US 3593869 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
 Patented United States Patent George B. Zurheide Upper St. Clair;
Frank E. Harvey, Pittsburgh, both of, Pa. 804,941
Mar. 6, 1969 Division of Ser. No. 672,211. Oct. 2, 1967, Pat. No. 3,468.434 July 20, 1971 PPG Industries, Inc.
 Inventors  Appl. No 22 Filed  Assignee  CRANE APPARATUS WITH HOlST MEANS LOCATED BETWEEN SPACED PLATFORMS 1 Claim, 9 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 214/658, 214/86, 212/125 [51 Int. Cl 865g 47/00  Field of Search 214/658; 212/11,124,125,l31, 135
156] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,714,945 5/1929 Buhl 212/125 X 2,061,044 11/1936 Ringe 212/126 2,701,065 2/1955 Berte1.... 214/16.1
3,116,586 1/1964 lngham 57/52 Primary ExaminerGerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-Raymond B. Johnson Attorney-Chisholm and Spencer ABSTRACT: A crane movable along selected paths and with platforms is used to pull up storage racks on which are stored tubular fiber packages and to convey the racks to twist frames for loading with the packages. The platforms are movable vertically, adjustably and independently to positions for use of handling the packages from the storage rack to the twist frame spindles.
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INVENTOR/ CRANE APPARATUS WITH HOIST MEANS LOCATED BETWEEN SPACED PLATFORMS This application is a division of our copending application, Ser. No. 672,211 filed Oct. 2, 1967 now US. Pat. No. 3,468,434issued Sept. 23, 1969.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to material handling and especially to a material handling arrangement for transporting fiber packages to a twist frame for placement on the spindles of the frame. For convenience, the invention will be described specifically with respect to the handling of glass fiber forming packages; it being understood that the invention can be used in the handling of other materials if so desired.
In the production of fiber glass, a plurality of glass fibers are drawn from a mass of molten glass in a bushing having orifices therein through which glass flows. The fibers or filaments, as they are called, are grouped together as a strand and are col lected on a rotating tubular package known as a forming package. Strand integrity is maintained by the application of a binder to the fibers just prior to their being grouped into the strands.
After a good end is found on the forming package, i.e., it being determined that the strand is reasonably continuous and can be unwound from the forming package, the forming package is placed on an adapter of a tube drive of a twist frame wherein the strand is twisted to a desired degree and is wound on bobbins for use in the manufacture of textiles and the like.
In the conventional operation, the forming packages are, after having an end found, placed on a package holder on a storage rack or truck. The conventional storage rack is constructed so as to be movable on casters and is generally hand pushed to a twist frame whereupon the packages are manually loaded on the twist frame. Empty packages are, of course, removed from the frame.
This procedure has proven to be satisfactory when the forming packages are of conventional size and weight, as on the order of 6 inches in diameterand about 8 pounds. Using such packages, the twist frame tube drives are so arranged and located that they can easily be reached from the factory floor by an averaged height person, either male or female.
The trend, however, is to larger packages both in diameter and weight which has necessitated a redesign of the twist frame, placing the tube driveshigher from the factory floor, so that the loading of the frame becomes a burden.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to effectively load a twist frame with the large, heavy forming packages, it is proposed to store the packages, after a good end has been found, on a storage rack having at least the same number of package holders and in substantially the same arrangement as the arrangement of twist frame tube drives, convey the storage rack, so loaded to position over the twist frame and to lower the rack to a desired elevation with respect to the twist frames, and in such position remove the packages therefrom and load the twist frame.
The conveyance of the storage rack is accomplished by a crane having spaced platforms for twist frame loaders, the platforms being spaced, so as to be located on opposite sides of the rack and being movable vertically, adjustably and independently to be positioned on opposite sides of the twist frame BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an isometric view of the apparatus of this invention in its environment in a fiber processing plant;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the conveyor or crane of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the structure shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. l is a side view of a storage rack;
FIG. 5 is an end view of the storage rack as illustrated in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a package holder of the storage rack of FIGS. 4 and 5; and
FIGS. 7, 3 and 9 are end views of the apparatus of this invention in three positions of use.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Looking now at the drawings, and especially FIGS. l to 3, there is shown a materials handling system for conveying forming packages to a twist frame, generally identified as 12. The twist frame is a standard frame modified to accept the particular sized packages being conveyed thereto and, because it does not form a part of this invention, except to be that apparatus to which the packages are conveyed, further description is not given and is deemed unnecessary.
The material handling system includes a pair of spaced platforms M, 16 constructed of various metal shapes such as angle bars, bars, pipes, grating, etc. which are approximately the same length as a twist frame 12.
Each platform M or 16 is vertically movable independently of the other from a position where it will clear a twist frame to a position at one side thereof, at which position the twist frame is loaded. The vertical position of each platform is adjustable. To guide the platforms in their movement substantially vertically, either upwardly or downwardly, there are provided guide channels 18 into which the rear corner members 20 of the platforms are received. The guide channels 18 are part of a framework 22 which interconnects and supports the platforms in their spaced relationship. Reversible motors 24 (only one of which is shown in FIG. I for sake of clarity) are provided, supported on the framework 22, to raise and lower the platforms 14, 16, respectively, each motor having a reel 28 for receiving cables 30 connected to the platforms 1 1, 16. By energization of the motors 24, the platforms 114i, 116 can be raised and/0r lowered independently of each other and adjustably within limits of vertical travel.
The framework 22 constitutes a carriage movable along fixed rails 32, 34 which span the twist room in which a series of twist frames are located.
Trolly assemblies 36 fixed to the frame or carriage 22 engage the rails 32, 34$ (see FIG. 2) and provide means for guiding the handling system therealong. Driving wheels 38 driven by a motor 40 propel the carriage 22. Limit switches may be provided, which are coordinated with twist frame positions, so that the carriage will automatically stop at a fixed position relative to a twist frame.
Intermediate the platforms M, 116 and the ends of the carriage 22 and carried by the carriage is a reversible motor 44 having a pair of reels 46 each carrying cables 48 to which hooks 50 are attached.
The hooks 50 are used to hook onto a storage rack 52 (see FIGS. 4, 7, 8 and 9) carrying a supply of forming tubes 10, lift the rack as in FIG. 7 to its position illustrated in FIG. 8, transport the rack to a twist frame l2 and then lower the rack to a position wherein it can easily be unloaded from the platforms as in FIG. 9. Channel guides 54 are connected to the carriage 22 in order to guide the rack 52 and eliminate sway therein while being transported, etc.
The storage rack 52 is best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 and includes longitudinal beam members 55, 56 connected to end members 58 constructed of upright structural members 60 and cross-structural members 62, 64, the latter being connected respectively to the beam members 55, 56, respectively.
Suitable intermediate bracing is used, such as members 66. At each end there is a conical member 68 connected to beam 55 and a tubular member 70 connected to beam 56 and member 64. When the racks are stacked, the conical members are received in members 70 and the ends of uprights 60 abut one another.
Along the lengths of the beams and on opposite sides thereof, there are spaced package holders 72, each constructed of rods as shown especially in FIG. 6. For convenience, the holders are arranged in substantially the same spacing and order as holders on a twist frame. Hook frames 74 are welded to the beam 55 to receive the hooks 50 from the carriage 22.
In operation, the carriage is moved into the package storage room and by hooks 50 and related mechanism, a filled storage rack is picked up and moved or lifted into position between platforms in their raised position. The carriage is moved along the tracks to a twist frame location where the rack is lowered and the platforms are lowered. Operators on the platforms remove empty packages on the frame and replace them with filled packages from the rack, after which the platforms are raised, the rack with empty forming tubes is raised and the carriage is then moved to a location where the empty rack is deposited in a rack storage area. Then, the process is repeated, i.e., a filled rack is picked up to be transported to a twist frame for loading, etc. The sequence of positions is illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 which are self-explanatory.
1. A materials handling system comprising 1. a horizontally movable crane assembly having a pair of spaced platforms suspended therefrom,
2. tracks for guiding the crane assembly along selected paths,
3. means for moving said crane assembly along said tracks and for stopping its movement at selected locations,
4. means on said crane assembly disposed between and spaced from said platforms for picking up and carrying a storage rack having goods stored thereon,
. channel guides (54) depending from said crane assembly for guiding vertical movement of said storage rack and restricting lateral movement of said storage rack,
6. means for raising and lowering said platforms,
7. guide channels depending from said crane assembly en gaging said platforms for restricting lateral movement of said platforms, and
. means for lowering said storage rack to a position relative to said platforms for removal of said goods stored thereon.