Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic XY Orthogonal Pallet Conveyor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035076D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 77K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Sturm, RJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a pallet conveyor system that facilitates flexible automation by allowing the movement of parts or products in any sequence to and from any station on the manufacturing floor by any route. The system uses grooved drive rollers which engage toothed projections from a floor tile grid installation. Self-contained battery power packs and (Image Omitted) motors with electronic controls are used to cause X direction, Y direction or a combined 45o X and Y direction motion by turning on and off the roller drive motors or by reversing the direction of rotation.

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Automatic XY Orthogonal Pallet Conveyor

Disclosed is a pallet conveyor system that facilitates flexible automation by allowing the movement of parts or products in any sequence to and from any station on the manufacturing floor by any route. The system uses grooved drive rollers which engage toothed projections from a floor tile grid installation. Self- contained battery power packs and

(Image Omitted)

motors with electronic controls are used to cause X direction, Y direction or a combined 45o X and Y direction motion by turning on and off the roller drive motors or by reversing the direction of rotation.

Existing conveying systems usually involve large, fixed and expensive conveyor mechanisms. These mechanisms generally present pallets or workpieces in sequence. Changes to such fixed conveyor systems are costly and time consuming. The present system allows the engineer to design a manufacturing grid containing all the needed robotic or other manufacturing equipment for one or more assembly processes. The conveyor itself is motorized and is programmable; an engineer can direct the pallet conveyor's path and sequence of progression to and from assembly equipment as desired. Robotic, fixed process, automation or manual assembly stations can be added to the manufacturing floor operation or even deleted or modified without effect on the other processes or requiring conveyor changeovers.

The XY conveyor is shown in Figs. 1A and 1B. It consists of a vehicle that rides on four spoked or grooved driven rollers 2. The vehicle can travel in the X and/or Y directions in any combination, bidirectionally. The rollers 2 fit onto a floor grid 6 shown in Figs. 2A and 2B. The grid projections 7, or the grooves or lands between grooves in the rollers 2 can be counted to determine the incremental position of the vehicle as it travels in the X or Y directions. When driving rollers 2 to move in an X direction, for example, the Y direction engaging rollers are lifted slightly by a retraction mechanism, (not shown). The rollers 2 remain slightly frictionally engaged in the grid projection 7 so that the Y position of the vehi...