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Publication numberUS20040178002 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/386,381
Publication dateSep 16, 2004
Filing dateMar 11, 2003
Priority dateMar 11, 2003
Publication number10386381, 386381, US 2004/0178002 A1, US 2004/178002 A1, US 20040178002 A1, US 20040178002A1, US 2004178002 A1, US 2004178002A1, US-A1-20040178002, US-A1-2004178002, US2004/0178002A1, US2004/178002A1, US20040178002 A1, US20040178002A1, US2004178002 A1, US2004178002A1
InventorsBilly Kay
Original AssigneeBilly Kay
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for drill position management
US 20040178002 A1
Abstract
The invention is of a method and a system for drill position management wherein a drilling unit is mounted on a vehicle through a system of attachment to a frame assembly and position control through the movement of the drilling unit along a track system by the application of a controlled motivating force.
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Claims(20)
I claim:
1. A drilling unit position management system comprising a frame assembly with vehicle attachment means for attaching said frame assembly to drill system manipulation means of a vehicle and drilling unit carriage means, said drilling unit carriage means having drilling unit attachment means for attachment of a drilling unit to said drill unit carriage means, said drilling unit carriage means being configured for reversible movement relative to said frame assembly, said drilling unit carriage means being attached to actuation means for effecting said movement for moving said drilling unit carriage means relative to said frame assembly and for thereby maintaining said drilling unit in position relative to said front-end loader assembly for maintaining said drilling unit in a desired position relative to material or strata into which said drilling unit is to be drilled.
2. A drill position management unit, comprising:
a frame assembly including mounting means for mounting said frame assembly to a vehicle;
a track means attached to said frame assembly;
a movable drill attachment unit, whereupon a drilling unit can be mounted, slidably carried on said track means, whereby said movable drill attachment unit can, responsive to a motivating force, move from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly; and
a controllable motivating device adjustably mounted to said frame assembly and said movable drill attachment unit, and capable of applying said motivating force to said movable mounting platform and moving said movable drill attachment unit from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly.
3. The drill position management unit of claim 2, wherein said controllable motivating device comprises a hydraulic unit.
4. The drill position management unit of claim 2, further comprising n control unit for controlling said controllable motiviating device.
5. The drill position management unit of claim 2, wherein said control unit further comprises a user interface unit.
6. The drill position management unit of claim 4, wherein said control unit further comprises a data processing unit.
7. The drill position management unit of claim 2, wherein said controllable motivating device comprises a magnetic unit.
8. The drill position management unit of claim 2, wherein said frame assembly comprises a bolting unit.
9. The drill position management unit of claim 2, wherein said frame assembly comprises a clamping unit.
10. The drill position management unit of claim 2, wherein said track means further comprises one or more guide rods.
11. A drill position management unit, comprising:
a frame assembly containing means for removably mounting said frame assembly to a vehicle;
a track means attached to said frame assembly;
a movable drill attachment unit, whereupon a drilling unit can be mounted, slidably carried on said track means, whereby said movable drill attachment unit can, responsive to a motivating force, move from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly;
a controllable motivating device, comprising a hydraulic unit, adjustably mounted to said frame assembly and said movable drill attachment unit, and capable of applying said motivating force to said movable mounting platform and moving said movable drill attachment unit from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly; and
a control unit containing an interface unit for controlling said controllable motivating device.
12. A method of drill position management, comprising:
removably mounting a frame assembly to a vehicle;
attaching a track means to said frame assembly;
slidably carrying a movable drill attachment unit, on said track means, whereby said movable drill attachment unit can, responsive to a motivating force, move from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly; and
applying said motivating force to said movable drill attachment unit from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly through use of a controllable motivating device adjustably mounted to said frame assembly and said movable drill attachment unit.
13. The drill position management method of claim 12, wherein applying said motivating force further comprises applying a hydraulic force.
14. The drill position management method of claim 12, further comprising controlling said controllable motivating device with a control unit.
15. The drill position management method of claim 14, wherein controlling said controllable motivating device further comprises controlling said controllable motivating device through a user interface unit.
16. The drill position management method of claim 12, wherein applying said motivating force further comprises applying a motivating force from a controllable motivating device comprising a magnetic unit.
18. The drill position management method of claim 12, wherein said attaching step further comprises attaching a frame assembly through bolting said frame assembly to said vehicle.
19. The drill position management method of claim 12, wherein said attaching step further comprises attaching a frame assembly through clamping said frame assembly to said vehicle.
20. The drill position management method of claim 12, wherein said step of slidably carrying a movable drill attachment unit further comprises along one or more guide rods.
21. A method of drill position management, comprising:
removably mounting a frame assembly to a vehicle;
attaching a track means to said frame assembly;
slidably carrying a movable drill attachment unit, on said track means, whereby said movable drill attachment unit can, responsive to a motivating force, move from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly;
controlling the drill position with a control unit containing a user interface unit; and
applying said motivating force, comprising a hydraulic force, to said movable drill attachment unit from a first position relative to said frame assembly to a second position relative to said frame assembly through use of a controllable motivating device adjustably mounted to said frame assembly and said movable drill attachment unit.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of The Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates in general to improved methods for drilling holes. In particular, the present invention relates to improved methods for drilling holes with drilling units attached to vehicles. Still more particularly, the present invention relates to a method and apparatus for managing drill position relative to a hole being drilled by a drill unit attached to a vehicle.
  • [0003]
    2. Background Information
  • [0004]
    Means for drilling holes, particularly in the earth, serve a vast variety of purposes. Particularly in agricultural and construction applications, these drilling needs are often met through the attachment of a drill (auger) unit to a vehicle. It is very common, for the sake of convenience, for persons involved in drilling, often in drilling ancillary to operations such as the construction of a small structure or a fence, to attach a drilling unit to a vehicle such as a tractor, an earth mover, or front-end loader. Attachment to such a wheeled or tracked vehicle facilitates ease of transportation of drilling equipment, and provides a source of power to the equipment. Attachment to such a vehicle also provides a familiar platform for aligning the drilling unit over the location where a hole is desired, because the operator of the drill is frequently a person extremely familiar with the operation of the vehicle to which it is attached. These advantages to the use of drilling units attached to vehicles have made them a very common sight in the context of activities where drilling is performed.
  • [0005]
    Unfortunately, the attachment of drilling units to vehicles presents a series of problems that substantially complicate the process of drilling a hole. Particularly in the context of a drill attached to an earth mover, the substantial advantages of attachment to earth moving equipment for ease of transporting, providing power to, and aligning the drilling unit prior to drilling are often offset by the frustrations of maintaining proper drill (auger) alignment during the act of drilling. This problem is illustrated in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4.
  • [0006]
    [0006]FIG. 3 illustrates a simplified schematic of a system of equipment used for drilling a hole with a drilling unit attached to a wheeled vehicle in accordance with the prior art. A wheeled vehicle, in this case a simplified schematic an tractor or earth mover with a front-end loader assembly 300, is moved into position near the proposed hole location 302. In order to perform the drilling, a drill motor, 304, is rotatably attached to the bucket 306 of the earth mover 300 by means of a freely-rotating joint 308. In order to place the drill bit 310 directly over the proposed hole location 308, and flush with the ground 312, into which drilling is being performed, the height 305 of the bucket 306 is adjusted by means of lowering or raising the bucket-arm 314 of the earth mover 300. The bucket arm 314 will generally be of a fixed length.
  • [0007]
    A continual source of frustration arises as the drill bit 310 sinks into the ground 312. Clearly, as the as the drill bit 310 sinks into the ground 312, it will be necessary to lower the drill motor 304 in order to facilitate continued digging. This is accomplished by reducing the height 305 of the bucket over the ground.
  • [0008]
    Because the bucket arm 314 will generally be of a fixed length, the bucket 306 and drill motor 308 travel an arc 316 constructed as a section of a circle defined by the assumption of a center point at the point of rotational attachment 318 of the bucket arm 314 a radius equal to the fixed length of the bucket arm 314. It is a matter of simple trigonometry to realize that, as the bucket 306 and drill motor 308 travel the arc 316, the lateral distance 320 between the drill motor and the point of rotational attachment 318 of the bucket arm 314 of the bucket arm will change.
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 4 displays a simplified schematic the problem created by a system of equipment used for drilling a hole with a drilling unit attached to a wheeled vehicle in accordance with the prior art. Specifically, as the height 305 of the bucket 306 and drill motor 308 is reduced to facilitate further drilling, an angle 400 is created between the original drill bit orientation 402 and the drill bit 310. This results in the drill bit 310 cutting an angled hole in the ground, which is frequently an unacceptable result.
  • [0010]
    In order to keep the hole oriented in its original orientation, the earth mover 300 is frequently moved by a small lateral movement to a new location relative to the proposed hole location 308. While, if done correctly, this technique does allow the maintenance of a correct orientation for the resulting hole, several problems render this technique unsatisfactory in many contexts. First and foremost, this technique requires fairly precise control of the location of the earth mover 300 during drilling, a difficult proposition in the context of operating a piece of equipment weighing more than 1000 pounds.
  • [0011]
    Because of the difficulty of performing precise movements of the earth mover 300 to maintain the orientation of the hole, the level of operator skill that is required is frequently unavailable. Mistakes in performing movements of the earth mover can (and often do) result in mis-oriented holes and broken or bent drill bits. The former adds time cost through repetition as a new hole must be drilled. The latter ads equipment cost and can stop work entirely while a new drill bit is secured. Neither is acceptable, and both occur with a disquieting and costly frequency. Finally, the need to keep the machine in gear during the performance of drilling also adds wear to the transmission of the earth mover 300, which increases the cost of hole drilling over the long term.
  • [0012]
    What is needed is an improved method and apparatus for drill position management that will preserve the orientation of the drill bit while eliminating the need to move the vehicle, to which the drilling unit is attached.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0013]
    It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved method for drilling holes.
  • [0014]
    It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved methods for drilling holes with drilling units attached to vehicles, which, because of the reduction in he skill necessary to drill a hole with a drill unit attached to a vehicle, will provide a beneficial reduction in the cost and inconvenience of hole drilling It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved method and apparatus for managing drill position relative to a hole being drilled by a drill unit attached to a vehicle.
  • [0015]
    The invention is of a method and a system for drill position management wherein a drilling unit is mounted on a vehicle through a system of attachment to a frame assembly and position control through the movement of the drilling unit along a track system by the application of a controlled motivating force.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the drill position management system of the present invention.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 2 is a view of the operation of the drill position management system of FIG. 1.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 3 illustrates a simplified schematic of a system of equipment used for drilling a hole with a drilling unit attached to a wheeled vehicle in accordance with the prior art.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 4 displays a simplified schematic the problem created by a system of equipment used for drilling a hole with a drilling unit attached to a wheeled vehicle in accordance with the prior art.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0020]
    Referring to FIG. 1, a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the drill position management unit of the present invention is identified generally by the reference numeral 100. The drill position management unit 100 includes a frame assembly 102 containing means for removably mounting the frame assembly of the drill position management unit 100 to a vehicle. In the preferred embodiment displayed in FIG. 1, the drill position management unit is removably mounted to the bucket 104 of a tractor or other vehicle with a front-end loading assembly. Hereafter, such a vehicle will be generally referenced as an “earth mover”, and the front-end loading assembly, or its equivalent, will be referenced as a drill system manipulation means, and is intended to refer to a user-controllable device which manipulates the drilling unit 122 into position for drilling a hole (usually a ground hole).
  • [0021]
    Alternative embodiments, which will facilitate attachment of the drill position management unit 100 to other parts of an earth mover or to other types of vehicle, are explicitly contemplated and are within the scope of the present invention. The frame assembly 102 is removably mounted to the bucket 104 of the earth mover in with bolts 106-12 in the preferred embodiment, but alternative embodiments, which will be attached by means of clamping devices or other means, are explicitly contemplated and are within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0022]
    The frame assembly 102 includes a track means, which in the preferred embodiment consists of two guide rods 114 & 116 forming the sides of the frame assembly and two collars 118 & 120 that slide freely along the two guide rods 114 & 116 and allow for free movement in response to an applied force along the length of the sides of the frame assembly 102, to which they are attached. Though the preferred embodiment consists of two sliding collars, alternative embodiments, including those involving only one guide rod or entirely different track means, are contemplated and are within the scope of the current invention.
  • [0023]
    A drill attachment unit 120 will typically attach rigidly to the collars 118 & 120 and allows for the removable mounting of a drilling unit 122 by means an attachment device 124. In the preferred embodiment, the attachment device 124 will typically consist of a mechanism for bolting the drilling unit 122 to the drill attachment unit. Alternative embodiments, however, including those using a clamping or magnetic attachment system, are contemplated and are within the scope of the current invention. The drill attachment unit 120, which will typically be rigidly attached to the collars 118 & 119, will typically move in direct synchronization to movement of the collars. The drill attachment unit will typically include a rotatable mounting 126, which, in the preferred embodiment will allow for free rotation of the drilling unit. Alternative embodiments, however, which will allow for the application of force to control the rotation of the rotatable mounting 126, are explicitly contemplated and fall within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0024]
    A controllable motivating device 128 also attaches to the frame assembly 102 by means of a pair of struts 130 & 132 and attaches to the drill attachment unit 120 by means of a piston 133. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the controllable motivating device 128 is shown as a hydraulic unit. Although a hydraulic unit is shown in the preferred embodiment, alternative embodiments, including those employing magnetic controllable motivating devices or controllable motivating devices employing cable tension, are explicitly contemplated and lie within the scope of the present invention. Through manipulation of the piston, the controllable motivating device 128 can apply force to move the drill attachment unit 120 along the guide rods 114 & 116 through application of force in the desired direction. The controllable motivating device 128 will typically be connected by means of a control transmission attachment 134 to a control unit 136. The control transmission attachment 134 will typically attach to a user interface such as a set of manual controls in the preferred embodiment, but may attach to any controlling mechanism in alternative embodiments, including a data processing unit such as a computer. The controllable motivating device 128 also receives power from a power source (not shown) through a power delivery attachment 138.
  • [0025]
    Referring now to FIG. 2, a view of the operation of the drill position management system of FIG. 1 is shown. The operation of the unit will hereinafter be explained with reference to FIG. 2., and FIG. 3. As in the prior art, a wheeled vehicle, in this case a simplified schematic an earth mover 300, is moved into position near the proposed hole location 302. In order to perform the actual drilling, the drilling unit 122, is aligned in order to place the drill bit 310 directly over the proposed hole location 308, and flush with the ground 312, into which drilling is being performed, while the height 305 of the bucket 306 is adjusted by means of lowering or raising the bucket-arm 314 of the earth mover 300.
  • [0026]
    Drilling is then commenced by activating the drill motor of the drilling unit 122. As the drill bit 310 sinks into the ground 312 the operator will lower the drill drilling unit 122 in order to facilitate continued digging. This is accomplished by reducing the height 305 of the bucket over the ground. Following this step, the problem of the prior art is eliminated by application of the method and apparatus of the invention.
  • [0027]
    To compensate for the change in lateral position of the bucket arm, the operator will, in the preferred embodiment, actuate a control on the control unit 136, typically by pressing a button on the user interface. This will cause a control signal to be transmitted across the control transmission attachment 134. In alternative embodiments, a sensor in the control unit 136 may detect the reduction in the height 305 of the bucket over the ground and a data processing unit such as a computer may automatically cause a control signal to be transmitted across the control transmission attachment 134.
  • [0028]
    When the control signal transmitted across the control transmission attachment 134 reaches the controllable motivating device 128, the controllable motivating device 128 will react to the control signal by expanding or retracting the piston 133 in accordance with the signal provided. This movement of the piston will provide a force that will move the drill attachment unit 120 along the guide rods 114 & 116 through application of force in the desired direction. This process can then be repeated as necessary to perfect the position of the drilling unit 122, thereby solving the problem of misalignment seen in the prior art.
  • [0029]
    Although not shown in any drawings, an alternative embodiment of the present invention may replace the above-described guide rods with a lever assembly. In such an alternative embodiment, rather than carrying the drilling unit 122 along some track assembly as in the preferred embodiment, drilling unit 122 is carried at a distal end of a lever assembly, at the other end of which is attached a user-actuated control system for moving the drilling unit 122 by way of the lever assembly. It is believed that such a replacement of the linear track carriage arrangement shown as the preferred embodiment would not provide as precise control or operation, but may still provide most of the benefits of the preferred embodiment.
  • [0030]
    Although the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, this description is not meant to be construed in a limited sense. Various modifications of the disclosed embodiments, as well as alternative embodiments of the inventions will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon the reference to the description of the invention. It is, therefore, contemplated that the appended -claims will cover such modifications that fall within the scope of the invention.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7529742 *Apr 12, 2007May 5, 2009Ods-Petrodata, Inc.Computer implemented system for managing and processing supply
US8843266 *Apr 18, 2011Sep 23, 2014Mikrofyn A/SPositioning apparatus for excavating and similar equipment
US20130197743 *Apr 18, 2011Aug 1, 2013Mikrofyn A/SPositioning apparatus for excavating and similar equipment
Classifications
U.S. Classification175/57, 175/203
International ClassificationE21B7/02, E21B19/087, E21B7/04
Cooperative ClassificationE21B7/028, E21B19/087
European ClassificationE21B19/087, E21B7/02S2