US 3612286 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States Faustyn C. Langowslti;
 Inventors 3,173,556 3/1965 Gaudriot 214/8 James Bernard Walling, both of Houston, 3,254,776 6/1966 Brown 214/25 Tex. 3,315,822 4/1967 Wilson 214/25  A 868549 Primary Examiner-Nile C. Byers, Jr.  Wed 1969 Attorneys-DonaldW Banner William S McCur and John 45 Patented ct.12,1971 w Butcher  Assignee lByron Jackson, Inc.
Long Beach, Calif.
ABSTRACT: Pipe-racking apparatus in which stands of oil  HORIZONTAL PIPE RACK wellbpipef arehslupportzd on horizondtaflly spaced beams, a 21 Claims 16 Drawing Figs num ero suc earns eing supporte or ver tica movement on a vertical post so as to confine the racked pipe between the  US. Cl 211/60 1R, beams when the beams are lowered and so as to allow racking 175/85 and unracking of the pipe when the beams are elevated. HI'lt. The beams on each post are vertically movable in ces.  Field of Search 21l/60,6O ign from top to bottom and each beam has therebeneath 1 3 1 spacing devices engageable with the racked pipe below the beam to retain the pipe against movement. The spacing  References Cited devices are adjustable to accommodate pipe of different sizes. UNITED STATES PATENTS The beams have fingers pivoted thereto and movable between 2,233,899 3/1941 Reed 21 1/50 Substantially vertical positions to substantially horizontal pipe- 2,507,040 5/1950 Moore.... 21 1/60 receiving positions. 2,619,234 1 l/1952 Stone 21 1/60 Operating and control hydraulic and pneumatic systems for 2,628,725 2/1953 Stone 1 214/ effecting elevation of the racker beams and actuation of the 2,957,583 10/1960 Busbridge 211/13 pivoted fingersv 4/ n 52 .1 4 5 b 9% A 9% 4 59C 45 I I I I 0| l J1 1 t fipt a I 30 a5 \"--f I I l 1 l 1 t 1 1 v 1 I 43 5&61 59 5 365 33+ 599 43 o a e a? 1 PATENTED um 21971 SHEET 0 [1F A TTO/F/VB PATENTEDumznen 3,612,286
SHEET near 10 WW J4M65 56 W440 6 II'iIUIIMZGNTAL rirr. nacrt BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention has to do with the raclting of pipe for oil wells and the lilte, and, more particularly, what may be termed horizontal raclting as opposed to racking the pipe vertically or on end in the drilling rig.
In most of the prior apparatus adapted to horizontally rack stands of well pipe, the pipe sections or stands have been placed in the rack by merely piling the stands alongside or on top of the next. Some of these racks such as, for example, that shown in Brown U.S. Pat. No. 3,245,776 involve placing the pipe stands on racks which are tiltable to assist in loading and unloading, the Brown arrangement showing multiple layers of pipe tiltable to one side to cause the pipe to roll to that side, for example, for loading purposes, and tiltable to the other side to cause the pipe to roll onto a conveyor or mechanism for handling the pipe Such arrangements, however, have not been completely satisfactory, and especially have not been suitable in situations where the pipe rack is on an unstable platform, such as a drilling boat or the like. Other previous raclting arrangements are disclosed, for example, in Durbin U.S. Pat. No. 3,268,095; .linkins, Jr. U.S. Pat. No. 3,053,401; Hall et al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,1 13,270; and others.
There has been a need for a horizontal racking arrangement in which the pipe, regardless of size (within limits), or of multiple sizes simultaneously, can be racked in an orderly manner in a comparatively compact and power-actuated apparatus for holding and releasing the pipe stands in desired sequence. There has also been a need for a horizontal racking arrangement which will restrain the pipe form shifting due to gravity forces or the movement of the rack means on an unstable platform. In particular, it has been a problem to rack pipe horizontally on a boat where space is at a premium, and where it has been necessary to tie down or provide a specific stabilizing means for each stand of pipe. Much work has been done on vertical racking of pipe for this and other reasons, but, in situations where the platform is unstable, vertical racking has its own problems and horizontal racking is preferable and safer in many instances.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides pipe-racking apparatus whereby stands of well pipe may be horizontally racked and wherein means are provided for maintaining in fixed positions a plurality of stands of well pipe in any or all of a plurality of racked position.
More particularly, the invention provides a well pipe racking apparatus wherein a number of horizontally extended and spaced pipe stand supporting beams are supported on laterally spaced posts for vertical movement of the beams, the beams having therebeneath pipe engaging and spacing elements which, in one embodiment, also engage the subjacent beams whereby to assist in supporting the weight of the racked pipe thereabove. Thus the racked stands of pipe are securely held against movement.
The fingers on the pipe-racking beams provide a support for successive pipe stands onto which and from which the pipe stands may be moved by suitable conveyor means, as more particularly disclosed in the copending application for U.S. Letters Patent filed Oct. 22, 1969, Ser. No. 868,549 in the name of Walling et al., for a Feeder Conveyor for Horizontal Racking System. The present invention involves the provision of a system for effecting the actuation of the pipe stand supporting fingers between retracted or vertical positions and extended or pipe-supporting positions.
An object of the present invention is to provide improved horizontal racking apparatus for oil well pipe, the apparatus being suitable for the racking of pipe on an unstable platform such as a boat, but being also applicable to the racking of pipe on a stable platform.
It is a further object to provide a sequential arrangement for the horizontal racking of pipe wherein the pipe may be racked in layers, the pipe of one layer only being free for movement laterally along the racking surface to or from a conveyor (as the case may be), at any particular time.
It is a further object to provide an arrangement in which different sizes of pipe may be racked simultaneously in a single layer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. l is a top plan view of a pipe-racking assembly forming the subject matter of one embodiment of the present invention, illustrating schematically a double-racking arrangement showing stands of pipe in horizontally racked position;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the pipe-racking arrangement shown in FIG. I, illustrating schematically the racking of multiple layers of pipe;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view, taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows, and having one section of pipe-supporting racks partly cut away;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary detail view, partly in elevation and partly in vertical section, showing the details of a number of pipe-racking beams supported on one of the posts of the racker apparatus;
FIG. 5 is a view in section, as taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. l, with parts broken away;
FIG. t is a schematic diagram showing a pneumatic operating and control system for the racking apparatus of FIGS. I through 5;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view generally corresponding to FIG. 3, but illustrating a modified embodiment of the inventron;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary detail view on an enlarged scale of a portion of the racking apparatus of FIG. 7, and more particularly illustrating the concurrent racking of pipe of different diameters;
FIG. 9 is a view in section, as talten on the line 2-9 of FIG.
FIG. ilill is a fragmentary detail view showing in elevation the mounting of a number of racker beams on a post along the line llllll ofFIG. 7;
FIG. llll is a fragmentary detail view on an enlarged scale, as taken on the line Ill-11 of FIG. 8;
FIG. I2 is an enlarged detail view in section, as talten on the line ll2ll2 ofFIG. Ii;
FIG. I3 is an enlarged detail view in section, as talten on the line l3-I3 of FIG. ll;
FIGS. Ma and Mb together constitute a schematic diagram of the hydraulic and pneumatic operating and control system for the racking apparatus of FIGS. 7 through I3; and
FIG. is a schematic diagram of a selector system for controlling the system of FIGS. Ma and ll4lb.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to the racking apparatus of FIGS. I through t5, FIG. I illustrates what may be termed a double section racking installation for oil well pipe or the like. The apparatus is characterized as a double section installation inasmuch as it involves face-to-face series of pipe raclcs as will be hereinafter described.
The racking apparatus includes a number of racks generally denoted at 211, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 in racking section A, and 27, 2d, 29, Bil 3ll and 32 in racking section B. The racks of each section are laterally spaced apart and are aligned so as to accommodate stands of well pipe which, in the illustrative embodiment, are designated S, each of which stands comprises a plurality of so-called joints of pipe. in the illustrative apparatus a pair of the racks are employed for supporting each of the joints of the composite stand of joints, but a lesser number of racks may be employed or, if the drilling platform is equipped for the running of stands of less than three joints, fewer racks are required.
The racks 21 through 32 are exemplified by the rack 32, the details of which will be understood upon reference to FIGS. 3
through 5. More particularly, the rack comprises a post 35 suitably supported in an upright position on a base 36. In spaced relation to the post 35 is a supporting leg 37 also supported on the base or platform 36, and extending between the post 35 and the leg 37 is what may be characterized as a transom 38 which forms the lowermost racking support for the pipe stands S. Above the transom 38 the post 35 supports a plurality of horizontally extended and elongated rack beams designated from top to bottom 39a through 39g, respectively. Each of the beams 39a-39g is welded or otherwise suitably made of a part of one of a number of collars or sleeves 40 which are vertically slidably disposed upon the post 35, the sleeves or collars 40 and the arms 39a-39g being stacked one above the other upon the post 35. In order to maintain the sleeves 40 against rotation about the post 35, a vertically disposed key 40a may be provided between each collar 40 and the post 35.
Each of the rack beams 39a 39g is illustrated as being in the form of a beam having'top and bottom flanges 41. Means are provided for interconnecting the successive vertically spaced beams 39a 39g with a lost-motion connection, such means illustratively including through bolts 42 extended between the lower flange 41 of each beam into the upper flange of the subjacent beam, these bolts slidably extending through the flanges so as to allow the beams and their supporting sleeves 40 to move toward one another, while limiting the upward movement of each beam away from the subjacent beam. Such movement of the beams away from one another allows the pipe stand S to be laterally moved between the spaced-apart rack beams 39a-39g by a suitable conveyor mechanism, as previously referred to, between racked positions and unracked positions. Thus, as seen in FIG. 4, the beams are capable of vertical movement away from the subjacent beam a sufficient distance to clear the pipe strings S, beams 39a and 39b being elevated to allow removal of the pipe stands 8 from rack beam 390.
Beneath each beam 39a-39g it is provided with pipe-engaging spacer means in the form of downwardly extended lugs 43 having beveled sidewalls 44, 44, such lugs being aligned in spaced relation along the respective beams 39a-39g and being adapted to form a generally triangular space 45 between adjacent spacer lugs whereby to accommodate pipes of a range of diameters and to maintain such pipes in laterally spaced relation with respect to the beam on which the pipe rests.
Means are provided for elevating and allowing the lowering of the beams 39a-39g and, in the illustrative embodiment, such means includes an elongated hydraulic actuator cylinder 46 connected at its lower end 47 within the lower portion 48 of the post 35. A rod 49 extends upwardly from the actuator cylinder 46 through the post 35 and, at its upper end, is provided with a head 50. A cross pin 51 extends transversely through the uppermost beam supporting collar or sleeve 40, through a vertically elongated slot 52 in the post 35, and through the head 50 so as to interconnect the head 50 with the uppermost collar or sleeve 40. Thus, when the actuator cylinder 46 is operated to effect extension of the rod 49 the supporting collar or sleeve 40 connected to the rod head 50 will be correspondingly elevated. As the upper beam 39a is elevated, the other beams 39b-39g therebelow will be successively elevated when the through bolts 42 reach the end of their free motion with respect to the subjacent beams. Thus the upper beam 39a will be elevated until the through bolts 42 commence to elevate the next subjacent beam 39b, at which time the upper two beams will move conjointly until the next beam therebelow is picked up by the through bolts 42, and so on in sequence, until all of the beams have been elevated. When the beams are being lowered, the lowermost beam 39 will bottom first and then the successive upwardly spaced beams will bottom. Thus it is apparent that with a rack assembly as thusfar described, pipe stands may be racked starting at the bottom and unracked starting at the top of the respective rack assemblies 21 through 32, each of which may be constructed as just described and each of which will incorporate one of the actuator cylinders 46.
During the racking and unracking of the pipe stands S from a group of the pipe racks 27 through 32, for example, it is desirable that a stand be located so as to facilitate its placement between or removal from a pair of the vertically spaced rack beams 39a-39g. Accordingly, each of the rack beams 39b 39g, but not the uppermost 39a of said beams, is provided at its outer or free end with a finger 53. Each finger 53 is pivotally supported on a downward end extension 54 of the rack beam by a pivot bolt 55 or the like for movement between a substantially vertical position, at which the finger is retracted, and a substantially horizontal position, at which the finger is projected. In the retracted position the fingers 53 are out of the way, but in the projected position, as seen in FIG. 4, the fingers of adjacent rack assemblies are adapted to support a stand of pipe as shown in broken lines. The fingers 53 are accordingly provided with an arched extremity providing a seat 56 for accommodating the pipe string. In order to limit the movement of the fingers toward the extended position, each finger has at its end opposite the seat 56 a stop lug 57 adapted to abut beneath a stop plate or other suitable abutment 58 provided beneath the beam 39b-39b which supports the finger 53.
Means are provided for shifting the fingers 53 between their retracted and projected positions, and such means includes, in the illustrative embodiment, actuator cylinders 59b through 59g for each finger 53 on the respective beams 39b through 39g. The actuator cylinders 59!; through 59g, as exemplified in FIGS. 4 and 5, are each pivotally connected at one end to an anchor bracket 60 provided between the edge flanges of the lbeam racks 39b39g, and projecting from each actuator cylinder 59b through 593 is an operating rod 61 which is pivotally connected as at 62 to a portion 63 of the respective fingers .53 between the seat 56 and the pivot bolt 55. When the operating rods 61 are retracted, the fingers 53 are retracted, and when the operating rods 61 are projected, the fingers 53 are projected. Means are provided whereby when the rack beams 39b-39g are elevated, the fingers 53 are automatically retracted, and when these beams are lowered into engagement with racked pipe strings the fingers are automatically projected to allow for the racking or unracking of pipe from the top of the beams 39b-39g and the transom 38. Such means for automatically effecting movement of the fingers 53 comprises, in the illustrative embodiment means for controlling the application of air under pressure to the respective actuator cylinders 59b59g, and more particularly a valve 65 is supported on a valve supporting block 66 which is in turn welded orotherwise connected to each of the support sleeves or collars 40, except the uppermost one of the latter which has no finger 53. The valve 65 includes a roller actuator 67 which normally may be in rolling contact with the post 35 and which, upon downward movement of a beam 39b to 39g to a position engaging the pipe strings therebelow, will be actuated to the right upon engagement of the roller 67 with the larger diameter of the sleeve 40, as is apparent at the lowermost illustrated valve 65 in FIG. 4.
Referring to FIG. 6, there is illustrated schematically a system incorporating the roller-operated valves 65. The system is one in which air under pressure is supplied from a tank or source T through a conduit 69 to each of the valves 65, these valves being such that when the roller 67 moves off of a sleeve 40 onto the post 35 responsive to elevation of the valve supporting sleeve 40, air passes through the valves 65 to the actuator cylinders 59b59g to hold the operator rods 61 in their retracted positions against the opposing normal bias provided by an inner spring 70 in each of the actuator cylinders 59b-59, as seen in the actuator cylinder 59!: and its valve 65 of FIG. 6. It will be apparent from the illustrated valves 65 that when any of the rollers 67 of any of the valves 65 forces the valve 65 to shift, as shown in respect of the valves for cylinders 59c59b[, its actuator cylinder will be automatically exhausted through the exhaust conduit 71. The exhaust conduit 71 and the supply conduit 69 and an alternate supply conduit 690 are under the control of a solenoid operated valve 72 so that operation of the solenoid valve 72 may be effective to supply air under pressure through the exhaust conduit 71 to all of the actuator cylinders 59 to cause retraction of all of the operator rods 61, even through all of the valves 65 may have been actuated to an exhaust position. The purpose for such simultaneous retraction of all of the rods 61 is to cause the retraction of all of the fingers 53; for example, in the racker section A, as shown in FIGS. l and 3, the fingers 53 are all retracted to allow use of the racker section B in which the fingers 53 are in the projected positions, and vice versa.
In the use of the apparatus described above, and assuming that the pipe stands in the racking section B are to be unracked and employed in a well drilling operation, the actuator cylinder 46 of each of the racks 27 through 32 will be pressurized to elevate the upper beam 39a so that the lower portions of the spacers 43 will clear the top of the pipe stands S on the subjacent rack beam 3%. Suitable conveyor means or other means may then be employed to successively move the pipe stands to the left, as seen in FIG. 3, so that each successive stand may be moved onto the fingers 53 and thereafter be removed therefrom by suitable transfer apparatus. After all of the pipe stands in the upper layer on beam 39b have been removed, the uppermost rack beam 39a will be further elevated causing its through bolts 42 to lift the next subjacent rack beam 39 from the layer of pipe stands therebelow on rack beam 39, and the operations will be repeated until the last of the layers of pipe strings has been removed. To facilitate the removal of the lowermost layer of pipe strings S, the rack substructure may be provided with a seat as at 53a adapted to receive the individual pipe strings from both the rack section A and the rack section B. It will also be appreciated that as each of the rack beams 39a39b is elevated following removal of the layer of pipe stands supported thereby, the respective valves 65 will automatically be conditioned to allow the normal retraction of the respective pipe supporting fingers 53, thereby allowing the upward removal of the pipe strings through the space between the rack sections A and B. After removal of all layers of pipe from one section A or B, the beams are lowered, solenoid valve 73 actuated to allow retraction of all fingers 53 on said one section, and then the pipe may be successively removed from the other rack section.
The modified construction of FIGS. 7 through 15 will now be described.
In this embodiment of the invention, as in the previously described embodiment, a number of racks, for example six, will be arranged in laterally spaced relation to support elongated pipe stands or joints of pipe, but only a typical rack is herein shown in detail.
Thus, referring to FIG. 7 there is illustrated a post 1135, the post I35 extending upwardly from suitable base structure (not shown) and being provided with a horizontally extended transom I36. Above the transom 1133 the rack includes, as in the previously described embodiment, a suitable number of horizontally extended rack beams H3911 through 139g which are suitably and rigidly connected with sleeves 1140 which are slidably supported upon the post I135.
Referring to FIG. 9, it will be noted that the post 135 in this embodiment is in the nature of an l-beam providing a generally rectangular post configuration and that the sleeve M is correspondingly constructed in generally rectangular form. More specifically, the sleeve Mt) comprises opposing sidewalls Miler interconnected by end walls ll llllb which are welded or otherwise suitably joined with the sidewalls Mtla. Roller means are provided for minimizing the friction between the sleeves M0 and the post 135, and, accordingly, opposing rollers Mile are provided between the sidewalls 1140a of the sleeve M0 for rolling engagement with the opposing sides Mtld of the I-bearn post 1135. As best seen in FIG. 111, the rollers M60 are mounted on shafts l ttle which extend through eccentric bushings Mtlf revolvable in openings ltltlg in the sleeve sidewalls 146a so as to adjust the relationship between the rollers 1146c and the post 135 The shaft may be secured in the sidewalls Mtla and held in adjusted positions by means of retainer members Mob which are secured to the sidewalls M60 by fasteners Mtlj and have tongues Milk extending into overlying relationship to the ends of the shaft Mile and surfaces Mtlm which engage flats on the hexagonal outer end of the bushings 1146f.
These rollers 1146c are so located as to support the respective rack beams l39a-ll39g in the desired horizontal disposition. Therefore, one of the rollers lllltlc is located at the opposite side of the post 1135 from the respective beams and at a location elevated with respect to the other roller Mile. The sidewalls Mtla of the sleeves M0 are cut away at angles so as to closely nest one on the other, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 6.
Internally of the sleeve 140 it may be provided with opposing guide brackets 140p supported on the respective sidewalls M ila by fasteners ll lltlq in opposing relation to one of the rollers 1140c.
While in the first described embodiment the rack beams 39a39 are successively elevated by a single actuator 46, the beams 13911-13393 of the present embodiments are individually elevated by separate hydraulic actuators, respectively designated from top to bottom 1 through ll tl6g. The actuators ll4l6a-l4l6 g are vertically disposed within the spaces defined by the I-beam post 135 and may be alternately located at opposite sides of the I-beam post 1135. For example, in the illustrative embodiment the upper actuator cylinder M60 is located on one side of the l-beam post: 135; the next lower actuators 1146b and M6c are on the other side of the l-beam post 135; the next lower actuators M611 and M6e are on said one side of said I-beam post 1135; and the lowermost actuators I46] and 1463 are located on said other side of the I-beam post 1135, but various other arrangements of the actuators M6 may be employed. Each of the actuators 1146a through lld6g is interconnected with the I-beam post 1135 by a suitable bracket or ear 146k, and each such actuator includes an operating rod, respectively designated 169a through 1493, connected to its collar or sleeve M0 by a bracket or ear 14%. Thus it will be apparent that each of the rack arms or beams l39a-1l39g is adapted to be individually elevated by the respective actuator cylinders 146a through 146g during the racking and unracking of pipe stands.
As in the case of the previously described embodiment, the rack arms l39al39g are also provided with spacers 1413 de pending from each of the arms or beams and providing opposing arched surfaces Md adapted to position and maintain the pipe stands in the desired locations on the transom I38 and on the respective rack arms or beams 1l39b-l3l9g. In this embodiment, however, the spacers M3 are provided with end portions 1163a adapted for abutting engagement with the transom 138, on the one hand, or the subjacent rack beam, on the other hand, so that the weight of the entire rack of pipe is not supported by the pipe itself, but instead is progressively supported through the spacers M3 and the rack beams, the full load ultimately being supported by the transom 1138.
In addition, the present embodiment provides means in combination with the spacers M3 whereby the apparatus is adapted to the racking of pipe of different diameters, such as comparatively large drill collars, on the one hand, and smaller diameter drill pipe on the other hand. Referring to FIGS. 8, I2 and 113, it will be seen that the spacers I43 are each provided with an auxiliary spacer dog M3b pivotally connected to the spacer ll4l3 as by means of a pivot bolt 1413c. Each of the dogs M3b is normally biased by a tension spring ll4l3d to a horizontally extended position at which the end surface 143a of the dog 1 63b is opposed to the spacer surface 144 of the next adjacent spacer M3 and defines a space smaller than the space defined between the opposing spacer surfaces Md. The difference is clearly illustrated in FIG. 8, wherein two pipe sections are illustrated of small diameter, with the spacer dogs 1143b in their normal spring-biased position against a stop I43) which limits movement of the dogs. I4l3b under the influence of the spring M3d to the illustrated position. In FIG. 8 another section of pipe is illustrated of larger diameter which engages the spacer dog M3b and causes the same to pivot upwardly out of the way so that the larger diameter section of pipe is located between the opposing spacer surfaces I44.
Also, as in the case of the previously described embodiment, the rack apparatus of FIGS. 7 through includes pivotally supported fingers 153 at the outer end of each of the rack beams 139b-l39g, with the exception of the uppermost beam 139a. Each finger 153 is pivotally supported on a downward end extension 154 of its rack beam by a pivot bolt 155 or the like for movement between a substantially vertical position, at which the finger is retracted, and a substantially horizontal position, at which the finger is projected. In the retracted position the fingers 153 are out of the way, but in the projected position, as seen in FIG. 8 to best advantage, the fingers of adjacent rack assemblies are adapted to support a stand of pipe, the smaller diameter being illustrated in full lines and the larger diameter pipe being illustrated in broken lines. The fingers 153 are provided with an arched extremity providing a seat 156 for accommodating the pipe string. In order to limit movement of the fingers toward the extended position, each finger has at its end opposite the seat 156 a stop lug 157 adapted to abut beneath a stop plate or other suitable abutment 158 provided beneath the respective beams.
Actuator cylinders 15% through 1593 are provided for shifting the fingers 153 on the respective rack beams 13% through 139g between their retracted and projected positions. In each instance, the actuator cylinder 159b-l59g is pivotally connected at one end to an anchor bracket 160 provided between the webs of the I-beam type rack arm 139; and projecting from each actuator cylinder 159b-159g is an operating rod 161 which is pivotally connected as at 162 to a portion 163 of the respective fingers 153 between the seat 156 and the pivot bolt 155. When the operating rods 161 are retracted, the fingers 153 are retracted, and when the operating rods 161 are projected, the fingers 153 are projected.
While in the previously described embodiment roller actuated valve means 65 were illustrated for causing the automatic retraction of the fingers 53 upon elevation of the rack arms 39b-39 and for effecting automatic projection of the fingers 53 when the beams are lowered, the present embodiment contemplates a control system as illustrated in FIGS. 14a, 14b and 15, whereby the positioning of the respective rack arms 139a-l39g of each rack assembly, as well as the positioning of each of the fingers 153, is under the control of an operator. Under these circumstances, in the use of the rack apparatus the operator may observe the racking and unracking operations as to progress and inspect the desired elevation and lowering of the respective rack arms; and when the rack arms are elevated, as in the case of the upper three racking arms of FIG. 7 for example, the fingers 153 of the elevated arms 13% and 1390 are retracted, while the fingers 153 of the pipe supporting or positioning arms 139dl39g aare projected. However, as will presently appear, all of the fingers 153 may be simultaneously retracted when desired.
More particularly, it will be understood that the racks of the present embodiment will be employed in horizontally spaced groups, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Thus the system now to be described involves the operation of six rack assemblies as would be the case of two rack assemblies are employed beneath each pipe section in a stand of pipe composed of three sections, as previously described. For purposes of illustration, therefore, the six banks of actuator cylinders illustrated in FIGS. 14a and 14b represent cylinders of the six racks 27 through 32 of the rack section B of FIG. 1, and are so generally designated. Inasmuch as each rack assembly as illustrated in FIG. 7 is provided with seven rack arms or beams 139a-l39g actuated vertically by the actuator cyli ders 1460 through 146 each bank of actuators as illustrated in FIGS. 14a and 14b includes a series of seven vertically spaced actuator cylinders correspondingly designated 146a through 146g. Inasmuch as six of the rack arms or beams 139b-139g have fingers 153 thereon, the uppermost of the beams 139a having no such finger, a cylinder 159 is illustrated in conjunction with each of the six actuator cylinders 146k through 146g of each bank of actuators 27 through 32.
In order to control the flow of hydraulic fluid from a suitable source illustrated in FIG. 14a to all of the lift cylinders 146a at each of the banks 27 through 32, a solenoid operated valve 300 is provided interposed between a supply conduit 301 and a hydraulic circuit 302 leading from the valve 300 to all of the actuator cylinders 146a. The solenoid valve 300 normally communicates the actuator cylinders I46ato exhaust, but when the valve 300 is actuated all of the cylinders 146a will be pressurized to simultaneously effect elevation of all of the uppermost rack arms or beams 139a. Thus, if well pipe is being unracked from the rack section B, the solenoid valve 300 will be actuated to lift the uppermost rack arm 139a so as to free from the spacers 143 the pipe stands resting on the rack arm 13%. The finger actuator cylinders 159 are springloaded to a projected position, as shown in FIGS. 14a and 14b, so that the finger 153 at the outer extremity of the rack arm 13% will automatically assume a projected position. Thereupon the stands of pipe upon the rack arm 13% may be removed in sequence by suitable conveyor means, or manually if desired.
Thereafter, it is desired that pipe resting upon a rack arm 1390 and retained in place by the spacers 143 beneath the rack arm 13% be racked, also requiring that the finger 153 on rack arm 13% be moved to the retracted position. These two functions are accomplished by the operation of a first solenoid valve 303 which controls the flow of hydraulic fluid from the source conduit 301 through a hydraulic circuit 304 to all of the lift cylinders 146b, whereby all of the rack arms 139b, will be elevated. The second function is accomplished by actuation of a solenoid valve 305 which is adapted to connect an air inlet conduit 306 leading from an air source to a conduit 306a, as shown in FIG. 144, leading to all of the finger actuator cylinders 159 on all of the rack arms 13%.
Operations continue as just described in sequence by operating the hydraulic system solenoid valve 307 and the air solenoid valve 308 which are adapted to effect elevation of all of the actuator cylinders 146c and retraction of the fingers 153 on said rack arms 139C; operation of hydraulic solenoid valve 309 and air solenoid valve 310 which are adapted to effect elevation of all of the actuator cylinders 146d and retraction of the fingers 153 on said rack arms 139d; operation of hydraulic solenoid valve 311 and air solenoid valve 312 which are adapted to effect elevation of all of the actuator cylinders 146a and retraction of the fingers 153 on said rack arms 139:; operation of hydraulic solenoid valve 313 and air solenoid valve 314 which are adapted to effect elevation of all of the actuator cylinders 146f and retraction of the fingers 153 on said rack arms l39f; and operation of hydraulic solenoid valve 315 and air solenoid valve 316 which are adapted to effect elevation of all of the actuator cylinders 146g and retraction of the fingers 153 on said rack arms 139g. Following this operation, all of the rack arms 1390 through 139g will be elevated and the pipe resting on the transom 138 may be removed by moving the same successively into the seat 153a provided at the juncture of the right-hand rack section generally denoted B with the left-hand rack section generally denoted A.
It will be understood that following removal of all of the pipe stands from the rack section B the solenoid valves may be reversed to allow all of the rack arms 139a through 1393 to gravitate to their rest positions, and thereafter pipe stands racked in the left-hand rack section A may be unracked. However, in order to allow the fingers of the left-hand rack section A which correspond to the fingers 153 of the right-hand rack section B to be lowered to operative positions, it is desirable or necessary that the latter fingers 153 all be retracted. Accordingly, a further air-controlling solenoid valve 317 is provided which is adapted to connect the source of air with a supply conduit 318 which leads to the exhaust side of all of the finger actuator cylinders 159 on all of the rack arms 13% to 139g at all of the rack assemblies 27 through 32, thereby simultaneously effecting retraction of all of the fingers 153.
The hydraulic and pneumatic solenoid valve control system may be as illustrated in FIG. 15. In this figure a source of electrical energy is designated at 319. In circuit with the source is a switch Emile which is adapted, when closed, to effect energization of solenoid valve 3%. In series with the switch 300a is a second switch arts which is adapted to effect energization of the solenoids of the solenoid valves 303 and M5; in series with the switch 3030 is a further switch 3070 which is adapted to effect energization of the solenoids of the solenoid valves 307 and 3%; in series with the switch 307a is a further switch 309a which is adapted to effect energization of the solenoids of the solenoid valves 309 and 310; in series with the switch 309a is a further switch 3lllla which is adapted to effect energization of the solenoids of the solenoid valves 3M and 312; in series with the switch 3lllla is a further switch lilllla which is adapted to effect energization of the solenoids of the solenoid valves 313 and 3M; in series with the switch 3113a is a further switch 3115a which is adapted to effect energization of the solenoids of the solenoid valves 315 and 3116; finally, the electrical system includes a switch 317a which is adapted, when closed, to effect energization of the air solenoid valve 317.
The switches 300a, 303a, Elma, 309a, 3l1lla, 313a, and 3115a must be closed in sequence allowing only the next lower rack beam to be raised.
When leftand right-hand rack sections A and B are employed it will be understood, without need of further description herein, that hydraulic and pneumatic systems under the control of an electrical system as shown in FIGS. Ma, Mb and l5 may be availed of to effect the operation of the rack section A.
The mode of operation of the present apparatus and the method of racking pipe stands thereon will now be understood without need for further description.
ll. Rack apparatus for the horizontal racking of well pipe and the like comprising: a plurality of horizontally spaced locations, each of said rack means including a post, a plurality of horizontally extending and vertically arranged beams mounted and vertically movable on each of said posts, means connected with said beams and said post for successively moving said beams vertically on said post to allow the unraclting and racking of pipe supported below each of said beams, and support means including certain of said beams extending horizontally from said post for supporting pipe beneath each of said beams.
2. lRaclt apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said beams includes spacer means therebeneath engageable with pipe supported therebelow by said support means for holding said pipe in fixed position.
3. Rack apparatus as defined in claim ll, including spacer means beneath said beams selectively engageable with pipe of different sizes supported therebelow by said support means.
i. Rack apparatus as defined claim 1, wherein each of said beams includes spacer means therebeneath engageable with pipe supported therebelow by said support means for holding said pipe in a fixed position, said spacer means extending downwardly for supporting engagement with said support means upon downward movement of an upper beam towards said support means.
5. Rack apparatus as defined in claim ll, wherein each of said beams includes spacer means therebeneath engageable with pipe on supported by said support means for holding said pipe in a fixed position, said spacer means including spacer elements having opposing portions defining a space for the reception of a pipe, one of said spacer elements having an arm pivotally connected thereto and including spring means nor mally biasing said arm into said space for engagement with a pipe in said space of smaller size than the space between said elements.
6. Rack apparatus as defined in claim ll, wherein certain of said beams include a finger at the end of said beam remote from said post, and means mounting said finger for movement between a pipe-supporting position projecting outwardly with respect to said beam and a retracted position.
7. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein certain of said beams include a finger at the end of said beam remote from said post, means mounting said finger for movement between a pipe-supporting position projecting outwardly with respect to said beam and a retracted position, and said fingers providing a seat for said pipe in said pipe-supporting position.
b. Rack apparatus as defined in claim. ll, wherein said means for moving said beams vertically includes actuator means for successively moving said beams upwardly and successively lowering said beams.
9. Rack apparatus as defined in claim. ll, wherein said means for moving said beams vertically includes and actuator cylinder connected to the uppermost beam for moving the same upwardly, and lost-motion connector means for successively raising the subjacent beams responsive to upward movement of said uppermost beam.
ill). Rack apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for moving said beams vertically includes actuator cylinders respectively engaged with said beams for moving the same upwardly and allowing downward movement thereof, and control means for selectively supplying fluid under pressure to said actuator cylinders.
llll. Rack apparatus as defined in claim ll, wherein said means for moving said beams vertically includes fluid pressure operated actuator means for successively moving said beams upwardly and successively lowering said beams.
l2. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein certain of said beams include a finger at the end of said beam remote from said post, means mounting said fingers for movement between a pipe-supporting position projecting outwardly with respect to said beam and a retracted position, said fingers providing a seat for said pipe in said pipe-supporting position, finger actuator means for moving said fingers between said positions, said means for moving said beams vertically including beam actuator means for successively moving said beams upwardly and successively lowering said beams, and including control means for causing said fingers actuator means to move said fingers successively to said projected positions upon lowering of said beams and successively to said retracted positions upon elevation of said beams.
l3. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 12, wherein said finger actuator means comprises a fluid pressure actuator cylinder for each finger and said control means includes valve means for controlling the application of fluid pressure to each cylinder, said valve means being operable responsive to the raising and lowering of said beams.
llll. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 12, wherein said finger actuator means comprises a fluid pressure actuated cylinder for each finger and said control means includes valve means for controlling the application of fluid pressure to each cylinder, said valve means being operable responsive to the raising and lowering of said beams, and additional valve means for simultaneously allowing the application of pressure to all of said cylinders simultaneously to move all of said fingers to said retracted position.
1155. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 112, wherein said finger actuator means comprises a fluid pressure actuated cylinder for each finger, said beam actuator means including a fluid pressure actuated cylinder for each beam, and said control means includes selectively operable valve means for controlling the flow of pressure fluid to each of said cylinders of said finger actuator means and to each of said cylinders of said beam actuator means.
16. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 112, wherein said finger actuator means comprises a fluid pressure actuated cylinder for each finger, said beam actuator means including a fluid pressure actuated cylinder for each beam, and said control means includes selectively operable valve means for controlling the flow of pressure fluid to each of said cylinders of said finger actuator means and to each of said cylinders of said beam actuator means, and additional valve means for simultaneously allowing the application of pressure to all of said cylinders of said finger actuator means for simultaneously moving said fingers to said retracted position.
17. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 1, including sleeve means supporting each of said beams on its post for said vertical movement.
18. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 1, including sleeve means supporting each of said beams on its post for said vertical movement, and roller means mounted with said sleeve means and interposed between said post and said sleeve means thereon.
19. Rack apparatus as defined in claim 1, including sleeve means supporting each of said beams on its post for said vertical movement, roller means mounted with said sleeve means and interposed between said post and said sleeve means thereon, and means included in said roller means for adjusting said roller means with respect to said post.
20. Rack apparatus for the horizontal racking of pipe and the like comprising in combination:
a. A plurality of horizontally spaced racks, each of which has i. a vertical post,
ii. a plurality of horizontally extending and vertically arranged supporting arms mounted on said post for vertical movement thereon,
iii. a finger on the outer end of each of said pipe-supporting arms, said finger being mounted for movement between a generally horizontal and a generally vertical position,
iv. actuator means carried by each of said arms and operatively connected to move said fingers between the horizontal and vertical position;
b. elevator means connected with said arms and said post for raising said arms with respect to said post; and
c. control means cooperating with said actuator means and said elevator means for operating said actuator means to control the positioning of said fingers and for selectively raising said arms, said last-mentioned means being operable to control the corresponding arm and each of said posts simultaneously and to control the movement of said fingers on each corresponding arm simultaneously.
21. Rack apparatus for the horizontal racking of pipe and the like comprising in combination:
a. a plurality of longitudinally aligned vertical racks, each of which has i. a vertical post,
ii. a plurality of laterally extending and vertically arranged supporting arms mounted on said post for vertical movement thereon,
iii. a finger on the outer end of each of said pipe-supporting arms, said finger being mounted for pivotal movement between a generally horizontal and a generally vertical position.
iv. actuator means comprising an hydraulic finger actuating cylinder carried by each of said arms and operatively connected to move said fingers between the horizontal and vertical position;
b. a transom carried by said post and positioned beneath said arms;
c. arm actuator cylinder means in connection with said post for raising said arms;
d. control means operatively related to said finger actuating cylinders to control the positioning of said fingers and for actuating said arm actuator cylinder means for selectively raising said arms, said last-mentioned means being operable to control the corresponding arm on each of said posts simultaneously and to control the movement of said fingers on each corresponding arm simultaneously; and
e. operating means operatively related to said arm actuator cylinder to successively raise and lower said arms.
P040510 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3612286 Dated October 12, 1971 Inventofls) FAUSTYN C. LANGOWSKI AND JAMES BERNARD WALLING It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
501. 1, line 12, "3,215,776" should be "3,254,776"; line 31, "form" should be -from--. col. L, line 21, 33913-391 should be --39b-39g-5 l ne 67', 59b-59 should be --59b-59g--5 l ne 71, 59c-59b should be -59c-59g-. Col. 5, line 31, 39a-39b should be --39a-39g;
line 38, 73 should be -'?'2--. Col. 6, line 17, 39a39 should be -39a-39g-. Col. 7, line 36, 3913-39" should be --39b-39g--;
line 56, "of" should be if-. Col. 9, line 34 (Claim 1), after spaced insert "rack means for supporting said pipe at horizontally spaced--;
line 47 Claim 2 after "in" insert -a-; line 51 Claim I after "defined" insert -in--. Col. 10, line 10 Claim 9 "and" should be -an-;
line 36 Claim 12), "fingers" should be --finger-. Col. 12, line 2 (Claim 20), "and should be --O11.
Signed and sealed this 27th day of March 1973.
EDWARD M.FLET( IHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents