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Publication numberUS3621961 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 23, 1971
Filing dateOct 17, 1969
Priority dateMar 27, 1969
Also published asDE6912437U
Publication numberUS 3621961 A, US 3621961A, US-A-3621961, US3621961 A, US3621961A
InventorsStumpf Karl
Original AssigneeStumpf Karl
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Universal roller assembly
US 3621961 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

nlted States Patent 11113,621,961

[ 72] Inventor Karl Stumpf [56] References Cited Grethe Stl. l, 4 Dusseldorf, Germany I D STATES PATENTS [21] Appl. No. 867,154 [22] Filed oct- 17 1969 3,363,735 1/1968 Hotchkiss l93/37 [451 Patented Nov. 23, 1971 FOREIGN PATENTS [32] Priority Mar. 27,1969 502,510 7/l930 Germany l93/37 8? 3 2 4 Primary Examiner-Andres H. Nielsen A!t0rney-Roylance, Abrams. Kruger, Berdo & Kaul [54] i g ASSEMBLY ABSTRACT: A universal roller assembly for use in a universal raw g roller conveyor wherein the center disk is corrugated to pro- [52] US. Cl 193/37, vide alternating pockets on pp sides there-0R Rollers are [93/36 rotatably mounted to rib means extending along the sides of [5]] Int. Cl 365g 13/00 the Pockets and the configuration of each Pocket corresponds [50] Field of Search 193/37 35, to the nfig r i n of h r r 10 fi lh i n- 36; 29/121 R, l2l A PATENTEBuuv 23 IQTI INVENTOR KARL STUMPF BY M 2764 ATTORNEYS.

UNIVERSAL ROLLER ASSEMBLY This invention relates to a universal for use in a universal roller conveyor.

Universal roller conveyors are utilized so that items of piece goods which are being transferred therealong can be deflected from their original direction of travel and can be moved in a new direction of travel. Such conveyors thus provide for universal movement in the sense that the conveyed item or items can move translationally of the upper conveyor surface in any direction.

In accordance with known prior art proposals, two general types of assemblies are utilized in such universal roller conveyors. One type uses coaxial pairs of roller bodies rotatable perpendicularly to the original direction of advance of piece goods along the conveyor. The roller bodies carry along their peripheries, small rotatable rollers which are staggered in position and which are rotatable in the original direction of advance. This type of arrangement is not entirely satisfactory since it consists of so many individual parts that the cost of the conveyor becomes quite expensive. The other known type of prior art arrangement uses a disk-type middle rib and side ribs along opposite surfaces thereof, the side ribs supporting individual small rollers. The disadvantage and drawback associated with this latter type of arrangement is that there are large gaps or spaces between adjacent rollers, because of the mounting arrangement of the rollers relative to the disk. These gaps or spaces can easily catch or trap a projecting portion on the items being conveyed and can impede the travel of such items. Often if only one or two such items are caught, they can block the flow of all items traversing along the conveyor.

Therefore, with the foregoing in mind, it is an object of the present invention to overcome the deficiencies and drawbacks associated with the prior art and to provide instead, a new and improved universal roller assembly.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a universal roller assembly for use in a universal roller conveyor, such assembly having the airgaps and spaces reduced to a minimum so that items being transferred along the conveyor will not become caught in the gaps.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a universal roller assembly which is compact in configuration and which is capable of extended periods of maintenance-free operation in a conveyor system.

Other objects, advantages and salient features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawing, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.

Referring now to the drawings which form a part of this original disclosure:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a universal roller assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view ofthe assembly of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 1.

Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, there is illustrated a universal roller assembly generally designated 10, which, as shown in FIG. I is of a circular cross-sectional configuration. The assembly includes an axially elongated central tubular sheath 12 through which a shaft on a fixed pin can extend. The sheath 12 thus provides a bearing mount which enables the assembly to be mounted in a manner which enables it to rotate about the axis extending through the sheath, and when the assembly rotates in this manner, it acts as a conventional cylindrical roller.

A circular center disk 14 is attached to the sheath l2 intermediate its ends. The disk 14 is of a corrugated configuration in that it is provided with an alternating series of peaks and valleys. The peaks on the upper surface of the disk 14 form the valleys on the lower surface thereof, and vice versa. The number of valleys along each surface of the disk 14 corresponds to the number of rollers to be carried since each valley or depression 16 serves as a pocket within which a roller roller assembly adapted can be rotatably mounted. On each adjacent set of peaks, which set off between them a valley 16, means are provided for rotatably mounting the roller which is to be disposed in the valley. Such means includes a generally Y-shaped rib generally designated 18 which is formed of a center leg 20 extending radially outwardly from the sheath 12 and a pair of spread legs 22, 22, each of which is provided with a central bore or aperture 24.

The angle at which the legs 22, 22 are spread apart corresponds to the angle at which the adjacent ribs 18 are themselves spread apart. As such, one leg 22 from one rib means 18 is parallel to one leg 22 from the next adjacent rib means 18, and a linear shaft or pivot pin 26 can extend perpendicularly between these adjacent parallel legs 22, with the ends of the pivot pin 26 being mounted in the apertures 24. Each pivot pin 26 thus spans across a valley or pocket I6, and all pivot pins on the same side of the middle disk 14 are in a common plane, which plane extends perpendicularly to the central axis of the assembly 10, which is the axis running centrally through the sheath 12. Thus, if the disk 14 is considered as having an upper surface and a lower surface, all pivot pins 26 above the upper surface are in a common plane, all pivot pins 26 beneath the lower surface are in a common plane, and the two planes are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the cen tral axis of the assembly.

A roller 28 is mounted on each pivot pin 26, such roller being generally barrel-shaped in configuration. To be more specific, the roller 28 has a body formed as a prolate spheroid, with the ends thereof being truncated to provide parallel flat surfaces. The roller 28 has a central bore extending therethrough for receiving a pivot pin 26 which mounts the roller in a pocket 16. The degree of curvature of the roller body is such as to correspond with an arc of the middle disk 14 so that when a roller is properly mounted upon its pivot pin 26, the outer surface of such roller coincides with a portion of the outer surface of the disk 14, thereby providing the cylindrical configuration to the assembly 10. The relationship between each roller 28, its pivot pin 26 and the two mounting legs 22 for the pivot pin is such as to enable the roller to rotate, with such rotation being directional axially of the central axis of the assembly 10. That is, the pivot pin 26 can be fixed in position and the roller 28 can rotate thereon, or the pivot pin 26 can rotate and the roller 28 can be fixed thereon, or both the pivot pin 26 and the roller 28 can rotate.

To describe more specifically the arrangement illustrated in the drawings hereof, it will be seen that six rollers 28 are provided in the assembly 10 and as a result, six pockets or depressions 16 must be provided in the center disk 14 to accommodate these rollers. Each pocket 16 has an arcuate configuration which corresponds as closely as possible to the exterior configuration of the roller 28 to be accommodated therein, so that the roller can nest closely to the disk 14 thereby leaving minimal airgaps or spaces in the assembly. Three of the pockets 16 are provided on one side of the disk 14 an the other three pockets 16 are provided on the other side thereof, in offset relationship. The peaks between the adjacent valleys are equally spaced circumferentially of the disk, since, as aforesaid, the underside of each peak forms a valley. Thus, on what is shown in the drawings as the upper surface of the disk 14, the three rib means 18, which are mounted on the peaks, are spaced apart and the legs 22, 22 at the end of each center leg 20 are likewise spaced 120 apart. On the lower surface of the disk 14, the rib means 18 and the legs 22, 22 are likewise spaced 120 apart, but the lower set of ribs 18 are offset 60 from the upper set of ribs. Thus, a rib means 18 is provided centrally beneath each upper pocket 16 and above each lower pocket 16. The length of each roller is such that the ends thereof fit closely adjacent the legs 22 into which its supporting pivot pin is mounted, thereby further reducing any airgaps or spaces.

The universal roller assembly 10 of the present invention can be mounted individually on a shaft which extends through the sheath 12, or it can be utilized in conjunction with a number of other similar assemblies 10. In either event, the shaft on which the assembly is mounted extends axially of the central axis of the assembly so the entire assembly is rotatable as a cylindrical roller, about such central axis. Likewise. the individual rollers 28 are rotatable in a direction axial of the central axis. Therefore, when an item of piece goods is fed along the conveyor in which the assembly is mounted, the item is movable both axially of the central axis and transversely of such central axis, which means that the item can be universally moved, in a translational manner, along the conveyor. The fact that the airspaces between the rollers 28 and the disk 14 have been kept to a minimum assures that no projection from an item will become lodged in the assembly 10, thus blocking movement along the conveyor. Likewise, because the height of each assembly 10 can be reduced, because the corrugated nature of the disk enables the rollers to be more compactly mounted, the adjacent assemblies can be placed closer to each other, thereby reducing spaces and gaps between assemblies, which could otherwise catch a projection on the item being conveyed.

After reading the foregoing detailed description, it will be apparent that the objects set forth at the outset hereof have been successfully achieved by the present invention. Accordingly, what is claimed is:

l. A universal roller assembly adapted for use in a universal roller conveyor, said assembly comprising:

a corrugated center disk member having opposed first and second surfaces and having an alternating series of pockets formed along each such surface, with the pockets along the first surface being offset from the pockets along the second surface;

rib means upstanding from each surface ofthe disk between each adjacent pair of pockets;

arcuately curved rollers rotatably disposed in each of said pockets; and

mounting means connecting said rollers with said rib means;

said rollers and said disk member being configured to provide said assembly with a substantially cylindrical configuration;

said pockets having an arcuate configuration corresponding substantially to the arcuate curvature of said rollers.

2. An assembly as defined in claim 1 further including a tubular sheath extending centrally through said center disk member to provide a means for mounting said assembly in said conveyor.

3. An assembly as defined in claim 2 wherein each rib means includes a center leg extending radially outwardly from said sheath and terminating in a pair of spread end legs, said center leg and said spread end legs being of a generally Y- shaped configuration, with an end leg from one rib means and an adjacent end leg from an adjacent rib means being parallel and defining at least a portion of said means for a roller which fits therebetween.

4. An assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein said mounting means further includes a pin extending between said adjacent parallel legs, with a roller mounted upon said pin.

5. An assembly as defined in claim 4 wherein all pins on said first surface side of said disk are coplanar and all pins on said second surface side of said disk are coplanar, said planes being parallel to one another and perpendicular to the axis of said sheath.

6. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said rollers have a prolate spheroid configuration with the ends thereof being truncated to form flat parallel end surfaces.

t I! i l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3363735 *Mar 16, 1966Jan 16, 1968Lockheed Aircraft CorpRoller
*DE502510A Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3874491 *Jan 18, 1972Apr 1, 1975France EtatOmnidirectional roller assembly
US3878927 *Jan 5, 1973Apr 22, 1975Murakami MashiroRoller device
US3976177 *Feb 25, 1975Aug 24, 1976Rexnord Inc.Two-lobed conveyor balls
US4279559 *Feb 16, 1979Jul 21, 1981Karl StumpfSupport installation for large cylindrical load units, particularly large tubes
US4981203 *Feb 3, 1989Jan 1, 1991Kornylak CorporationMulti directional conveyor wheel
US5064045 *Jan 15, 1991Nov 12, 1991Fmc CorporationMaterial handling conveyor
US5404984 *Jul 15, 1994Apr 11, 1995Hagman; Erland L.Multi-directional roller
US6981580Jun 8, 2004Jan 3, 2006Robert Bosch GmbhApparatus for rotating an article
US7566102 *Sep 29, 2006Jul 28, 2009Innowheel Pty Ltd.Multiple roller wheel
US7980335 *Jul 19, 2011Foster-Miller, Inc.Omni-directional wheel
US8556279Dec 8, 2008Oct 15, 2013Peter Rodney McKinnonHandtruck
US9248698Oct 25, 2010Feb 2, 2016Rotacaster Wheel Ltd.Wheel frame
US20050011727 *Jun 8, 2004Jan 20, 2005Peter MeyerApparatus for rotating an article
US20070096541 *Sep 29, 2006May 3, 2007Graham GuileMultiple roller wheel
US20100140888 *Dec 8, 2008Jun 10, 2010Mckinnon Peter RodneyHandtruck
US20100187779 *Jan 26, 2009Jul 29, 2010Potter Steven DOmni-directional wheel
U.S. Classification193/37, 193/36
International ClassificationB65G13/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65G13/10, B65G2207/34
European ClassificationB65G13/10