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1. WO2020115358 - A DEVICE AND A METHOD FOR LAYING SLEEPERS ON A BALLAST-BED FOR A RAILROAD

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A device (100, 300) for laying sleepers (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) on a ballast-bed (320) for railroad construction, the device comprising:

- a body (104, 302) having a commuting-mechanism (106), wherein the commuting-mechanism is operable to allow movement of the device;

- a fork-lift (108) arranged on a first side of the body, wherein the fork lift is operable to lift and hold at least one set of sleepers above the ballast-bed;

- a pair of pivot-arms (110) movably coupled the body, wherein each of the pivot-arms comprises a gripper (112), and wherein the grippers of the pair of pivot-arms are operable to pick a set of sleepers from the fork lift and to move the set of sleepers from the first side of the body towards a second side of the body opposite to the first side;

characterized in that

- a cradle-arrangement (114, 304) mounted on the second side of the body,

wherein the cradle-arrangement comprises:

- a pair of elongated fixed support-members (204, 306) extending from the second side of the body and spaced apart from each other; and

- a pair of movable support-members (202, 308), wherein each of the movable support-members comprises a plurality of spring- loaded elements (330A, 330B, 330C) operable to attain a closed- state and a released-state, wherein the pair of movable support- members (202, 308) includes an extension plate (408) for receiving a released sleeper (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) during a forward phase,

and wherein

- the pair of elongated fixed support-members is operable to support thereon the set of sleepers moved by the grippers of the pair of the pivot- arms from the first side of the body towards the second side of the body, and

- the pair of movable support-members is operable to have a reciprocating-movement with respect to the pair of elongated fixed support-members to successively release one sleeper of the set of sleepers at a time from the pair of elongated fixed support-members.

2. A device (100, 300) according to claim 1, wherein during the forward phase of the reciprocating-movement of the pair of movable support-members (202, 308), a sleeper (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) supported by the pair of elongated fixed support-members (204, 306) is released by the pair of movable support-members, and during a backward phase of the reciprocating-movement of the pair of movable support-members, the pair of movable support-members retract towards the body (104, 302).

3. A device (100, 300) according to any one of the claims 1 or 2, wherein each of the plurality of spring-loaded elements (308A, 308B, 308C) comprises a hollow body (312), a pusher arm (314) pivotally coupled to the hollow body, and a spring (316) coupled to each of the hollow body and the pusher arm, and wherein

- the spring-loaded element attains the closed-state when the spring contracts and the pusher arm is pivotally lowered towards the hollow body, and

- the spring-loaded element attains the released-state when the spring expands and the pusher arm is pivotally raised away from the hollow body.

4. A device (100, 300) according to claim 3, wherein during the forward phase of the reciprocating-movement of the pair of movable support-members (202, 308), at least one pair of the spring-loaded elements (330A, 330B, 330C) is allowed to attain the released-state for enabling release of the sleeper (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) supported by elongated fixed support-members (204, 306) and remaining spring-loaded elements remain in the closed-state, and during the backward phase of the reciprocating-movement of the pair of movable support-members, another pair from the remaining spring-loaded elements in the closed-state is allowed to attain the released-state for enabling release of the remaining at least one sleeper of the set of sleepers.

5. A device (100, 300) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the commuting-mechanism (106) comprises at least one of a plurality of drive-wheels or a caterpillar-track arrangement.

6. A device (100, 300) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of the pair of pivot-arms (110) includes a first end movably coupled to an intermediate portion of the body (104, 302), and a second end mounted with the gripper (112).

7. A device (100, 300) according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one actuator (118, 310) operatively coupled to each of the pair of movable support-members (202, 308), for providing the reciprocating-movement to the pair of movable support-members.

8. A device (100, 300) according to claim 7, wherein the at least one actuator (118, 310) is a hydraulic actuator.

9. A device (100, 300) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the fork-lift (108) is operable to lift another set of sleepers (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) above the ballast-bed (320) to be received by the grippers (112) of the pair of pivot-arms (110), before a last sleeper of the set of sleepers supported on the pair of elongated fixed support-members (204, 306) has been released.

10. A device (100, 300) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein for a first period of time the commuting mechanism (106) is configured

to move the device at a set first speed and the reciprocating movement has a set frequency.

11. A device (100, 300) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the commuting mechanism (106) is configured to move the device for a first period of time, and maintain the device in a stationary position for a second period of time and the reciprocating movement is configured to take place during the second period of time.

12. A device (100, 300) according to claim 11, wherein the first period of time when the device is allowed to move is changed via the commuting-mechanism (106), to change a distance between release of each successive sleeper (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) of the set of sleepers from the pair of elongated fixed support-members (204, 306).

13. A method for operating a device (100, 300) for laying sleepers (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) on a ballast-bed (320) for railroad construction, the device comprising a body (104, 302) having a commuting-mechanism (106); a fork-lift (108) arranged on a first side of the body, wherein the fork-lift is operable to lift and hold at least one set of sleepers above the ballast-bed; a pair of pivot-arms (110) movably coupled the body, wherein each of the pivot-arms comprises a gripper (112); a cradle-arrangement (114, 304) mounted on the second side of the body, the cradle-arrangement comprising a pair of elongated fixed support-members (204, 306) extending from the second side of the body and spaced apart from each other; and a pair of movable support-members (202, 308), each of the movable support-members comprising a plurality of spring-loaded elements (330A, 330B, 330C) operable to attain a closed-state and a released-state, and wherein the pair of movable support-members includes an extension plate (408) for receiving a released sleeper (102, 318A, 318B, 318C) during a forward phase, the method comprising

- picking a set of sleepers from the fork-lift by the grippers of the pair of pivot-arms and moving the set of sleepers from the first side of the body towards a second side of the body opposite to the first side;

- operating the commuting-mechanism to allow movement of the device; - supporting the set of sleepers moved by the grippers of the pair of the pivot-arms from the first side of the body towards the second side of the body, on the pair of elongated fixed support-members; and

- providing a reciprocating-movement to the pair of movable support-members with respect to the pair of elongated fixed support-members, to successively release one sleeper of the set of sleepers at a time from the pair of elongated fixed support-members.

14. A method according to claim 13, wherein the method comprises releasing by the pair of movable support-members a sleeper supported by the pair of elongated fixed support-members, during the forward phase of the reciprocating-movement of the pair of movable support-members, and retracting the pair of movable support-members towards the body, during a backward phase of the reciprocating-movement of the pair of movable support-members.