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Publication numberUS3628462 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 21, 1971
Filing dateJul 16, 1969
Priority dateJul 16, 1969
Publication numberUS 3628462 A, US 3628462A, US-A-3628462, US3628462 A, US3628462A
InventorsHolt William J
Original AssigneeIrving Trust Co And Union Bank, Republic National Bank Of Dall
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle switching apparatus
US 3628462 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor William .1. Holt Garland, Tex. [21] Appl. No. 842,138

[22] Filed July 16, 1969 [45] Patented Dec. 21, 1971 [731 Assignees Republic National Bank of Dallas;

Irving Trust Company; Union Bank [54] VEHICLE SWITCHING APPARATUS 4 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs.

[52] 11.S.Cl 104/105, 104/130, 105/154,104/88 [51] 1nt.C1 "genes/26, B61b 3/02 [50] FieldoiSearch 104/130, 105;105/154 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,098,454 7/1963 Maestrelli 104/130 3,225,704 12/1965 Gilvar 104/130 3,363,584 1/1968 Brush 104/88 3,451,351 6/1969 Hawes.... 104/130 FOREIGN PATENTS 472,199 11/1914 France ..l .1 104/105 Primary Examiner-Arthur L. La Point Assistant Examiner-D. W. Keen Attorney-Olson, Trexler, Wolters & Bushnell ABSTRACT: Mechanical route switching means comprise selectively operable trolley members carried by a suspended vehicle and uninterrupted guides supported by a monorail track to be engaged by the trolley members for selecting a designated route from alternate available routes along the track.

PATENTEI] 05221 197:

SHEET 1 BF 6 FIG.

PRIOR ART PRIOR ART INVENTOR WILLIAM J. HOLT AT TORNEYS PATENTEB nice] an 1628;462

SHEET 2 0F 6 4o 3 "zm I Hi FIG. 4

INVENTOR WILLIAM J. HOLT ATTORNE Y5 wwww PATENTED D8321 19m BQSZBABZ SHEET 3 [1F 6 9 INVENTOR WILLIAM J. HOLT AT TORNE YS SHEET l UF 6 INVENTOR WILLIAM J. HOLT A T TORNE Y5 PATEN'IEU 110221 |97| 3,628,462

SHEET 6 BF 6 IN VEN TOR WILLIAM J. HOLT A T TORNE Y5 VEHICLE SWITCHING APPARATUS This invention relates generally to the transportation arts and more particularly to mechanical switching arrangements for directing a conveyed vehicle to a selected one of a plurality of alternate routes.

In the past, various means have been provided for switching a vehicle being conveyed along a supporting path from one to another alternate route. However, these prior art switching arrangements have failed to establish stability in the vehicle due to type of interaction between the vehicle borne trolleys or guides and the supporting path or track, the guides tending to transfer spontaneously from one route setting to another.

Accordingly, an important object of the present invention is to provide new and improved vehicle switching means for positively selecting one of a plurality of alternate routes.

Another object of the invention is to provide a vehicle switching arrangement which is adaptable for use with either an Ibeam or a box girder monorail track.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a mechanical switching arrangement which can be electrically controlled.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present inven tion will become apparent from the following descriptions given in conjunction with the appended drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conveyed vehicle situated adjacent a track junction, illustrating portions of a prior art switching apparatus;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the prior art switching apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the switching apparatus of the subject invention;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged end elevational view of the switching apparatus of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the switching apparatus of the invention, shown in connection with a vehicle track junction;

FIG. 6 is a schematic plan view of the switching apparatus of the invention, shown with the vehicle entering a junction;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to the showing of FIG. 6 but illustrating the apparatus with the vehicle exiting from the selected route;

FIG. 8 is another view similar to the showing of FIG. 6 but illustrating the apparatus with the vehicle exiting from the alternate route;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary end elevational view of a modified embodiment of the switching apparatus of the invention specially adapted for use with a box girder track;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another modified embodi ment of the switching apparatus of the invention, shown in connection with a track junction; and

FIG. 11 is an enlarged end elevational view of the switching apparatus of FIG. 10.

Turning to a detailed consideration of the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a prior art route switching arrangement in which a conveyed vehicle A comprises a passenger carrying cab 1 that is suspended by support arms 2 from a supporting path or track B. Support arms 2 extend upwardly from cab 1 on opposite sides of the supporting path B and have path rollers 3 rotatably mounted at the upper ends thereof, rollers 3 being disposed in wardly of the arms 2 so as to roll on the bottom web of the supporting path or track.

The vehicle A is propelled by a drive arrangement including a linkage 4 which may take the form of a drive chain or belt and which is powered by electric motors 5 mounted on the roof of cab I. The power necessary to drive the motors 5 is furnished by energized power rails 6, rails 6 being slidably engaged by electrical contacts 7 mounted on the vehicle A.

Supporting path B comprises an overhead I-beam monorail 8 that is suspended from horizontally spaced arch supports 9. The I-beam monorail is fabricated with a central vertical channel 10 interconnecting a horizontal structural top web 11 and a horizontal load-carrying bottom web 12. Support arms 2 span either side of the monorail 8 while the path rollers 3 are retained in rotatable engagement with bottom web 112 by the intervening central channel 10.

Referring to FIG. 2, supporting path B includes a section located at a junction C where alternate available routes D become available to the conveyed vehicle A. The central channel 10 of the monorail track is cut ed at the beginning of junction C along a channel termination 13 and is restored at the end of junction C by channel continuations l4 situated in the respective diverging routes D. A bottom web extension 15 provides a supporting path for rollers 3 along either of the routes D. As each path roller 3 has a pendant support arm 2, the bottom web extension 15 must be slotted to pass the support arms 2 to a selected route D. When the straight-Inc route is selected, a continuation arm slot 16 provides a path through bottom web extension 15 for the support arm 2 adjacent the curved route D. On the other hand, when the curved route D is selected, a diversion arm slot 17 provides passage through the bottom web extension 15 for the support arm 2 that is adjacent the straight-line continuation route D.

Each conveyed vehicle A is equipped with one or more switching devices E for selecting one of the routes D at junction C. Each of the devices E includes a pair of laterally disposed guide arms 18. Each guide arm is attached to a support arm 2 by a bracket and is disposed beneath the sides of the web extension 15. Each guide arm. terminates in a tubular socket which slidably receives a cooperating cylindrical guide member 19 or 20, members 19 being starboard elements and members 20 being portside elements. Suitable means are provided for elevating either the straightline route guide members 19 or the curved route guide members 20 into the direction selecting position; and when the guide members I9 are in the supported elevated position, the guide members 20 are retracted and vice versa. Guide members 19 and 20 con tact respectively and alternatively the extended web edge surfaces 21 and 22.

If, upon approaching junction C. vehicle A is programmed to select the straight-line route D, suitable actuating means, such as cams, will be directed to support the continuation guide members 19 in the elevated position and to retract the diversion guide members 20. Continuation guide members 19 will contact and follow continuation web edge surface 21, and the path rollers 3 will pass over the slot 17 and onto the straight-line route D. The support arm 2 which is adjacent the curved route D will pass through slot 16 preventing derailment of path rollers 3 through the opening between channel termination 13 and channel continuation 14. On the other hand, if vehicle A is programed to follow the curved route D, the actuating means will be directed to elevate the guide members 20 and retract the guide members 19. The elevated guide members 20 will then contact curved web edge surface 22, guiding path rollers 3 across web extension 15 and over slot I6 to the selected route. The starboard support arms 2 will pass through slot 17 while rollers 3 and their support arms 2 will be turned about the pivot 24 so as to conform to the curved route D.

The switching apparatus described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 has been found to suffer from two major difficulties. First of all, the junction structure is seriously weakened by the double slotting of the web extension 15 and the resultant cantilevered terminus of that member. Secondly, the provision of intersecting guide surfaces permits a spurious switching of the conveyed vehicle. For example, the guide members 19 may on occasion follow into the slot 17 instead of traversing the web edge surface 21. A third but comparatively minor difiiculty involves the path rollers 3 momentarily dropping into the slot 16 or the slot 17 in the course of transit through the junction, with resultant shock to the cab vehicle and its occupants.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, switch apparatus according to the present invention includes an overhead I-beam monorail 8 having a central vertical channel 10 which interconnects a structural top web 11 and a loadcarrying bottom web 12. The vehicle to be conveyed is suspended from support arms and is transported along the monorail 8 by means of inwardly disposed, overhead path rollers 25 which engage and roll on the upper surface of bottom web 12. Two sets of horizontally disposed guide rollers 26 engage and roll on the side surfaces of central channel to add stability to the cab vehicle and prevent sway. In addition, a pair of vehicle support arms 27 enclose the web 12 on opposite sides of the monorail 8 and carry both the rollers and the rollers 26. The number of supporting arms 27, path rollers 25 and stability or antisway rollers 26 may be varied as the weight and length of the conveyed vehicle changes.

Turning to FIG. 5, a supporting path or track F is illustrated at a junction G where alternate routes become available to the conveyed vehicle. The monorail central channel 10 of track F is cut off at the beginning of junction G along a channel termination 28 and is restored outside of junction G at channel continuations 29. On each of the respective routes H, an extended bottom web 30 provides a supporting path for the rollers 25; and the bottom web 30 is slotted to pass the opposed support arms 27 which carry the rollers 25. Specifically, a continuation arm slot 31 provides a path through extended bottom web 30 for the support arm 27 that is adjacent the curved route H to accommodate straight-line transport. A diversion arm slot 32 provides a similar passage through bottom web 30 for the support arm 27 that is adjacent the straight-line route H whereby to afford access to the curved route. Accordingly, one of the support arms 27, in passing through a slot in bottom web 30, serves to guide the path rollers 25 so as to assure their downstream transit on opposite sides of either channel continuation 29.

In accordance with an important feature of the present invention, each vehicle being conveyed is equipped with an attached switching apparatus I for selecting one of the routes H at junction G. As is shown in FIG. 4, apparatus I comprises a shallow V-shaped rocker arm 33 which is pivoted on a pin or bearing 34. The positioning of the rocker arm 33 is controlled by a solenoid actuator 35 having upstanding armature elements 36 and 37 spaced beneath the arm 33 on opposite sides of the pivot bearing 34. In further accord with the features of the present invention, antifriction means are mounted on the rocker arm to cooperate with a switching guide surface arrangement disposed at the junction G. The antifriction means specifically comprise an inboard guide roller 38 and a cooperating outboard guide roller 39, rollers 38 and 39 being mounted on the starboard side of rocker arm 33 to engage trolley surfaces 400 and 40b respectively of the inverted channel structure 40, structure constituting a specific form of the switching guide surface arrangement. As will be appreciated from an inspection of FIG. 5, the trolley surfaces 40a and 40b comprise a first stationary run associated with vehicle transport along the curved downstream section of the track. Vertically spaced flanges 40c and 40d extend outwardly from the trolley surface 40b to restrain the rocker arm 33 and guide roller 38 through the positional fixing of guide roller 39. This cooperation between the guide rollers, trolley surfaces and retaining flanges is well illustrated in FIG. 4.

The channel structure 40 also includes a pair of trolley surfaces 402 and 40f which are associated with the straight-line route H. Outwardly extending flanges 40g and 40h coact with the trolley surface 402 like the flanges 40c and 40d coact with trolley surface 40b. Additionally, a pair of portside guide rollers 41 and 42 are mounted on rocker arm 33 in cooperative alignment with the trolley surfaces 40c and 40f.

The inverted channel structure 40 is conveniently supported on the top of the I-beam monorail 8 by bolts 43 and nuts 44, rivets, welding or other suitable fastening means; and it will be recognized that the transportation system of the invention will include cab vehicles, drive motors, arch supports for the monorail, and such other equipment and devices as is required for a complete installation.

Turning to a consideration of FIGS. 68 for a brief description of the mode of operation of the vehicle switching apparatus of the invention, the configuration shown in FIG. 6 illustrates the rocker arm 33 having been directed to raise the guide rollers 38 and 39 through electrical energization of the solenoid coil for driving armature element 37 upwardly. The guide rollers 38 and 39 having been raised during the vehicle approach to junction G, these rollers will have engaged the trolley surfaces 40a and 40b to switch the vehicle onto the curved route I-I. Because of the uninterrupted character of the trolley surfaces 400 and 40b, the vehicle supporting carriage executes a smooth, positive transition through the junction section with the portside support arm 27 negotiating its passage through the slot 32 and with the path rollers 25 sandwiching the channel continuation 29 of the curved downstream monorail, as is suggested in FIG. 7.

In FIG. 8, a similar directional switching is shown for the straight-line downstream section. With respect to this latter configuration, it should be noted that the portside guide rollers 41 and 42 have been elevated to engage the trolley surfaces 40e and 40f whereas the starboard side guide rollers 38 and 39 have been retracted by the powered rocking action of arm 33.

Modified embodiments of the vehicle switching apparatus of the invention are shown in FIG. 9 and FIGS. 10 and 11 respectively. In these modified embodiments, the vehicle cab is suspended from a box girder rather than an I-beam rail; and the embodiment of FIG. 9 is particularly characterized by the provision of trolley surfaces on the outboard lateral walls of the box girder whereas the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 1 l is particularly characterized by the provision of trolley surfaces as pendant flanges mounted to the bottom wall of the box girder.

In the embodiment of FIG. 9, a shallow V-shaped rocker arm 46 pivots on a bearing 47; and a pair of guide rollers 48 and 49 are rotatably mounted on upturned arm extensions 50 and 51 respectively. An armature element 52 is arranged to be extended, by a solenoid actuator 53 whereby to position arm 46 and direct the guide roller 48 against a trolley surface 54 on a box girder 55, trolley surface 54 being disposed between outwardly extending, horizontal flanges 56 and 57. An armature element 58 is arranged to be extended alternatively by actuator 53 to position the guide roller 49 against a trolley surface 59 disposed between a pair of horizontal flanges 60 and 61. These alternate positions of the rocker arm are employed to select a particular route for a vehicle suspended from the carriage J when the vehicle approaches a junction, much in the manner described hereinbefore.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11, inverted T-shaped runs 62 and 63 extend downwardly from a box girder 64 to coact with guide rollers 65, 66, 67 and 68 that are mounted in cooperating pairs on a rocker arm 69, arm 69 pivoting on bearing 70. In other respects, the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11 is constructed and operates similarly to the embodiment of FIG. 9. In both embodiments, the trolley surfaces constitute uninterrupted runs through the switching junction.

The forms of the invention which have been described hereinabove and illustrated in the accompanying drawings are given by way of example only and should not be construed as limiting the invention. Many other modifications and variations may be made. For example, the inverted T-shaped runs 62 and 63 may be replaced by L-shaped runs or simple, vertically depending flanges. Moreover, each end of the rocker arm 69 may carry only a single roller, as in the embodiment of FIG. 9; and the rocker arms themselves may be replaced by shafts which are arranged to be rotatably driven about a horizontal axis generally transverse of the box girder and the vehicle body for selectively bringing the guide rollers into and out of transit-directing engagement with the cooperating runs.

The specific embodiments herein shown and described are therefore to be considered as being primarily illustrative. Various changes beyond those described will, no doubt, occur to those skilled in the art; and such changes are to be understood as forming a part of this invention in so far as they fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

The invention is claimed as follows:

1. Vehicle switching apparatus comprising: transport track means including an upstream section, diverging first and second downstream sections and a junction section at the confluence of said upstream and downstream sections; inverted channel means secured to said track means; switching guide surface means mounted on said channel means at said junction section and including a first stationary run associated with vehicle transport along said first downstream section and a second stationary run associated with vehicle transport along said second downstream section, each of said runs providing an uninterrupted guide surface from said upstream section, through said junction section and to the associated downstream section; and vehicle carriage means including support roller means engaging said track means, first and second antifriction means and selectively operable drive means for directing a said antifriction means into directionally switching engagement with a selected stationary run, each of said runs comprising a trolley surface defining a running bed for a said antifriction means and flange means extending away from said trolley surface and projecting from a wall of said channel means for positionally retaining the antifriction means relative to the trolley surface.

2. Vehicle switching apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said flange means includes spaced first and second flange members disposed at opposite edges of said trolley surface.

3. Vehicle switching apparatus according to claim 1 wherein each of said runs comprises spaced opposed restraining flanges and a trolley surface defining a running bed for a said antifriction means between said flanges, said trolley surface being disposed laterally of said track means.

4. Vehicle switching apparatus according to claim 1 wherein each of said runs comprises spaced opposed restraining flanges and a trolley surface defining a running bed for a said antifriction means between said flanges, said trolley surface being pendant from said track means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification104/105, 104/130.7, 105/154
International ClassificationE01B25/00, E01B25/26
Cooperative ClassificationE01B25/26
European ClassificationE01B25/26
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 7, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: ROHR INDUSTRIES, INC.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CITIBANK, N. A.;REEL/FRAME:004201/0686
Effective date: 19830819
Owner name: ROHR INDUSTRIES, INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CITIBANK, N. A.;REEL/FRAME:004201/0686