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TROLLEY ACTUATED TRACK COVER ASSEMBLY

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000023800D
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-31
Document File: 7 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention is directed to a trolley actuated track cover assembly used, for example, in a moving assembly line. It is an actuated cover that moves out of the way when a trolley is present, but returns to position after the trolley passes in order to cover the tracks and prevent injury to pedestrians and vehicles.

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Attorney Docket: 70520-2059

TROLLEY ACTUATED TRACK COVER ASSEMBLY
[0001] The present invention is generally directed to a trolley actuated track cover assembly used, for example, in a moving assembly line.
[0002] Current trolley assemblies comprise a moving trolley that travels along a trolley track or similar guided path. The trolley paths usually comprise a series of openings in a travel base, for example, the ground or floor of a factory. These openings can be of various widths and heights. A pedestrian or vehicle crossing these trolley paths can become entangled with these openings, which may result in vehicle instability or, in the case of a pedestrian, a risk of injury by tripping and falling. The prior art has attempted to reduce the possibility of entanglement by shrinking the dimensions of the openings, so as to provide as consistent a travel surface as possible. However, a trolley designed to carry a relatively heavy load must be adequately supported by a relatively large trolley track. Therefore, the requirements of the trolley track limit the amount of reduction in size of the openings that is possible. Further, even in the case of extremely small openings, the pedestrian or vehicle must be cautious while crossing these trolley paths to avoid becoming entangled. Thus, the prior art has failed to adequately provide a consistent travel surface in the area of a trolley track.
[0003] The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given here below, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawings in which:
[0004] FIG. 1 is a top view of the trolley actuated track cover assembly of the present invention;
[0005] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the trolley actuated track cover assembly of the present invention; and

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[0006] FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the spring mechanism in one embodiment of the trolley actuated track cover assembly of the present invention.
[0007] The present invention is directed to a trolley actuated track cover assembly 10 used, for example, in a moving assembly line. In this example, a workpiece on a trolley is moved along the floor of a factory along a set of trolley tracks 16. Assembly line workers may be required to move around the trolley in order to perform steps of the assembly process upon the workpiece. While moving, the workers may have to cross over the trolley tracks 16. The crossing of exposed trolley tracks presents a risk that the worker could trip and fall or injure themselves by getting a foot or other body part tangled in the trolley tracks. This invention provides an assembly that covers the exposed trolley tracks to provide a consistent travel surface so that the risk of injury from becoming entangled with the trolley tracks is reduced.
[0008] As shown in the drawings, the trolley actuated track cover assembly 10 of the present invention comprises a pair of track cover segments 12 and 14 that are pivotably connected to the trol...