US2784997A - Inflatable gripping mechanism - Google Patents

Inflatable gripping mechanism Download PDF

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Publication number
US2784997A
US2784997A US49927955A US2784997A US 2784997 A US2784997 A US 2784997A US 49927955 A US49927955 A US 49927955A US 2784997 A US2784997 A US 2784997A
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Prior art keywords
gripping
mechanism
tubular
members
invention
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Karl E Baumann
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Baxter International Inc
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Baxter International Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66CCRANES; LOAD-ENGAGING ELEMENTS OR DEVICES FOR CRANES, CAPSTANS, WINCHES, OR TACKLES
    • B66C1/00Load-engaging elements or devices attached to lifting or lowering gear of cranes or adapted for connection therewith for transmitting lifting forces to articles or groups of articles
    • B66C1/10Load-engaging elements or devices attached to lifting or lowering gear of cranes or adapted for connection therewith for transmitting lifting forces to articles or groups of articles by mechanical means
    • B66C1/42Gripping members engaging only the external or internal surfaces of the articles
    • B66C1/44Gripping members engaging only the external or internal surfaces of the articles and applying frictional forces
    • B66C1/46Gripping members engaging only the external or internal surfaces of the articles and applying frictional forces by inflatable elements
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/44Clasp, clip, support-clamp, or required component thereof
    • Y10T24/44068Clasp, clip, support-clamp, or required component thereof having gripping member actuated by fluid force

Description

March 12, 1957 K. E. BAUMANN 2,784,997

INFLATABLE GRIPPING MECHANISM Filed April 5, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet l KARL. E. BAUMANN INVEATOR.

March 12, 1957 K. E. BAUMANN INFLATABLE GRIPPING MECHANISM 2 Shets-Sheet Filed April 5, 1955 INVENTOR. BY W 2. M

United States Patent O 2,784,997 INFLATABLE GRIPPING MECHANISM Karl. Be lman M unt Pmsnsct, ll! assi n to axt'er' Laboratories; Inc.

This invention relates to a gripping mechanism and, more partiularlvto an inflatable gripping mechanism for gripping and transferring a plurality of aligned objects.

The gripping mechanism of my invention finds particular usefulness in gripping a large number of aligned objects, such as bottles. In manufacturing operations where bottles are employed the bottles are usually re ceived in a case from a supplier, so that it is necessary to unload a case of empty bottles when it enters the plant and to reload the case prior to its leaving the plant. Also, during other aspects of bottling it is often necessary to transfer bottles. Despite mechanization that has occurred in the filling and capping of bottles, very little attention has been directed to the transfer of bottles and, especially, the loading and unloading of the bottles. In many instances all of these operations are performed by hand and, where a case contains 24 bottles, it is apparent that such a manual operation is exceedingly wasteful of manpower.

In the past, attempts to eliminate these manual operations have consisted of expedients such as providing a mobile frame having a spaced arrangement of suction cups which engaged and gripped the tops or caps of the bottles, permitting relocation of a group of bottles. Such a device is not only costly to manufacture but requires delicate operation and considerable maintenance, since the vacuum utilized in the suction cups must be brought about by a comparatively expensive vacuum pump and the cups themselves maintained in good order.

Contrasted to the foregoing, the gripping mechanism of my invention is rugged and inexpensive in construction, is not subject to delicate operation since it uses pressure which can be cheaply supplied, if not already available in most manufacturing plants and, because of the arrangement of parts, is not subject to rapid wear and tear.

Essentially, the gripping mechanism of my invention includes a frame having a number of spaced parallel tubular members, with portions of the adjacent side walls of the tubular members removed. Mounted in each of the tubular members is an expandable member which, upon internal pressure, expands through the open side walls of the tubular members, to exert pressure against any object located between the tubular members.

It is, therefore, an object of my invention to provide a new and improved gripping device. Another object is to provide a gripping device which is movably mounted, permitting the gripped objects to be relocated. Yet another object of my invention is to provide a movable gripping mechanism, adapted to relocate a plurality of aligned objects. Other objects and advantages of my invention will be seen as the specification proceeds.

My invention will be explained in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which Fig. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of the gripping mechanism of my invention; Fig. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1 and showing, further, a

bottle included between two spaced tubular members; Fig. 3 is a figure Similar to Fig; 1, but showing the ex,- pandable members in an expanded condition; Fig. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view similar to Fig. 2 taken along the line 4-74; of Fig. 3; and Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the mechanism of my invention shown in an operating environment. n

Ref r i g to t e draw ng. e nu l 0 indicates generally a frame of rectangular construction. In the preferred embodiment, this frame is constructed of metal and includes end pieces 11, to which are perpendicularly attac e par l l spa ed ubu ar embe 2 One at t pa c end pieces 11 s'p v i d w h pp op n ings communicating with the interior of tubular memb rs p ov ding t y ondu or omp essed at whi h s s b ntro uc d nto xpa a members 13, which are mounted axially within tubular members 12. Portions of the adjacent side walls of tubular members 12, such as indicated at 14, have been removed to expose a portion of expandable member 13". Rubber tub ing has proved to be useful as expandable member 13.

The operation of my invention can be readily understood by comparing Figs. 1 and 3 in which like numerals denote like structures, and which differ only in that in Fig. 3 expandable members 13 are shown in expanded condition. The same operation can be appreciated from comparing Figs. 2 and 4, wherein a bottle is shown included between spaced tubular members 12.

Since my invention is particularly useful in gripping a considerable number of objects such as up to bottles at a single time, an important feature of my invention is the provision of spaced open portions 14 in the adjacent side walls of tubular members 12. Without the presence of restraining webs 15 between open portions 14, in many instances expandable member 13 would extend out of its tubular casing (tubular member 12) when inflated because of the relatively long unsupported length necessary to accommodate the large number of bottles indicated. Webs 15 permit a substantially uniform lateral expansion, insofar as length is concerned, of expandable member 13 so that there is no possibility that bottles would be gripped in the center and not at the ends of a pair of tubular members 12. Webs 15 should be of a Width less than the width of the bottle to be gripped, so as to insure positive gripping action at all points along the length of tubular members 12.

It will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that my invention is useful in many forms. It can be incorporated into a chain hoist lifting mechanism so as to permit vertical as Well as horizontal relocation of gripped objects. Other forms of lifting and moving apparatus can be employed in conjunction with the gripping mechanism of my invention, such as those utilizing cornprossed air or operating in tracks.

Although not specifically described herein or shown in the drawings, it is to be understood that the gripping mechanism of my invention is equipped with conventional air manifolds, valves, and other specialties for supplying air to expand or contract expandable members 13. For example, nipples 16, extending: through end piece 11 and communicating with the interior of expandable member 13, can be connected to a single manifold (not shown) provided with a valve for admitting compressed air thereto and bleeding air therefrom.

For example, Fig. 5 shows a perspective view of my Gripping Mechanism when employed in transferring a plurality of aligned bottles from one location to another, as from a conveyor to a bottle washer. The gripping mechanism assembly, generally designated 20 is supported from an overhead monorail 21 by means of chain 22, which in the embodiment shown is secured by cables 22a to the four corners of rectangular frame 10 of mechanism 20. Extending along one end of frame 20 is manifold 23 which is supplied with air through air hose 24."

Air hose 24 can also be suspended from monorail pulley 25 which also regulates the elevation of mechanism 20 through chain 22. Electrically driven pulley 25 is regulated by switch 26 which also embodies Valve 27 permitting air to enter or be bled from hose 24. The source of compressed air for hose 24 is not shown but could be a compressor connected to air inlet line 28.

It is to be understood that the foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations are to be inferred therefrom.

I claim:

1. A gripping mechanism for a plurality of aligned objects comprising a plurality of parallel rigid tubular members secured together in ,spaced relation, spaced longitudinal portions of the adjacent walls of said tubular members being removed therefrom, spaced web elements secured to each of said tubular members and overlying said open portions, a laterally-expandable member mounted ineach tubular member adapted to expand through said longitudinal open portions into the space between said tubular members whereby substantially uniform lateral expansion of said expandable member is achieved.

2. The mechanism of claim 1, wherein each of said webs has a width less than the width of one of said objects to be relocated.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,213,629 Fontaine Sept. 3, 1940 2,247,168 Fontaine. June 24, 1941 2,308,209 Schmutzer et a1. Jan. 12, 1943 2,589,101 Leguillon et a1 Mar. 11, 1952 2,609,113 Hufiman Sept. 2, 1952 2,656,943 Nilsson Oct. 27, 1953

US2784997A 1955-04-05 1955-04-05 Inflatable gripping mechanism Expired - Lifetime US2784997A (en)

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Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3014752A (en) * 1958-08-05 1961-12-26 Diamond National Corp Egg lifter
US3060495A (en) * 1959-01-07 1962-10-30 Handtmann Albert Restraining device for apportion and twist-off sausage machines
US3073260A (en) * 1958-05-07 1963-01-15 Evans Prod Co Freight supporting members
US3118555A (en) * 1961-12-22 1964-01-21 Clark Equipment Co Material handling apparatus
US3161431A (en) * 1962-03-09 1964-12-15 William K Mathews Brick carrier
US3219382A (en) * 1962-03-15 1965-11-23 Lesieur & Ses Fils Sa Handling device for soft objects
US3347587A (en) * 1962-07-23 1967-10-17 Frost James Dahle Article handling apparatus
US3405515A (en) * 1962-05-24 1968-10-15 Dittmer Theodore Fruit harvester
US3716264A (en) * 1971-03-08 1973-02-13 Aircraft Mechanics Inflatable grippers for brick making machines or the like
US4120526A (en) * 1975-11-18 1978-10-17 W. Schlafhorst & Co. Apparatus for transporting coil cores
US4363593A (en) * 1979-08-15 1982-12-14 General Battery Corporation Apparatus for positioning batteries and hoisting batteries into a battery formation tub
US4381164A (en) * 1981-08-06 1983-04-26 Harsco Corporation Ammunition transfer sling and method of using
US4664434A (en) * 1985-10-29 1987-05-12 Harsco Corporation Grouping head hoist
US4709536A (en) * 1987-01-28 1987-12-01 Hartness International, Inc. Article transport apparatus
US4744940A (en) * 1985-12-30 1988-05-17 U.S. Tool & Die, Inc. Apparatus for compacting nuclear reactor fuel rods
FR2609834A1 (en) * 1987-01-19 1988-07-22 Us Tool Die Inc Process and apparatus for bundling spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors
US4835946A (en) * 1987-01-28 1989-06-06 Hartness International Article transport apparatus
US5090759A (en) * 1988-09-09 1992-02-25 Bridgestone Corporation Apparatus for gripping an object
US5597284A (en) * 1994-02-25 1997-01-28 Ball Corporation Method and apparatus for processing container ends
US20080203043A1 (en) * 2004-08-18 2008-08-28 Dirk Marinus Poortvliet Apparatus and Method for Dismantling Shelving Units
US20090031935A1 (en) * 2007-08-04 2009-02-05 Faulring Frank W Transplanter
US8122838B2 (en) 2007-08-04 2012-02-28 Faulring Mechanical Devices, Inc. Transplanter

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2213629A (en) * 1937-05-12 1940-09-03 Robert A Fontaine Brick stack grab
US2247168A (en) * 1940-02-21 1941-06-24 Robert A Fontaine Brick grab
US2308209A (en) * 1941-03-11 1943-01-12 Hoffman Beverage Company Article transferring apparatus
US2589101A (en) * 1948-03-23 1952-03-11 Goodrich Co B F Lift truck fork tube
US2609113A (en) * 1948-03-16 1952-09-02 Service Caster And Truck Corp Fork structure for lift trucks and hoists
US2656943A (en) * 1949-03-31 1953-10-27 Tegelindustriella Byran Ab Fork for elevating trucks

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2213629A (en) * 1937-05-12 1940-09-03 Robert A Fontaine Brick stack grab
US2247168A (en) * 1940-02-21 1941-06-24 Robert A Fontaine Brick grab
US2308209A (en) * 1941-03-11 1943-01-12 Hoffman Beverage Company Article transferring apparatus
US2609113A (en) * 1948-03-16 1952-09-02 Service Caster And Truck Corp Fork structure for lift trucks and hoists
US2589101A (en) * 1948-03-23 1952-03-11 Goodrich Co B F Lift truck fork tube
US2656943A (en) * 1949-03-31 1953-10-27 Tegelindustriella Byran Ab Fork for elevating trucks

Cited By (23)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3073260A (en) * 1958-05-07 1963-01-15 Evans Prod Co Freight supporting members
US3014752A (en) * 1958-08-05 1961-12-26 Diamond National Corp Egg lifter
US3060495A (en) * 1959-01-07 1962-10-30 Handtmann Albert Restraining device for apportion and twist-off sausage machines
US3118555A (en) * 1961-12-22 1964-01-21 Clark Equipment Co Material handling apparatus
US3161431A (en) * 1962-03-09 1964-12-15 William K Mathews Brick carrier
US3219382A (en) * 1962-03-15 1965-11-23 Lesieur & Ses Fils Sa Handling device for soft objects
US3405515A (en) * 1962-05-24 1968-10-15 Dittmer Theodore Fruit harvester
US3347587A (en) * 1962-07-23 1967-10-17 Frost James Dahle Article handling apparatus
US3716264A (en) * 1971-03-08 1973-02-13 Aircraft Mechanics Inflatable grippers for brick making machines or the like
US4120526A (en) * 1975-11-18 1978-10-17 W. Schlafhorst & Co. Apparatus for transporting coil cores
US4363593A (en) * 1979-08-15 1982-12-14 General Battery Corporation Apparatus for positioning batteries and hoisting batteries into a battery formation tub
US4381164A (en) * 1981-08-06 1983-04-26 Harsco Corporation Ammunition transfer sling and method of using
US4664434A (en) * 1985-10-29 1987-05-12 Harsco Corporation Grouping head hoist
US4744940A (en) * 1985-12-30 1988-05-17 U.S. Tool & Die, Inc. Apparatus for compacting nuclear reactor fuel rods
FR2609834A1 (en) * 1987-01-19 1988-07-22 Us Tool Die Inc Process and apparatus for bundling spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors
US4709536A (en) * 1987-01-28 1987-12-01 Hartness International, Inc. Article transport apparatus
US4835946A (en) * 1987-01-28 1989-06-06 Hartness International Article transport apparatus
US5090759A (en) * 1988-09-09 1992-02-25 Bridgestone Corporation Apparatus for gripping an object
US5597284A (en) * 1994-02-25 1997-01-28 Ball Corporation Method and apparatus for processing container ends
US20080203043A1 (en) * 2004-08-18 2008-08-28 Dirk Marinus Poortvliet Apparatus and Method for Dismantling Shelving Units
US20090031935A1 (en) * 2007-08-04 2009-02-05 Faulring Frank W Transplanter
US7954439B2 (en) 2007-08-04 2011-06-07 The Morning Star Company Transplanter
US8122838B2 (en) 2007-08-04 2012-02-28 Faulring Mechanical Devices, Inc. Transplanter

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