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Publication numberUS3561365 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 9, 1971
Filing dateJan 13, 1969
Priority dateJan 13, 1969
Publication numberUS 3561365 A, US 3561365A, US-A-3561365, US3561365 A, US3561365A
InventorsRooklyn Jack
Original AssigneeRepublic Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lift for track vehicles
US 3561365 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

system which g carriers around a plant, to raise and station. The

I 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 572,252 12/1896 Floeter......................... 1,972,931 9/1934 l-laddlesay.... 2,035,359 3/1936 Anjeskey............... 2,486,222 10/1949 Spafford....................... Primary Examiner-Arthur L. La Point Assistant ExaminerD. W. Keen Attorney-Lindenberg, F reilich & Wasserman ABSTRACT: Apparatus for use with a monorail guides product-supportin lower the carriers and the goods thereon at one apparatus comprises a separate lift track section of the monorail which can be positioned in line with the rest of the track, a cable system for raising and lowering the track section, and stops for supporting the track section in line with the rest of the track when it is lowered.

Jack Rooklyn Northridge, Calif. Appl. No. 790,607

Jan. 13, 1969 [45] Patented Feb. 9, 1971 Republic Corporation Beverly Hills, Calif. a corporation of California 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. 104/127, 104/138, 104/89 B611) 3/00, B61b 13/04 104/89, 90, 91,92, 93,94, 95, 127, 128, 138; 105/155; 74/527, 613; 16/874, 94, 95, 96; 246/1 19 United States Patent [72] Inventor [22] Filed [73] Assignee [54] LIFT FOR TRACK VEHICLES [51] Int. [50] Field asses A \Q Q: s gis Lrr'r FOR TRACK VEHICLES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to material handling apparatus.


Heavy goodsare often moved around plants by overhead conveyor systems. One type of system for this purpose is described in US. Pat. application Ser. No. 685,561 by Jack Rooklyn filed Nov. 26, 1967 and assigned to the assignee of the present application, wherein goods are supported by glides that run along a monorail track. In some plants, lifts are required for raising and lowering goods at one location. For example, in the manufacture of stringers for airframes, lifts are used to raise and lower the stringers in black light inspection rooms. In order to minimize handling a lift is required that can receive the glides with the goods suspended thereon directly from the main track, and allow the glides to move back onto the main track after up and down movement by the lift.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide lifting apparatus which is simple and easy to use.

Another object is to provide apparatus for receiving goods directly from a transportation track, moving the goods to a position spaced from the track and then back to a position in line with thetrack, and then delivering the goods back onto the track with a minimum of handling.

In accordance with the present invention, a lift is provided which facilitates the vertical movement of goods that are supported on glides or the like for movement along a conveyor system. The apparatus comprises a section of track which can be moved from a position in line with the main track of a conveyor system to another position such as one several feet higher. When the lift section is moved out of alignment with the main track, a stop is moved to a position wherein it blocks the movement of other goods-carrying glides towards the gap in the main track which is normally occupied by the lift section. When the lift section is moved back toward alignment, the stop unblocks the main track. Support members mounted on the main track and extending into the gap therein, support the lift section when it moves down to its lowest position, to assure its alignment with the main track.

The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will be best understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a lift constructed in accordance with the invention, with the lift track section in a raised position;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the lift of FIG. 1, with the lift track section in a lowered position;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

and t FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 3, but with the lift track section in a raised position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates lift apparatus 10 for lifting goods which have been moving along an overhead monorail conveyor system. The conveyorsystem includes a slotted tubular main track 14, for supporting glides l and 16 that roll therealong. The glides have carrier bars 18, 20 which can depend through the slot in the track, for supporting goods. The main track 14 has a gap 13 therein, and the lift apparatus includes a lift track section 22 which can bridge the gap. The lift track section bridges the gap when it is aligned with the main track 14 and it can then receive glides therefrom. When the glides are on the track section 22, the track section can be moved perpendicular to the length of the main track in an upward direction. To do this, a motor 24 is energized which operates a cable system to raise the, track section 22 and thereby lift the glides and the goods thereon.

The carrier bars of the glides l5, 16 are shown supporting a frame 26 which holds many stringers 28 that are used in the construction of airframes, such as those for aircraft and missiles. The lift is located. in a "black light" inspection room where flaws in the stringers may be detected. With the lift in a downward position, an inspector pushes the glide-supporting frame 26 along the main track 14 until the glides are on the track section 22. He then turns off ordinary light and turns on a bank of ultraviolet lamps that cause flaws in the stringers to appear as incandescent spots. The inspector marks these spots with chalk for later checking by another inspector. In order to obtain a good view of all portions of the stringers, the inspector repeatedly lifts the frame in small steps so that each group of stringers can be viewed while it is at eye level. After such inspection, the lift is lowered-until the track section 22 is again aligned with the main track 14, and the train of carriers is then moved off at the end 14A for further processing of the stringers. This is only one of the many uses of the lift apparatus. which may be used for single carriers as well as trains of two or more carriers.

As also shown in FIG. 2, the lift apparatus includes a truss 30 which supports the track section 22. Vertically-extending columns or guide rails 32 and 34 are positioned at each end of the truss. Guide means 36, 38, 40 and 42 mounted on the truss section engage the rails to guide the truss section and the track section supported by it in smooth up and down movement. Each guide means includes a center wheel 44 that engages the edge 45 of a rail, and a pair of side wheels 46 and 48 that bear on opposite sides of the rail. The set of wheels prevents binding to assure smooth lift operation.

The cable system for raising and lowering the truss and track section thereon comprises a pair of pulleys 52 and 54 at .each end of the truss, a pair of pulleys 56 and 58 mounted on the ceiling structure 60 of the plant, and a cable winding drum 62 mounted on the ceiling structure. A cable 64 has one end 66 fastened to the ceiling structures, and it extends around the four pulleys to the winding drum 62. The motor 24 can be energized to turn the drum in the direction of arrow 68 to shorten the cable and raise the track section 22. A drum brake (not shown) normally maintains the drum in position when motor energization is terminated. The brake can be disengaged to allow the lift to fall slowly. A control box 70 is coupled to the motor and brake to enable the operator to control up and down movement of the lift apparatus.

In order for glides to move onto or off from the lift track section 22, the track section must be lowered to a position in close alignment with the main track 14 and held at this position. Such alignment is maintained by pairs of track support members 72, 74 and 76, 78 fastened to the main track 14. The support members are located at each end of the gap 13 in the main track 14, and on either side of the track slot 17. The members 72 through 78 are curved plates that extend into the path of the lift tra'ck section 22 to stop its downward movement. When the track section 22 is lowered, its opposite ends 22A and 22B rest on the two pairs of track support members. Thus, the track section is quickly positioned at the proper height without requiring fine adjustments by the operator. merely by releasing the winding drum brake, and it is thereafter maintained securely in this position. The track support members also assure lateral alignment so that the slots 17- in the main track and lift track section are aligned.

If a glide were moved toward the track section 22 when it is raised, and no provisions were made to stop it, the glide would fall off the track and possibly cause damage to itself and the goods as well as injury to the operator. In order to prevent such an occurrence, a glide stop 80 is provided that automatically bars the passage of glides when the lift is raised. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the glide stop comprises a bearing 82 mounted on the main track 14 and a stop lever 84 pivotally mounted on the bearing. The lever has a path-barring arm 86,

an operating arm 88, and a weighted arm 90. FIG. 4 shows the position of the lever when the lift track section 22 is in a raised position. The weighted are 90 maintains the lever in a position wherein the barring arm 86 extends across the slot 17 in the track 14. if a glide on the main track 14 moves toward the gap into which the lift track section can be lowered, the carrier bar 18A of the glide will strike the barring arm 86. This prevents such a glide from falling off the track.

As the lift track section 22 is lowered into alignment with the track 14, it presses down on the operating arm 88 of the stop lever. This causes the lever to rotate until the barring arm 86 is in the position shown in FIG. 3 wherein it is out of the way of carrier bar 18A to allow a glide to pass from the main track 14 to the lift track section 22. Thus, the glide path is automatically barred and unbarred in accordance with the raising and lowering of the lift apparatus, without requiring operation by a human operator.

The lift apparatus is useful in a variety of applications to move goods in a direction lateral to the length of the main track. For example, if it is desired to lower goods into a tank, the lift apparatus can be used to move down and then up. in this case, the track support member 72 through 78 would be positioned on top of the main track to align the lift track section with the main track when it reached its highest position.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art, and consequently, it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.


1. Apparatus for lifting and lowering vehicles that move along a main track comprising:

rail means extending substantially vertically;

a lift track section which includes a tube with a slot extending along its bottom, for supporting a glide therein with carrier bar means depending through said slot;

guide means coupled to said lift track section and engaged with said rail means to guide said lift track section in movement between a first position wherein it is aligned with said main track and a second position spaced above said first position;

means for raising and lowering said lift track section; and

track support means attached to said main track and extending into the path of said lift track section to either side of said slot therein, to limit the downward movement of said track section to said first position wherein it is aligned with said main track.

2. Apparatus for lifting and lowering vehicles that move along a main track comprising:

rail means extending substantially vertically;

a lift track section;

guide means coupled to said lift track section and engaged with said rail means to guide said lift track section in movement between a first position wherein it is aligned with said main track and a second position vertically spaced from said first position;

means for raising and lowering said lift track section; and

a lever pivotally mounted on said main track, said lever including a barring portion for barring the passage of vehicles from said main track towards said lift track section, and said lever including an operating portion biased toward a position in the path of said track section for movement by the approach of said track section towards said first position, said operating portion coupled to said barring portion to move said barring portion out of the way of vehicles approaching said track section.

3. Apparatus for use in an overhead conveyor system along which move glides that have carrier bars depending therefrom upon which goods can be supported, to move a glide perpendicular to the main track at a particular station along the system, comprising;

an elongated tubular track section with a slot extending alon its bottom; I means or raising said track section from a first position in alignment with said main track to a position spaced from said first position and lowering it back :iid first position; and

a pair of members mounted on said main track and extending to positions on either side of said slot in said track section, to hold an end of said track section in accurate alignment with said main track.

4. The apparatus described in claim 3 wherein: said members have curved surfaces for receiving said track section to align it vertically and laterally.

5. Apparatus for use with a conveyor system, to raise and lower vehicles at a station and allow them to then continue along the system comprising;

a main track for carrying said vehicles, said track having a gap therein;

a lift track for bridging said gap in said main track, said lift track including an elongated tube with a slot extending along its bottom;

rail means extending substantially vertically;

means for guiding said lift track up and down along said rail means; and

a pair of elements at either end of said gap which are fastened to one of said tracks and extend to the other track, the elements of each pair disposed on opposite sides of said slot to prevent vertical movement of said lift track past a position in line with said main track and to laterally align said lift track with said main track.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US572252 *Dec 1, 1896 Automatic car-stopper for drawbridges
US1972931 *Mar 10, 1931Sep 11, 1934Haddlesay Charles STrack for monorail conveyer systems
US2035359 *Feb 27, 1932Mar 24, 1936Cleveland Crane EngAutomatic lift
US2486222 *May 5, 1945Oct 25, 1949Louden Machinery CompanyConveyer apparatus and control systems therefor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3757967 *Oct 8, 1971Sep 11, 1973Rack Eng CoStorage rack with dual safety bridge
US3868906 *Aug 24, 1973Mar 4, 1975Cameron Anson WControl and handling of garment hangers
US4395180 *Sep 15, 1980Jul 26, 1983Westmont IndustriesEngine unit maintenance complex
US4887727 *Sep 16, 1988Dec 19, 1989Hanger-Tight CompanyGarment hanger caddy
US5076446 *Jun 14, 1989Dec 31, 1991Hanger-Tight CompanyHanger caddy transporter with restraining devices
US7559280Aug 8, 2006Jul 14, 2009United Technologies CorporationAdjustable link system
US7568575Aug 8, 2006Aug 4, 2009United Technologies CorporationEngine support system
EP0107533A1 *Sep 15, 1983May 2, 1984CrouzetTransfer device for work piece holders
U.S. Classification104/127, 104/138.1, 104/89
International ClassificationB65G9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G9/008, B65G9/004, B65G2812/188
European ClassificationB65G9/00G, B65G9/00P
Legal Events
May 16, 1985AS06Security interest
Effective date: 19850516
May 16, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850516