Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEVICE FOR MOVING CARS IN MULTISTOREY CAR PARKS WITH SYSTEM FOR CENTRING THE CAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/110723
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A device for moving cars (100) in multistorey car parks is described, said device comprising a front carriage (1) able to be positioned opposite the front wheels (101) of the car so as to raise them and a rear carriage (2) able to be positioned opposite the rear wheels (102) of the car so as to raise them. At least one of the carriages comprises a centring device (4) comprising a pair of buffer heads (40) which are mounted on rods (41) which slide linearly from a position retracted towards the carriage into a position extracted laterally from the carriage so as to press against the inwardly directed part of the tyre of the respective wheel (101, 102) of the car arranged on rollerways (204, 205) so as to cause lateral displacement of the car (100) and centre it with respect to the carriage (1, 2).

Inventors:
MANZOTTI CARLO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2007/000701
Publication Date:
October 04, 2007
Filing Date:
March 21, 2007
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PROVIRON TECHNOLOGY B V ROTTER (CH)
MANZOTTI CARLO (IT)
International Classes:
E04H6/18; E04H6/24
Foreign References:
EP0875644A21998-11-04
EP1104831A12001-06-06
EP0987384A22000-03-22
FR1167565A1958-11-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FIAMMENGHI-DOMENIGHETTI, Delfina (Via San Gottardo 15, Lugano, CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. Device for moving cars (100) in multiple-storey car parks, comprising a front carriage (1) able to be positioned opposite the front wheels (101) of the car so as to raise them and a rear carriage (2) able to be positioned opposite the rear wheels (102) of the car so as to raise them,

characterized in that

at least one of said carriages comprises a centring device (4) comprising a pair of buffer heads (40) which are mounted on rods (41) which slide linearly from a position retracted towards the carriage into a position extracted laterally from the carriage so as to press against the inwardly directed part of the tyre of the respective wheel (101, 102) of the car arranged on rollerways (204, 205) so as to cause lateral displacement of the car (100) and centre it with respect to the carriage (1, 2) .

2. Device according to Claim 1, characterized in that said two rods (41) supporting the pair of centring buffer heads (40) are moved linearly by means of two linear actuators which are operated by the same drive system or by two synchronized drive systems.

3. Device according to Claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said rods (41) supporting the centring buffer heads (40) comprise a rack which meshes with a toothed wheel or pinion (43) rotationally driven by a gear motor (21) directly or via intermediate gearing.

4. Device according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that at least one of the said carriages (1, 2) comprises a wheel raising device comprising four levers (15) which are pivotably hinged on a raisable frame (14) of the carriage and moved by

means of at least one drive system (20, 30) from a position retracted towards the carriage into an extracted position where they project laterally towards the outside of the carriage so as to be positioned under the tread of the tyres of the wheels (101, 102) of the car.

5. Device according to Claim 4, characterized in that said rods (41) supporting the centring buffer heads (40) are moved by at least one (20) of the drive systems which move said wheel raising levers (15), via gears .

6. Device according to Claim 5, characterized in that said centring device (4) comprises an adjustable torque or friction limiting device (5) able to limit the torque transmitted from said drive system (20) to said rods supporting the centring buffer heads (40) .

7. Device according to Claim 6, characterized in that said torque limiting device (5) comprises an adjusting screw (50) which compresses, by means of a spring (51) , a disc (52) against linings (53) of a respective gearwheel (46) which is actuated, via respective gears (47, 48, 24, 25), by the pinion (21) of the motor (20) for actuating the wheel raising levers, wherein said gearwheel (46) provided with friction (4) is mounted on a shaft (45) which carries another gearwheel (44) which meshes directly or via a gear (43) , with the rack of the rod (41) supporting the centring buffer heads (40) .

8. Device according to any one of Claims 4 to 7, characterized in that said wheel raising levers (15) are integral with respective cams (23a, 23b, 23c, 23d) which are pivotably hinged on said frame (14) of the carriage, each cam comprising a toothed lateral surface (23) which extends over an arc which subtends an angle of about 60°-80°.

9. Device according to Claim 8, characterized in that said wheel raising device comprises:

- a first gear motor (20) provided with a pinion (21) which, by means of a gearwheel (22) and a pair of gearwheels (24, 25), rotationally drives the first cam (23a) and the second cam (23b) , respectively; and

- a second gear motor (30) provided with a pinion (31) which, by means of a gearwheel (32) and a pair of gearwheels (34, 35), rotationally drives the third cam (23c) and the fourth cam (23d) , respectively;

wherein said pinion (21) of the first motor (20) actuates, by means of gears, the rack of said rods (41) supporting the centring buffer heads (40) .

10. Centring device (4) arranged on a carriage (1, 2) for moving a car (100) in a multistorey car park, comprising a pair of buffer heads (40) mounted on rods (41) which slide linearly from a position retracted towards the carriage into a position extracted laterally from the carriage so as to press against the inwardly directed part of the tyre of the respective wheel (101, 102) of the car arranged on rollerways (204, 205), so as to cause a lateral displacement of the car (100) and centre it with respect to the carriage (1, 2) .

Description:

"DEVICE FOR MOVING CARS IN MULTISTOREY CAR PARKS WITH SYSTEM FOR CENTRING THE CAR"

The present invention relates to a device for moving cars in multistorey car parks, equipped with a system for centring the car.

As is known, a multistorey car park with an automatic parking system comprises a plurality of parking areas - referred to below as "stalls" - which are arranged on several levels.

A movement mechanism is envisaged for displacing and supporting the cars and comprises an overhead crane or translating/raising device which can be displaced horizontally along the corridors existing between the various rows of stalls and is equipped with a raisable platform for positioning the cars at the height of the various levels.

The platform is provided with special movement systems able to pick up the car from the platform and position it inside the stall and vice versa. These movement systems according to the prior art envisage normally the so-called "comb" system comprising a carriage with comb-like ends able to slide inside corresponding sawtooth slits formed in the platform and in the floor of each stall.

Movement systems are also known where a pair of carriages are provided for raising the front and rear wheels of the vehicle, respectively, so as to transport it into the stall, such as, for example, that described in the PCT patent application WO95/03462 in the name of the same applicants.

This movement system requires, in any case, a system for centring the car, before it is picked up from the pair of carriages.

The Italian patent IT 1,302,623 in the name of the same applicants describes a car centring system which is provided in the entry/exit area or on the overhead crane. However, this centring system is somewhat complex, bulky and costly. Moreover, if several entry and exit areas are envisaged, it is necessary to envisage several centring systems for serving these entry and exit areas.

The object of the present invention is to eliminate the drawbacks of the prior art by providing a device for moving cars in multi-storey car parks, equipped with a car centring system which is versatile, low-cost, not bulky and easy to manufacture.

This object is achieved in accordance with the invention, with the characteristic features listed in the accompanying independent Claim 1. Preferred embodiments of the invention are described in the dependent claims .

The device for transferring cars in multistorey car parks according to the invention comprises a front carriage able to position itself opposite the front wheels of the car so as to raise them and a rear carriage able to position itself opposite the rear wheels of the car so as to raise them.

At least one of the said carriages comprises a centring device for centring the car with respect to the carriage before picking it up. The centring device comprises a pair of buffer heads which are mounted on rods which slide in linear fashion from a position retracted towards the carriage into a position extracted laterally from the carriage so as to press against the inwardly directed part of the tyre of the respective wheel of the car arranged on rollerways.

In this way the thrusts of the buffer heads against the tyres cause a lateral displacement of the car so as to centre it with respect to the carriage.

The advantages of the carriage according to the invention, provided with a centring system, are evident. In fact this type of carriage not only avoids the need to modify the structure of the floor of the stalls of the multistorey car park, but also avoids the use of complex and costly centring systems provided in the entry/exit area of the multistorey car park.

Further characteristic features of the invention will emerge more clearly from the detailed description which follows, provided with reference to a non-limiting example of embodiment thereof, illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation view, showing a car positioned on two carriages which form the movement device according to the invention, where the carriages are arranged on a platform of an entry/exit area of a multistorey car park;

Fig. 2 is a plan view of the carriages on the platform shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a view, from the rear, of the car according to Fig. 1 positioned on the platform of the entry/exit area of the multistorey car park, where the buffer heads of the car centring system are shown in broken lines when they are in the extracted working position and in solid lines when they are in the retracted rest position;

Fig. 4 is an enlarged plan view of the front carriage according to the invention which shows in broken lines both the buffer heads of the centring system in the extracted position and the wheel raising levers in the

rest position and in the extracted working position;

Fig. 5 is a view as in Fig. 4, but showing the rear carriage;

Fig. 6 is a plan view showing the mechanisms of the system for moving the wheel raising levers and the car centring system which is applicable to both the front and rear carriages, where the centring buffer heads are shown in broken lines in the extracted position and the wheel raising levers are shown in broken lines in the working position;

Fig. 7 is identical to Fig. 6, in which, for the sake of greater clarity, the mechanisms for movement of the front wheel raising levers have been omitted;

Fig. 8 is an enlarged view of a detail according to Fig. 7 showing the mechanism of a centring buffer head, rotated through 90° with respect to Fig. 7;

Fig. 9 is a partially sectioned view of the detail according to Fig. 8; and

Fig. 10 is a partially sectioned side view of the detail according to Fig. 9.

With the aid of the Figures the movement device according to the invention is described.

Fig. 1 shows a car 100 comprising a pair of front wheels 101 and a pair of rear wheels 102 intended to be raised and transported by a front carriage 1 and a rear carriage 2, respectively. In Figs. 1, 2 and 3 the front carriage 1 and rear carriage 2 are shown on a movable platform or frame 200 in an entry/exit area of an automated multistorey car park. The platform 200 may be lowered or raised so as to position the car 100 on the floor of a stall of the multistorey car park.

As better shown in Fig. 2, the platform 200 has a substantially rectangular form and comprises two side corridors 201 on which the wheels 101, 102 of the car 100 can advance and a central channel 202 inside which the front carriage 1 and the rear carriage 2 can travel. The side corridors 201 of the platform are provided with two front rollerways 204 and two rear rollerways 205 on which the front wheels 101 and rear wheels 102 of the car are arranged, before being picked up by the carriages 1 and 2.

The front carriage 1 and the rear carriage 2 are substantially symmetrical, and therefore identical or similar parts which are present in both the carriages 1 and 2 are indicated by the same reference numbers.

Each carriage 1,2 comprises two front wheels 10 and two rear wheels 11 which roll inside special guides inside the channel 202 of the platform. A gear motor 12 is provided in the front part of the front carriage 1 and rotationally drives a shaft 12' connected to the front wheels 10. The rear part of the rear carriage 2 is provided with a gear motor 12 which rotationally operates a shaft 12' connected to the rear wheels 11. Each carriage 1,2 comprises guide rollers 13 with a vertical axis, which roll along the inner edges of the corridors 201.

As better shown in Figs. 4 and 5, each carriage 1, 2 comprises a support structure 14 in the form of a surrounding frame on which four levers 15 able to raise the wheels of the car are pivotably hinged. The levers 15 are able to rotate about their fulcrum by means of a system of gears as will be described below. The hinging points of the levers 15 are arranged at the corners of a rectangle.

The levers 15, performing a rotation through about 80°-

100° in the direction of the arrows θ, may pass from an inactive retracted position with their axes substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis X of the carriage 1, 2, into an extracted working position where they project outwards, with their axes substantially perpendicular to the axis X of the carriage and symmetrical with respect to a transverse axis Y. In the working position, the bars 15 are arranged underneath the car wheels, in contact with the tread of the tyre.

Each carriage 1, 2 comprises a gear motor 16 which causes rotation of a shaft 17. At the end of the shaft 17 there are two pinions 18, 18' which engage inside respective vertical racks 19, 19' which are integral with the support frame 14. In this way rotation of the pinions 18, 18' causes displacement of the racks 19, 19' and therefore raising or lowering of the support frame 14 so as to raise or lower the car 100.

Below, with reference to Figs. 6 and 7, the system for moving the levers 15 is described.

Each lever 15 is mounted integrally on a cam 23a, 23b, 23c and 23d which has a set of teeth 23 which extends over an arc of a circumference which subtends an angle of about 60°-80°.

With reference to Fig. 7, a first gear motor 20 comprises a pinion 21 which meshes with a first gearwheel 22 which in turn meshes with the teeth of the first cam 23a. The pinion 21 also meshes with a second gearwheel 24 which meshes with a third gearwheel 25. The third gearwheel 25 meshes with the teeth of the second cam 23b. As a result, the first gear motor 20 controls in synchronism the movement of the two rear levers 15 with reference to the direction of advancing movement X of the carriage.

With reference to Fig. 6, the movement of the two front levers 15 occurs in a manner which is entirely symmetrical with the movement of the two rear levers 15. A second gear motor 30 comprises a pinion 31 which meshes with a first gearwheel 32 which in turn meshes with the teeth of the third cam 23c. The pinion 31 also meshes with a second gearwheel 34 which meshes with a third gearwheel 35. The third gearwheel 35 meshes with the teeth of the fourth cam 23d. As a result, the second gear motor 30 controls in synchronism the movement of the two front levers 15 =

The car centring device which is denoted overall by the reference number 4 is described below.

With reference to Figs. 7 and 4, the centring device 4 comprises two buffer heads 40 which are made of soft material, such as rubber, and are extracted from the sides of the respective carriage 1, 2 so as to press against the inwardly directed part of the tyres of the wheels 101, 102 of the car. In this way the car 100 is centred in position, with respect to the respective carriage 1, 2.

In fact it is necessary to consider that the wheels 101 and 102 of the car are arranged on the rollerways 204, 205 (Fig. 2) of the platform 200. Therefore, the thrusting force of the buffer heads 40 causes a lateral displacement of the wheels 101, 102 on the respective rollerways 204, 205 with a minimum amount of friction which does not damage the balance and alignment of the wheels .

As shown in Figs. 7 and 8, each buffer head 40 is integral with a rack-type rod 41 which is mounted slidably inside a sleeve 42 integral with the carriage 1, 2. The rack of the rod 41 meshes with a gearwheel 43 which passes through the sleeve 42.

With reference to Figs. 9 and 10, the gearwheel 43 meshes with a gearwheel 44 which is mounted integral with the top end of a vertical shaft 45. A second gearwheel 46 is mounted integrally on the bottom end of the shaft 45, arranged on the same level as the gearing for movement of the levers 15. Therefore the shaft 45 carries an upper gearwheel 44 and a bottom gearwheel 46.

With reference again to Fig. 7, the first bottom gearwheel 46 (that above the straight line X) meshes directly with the gearwheel 25 which meshes with the cam 23b of the second lever 15. The gearwheel 25 meshes with the gearwheel 24 moved by the pinion 21 of the first motor 20.

The second bottom gearwheel 46 (that underneath the straight line X) meshes with a gearwheel 47 which in turn meshes with a gearwheel 48 rotationally driven by the pinion 21 of the first motor 20. It should be noted that the pinion 21 moves three gearwheels 22, 24, 48 with the same diameter, having their centres arranged equidistant at 120° with respect to the centre of the pinion 21.

With reference to Figs. 9 and 10, a torque or friction limiting device 5 acts on the bottom gearwheels 46 of the centring device. The torque limiting device 5 comprises an adjusting screw 50 which passes through the shaft 45 and the gearwheel 46, terminating in a widened end part 57. Tightening of the adjusting screw 50 pushes a Belleville washer 51 against a disc 52 which acts against the pads 53 which line the gearwheel 46.

By tightening or loosening the adjusting screw 50, the transmission of the torque from the gearwheel 46 to the shaft 45 is adjusted. In fact it is possible to check whether the car is already centred, when the levers 15

must still complete their stroke towards the wheels of the vehicle. In this case, the torque limiting device 5 intervenes and allows the stroke of the levers 15 to be completed without further forcing of the buffer heads 40 against the inside of the tyre. In fact, this further forcing of the buffer heads 40 could upset the balance and alignment of the car wheels.

The mode of operation of the carriages 1, 2 according to the invention is described below.

In an initial situation the car 100 is situated with the wheels 101, 102 on the respective rollerways 204, 205 of the platform 200. The front carriage 1 and the rear carriage 2 have the levers 15 and the buffer heads 40 in their retracted rest position. The gear motors 12 are operated and cause rotation of the respective wheels 10, 11 of the carriages 1, 2 which travel inside the channel 202 of the platform and are arranged respectively underneath the front wheels 101 and rear wheels 102 of the car.

At this point the gear motors 12 are stopped and the gear motors 20 and 30 of both the carriages 1, 2 are operated.

With reference to Fig. 7, the gear motor 20 causes rotation of the pinion 21 which, by means of the gearing 22, causes rotation of the first cam 23a and, by means of the pair of gears 24, 25, causes rotation of the second cam 23b. As a result, the rear levers 15 of both the carriages 1, 2 start to rotate towards the rear part of the respective tyre.

At the same time, the rotation of the pinion 21 causes rotation also of the pair of gearwheels 48 and 47. As a result, the gearwheel 25 and the gearwheel 47 mesh with the gearwheels 46 of the centring device 4, causing the rotation of the respective gearwheels 44

which mesh with the gearwheels 43. The gearwheels 43 mesh with the racks 41. As a result, both the buffer heads 40 of each carriage move laterally outwards, pressing against the inside of the wheels of the car and centring the car on the carriage.

With reference to Fig. 6, the gear motor 30 causes rotation of the pinion 31 which, via the gearing 32, causes rotation of the third cam 23c and by means of the pair of gears 34, 35 causes rotation of the fourth cam 23d. As a result, the front levers 15 of both the carriages 1, 2 rotate towards the front of the respective tyre.

When the car is centred, the torque limiting device 5 intervenes in order to allow a further stroke of the levers 15 so as to engage underneath with the respective tyre, without causing a further thrust of the buffer heads 40 against the tyres. Obviously other movements of the various parts of the carriages are possible. For example, the front levers of the rear carriage 2 may open before this carriage is arranged underneath the corresponding wheels of the car.

At this point the gear motors 16 are operated and cause raising of the frames 14 supporting the levers 15. As a result, the wheels 101, 102 of the car 100 are raised with respect to the corridors 201 of the platform 200. Then the gear motors 12 are operated again and cause displacement of the carriages 1, 2 which transport the car 100.

The present embodiment may be subject to numerous variations and modifications as regards details, which may occur to a person skilled in the art, but nevertheless fall within the scope of the invention as expressed by the accompanying claims.

Even though in the Figures a preferred embodiment has

been illustrated, where the car centring device 4 is operated, via gears, by the same motor 20 which controls opening and closing of the levers 15 for raising the wheels of the car, it is clear that this centring device 4 may be operated by an independent drive system.

Moreover, although the centring device 4 has been shown in the figures as comprising buffer heads 40 mounted on rack rods 41 which engage in respective gears 43, it is clear that the buffer heads 40 may also be mounted on the stem of any type of linear actuator of the electric, pneumatic, oil-dynamic or electromagnet type, such as for example a piston/cylinder assembly or a screw/female thread assembly.




 
Previous Patent: APPARATUS FOR IRONING SHOES

Next Patent: HEAT STORAGE DEVICE