US 3682259 A
Stacking and handling apparatus for drilling rods or tubular elements, comprising a girder pivotable about a horizontal axis between a horizontal position wherein it is adapted to pick up a horizontal rod or tubular element at a storage station, and a vertical position wherein it is adapted to align said rod with the drilling axis of a derrick. Both the girder and the derrick are provided with rod or tubular element gripping and moving assemblies. Control means are provided for the girder, the derrick and their assemblies, and a switching circuit is provided to connect said control means and to control the movement of the girder, the derrick and their assemblies.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
O United States Patent [151 3,682,259 Cintract et al. 451 A g, 8, 1972 [$4] ROD STACKING AND HANDLING 2,692,059 10/1954 Bolling, Jr. ..l75/85 APPARATUS R 26,284 10/ 1967 O'Neill et a1. ..l75/85  Inventors: Bernard G. an 2 Place des 2,187,392 1/1940 Chappell ..2l4/2.5 Ecoles Boubgne G. Sum 3,061,011 10/1962 Paget ..l75/85 6 w Piena Ronsard. 95 Garges les 3,177,944 4/1965 Knights ..175/8S Gonesse both of France Primary Examiner-James A. Leppink  Filed: April 13, 1970 Att0rneySughrue, Rothwel], Mion, Zinn & Macpeak Stacking and handling apparatus for drilling rods or  Foreign Appucaflo Priority Dam tubular elements, comprising a girder pivotable about Jan. 9, 1970 France ..7000681 8 horizontal axis between a horizontal Position wherein it is adapted to pick up a horizontal rod or tu- 52 us. 01. ..175/85, 214/25, 254/139 bular element at a Storage station, and a vertical P 51 1111. C1 ..F2lb 19/00 W it is e align .said M with the 58 Field of Search 175/85, 5, 7, a, 10; 214/25; dflllmg am 9 3 s the 81rd" and 254/139 rick are provided with rod or tubular element gnppmg and moving assemblies. Control means are provided  Reiemnces Cited for the girder, the derrick and their assemblies, and a switching circuit is provided to connect said control UNITED STATES PATENTS means and to control the movement of the girder, the 3,280,920 10/1966 Scott ..214/2.5 demck and mmbhes' 2,643,005 6/1953 Jarnett ..2l4/2.5 10 Claims, 20 Drawing figures PATENTED F 8 3.682 259 SHEET 1 [IF 9 PATENTEDMIF BIHTZ 3.682 259 sum 2 0f 9 PATENTEDMIB 8'97? 3.682 259 sum 3 or 9 PATENTEUMIR 9 3.682.259 sum s or 9 ,Ir P 102 PATENTEDAuc a ma SHEET 7 [IF 9 uni PATENTEDm: 8 I972 SHEU 8 OF 9 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention relates to automatic rod stacking and handling apparatus, especially for drilling in the ocean, in which the rods are transferred to a derrick by means of a tipping girder, the entire assembly being designed to constitute a rapid and reliable automatic system.
2. Description of the Prior Art There are already in existence stacking systems in which the rods are arranged in horizontal rows and are then put in the vertical drilling position in the derrick. These systems perform this transfer operation either with the help of a mobile arm, provided with a device for grasping the rod to be transferred, the two ends of the arm being guided in rails, or with the help of the pulley-block of the derrick which is connected to a tightening collar, placed at one end of the rod, the other end being borne by a cart. With the help of a tipping girder, such systems can move the rod directly into the axis of the rod train.
Although these systems make it possible or would make it possible, in the case of some of them, to hold 27-meter rods, none of these systems simultaneously meets the criteria of reliability, safety, speed, and economy required in a modern ocean drilling installatron.
By way of example, the systems using a tipping girder for the transfer of rods from a horizontal position to a vertical position situated in the axis of the drill hole, require a radical change in conventional derricks so as to prevent the loss of time which would result from having to raise the conventionally designed handling pulley block prior to bringing up a new rod. ln effect, if we want to increase the speed of the system, the rod must be centered automatically and must be raised or lowered automatically by means of a special lifting head, with an automatic key of a novel type assuring the maintenance of the train of rods during the screwing or unscrewing of the rod that is being held. This then leads to a rather cumbersome and awkward solu- IIOI'I.
The system using the pulley block of the derrick to move the rod from a horizontal position into a vertical position is worthwhile in that none of the conventional members of the derrick is in any way afi'ected, but it does entail the inconvenience of mobilizing the pulley block, which in turn leads to a major loss of time, particularly every time the drilling tool must be changed.
As to the utilization of a transfer girder guided with the help of rails at each of its ends, this solution entails the inconvenience of having to control the complex movement and supplying energy to the mechanical members carried on such a girder.
Furthermore, the systems for lining up the rods in a horizontal position are more or less adapted to the automatic pick up of rods with the help of a tipping girder and do not lend themselves to flexible, reliable, and rapid transfer automation.
Finally, we do not know of any system capable of manipulating the heavy elements, such as pipes and drill collars, without the risk of danger to personnel because of the always unforeseeable displacements in the case of marine drilling where such heavy elements can always be shifted freely within a certain area in the course of their manipulation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The primary object of this invention consists of a rapid, economical, and highly reliable system, characterized by the fact that it involves, in combination: (a) a derrick including, in addition to the maneuvering arms, the pulley block, the elevator and its collar, a holding means, and a means for moving the pulley block outside the drilling axis, the pulley block being capable of shifting vertically in its new position; and (b) a girder tipping around the horizontal axis including retractable means for grasping a rod in order to move it from a horizontal position into a vertical position and vice versa, one of said grasping means involving a locking mechanism capable of grasping the rod in order to move it perpendicularly to the axis of the girder.
Another object of the invention is a stacking system for drilling of this type, involving furthennore a station for the horizontal line up of rods, including means for moving each rod over a precise distance from the axis of said girder, when the latter is in a horizontal position, as well as means for moving the end of each rod perpendicularly to a precise point on the axis of the girder, the rotation axis of the girder itself being situated on the derrick in such a position that the tipping of the girder, carrying a rod picked up by said grasping means in a retracted position, will move said rod outside the track of the pulley block into a nonstaggered position, said grasping means in the nonretracted position moving the rod into the axis of the drill hole.
Such a system offers many advantages. We might note that, contrary to certain automatic assemblies, it can be used with such component parts of the normal derrick as the winch, the pulley block, the automatic rod screwing and unscrewing device, constituting the train of drilling rods, while providing a reliable and rapid system.
in effect, a rod, which can be moved on the derrick into the vertical position outside the track of the pulley block when the grasping means of the grider are retracted, pennits simultaneous operations. Furthermore, since the pulley block can be staggered outside the axis of drilling, it is possible, without waiting for the pulley block to come back up, to place a rod, grasped by the girder, in the axis of the drill hole by simply displacing said retractable grasping means. Thus, contrary to the earlier devices, where the transported rod had to be held up until the pulley block had come back up, and contrary to the special derricks requiring modifications in the pulley block and making it possible to hold only rods of small dimensions, e.g., about 9 meters, it is now possible, by virtue of the combination accom plished here, rapidly to move a large dimension rod, e.g., about 27 meters, into the axis of the drill hole, the pulley block being able to go back up during said operation.
Another object of the invention is a stacking system of the type indicated whose pulley block staggering device involves a slide bar along which the pulley block can move, with a cart supporting said slide bar and a jack, said cart being guided vertically by means of two rails and said jack displacing the pulley block from a first position, in which the axis of the pulley block coincides with the axis of the drill hole, to a second position situated in the vertical axis of the mouse hole.
The importance of such a device results not only from the possibility of rapidly moving the pulley block out of the way, but also from the fact that it permits the descent or rise of the pulley block during the performance of any other operation in the axis of the drill hole, such as the movement of a new rod, for example. Furthermore, the coincidence of the axis of the pulley block, in the offset or out of the way position, and the axis of the mouse hole makes it possible to add rods more simply and consequently faster than with the earlier systems since the screwing is performed in the vertical position, and no longer in an oblique position.
Another object of the invention is an automatic stacking system of the type indicated, in which said tipping girder furthermore involves a means for engaging or hooking onto its upper portion, cooperating with a locking device attached on the derrick, with a view to positioning the transported rods with precision, as well as a lower stop to support heavy elements, such as drill collars and pipes, the position of the stop on the girder being such that, when the girder is tipped into the vertical position, it is at a vertical distance from the joint having to receive the new rod or element and this distance is less than 30 cm.
This device not only facilitates the precise and reliable manipulation of rods but also that of heavy elements, such as pipes and drill collars, since these elements are transported by said tipping girder until they are in the vertical position above the axis of the drill hole and these elements are positively retained thereon. In this way we avoid the risks of danger produced by the fortuitous displacements of these elements in the course of their handling and especially the displacements caused by a swell, in the case of a maritime installation. This system furthermore offers the advantage of increasing the speed of the placement of the elements since the latter are moved to the proximity of the tightening device.
Another object of the invention is the system of the type indicated, each of whose displaced components, such as the pulley block moved beyond the axis of the drill hole, grasping means moved away from their initial grasping position, tightening mechanism, and girder tipped from a horizontal position to a vertical position, is associated with two members each of which transmits a control signal, one signal when the member is in its initial position and the other signal when said member has been displaced to a second position. Each of said signal transmission members is activated by the displaced member or by its moving mechanism arriving at the end of its travel, similar transmitter members being furthermore provided on the arms and the nippers of the derrick as well as on the collar of the elevator and the rod tightening mechanism, control connections, associated with triggering means operated by the operator, being provided between said control signal transmission members and said members serving for the displacement of the various above mentioned components, so that: (a) the triggering of similar member displacement means belonging to one and the same assembly; assembly of nippers of derrick, assembly of arms of derrick, assembly of thrust stop and of girder arms, and assembly of girder nippers, will bring about the simultaneous and synchronized displacement of the displacement members belonging to that same assembly; and (b) the displacements, within each assembly of similar members, will take place so as to accomplish the same function; either the retraction of the arms or the outward extension of the arms, or the closing of the nippers, or their opening.
In this way, we get an extremely flexible and reliable automation of the stacking system that is the object of this invention since it suffices to group the various automatic assemblies thus constituted in order to bring about the automatic performance of the operations of raising or lowering the train of rods. The automatic system may be either total or it may be limited, in which case the operator must, as in the past, control the winch of the derrick during the performance of a group of particular functions. The advantage of such a system is that it permits the automation of certain operations while still preserving the conventional components of the derrick.
Another object of the invention is a system of the preceding type, in which:
a. The control signal transmitting member, associated with the opening of the elevator, is connected to the means for controlling the offset movement of the pulley block outside of the axis of the drill holes;
b. The control signal transmission member, associated with the means for the control of the return of the pulley block into the axis of the drill hole is connected to the means for the control of the closing of the elevator;
c. The control signal transmission member, associated with the outward extension of the arms of the derrick is connected to the means for the control of the closing of the nippers of the arms of the derrick;
d. The control signal transmission member, associated with the opening of the nippers in the derrick, is connected to the means for the control of the retraction of the arms of the derrick;
e. A triggering member, handled by the operator, is provided for the individual control of the following components: the opening and closing of the collar of the elevator, the offsetting and return of the pulley block into the axis of the drill hole, the operation of the tightening key, the tipping and return of the girder into the initial position, the retraction and return of the girder arms, the raising and lowering of the intermediate arm of the girder, the opening and closing of the nippers of the girder, the extension and return of the arms of the derrick, the opening and closing of the nippers of the derrick and the locking-unlocking of the girder in the vertical position; and
f. A special switch enables the operator either to use said control means individually, when said switch is switched to a first control position, the so-called semiautomatic position, or to trigger the automatic performance of the operations of raising the train of rods when said switch is connected to a second position, or to trigger the automatic performance of the operations involving the lowering of the train of rods when said switch is switched to a third position, or to suppress the automatic and semi-automatic connections when the switch is switched to a fourth position.
Another object of the invention is a system of this type in which a portion of said grasping means,
mounted on the girder, is utilized exclusively for holding the pipes and drill collars and another portion is utilized for holding the rods, a second switch member placing off-circuit the connections used exclusively for holding the rods when said second member is switched to a second position.
The system involved in this invention, therefore, enables us to easily proceed to automatic operations involving the raising and lowering of the rod train or of heavy elements such as pipes and collars by means of the successive activation of the means for the control of the displacement of the above mentioned components, since it suffices to manipulate, in addition to a simple switch mechanism for the purpose of switching from one automatic arrangement to another one, a second switch member for the purpose of changing from the holding of the rods to the holding of heavy elements.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will emerge from the following specifications given here with reference to the attached drawing which, by way of example, represents one way of implementing a stacking system.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic elevational and partially cutaway view of the assembly of the mechanical parts of the system or apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the system shown in FIG. 1, after the girder has been tipped into the horizontal position, with the metallic structure of the derrick being cut away and the components for holding the rods and the pulley block being shown;
FIG. 3 is a schematic elevational view of a device for the control of the displacement of one arm of the derrick;
FIG. 4 is a schematic elevational view of a device for the control of the mechanism used in closing and opening nippers of the derrick;
FIG. 5 is a schematic elevational view of the mechanism for the displacement of the pulley block on its support;
FIG. 6 is a schematic plan view of the collar of the elevator;
FIG. 7 is the schematic representation of the member of the key for tightening the rods on their joints;
FIG. 8 is a schematic elevational view of the girder in the vertical position with its locking device;
FIG. 9 is a schematic elevational view of the end of the girder tipped into the horizontal position;
FIG. 10 is a schematic elevational view of the device for controlling the opening and closing of one of the nippers of an arm of a girder;
FIG. 11 is a schematic elevational view of the mechanism for the displacement of an arm of the girder perpendicularly to the axis of the girder and of the mechanism for displacement parallel to the axis;
FIG. 12 shows the portion of the circuit diagram for the controls that start the automatic operation of the system;
FIG. 13 shows a portion of the circuit diagram shown in FIG. 12, relative to the control of the displacement of the arms of the girder perpendicularly to its axis;
FIG. 14 shows a portion of the circuit diagram shown in FIG. 12, relative to the control of the nippers of the arms of the girder;
FIG. 15 shows the portion of the circuit diagram of FIG. 12, relative to the control of one of the arms of the girder parallel to its axis;
FIG. 16 shows the portion of the circuit diagram of FIG. 12, relative to the control of the opening and closing of the elevator as well as to the control of the sideways staggering of the pulley block;
FIG. 17 shows the portion of the circuit diagram of FIG. 12, relative to the control of the tightening key;
FIG. 18 shows the portion of the circuit diagram of FIG. 12, relative to the control of the arms and the nippers of the derrick;
FIG. 19 shows the portion of the circuit diagram of FIG. 12, relative to the control of the tipping of the girder and to the control of its locking in the vertical position; and
FIG. 20 shows the diagram for the connection of FIGS. 13-19 to FIG. 12.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The automatic stacking system for drilling and especially for ocean drilling essentially involves a horizontal rod stacking device designated by reference 15, FIG. 1, the tipping girder l6 and a derrick 17. We will not describe each of these components of the system in detail since the horizontal stacking device has already been described in French Pat. application No. 6,938,7Sl, filed by applicant on Nov. 12, I969, under the title: System for Lining Up and Withdrawing Rods in the Horizontal Position," the tipping girder 16 having been described in French Pat. application No. 6,939,135, filed by applicant on Nov. 14, I969 under the title: Tipping Girder for a Transfer of Rods or Tubular Elements Especially for Drilling," and the derrick here differing from earlier derricks only by virtue of the arrangements and the new components which alone will be described here.
To facilitate the explanation, we will assume that the two members associated with any displacement of the movable members of the system which each transmit a control signal in accordance with the invention (one. when the movable member with which it is associated is in the initial position, the other one when the movable member is in the displaced position), are constituted, for example, by a valve that is open when it is in contact with the displaced member or the means serving to displace it, said valve closing automatically the moment the displaceable member has left it in order to stop any distribution of control fluid.
It is clear that numerous other equivalent devices could be used and that said valves could be replaced by simple electrical contacts establishing a circuit controlling an electric valve. However, to clarify the circuits to be discussed later on, we assume that any signal transmission member will, when it is activated by a mechanical component, open a hydraulic control circuit. Such members are well known and are shown only schematically in FIGS. 3-11 by means of rectangles bearing references such as a to t.
For greater clarity and in order to facilitate the reading of the circuits, we have assumed that the signals transmitted by members, such as u,vw, n, have a limited duration, so that the circuits controlling one and the same member act upon said member only for a limited duration of the automatic rod train rise or descent cycle.
Thus, collar 18 of the elevator, FIGS. 1, 5, arid 6, supports a control member in the form of a jack I whose rod 19, attached by one of its ends to the pivoting portion 20 of the collar, involves two stops 21 and 22, cooperating respectively with the two control members or valves e and f, carried by jack 1. When the collar is in the open position, the valve f, activated by stop 22, allows the passage of control fluid, whereas in the closed position, shown in broken line 5, valve f is closed and valve e is opened to allow the passage of control fluid.
In a similar manner, pulley block 23, FIGS. 1 and 5, controls one or the other of the two control members or valves and d, depending upon the position which it occupies on slide bar 24. According to the invention, the pulley block 23 may in effect be displaced with the help of jack 2 so as to occupy a first position in the axis of the drill hole, as shown in FIG. 1, and in this case, 23 is in contact with member d, or a second position, where it is in contact with member c. In this latter position, the axis of the pulley block coincides with the axis of the mouse hole 25, FIG. 2. Contrary to the floor of earlier derricks, the axis of the mouse hole is vertical and not obliquie, thus greatly facilitating the operations of adding the rods stored at 26. The transition of the pulley block 23 from one position to the other is accomplished by simply activating jack 2 whose rod end is pivoted on lever 27 having a groove 28 in which a shaft 29 of pulley block 23 is engaged. The slide bar 24 is mounted on a support cart 30 of the pulley block, said cart moving on the vertical guide rails 31 and 32, and cable 33 moving the pulley block vertically.
Each of the derrick holding arms 8A1, 831, and 8C], FIGS. I and 2, has nippers 9A], 981, or 9CI, and is controlled by mechanisms similar to those shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 so as to move toward the axis of drilling and so as to grasp the rods that are positioned there. In FIG. 3, the arm 8A1 is controlled by any mechanism, e. g., a chain controlled by a motor, and this mechanism involving the control members 211 and bl activated respectively by stops 34 and 35, depending upon whether arm 8A] is extended outwardly or is in the retracted position. For greater clarity, the mechanism for the opening and closing of nippers 9A] is shown schematically at 9A, FIG. 4, this mechanism being mounted on support 9A3 of the nippers, the rod bearing the two stops 36 and 37 activating the closing lever 9A2 of the nippers. When the nippers are in the closed position, stop 36 activates the control member I I, and when the nippers are in the open position, stop 37 activates member ml.
Similar mechanisms control the arms 8B] and 8C1 as well as their nippers 9B] and 9C].
In addition to the radial or longitudinal movements of these arms, the upper arm 8A1 can be moved in a horizontal plane along two perpendicular directions, arm 881 can be moved also vertically along post 38, and arm 8C1 can pivot around the vertical axis of its support.
Tightening key 3 is of any known type and is shown schematically in FIG. 2 and FIG. 7. This device is associated with two control members shown symbolically by rectangles g and x. The first member 3 is activated every time the pushbutton 39 of member 3 is depressed by the descent of key 3, which occurs whenever the key 3, having been set in rotary motion and raised to tighten or loosen a rod on its joint, returns to its initial position. When the torque indicator 1 1 indicates a predetermined value, member .r is activated.
Girder 16, FIGS. 1, 8, and 9, pivots around the axis 40 of the derrick. It is set in motion by jack 4 and has in its upper portion a locking piece 41, on which is hooked the lock 42, controlled by the rod of jack 10. This lock has two control members I and s activated by stops 43 and 44 on the rod of the jack. When the girder l6 arrives in the vertical position, as shown in FIG. 8, it activates the member h by stop 45. When the girder is returned to the horizontal position by jack 4, another stop 46 triggers the control member 1'.
The device for moving rods 15 includes horizontal screw conveyors 47 which accomplish the perfectly parallel translation of the rods, which are then displaced vertically by vertical conveyors 48, after which they are advanced longitudinally to a stop 49 to assume the position of the rod 50 shown in FIGS. I and 2. The support level 51 of the rod 50 is such that, when the girder is in the horizontal position, its grasping arms are at the same level as the position of the rod 50 in the waiting position.
In the embodiment of the girder I6 shown in FIG. 2, only the nippers 7B1, function to engage 27 meter rods, such as 50, and support them. The other nippers 7A1, 7C], and 7D] serve as guides. The jacks 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D control the displacement of the nippers perpendicularly to the axis of the girder, with jack 6 controlling the longitudinal displacement of nippers 7B], and jack 5E controlling the displacement of a stop serving to support heavy elements such as pipes and drill collars.
By way of example, we have illustrated schematically in FIG. 10, at 7A, the jack for the control of the opening and closing of nippers 7A1. As in the case of the derrick nipper mechanisms, the jack rod has two stops 5] and 52, activating the control members r] and ql, r1 being activated when the nippers are closed.
In FIG. 11, we have shown the control mechanism for the girder nippers 7B1 capable of being displaced longitudinally. Jack 58, which controls the displace ment perpendicularly to the girder, has two control members j2 and k2, activated by stops 53 and 54. Rod 6A of jack 6 displaces the jack assembly 53 toward the interior of the support 55, rigidly attached to girder 16. When jack 5B is moved toward the top of the girder by rod 6A of jack 6, it activates control member m. Inversely, when jack 5B is moved toward the bottom of the girder by rod 6A, it activates the control member n.
We note furthermore that, when the girder 16 tips or pivots into the vertical position, a rod 56 mounted thereon is removed from the axis of the drill hole. In order to move the rod 56 into the drill hole axis, the nippers 7Al-7Dl are moved transversely outwardly from the girder and then nippers 7Bl are longitudinally displaced by the jack 6 so as to move the rod into a position suitable for being screwed, for example, to the train of rods. The lower stop of the girder 16 is at a short distance from the tightening key 3, which enables us to increase the speed of handling. This is particularly important when the element transported is a heavy element, such as a pipe, which only has to be displaced over a short vertical distance in order to put it in tightening position on its joint.
The possibilities offered by this invention will be further discussed in the course of the detailed description of the circuits connecting the various control members or valves shown in FIGS. 3-1 1.
In FIG. 12, the elements G1 to G24 represent, in a symbolic manner, switches which can be moved to connect a circuit with one or another of four lines, one being destined for automatic rod train lifting operations; another one for automatic rod train lowering operations; the third for the semi-automatic operations of the members of the system with a view to accomplishing special holding operations relative to the placement of tubing, for example; and the fourth being used for manual operations. It is clear that the positions of members G1 through G24 can be changed by the use of a single general switch.
For greater clarity, we have shown three lines for the switches G1 to G and two lines for the switches G11 to G24, all of them being switched onto the automatic control line for raising the rod train.
The connection of the circuits shown in FIGS. 12-19 is accomplished in accordance with the scheme in FIG. 20. The representation of the connection circuits between the various members described earlier has been designed to facilitate the explanation here but it goes without saying that the hydraulic circuits represented here involve valves permitting the circulation of control fluid exclusively in the direction indicated by the arrows and that, in fact, the diagram could be modified depending upon the technique adopted, particularly if all or a portion of the control members are replaced by electric valves.
We will first of all concentrate on the case where the rod train must be raised. For this purpose, the operator turns the general switch to the R position and the switch H, controlling the communication of switches R1 to R2], to the position D, so as to eliminate the connection circuits relative to the members that are exclusively used for pipe handling.
We will assume first of all that the operator has checked to make sure that the girder I6 is locked in the vertical position, that the intermediate nippers 7B1 of the girder are in the low position, and that the arms 8Al-8Cl of the derrick are retracted, with their nippers being closed. If these conditions have been met, the light v2, FIG. 12 is turned on by circuit 71, connected to the output of circuit ETIOO, which is activated by the simultaneous presence:
a. of the signal transmitted by the control member I, FIG. 19, signaling the locking of the girder in the top position, the member I being activated by the exit of jack rod 10 and I being connected to 100 by line 101, FIGS. 12 and 19;
b. of the signal transmitted by member p, FIG. 15, indicating the placement, in the low position, of the jack 5B of the girder, member p being connected to 100 by line 102, FIGS. 12 and 15; and
c. of the signal coming from the simultaneous control of the member ll, 12, and 13, FIG. 18, indicating the closing of the three nippers of arms 9A, 9B, and 9C of the derrick, this signal being transmitted by the output of circuit ET 103 connected to terminal T of H14 whose common terminal is connected to wire 104, FIGS. 18 and 12.
When light v2 is on, the operator pushes pushbutton R2, FIG. 12, which simultaneously triggers three members: the jacks of the girder, the collar 18 of the elevator, and the tightening key 3, these members being activated by connections 105, 106, and 107. The connection 105 activates the jacks 5A, 5B, and SD of the girder, FIG. 13, Le, the upper, middle and lower nippers carrier arms. For this purpose, 105, FIG. 12, activates a delay timer 14 which in turn activates control member w and by 61, G5, and 72, FIG. 13, the activation of member 5 which activates the double action 15 jacks 5A to SE, bringing about the exit or reentry of the girder arms, the control being performed by line 108 if the arms are out and by 109 if they are back in. When the jacks are in the withdrawn position, the control is then perfonned by 109 bringing about the activation of 20 jack 5A by H2, of jack 58 by H3, and of jack 5C, the
switches H having been switched to T.
The three jacks are then extended when the corresponding control members jl, j2, and j4 have been activated, each bringing about the transmission of a signal to the device ET 110 whose output is transmitted by H1 and 75.
The connection 106, FIG. 12, activates the opening of the collar of the elevator controlled by jack 1. For this purpose, connection 106 leads through G1 to the connection 81 triggering by means of 1', FIG. 16 (whose role is similar to 5' as indicated in the symbolic representation adopted for FIGS. 16 and 13), the control of the re-entry of the rod of jack 1 by line 111. At the end of the run, the rod activates the member f which, through 112 and H11, controls the withdrawal of the pulley block 23 through the activation of jack 2. At the end of the return run of jack rod 2, the control member 0 transmits a signal through connection 85 to light v3.
The connection 107 controls the automatic tightening key 3 by means of G3 and connection 87, FIG. 17. When the torque exerted by key 3 reaches a certain predetermined value, shown by indicator 11, the latter activates member x. This member lights up the lamp s3, and through 89 and a connection to be described later on, prepares for the activation of the nippers of the girder.
We note that we have allocated to each assembly of control circuits a lamp $1 to s10 which enables the operator to follow the performance of the cycle at any instant. These signals, which activate these lamps, also serve for the control of the members placed in action here so as to accomplish the automatic rod train raising or lowering operations and for this purpose the connection between the lamps and said members are controlled by switching members G1 to G24, controlled by the general switch.
The sideways movement or offset of the pulley block, by means of member c, FIG. 16, produces a signal transmitted by 83, G17, FIG. 12, and the connection 90 lights up lamp v3. In broken lines, we show a connection between v3 and the pulley block descent control member DM to indicate that the operator can directly control the winch which lowers the pulley block 23 or that an automatic circuit controls the member DM.
On the other hand, the return of the tightening key 3 into the rest position brings about the activation of contacts 3, FIG. 17, which transmit a signal via 91 and G12, FIG. 12, to line 92 leading to device ET 113.
Similarly, member x, FIG. 17, placed in action by torque indicator 11, transmits a signal via 89 and G15, FIG. 12, leading via 57 to the device ET 114, whereas the signal coming from device ET 1 10, FIG. 13, and indicating the end of the girder jack extension operation, is transmitted by 75 and G14, FIG. 12, to the connection 58, leading to the device ET 114. The simultaneous presence of signals at 57 and 58 enables us to arrange, at 115, an output signal transmitted by G7 and 94, FIG. 14, to the inverter 7' and from there to the control jacks 7A, 7B, and 7D of the nippers of the girder which close tight on the rod. At the end of the run, the rods of these jacks activate members r1, r2, and r4, transmitting a signal to the device ET 116, H19, the connection 95, FIG. 12, and G21 and from there toward lines 59 and 60.
Through 59, G9, and line 96, FIG. 18, the signal activates 9' and, through 117, the opening of the nippers 9A, 9B, and 9C of the derrick, whereas, through line 60, G6, and 97, FIG. 15, the signal activates the rise of the middle jack of the girder through the activation of the inverter 6' and then ofjack 6 via 118.
At the end of the run of the mechanisms of 9A, 9B, and 9C, the members m1, m2, and m3, respectively, transmit a signal whose coincidence permits the passage of the signal to the output of device ET 119, connected, by connections 120 and H20, to the control members of mechanisms 8A, 8B, and 8C, bringing about the return of the arms of the derrick. At the end of the run, these mechanisms activate, respectively, the control members b1, b2, and b3, transmitting a signal whose simultaneous presence permits the transmission of the signal to the output of device ET 121 and via H16, to the connection 98, FIG. 12, leading via G11 and 93 to the device ET 113.
When jack rod 6 finishes its run, the middle jack of the girder is in the top position and activates the member n which transmits a signal via 99, FIG. 12, G23, 61, G5, 72, FIG. 13, and activates the inverter activating the retraction of the arms of the girder by the activation of jacks 5A to SE via 108. At the end of the retraction of the girder arms, k1, k2, and k4 transmit a signal whose simultaneousness permits the transmission of a signal to the output of a device ET 122 and via H18 and the connection 123, FIG. 12 to G24, then via 64 to the device ET 184. The signal available at G11, coming from the members r1, r2, r4, FIG. 14, through wire 94, is also transmitted to ET 184 via derivation connection 185, so that a signal is available at 180 connected to the device ET 113.
The simultaneous presence of a signal on line 80, 92, and 93 brings about the transmission of a signal to the output of ET 113 which lights up a lamp v4.
In a first variation, the operator directly activates the pushbutton R4 the moment lamp v4 goes on and the moment the pulley block 23 has completed its descent.
According to a second variation, a signal is transmitted by v4 and it is transmitted by 124 to circuit ET 125, while a second signal, transmitted at the end of the run of the pulley block 23 and shown schematically by the junction of DM and of line 126, is transmitted to the device ET 125, controlling R4, in case of the simultaneous presence of signals on lines 126 and 124.
The operation of button R4 brings about the activation ofjack 2 byline 62, G2, line 127, FIG. 16, 2' and 128. Jack 2 returns the pulley block 23 to its original central position with the pulley block then activating the member d at the end of the run. The signal transmitted by d is transmitted, via line 129 and via H10, to jack 1, which, by closing the collar 18 of the elevator, activates at the end of the run of its rod, the member e which in turn transmits a signal. This signal is transmitted via 130, FIG. 12, G16 and 63 thus lighting up v1.
When light v1 goes on, this activates the rise of the pulley block 23 whose winch may be operated either manually or automatically as indicated by the dotted line connecting v1 to MM.
On the other hand, while the control member k transmitted a signal to connection 80, a signal was also being transmitted to jack 10 for the unlocking of the girder by 65, G10, and 131, FIG. 19, as well as to the delay timer 12 via lines 65 and 186.
When the girder is unlocked, that is to say, at the end of the run, the rod of jack 10 activates member s, the latter activates the return of the rod of jack 4, returning the girder to the horizontal position. In this position, control member 1' transmits a signal through line 132, FIG. 12, and G13.
On the other hand, the delay timer 12, FIG. 12, activates the control member u, which, through connection 61, G5, 72, FIG. 13, the inverter 5', the line 109, brings about the outward extension of the jacks 5A, 5B and SD of the girder, activated in parallel as described earlier. As we saw before, the outward extension of the activated jacks produces, through j1,j2, and j4, a signal transmitted via 75, FIG. I, and G14.
The simultaneous presence of a signal on lines 58 and 66, connected respectively with G14 and G13, brings about the transmission of a signal to the output of 133 which is transmitted via 115, G7, and 94, FIG. 14, to the inverter member 7'. With the girder nippers closed, the member 7' brings about the withdrawal of the rods ofjacks 7A, 7B, and 7D via line 134.
At the end of the run of rods of jacks 7A, 7B and 7D, the members qI, q2, and q4 transmit a signal which is transmitted to the device ET 135 and from there via H6 and 137, FIG. 12, G22, 68, 61, G5, 72, FIG. 13, to the inverter 5', with a view to the withdrawal of the girder jacks.
During the tipping of the girder 16, the pulley block 23 continues to go up. At the end of the run, it is then possible to order the placement on wedges and to trigger the button R1, as indicated by dotted lines 136, connecting MM and PC and 138 connecting MM to R1.
The triggering of R1 produces, via 67, G8, and 139, FIG. 18, the activation of the inverter 8' and, consequently, the outward extension of the arms of the derrick by mechanisms 8A, 8B, and 8C through 140. At the end of the run, the rods of these jacks activate the control members a1, a2, and a3, transmitting a signal to the device ET 141 and from there, via H17, 142, H21, 143, to jacks 9A, 9B, 9C, bringing about the closing of the nippers of the arms of the derrick and, at the end of the closing, the activation of control members l1, l2, and 13. These members transmit a signal to the device ET 103, controlling, via H14, 104, FIG. 12, and G18, a signal to ET 100.
During this period of time, the signal transmitted to the inverter FIG. 13, brings about, through 108, the activation of jacks 5A, 5B, and 5D. At the end of the run of the rods of these jacks k1, k2, and k4 transmit a signal which is transmitted, via ET 122, H18, 123, FIG. 12, G24 and 64, to the device ET 187, while the signal coming from members ql, q2, and q4, transmitted via 137, G22, and 68, is likewise transmitted to the same device ET 187. The output of device 187 then transmits a signal which is directed, on 188, on the one hand, toward G4 and 144, FIG. 19, to activate the jack 4 which returns the girder 16 to the vertical position, and on the other hand, via 70, 60, G6, 97, FIG. 15, inverter 6', connection 145 bringing about the descent of the middle jack of the girder.
When the girder arrives in the vertical position, the member h, FIG. 8, triggers the locking jack 10 of the girder. The exit of the rod of this jack at the end of the run activates the member I which, through 101, FIG. 12, and G20, transmits a signal to the device ET 100.
Likewise, when the rod of jack 6, FIG. 15, arrives at the end of the run, it activates member p which transmits a signal, via 102, FIG. 1, and G19, to the device ET 100.
With a signal present at the three inputs of device ET 100 its output transmits a signal, via 71, triggering the lighting of lamp v2, indicating that the cycle has just been completed. The operator can then start and identical cycle by once again operating button R2.
When we want to lower the rod train in automatic operation, it suffices to put the index of the general switch on stud D after making sure that the members are in a suitable position, that is to say, that the girder 16 is in the vertical position, that its arms are in the retracted position and hold a rod, that the pulley block 23 is moved sideways or ofi'set, that the tightening key 3 is in the resting position, and that the arms of the derrick are in the retracted position.
The components set in motion during the automatic operation of lowering the rod train are the same as those volved in the rod raising operation and we will therefore indicate only the course of the successive operations.
Light V2 is on and the operator activates the member MM for the raising of the pulley block 23 by depressing D2, if a direct connection, such as 146, is provided, or he directly activates the corresponding winch in the absence of an automatic connection.
D2 controls the exit of the arms of the derrick through 147, with the time delay member 13 activating v, the line 148 being linked to D by G8, the connection 139, FIG. 18, the inverter 8', 140, and the mechanisms 8A, 8B, and 8C.
D2 also activates the exit of the arms of the girder through 147, 149, connected to stud D of G5, 72, FIG. 13, 5', 109, and the jacks 5A, 5B, and 5D.
The members a1 a2, and a3, controlled by the exit of the arms of the derrick, FIG. 18, through H17 and 142, control the mechanisms 9 for the closing of the nippers of the derrick arms.
Likewise, members 31, j2, and j4, FIG. 2, controlled by the exit of the girder arms, transmit a signal via 110,
75, FIG. 12, G14 and 72, to the device ET 189. This same device also gets signal r1, r2, and r4, coming from 95, FIG. 14, since we supposed that the nippers of the girder were closed. Thus, the device 189 receives two input signals, one from the connection 72, and the other one from the connections 95, G21, 85, and derivation 190. From this there results an output signal 291, G6, 97, FIG. 15, 6, 145, with jack 6 bringing about the descent of the middle jack of the girder, thus assuring the engagement of the joint of the rod. At the end of the run of the middle jack, the member p is placed in action and, through 102, FIGS. 15 and 12, G19 in the position D and connection 73, transmits a signal to b3, which in turn is transmitted to the control 3, FIG. 17, of the tightening member of the joints via 87. The signal coming from 73 is also transmitted to the device ET 150 via 15], which when receiving a signal via 74, coming from members 11, I2, and 13, FIG. 18, via 104, FIG. 12, and G18, transmits a signal via 76, G7, 94, FIG. 14, to 7', then via 134 to 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D for the opening of the nippers of the girder 16.
With the tightening key having been activated by means of 3, FIG. 17, the member x is activated the moment the tightening torque attains a predetermined value, lighting up the lamp V3 by means of 89, FIG. 12, G15, and 192.
After the pulley block lifting member MM has been activated via D2, D3 can be depressed by the operator or it can be triggered automatically by the connection 152. The device ET 153 receives two input signals and can in effect transmit an output signal at D3.
Its triggering brings about the activation of jack 2 through 77, 127, FIG. 16, 2', and 128, and, consequently, the centering of the pulley block 23 which brings about the closing of the elevator collar 18 through jack 1, controlled by d, 129 and H10, FIG. 16. At the end of the course of the rod of jack 1, the member e emits a signal through 130, FIG. 12, G16, and 78, thus lighting up lamp V4. Parallel to the illumination of V4, the connection 154, connecting G16 to G9, transmits the signal, through 96, FIG. 18, to 9' and from there, through 117, to 9A, 9B, and 9C, thus causing the opening of the derrick nippers.
During the screwing operation, the member 7, controlling the opening of the nippers of the girder, brings about the activation of the members ql, q2, and q4, which, through and 137, FIG. 12, G22, 79, G5, 72, FIG. 12, 5', and 108, bring about the command for the retraction of the arms 5A 5B, and 5D. The corresponding members It], k2, and k4 emit a signal, through 122, H18, 123, FIG. 12, G24, and 155, supplying the device ET 193 with power, while the connection 179, connected to G22 and 137, transmits, to the same device, the signal coming from ql q2, and q4. From this results a signal at the output of ET 193 which is transmitted, via 156, G6, 97, FIG. 15, 6', and 118, to jack 6, in order to raise the middle arm up to its initial position. The signal transmitted by the controls, of k1, k2, and k4, and ql, q2, and q4, is likewise transmitted, in parallel with 156, to the connection 82, and from there, via G10 and 131, FIG. 19, to jack 10, causing the unlocking of the girder and, consequently, the activation of control member s. The latter in turn activates jack 4, moving the girder into the horizontal position.
At the end of the run of the girder, the member 1' transmits a signal, via 132, FIG. 12, G13, 83, 79, G5, 72, FIG. 13, 5', and 109, to the jacks 5A, 5B, and 5D, thus bringing about the exit of the corresponding arms of the girder. Through 110, the members jl, j2, and j4 produce the transmission of a signal which is transmitted, via 75, FIG. 12, to the device ET 194, while the signal i, coming from 132, FIGS. 19 and 12, reaches the same device. A signal is then transmitted through the output of ET 194, 84, 76, G7, 94, FIG. 14, to the inverter 7 and from there, via 157, to the jacks 7A, 7B, and 7D, controlling the closing of the nippers of the corresponding arms and, hence, the members r1, r2, and r4. The latter transmit a signal via 116, H19, 95, FIG. 1,021, 85' the delay timer 14, with the member w activating 5' through 159, 97, G5, and 72, FIG. 13, and from there, via 108, the jacks 5A, 5B, and 5d.
The signal transmitted by 85', in parallel with the activation of delay timer [4, brings about the activation of jack 4 through the connection: 85, G4, and 144, FIG. 19.
At the end of the opening of the derrick arm nippers, the members ml, m2, and m3, FIG. 18, emit a signal, through 119, 120, H20, thus controlling the mechanisms 8A, 8B, and 8C, bringing about the retraction of the derrick arms. At the end of the run, these mechanisms activate the members b1, b2, and b3, which transmit a signal, through 98, FIG. 12, and G1 I, to the device ET 161. On the other hand, the tightening device 3 having been activated at the beginning of the cycle and having in turn activated 3 at the end of the work, a signal is then also applied to the device ET 161 through g, FIG. 17, 91, FIG. 1, and G12. A signal is then transmitted through ET 161 and through 8b up to lamp VI which lights up.
The illumination of V1 and the unblocking of the wedges, activated during the illumination of V4, bring about the activation of the descent of the pulley block 23 by the member DM, as shown in device ET 162. This operation is followed by a new placement on wedges, as indicated by connection 163. When this has been completed, the operator can activate D1 as indicated by connection 160.
The triggering of D1, through 164, G1, 81, FIG. 16, I, and Ill, brings about the activation of jack 1, assuring the opening of the elevator collar. The member I, activated at the end of the run, in turn activates jack 2, through 112, and H11, thus bringing about the sideways staggering of the pulley block 23. At the end of the run, the rod of jack 2 activates c, transmitting a signal, via 85, FIG. 12, G17, and 87, to the device ET 165.
Simultaneously, if the jack 4, FIG. 19, having been activated so as to return the girder into the vertical position, the member h activates the locking jack 10, whose rod at the end of the run activates the member I. The latter transmits a signal through 101, FIG. 12, G20, and 166, through the device ET 165. The presence of a signal at the two inputs of the device then, through its output line, causes V2 to light up.
Since jacks 5A, 5B, and 5D have been activated at the same time as the member I, the members kl, k2, and k4, indicating the return of the girder anns, return the corresponding circuits into the same initial state as at the beginning of the cycle, so that, when V2 lights up, the operator can start a new cycle.
The action of the control means for the various components is so designed as to permit the maneuvering of the tubing and the drill collars by simple switching so as to isolate, in the automatic control circuits which we have just described, the connections which normally bring about the transition from one operation to the next with a view to the automatic lifting or lowering of the rods. We thus limit the automatic portion to independent unique operations or to a limited sequence of operations involving non-independent members. Likewise, by switching we eliminate the connections that activate the members used exclusively for holding the rods. Thus, heavy elements are maneuvered under the control of an operator by means of a succession of simple operations offering the advantage of making automatic the performance of each operation or sequences of dependent operations, thus increasing the speed of maneuvering and the reliability of the entire assembly while retaining the simplicity of the maneuvers, in spite of the length intervals of the elements handled by the same members under automatic control.
It is thus possible very simply to switch from the operations of lowering and raising the trains of rods assembled in 27-meter elements to the manipulations of 9-meter drill collars or 9/ l 4-meter tubing, for example.
For this purpose, the index of the general switch G is moved from R (or D) to SA, activating the connections corresponding to semi-automatic operations, and the index of switch H is moved from T to Dr. This switching enables us to select the members of the derrick and of the girder involved in the particular operations.
In order to facilitate the description, we will assume that we want to move a heavy tubing element or a drill collar and that, in the beginning, the girder is in the vertical position on the derrick, the heavy element being supported by stop 5E and the jacks 5D and 5C being in retracted position, while the pulley block 23 has just been offset sideways.
Under these conditions, when the operator pushes the pushbutton 85, FIG. 13, he orders the extension of arms 5C, 5D, and SE of the girder through circuit I67, FIG. 12, G5, whose stub S.A. is then switched with 72, FIG. 13, 5', 109, and in parallel, H4, H5, and the direct line connected to 5D. At the end of the operation, the members j3, j4, and j5 are activated by the rods of the jacks and transmit a signal to the device ET 168 whose output is connected via to s5 by means of H1 which is switched to Dr. The light s5 then goes on, warning the operator that the operation has been completed; he can then go on to the next operation, that is to say, the triggering of the outward extension of the arms of the derrick.
For this purpose, the operator simultaneously pushes pushbuttons S8, FIG. 18, and S2, FIG. 16, pushbutton S8 through 169, FIG. 12, G8, 139, FIG. 18, 8', and 140, controls the mechanisms 88 and 8C, since SA has not been activated because of the opening of H12. The members a1 and a3 have been placed in action by the mechanisms reaching the end of the run; they transmit a signal to the device ET 170, connected via H17 and 171 to s8. The light 58 goes on, warning the operator as to the exit of the middle arm 88 and the lower arm 8C of the derrick.
At the same time, 82 having been activated, jack 2 is activated by 172, FIG. 12, G2, 127, FIG. 16, 2, and 128, so as to return the pulley block 23 to the axis of the derrick. At the end of the run, the member d transmits a signal via 173 to s2 which goes on.
After the exit of the derrick arms, that is to say, when s8 is lit up, the operator activates S9, bringing about the closing of the nippers 9 via 174, FIG. 12, 96, FIG. 18, 9', 117. The members m2 and m3 then bring about the emission of a signal which lights up the lamp s9 via 175.
The operator can then activate S1, thus operating, by means of 176, FIG. 12, G1, 81, FIG. 16, 1', 177 and H10, the jack 1, which closes the collar of the elevator. At the end of the operation, the member e transmits a signal which is transmitted via 130, to the lamp s1 which goes on.
By activating S7, FIG. 14, the operator opens the nippers of the arms of the girder by means of circuit 178, FIG. 12, G7, 94 FIG. 14, 7', 134, and in parallel 7C and 7D. At the end of the run of the rods of these jacks, q3 and q4 transmit a signal via ET 179 and 137 to s7 which goes on.
In order to pick up the weight of the pipe, the operator causes the pulley block 23 to rise and he activates S in order to withdraw the arms of the girder. The jacks 5C, 5D, and 5E are controlled through 167, FIGS. 13 and 12, 72, FIG, 13. 5', and 180. At the end of the operation, s5 is lit up due to the activation of the signal emitted by k3, k4, and k5, 180, H18, and 123.
The operator then turns on the pulley block 23 in order to engage the joint of the tubing and simultaneously activates S10 in order to unlock and return the girder to the horizontal position. S10, by means of 181, FIG. 1, 131, FIG. 8, controls the jack 10. At the end of the unlocking operation, the member s illuminates s10 and activates the jack 4 for the tipping of the girder.
The joint having been engaged and the screwing having been accomplished by conventional means, the operator then activates S9, FIG. 18, which, through 174, FIG. 1, G9, 96, and H21, causes the retraction of the rods of jacks 9B and 9C. The members 12 and 13 then, through 182 and 104, cause s9 to light up.
The operator can then activate S8 for the retraction of the arms of the derrick which is accomplished by circuit 169, FIG. 12, 139, FIG. 18,8, H20, and jacks 8B and 8C. The members b2 and b3 at the end of the operation cause s8 to be lit up by 183 and H16.
Once the girder has reached the horizontal position, the member 1', FIG. 19, transmits a signal which, through 132, causes $4 to light up. The operator can then pick up a new element and for this purpose he successively activates s5, for the exit of the arms of the girder, S7 for closing of the nippers of the girder whose control is accomplished, FIG. 14, by 94 and 157, r3 and r4 emitting a signal at 198, S4 for the raising of the girder whose control is performed by 195, G4, and 144, FIG. 19, the jack 4 returning to the loaded girder into the vertical position and the member h causing it to be locked. The moment S4 triggers the lifting of the girder, the operator activates S5 in order to withdraw the arms of the girder.
During the performance of these latter operations, the first element has been screwed and the operator disengages the corners with the help of the pulley block 23 and then he sees to the lowering of the pulley block under load in order finally to put the pipes on the wedges.
The operator then activates S1, controlling the opening of the elevator, then $2, the moment s1 has lit up, so as to stagger the pulley blocks sideways. We are thus back at the initial conditions, so that it suffices for the operator to resume the succession of commands described previously.
It is clear that, since the middle jack of girder 5B has not been used, the operator did not have to manipulate button S6 which serves to raise or lower the middle jack arm as desired. For this purpose, S6, FIG. 15, is connected by 196 to G6, FIG. 12, and from there to 97, connected to the previously described control for jack 6, FIG. 15. Likewise, the maneuvering of the tightening key 3 can be controlled as desired through S3, FIG. 17, connected via 197, FIG. 12, to G3 and from there via 87 to the control of the mechanism 3, FIG. 17.
The action of the hydraulic circuits, which have just been described, by way of example in the form of a scheme, may take on many other forms especially when the members that transmit the control signals, such as x, r, u, etc., are electrical contacts. The conditions bringing about the activation of well determined members in the course of an automatic cycle can be replaced by combinations of equivalent conditions. By way of example, the condition where we have a signal k and a signal r, in the course of the automatic lifting of the rods for the control of jack 10, could be replaced by the condition where we have signals j and m.
As to the arms equipped with stops or nippers, it is quite obvious that their number may vary and that any particular mechanism may be activated individually; these individual activation controls are known in themselves and can be of any suitable type.
What is claimed is:
l. Stacking and handling apparatus for drilling rods or tubular elements, comprising:
a. a derrick including movable rod holding arms,
rigid vertically extending guide means, a rigid support vertically movable on said guide means, a pulley block slidably mounted on said support for lateral movement, an elevator secured to said pulley block and having a collar, means for laterally moving said pulley block to an offset position outside of the drilling axis, and means for moving said support and said pulley block vertically when said pulley block is in said offset position; and a girder pivotable about a horizontal axis between vertical and horizontal positions and including retractable means for supporting a rod so as to take it from a horizontal position to a vertical position and vice versa, said supporting means having means for grasping the rod and moving it from a retracted position to an extended position and vice versa perpendicularly to the axis of the girder.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1 further comprising a station for the horizontal alignment of drilling rods, said station having means for moving each rod over a precise distance from the axis of said girder when the latter is in the horizontal position, and means for moving the end of each rod perpendicularly with respect to a precise point on the axis of the girder, said girder being pivoted on said derrick in such a position that the tipping of the girder to a vertical position, bearing a rod picked up by said grasping means, in the retracted position, moves said rod into a position spaced from said pulley block when it is in said offset position, said grasping means serving to move the rod to the extended position in alignment with the drilling axis.
3. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said grasping means is movable in a direction parallel to said girder axis, and means are provided for moving said grasping means in said direction.
4. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said pulley block moving means comprises a slide bar rigidly mounted on said support along which the pulley block can move, and a jack, said jack moving said pulley block between said offset position and a second position in which the axis of said pulley block coincides with the drilling axis.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said girder further comprises a means for hooking onto its upper portion cooperating with a locking device attached to said derrick, and a lower stop for supporting heavy tubular elements, the position of said stop on said girder being such that, when the girder is pivoted to the vertical position, said stop is at a small vertical distance from a drilling joint adapted to receive said elements.
6. Apparatus as in claim 5 wherein each of said pulley block, said supporting means, said grasping means and said girder is associated with two members, each of which transmits a control signal in response to the movement of said pulley block, supporting means, grasping means and girder to their extreme positions, and wherein similar transmitter members are provided on said derrick arms and said elevator collar and are responsive to the movement of said arms and said collar to their extreme positions.
7. Apparatus as in claim 6 wherein:
a. the control signal transmission member, associated with the opening of said elevator collar, is connected to control means for movement of said pulley block to said offset position;
b. the control signal transmission member, as-
sociated with the control means for the movement of the pulley block to said second position is connected to the means for the control of the closing of said elevator collar;
c. the control signal transmission member, associated with the extension of said arms of the derrick, is connected to the means for the control of the closing of nippers on the arms of the derrick;
. the control signal transmission member associated with the opening of said nippers on said derrick arms, is connected to the means for the control of the withdrawal of the derrick arms; and
e. a triggering member, maneuvered by the operator,
is provided for the individual control of opening and closing of said collar of the elevator, the movement of said pulley block between said ofiset and second positions, the pivotal movement of said girder, the movement of said girder supporting and grasping means, the extension and return of said arms of the derrick, the opening and closing of said nippers on the derrick arms, and the locking and unlocking of said girder in the vertical position.
8. Apparatus as in claim 7 further comprising a general switch and a series of switching members connected to said general switch and to four lines inserted in control connections for the movable components of said a pa ratus, said ge eral switch providing for t e contro 0 each group 0 associated components in ependent of each other when it is switched into a first position, said general switch connecting the component controls and the associated component groups with each other, so as to assure the cyclic and automatic performance of the operations of raising the rods or lowering the rods, depending on whether it is switched to a second or a third position, and said general switch rendering each component control of one and the same group of components independent when it is switched to a fourth position.
9. Apparatus as in claim 8 wherein a portion of said grasping means, mounted on said girder, is used exclusively for holding pipes and drill collars, and another portion thereof is used for holding drilling rods, control means are provided for said portions of said grasping means, and switching means is connected to said control means to provide for the independent operation of said portions of said grasping means.