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Title:
FEED WHEEL ARRANGEMENT, TIMBER WORKING HEAD, CRANE AND TIMBER WORKING MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/171865
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention concerns a feed wheel arrangement (1) intended to be used in a timber working head (2) for at least one of felling, trimming, bark-peeling and cutting of a tree or tree trunk comprising a frame (3) on which feed wheels (1.1-1.2) and grip fittings (4) are mounted either fixed or in a manner that allows them to be removed. The feed wheel arrangement (1) comprises a feed wheel (1.3) and a motor (7) for rotation of the feed wheel (1.3) for feed of the tree or trunk through the timber working head (2), where the motor (7) is arranged at a distance from the feed wheel (1.3). The invention concerns also a timber working head, a crane and a timber working machine.

Inventors:
LUNDGREN KARL (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE2013/050422
Publication Date:
October 23, 2014
Filing Date:
April 18, 2013
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KOMATSU FOREST AB (SE)
International Classes:
A01G23/08; A01G23/095; B27B25/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008143644A12008-11-27
Foreign References:
US3542099A1970-11-24
US20060278305A12006-12-14
CA2279032C2000-08-22
US4098311A1978-07-04
US4078590A1978-03-14
US3542099A1970-11-24
Other References:
See also references of EP 2986104A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZACCO SWEDEN AB (Stockholm, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A feed wheel arrangement (1) intended to be used in a timber working head (2) for at least one of felling, trimming, bark-peeling and cutting of a tree or tree trunk, comprising a frame (3) to which feed wheels (1.1-1.2) and grip fittings (4) are mounted either fixed or in a manner that allows them to be removed, characterised in that the feed wheel arrangement (1) comprises a feed wheel (1.3) and a motor (7) for rotation of the feed wheel (1.3) for the feed of the tree or trunk through the timber working head (2) where the motor 7 is arranged at a distance from the feed wheel (1.3).

2. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 1, where the feed wheel (1.3) is one of three feed wheels symmetrically arranged and mounted at the frame (3), around the tree or tree trunk such that at least two of the three feed wheels are always in contact with the tree or tree trunk.

3. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 1 or 2, comprising a power transfer

arrangement (9) that acts between the motor (7) and the feed wheel (1.3) for the transfer of rotational force from an output rotating shaft (7.1) of the motor (7) to an axis (8) on which the feed wheel (1.3) is mounted either fixed or in a manner that allows it to be removed.

4. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 3, where the power transfer arrangement (9) comprises at least one chain (10).

5. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 3, where the power transfer arrangement (9) comprises at least one belt (11).

6. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 3, where the power transfer arrangement (9) comprises at least one cardan coupling (lib).

7. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 3, where the power transfer arrangement (9) comprises at least one cogged wheel (11c).

8. The feed wheel arrangement according to any one of claims 1-7, where the motor (7) is a hydraulic motor.

9. The feed wheel arrangement according to any one of claims 1-7, where the motor (7) is an electric motor.

10. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 1, where the motor (7) is integrated into a feed wheel (1.4).

11. The feed wheel arrangement according to claim 10, where the motor (7) and the feed wheel (1.4) are directly coupled.

12. A timber working head intended to be used for at least one of felling, trimming, bark- peeling, and cutting, and other similar handling, of a tree or tree trunk, comprising a frame (3) to which feed wheels (1.1-1.3) and grip fittings (4) are mounted either fixed or in a manner that allows them to be removed, where the timber working head (2) comprises at least one feed wheel arrangement (1) according to any one of claims 1-9.

13. The timber working head (2) according to claim 10, comprising a mounting arrangement (6) that makes it possible to attach the timber working head (2) either fixed or in a manner that allows it to be removed at an arrangement that makes it possible to displace and place the timber working head in its working position.

14. A crane comprising a timber working head (2) according to claim 12 or 13.

15. A timber working machine comprising a timber working head (2) according to claim 12 or 13.

16. A timber working machine comprising a crane according to claim 14.

Description:
FEED WHEEL ARRANGEMENT, TIMBER WORKING HEAD, CRANE AND TIMBER WORKING MACHI NE

The present invention concerns a feed wheel arrangement intended to be used in a timber working head for at least one of felling, trimming, bark-peeling and cutting of a tree or tree trunk where the timber working head comprises a frame on which feed wheels and grip fittings are mounted either fixed, or in a manner that allows them to be removed. The invention concerns also a timber working head, a crane and a timber working machine comprising such a feed wheel arrangement.

The present invention relates to what is known as a "grip harvester", to be more precise, a timber working head for at least one of trimming, cutting, bark-peeling and preferably also felling, and of the type that is arranged to be suspended with its frame in a crane, which timber working head comprises grippers mounted to pivot for the gripping of a tree, trimming means preferably connected to the grippers, a chain saw for the felling and cutting of a tree and driven feed wheels for feed of the felled tree through the timber working head for trimming and cutting.

Harvesters of this type are previously known and have as a rule their feed wheels so arranged relative to the grippers that they accompany the motion of the grippers to and from the gripping position. It has proved to be the case with this arrangement that the feed wheels when gripping a tree trunk with a small diameter do not make contact with the tree in a correct manner, but instead more or less press the tree trunk against the timber working head. This leads to the feed wheels damaging the tree trunk through the feed wheels sliding against the tree trunk, which gives a poorer quality for the tree, and in addition wear of the edge of the feed wheels takes place, which shortens the lifetime of the feed wheels.

The purpose of the present invention, therefore, is to achieve a feed wheel arrangement that makes possible a timber working head of the type described above that does not suffer from the said disadvantages, but is so arranged that it gives, independently of the diameter of the tree, satisfactory contact with the tree trunk such that the feed through the timber working head takes place with limited damage to the tree trunk and reduced wear of the feed wheels. In addition to the improvements that are described above that are achieved with the present invention, the resulting timber working head has small external dimensions, and the possibility of simpler repair and maintenance is achieved. This is achieved through a feed wheel arrangement, a timber working head, a crane and a timber working machine according to the present invention that demonstrate the characteristics described in the attached patent claims.

This invention will be described in more detail below with reference to the attached drawings, of which:

Figure 1 shows a timber working head seen from above,

Figure 2 shows a feed wheel with a drive motor and a power transfer arrangement,

Figure 3 shows a feed wheel with an alternative power transfer arrangement,

Figure 4 shows a sectional view taken from the timber working head that is shown in Figure 1,

Figure 5 shows a view of a timber working head seen from the front,

Figure 6 shows a timber working head in which a tree trunk has been placed, and

Figure 7 shows a timber working head mounted at a crane on a timber working machine.

A feed wheel arrangement 1 according to the invention is intended to be used in a timber working head 2 that is intended for at least one of felling, trimming, bark-peeling and cutting of a tree or tree trunk, as is shown in Figures 1 and 4. The timber working head 2 shown in Figures 1 and 5 comprises a frame 3 to which feed wheels 1.1-1.3 and grip fittings 4 are mounted either fixed or in a manner that allows them to be removed. The frame 3 demonstrates in known manner grip fittings 4 intended to grip the tree trunk and feed wheels 1.1-1.3 intended to make contact against the tree trunk while rotating in order to feed the tree through the timber working head 2, together with at least one saw (not shown in the drawings), which it is appropriate is a saw blade of a chain saw, for cutting the tree trunks. The frame 3 has a U-shaped cross-section 5 and is furthermore provided with a mounting arrangement 6, a fastening, for suspension at a crane arm or a rotator, or at a crane arm and a rotator, not shown in the drawings. The feed wheels 1.1-1.3 and the grip fittings 4 are symmetrically placed at the sides of the frame 3. In line with two pairwise arranged feed wheels 1.1, 1.2 at the sides of the frame, at the bottom of the U-shaped cross-section, there is arranged a further support in the form of a roller or a third feed wheel 1.3.

The feed wheel arrangement 1 according to the invention comprises a feed wheel 1.3 and a motor 7 for rotation of the feed wheel 1.3 for feed of the tree or trunk through the timber working head 2, where the motor 7 is arranged at a distance from the feed wheel 1.3. The figures show that this feed wheel 1.3 constitutes the third feed wheel. The invention, however, is not to be limited to this embodiment since the feed wheel of the feed wheel arrangement can be constituted by another feed wheel mounted at a timber working head.

The fact that the motor 7 is arranged at a distance from the feed wheel 1.3 means that the motor 7 is not directly coupled to the feed wheel 1.3, it is not integrated with the feed wheel, that the feed wheel is not located directly on the output shaft 7.1 of the motor. This leads to simpler handling, monitoring and repair of the component parts, and that both the feed wheel arrangement 1 and a timber working head 2 can be given smaller dimensions.

The feed wheel 1.3 that belongs to the feed wheel arrangement 1 is one of three feed wheels symmetrically arranged and mounted at the frame 3, around the tree or tree trunk such that at least two of the three feed wheels are always in contact with the tree or tree trunk.

The feed wheel 1.3 is so located that when the tree trunk is located in the frame 3, with the grip fittings 4 surrounding the tree trunk and with all feed wheels positioned in order to drive the trunk through the frame 3, the tree trunk is in contact with also this third feed wheel. This third feed wheel 1.3 is arranged to rotate around an axis 8 of rotation, and is also driven in order to facilitate transport of the tree trunk through the frame, and as a consequence of the placing, at least two of three feed wheels are always in contact with the tree trunk.

The centrally located third feed wheel is driven to rotate with the aid of a power transfer arrangement 9 from a motor 7. The motor 7 is located at a distance from the feed wheel 1.3 and may be a separate motor for this feed wheel, or it may constitute, in a second embodiment, the drive motor for one or both of the side rollers. The advantage of placing the motor at a distance from the feed wheel is that the frame can be given a smaller outer dimension, and, in addition, a separate motor makes it possible to more easily exchange parts, such as the feed wheel, drive motor or power transfer arrangement, in the event of failure.

The feed wheel arrangement 1 according to the invention comprises a power transfer arrangement 9 that acts between the motor 7 and the feed wheel 1.3 for the transfer of rotational force from an output rotating shaft 7.1 of the motor to the axis 8 of rotation on which the feed wheel 1.3 is mounted either fixed or in a manner that allows it to be removed. The power transfer arrangement 9 of the feed wheel arrangement 1 comprises at least one chain 10, at least one belt 11, at least one cardan coupling lib, or at least one cogged wheel 11c. The power transfer arrangement 9 comprises in this preferred embodiment a chain drive that is shown in Figure 2. The chain 10 runs over a cogged wheel 12 at the drive motor 7 to a cogged wheel 13 arranged at the feed wheel 1.3. It is an advantage if the cogged wheel 13 of the feed wheel is lowered centrally in the jacket 14 of the feed wheel 1.3, but it may also be located at the gable end 15 of the feed wheel 1.3 or at the axis 8 of rotation of the feed wheel. The chain 10 may run in the free space between the motor 7 and the feed wheel 1.3, or it may be housed inside a chain protector (not shown in the drawings). The chain protector may be designed as a channel in which the chain runs, which provides protected surroundings and the possibility of efficient lubrication. It should be realised that the chain protector may be designed also only as an angle that extends along one stretch of the chain, and it is suggested that this is the stretch that is located closest to the region in which the tree trunk is located in the frame.

The power transfer arrangement 9 may, in another embodiment, comprise a belt drive. The chain in this case has been exchanged for a belt 11, and the cogged wheels in the motor and the feed wheel have been exchanged for pulleys in known manner.

The power transfer arrangement may also comprise a drive shaft between two joints or angle gears, or between two joints and angle gears, in what is known as a cardan coupling. The cogged wheels in this case have been exchanged for joints and angle gears, and the chain has been exchanged for a drive shaft. The drive shaft and the joints and the angle gears are located in a cardan tunnel in the form of a pipe that extends between the motor and the feed wheel. The cardan tunnel provides efficient protection against impacts and contaminants, and it also provides the possibility of efficient lubrication.

In a further embodiment, which is shown in Figure 3, the power transfer arrangement comprises a cogged wheel 16. The cogged wheel 16 is in interaction with a cogged wheel 17 at the motor and a cogged wheel 18 that is centrally located at the feed wheel 1.3. This type of power transfer arrangement provides direct transfer of power from the motor 7 to the feed wheel 1.3, but the diameter of the power transfer cogged wheel 16 determines the distance between the feed wheel 1.3 and the motor 7. It should be realised that more than one power transfer cogged wheel can be used, for example two or three smaller cogged wheels. This gives the advantage that the motor can be placed further from the feed wheel than is the case when only one power transfer cogged wheel is used, but the risk that extraneous material and twigs fall in between the cogs and disturb the operation increases. It is an advantage if the drive motor 7 is of the hydraulic motor type, which is coupled with the rest of the hydraulic system. The speed of rotation of the motor, and thus also the speed of rotation of the feed wheel, may then be synchronised with the speeds of the other feed wheels. The advantage of this is that the power system that is required is already available, and this makes use easier. The motor may be also electrically driven, through the feed of power from a power supply at the timber working machine.

In a further embodiment, the drive motor is arranged for direct operation of a fourth feed wheel 1.4. This fourth feed wheel 1.4 is designed to use the power transfer arrangement described above for driving the third feed wheel 1.3. For the direct operation of the fourth feed wheel 1.4, the motor 7 may be integrated into the feed wheel 1.4 or it may be arranged with a direct coupling between the drive shaft 7.1 of the motor 7 and the axis of rotation of the feed wheel 1.4.

The invention concerns also a timber working head 2 that is provided with a feed wheel arrangement 1 described above, since this is the actual working area for the feed wheel arrangement. It is appropriate that such a timber working head 2 comprise a mounting means 6 that makes it possible to attach the timber working head 2 either fixed or in a manner that allows it to be removed to an arrangement that makes it possible to displace and place the timber working head in its working position. The timber working head 2 and its mounting means 6 can be attached to a crane or similar arrangement at a timber working machine, or in another way placed at a timber working machine.

The invention concerns also a crane that comprises such a timber working head 2 that comprises this type of feed wheel arrangement 1. The term "crane" is here used to denote all types of arrangement that make it possible to displace and place the timber working head 2 in its working position, to place a timber working head 2 according to the invention at a predetermined tree or tree trunk.

The invention concerns also a timber working machine comprising a timber working head 2 that comprises this type of feed wheel arrangement 1, or a timber working machine comprising a crane comprising such a timber working head 2 that in turn comprises this type of feed wheel arrangement 1. The term "timber working machine" is here used to denote all types of vehicle that are used to displace and place a timber working head 2 or a crane according to the invention in their working positions, at a predetermined working area, at a predetermined tree or tree trunk. The invention is not limited to what has been described above and shown in the drawings; it can be changed and modified in several different ways within the scope of the innovative concept defined by the attached patent claims.