|Publication number||USRE39312 E1|
|Application number||US 10/691,431|
|Publication date||Oct 3, 2006|
|Filing date||Oct 22, 2003|
|Priority date||Jul 21, 2000|
|Also published as||US6502618, WO2002007997A1|
|Publication number||10691431, 691431, US RE39312 E1, US RE39312E1, US-E1-RE39312, USRE39312 E1, USRE39312E1|
|Inventors||John P. Kane, Karl D. Sachs|
|Original Assignee||Burke E. Porter Machinery Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (13), Classifications (6), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to an apparatus for inflating a tire mounted on a rim, and more particularly a reciprocal inflation head having at least two concentric seals selectively moveable with respect to one another to bring at least one seal into sealing engagement with a side wall of tires of different sizes, and alternatively or additionally, a splittable support surface at the tire inflating work station where a portion of the support surface is moveable transversely with respect to a path of travel on a conveyor for allowing transfer of a tire and rim transported by the conveyor to the support surface.
Mounting tubeless tires on wheel rims by automobile manufacturers is normally accomplished by high production devices where a wheel is placed on a conveyor, the tire is preliminary positioned relative to the rim, and the rim and tire are conveyed from station to station. At the various stations, the tire can be soaped, forced over the rim, and mounted intermediate the upper and lower lips of the rim. Optionally, the rim and tire may be rotated relative to each other in accordance with previously applied reference points. The tire is inflated to a predetermined pressure at an inflation work station.
To reduce the duration of time required for inflation, it is known to impose an annular axial force on one of the tire side walls which causes the other tire side wall to seal against a support surface while the deflected side wall bead is displaced from the lip of the rim. An inflation chamber is defined by the support surface and the tire, and compressed air is forced into the tire around the displaced side wall bead. After the desired pressure is achieved in the inflation chamber, the deflected tire side wall is permitted to expand to seat the bead against the corresponding lip of the rim to maintain the inflation pressure. This process permits inflation of the tire to be accomplished in a very short period of time.
An inflation chamber for a high production tire inflation devices includes the interior of the tire, where pressurization of the chamber produces the desired pressure within the tire. To define the inflation chamber, an annular tire side wall seal is normally employed to engage the tire side wall and to displace the bead associated with the side wall from the lip of the rim. Sufficient pressure is applied to seal the opposite tire side wall against the support surface. Pressurizing the chamber drives the bead associated with the opposite tire side wall into engagement with the lip of the rim while the deflected tire side wall maintains an open passage until the pressurization of the inflation chamber is complete. The deflected tire side wall is then permitted to expand to seat the associated bead against the lip of the rim to maintain the inflation pressure.
Alternatively, an annular inflation chamber can be defined to include the interior of the tire, an annular wheel seal employed to engage the rim, and an annular tire side wall seal employed to engage the tire side wall for displacing the side wall with respect to the lip of the rim. In this configuration, no support surface or sealing device is associated with the opposite side of the tire as a seal, since the seal opposite from the displaced side wall is achieved by the engagement of the tire bead with the lip of the rim during the inflation process. Typically, the side wall engaging seal and the wheel rim engaging device are displace able with respect to each other to produce the desired sequence of operation for this type of annular inflation chamber.
Known tire inflation devices typically can handle only a limited variation in tire sizes due to the predetermined diameter of the annular tire side wall seal used to define the inflation chamber and deflect the tire side wall during the inflation process. Most tire inflation devices require the size of the sealing structure for the rim and/or tire side wall to be changed when different sizes of wheel rims and tires are to be inflated. Changeover of the inflation line from one tire size to another is time consuming and expensive. Furthermore, there is often a need to mix tire sizes on an inflation line as required for production purposes.
It is desirable in the present invention to provide a tire inflation apparatus capable of inflating various tire sizes automatically without requiring changeover of the sealing structure. In addition, it is desirable in the present invention to provide a tire inflation apparatus capable of automatically inflating a mix of tire sizes on an inflation line, where large differences may occur between the sizes, so that the present invention can automatically accommodate different rim and tire sizes.
An apparatus for inflating a tire mounted on a rim according to the present invention can include a conveyor for transporting a tire mounted on a rim to a predetermined position at a tire inflating work station. The conveyor can have carrier surfaces spaced laterally with respect to one another along the path of travel for engaging the tire and rim for transport. The carrier surfaces are moveable along the path of travel and moveable vertically between a raised transport position and a lowered transfer position. A support surface at the tire inflating work station is provided. The support surface has at least two portions. The portions include at least one interlocking joint for holding the portions of the support surface in sealing engagement with respect to one another during an inflation process. At least one portion of the support surface is moveable transversely with respect to the path of travel of the conveyor for allowing transfer of the tire and rim transported by the conveyor to the support surface as the conveyor moves between the raised transport position and the lowered transfer position.
An apparatus for inflating a tire mounted on a rim according to the present invention can include a reciprocal inflation head moveable from a first position spaced from the tire to a second position engageable with a side wall of the tire for communicating pressurized fluid to inflate the tire on the rim. The inflation head has at least two concentric seals selectably moveable with respect to one anther to bring at least one seal into sealing engagement with a side wall of the tire. Means are provided for moving at least one seal with respect to the other seal for selectively presenting one seal in operable position for engaging a side wall of the tire to be inflated. The appropriate seal is selectively presented to correspond to the tire and rim size to be inflated at the inflating work station.
Other objects, advantages and applications of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art when the following description of the best mode contemplated for practicing the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
The carrier surfaces 16, 18 of the conveyor 12 can include two endless conveying surfaces 28, 30 spaced apart from one another and operably engageable with a drive shaft 32 and an idler wheel 34. A vertically reciprocal frame 36 supports the drive shaft 32 and idler wheel or pulley 34. The frame 36 is movable between the raised transport position 20 and the lowered transfer position 22. Means 38 is provided for moving the carrier surfaces 16, 18 along the path of travel. The moving means 38 can include an electric motor 40 operatively connected to rotate the drive shaft 32. Means 42 is provided for reciprocating the frame vertically between the raised transport position 20 and the lowered transport position 22. The reciprocating means 42 can include a fluid operated actuator, such as a pneumatic or hydraulic, double acting cylinder for driving the frame 36 between the raised and lowered positions.
Referring now to
As best seen in
Referring now to
Means 78 is provided for moving the second circular wall 76 with respect to the first circular wall 74 of the inflation head 68. The moving means 78 can include inflatable bladders or chambers 80 operably connected to the second circular wall 76 for moving the second circular wall 76 with respect to the first circular wall 74 in response to inflation and deflation of the corresponding bladder or chambers or any other suitable motor 80. Means 82 is provided for locking the second circular wall 76 with respect to the inflation head 68 when the second circular wall 76 is in the extended position. The locking means 82 transfers the annular axial force through the second circular wall 76 to deflect the engaged tire sidewall away from the lip of the rim in order to create the inflation chamber used to inflate the tire on the rim. The annular axial force is sufficient to drive the opposing side wall of the tire into sealing engagement with the support surface 24 in order to seal the opposite side of the inflation chamber used to inflate the tire. As best seen in
As best seen in
It should be apparent from the foregoing description that the conveyor 12 and support surface 24 of the present invention can be used with other types of tire inflating equipment, and that the dual ring tire inflation head 68 and moving means 78 for presenting one seal in operable position for engaging a side wall of the tire to be inflated can be used with other types of conveyors and support surfaces. The preferred configuration according to the present invention is to use the disclosed conveyor and support surface in combination with the dual ring tire inflation head and moving means for presenting one seal in operable position for engaging a side wall of the tire to be inflated. However, other conveyors and supporting surfaces in combination with the dual ring tire inflation head and moving means for presenting one seal in operable position for engaging the side wall of the tire to be inflated will be considered to be within the scope of the present invention. The conveyor and splittable support surface according to the present invention in combination with other inflation heads will also be considered to be within the scope of the present invention.
The dual ring inflating head 68 according to the present invention includes a first inner seal ring 70 which is held stationary with respect to the reciprocal inflation head 68 that can be moved vertically by carriage 86 from a first or raised position to a second or lowered position in order to bring the first inner seal 70 into sealing contact with the upper side wall of a tire to be inflated on a wheel rim. When inflating tires of smaller diameter, the second outer seal ring is held in a raised position, with respect to the first inner seal ring, out of engagement with the side wall of the tire to be inflated. The second outer seal 72 is moveable with respect to the inner seal 70 by a plurality of inflatable chambers or any other suitable motors 80 disposed between the upper surface of the first inner seal ring, and the upper wall of a reciprocal housing supporting the second outer seal ring 72. An inflatable chamber 80 is also positioned between the upper surface of the reciprocal housing supporting the second seal ring 72 and the carriage 86 supporting the inflation head 68. This allows movement of the second seal ring 72 between a raised position and a lowered position with respect to the inner seal ring 70. When in the lowered position, the second outer seal ring 72 can be brought into engagement with the upper sidewall of a larger diameter tire to be inflated on a wheel rim by movement of the carriage 86 from the raised position to the lowered position. Due to the high forces existing during inflation of a tire on the wheel rim, it is necessary to hold the reciprocal housing supporting the second outer seal ring 72 in a fixed position relative to the vertically extending support guides. In order to achieve this, the vertically extending support guides or rods 84 include a narrowed diameter or groove or keyway recess adjacent a lower end operably engageable when the reciprocal housing supporting the second outer seal ring 72 is in the lowered position with respect to the first inner seal ring 70. When in this position, the plate 88 is rotated through a predetermined arc to bring reduced diameter key surfaces 94 into operable engagement with the grooves of the vertically extending rods 84 to lock the reciprocal housing supporting the second outer seal ring 72 in the lowered position against the forces present during the inflation process. The upper carriage 86 supporting the first inner seal ring 70 and second outer seal ring 72 for movement between the raised and lowered position is driven in reciprocation by two compressed air operated cylinders. A larger central hydraulic operated cylinder is used to lock the carriage in the desired position against the forces imposed during the inflation process.
The conveyor 12 according to the present invention can include a chain conveyor movable between a upper position 20 and a lower position 22. When in the upper position, the chain conveyor moves a tire and wheel rim combination to the inflation work station. The central portion 24c of the pallet 24 is raised to an upper position and an actuator 66 drives outwardly rotatable arms 54 into engagement with the wheel rim in order to center the wheel rim and tire with respect to the central portion 24c of the pallet 24. After centering, the central portion 24c of the pallet 24 and conveyor 12 are moved into the lowered position. While being lowered, the outer peripheral portions 24a, 24b of the pallet 24 are moved radially inward toward one another to align complementary interlocking tongue and groove portions for engagement with the central portion 24c of the pallet 24. The tongue and groove portions of the central pallet 24c and outer portions 24a, 24b of the pallet 24 tie the pallet 24 together in order to resist the high forces imposed during the inflation process and in order to seal the pallet pieces with respect to one another so that a seal can be provided with respect to the lower surface of the tire to be inflated. After inflation, the chain conveyor can be raised to the upper position to remove the inflated tire from the inflation workstation, and to present an uninflated tire and wheel rim combination to the workstation to be processed.
While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments but, on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims, which scope is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures as is permitted under the law.
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|US8365794 *||Jun 30, 2010||Feb 5, 2013||Android Industries Llc||Inflation work station|
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|US8757218||Dec 22, 2011||Jun 24, 2014||Burke E. Porter Machinery Company||Modular tire inflator|
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|US8770236 *||Nov 18, 2010||Jul 8, 2014||Android Industries Llc||Inflator apparatus, system and method for utilizing the same|
|US8863389||Nov 18, 2011||Oct 21, 2014||Android Industries Llc||Apparatus, system and method for determining a spatial location of a match-mark region of each of a tire and a wheel|
|US8943940||Jul 1, 2011||Feb 3, 2015||Esys Corporation||Weight material dispensing, cutting, and applying system|
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|US20100263801 *||Oct 21, 2010||Android Industries Llc||Inflation Work Station|
|US20110120590 *||May 26, 2011||Android Industries Llc||Inflator Apparatus, System and Method for Utilizing the Same|
|U.S. Classification||157/1.2, 157/1.1|
|International Classification||B60C25/132, B60C25/05|
|Jun 22, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|May 7, 2013||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Jun 24, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12