US 3650215 A
A bridge crane installation including at least one bridge crane and preferably two oppositely disposed and independently movable bridge cranes located between adjacent parallel rows of structural columns, and a movable crosstrack disposed on intermediate fixed runways located between the bridge cranes and between two columns in the same row of columns, adapted to be lined up with either or both bridge cranes to transfer a load from one bridge crane to another, or to pick up or deposit a load from or onto the floor space between the two columns not covered by the two bridge cranes. The crosstrack is supported by end trucks having wheels for riding on the intermediate runways and a brake is provided to stop the movable crosstrack at a desired location relative to the position of either or both of the bridge cranes with which the crosstrack is to be aligned. The movement of the crosstrack can be controlled from the floor, either manually by means of pull lines or by power means such as electric, pneumatic or hydraulic means.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Werthessen [451 Mar. 21, 1972 Primary ExaminerHarvey C. Homsby Att0rneySettle and Oltman A bridge crane installation including at least one bridge crane and preferably two oppositely disposed and independently movable bridge cranes located between adjacent parallel rows of structural columns, and a movable crosstrack disposed on intermediate fixed runways located between the bridge cranes and between two columns in the same row of columns, adapted to be lined up with either or both bridge cranes to transfer a load from one bridge crane to another, or to pick up or deposit a load from or onto the floor space between the two columns not covered by the two bridge cranes. The crosstrack is supported by end trucks having wheels for riding on the intermediate runways and a brake is provided to stop the movable crosstrack at a desired location relative to the position of either or both of the bridge cranes with which the crosstrack is to be aligned. The movement of the crosstrack can be controlled from the floor, either manually by means of pull lines or by power means such as electric, pneumatic or hydraulic means.
ABSTRACT 4 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures mvsmon F G I NICHOLAS H. WERTHESSEN BY SETTLE & OLTMAN ATTORNEYS MOVABLE CROSSTRACK FOR BRIDGE CRANE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention refers to overhead bridge crane installations and, more in particular, to a movable crosstrack construction located next to a single bridge crane or intermediate between two oppositely disposed independently movable bridge cranes.
It is common to install in plants, factory buildings or the like, overhead bridge cranes which are movably supported on runways. The runways are supported from the ceiling, roof or trusses of the building between adjacent rows of structural columns which support the roof or trusses, and the floor space between the columns defines storage spaces or work areas. The bridge cranes cover substantially the entire area between any adjacent rows of structural columns in order to pick up from or deposit work pieces in the work or storage area between the rows of columns. The overhead cranes are adapted to travel between adjacent rows of structural columns and past the columns, the end trucks of the overhead cranes traveling along the fixed runways between adjacent rows of structural columns and the lifting hoists themselves traveling on the crane bridge beam, or beams, in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of the crane end trucks. However, since the crane end trucks have to clear the columns when traveling in the longitudinal direction between the rows of columns, the transverse bridge beam along which the hoists are movable cannot extend beyond the distance ofthe spacing between adjacent rows of columns. Thus, there is a floor space which cannot be handled by the overhead cranes between any two columns in the same row of columns.
The foregoing problem, in which the space between any two columns in the same row of columns, could not be adequately covered by the traveling overhead cranes, causes an accumulation of dead floor space which, in instances, amounts to up to twenty percent of the total ground floor space in the factory or storage building.
In addition, it is often necessary to transfer work pieces or other articles from one area to the next adjacent work area located between adjacent rows of columns. Conventional practice to bridge the area between any two columns in the same row of columns has been to install fixed intermediate rails or crosstracks in order to transfer work pieces or articles from one overhead bridge crane assembly located between one row of columns to an adjacent overhead bridge crane assembly located between an adjacent row of columns. In order to do this, the bridge beams along which the hoists on each bridge crane assembly travel, must be brought in alignment with the fixed intermediate rail or crosstrack disposed between any two columns in the same row of columns. Although this arrangement solves the problem of transferring workpieces or articles from one overhead bridge crane assembly to another, it did not solve the problem of economically utilizing the floor space between any two columns in the same row of columns. This is because the intermediate crosstrack is fixed in position and to pick up or deposit a load in that area would require the crosstrack to be installed accurately over the pick up or deposit location.
Conventional crosstrack arrangements are designed to be and can only be used at a fixed location. This location would have to be specified at the time of the erection of the overhead crane structure. Thereafter, to transfer a load from one bridge crane assembly to another in an adjacent row of columns, the rails along which the hoists move have to be brought in alignment with the fixed crosstrack to transfer the load whereafter the bridge cranes are moved back to the location wherever they are to be used. To transfer at any other point, except at the fixed location of the crosstrack, cannot be done unless another crosstrack is installed at the other transfer point. Likewise, a load cannot be picked up or deposited by the conventional crosstrack because of its fixed location except at that position. To do so, would require the crosstrack to be accurately installed over the pick up or deposit location which is difficult at best, and impossible to accomplish when the pick up or deposit location is constantly changing.
Because of the inability to vary the point of transfer between adjacent bridge crane assemblies across a column line, due to the fixed location of the crosstrack, there is, on an average, three feet on either side of the columns in any one column line which cannot be covered by the overhead crane assemblies. In an average factory building, this dead floor space can amount to up to twenty percent of the total ground floor space. This space would be particularly damaging, for instance, in a final assembly bay where essentially complete ground coverage is needed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a movable crosstrack, complete with transfer interlocks, which runs on a pair of runways next to a single bridge crane assembly or between two bridge crane assemblies. The crosstrack can be freely moved to any point between any two columns in the same row of columns and very close to the column itself. Thus, a transfer between bridge crane assemblies can be accomplished at any desired point within the limits of movement of the crosstrack. One or two bridge crane assemblies can be locked to the movable crosstrack and the units can be moved together to any point between columns.
The present invention is disclosed in connection with a factory or other building having a ground floor and a plurality of rows of structural columns supporting the roof frame work and trusses of the building. In between these rows of columns, movable bridge crane assemblies are supported for travel on runways extending longitudinally between the rows of columns. Each bridge crane assembly has one or more hook and lifting devices commonly known as hoists, for raising and lowering a load. Each hoist is independently movable in a transverse direction, relative to the direction of travel of the bridge crane assemblies, along a transverse rail supported from the bridge crane runways by end trucks.
The crosstrack may be moved back and forth between any two adjacent columns in the same row of columns by manual pulling devices operable from the ground floor, or by any suitable power source and control means such as an electric motor or pneumatics. This power may come from a separate source attached to the moving crosstrack, or the moving crosstrack may be moved by the bridge crane assembly after the two are locked together.
The present invention will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description having reference to a preferred embodiment which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention is schematically illustrated in the appended drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the movable crosstrack arrangement for a bridge crane installation; and
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal section of the bridge crane and crosstrack assembly shown in FIG. 1 and as seen along line 2-2 thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a row of structural columns 10, (only two of which are shown in cross section supported on the ground floor 12 of a building for extension upwardly to support a roof structure (not shown) as is common practice in factories or other similar buildings. Although only two columns are illustrated in FIG. I, it will be understood that a factory, or similar building, may include a plurality of structural columns, such as 10, assembled in parallel rows and each spaced a distance apart from the other. Building structures of this kind are typical.
A plurality of overhead runways 14, in the form of rails, are suspended from the roof structure or trusses (not shown) of the building, extending in parallel relationship to each other longitudinally along rows of columns 10. As will be understood, one pair of runways 14 extends longitudinally between a pair of adjacent rows of columns and each pair of runways in the form of rails 14 adjacent a row of columns 10 supports a traveling bridge crane assembly 16 or 16a each of which is comprised of one or more girders or bridge beams 18 extending transversely underneath and across the runways 14. The bridge beam 18 is braced by diagonal braces 20 and connected to oppositely disposed pairs of trucks 22 each of which, as seen in FIG. 2 is provided with opposite wheel assemblies 23 of various numbers of wheels (four each end being illustrated) adapted to ride on the rail sections of the bridge crane runways 14, to thereby support the bridge crane assembly 16 or 16a on the runways 14 for movement therealong in longitudinal direction between opposite rows of columns 10 and past the columns.
It will be understood that the transverse bridge rail or beam 18 is adapted to support, in a conventional manner, one or more traveling hoists, indicated at 19 in FIG. 2, for movement along the bridge beam 18 in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of the bridge crane assembly 16 or 160 along the runways 14. Thus, a crane or hoist 19 supported on a transverse bridge beam 18 is movable in transverse directions above the ground floor 12 for deposit or transfer of a load 21 from one location to another along paths intersecting each other.
The above described construction of overhead bridge crane arrangements is conventional in factory and similar buildings and need not be further described in detail.
As most clearly seen in FIG. 2, the transverse bridge beams 18 and 18a of adjacent, opposite bridge crane assemblies 16 and 16a extend beyond the runways 14 towards each other but do not join so that, normally, there is a gap between the ends 17 of adjacent opposite bridge beams 18 and 18a in order for the beams to clear the columns 10 during travel of the bridge crane assemblies 16 and 162 along the runways 14, in either direction. Thus, conventionally, the floor space directly below the spacing between the ends 17 of the opposite bridge beams 18 and 18a cannot be served by a crane or hoist assembly 19 supported on the bridge beams 18 or 18a.
In order to bridge the space between any pair of adjacent columns 10, in the same row of columns, an intermediate movable track assembly, generally indicated at 24, has been provided.
The intermediate movable crosstrack assembly 24 is composed of a pair of parallel, spaced, intermediate runways or rails 26 and 28 which extend parallel to the bridge crane runways 14 and along and beyond both sides of a pair of adjacent columns 10 in the same row ofcolumns.
The intermediate runways or rails 26 and 28 are secured immediately adjacent the opposite columns 10 to support beams 30 extending transversely thereof and which are secured on the top of the opposite bridge crane runways 14 of adjacent bridge crane assemblies 16 and 16a to provide thereby a homogeneous stationary runway framework.
The intermediate runways or rails 26 and 28 are adapted to support an intermediate crosstrack truck assembly 32 supporting a crosstrack 34 extending transverse to the longitudinal direction of the runways 26 and 28. The crosstrack 34 is ofa dimension such as to bridge the distance between the ends of the opposite bridge crane beams 18 of the opposite bridge crane assemblies 16 and 16a.
As seen in FIG. 2, the crosstrack 34 is suspended from a support beam 36 by means of spacers 38. The support beam 36 is parallel to and extends in the same direction as the intermediate crosstrack 34 and is adapted to connect a pair of opposite end truck assemblies 40 and 42, respectively. The end truck assemblies 40 and 42 are provided each with a plurality of pairs of opposed wheels 44 adapted to rollingly engage the rail sections of the intermediate runways 26 and 28 for longitudinal movable support of the intermediate crosstrack truck assembly 32 thereof.
Thus, by means of the trucks 40 and 42, the intermediate crosstrack 34, which is of a shape and dimension corresponding to the shape and dimension of the crane beams 18 of the bridge crane assemblies 16 and 16a, is adapted to be moved in both directions longitudinally along the runways 26 and 28 between the opposed columns 10.
In operation, if a load is to be transferred across the row of columns 10, for instance from the bridge crane assembly 16 to the bridge crane assembly 16a, the bridge crane assemblies are moved into alignment with each other and the crosstrackv Thus, a load can be transferred from the bridge crane assembly 16 to the opposite bridge crane assembly 16a by permitting the crane or hoist 19 to move along the crane beam 18, across the intermediate track 34 and onto the crane beam 18a.
The crosstrack beam 34 is preferably provided with an antideflection means 46 adapted to laterally abut the ends 17 of either or both of bridge beams 18 or 18a, as shown in FIG. 2,
to accurately align and retain the beams 18, 34 and 18a in alignment with each other to permit travel of the crane or hoist 19 from one beam to another across the row of columns 10.
If it is desired to deposit a load 21, for example, from the bridge crane assemblies 16 or 16a onto the floor space 12, between the columns 10 in FIG. 1, at any location between the columns, the crosstrack assembly 24 is moved along the runways 26 and 28 into alignment with the bridge beam 18 or to permit the crane or hoist 19 to move onto the crosstrack beam 34; thereafter, the crosstrack assembly 24 may be disengaged from the bridge crane assembly 16 and moved along the runways 26 and 28 in either direction to the desired point of deposit between the columns 10, or the moving crosstrack assembly 24 may be left connected to the bridge crane assembly 16, and the two together moved to the desired point.
Conversely, if a load is to be picked up from the floor space 12 between the columns 10, in FIG. I, the crane or hoist 19 is moved empty onto the crosstrack beam 34 of the crosstrack assembly 24, which is then moved separately or still connected to assembly 16 to the point of pick up at any location between columns 10, as illustrated in the alternate position indicated by dot-and-dash lines in FIG. 1. Thereafter, the crosstrack assembly 24, after having picked up the load, is moved again along the runways 26 and 28 into alignment with either of the bridge crane assemblies 16 or 16a to transfer the load 21 from the crosstrack beam 34 onto either bridge crane beam 18 or 18a, as illustrated in FIG. 2.
Either or both of the trucks 40 or 42 of the crosstrack as-.
sembly 24 can be provided with a brake mechanism (not shown) controllable from the floor by an operator. Stops may be provided to prevent the crosstrack from hitting a column.
It will be evident from the foregoing description that the bridge crane apparatus of the present invention is effective to permit maximum usage of the floor space between two structural columns in the same row of columns within a building.
Although the present invention has been shown and described in connection with only one preferred embodiment, it will be understood that various structural modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and essential characteristic thereof. Therefore, the present embodiment is to be considered in all respects as illustrative only and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In combination with a building having a floor, and a roof supported by multiple rows of columns, the floor space between said columns defining utility areas, at least one overhead crane assembly mounted to move between opposite rows of columns, said overhead crane assembly comprising a pair of runways suspended from roof trusses and extending in longitudinal direction between said pair of opposite rows of columns, a crane end truck supported to move along said runways between said pair of opposite rows of columns, said crane end truck supporting a transverse beam, a load handling device mounted on said transverse beam for movement on said beam in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of said crane truck, and an intermediate movable crosstrack assembly extending across a row of columns between two adjacent columns to be selectively moved into alignment with said transverse beam to permit said load handling device to move from said transverse beam onto said intermediate movable track assembly to transfer or pick up a load at any location between said two adjacent columns, said movable crosstrack assembly including a pair of auxiliary runways extending parallel to said runways of said overhead crane assembly and supported from said roof trusses astride said row of columns, truck means supported by each of said auxiliary runways for movement along the same between said two adjacent columns in a direction parallel to the direction of movement of said overhead crane assembly, and means bridging said truck means including a cross beam suspended at the level of said transverse beam of said overhead crane assembly for movement separately from or with said overhead crane assembly to any position between said two adjacent columns, said cross beam having anti-deflection means at at least one end thereof for coupling the same to and in alignment with said transverse beam of said overhead crane assembly.
2. The combination as claimed in claim 1 including a second movable crosstrack assembly identical to said first crosstrack assembly suspended between two other columns of said row of columns.
3. The combination as claimed in claim 1 including a second overhead crane assembly movable along runway means on the side of said row of columns opposite said first overhead crane assembly, said movable crosstrack assembly having antideflection means at the end thereof opposite said one end for coupling the same to said second overhead crane assembly, said crosstrack assembly being adapted to be selectively aligned with either or both of said overhead crane assemblies and being movable separately or with either or both of said overhead crane assemblies, said overhead crane assemblies each having a load handling device movable onto said movable crosstrack assembly at any position between said two columns.
4. The combination as claimed in claim 3 in which said movable crosstrack assembly includes a support beam bridging and affixed to said truck means, and a pair of spacer elements extending vertically between said support beam and said cross beam to suspend said cross beam at the level of said transverse beam of said overhead crane assembly.