US 3314562 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 18, 1967 s. E. FARMER 3,314,562
HOSE AND ELECTRICAL CABLE SYSTEM Filed Sept. 14, 1964 57 1-?1 5 Z v 26 I3 58 25 h MI 3 57 I 32 55 I I 53 so 56 H1 sq,
22 -sz 5| H is a! INVENTOR. STANLEY E.' FARMER flfiomey United States Patent 3,314,562 HOSE AND ELECTRICAL CABLE SYSTEM Stanley E. Farmer, Portland, Oreg., assignor to Cascade Corporation, Portland, Oreg., a corporation of Oregon Filed Sept. 14, 1964, Ser. No. 396,239 Claims. (Cl. 214650) This invention relates to a combination hose and conductor arrangement for various purposes, and more especially to such an arrangement for connecting poweroperated devices on a movable part, such as a vertically movable lift truck carriage and the like, with vacuum and electric cable lines which supply the energy operating the device.
A vacuum-operated load grab on a lift truck carriage, for example, requires a vacuum hose extending between the truck and carriage for connecting the load grab with a vacuum source. The overall distance spanned by the hose, and the hoses direction, changes as the carriage is shifted to various positions on the mast assembly of the lift truck. Such a carriage may also often be equipped with solenoid valves or other electrical devices requiring electrical conductors leading to the electrical supply on the truck for their energization. Properly paying out the connecting lines as the carriage moves up and down pre sents a problem, particularly where the carriage has a long range of vertical movement.
A general object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide an improved hose and electrical conductor system for interconnecting two relatively movable parts.
More specifically, an object is to provide an improved system of this description particularly adapted for connection with a lift truck carriage.
Other objects are to provide an improved reel for taking in and paying out both a hose and a conductor, to provide a novel reel construction making electrical connection with one or more conductors inside a hose, and to provide a novel and improved swivel connection for a hose an conductor to a movable carriage.
In the present construction, a vacuum hose containing a conductor cable is wound on a spring-actuated reel, and this reel may be mounted on the mast assembly of a lift truck. The reel includes both vacuum and electrical connections, arranged to accommodate unlimited rotation, and a vertically movable carriage mounted on the mast assembly is equipped with a swivel connection for the hose and cable, capable of rotation through a wide angle as the carriage travels above and below the reel. The construction of the invention is not limited to lift trucks, however, as it is also applicable to vacuum or other fluid pressure hoses combined with conductor cables for other purposes.
The invention will be better understood, and the foregoing and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description, to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a lift truck embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of a reel illustrated on the lift truck in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view, taken generally along the line 33 in FIG. 2, on an even larger scale;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of a swivel connection mounted on the carriage in the lift truck in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view, taken the line 5-5 in FIG. 4.
In FIG. 1, the lift truck illustrated has a carriage 11 equipped with a suction roll grab 12 for picking up and carrying an object such as the roll of paper indicated at O. Carriage 11 is movable vertically on a mast assembly 13, which may have one or more telescoping generally along 3,314,562 Patented Apr. 18, 1967 mast sections 14 for lifting the carriage through a long range of vertical travel.
In the present illustration of the invention, roll grab 12 is rotatably mounted on carriage 11, to enable it to pick up a roll of paper and turn it on end. In some cases the roll grab, or other load supporting device, may also be mounted to shift laterally on carriage 11, to facilitate pick up and placement of the load or object being carried. When the load grab 1 2 is of the suction type, the rotating and lateral shifting means may take the form of fluidoperated rams. In order to control such movements, solenoid valves may he provided in the supply circuit for the rams, with switching means at the operators station on the lift truck connected to the solenoid valves controlling their energization. With such an organization, it becomes necessary to provide means for handling electrical conductors and vacuum hose (to operate the suction grab) extending between the truck and carriage, such means accommodating movement of the lift carriage up and down on the mast assembly.
Numeral 21 designates a vacuum hose leading from a vacuum source on the lift truck, and numeral 22 designates an electric cable containing conductors controlling energizing of solenoid valves or other electrical instrumentalities on the carriage of the lift truck. The hose and cable connect with a nontraveling reel unit 25 mounted adjacent the top of the stationary outer mast section in mast assembly 13. The outer mast section may be described as stationary, in that it does not move up and down, although it may tilt backward and forward through a small angle. A flexible hollow hose extending from reel 25 to the lift carriage is designated at 26. This hose contains along the inside thereof the necessary conductors or wires connecting with parts on the carriage for the purposes described. A special swivel connection 27 on the carriage allows the hose and Wires to change direction without bending or kinking, as the carriage rises from below to above reel unit 25.
As shown in FIG. 2, reel unit 25 comprises a reel spool 30 mounted for rotation on the outer end of a stationary spindle 31. The inner end of spindle 31 is supported by a bracket 32 which is bolted to a mounting bracket 33 fastened to the outer mast section of mast assembly 13. Reel 30 is biased by a spring assembly 34 to rotate in a direction causing hose 26 to be wound up on the reel, whereby slack in the hose may be taken up as carriage 11 approaches the reel unit.
The upper end of suction hose 21 is connected to an L fitting 36, which has threaded connection with a bore 37 in spindle 31. The opposite end of this bore communicates with a diametrically extending passage 38, which opens into an annular groove 39 extending circumferentially on the spindle. Forming the hub of reel 30 is a bearing 40 journaled on spindle 31, which runs in sealing engagement with seal rings 41 on opposite sides of groove 39. Hose 26 is connected to an L fitting 42 which is threaded into bearing 40, the interior of such fitting 42 communicating with groove 39. From this it will be seen that vacuum communication is maintained between hose 21 and hose 26 with reel 30 in any of its positions on spindle 31.
Electric cable 22 is connected with a fitting 50 which is threaded into another bore 51 in spindle 31. Insulated wires or conductors 52 in this cable extend through a slot 53 formed in the stationary spindle, and make connection with conductor rings 54 insulated from each other and mounted on the spindle. Bearing 40 of the reel carries a brush holder 55 which has a spring-actuated brush 56 running in electrical contact with each ring 54. The outer ends of these brushes are connected with insulated wires or conductors in a cable 57, which cable enters L fitting 42 through a fluid-tight side bushing 58 having a packing gland to prevent the entrance of air into the suction system. Thus, with reel in any of its positions, the wires in cable 57 within hose 26 remain electrically connected with wires 52 in cable 22. Within hose 26 a passage is left between cable 57 and the hose, as seen in FIG. 2. This passage is connected through L fitting 42 to the interior of hose 21.
The construction of swivel connector 27 is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. This device comprises a body 60 secured by screws 59 to the lift carriage 11. Body 64) is provided with a cylindrical bore 61 containing a rotatable shaft 62. This shaft has a longitudinal passage 63 therein communicating with an annular groove 64 formed about the shaft. Seal rings 65 engage bore 61 on opposite sides of groove 64. The shaft is retained in bore 61 by a pair of spaced snap rings 66.
Hose 26 is connected to an L fitting screwed into one end of passage 63, and through the L fitting the interior of the hose communicates with annular groove 64. Cable 57 passes through L fitting 70 and passageway 63 into a screw threaded bushing 71 containing a packing gland around the cable to prevent the admission of air. From thence the cable extends to devices on the carriage whose actuation are to be controlled by switches connected to the conductors in the cable. A hose 75 is connected to an L fitting 76 which communicates at its inner end with the annular groove 64. Hose 75 provides a vacuum connection for any instrumentalities on the lift carriage requiring vacuum for actuation such as vacuum load grab 12.
The outer portion of L 70 is disposed substantially in the plane of reel 30, so that as carriage 11 moves up and down, hose 26 can wind and unwind freely, as shown in solid and broken lines in FIG. 1. As the direction of the hose changes, shaft 62 rotates in body 60 allowing the outer end of L 70 to turn toward the reel. This prevents bends from forming in hose 26. During rotational movement of shaft 62, cable 57 emerging from bushing 71 is subjected to some twisting, but this is only slight and the cable may be left slack enough to accommodate easily the twisting to which it is subjected. Reel spring 34 keeps the hose 26 taut at all times, so that it always extends in a substantially straight line between fitting 27 and the reel.
With the invention, the cable inside hose 26 is protected by the hose. One reel can be utilized to wind up both the cable and hose, without introducing the possibility of entanglement. With only one reel, space savings are possible.
While an embodiment of the invention has been described, it is appreciated that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention. It is desired to cover all such changes and variations as would be apparent to one skilled in the art, and that come within the scope of the appended claims.
It is claimed and desired to secure by Letters Patent:
1. In a hose and electrical conductor system,
a hose reel unit having a rotatable reel,
a hollow hose for carrying a fluid medium mounted on said reel with the hose being rotatable with said reel,
an electric cable within the hose extending along the interior of the hose with a passage left within the hose between the cable and hose,
a stationary hose connector on said unit having communication through said reel with said passage within said hose,
a fluid tight bushing on said reel which admits said cable into said hose,
a stationary cable connector on said unit electrically connected to said cable,
a member movable toward and away from said reel,
a swivel connector on said member for said hose and cable, and
a fluid tight bushing in said swivel connector which leads said cable out of said swivel connector.
2. In a lift truck having a load carriage movable up and down on a mast assembly,
a reel unit on said mast assembly at a level intermediate the range of vertical movement of the carriage, said reel unit including a nonrotating spindle and a reel rotatable about the spindle,
a hollow hose on said reel containing an electric cable,
said reel further including a bearing mounting the reel for rotation on said spindle,
a passageway in said spindle having an external hose connection,
a fitting for said hose on said reel placing the hose in communication with said passageway, said fitting including an air-tight bushing through which the cable extends into the hose,
a brush assembly on said reel connected with said cable, and a slip ring assembly on said spindle electrically in contact with the brush assembly,
a connector body on said carriage mounting a rotatable shaft connected with said hose,
a passageway in said shaft communicating with the interior of said hose and having said cable extending thereinto,
a fitting on said body communicating with said shaft passageway,
an air-tight bushing mounted on said shaft leading said cable out of said shaft, and
means for rotating said reel to tension said hose from said connector.
3. A hose reel unit comprising a spindle having a longitudinal passageway therein,
an external hose connection on one end of said passagean annular groove around said spindle communicating with said passageway,
a reel carrying a hose,
said reel including a bearing mounting the reel for rotation on said spindle and enclosing said groove,
a fitting mounted on said bearing placing the hose in communication with said groove,
an electric cable in said hose,
an air-tight bushing in said fitting for said hose having the cable extending into the hose through said bushbrushes on said reel connected with said cable,
slip rings for said brushes on said spindle, and a spring driving said reel to wind up said hose and with the hose the cable within the hose.
4. A swivel connector comprising a body member having a cylindrical bore therethrough,
a hollow shaft rotatable in said bore,
a hose connection in one end of said shaft for a hose carrying an electric cable extending along the inside of the hose, said connection placing the interior of the shaft in communication with the interior of the hose and said cable extending from said connection through the interior of the shaft,
an annular groove in said shaft communicating with the hollow interior of the shaft,
a hose connection in said body member communicating with said groove, and
a bushing for said cable in the opposite end of said shaft with the cable extending out from said shaft through said bushing.
5. A hose reel unit comprising a nonrotating spindle having a longitudinal passageway extending therealong, means for connecting a hollow first hose to one end of said passageway, a reel carrying a second hose, said reel including a bearing mounting the reel for rotation about said spindle, fitting means mounted on the reel connecting with the second hose placing the interior of the second hose in communication with said passageway in said spindle, an elongated multiple conductor cable extending References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re.25,548 4/1964 Becker 214-653 Levetus 339-15 Ziegler 285-190 Sanders 137-35517 Miller 285-190 Mueller 285-190 Harris 187-9 Pacey 339-15 Farmer 214-653 Sulzberger 134-123 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.