US 3675762 A
An improved system for placing concrete mix or the like features a supporting structure mounted on a mobile base and adapted for pivotable movement about horizontal and vertical axes. At least one distributing conveyor is mounted on the supporting structure, and the discharge end of a feeder conveyor is arranged to empty into the topmost one of the distributing conveyors. By means of a plurality of interconnected movable links, the discharge end of the feeding conveyor is maintained in substantial vertical alignment with the vertical axis of movement of the supporting structure as the supporting structure pivots about its horizontal axis.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Arndt [is] 3,675,762 [4 1 July 11,1972
 APPARATUS FOR PLACING CONCRETE NM OR THE LIKE  Continuation of Ser. No. 858,298, Sept. 16, 1969,
 US. Cl ..198/233, 198/88, 198/45  Int. Cl ..B65g 37/00, B65g 41/00  Field ofSearch 198/88, 89, 90, 91, 233, 96,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,003,611 10/1961 Pelzer ..l98/8 8 3,171,534 3/1965 Oury ..198/88 3,185,290 5/1965 Dietrich ..198/l22 Primary ExaminerRichard E. Aegerter Attorney-Ronald L. Engel, Daniel W. Vittum, Jr., Gomer W. Walters and John A. Waters ABSTRACT An improved system for placing concrete mix or the like features a supporting structure mounted on a mobile base and adapted for pivotable movement about horizontal and vertical axes. At least one distributing conveyor is mounted on the supporting structure, and the discharge end of a feeder conveyor is arranged to empty into the topmost one of the distributing conveyors. By means of a plurality of interconnected movable links, the discharge end of the feeding conveyor is maintained in substantial vertical alignment with the vertical axis of movement of the supporting structure as the supporting structure pivots about its horizontal axis.
2Clains,3DrawingFigures PATENTEDJUL 1 1 m2 SHEET 2 OF 2 M/VEA/TOR CHA RLWRND 7' APPARATUS FOR PLACING CONCRETE MIX OR THE LIKE This application is a continuation of copending application Ser. No. 858,298 filed Sept. 16, 1969, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This application relates to apparatus for placing concrete mix or the like and more particularly to apparatus for placing concrete mix at locations that are inaccessible or difficult to reach.
2. Description of the Prior Art In recent years conveyors have found increasing usefulness in the placement of concrete mix and the like. Illustrative of a number of the prior art systems heretofore employed to place concrete mix are the conveyor arrangements shown in Oury et al. US. Pat. No. Re. 26,298; Oury U.S. Pat. No. Re.26,347; and Oury et al. US. Pat. No. 3,343,651.
It has heretofore been suggested that concrete mix conveyors of the foregoing type be mounted on a conventional hydraulic industrial crane having telescoping projecting booms so that the discharge end of a conveyor could be supported on a cantilevered basis in order to reach inaccessible positions, both laterally and vertically. The advantages of such a system for use in pouring walls, stems, footings, and bridge decks are obvious. However, a prime difficulty encountered with the crude initial systems of the character described is the problem of delivering concrete mix to the conveyor mounted on the crane. Because the crane is adapted not only to swivel about a vertical axis, but also to pivot about a horizontal axis (i.e., so as to permit the discharge point to be raisedsubstantially above ground level), a problem is encountered in maintaining the discharge end of the feeder conveyor substantially in alignment with the axis of vertical movement for the crane (i.e., so that the point of discharge of concrete mix from the feeder conveyor onto the distributing conveyors remains located above the discharge conveyor). As the crane pivots about a vertical axis, the system becomes distorted and difficulty is encountered in transmitting concrete mix from the feeder conveyor to the distributing conveyor unless the feeder conveyor is moved. l-leretofore, alignment has been maintained only by means of a manually controlled motor drive system in accordance with which the discharge end of the feeder conveyor is moved until a satisfactory position has been visually observed. Such an approach involves considerable inconvenience and is time consuming, and this invention therefore has as its prime object the provision of a simple, automatic mechanical system for maintaining the discharge end of the feeding conveyor in vertical alignment to the axis of rotation of the supporting structure.
A related object is to provide a simpler, more reliable, and easier to operate crane-mounted conveyor concrete mix placement system.
Another problem encountered with the crude cranemounted conveyor systems of the prior art is that the arrangement of telescoping distributing conveyors carried by the crane have heretofore been positioned by manually operated means or further drive arrangements which have to be independently controlled (i.e., in addition to positioning the crane boom, the operation must also position the telescoping distributing conveyors). Thus, another prime object of the present invention is the provision of a unique mounting arrangement for the distributing conveyors whereby the telescopic positioning of the discharge conveyors is automatically accomplished by the positioning of the boom.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing and other objects, advantages, and features of the subject invention may be achieved with apparatus for placing concrete mix or the like comprising: a base; a supporting structure mounted on the base and adapted for pivotal movement about horizontal and vertical axes; at least one distributing conveyor supported by the supporting structure; a
feeding conveyor; means, including a plurality of movable links, mounting the discharge end of the feeding conveyor on the supporting structure such that the discharge end of the feeding conveyor is maintained substantially in vertical alignment with the vertical axis of movement of the supporting structure as it pivots about its horizontal axis.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary elevational view of a crane-mounted conveyor in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of the conveyor positioning arrangement; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference to the drawings, FIG. I shows concrete placement apparatus 10 comprising a base 12, a supporting assembly 14, a distributing conveyor assembly 16, a feeder conveyor assembly 18, and a feeder conveyor mounting assembly 20.
The base 12 and support assembly 14 advantageously take the form of a hydraulic crane which is old in the art per se and itself forms no part of the present invention. The base portion thereof 12 is preferably mobile so as to facilitate the movement of the entire apparatus 10.
More specifically, base 12 comprises a platform 30 mounted on axles (not shown) on which are provided wheels 32. A cab 34 is provided on platform 30 and provides the operator with an enclosure in which he may position himself during operation of the apparatus 10 or during movement thereof from one location to another. An hydraulic or other suitable power source 36 is provided on platform 30.
A slew drive assembly 38 is mounted centrally of the platform 30, with assembly 38 comprising an upper bearing 40 and a lower bearing 42. As is well known to those skilled in the art, the drive assembly is connected with power source 36 so as to positively drive the upper bearing 40 with respect to the lower bearing 42 so as to cause elements positioned on upper bearing 40 to pivot about a vertical axis identified by the center line A in FIG. 1. Base 12 preferably further comprises stabilizing means, which may take the form of outriggers or auxiliary supports 44, provided at each corner of the platform 30 and which normally telescope into associated sockets 46 provided on platform 30, but which may be lowered, as shown in FIG. I, so as to contact the ground G on which the base is positioned.
Support assembly 14 comprises a bifurcated yolk 50, the lower end of which is secured to upper slew bearing 40. Between the respective upper ends of yolk 50 there is pivotally mounted a telescoping boom assembly 52. Boom assembly 52 comprises a plurality of telescoping arms 54, 56, and 58, with a head member 60 being provided at the end of arm 58. As can be seen in FIG. 1, each of the arms 56, 58 is successively smaller in cross section than the preceding am so that they may be telescopically moved in and out, and appropriate hydraulic drive cylinders are provided so that the arms may be positioned in any desired intermediate or extreme position. More than three arms may be employed, the exact number being determined by the needs of the particular situation.
Arm 54 is pivotally mounted at its rear end within yolk 50 and thus is adapted to pivot about a horizontal axis line through the center of pivot shaft 62 when hydraulic power is applied. Thus, base 12 supports a support assembly which is capable of pivotal movement about vertical axis A, with the telescoping boom assembly 52 thereof being further pivotally movable about a horizontal axis passing through shaft 62. A horizontal plate 64 is preferably mounted over the rear portions of the support assembly 14 in order to prevent concrete mix from falling into the mechanism and fouling its operation.
Distributing conveyor assembly 16 is supported on the boom assembly 62 by mean of a support structure comprising a pair of upright legs 70, 72 (see FIGS. 1 and 3), the lower ends of which are secured by respective connecting members 74, 76 to the sides of arm 54. The upper ends of members 70, 72 are held in position by a cross member 78 (see FIG. 3). Projecting forwardly from cross members 70, 72 is a trussed framework generally indicated by the reference numeral 80 which provides a support for the receiving end of the topmost discharge conveyor of assembly 16 as will hereinafter be described in detail.
In the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings, discharge conveyor assembly 16 comprises a pair of conveyors 110, 112 each of which is substantially identical. For a detailed description of the conveyor of the type employed as a part of the discharge conveyor 16 reference should be made to the disclosure of the aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. Re. 26,298. Briefly, however, each of the conveyors 110, 112 comprises a pair of side rails 114 interconnected by appropriate cross members 116. Idler roller assemblies, such as assembly 118 shown in FIG. 3, support the upper train of an endless conveyor belt carried by the conveyor and a lower idler roller assembly, such as assembly 120 shown in FIG. 3, likewise are provided at periodic intervals along the side rails. A motor drive assembly is provided, preferably adjacent one end of the conveyor, and an idler pulley is provided at the other end.
- As previously noted, the receiving end of the topmost discharge conveyor 110 is secured to the trussed framework 80 and thus is permanently mounted thereon. The receiving end of the second conveyor 112 is slung below the discharge end of the conveyor 110 by means of a pair of brackets 122 upstanding from the side rails of conveyor 1 12, each of which has a roller 124 mounted at its upper tip, which roller is adapted to ride in the side rails of conveyor 110. The receiving end of conveyor 112 is similarly supported by a pair of brackets 124 secured to the respective sides of intermediate boom arm 56 and having rollers 126 provided at each end and adapted to ride in the rails of conveyor 112.
The discharge end of conveyor 112 is supported by a bracket 130 to which it is fixed, with bracket 130 likewise being mounted on head member 60 of the boom arm 58. Similarly, a downwardly projecting bracket 132 is provided at the discharge end of conveyor 110, and a roller 134 at the end of each bracket 132 similarly rides in the side rails of conveyor 1 12.
A hood 140 and a distributing hose 141 are secured at the distributing end of conveyor 112, and the concrete mix transferred through the system is ultimately distributed through the end (not shown) of hose 141. Means are provided at the discharge end of conveyor 110 for facilitating the transfer of concrete mix from the moving belt of conveyor 110 to the moving belt of conveyor 112. This transfer system may conveniently take the form of a hood 142 (formed of metal, fabric, or other suitable material) adapted to direct the stream of concrete mix downwardly onto the belt of conveyor 112. A hopper 144 is preferably mounted between the side rails of conveyor 112 and its tapered sides further serve to direct the concrete mix accurately onto the belt of the conveyor 112.
While the distributing conveyor assembly 16 has been described with particular reference to a system embodying two conveyors 110, 112, it is obvious to those skilled in the art that additional conveyors may be employed, as can additional telescoping boom anns, so long as the system remains stable when the booms and distributing conveyors are in their extended positions.
In operation, the automatic extension and retraction of the distributing conveyors occur along with the hydraulic movement of the boom arms. When the operator activates the hydraulic drive means for the support assembly with the as sembly in its extended position shown in FIG. 1 in order to retract the assembly, arm 56 is first hydraulically pulled inwardly, and, as this occurs, arms 56 and 58 move as a unit, and thus conveyor 112 is drawn telescopically back beneath conveyor 110, rollers 124 translating along side rails of conveyor 110, and rollers 134 translating along the sides of conveyor 1 12. Thereafter, after arm 56 is completely withdrawn, arm 58 is hydraulically pulled inwardly, and conveyor 112 continues its inward movements, with rollers 124 and 134 moving as indicated above and with rollers 126 translating along the sides of conveyor 112. The extension of the support assembly and distributing conveyor assembly occurs in exactly the opposite sequence.
Feeding conveyor assembly 18 comprises a conveyor 150 constructed substantially in the same manner as conveyors 110 and 112 previously described. The receiving end of conveyor 150 (which is not shown in the drawings) advantageously comprises a movable support, such as a wheeled carriage. A hopper, such as hopper 144, is provided at the receiving end of feeding conveyor 150 in order to aid in the transfer of concrete mix from its source onto the moving belt of conveyor 150.
The discharge end of conveyor 150 is supported in the following manner. A pair of mounting angles 84, 86 have mounted therein a pair of connector pins 88, (see FIG. 3) on the upper ends of which are fixed to the ends of a pair of connecting bars 92, 94, the inner ends of which are in turn secured to a ring assembly 96. Ring assembly 96 preferably has a pair of annular flanges 98, which serve to define an annular channel in which is rotatably positioned a ring 102 which has at opposed diametric positions upstanding pins 104 provided thereon. Pins 104 and the movable ring assembly comprising elements 96 and 102 provide the pivotable support for the discharge end of the feeding conveyor 150. Of course, other pivotable support arrangements, such as antifriction bearings and other rotating connections, could be employed.
A suitable transfer assembly 151 including a hood 152, which preferably extends downwardly into ring assembly 96, serves to transfer concrete mix from the feeding conveyor into the chute 106 which empties onto the moving belt of conveyor 110. A chute 106 (see especially FIG. 3) is secured in order to aid in the directing of concrete mix from the feeding conveyor 16 to the discharge conveyor assembly 16. The transfer assembly 151 of the type described is described and shown in Oury US. Pat. No. Re. 26,347.
As previously described, a prime feature of the present invention involves the automatic mechanical mounting assembly 20 which is provided in order to maintain the discharge end of feeding conveyor in vertically aligned position with reference to the vertical axis A shown in FIG. 1. Assembly 20 comprises a plurality of interconnected links which cooperate to cause translational motion of the transfer assembly 151 with reference to the discharge conveyor 1 10 as the boom assembly 52 pivots about shaft 62. A similar link arrangement is provided on each side of the apparatus so that the one side visible in FIGS. 1 and 2 will be described in detail.
A rearwardly projecting arm is fixed in position on yoke 50, and a first link 172 is pivoted at one end to leg 72, with a second link 174 being fixed between the free end or arm 170 and an intermediate position on link 172. A third link 176 is positioned pivotally between the other end of first link 172 and a roller 178 which is adapted to roll within the side rails of conveyor 110. Mounting angle 86 in turn is pivotally secured thereto the end of link 176 via an ear through which the shaft of roller 178 passes so that the angle 86 and link 176 may move pivotally about the axis of rotation of roller I78 and independently of each other.
The operation of the assembly 20 in maintaining the transfer assembly 151 in alignment with axis A can best be described with reference to FIG. 2, which illustrates the respective positions occupied by the elements of the link assembly when in the normal horizontal position (shown-in full lines in FIG. 2) and in a raised position in which the support assembly 14 has been pivoted upwardly about shaft 50 (shown in broken lines in FIG. 2). As boom assembly 52 pivots about shaft 62, conveyor 110 similarly pivots upwardly in the direction of arrow C in FIG. 2 from the full toward the broken line positions shown in FIG. 2. As this occurs, the link 174 pivots in a counterclockwise direction in the direction of arrow B as shown in FIG. 2 and thereby causes link 172 to pivot in the direction of arrow D in FIG. 2. This action in turn pushes the left-hand end of link 176 so that it moves upwardly. However, since the right-hand end of link 176 is not fixed in position, but rather is free to move along with roller 178 in the side rail of conveyor 110, the right-hand end translates along the rails so that the roller 178 is maintained in position substantially in alignment with Axis A. As this occurs, conveyor 110 translates with reference to bracket 86, which assumes the broken line position shown in HQ 2. As a result the transfer assembly 151 moves upwardly while maintaining its alignment with axis A (compare the broken line position for bracket 86 with the full line position as shown in FIG. 2).
When boom assembly 52 is pivoted downwardly so that the conveyor assembly pivots in the opposite direction to arrow C, the exact reverse occurs and the link mechanism assumes its full line position and the transfer assembly pivots and translates back to its normal full line position.
In this manner, as the boom assembly and discharge conveyor assembly are pivoted to varying heights, the position of the discharge assembly over the axis of rotation A is maintained so that the lateral position of support assembly and boom assembly may be varied without upsetting the stability of the system such as would be the case if the transfer assembly were allowed to shift out of alignment with axis A.
1. An apparatus for placing concrete mix and the like comprising:
a supporting structure comprising a boom arm pivotally mounted adjacent one end in a cantilever fashion on a boom frame for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, the boom frame being mounted on the base for pivotal movement about a vertical axis;
means for mounting the discharge end of the feeding conveyor on the supporting structure comprising:
antifriction means mounted for translational movement with respect to the receiving end of the discharge conveyor;
a pair of link members pivoted at one end to each-other, the other end of the first one of the links being pivotally mounted to the antifriction means and the other end of the second of the links being pivotally mounted on the boom arm;
a third link member pivotally mounted at one end to the boom frame and at its other end to the second link; and
carrier means for supporting the discharge end of feeding conveyor, the said means being pivotally mounted with respect to the antifriction means,
whereby pivotal movement of the boom arm and distributing conveyor about a horizontal axis causes the first, second, and third link members to pivot in a coordinated fashion such that the antifriction means and the carrier means translate with respect to the receiving end of the distributing conveyor so as to be maintained in position in substantial alignment with the axis of vertical movement of the boom frame.
2. In an arrangement for placing concrete mix and the like comprising a supporting structure adapted for pivotal movement about horizontal and vertical axes, at least one distributing conveyor supported by the supporting structure, and a feeding conveyor, the discharge end of which is adapted to empty into one of the distributing conveyors, the improvement comprising mounting the discharge end of the feeding conveyor on the supporting structure by means of movable link means whereby the discharge end of the feeding conveyor is maintained in substantial vertical alignment with the vertical axis of movement of the supporting structure as the supporting structure pivots about its horizontal axis, the movable link meanscom rising:
a pair of ink members pivoted at one end to each other, the
other end of the first one of the links being pivotally mounted for translational movement with respect to the distributing conveyor and the other end of the second of the links being pivotally mounted on an element of the supporting structure that is pivotable about a horizontal axis;
a third link member pivotally mounted at one end to a remaining portion of the supporting structure and at its other end to the second link; and
carrier means for supporting the discharge end of the feed ing conveyor, the said carrier means being pivotally mounted with respect to the other end of the first of the link members,
whereby pivotal movement of the element of the supporting structure and the distributing conveyor about a horizontal axis causes the first, second, and third link members to pivot in a coordinated fashion such that the carrier means translates with respect to the distributing conveyor so as to be maintained in position in substantial alignment with the axis of vertical movement of the supporting structure.