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Publication numberUS3887089 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1975
Filing dateSep 13, 1973
Priority dateSep 13, 1973
Publication numberUS 3887089 A, US 3887089A, US-A-3887089, US3887089 A, US3887089A
InventorsFrancis Geoffrey
Original AssigneeFrancis Geoffrey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Parking device
US 3887089 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Francis PARKING DEVICE 3,887,089 June 3, 1975 Primary ExaminerRobert J. Spar 7 7 [76] Inventor ggfi gg gg f f Assistant Examiner-R. B. Johnson 7 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert G. Slick [22] Filed: Sept. 13, 1973 [2|] Appl. No: 39 43 [57] ABSTRACT A carport parking device is disclosed wherein the cars UOSI Q t are carried in a generally rectangular around a {5 frame In uch devices the vehicles must change direc- Fleld of Search 2|4/ B; 98/209 211 tion at vertical and horizontal junctions of the framework and the present invention is primarily directed to References C'ted an improved structure for the corners of such parking UNITED STATES PATENTS devices wherein the carriers make a smooth transition 1,555,692 9/1925 Morton 2l4/l6.l B from direction to the l,77l,022 7/1930 Wachs et al 2l4/l6.l B 2,663,446 12/1953 Romain 2I4/l6.l BB 1 Clam Dravymg [F-Zlfi\ '/LI----'-: ---S\ r" Y' K 1 F" 6 x 33 5] (,7 9 ,49 tri 1 1 /L------;fi--- I 1|'-. HP 1T1 n \T -l|- ulh: ii L i he as PARKING DEVICE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a generally improved structure over that shown in the inventors previous US. Pat. No. 2,917,l90. Although this previous patent was a substantial advance in the art and has enjoyed some commercial success, it was desired to provide a less expensive yet more reliable structure which would do the same job.

In accordance with the present invention a parking device is provided wherein the cars are carried on platforms at the ends of crank arms which maintain the platforms level at all times. Most of the parts are standard commercial items which are available in large quantities at low prices, greatly reducing the cost of the structure.

A disadvantage of the prior structure was that it requires specially fabricated guide rails for maintaining the car carriers in their proper path.

In accordance with the present invention a much simpler structure is provided wherein no special guide rails are employed and the guides are made of standard steel members such as l beams, greatly reducing cost of the structure.

Also, in accordance with one emobdiment of the present invention, the cost of the structure is reduced by providing only a single pair of chains which encircle the rectangular structure.

In accordance with the present invention an improved structure of simplified design is provided for carrying the cars in a rectangular path.

In one embodiment of the present invention, only a single pair of drive chains is employed, one at the front and one at the back of the structure and these chains serve not only to propel the car carriers in a rectangular path but also to serve to actuate the stabilizing or turning mechanisms which are employed at each corner of the rectangular path.

By employing only a single pair of chains the costs of building and maintaining a parking structure are greatly reduced.

A still further advantage of the present invention is that an extremely smooth transistion is provided between horizontal and vertical paths, and vice versa, whereby vehicles on the structure are not subjected to shock or snatch forces at each change of path which, in turn, permits the structure to be made from relatively lightweight parts.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be brought out in the balance of the specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front view of a parking structure embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the platforms and associated lifting equipment.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged section on line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged section on line 44 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail of a platform during a horizontal movement at the top of the parking structure.

FIG. 6 is a corner detail of the corner turning mechanism at the upper left hand corner of the device as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged detailed view on line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a section on line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a section on line 9-9 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged detail view of the structure shown in the lower left hand corner of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged sectional view, generally similar to FIG. 4, showing an alternate corner structure wherein universal joints rather than chains are employed to drive the corner turning mechanism.

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 11, again illustrating the use of universal joints to actuate the corner turning mechanism.

FIG. I4 is a view similar to FIG. 4 also illustrating the use of universal joints in the corner turning mechanism.

FIG. 15 is a front elevational view of another embodiment of the present invention showing another method of using a crank arm to maintain the platforms horizontal.

FIG. 16 is a partial plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 15..

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings by reference characters, the parking device of the present invention includes a lift section 15, a top horizontal section I7, a lowering section 19 and a lower horizontal section 2]. This, as well as the following structure to be described is duplicated at the back of the device but only the front structure is described. Each section is made of structural steel members and sections I5 and 19 can be fabricated from I beams 23 and 25 or other standard structural steel members which are held in spaced relationship by cross members 26, forming a channel between the structural steel sections which serves as a track or guide for the car moving structure as is later explained in detail. The upper horizontal run 17 is formed by upper beam 27 and a lower beam 29 held in a similar spaced arrangement. The lower run 21 can consist of a single flat plate 31 and is not formed as a channel since car carriers merely roll across it. By using single flat plate 31 as the bottom member, cars can be driven across it when the space is not occupied by another vehicle, permitting a plurality of such parking structures to be erected end to end to permit maximum utilization of a deep lot.

The cars are carried on platforms 33 which have a raised central section 35 and side members 37 which serve to support the car. The carriers 35 are carried on a crank shaft 39 having a flanged crank shaft roller 41 thereon. Crank shaft 39 is attached to a crank arm 43 to which is attached a crank pin 44 which carries crank roller 45.

A master chain 47 is trained around sprockets 49, 51, 53 and 55 at the four corners of the machine. Chain 47 is attached to the crank pin 44 on each of the car carriers 35 and serves to propel the carriers around the path of travel. Chain 47 is driven by a prime mover, suitably an electric motor 57, through chain 59 on a sprocket 61 which is attached to sprocket 63 to which is attached chain 65 which turns sprocket 67 mounted on shaft 69 on which is mounted sprocket 49. Sprocket 61 is mounted on shaft 71 which extends from the front members to the back members of the parking machine and which drives similar mechanisms at the rear.

As is seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, during vertical runs, carriers 35 are supported on the rollers 41 and 45 in the channel formed by the beams 23 and 25. They are propelled in this path by means of chain 47 on the pins 44. During the upper horizontal run. the carriers are supported between the channels 27 and 29 and run on the upper bearings 73 and the lower bearings 75 mounted on carriers 35. During the bottom horizontal run, the carriers are supported on bearings 75, on the bottom plate 31.

In the structure thus far described, it is obvious that the motor 57 will cause the master chains to rotate around the four sides of the machine moving the car carriers with them. Suitable motor control means are provided, not illustrated, for stopping the chain at a desired point.

The mechanism will now be described by which the car carriers are maintained in a horizontal position at all times. This will be described in terms of the mechanism at the upper left hand corner of FIG. 1 but it will be understood that the mechanism at the upper right hand corner of FIG. 1 is a right to left mirror image of that shown at the left side while the corresponding bottom mechanisms are top to bottom mirror images of the corresponding top mechanisms except that the motor drive is provided at only one corner.

Shaft 69 carries a sprocket 79 which drives chain 81 which in turn drives sprocket 83 on shaft 85 which carries sprocket 87. Sprocket 87 drives chain 89 and thus sprocket 91 carried on shaft 93 on which is mounted scallop wheel 95. Wheel 95 has two scallops or cut-outs 96 which are 90 apart. An ordinary sprocket could be substituted for the scallop wheel, but the scallop wheel gives better support for the turning mechanism. In the embodiment illustrated, scallop wheel 95 makes 7% revolutions each time a car carrier passes by it. It is synchronized by the movement of the main chain 47 by the sprocket and chain arrangement described so that the peripheral speed of the root of scallop 96 is exactly the same as that of sprocket 49. Other chain pitches or the like could be selected so the wheel would make an even number of revolutions during the time a car passes, in which case a single scallop would suffice.

The corner movement can best be uderstood by reference to FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. Adjacent to scallop wheel 95 is a curved guide 99 which forms a continuation of the inner surface of beam 23. Now as a carrier moves upwardly, pin 44 will follow the path of chain 47 as indicated by arrows A, i.e., arround sprocket 49. However, roller 41 will not folow this path but will be engaged by one of the scallops 97 and follow the path of arrow B, as dictated by scallop wheel 95. As roller 41 leaves guides 23 and 25 it will engage guide 97 and then the rollers 73 will engage the upper rail 27, preserving the horizontal plane of platform 33. Thus, the carrier will move smoothly from vertical to horizontal direction and this action will be reversed as the carrier reaches the right hand side of the machine and so on.

In FIGS 12, 13 and 14, an alternate structure is used to drive the scallop wheel, eliminating the need for chains 81 and 89 and their accompanying sprockets as well as shaft 85. This is done by using an angular crank arm for clearance and by employing universal joints to drive the scallop wheels. Crank shaft 39 is attached to the crank pin 44 by means of an angular crank arm 43A and pin 44 is attached in the usual way to chain 47 which passes over sprocket 49 as previously described. As before, it is necessary to provide means for driving shaft 93 from shaft 69 in synchronism and for this purpose a universal joint 101 is employed. It will be seen that by mounting the universal joint at an angle and also by using the angling crank arm 43A the necessary clearances are obtained as is shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 14.

In FIGS 15 and 16 another form of parking device embodying the present invention is shown wherein double chains at the front and the rear of the structure serve to propel the platforms in a rectangular path and to also maintain the platforms horizontal at all times.

in accordance with this embodiment of the invention. a motor drives sprocket 112 on shaft 114. Sprocket 112 is connected by means of roller chain 116 to sprocket 120. Sprocket 120 is located on shaft 118 and this shaft also carries a sprocket 124 which is connected to sprocket 126 on shaft 128 by means of chain 130. Sprockets 124 and 126 are of the same size so that shaft 118 and 128 are driven at the same speed. in this embodiment of the invention two master chains are employed at each end of the machine, namely, a first master chain 132 and a ssecond master chain 134. Chain 132 is trained around sprockets 136, 138, and finally sprocket 142 located on the driven shaft 118. Similarly, the chain 134 is trained around the sprockets 146, 148, and finally around the sprocket 152, carried on shaft 128. Since the sprockets driving the shaft 118 and 128 are of the same size, both chains go around their respective rectangular paths at exactly the same speed.

The car carriers proper consist of rectangular platforms 154, supported near one edge by arm 156 which is pivotally fastened to chain 132 at pivot point 158 and rigidly fastened to crank arm 160. Arm 160 is pivotally mounted to chain 134 by crank pin 162.

Shaft 156 also carries a roller 164 while pin 162 carries a similar roller 166.

The parking structure is supported by the central frame members and 172 and includes a double upper rail structure 174 and 175 and any required number of intermediate supports 176. it will be seen that the path of the vehicle will always be outside of the center frame structure defined by uprights 170 and 172. Further, the upper rails 174 and 175 provide tracks for the rollers 164 and 166 during the top horizontal traverse, while during the lower horizontal traverse, the rollers 164 and 166 can travel across the base of the structure.

it will be seen that with this structure a simplified corner turning arrangement is provided since the arm 160 and the platforms 150 rididly attached thereto to shaft 156, remain horizontal at all times without any transfer mechanism.

Many variations can be made in the exact structure shown without departing from the spirit of this invention. Although the device has been described for use as a parking device, the mechanism can also be used for many other purposes such as in an elevator or a merchandise display or storage device. The device as depicted in FIG. 1 will only accommodate 6 cars and it is obvious that the device can be expanded either vertically or horizontally to any desired size. A single drive motor has been shown with a shaft connecting the front and back mechanisms but separate motors can be employed by providing synchronization means.

I claim:

6 1. In a parking device wherein a plurality of car carriwith relatively long side members and relatively ers move on a generally rectangular path with means short end members, for moving said car carriers around said path while f. a crank shaft extending from each of said carriers maintaining the car carriers in a horizontal plane at all at one end thereof, each of said crank shafts having times, the improvement comprising: 5 a crank arm extending from the crank shaft at right a. a first set of four sprockets, said sprockets being angles to the crank shaft,

located at the four corners of a first rectangular g. the length of said crank shafts being substantially path, equal to the distance by which the first and second b. a second set of four sprockets, said sprockets being sets of sprockets are offset laterally to each other, located at the four corners of a second rectangular h. the terminal end of each crank arm having a crank path, pin extending therefrom, said pin being generally c. said first and second sets of four sprockets being parallel to said crank shaft,

congruent and having the same top and bottom i. means for pivotally attaching each of said crank horizontal planes but being offset laterally with re shafts to fixed positions on said first chain, spect to each other, j. means for pivotally attaching each crank pin to d. a first chain trained around the first set of sprockfixed positions on said second chain while mainets, and a second chain trained around the second taining each crank arm horizontal, and set of sprockets. k. means for moving said first and second chains e. a plurality of car carriers, each of said carriers around said first and second sets of sprockets.

being of a generally flat rectangular configuration

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1555692 *Oct 9, 1924Sep 29, 1925James H McveetyAutomobile parking machine
US1771022 *Jan 25, 1929Jul 22, 1930Buerosse Alfred EVehicle parking device
US2663446 *Nov 9, 1949Dec 22, 1953 Romain
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4671402 *Mar 25, 1985Jun 9, 1987Sanshin Shokai Co., Ltd.Free flow conveyor
US4952112 *Mar 1, 1989Aug 28, 1990Giorgio PiacenzaMechanical-storage multi-level carpark
US6394260Jul 17, 2000May 28, 2002Pflow Industries, Inc.Conveyor system including roller-guided carriage assemblies
US6641351 *May 2, 2001Nov 4, 2003William S. PayneParking garage elevator system
WO2002079597A1 *Apr 1, 2002Oct 10, 2002Payne William SParking garage elevator system
U.S. Classification414/251, 198/798, 198/800
International ClassificationE04H6/14
Cooperative ClassificationE04H6/14
European ClassificationE04H6/14