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Modular Vehicle Chassis Frame Treatment For Trucks And Buses

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125471D
Publication Date: 2005-Jun-02
Document File: 6 page(s) / 234K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Jeffrey P. Calfa: ATTORNEY [+2]

Abstract

The issue to resolve is how a truck or bus manufacturing can manage the complexity commonly found in chassis specification in an efficient, module fashion in order to reduce mainline assembly complexity. The complexity found in these chassis also traditionally bind a dealer into knowing detailed customer requirements for straight or taper frame sections, making it difficult to convert stock lot vehicles to meet customer specifications with a minimum of vehicle re-work. Current vehicle practice is for customers to order specific combinations of features in groups, which are installed as individual components or sets on the vehicle chassis. Straight or tapered vehicle requirements must be specified at time of order, and modification of one specification to become the other requires welding, cutting, and other operations that are detrimental to frame performance. This drives extensive operational complexity into mainline OEM assembly. This invention creates packaging possibilities that allow specific sets of customer specified options to be sub-assembled at a supplier or off-main line assembly, and to bring a completed rear frame treatment solution to the assembly line. In addition, modularization of the rear frame treatment allows reduced frame section requirements for non-load bearing sections of frame, such as those found at the back of tractors. This invention applies directly to all buses and trucks that requirement aft mounted components and have variations in rear overhang. This concept creates a module to reduce mainline assembly complexity by mounting frame treatment components in a rear frame module that can be added to the main chassis during vehicle assembly or at a dealer location. The module assembly allows competitive quoting activities for modular sub-assembly of vehicle components, and allows variation of frame overhangs to be driven in the rear frame after treatment modules to great OEM, dealer, and customer flexibility. The novel features of this concept include the ability to package mudguards and hangers, electrical and pneumatic connections, rear tow hooks, pintle hooks, tail lights, reflectors, crossmembers, and pick-up ramps into a single module or set of modules that can be sub-assembled off of the main OEM assembly line. The modular concept allows easy conversion of straight trucks to tapered rail vehicles and vice versa using fasteners between the rail portion of the module and the aft of the main frame section housing the suspension system. In addition, this module allows vehicle overhangs to be changed on a chassis with the replacement of a module without modification to the overall vehicle frame system. The module may be attached to the fore section of the vehicle frame using fastening or welding systems, as shown. The rail section design allows nesting within the fore section of the frame to increase structural integrity. This module can may also enable variation of frame section to support vehicle loading requirements at the rear section of the frame that may differ from requirements elsewhere in the vehicle frame. The advantages of this approached are to increase main assembly line efficiency, increase dealer vehicle flexibility, and to allow competitive cost analysis of a sub-assembly module for the rear of the vehicle chassis.

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DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

1          What is the problem or issue (if any) that your invention is meant to solve?

The issue to resolve is how a truck or bus manufacturing can manage the complexity commonly found in chassis specification in an efficient, module fashion in order to reduce mainline assembly complexity.  The complexity found in these chassis also traditionally bind a dealer into knowing detailed customer requirements for straight or taper frame sections, making it difficult to convert stock lot vehicles to meet customer specifications with a minimum of vehicle re-work._______________________________________________________________________________________

Continue typing on electronic version of form or attach additional sheets for paper form]

2          How was the problem or issue handled (addressed/solved) before your invention? Attach sketches, drawings, photos, and/or reports where possible to answer this question.

Current vehicle practice is for customers to order specific combinations of features in groups, which are installed as individual components or sets on the vehicle chassis.  Straight or tapered vehicle requirements must be specified at time of order, and modification of one specification to become the other requires welding, cutting, and other operations that are detrimental to frame performance.  This drives extensive operational complexity into mainline OEM assembly.__________________________________________________________________________________

 [Continue typing on electronic version of form or attach additional sheets for paper form]

3          How does your invention solve the problem or issue? Attach sketches, drawings, photos, and/or reports where possible to answer this question.

This invention creates packaging possibilities that allow specific sets of customer specified options to be sub-assembled at a supplier or off-main line assembly, and to bring a completed rear frame treatment solution to the assembly line.  In addition, modularization of the rear frame treatment allows reduced frame section requirements for non-load bearing sections of frame, such as those found at the back of tractors.__________

 [Continue typing on electronic version of form or attach additional sheets for paper form]

4          How does the invention tie in with the existing process or in a vehicle or in an engine?  Attach sketches where applicable

This invention applies directly to all buses and trucks that requirement aft mounted components and have variations in rear overhang.                 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 [Continue typing on electronic version of form or attach additional sheets for paper form]

5          What are the main components of the invention or what are the main steps of the process for a new or different? Attach sketches, drawings, photos, and/or repor...