 70 as discussed above for reciprocation 308.

[0044] The hydraulic device 10a can have the two incline surfaces 72, 330 as discussed above, but can also have a single incline surface 72 embodiment as shown in Figures 8a to 11 with respect to the mechanical device 10. For example, as discussed above for Figure 8a with respect to placement of the follower 320 on the surface 322 via operation of servo 270, reciprocal movement of the follower 320 only on the surface 322 during movement of the camshaft lobe 20 will result in the arm 312 remaining undeflected about pivot 315 and thus the piston 350 will remain at TDC and thus the piston 350 will not reciprocate in the bore 346. On the contrary, as shown in Figures 10,1 1 for the wedge arm 70 embodiment, positioning of the follower 320 closer to or at the junction 324 of the surface 322 (by the servo 270) will result in rotation of the camshaft lobe 20 reciprocating 308 the wedge arm 70 towards the follower 320 and causing the follower 320 to be positioned on the incline surface 72, thus causing pivot of the arm 312 about pivot 315 and thus movement 360 of the piston 350 in the bore 346 away from TDC and toward BDC, thus causing exhaust of hydraulic fluid resident in the bore 346 out of exhaust port 344. Similarly, as the follower 320 returns down the incline surface 72 and back towards the surface 322, due to reciprocation 308 of the wedge arm 70 away from the follower 320, the piston 350 will travel 360 away from BDC and towards TDC and thus hydraulic fluid will enter the bore 340 via the inlet port 342. As recognized, the usage of only one incline surface 72 can be thought of as operation of the hydraulic device 10a (e.g. hydraulic pump) in a high pressure mode as only one of the ramps is engaged. Also shown is a return spring (e.g. resilient element 351) for maintaining engagement of the piston 350 with the arm 312 (e.g. via follower 362) as it returns from BDC to TDC as the wedge arm 70 moves away from the follower 320 (e.g. the follower 320 is travelling down or otherwise away from the surface 72).

[0045] In terms of usage in parallel of the pair of incline surfaces 72,330, this can be thought of as operation of the hydraulic device 10a in a high volume mode as both ramps are engaged. It is recognized that in high pressure mode (via engagement of only the incline surface 330 with the follower 310 and disengagement of follower 320 with surface 72), the hydraulic device 10a would operate at a higher pressure and lower volume output than when the hydraulic device 10a is operated in the high volume mode. Conversely, in the high volume mode, the hydraulic device 10a would operate at a lower pressure and higher volume output than when the hydraulic device 10a is operated in the high pressure mode. It is recognised that in high volume mode (via engagement of both the incline surface 72 with the follower 320 and engagement of follower 310 with surface 330), the operation of the followers 320,310 with respect to incline surfaces 72,330 is similar to that described in relation to the operation with reference to Figures 12-15 for followers 320,310, depending upon where the servo 270 initially places the follower 320 on the surface 322 between the junction point 324 and the end 325. For example, Figure 18 shows initial positioning of the follower 320 in the vicinity of the junction point 324, such that reciprocation 308 of the wedge arm 70 will cause travel of the follower 320 along the surface 322, past the junction point 324 and up the incline surface 72 as the camshaft lobe 20 moves from positions shown in Figures 8a towards that of Figure 9. Similarly, Figure 18 would show final positioning of the follower 320 in the vicinity of the junction point 324, such that reciprocation 308 of the wedge arm 70 will cause travel of the follower 320 down the incline surface 72, past the junction point 324, and along the surface 322 as the camshaft lobe 20 moves from positions shown in Figure 9 towards that of Figure 8a.

[0046] As such, it is recognized that the piston 350/ cylinder bore 340 arrangement can be provided in the hydraulic device 10a with a double incline surface 72,330 configuration (as shown) or as that of a single surface 72 embodiment shown in Figures 8a and 16, i.e. the valve 130 and valve stem 140 of Figures 8a and 16 would be replaced by the bore 340 and piston 350 arrangement with ports 342,344 and valves 346 of Figures 17, 18 in the housing 11.

[0047] Further, it is recognized that the arm 312 with incline surface 330 can be substituted (i.e. removal or absence of the arm 312) for an incline surface 330 directly positioned on a top surface 365 of the piston 350 for contact with the follower 310, see Figures 19-21. As such, the surface 330 is provided as the second incline surface 330 which can also include the second surface 331 as well in the wedge assembly 71. It is recognized that the wedge assembly 71 with surface 330 on the piston 350 directly can also be used with the hydraulic device 10a of Figures 17,18.