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Article Handling Mechanism Suitable for Clean Room

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000044945D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hardcastle, B: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

An article handling mechanism for storing and retrieving articles from a rack storage unit consists of s forked arm mounted on a carriage. The forked arm is movable up and down a mast on the carriage by means of a ballscrew and motor. The forked arm is movable in and out of the rack storage bays by means of a rack and motor driven pinion. Both ballscrew and rack are enclosed in bellows to reduce contamination. The carriage is movable on a track alongside the rack storage unit by means of at least one linear induction motor mounted on the carriage. The track is a linear raceway and includes a reaction plate on its top surface for cooperation with the linear induction motor.

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Article Handling Mechanism Suitable for Clean Room

An article handling mechanism for storing and retrieving articles from a rack storage unit consists of s forked arm mounted on a carriage. The forked arm is movable up and down a mast on the carriage by means of a ballscrew and motor. The forked arm is movable in and out of the rack storage bays by means of a rack and motor driven pinion. Both ballscrew and rack are enclosed in bellows to reduce contamination. The carriage is movable on a track alongside the rack storage unit by means of at least one linear induction motor mounted on the carriage. The track is a linear raceway and includes a reaction plate on its top surface for cooperation with the linear induction motor.

One implementation of such a handling mechanism 10 is shown in Fig. 1 along with a portion of a rack storage unit 11. A track 13, sections of which are bolted together, runs along the length of the storage unit. As can be more clearly seen in Fig. 2, the track is of rectangular hollow sectional steel construction and carries the stationary portions of a linear ball bearing raceway 16. Also supported by the track is an aluminum reaction plate 17.

A carriage 20 supporting a mast 21 and forked arm 22 is itself supported for linear movement along the track, in the X direction, by the moving portion of raceway 16. This raceway portion is integral with a channel section base casting 23 which also carries two linear induction motors 24 positioned over the reaction plate 17. The linear motors are of conventional type and comprise a toothed rack of magnetic material (not shown) which is wound with conductors in an appropriate sense. Energization of the conductors by way of a moving bus-bar system 18 causes a reaction between the toothed rack and the plate 17 which moves the carriage. Such a drive system is extremely clean and allows for accurate positioning of the carriage.

The position of the carriage in the...