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Title:
AUTOMATED STORAGE SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/145112
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
System for parking motor vehicles in a multi-storey storage structure comprising at least one pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas, which system comprises handling means (1,2,3) for moving each motor vehicle from the pickup/drop-off area to a selected storage area and vice versa. Handling means are arranged such to: • - move each motor vehicle at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level, • - move each motor vehicle from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the motor vehicle at the translation level and • - move each motor vehicle at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level, the translation level being higher than the height of a motor vehicle, which height of the motor vehicle is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

Inventors:
CURTO RICCARDO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2017/051088
Publication Date:
August 31, 2017
Filing Date:
February 24, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CURTO RICCARDO (IT)
International Classes:
E04H6/22
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008098584A12008-08-21
Foreign References:
EP1375783A22004-01-02
DE10255945A12004-06-09
EP2039850A22009-03-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARECCO, Andrea (VIa Colombo 11/29, Genova, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . System for parking motor vehicles in a multi-storey storage structure comprising at least one pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas, which system comprises handling means for moving each motor vehicle from the pickup/drop-off area to a selected storage area and vice versa,

characterized in that

handling means are arranged such to move each motor vehicle at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level, move each motor vehicle from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the motor vehicle at the translation level and move each motor vehicle at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level, the translation level being higher than the height of a motor vehicle, which height of the motor vehicle is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

2. System according to claim 1 , wherein handling means move each motor vehicle from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level only by a vertical movement.

3. System according to claim 1 or 2, wherein handling means comprise at least one elevator element (1 ) at the entrance/exit area provided with a movable platform (2) supporting a motor vehicle, which platform (2) is movable by the elevator element (1 ) from the entrance/exit level to the translation level, a stacker crane element (3) being provided which is equipped with a system removably coupling the platform (2) and translatable from the entrance/exit area to each storage area and movable from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level.

4. System according to claim 3, wherein there are provided sliding guides (4) along the storage areas for the stacker crane element (3), means (6) moving the stacker crane element on the guides (4) and means (7) actuating the stacker crane element (3).

5. System according to claim 4, wherein means (6) moving the stacker crane element (3) comprise driving wheels or a pinion rack coupling or runners placed at the base and/or top of the stacker crane element (3).

6. System according to claim 4, wherein means (7) actuating the stacker crane element (3) comprise electric motors.

7. System according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the means (6) moving the stacker crane element (3) and/or means (7) actuating the stacker crane element (3) comprise levitation means.

8. System according to claim 7, wherein levitation means are composed of magnetic levitation means.

9. System according to one or more of the preceding claims 3 to

8, wherein the stacker crane element (3) comprises a plurality of vertical posts (10) rigidly connected to one another by side bars.

10. System according to one or more of the preceding claims 3 to

9, wherein the coupling system comprises a plurality of hooking elements (5) movable in height, whose vertical movement is actuated by a corresponding plurality of actuating systems (8).

1 1 . System according to claim 10, wherein each actuating system (8) is composed of an oil-pressure and/or belt and/or rack and/or electric and/or electromechanical system.

12. System according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein there are provided programming means to drive handling means both for storing the motor vehicle and for picking it up, which programming means comprise a control user interface accessible by an electronic board and/or by a mobile application for mobile device.

13. Multi-storey motor vehicle storing structure provided with a system for parking motor vehicles,

characterized in that

the system comprises the characteristics of one or more of the preceding claims.

14. Structure according to claim 13, wherein the minimum distance between two storeys (9) of the multi-storey structure is such to allow a motor vehicle to pass on top of another, each one being placed on the platform (2).

15. Structure according to claim 13 or 14, which is placed out of ground, underground or partially out of ground and partially underground.

16. System for storing objects in a multi-storey storage structure comprising at least a pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas, which system comprises handling means arranged for moving each object from the pickup/drop-off area to a selected storage area and vice versa,

characterized in that

handling means are configured such to move each object at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level, move each object from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the object at the translation level and move each object at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level, the translation level being higher than the height of an object, which height of the object is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

17. System according to claim 16, wherein handling means move each object from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level by only a vertical movement.

18. System according to claim 16 or 17, comprising the characteristics of one or more of the claims 3 to 12.

19. Method for parking motor vehicles in a multi-storey structure comprising at least one pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas,

characterized in that

it comprises the following steps:

a) moving each motor vehicle at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level,

b) moving each motor vehicle from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the motor vehicle at the translation level c) moving each motor vehicle at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level,

the translation level being higher than the height of a motor vehicle, which height of the motor vehicle is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

20. Method according to claim 19, wherein each motor vehicle is moved from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level by only a vertical movement.

21 . System according to claim 19 or 20, wherein movements of the motor vehicle are performed by levitation.

22. System according to claim 21 , wherein movements of the motor vehicle are performed by magnetic levitation.

Description:
Riccardo Curto

Automated storage system

The present invention relates to a system for parking motor vehicles or other objects in a multi-storey storage structure comprising at least one pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas.

The technical field of reference is that of systems and procedures for handling and storing motor vehicles when they are driven to the entrance of parking areas or garages from where a system of elevators vertically transport them in a position where they are picked up by a stacker crane and placed in their final storage areas or slots. Similarly the invention can be applied to the storage of other types of objects. The system comprises handling means for moving each motor vehicle from the pickup/drop-off area to a selected storage area and vice versa.

The invention has advantages as regards spaces that are occupied, modularity, handling speed resulting from the use of handling systems and the movement made by the components of the system to store motor vehicles.

Currently automated storage systems for motor vehicles can be summarized as it follows:

1 . Circular multi-storey car park inside which a stacker crane picks up the car and stores it in the suitable slot;

2. Storage warehouses where, after being placed on a lift for motor vehicles, the vehicle is positioned in the slots by a movable platform;

3. Ferris wheel-style systems whose slots are circularly arranged and rotate about a central pin;

4. Rotating systems where a carousel system allows the motor vehicle to be positioned;

5. Chess systems where movable platforms, by exploiting the presence of an empty slot, move while positioning the motor vehicles according to a logic allowing them to be retrieved. Such devices involve quite high construction costs, reliability problems and a slow handling of motor vehicles.

Moreover such devices, under high demand situations, are not able to meet requests of retrieving motor vehicles within a short time.

In the same technical field, the document EP1375783 A2 provides a system for handling motor vehicles provided with fixed elevator elements placed under each storage area. Such elevator elements raise a platform on which a motor vehicle is placed such to couple it to translating trailers moving on fixed rails placed at a translation level. The trailers move the motor vehicle up to the pickup/drop-off area and here the platform is passed to a further fixed elevator element that raises the platform up to the exit. Such facility needs a plurality of fixed elevator elements, both in each storage area and in the pickup/drop-off area resulting in high costs of installation and maintenance.

The document WO 2008/098584 A1 describes a facility where parking spaces are stacked and accessible from the side, and wherein there is provided a stacker crane element that brings each motor vehicle to the storage area, such that the motor vehicle is inserted in the storage area by an horizontal movement. The system requires a large multistorey structure, wherein storage areas form an access wall along which the stacker crane moves.

The document DE 10255945 A1 describes an underground automated parking facility, comprising a fixed elevator element in the pickup/drop-off area and a stacker crane element. The facility further comprises a plurality of translatable racks, each one provided with a plurality of stacked storage areas. The stacker crane element moves the motor vehicle causing it to pass above the racks. While the stacker crane element translates in one direction, the racks translate in the opposite direction to create a gap adjacent to the rack provided with the selected empty storage area. The stacker crane element can therefore lower the motor vehicle in the formed gap, in order to put it besides the selected empty storage area and to insert it in such storage area by horizontally moving it.

Even in this case the system needs a very large structure, where providing movable racks, thus increasing complexity and installation and maintenance costs. The object of the present invention is to provide a modular automated motor vehicle storage system able to overcome above lacks, to be used also in areas difficult to be accessed, and able to guarantee very short time for retrieving the means of transport.

According to the invention such object is achieved by a system as described hereinbefore, wherein moreover handling means are arranged such to:

- move each motor vehicle at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level,

- move each motor vehicle from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the motor vehicle at the translation level and

- move each motor vehicle at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level,

the translation level being higher than the height of a motor vehicle, which height of the motor vehicle is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

This allows storage areas to be arranged side by side without the need of having a lateral access for each storage area, for example in an underground structure made along a street. Motor vehicles are moved by passing one above the other.

In a preferred embodiment handling means move each motor vehicle from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level only by a vertical movement.

This allows the system to be minimized, where moving parts are limited and which is adaptable to a structure with small dimensions.

According to one embodiment, handling means comprise at least one elevator element at the entrance/exit area provided with a movable platform supporting a motor vehicle, which platform is movable by the elevator element from the entrance/exit level to the translation level, a stacker crane element being provided which is equipped with a system removably coupling the platform and translatable from the entrance/exit area to each storage area and movable from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level.

According to one embodiment, there are provided sliding guides along the storage areas for the stacker crane element, means moving the stacker crane element on the guides and means actuating the stacker crane element.

According to one embodiment, the means moving the stacker crane element comprise driving wheels or a pinion rack coupling or runners placed at the base and/or top of the stacker crane element.

According to one embodiment means actuating the stacker crane element comprise electric motors.

According to one embodiment, the means moving the stacker crane element and/or means actuating the stacker crane element comprise levitation means.

According to one embodiment, levitation means are composed of magnetic levitation means.

According to one embodiment, the stacker crane element comprises a plurality of vertical posts rigidly connected to one another by side bars.

According to one embodiment, the coupling system comprises a plurality of hooking elements movable in height, whose vertical movement is actuated by a corresponding plurality of actuating systems.

According to one embodiment, each actuating system is composed of an oil-pressure and/or belt and/or rack and/or electric and/or electromechanical system.

According to one embodiment there are provided programming means to drive handling means both for storing the motor vehicle and for picking it up, which programming means comprise a control user interface accessible by an electronic board and/or by a mobile app for mobile device. The present invention relates also to a multi-storey structure for storing motor vehicles provided with a system for parking motor vehicles comprising one or more of the characteristics described above.

In one embodiment, the minimum distance between two storeys of the multi-storey structure is such to allow a motor vehicle to pass on top of another, each one being placed on the platform.

The structure can be placed out of ground, underground or partially out of ground and partially underground.

In a preferred embodiment the present invention relates to an automated garage composed of several modules placed in a structure both underground, partially underground or out of ground.

The elements composing the individual module are:

a hydraulic, electric or electromechanical raising/lowering system on which the platform supporting each motor vehicle is placed. The lowering system, if required, is able to serve several modules;

a system of stacker cranes both of the hydraulic, electric, electromechanical, rack or belt type able to move the vehicle above the already positioned vehicles;

a system of (linear, rail or other) guides on which the stacker cranes can horizontally move;

a system of control means able to properly place the motor vehicle both during handling and storage steps both in the entrance and exit area;

a system of mobile applications for portable devices able to interact with the control system and to increase the speed of action on the vehicle handling devices.

The present invention further relates to a system for storing objects in a multi-storey storage structure comprising at least a pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas. The system comprises handling means arranged for moving each object from the pickup/drop-off area to a selected storage area and vice versa. Handling means are configured such to:

- move each object at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level,

- move each object from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the object at the translation level and

- move each object at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level,

the translation level being higher than the height of an object, which height of the object is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

In a preferred embodiment handling means move each object from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level by only a vertical movement.

The same inventive concept described above can be applied therefore not only to motor vehicles but also, in combination or as an alternative, to the storage of further objects, such as for example packs to be shipped, containers, barrels etc. It will be sufficient for the person skilled in the art to modify the dimensions of the system to adapt it to the type of objects to be stored.

The present invention further relates to a method for parking motor vehicles in a multi-storey structure comprising at least one pickup/drop-off area and a plurality of storage areas. The method comprises the following steps:

a) moving each motor vehicle at the entrance/exit area from an entrance/exit level to a translation level,

b) moving each motor vehicle from the entrance/exit area to the selected storage area by maintaining the motor vehicle at the translation level

c) moving each motor vehicle at the selected storage area from the translation level to a unloading/pickup level,

the translation level being higher than the height of a motor vehicle, which height of the motor vehicle is comprised between its upper end and lower end.

According to a preferred embodiment each motor vehicle is moved from the translation level to the unloading/pickup level by only a vertical movement.

According to a preferred embodiment, the movements of the motor vehicle are performed by levitation, preferably magnetic levitation.

The method described above can be applied not only to motor vehicles but also to the storage of further objects, such as for example packs to be shipped, containers, barrels etc.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the automatic mechanized parking system is therefore composed of a container/warehouse underground or out of ground whose system for storing and retrieving the motor vehicles is completely mechanical and computerized. The user, once arriving in a specific area, leaves the motor vehicle. The system automatically provides to store the motor vehicle until the retrieval is required which is also managed by the system in a completely sure and automated manner. The user places the motor vehicle on a platform preferably placed inside a box intended for entrance/exit.

Now the platform is lowered/raised by an elevator system up to a specific height where it is picked up by a handling system that, by moving the motor vehicle above the already parked vehicles, places it in the suitable slot lowering it to the height it was as at the motor vehicle deposit level. Now the system is in standby for an input whether placing on the raising system an empty platform or a platform with a motor vehicle to be retrieved.

Upon the retrieval of the motor vehicle the handling system takes the platform with the motor vehicle on it, and by passing it above the already parked vehicles, leaves it on the raising and/or lowering system.

Now the system raises or lowers to the entrance/exit box where the user can take the car and leave the park.

The system is of the modular type where each parking line is equipped with an independent system of stacker cranes. In order to minimize times for waiting, retrieving and searching for parking, the system is equipped with an application for mobile devices that shows availability for empty slots and allows the parking slot to be selected or booked before entering the suitable entrance/exit box.

Advantages deriving from the invention, by this brief description, are listed below:

I. since the motor vehicle storage facility is composed of several modules with independent handling systems it is able to contemporaneously handle several vehicles thus reducing a lot the time waiting for the retrieval.

II. the compact shape of the module allows it to be used in areas such as access roads of large city streets or other areas difficult to be accessed.

III. the system passing above the motor vehicles allows several modules to be provided one besides the other, several vehicles on the same level to be provided, and therefore allows not to dig too deeply.

IV. there is no need to create suitable slots or closed storage areas for individual motor vehicle since the system does not need them and it results in saving costs for construction of structures.

V. the use of technologies and mobile applications allow waiting time to be shortened.

In order to better understand the system of interest and subject matter of the invention here it follows a detailed description of the actions to be performed and related to a preferred embodiment as a not binding example and not as a limitation referring to the figures shown in the annexed figures, wherein:

Fig.1 is a top view of a storey of a structure wherein storage areas are present;

Figs. 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 are different steps for moving a motor vehicle, in side view;

Fig.5 is a back view of the elevator element and of the stacker crane element, with a motor vehicle at the translation level;

Fig.8 is a top view of a storey of the structure wherein storage areas are present arranged in several rows besides each other; Fig.9 is a top view of the stacker crane element placed at an empty storage area.

FIG.1 schematically shows the arrangement of motor vehicles in the system and the position of sliding systems 4 is visible, by means of which the horizontal movement of the handling system 3 is guaranteed, which are of rail or linear or magnetic levitation type or other levitation systems such as for example compressed air ones. These are placed such to allow the platform 2 to transit and to be positioned.

It is possible to provide magnetic levitation systems applied both to the translation of the stacker crane element 3 and to the raising of the platform 2 by the stacker crane element 3 and/or to the elevator element 1 . In this case, the motor vehicle or the object can be raised by generating a sufficient magnetic repulsion intended to raise the platform 2.

FIG 2 shows, in side view, the motor vehicle placed at the entrance/exit area on the platform 2 and now it is ready to be picked up and stored.

The lowering/raising system, that is the elevator element 1 , is in the maximum extended condition and the handling system, that is the stacker crane element 3 is in standby awaiting for an input.

FIG 3, also in side view, shows how by an input the lowering/raising system 1 brings the platform 2 with the motor vehicle on it to the height necessary for being picked up by the handling system 3.

Fig.9 shows the elements composing the handling system 3: four vertical posts 10, both made of steel or any other structural work material intended to meet structural requirements, rigidly connected with each other by means of side bars; four coupling systems 5 whose vertical movement is actuated by means of four hydraulic and/or electric and/or mechanical and/or electromechanical and/or belt and/or rack systems 8.

The handling system 3 horizontally moves on guide systems 4 towards the system 1 on which the platform 2 is placed. In fig.4 the handling system 3 is positioned to pick up the platform 2 from the elevator system 1 . The stacker crane element 3 hooks the platform 2 in the lower side by a coupling system 5 of the bracket, mushroom type or any other system enabling the coupling, considering also systems lying in recesses arranged in the platform 2. Fig.5 shows how the coupling action is performed.

Fig.6 shows how the handling system 3 transports the platform 2, by moving along the guides 4, by means of movement means 6 with the motor vehicle passing above parked motor vehicles till being placed at the desired storage area.

Fig.7 shows, how by means of the vertical movement of the coupling systems 5, the platform 2 with the motor vehicle on it is in the final storage position.

Now the stacker crane element 3 after an input can move an empty platform 2 or a platform with the motor vehicle and can start again the cycle.

Fig.1 shows a single storage line and Fig.8 shows several lines put side by side.

It is clear from the figures how the system can be used for storing objects different from motor vehicles.