Browse Prior Art Database

Fail Safe Valve for Air Cylinder Counter Balance Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039016D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Manthei, LW: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a system utilizing a normally-closed (NC) air- pilot-operated valve between a self-venting regulator and the input port of an air cylinder which controls the decent of the Z-arm of a robot. Air cylinders are used as counter balance to support the Z arms of robots. An arm can approximate fifty pounds in weight. During unplanned air losses, an arm can fall rapidly causing severe damage to the end effector, the tooling and the product. This results in costly repairs and downtime. By installing a NC air-pilot-operated valve between the self-venting regulator and the input port of the air cylinder, the rapid decent of the Z-arm will be prevented. The system disclosed herein is shown in the drawing. The valve is installed in the cylinder air line.

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Fail Safe Valve for Air Cylinder Counter Balance Systems

This article describes a system utilizing a normally-closed (NC) air- pilot- operated valve between a self-venting regulator and the input port of an air cylinder which controls the decent of the Z-arm of a robot. Air cylinders are used as counter balance to support the Z arms of robots. An arm can approximate fifty pounds in weight. During unplanned air losses, an arm can fall rapidly causing severe damage to the end effector, the tooling and the product. This results in costly repairs and downtime. By installing a NC air-pilot-operated valve between the self-venting regulator and the input port of the air cylinder, the rapid decent of the Z-arm will be prevented. The system disclosed herein is shown in the drawing. The valve is installed in the cylinder air line. A tee in the line supplies air pressure to the pilot port of the valve. The air supply is connected to the regulator and set to operating pressure. Air pressure directed to the pilot opens the valve, allowing air to enter the cylinder. The counter balance is now in the operating mode. System air loss cuts the pilot air supply, closing the valve. Air trapped in the cylinder and the supply line can only exhaust by leakage through the air cylinder seals. Since this leakage is very slow, it provides support for the Z-axis arm and effectively prevents the arm's decent. A manual valve at the air cylinder is provided to allow maintenance personnel the o...