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Title:
MACHINE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF MODULAR WOOD PARTS AND CORRESPONDING PROCESS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/245857
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A modular wall (10) comprises at least a first panel (11) and a second panel (12) opposite each other and a plurality of longitudinal uprights (13, 13a, 13b) interposed between the first panel (11) and the second panel (12) and attached to them.

Inventors:
SIVILOTTI MARIO (IT)
COLOMBINO GUIDO DANIELE (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IT2020/050141
Publication Date:
December 10, 2020
Filing Date:
June 04, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PROGETTO2 S R L (IT)
International Classes:
E04B1/10; B27F7/15; B27M1/08; B27M3/00; E04B1/61
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011157784A12011-12-22
WO2016034729A12016-03-10
Foreign References:
AU6641086A1987-06-11
US4573292A1986-03-04
US3302841A1967-02-07
DE102010046231A12012-03-29
US10260232B12019-04-16
US2574163A1951-11-06
US4485608A1984-12-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Davide Luigi et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Machine to produce modular walls (10), characterized in that said machine comprises, disposed in succession along a common work axis (X), a loading/unloading station (111), an adhesive delivery station (113), a nailing station (112), an assembly station (114), said machine comprising a slider (119) mobile with alternate motion along said work axis (X) in an outward and return travel between said loading/unloading station (111) and said assembly station

(114).

2. Machine as in claim 1, characterized in that said loading/unloading station (111) is associated with a first store (116) for loading panels (11) and uprights (13, 13a, 13b) and in said loading/unloading station (111) a first panel (11) is positioned on said slider (119) and uprights (13, 13a, 13b) are disposed longitudinally in a temporary position on the first panel (11) to define a provisional panel-uprights assembly (20).

3. Machine as in claim 2, characterized in that said adhesive delivery station (113) is provided with adhesive delivery devices (124) to deliver adhesive (17) on the panel-uprights assembly (20) moved in said adhesive delivery station (113) by said slider (119) along a first segment of said outward travel, said adhesive delivery devices (124) being configured to deliver said adhesive (17) longitudinally both on the uprights (13, 13a, 13b ) disposed in said temporary position, and also on the first panel (11) in a longitudinal position coordinated with a definitive position of attachment of said uprights (13, 13a, 13b) on said first panel (11).

4. Machine as in claim 2 or 3, characterized in that said assembly station (114) is able to receive said panel-uprights assembly (20) from said adhesive delivery station (113) by moving said slider (119) along an end segment of said outward travel, the uprights (13, 13a, 13b) being moved in said assembly station (114) from the temporary position to the definitive position of attachment on said first panel (11), the assembly station (114) being equipped with a lifting member

(115) to position a second panel (12), removed from a second loading store (117), on the uprights (13, 13a, 13b) adhesived to the first panel (11) in its definitive position, to also obtain the gluing to the second panel (12) in order to define a semi-finished modular wall (10). 5. Machine as in claim 4, characterized in that said nailing station (112) is able to receive from the assembly station (114) the semi-finished modular wall (10) with the uprights (13, 13a, 13b) adhesived both to the first panel (11) and also to the second panel (12), moved by said slider (119) along a first segment of said return travel, said nailing station (112) being provided with upper and lower nailing devices (122, 123) to nail together said uprights (13, 13a, 13b), said first panel (11) and said second panel (12), obtaining a complete modular wall (10).

6. Machine as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said loading/unloading station (111) is able to receive said complete modular wall (10) from said nailing station (112), transported by said slider (119) along an end segment of said return travel, in order to unload the modular wall (10) obtained in an associated unloading store (118).

7. Method to produce modular walls (10) provided with at least a first panel (11) and a second panel (12) opposite each other, and with one or more longitudinal uprights (13, 13a, 13b) interposed between the first panel (11) and the second panel (12), characterized in that it provides to:

- load the first panel (11) on a slider (119) and the uprights (13) in a temporary position on the first panel (11), to define a provisional panel-uprights assembly (20);

- deliver adhesive (17) longitudinally both on the uprights (13, 13a, 13b) disposed in said temporary position, and also on the first panel (11) in a longitudinal position coordinated with a definitive position of attachment of said uprights (13, 13a, 13b) on said first panel (11);

- assemble the panel-uprights assembly (20) with the second panel (12) after moving the uprights (13, 13a, 13b) from the temporary position to the definitive position of attachment on said first panel (11);

- nail the uprights (13, 13a, 13b) to the first panel (11) and to the second panel (12) to define the modular wall (10);

- unload the modular wall (10) obtained;

said method providing to move the mobile slider (119) along a work axis (X) in an outward travel between said loading step and said assembly step, and in a return travel between the assembly step and said unloading step.

8. Modular wall (10) comprising: - at least a first panel (11) and a second panel (12) opposite each other;

- a plurality of longitudinal uprights (13, 13a, 13b) interposed between the first panel (11) and the second panel (12) and attached to them, of which one or more intermediate uprights (13) and, respectively on one side and on the other of said one or more intermediate uprights (13), a first lateral upright (13a) protruding laterally from the panels (11, 12), defining a protruding portion (14) longitudinal with respect to them, and an opposite second lateral upright (13b), laterally recessed into the panels (11, 12), defining a longitudinal housing seating (15) mating in shape with said protruding portion (14) and configured to accommodate a respective protruding portion (14) of another modular wall (10’) to be connected in an adjacent position.

9. Assembly of modular walls comprising at least two modular walls (10, 10’), as in claim 8, disposed adjacent and connected to each other, the protruding portion (14) of one modular wall (10) being inserted in snap-in manner into a mating housing seating (15) of an adjacent modular wall (10’).

10. Assembly of modular walls as in claim 9, characterized in that it comprises at least a first modular wall (10) disposed angled with respect to a second modular wall (10’), adjacent and connected to said first modular wall (10), in which the angled connection between said first (10) and second modular wall (10’) is a transverse coupling, the reciprocal connection surfaces defining an offset coupling between respective protruding and offset portions of the panels (11, 12), or a head-wise coupling substantially at 90° between said panels (11, 12).

Description:
MACHINE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF MODULAR WOOD PARTS AND

CORRESPONDING PROCESS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments described here concern a machine to produce modular walls and the corresponding method.

The modular walls are made of plywood, chipboard or similar or comparable materials and are used for the construction of walls in the field of civil construction or for exhibition stands, offices, showrooms or suchlike.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the field of constructions of temporary and definitive buildings, the use of walls that can be assembled and disassembled is known, for example plasterboard walls, chipboard walls or honeycombed walls, to cover internal walls or define internal partition walls of rooms.

These known walls normally require complex and expensive installations. In fact, the installation of these walls normally requires expert or specialized labor. For example, for the installation it could be necessary to construct a scaffold or a support wall could be necessary on which to install the walls in question.

These known walls are generally used for aesthetic applications as they are easily interchangeable, or for temporary constructions such as, for example, exhibition stands. Therefore, generally, these known walls are not able to support considerable loads and/or to acoustically and thermally insulate certain rooms.

Furthermore, known walls normally require complicated and often expensive procedures, in terms of costs and times, to be recycled and/or sent to landfills. This aspect, together with the complicated and cumbersome installation, determines high production and management costs for these walls.

Over the years the need has arisen to perfect a modular wall that can overcome at least one of the disadvantages of the state of the art by defining a compromise between ease of installation, structural resistance, acoustic and thermal insulation and eco-sustainability and which can be used in definitive or provisional building constructions.

There is therefore a need to perfect a machine to produce modular walls and a corresponding method which allow to produce the modular wall simply and quickly.

In particular, one purpose of the present invention is to make a machine to produce modular walls which can be easily installed even by an inexperienced user and which require a simple and quick installation.

Another purpose of the present invention is to make a compact and efficient machine to produce modular walls, able to make standardized modular walls, of high quality and in short times.

Another purpose of the present invention is to make a machine to produce modular walls, applicable in civil construction, in easily recyclable material and at the same time with good properties of resistance to loads and thermal and acoustic insulation.

Another purpose of the present invention is to define a method to produce modular walls which can be used in temporary and/or definitive building constructions which is fast and efficient.

Another purpose of the present invention is to make a modular wall that can be easily installed, is economically affordable, easily recycled and usable both for temporary constructions such as exhibition stands or showrooms and also for definitive or semi-definitive constructions in homes, shopping centers, offices or suchlike.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claims. The dependent claims describe other characteristics of the present invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, a machine to produce modular walls in accordance with the present invention comprises, disposed in succession along a common work axis, a loading/unloading station, an adhesive delivery station, a nailing station, an assembly station, the machine comprising a slider mobile with alternate motion along the work axis in an outward and return travel between the loading/unloading station and the assembly station.

The present invention also concerns a method to produce modular walls provided with at least a first panel and a second panel opposite each other, and with one or more longitudinal uprights interposed between the first panel and the second panel.

According to the invention, such method provides to:

- load the first panel on a slider and the uprights in a temporary position on the first panel, to define a provisional panel-uprights assembly;

- deliver adhesive longitudinally both on the uprights disposed in the temporary position, and also on the first panel in a longitudinal position coordinated with a definitive position of attachment of the uprights on the first panel;

- assemble the panel-uprights assembly with the second panel after moving the uprights from the temporary position to the definitive position of attachment on the first panel;

- nail the uprights to the first panel and to the second panel to define the modular wall;

- unload the modular wall obtained;

the method providing to move the mobile slider along a work axis in an outward travel between the loading step and the assembly step, and in a return travel between the assembly step and the unloading step.

Advantageously, the machine and the method as above allow to produce modular walls in a space that has a limited bulk and with high productivity, since the slider performs an alternate motion from the loading/unloading station to the assembly station, at least halving the size of the machine and at the same time speeding up the work steps.

In fact, this method can be easily automated, allowing to produce standardized modular panels in a fast, safe and efficient manner.

In accordance with the present invention, a modular wall comprises:

- at least a first panel and a second panel opposite each other;

- a plurality of longitudinal uprights interposed between the first panel and the second panel and attached to them, of which one or more intermediate uprights and, respectively on one side and on the other of the one or more intermediate uprights, a first lateral upright protruding laterally from the panels, defining a protruding portion longitudinal with respect to them, and an opposite second lateral upright, laterally recessed into the panels, defining a longitudinal housing seating mating in shape with the protruding portion as above and configured to accommodate a respective protruding portion of another modular wall to be connected in an adjacent position.

This modular wall is easy and quick to install without using dedicated equipment and without the intervention of specialized operators.

Furthermore, this modular wall is made of wood material that is easy to recycle and work.

Consequently, this modular wall allows to reduce installation/dismantling, production and disposal costs, compared to the state of the art.

Furthermore, this modular wall is produced with the method and the machine as above in order to have high resistance to loads and stresses, making it suitable for use in civil construction as well as for provisional and temporary constructions such as exhibition stands, showrooms or other types of temporary installations.

The present invention also concerns an assembly of modular walls comprising at least two modular walls, as previously described, disposed adjacent and connected to each other, the protruding portion of one modular wall being inserted in snap-in manner into a mating housing seating of an adjacent modular wall.

Advantageously, this assembly of modular walls is easy to install and/or dismantle, since it consists of the modular walls as above.

ILLUSTRATION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects, characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some embodiments, given as a non-re strictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 is a top view of a machine to produce modular walls in accordance with the present invention;

- fig. 2 is a lateral view of the machine of fig. 1;

- fig. 3 is a top view of the modular wall in accordance with the present invention;

- fig. 4 is a lateral view of the modular wall of fig. 3; - figs. 5-8 are schematic illustrations of the production steps of the modular wall of fig. 3;

- figs. 9-13 are schematic illustrations of possible applications of the modular wall in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

To facilitate comprehension, the same reference numbers have been used, where possible, to identify identical common elements in the drawings. It is understood that elements and characteristics of one embodiment can conveniently be incorporated into other embodiments without further clarifications.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

We will now refer in detail to the various embodiments of the invention, of which one or more examples are shown in the attached drawings. Each example is supplied by way of illustration of the invention and shall not be understood as a limitation thereof. For example, the characteristics shown or described insomuch as they are part of one embodiment can be adopted on, or in association with, other embodiments to produce another embodiment. It is understood that the present invention shall include all such modifications and variants.

Before describing the embodiments, we must also clarify that the present description is not limited in its application to details of the construction and disposition of the components as described in the following description using the attached drawings. The present description can provide other embodiments and can be obtained or executed in various other ways. We must also clarify that the phraseology and terminology used here is for the purposes of description only, and cannot be considered as limitative.

With reference to the attached drawings, in particular to figs. 3-4, a modular wall 10 according to the present invention comprises:

- at least a first panel 11 and a second panel 12 opposite each other;

- a plurality of longitudinal uprights 13, 13a, 13b interposed between the first panel 11 and the second panel 12 and attached to them.

In particular, the plurality of uprights 13, 13a, 13b, comprises at least one intermediate upright 13 and, respectively on one side and the other of the at least one intermediate upright 13, a first lateral upright 13a and an opposite second lateral upright 13b.

The first lateral upright 13a can have a width comprised between 1.5 and 2.5 times the width of the second lateral upright 13b and/or the at least one intermediate upright 13.

The first lateral upright 13a protrudes laterally from the panels 11, 12 defining a protruding portion 14 longitudinal with respect to the latter. For example, the width of the protruding portion 14, that is, the size which protrudes laterally to the panels 11, 12, can be comprised between 2 cm and 6 cm, preferably 3 cm and 4 cm.

The second lateral upright 13b is laterally recessed into the panels 11, 12 defining a longitudinal housing seating 15.

The longitudinal housing seating 15 is mating in shape with the protruding portion 14 and configured to accommodate a respective protruding portion 14 of another modular wall 10’ to be connected in an adjacent position (figs. 9-10).

According to one embodiment, the longitudinal housing seating 15 can have a depth greater than the width of the protruding portion 14 so as to ensure the complete insertion of the protruding portion 14 of one modular wall 10 into the longitudinal housing seating 15 of another modular wall 10’. For example, the depth of the longitudinal housing seating 15 can provide an increase comprised between 1 cm and 3 cm with respect to the width of the protruding portion 14. According to one embodiment, the first panel 11 and the second panel 12 are rectangular in shape and substantially parallel to each other.

According to one embodiment, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b are disposed substantially parallel to each other between the first panel 11 and the second panel 12.

Furthermore, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b define through hollow spaces 19 inside the modular wall 10. These hollow spaces 19 can be used advantageously for the passage of the hydraulic and/or electrical connections during the installation of the modular walls 10, 10’ without needing to create specialized passages for these connections, making the wall 10 easy to standardize.

Furthermore, thermally insulating and/or sound-absorbing materials can be inserted in the through hollow spaces 19 to increase the thermal and acoustic insulation of the modular wall 10. In this way, the modular wall 10 can be easily and conveniently applied also in civil construction.

According to one embodiment, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b are connected to the first and second panel 11, 12 by means of atachment means 16.

The atachment means 16 can comprise, for example, nails or similar or comparable elements.

According to one embodiment, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b are connected to the first and second pane 11, 12 by means of adhesive 17.

According to one embodiment, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b are connected to the first and second panel 11, 12 by means of adhesive 17 and atachment means 16, ensuring a strong hold and mechanical resistance to loads.

According to one embodiment, the length of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b is shorter than the length of the first and second panel 11, 12 so as to define two opposite transverse seatings 18 which develop along the width of the modular wall 10.

The transverse seatings 18 allow to facilitate the disposition and installation of the modular walls 10, 10’ as will be described in greater detail below.

According to one embodiment, the first panel 11, the second panel 12 and the uprights 13, 13a, 13b are made of wood material, for example chipboard, plywood, MDF or similar or comparable materials. Advantageously, this material is easily recyclable requiring low disposal, construction and installation costs. Furthermore, these modular walls 10, 10’ have a greater resistance to loads than known modular walls.

According to the invention, with reference to figs. 10-12, an assembly of modular walls 100 comprises at least two modular walls 10, 10’ disposed adjacent and connected to each other, the protruding portion 14 of one modular wall 10 being inserted in snap-in manner into a mating longitudinal housing seating 15 of an adjacent modular wall 10’.

According to embodiments shown by way of example in figs. 11-13, the assembly of modular walls 100 comprises at least a first modular wall 10 disposed angled with respect to a second modular wall 10’, adjacent and connected to the first modular wall 10.

In particular, the angled connection between the first 10 and the second modular wall 10’ can be a transverse coupling, the reciprocal connection surfaces defining an offset coupling between the respective protruding and offset portions of the panels 11, 12 (fig. 11), or a head-wise coupling substantially at 90° between the panels 11, 12 (fig. 12).

By way of a non-limiting example, the reciprocal connection surfaces in the transverse coupling can be disposed offset, facilitating the subsequent installation operations. In this case, the reciprocal connection surfaces may require a prior shaping operation to define respective protruding and offset connection portions of the panels 11, 12, so as to ensure the correct connection between the two modular walls 10, 10’, as shown in fig. 11.

According to one embodiment, the modular walls 10, 10’ disposed angled can be attached together by means of gluing and/or mechanical attachment, for example by means of screws. In this case, the reciprocal connection surfaces between the first 10 and the second modular wall 10’ can be suitably cut or shaped.

According to one embodiment, the walls 10, 10’ disposed angled can be attached together in a snap-in manner. In this case, there can be provided other coupling uprights 13c associated externally with at least one of the panels 11, 12 of at least a first modular wall 10. The coupling upright 13c therefore protrudes laterally from the first modular wall 10 and can be configured to couple head- wise transversely with a longitudinal housing seating 15 of a second modular wall 10’, in order to define an assembly of modular walls 100 substantially angled at 90° with respect to each other.

According to one embodiment, the coupling upright 13c can be associated laterally (fig. 12) with at least one of the panels 11, 12 of at least a first modular wall 10 to define a substantially L-shaped coupling with a second modular wall 10’.

According to one embodiment, the coupling upright 13c can be associated substantially centrally with at least one of the panels 11, 12 of at least a first modular wall 10 to define a substantially T-shaped coupling with a second modular wall 10’, as can be seen for example in fig. 13. This solution, for example, can be used to define dividing walls inside a room.

The assembly of modular walls 100 with walls 10, 10’ disposed angled with respect to each other can have on one side a longitudinal housing seating 15 to accommodate a protruding portion 14 of one adjacent modular wall 10, and on the other side a protruding portion 14 suitable to be inserted in the longitudinal housing seating 15 of another adjacent wall 10’ to define the assembly of modular walls 100 as above. We do not exclude that this assembly of modular walls 100 may have on both sides respective longitudinal housing seatings 15 or respective protruding portions 14 configured for the connection with respective modular walls 10, 10’.

According to one embodiment, a method to install the modular walls 10, 10’ can be provided for their installation.

With reference to fig. 9, the installation method provides to dispose guide strips 30 on a support plane 32 according to a production diagram of the final wall to be obtained. For example, the guide strips 30 can be disposed on the support plane 32 to define a square which in plan defines, for example, the contour of a square-sized room for which the walls are to be made. Furthermore, the guide strips 30 are firmly attached to the support plane 32.

The installation method subsequently provides to dispose the modular walls 10, 10’ vertically, so that the guide strips 30 are restrained in the transverse seatings 18 of the modular walls 10, 10’ and that the modular walls 10, 10’ disposed adjacent to each other are connected by the restraining of the protruding portion 14 of one wall 10 in the longitudinal housing seating 15 of the other adjacent wall 10’.

According to one embodiment, the installation method also provides to insert connection strips 31 in the upper transverse seatings 18 at least between one modular wall 10 and another adjacent modular wall 10’. In particular, the upper transverse seatings 18 of the modular walls 10, 10’ disposed vertically are those opposite the transverse seatings 18 in contact with the guide strips 30 and which can be indicated as lower. This solution allows to strengthen the resulting assembly of modular walls 100 by increasing the constraint of the coupling between adjacent modular walls 10, 10’.

Furthermore, the connection strips 31 could be associated with a covering element (not shown) configured to close at the upper part the resulting assembly of modular walls 100, simplifying the installation operations of the covering element.

According to one embodiment, the installation method provides to attach by gluing and/or mechanical connection (for example screws) the guide 30 and/or connection strips 31 to the first and second panels 11, 12 of the modular walls 10, 10’, in order to strengthen the structural stability of the assembly of modular walls 100.

The installation method can also provide to attach by gluing and/or mechanical connection (for example screws) the modular walls 10, 10’ with respective adjacent modular walls 10, 10’, also in order to strengthen and consolidate the assembly of modular walls 100.

The installation method can also provide to subsequently produce through apertures in the assembly of modular walls 100 to define, for example, windows and/or doors. In addition, the installation method can provide to make a hole in only one of either the first panel 11 or the second panel 12 of the assembly of modular walls 100 to define the access/exit points of the electrical and/or hydraulic connections.

According to the invention, with reference to figs. 1-2, a machine to produce modular walls 10 comprises, disposed in succession along the common work axis X, a loading/unloading station 111, an adhesive delivery station 113, a nailing station 112, an assembly station 114.

The machine furthermore comprises a slider 119 mobile with alternate motion along the work axis X in an outward (indicated with an arrow A) and return (indicated with an arrow R) travel between the loading/unloading station 111 and the assembly station 114.

Therefore, the slider 119 is configured to slide, through the stations 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, in alternate motion along the work axis X having a starting point that coincides with the arrival point. This solution allows to significantly reduce the overall bulk of the machine 110 while at the same time ensuring high productivity.

According to one embodiment, the loading/unloading station 111 is associated with a first store 116 for loading panels 11 and uprights 13, 13a, 13b. The first loading store 116 can provide, for example, three storage areas, one for the first panels 11, one for the first lateral uprights 13a and one for the remaining uprights 13b, 13.

According to one embodiment, shown by way of example in fig. 1, the first loading store 116 can be provided aligned parallel with the loading/unloading station 111 so as to facilitate the loading operations of the assembly of panels 11 and uprights 13, 13a, 13b from the first loading store 116 to the slider 119.

In the loading/unloading station 111 the first panel 11 is positioned on the slider 119 and uprights 13, 13a, 13b are disposed longitudinally in a temporary position on the first panel 11 to define a provisional panel-uprights assembly 20.

The term“temporary position” (shown by way of example in fig. 5) indicates a position different from the definitive position taken by the uprights 13, 13a, 13b in the modular wall 10 (figs. 3-4). This temporary position is necessary only for the purposes of producing the modular wall 10 and is not present in the final product, that is, in the modular wall 10. For example, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b in the temporary position can be adjacent parallel with respect to their definitive position, that is, disposed longitudinally to the first panel 11, so as to facilitate the subsequent work operations by the machine 110.

The panel-uprights assembly 20 can comprise the first panel 11 or the second panel 12 and the one or more uprights 13, 13a, 13b in a disassembled or partly assembled condition before the final product, that is, the modular wall 10, is obtained.

According to one embodiment, the slider 119 is configured to translate along the X axis on a support frame 129 of the machine 110 by means of movement means 120.

The movement means 120 can comprise, for example, sliding guides 121 on which the slider 119 is constrained to slide, and a motor member 126 which moves the slider 119 along the sliding guides 121.

However, other types of movement means 120 are not excluded, such as, as a non-limiting example, motorized conveyor belts or chains or similar and comparable elements on which the slider 119, or directly the panel-uprights assembly 20, can be eased on to in order to move along the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the adhesive delivery station 113 is provided with adhesive delivery devices 124 to deliver adhesive 17 on the panel-uprights assembly 20 which is moved in the adhesive delivery station 113 by the slider 119 along a first segment of the outward travel (arrow A).

According to one embodiment, shown in figs. 1-2 and 5, the adhesive delivery devices 124 are configured to deliver the adhesive 17 longitudinally both on the uprights 13, 13a, 13b disposed in the temporary position and also on the first panel 11 in a longitudinal position coordinated with a definitive position of attachment of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b of the first panel 11. Such definitive position of attachment is the desired definitive position of the uprights 13 in the modular wall 10.

The adhesive delivery devices 124 can be disposed adjacent in a direction transverse to the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the adhesive delivery devices 124 are disposed perpendicularly and above the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the adhesive delivery devices 124 are equal in number to the number of uprights 13, 13a, 13b.

According to one embodiment, the adhesive delivery devices 124 are configured to not be moved along the work axis X. The adhesive delivery devices 124 can be associated with a portion protruding vertically with respect to the work axis X of the support frame 129. This protruding portion is integral and fixed with respect to the support frame 129.

According to one embodiment, the adhesive 17 can be chosen from a group comprising glue vinyl glue, silicone or other similar or comparable adhesive substance or adhesive strips or other similar or comparable elements.

Each adhesive delivery device 124 has a pair of adhesive delivery nozzles 125. In particular, a first delivery nozzle can be configured to deliver adhesive 17 on the first panel 11, when an upright 13, 13a, 13b is in the temporary position, at the point where the upright 13, 13a, 13b will assume the definitive position in the modular wall 10, while a second delivery nozzle can be configured to deliver adhesive 17 on the upright 13, 13a, 13b in the temporary position.

In particular, each adhesive delivery device 124 can have a pair of delivery nozzles 125 disposed at different heights. For example, with reference to fig. 2, a first delivery nozzle can be closer to the first panel 11 and a second delivery nozzle can be disposed higher than the first delivery nozzle in order to be closer to the upright 13, 13a, 13b.

The adhesive delivery devices 124 can be configured to be driven when the slider 119 passes from the loading/unloading station 111 to the assembly station 114. In particular, the adhesive delivery devices 124 are configured to deliver adhesive 17 when the slider 119 is moving along the adhesive delivery station

113 in the outward travel (arrow A).

According to one embodiment, the position of the adhesive delivery devices 124 along the support frame 129 can be adjustable.

According to one embodiment, the machine 110 comprises a command and control unit 128 to manage the functioning of the slider 119 and of the adhesive delivery devices 124.

In particular, the position of the adhesive delivery devices 124 can be adjusted by the command and control unit 128 according to the production needs.

According to one embodiment, with reference to figs. 1-2, the assembly station 114 is able to receive, from the adhesive delivery station 113, the panel- uprights assembly 20 by means of movement of the slider 119 along an end segment of the outward travel.

According to one embodiment, in the assembly station 114 the uprights 13, 13a, 13b are moved from the temporary position (fig. 5) to the definitive position of attachment (fig. 6) on the first panel 11.

The assembly station 114 can be equipped with a lifting member 115, schematically shown in fig. 1, to position a second panel 12, removed from a second loading store 117, on the uprights 13, 13a, 13b adhesived to the first panel 11 in a definitive position to also obtain the gluing to the second panel 12 (fig. 7) in order to define a semi-finished modular wall 10.

The second loading store 117 can be provided adjacent to the assembly station

114 in a position parallel (fig. 1) or perpendicular to the work axis X.

The lifting member 115 can also be used for loading the first panel 11 and the uprights 13, 13a, 13b from the first loading store 116 to the loading/unloading station 111 and/or for unloading the modular wall 10 from the loading/unloading station 111 to an unloading store 118. Alternatively, this loading of the first panel 11 and of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b, and the unloading of the modular wall 10 can be managed and performed manually by an operator. Furthermore, the lifting member 115 can be partly or totally automated by the command and control unit 128 so as to increase the productivity of the machine 110.

By way of a non-limiting example, the lifting member 115 can comprise a mobile arm, for example articulated, with a coupling system of the pressure type, for example with a suction cup.

Alternatively, the lifting member 115 can comprise a fully automated robotic arm. However, other systems, methodologies and/or devices for the transverse/lateral transfer of the panels 11, 12 and of the uprights 13 with respect to the work axis X are not excluded.

Such movements transverse to the work axis X for loading/unloading can also be carried out in a completely manual manner.

The assembly station 114 can also provide application devices and/or means (not shown) for applying one or more layers of sound-absorbing and/or thermally insulating material on or inside the panel-uprights assembly 20. In particular, this insulator can be inserted in the hollow spaces 19 provided inside the modular wall 10. However, it is not excluded that this application can be performed in any of the other stations of the machine 110.

According to one embodiment, the nailing station 112 is able to receive from the assembly station 114 the semi-finished modular wall 10, with the uprights 13, 13a, 13b adhesived both to the first panel 11 and also to the second panel 12, moved by the slider 119 along a first segment of the return travel (indicated with the arrow R).

According to one embodiment, the nailing station 112 is provided with upper and lower nailing devices 122, 123 to nail together the uprights 13, 13a, 13b, the first panel 11 and the second panel 12, thus obtaining a complete modular wall 10.

In particular, the upper and lower nailing devices 122, 123 are configured to nail together, by means of the attachment means 16, the uprights 13, 13a, 13b, the first panel 11 and the second panel 12, when the slider 119 is moving along nailing station 112 in the return travel (arrow R).

In particular, the slider 119 transits twice in the nailing station 112 and twice in the adhesive delivery station 113. When the slider 119 passes from the loading/unloading station 111 to the assembly station 114, the nailing devices 122, 123 are not activated and the adhesive delivery devices 124 are activated, vice versa when the slider 119 passes from the assembly station 114 to the loading/unloading station 111. In this way, a compact and efficient machine 110 is obtained.

The upper nailing devices 122 can be disposed adjacent along a direction transverse to the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the upper nailing devices 122 are disposed perpendicularly and above the work axis X.

According to another embodiment, the lower nailing devices 123 are disposed aligned with each other and facing parallel to the upper nailing devices 122 so that each upper nailing device 122 and a respective lower nailing device 123 are aligned offset along the work axis X so as not to interfere with each other during the nailing operation.

According to one embodiment, the lower nailing devices 123 are disposed perpendicularly to and below the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the number of upper and lower nailing devices 122, 123 is equal to the number of uprights 13.

The lower 123 and the upper nailing devices 122 can be, for example but not limited to, nail gun devices.

According to one embodiment, the upper nailing devices 122 are disposed adjacent aligned with each other at a distance correlated to the distance between the uprights 13 in the modular wall 10 which is to be obtained. The same considerations can be made for the lower nailing devices 123.

According to one embodiment, the distances between the aligned upper nailing devices 122, between the aligned lower nailing devices 123 and/or between one upper nailing device 122 and the respective facing lower nailing device 123 can be adjusted according to the parameters of the modular wall 10 to be obtained. These distances can be adjustable, for example by means of the command and control unit 128, in such a way as to move the lower 123 and upper nailing devices 122 toward and/or away from the semi-finished modular wall 10. Alternatively, these distances can be manually adjusted by an operator before driving the machine 110.

In particular, the lower 123 and upper nailing devices 122 face each other at a distance at least sufficient to guarantee the passage of the slider 119 containing the modular wall 10.

According to one embodiment, the adjustment of the distance between the upper nailing devices 122 can be synchronized with the adjustment of the distance between the lower nailing devices 123.

According to one embodiment, the upper 122 and lower nailing devices 123 are configured to not be moved along the work axis X.

The upper 122 and lower nailing devices 123 can be associated with the protruding portion of the support frame 129.

In particular, the upper nailing devices 122 can be associated with this protruding portion of the support frame 129 in a mirror-like manner with respect to the adhesive delivery devices 124.

According to one embodiment, the loading/unloading station 111 is able to receive the complete modular wall 10 from the nailing station 112, transported by the slider 119 along an end segment of the return travel (arrow R), in order to unload the modular wall 10 obtained in the associated unloading store 118.

The unloading store 118 and the first loading store 116 can be provided aligned parallel and laterally to the loading/unloading station 111 (fig. 1) so as to facilitate the operations of loading the first panel 11 and the uprights 13, 13a, 13b from the first loading store 116 onto the slider 119, and of unloading the modular wall 10 from the slider 119 to the unloading store 118.

In particular, the first loading store 116 can be provided on one side of the loading/unloading station 111, and the unloading store 118 can be provided on the other side of the loading/unloading station 111.

According to one embodiment, with reference to fig. 1, the slider 119 can be provided with positioning means 127 configured to constrain the panel-uprights assembly 20 in a stable and fixed position to the slider 119 itself in the passage from the loading/unloading station 111 to the assembly station 114 along the axis X and vice versa.

The positioning means 127 can be configured to clamp along the perimeter of the first panel 11 and of the second panel 12 in order to constrain them in the correct position to perform the different work steps along the axis X.

The positioning means 127 can also be configured to constrain the uprights 13 first in the temporary position in the passage from the loading/unloading station 111 to the assembly station 114 along the work axis X, and then in the definitive position in the passage from the assembly station 114 to the loading/unloading station 111 along the work axis X. In this case, the positioning means 127 can be, for example but not limited to, of the vice type with pneumatic actuator configured to hold both ends of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b first in the temporary position and then in the definitive one.

In particular, the positioning means 127 can be configured to release the uprights 13, 13a, 13b once one of the two ends of travel of the machine 110 has been reached, that is, the loading/unloading station 111 or the assembly station 114, and to hold the uprights 13, 13a, 13b in the desired position when the slider 119 is in motion.

According to one embodiment, the command and control unit 128 can automatically manage, command and control the movement of the slider 119 along the axis X, the transverse movements from the first and second stores 116, 117 to the slider 119 along the axis X and from the slider 119 to the unloading store 118, the functioning of the adhesive delivery devices 124 and the functioning of the lower and upper nailing devices 122, 123.

According to one embodiment, the command and control unit 128 can block the movement of the slider 119 if it detects malfunctions or a need for maintenance in the stations 111, 112, 113, 114 of the machine 110. For example, if the lower and upper nailing devices 122, 123 are nail guns, these can have a nail magazine 130 and, in the event that this magazine 130 becomes empty, the command and control unit 128 stops the machine 110 and, in particular, the movement of the slider 119 so as to be able to replace and/or reload the magazine 130. According to one embodiment, the command and control unit 128 can stop the machine 110 and/or put it on hold in the event that the first and/or the second loading stores are empty 116, 117.

We do not exclude that the operations as above, performed by the command and control unit 128, can be performed by an operator in a completely manual manner or partly automated manner with the aid of the command and control unit 128 as above.

According to the invention, with reference to figs. 5-8, a method to produce modular walls 10 provides to:

- load the first panel 11 onto a slider 119 and the uprights 13 in a temporary position on the first panel 11 to define a provisional panel-uprights assembly 20; - deliver adhesive 17 longitudinally both on the uprights 13, 13a, 13b disposed in the temporary position (fig. 5) and also on the first panel 11 in a longitudinal position coordinated with a definitive position of attachment of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b on the first panel 11;

- assemble the panel-uprights assembly 20 with the second panel 12 (fig. 7) after moving the uprights 13, 13a, 13b from the temporary position to the definitive position (fig. 6) of attachment on the first panel 11;

- nail the uprights 13, 13a, 13b to the first panel 11 and to the second panel 12 in order to define the modular wall 10 (fig. 8);

- unload the modular wall 10 obtained.

According to one embodiment, the method provides to move the mobile slider 119 along a work axis X in an outward travel (arrow indicated with the letter A) between the loading step and the assembly step and in a return travel (arrow indicated with the letter R) between the assembly step and the unloading step.

This method allows at least to halve the space otherwise necessary to produce such modular walls 10 ensuring high productivity and, at the same time, high quality of the modular walls 10 obtained.

The loading step can provide to make available the first panels 11 and the uprights 13, 13a, 13b. In particular, this loading step can provide to remove first panels 11 and uprights 13, 13a, 13b from a first loading store 116.

According to one embodiment, after or simultaneously with the loading step, the method also provides to constrain the first panel 11 to the slider 119 and the uprights 13, 13a, 13b to the slider 119 in the temporary position on the panel 11. This disengagement can be performed in the loading/unloading station 111. Advantageously, this disengagement allows to correctly perform the subsequent steps of the method.

According to one embodiment, the loading and unloading steps are performed in the same loading/unloading station 111.

According to one embodiment, the adhesive 17 delivery step occurs simultaneously with the translation of the slider 119 toward the assembly station 114 in the outward travel (arrow A) so that the delivery of the adhesive 17 affects the first panel 11 and the uprights 13 , 13a, 13b for at least a length equal to the length of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b. This delivery is performed in the adhesive delivery station 113 by means of the adhesive delivery devices 124.

Advantageously, the delivery step exploits the relative movement of the slider 119 with respect to the adhesive delivery devices 124 disposed in a fixed position with respect to the direction of the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the assembly step provides to position the second panel 12 on the uprights 13, 13a, 13b in a definitive position (figs. 6-7). This assembly step is performed in the assembly station 114.

According to one embodiment, the assembly step provides to make the second panels 12 available. In particular, this assembly step can provide to remove the second panels 12 from the second loading store 117.

According to one embodiment, in the assembly step after the displacement of the uprights 13 from the temporary position to the definitive position, the method also provides to constrain in the definitive position the uprights 13, 13a, 13b and the first and second panel 11, 12 on the slider 119.

According to one embodiment, the displacement of the uprights 13, 13a, 13b from the temporary position to the definitive position is performed by placing the latter on the adhesive 17 delivered on the first panel 11 in the definitive position so that the adhesive 17 delivered on the uprights 13, 13a , 13b is facing upward, that is, toward the second panel 12.

According to one embodiment, before and/or after the displacement of the uprights 13 from the temporary position to the definitive position, the method can provide to apply, in the through hollow spaces 19 defined between the uprights 13, 13a, 13b, one or more layers of thermally insulating and/or sound-absorbing material, or other type of material required for the subsequent use of the modular wall 10.

According to one embodiment, the nailing step occurs simultaneously with the translation of the slider 119 toward the loading/unloading station 111 in the return travel R (arrow A) so that the nailing is repeated at a fixed distance, preset in the command and control unit 128, along the entire length of the uprights 13. This nailing occurs in the nailing station 112 by means of the upper and lower nailing devices 122, 123.

Advantageously, the nailing step also exploits the relative movement of the slider 119 with respect to the upper and lower nailing devices 122, 123 disposed in a fixed position with respect to the direction of the work axis X.

According to one embodiment, the step of nailing the uprights 13, 13a, 13b to the first panel 11 and the uprights 13, 13a, 13b to the second panel 12 occurs simultaneously.

According to one embodiment, the unloading step provides to unload the modular wall 10 obtained in an unloading store 118.

According to one embodiment, the work steps of the method can be completely or partly automated. In particular, the method to produce the modular wall 10 can also provide to control and manage the entire production method by means of a command and control unit 128.

It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts or steps may be made to the machine 110 to produce modular walls, to the corresponding method and to the modular walls 10 as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.

It is also clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of machine 110 to produce modular walls, of the corresponding method and of modular walls 10, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.

In the following claims, the sole purpose of the references in brackets is to facilitate reading: they must not be considered as restrictive factors with regard to the field of protection claimed in the specific claims.