US 3847039 A
A valve stem rotating head is connected via a flexible shaft to a source of rotative power having torque limiting and reversing means associated therewith. The device is preferably mounted on a truck bed and includes a swingable boom mounting said head. The head is also translatable along the boom. In one embodiment, a plurality of such heads are controlled from a common control device utilizing a clutching means for selectively coupling one or more of the heads to the source of rotative power.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 11 Azuma Nov. 12, 1974  VALVE OPERATING DEVICE 2.898.792 I 8/1959 Fox et al 8l/57.4l
. 52.  Inventor: Shoziro Azuma, 41, 2-chome, 12/1960 Banner 4 Sh" ,St' -k,Tk,
Os lgdya e dgaya u 0 yo Primary E.\'ammerJames L. Jones, Jr. Japan Attorney, Agent, or FirmCushman, Darby & Aug. 25, Cushnyan 211 App]. No.: 174,636
v  ABSTRACT  U.S. Cl 81/524 R, 81/5725, 81/5722, A valve stem rotating head is connected via a flexible 81/5729, 81/57. 1 3, 81/5727 shaft to a source of rotative power having torque limit-  Int. Cl B25b B25b 17/00, B25b 21/00 ing and reversing means associated therewith. The de-  Field of Search 81/524, 57.13, 57.22, vice is preferably mounted on a truck bed and in- 81/5727, 57.25, 57.29, 57.36, 57.41, 177 G cludes a swingable boom mounting said head. The
head is also translatable along the boom. In one em-  References Cited bodiment, a plurality of such heads are controlled NITED STA ES TE S from a common control device utilizing a clutching 19m 011 5/1933v 'Riess et'aL 8H524 R means for selectively coupling one or more of the 2:304:038 12/1942 Thom sonIf II... 81/177 0 heads to the source of native Power- 2.649,870 8/l953 Keilien 81/5736 2,854,2l7 9/1958 Benjamin 81 57.41 2 7 Drawmg F'gures PMENIEDHBV 12 m4 $847,039 sum m a F/G! w INVENTOR ATTORNEYS PMENTEMU! 12 m4 3. 847'. 039
SHEEI 2 0f 3 INVENTOR 446% ZZW ATTORNEY5 PMENTED HEY I 2 I974 'kn il W ATTORNEYS VALVE OPERATING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In most factories, power plants, water works and other plants having valved piping, the valves are usually manually opened and closed. Some valves are difficult to open and close because of the amount of torque or the number of turns needed.
In my Japanese utility model No. 890,665, approved Dec. 19, I969, there is disclosed a valve operating device as described hereinbelow in relation to FIGS. la and lb hereof. The invention described herein elaborates upon that valve operating device to make it more useful when mounted on a vehicle and/or when several such devices are required to operate a plurality of valves.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is provided in accordance with the invention a valve stem rotating head which is connected via a flexible shaft to a source of rotative powe'r having torque limiting and reversing means associated therewith. The device is preferably mounted on a truck bed and includes a swingable boom mounting said head. The head is also translatable along the boom. In one embodiment, a plurality of such heads are controlled from a common control device utilizing a clutching means for selectively coupling one or more of the heads to the source of rotative power.
The principles of the invention will be further hereinafter discussed with reference to the drawings wherein preferred embodiments are shown. The specifics illustrated in the drawings are intended to exemplify, rather than limit, aspects of the invention as defined in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. la is a side elevation view of a cart-mounted valve operating device as described in my Japanese utility model No. 890,665, approved Dec. 19, I969;
FIG. 1b is a vertical fragmentary cross-sectional view of a valve stem rotating head removably mounted on a valve stem for rotatively opening or closing the associated valve. This head is also disclosed in my aforementioned utility model.
FIG. 2a is a top plan view of a truck having a bed equipped with a boom-carried valve stem rotating head in accordance with principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2b is a side elevation view of the equipment depicted in FIG. 1a, showing the boom in an extended condition;
FIG. 3a is a perspective view of apparatus for controlling several valve stem rotating devices from common drive and control units;
FIG. 3b'is a fragmentary elevation view, partly in diagrammatic form to expose parts otherwise obscured, of
the drive unit including the clutching mechanism for aplurality of valve stem rotating heads; and
FIG. 3c is an end elevation view, partly in diagrammatic form to expose parts otherwise obscured, of the clutching mechanism of FIGS. 3a and 3b.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION For background, the device shown in FIGS. 1a and lb will be described first.
In FIG. la there is shown a wheeled cart 1 with a prime mover 2, e.g., an electric motor, and a transmission 3. The transmission is equipped with a torque limiter for ensuring that when a valve has been fully opened or fully closed or becomes jammed, the rotative power supplied by the transmission will not continue to be forcibly applied to the valve stem. The output end of the torque limiter of the transmission is connected to a flexible shaft 6 for rotating the same. The other end of the shaft 6 is connected to a worm 8 via a joint 14 for rotating the worm. The worm'8 is geared with a worm wheel-9 in the housing 11. The worm wheel 9 is fixed on a tubular shaft 10 which ends in a fitting 10' that is configured for removable securement to a valve stem for rotating the same.
In the instance depicted, the conventional valve stem 7 is equipped with a conventional hand wheel P. The hub 8 of the hand wheel has a detent 12' and the fitting 10' which removably mounts upon the hub 8 has a pin 12 whose shaft 12" is removably received in the detent 12 for keying the valve stem rotating head to the valve stem (via the hand wheel). The pin shaft is biased into the detent by a spring 12".
The element 13 is a handle for carrying the valve stem rotating head and for holding and manipulating the device as the part 10' is fitted over the hub 8 and the pin 12 inserted in the detent l2.
After the device has been removably installed on a valve, operation thereof in one rotative sense opens the valve and in the opposite rotative sense closes the valve. It can be seen that one device can be wheeled from place to place to operate several valves, one at a time, or several valves in one general area can be operated, again one at a time, by moving the cart to that general location, and then carrying the head from valve to valve, without moving the cart much.
The device as shown in FIG. 1a has two possible shortcomings: the head may be too heavy to be readily transported using the handle 13 and only one valve at a time can be opened or closed. I
The device shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b overcomes the first possible drawback and the device shown in FIGS. 3a, 3b and 3c overcomes the second possible drawback. The principles applicable to the device of FIGS. 2a and 2b are applicable to the device of FIGS. 3a, 3b and 3c, and vice versa.
In FIGS. 2a and 2b there is shown a valve stem rotating head 17 including a worm wheel 33 mounted in a housing 30. The worm wheel is received about a countershaft clamp 36 having a vertically directed opening therethrough which vertically receives a countershaft 19. The clamp 36 can be, e.g., manually, actuated to clamp the countershaft with respect to the worm wheel,
so that when the worm wheel is'rotated, the counter shaft will be correspondingly rotated.
The countershaft 19 is shown including a joint 41 since the valve to be operated in the instance depicted is further from the head 17 than could be reached with one section of countershaft. The valve to be operated has a shaft 34 which is shown received in a connector 35 on the lower end of countershaft 19 so that when the countershaft 19 is rotated, the valve shaft is correspondingly rotated.
In FIGS. 2a and 2b, there is also depicted a truck having a body 15. The truck is equipped with an engine having a drive shaft 21 which mounts a pulley 20. A variable speed transmission 16 is mounted on the truck body and driven from the pulley 21 via a belt 24 and another pulley 23. The transmission includes a reversing mechanism 26 controlled at 40 for operating the transmission output shaft 29 in either direction.
A tachometer is depicted at 39.
The output shaft 29 drives a torque limiter 27 which is coupled to a flexible drive shaft 28. The latter is connected to a worm shaft 31 which mounts the worm 32 for driving the worm wheel 33.
It should now be noticed that the truck body near one edge thereof is provided with a turn-table 38 mounted on rails 37 which parallel that edge. The turn-table may be moved back and forth along the rails and mounts a boom 18 for rotation between a retracted condition wherein the boom is aligned with the rails (solid lines in FIG. 2a) and an extended condition wherein the free end of the boom is cantilevered out past said edge (dashed lines in FIG. 2a, solid lines in FIG. 2b). The head 17 is mounted on the boom 18 at the free end thereof.
Accordingly, the truck may be driven to adjacent the I valve to be operated and the boom rotated and slid with respect to the turn-table 38 and rails 37, respectively, to position the clamp 36 opening directly over the valve stem 34 whereupon the countershaft may be lowered until the socket 35 engages the valve stem 34. Then the clamp 36 may be secured and the shaft 28 driven in a sense to open or close the valve, as desired. Then the clamp 36 may be loosened, the countershaft 19 raised to free the socket 35 from the valve stem 34. Upon sliding of the countershaft 19 from the clamp 36, the boom carrying the head can be swung to an onboard, stowed condition as shown in solid lines in FIG. 2a.
All of what is shown in FIG. 3a (minus the valve stems and operating handles, of course) could be mounted on a truck body with the several valve stem rotating heads being mounted on one or more booms.
In FIG. 3a there are depicted three valve stem rotating heads 63, all attachable at the same time to a respective number of valve stem 62 operating handles 66 via attaching means 69. The worm shaft 64 of each head 63 is connected to a clutch unit 42 via a respective flexible shaft 55 (and/or connecting shaft 67 and flexible shaft 65 in the instance of the head 63 at the bottom of the figure, in order to operate upon a valve located more remotely from the clutch unit).
The clutch unit 42 (cf. FIGS. 3a, 3b and 3c) is driven via a shaft 45 from an adjacent motor 43, via a variable speed gear 44 and a forward/reverse controlling mechanism 44'. Both the motor 68 and the clutch unit 42 are controlled from the controller 60.
Within the clutch unit, three disks 48 are keyed on the shaft 46 for rotation therewith as driven by the shaft 45. The disks are mounted for limited travel axially of the shaft 45 due to reception of keys thereon into slots 51. The outer peripheral surface of each disk 48 is circumferentially grooved at 57. An idler gear 50 is shown received upon the shaft 46 just to the right of each disk 6 48. The idler gears are normally freely rotatable with respect to the shaft 46, but not axially movable with respect thereto. On its right face, each disk 48 is provided with a projection 47; on its left face, each idler gear is provided with a corresponding recess 49. Adjacent each disk 48, a clutch lever 58 is pivotally mounted for leftward and rightward pivoting about an axis intersecting each respective lever intermediate the ends thereof. One endof each lever 58 rides in a respective groove 57. The opposite end of each lever 58 is positioned against the thruster of a respective electromagnetic solenoid device 59. As can be seen, when the solenoid 59 thrusters are extended (as are the ones at the center and left of FIG. 3b), the respective disks are shifted leftwards so that the projections 47 are retracted from the notches 49 and the respective idler gears are thus not driven, although the shafts 45 and 46 may rotate. When the solenoid 59 thrusters are retracted (as is the one at the right in FIG. 3b), the respective disks are shifted rightwards so that the projections 47 are re ceived by the notches 49 and the respective idler gears are thus driven as the shafts 45 and 46 rotate.
It should now be noted that where each flexible shaft 55 terminates at the clutch mechanism, it mounts a gear 56 which meshes with a respective gear 52 on an individual stub shaft 53 mounted for rotation about its own longitudinal axis. Also fixed on each stub shaft 53 is a gear 54 which is always in meshing relationship with a respective idler gear 50.
The controller 60 includes switches 61 for individually controlling the solenoids 59. In short, when a solenoid thruster is extended, the related valve stem rotating head attachment 69 does not rotate and when that solenoid thruster is retracted, the related valve stem rotating head attachment 69 rotates. Whether the attachment rotates in a sense to open or to close the valve, it is secured to depends upon whether the motor 43 output is being provided in a forward" or in a reverse sense as controlled at 44'. The device 44 includes a torque limiter (as element 27 of FIG. 2a). Of course, the motor 68 may be the motor of a vehicle carrying the set of valve stem rotating heads and their control mechanisms. y
it should now be apparent that the valve operating device as described hereinabove possesses each of the attributes set forth in the specification under the heading Summary of the Invention hereinabove. Because the valve operating device of the invention can be modified to some extent without departing from the principles of the invention as they have been outlined and explained in this specification, the present invention should be understood as encompassing all such modifications as are within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A valve operating device including: at least one valve stem rotating head having means for releasably engaging a valve stem and for applying torque thereto in a sense to rotate the valve stem when engaged therewith;
a flexible shaft having one end connected to the valve stem rotating head for driving the same;
a transmission unit including a torque limiting means;
the opposite end of the flexible shaft means being connected to the transmission unit;
said transmission unit having means for accepting a rotational input and for supplying rotation to said flexible shaft via said torque limiting means, for ensuring against over-torquing of the valve stem when the valve associated therewith is being opened and becomes fully open and when that valve is being closed and becomes fully closed;
a control unit connected to said transmission unit for selectively operating said transmission unit to control rotation of said flexible shaft; Y
a motor for supplying said rotational input and drive shaft means connecting said motor and said transmission unit rotational input accepting means, said motor being constituted by a motor vehicle powering motor mounted on a motor vehicle together with said transmission unit and said control unit;
turn-table means mounting said boom, cantilever fashion, on said motor vehicle for pivoting about a generally vertical axis near one end of the boom, between a stowed condition on board the motor vehicle and an extended condition wherein the free end of the boom is spaced outwardly from the vehicle; I said valve stem rotating head being mounted on th free end of the boom; rail means mounted on said motor vehicle; said turntable being mounted on said rail means t or translation therealong to increase the mobility of the valve head to the valve stem.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE I CERTIFICATE OF- CORRECTION PatentNo. 3,847,039 v Dated November-l2, 1974 Inventor( ZlIO AZUMA It is certified that error appears in the above-idehtified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below;
In the heading:
Please add -- Foreign Application Priority Data May. 13, 1971 Japan. .l97l-38433-- Signed and sealed this 21st day of January 1975.
McCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM PC4050 (IO-69) Y I USCOMM-DC c0310 P69 i U S. GOVIIIOIIII PIIIIIIO OHICE "i9 0-386-134