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1. WO2001076985 - MECANISME DE BIELLE MOBILE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A conveyor unit including a shelf member, said conveyor unit comprising:
a crank member having generally opposed first and second end elements offset from and extending generally parallel to one another, said first and second end elements defining therebetween a crank plane, said plane extending generally parallel to a fixed reference plane, said shelf member being mounted to said crank member;
a first carriage member journaled to said first end element, said first carriage member being mounted to be driven along an endless first loop at a first rate;
a second carriage member journaled to said second end element, said second carriage member being mounted to be driven along an endless second loop at about said first rate, whereby said crank plane is adapted to remain substantially parallel to said reference plane as said first and second carriage members are driven along said first and second loops; and
a drive mechanism drivingly associated with said first and second carriage members.

2. A conveyor unit of claim 1 wherein said first and second endless loops are generally vertically oriented and are mounted
substantially parallel to and offset from one another

3. A conveyor unit of claim 2 wherein said first and second endless loops are offset horizontally from one another.

4. A conveyor unit of claim 2 wherein said first and second endless loops are offset vertically from one another.

5. A conveyor unit of claim 1 including a plurality of crank members each having first and second ends journaled to first and second carriage members, respectively.

6. A conveyor unit of claim 1 including a shelf stabilizing mechanism.

7. A conveyor unit of claim 6 wherein the shelf stabilizing mechanism includes stabilizing elements positioned to stabilizingly inter engage on straight reaches of said endless loops, and to disengage on arcuate transition portions of said endless loops.

8. A vertical lift mechanism comprising:
a crank member having generally opposed first and second ends extending generally parallel to and offset from one another;
a first carriage element mounted for movement around a generally vertically extending first endless loop;

a second carriage element mounted for movement around a generally vertically extending second endless loop, said first and second endless loops being substantial duplicates mounted generally parallel to and offset from one another, said first end being pivotally mounted to and moveable with said first carriage element, and said second end being pivotally mounted to and moveable with said second carriage element, said first and second carriage elements being mounted for generally synchronous movement along said first and second endless loops; and
a shelf member generally rigidly mounted to and moveable with said crank member.

9. A vertical lift mechanism comprising:
a crank member having generally opposed first and second end members extending generally parallel to and offset from one another by an offset amount;
a first endless loop;
a second endless loop, said second endless loop extending generally parallel to, spaced from, and offset from said first endless loop, said second endless loop being offset from said first endless loop by about said offset amount, said first and second endless loops being substantial duplicates;
a first carriage member mounted for movement along said first endless loop;
a second carriage member mounted for movement along said second endless loop;

a carriage member driving assembly drivingly associated with said first and second carriage members;
said first end member being mounted to and moveable with said first carriage member, and said second end member being mounted to and moveable with said second carriage member; and
a shelf member mounted to said crank member.

10. A closed loop vertical lift mechanism for use in an automated container storage system, said lift mechanism being adapted to carry objects continuously and indefinitely generally vertically about a closed loop, said lift mechanism comprising:
a plurality of crank members, each of said crank members having first and second journal ends, each said first journal end establishing a first axis, each said second journal end establishing a second axis, said first and second axes of each said crank member extending substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart a predetermined distance from one another, said first and second axes of each said crank member defining a crank plane;
a shelf member rigidly mounted to substantially each said crank member, each said shelf member having an object supporting surface, each said object supporting surface extending generally horizontally;
a first carriage element pivotally attached to each said first journal end of each said crank member, each said first carriage element being adapted to be driven around a first endless loop;

a second carriage element pivotally attached to each said second journal end of each said crank member, each said second carriage element being adapted to be driven around a second endless loop;
said first and second carriage elements adapted to carry said crank members along said endless loops at a substantially constant rate, wherein each said object supporting surface remains generally horizontal.

11. A closed loop vertical lift mechanism of Claim 10 wherein said closed loop vertical system is mounted in an automated storage system and is positioned to carry objects between different levels in said automated storage system.

12. A closed loop vertical lift mechanism of Claim 10 wherein said closed loop vertical system is mounted in an automated storage system and is positioned to hold objects indefinitely on its shelves.

13. A method of maintaining a moving crank member having offset first and second opposed ends substantially parallel to a fixed reference plane, comprising the steps of:
pivotally mounting said moving crank member at said first opposed end along a first axis;
pivotally mounting said moving crank member at said second opposed end along a second axis, said first and second axes extending substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart a distance; said first and second axes together defining a crank plane;

moving said moving crank member around a closed path by driving said first end of said crank member along a first endless loop at a
predetermined rate, and driving said second end of said crank member along a second endless loop at about said predetermined rate, said first and second endless loops being substantial duplicates of one another positioned parallel to and offset and spaced apart from one another, wherein said crank plane remains substantially parallel to the fixed reference plane as said moving crank member moves along said closed path.

14. A moving crank member having offset first and second opposed ends, said moving crank member being moveable while
maintaining a substantially parallel relationship to a fixed reference plane, said moving crank member comprising:
said moving crank member being pivotally mounted at said first opposed end along a first axis;
said moving crank member being pivotally mounted at said second opposed end along a second axis, said first and second axes extending substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart a distance; said first and second axes together defining a crank plane;
a driving assembly drivingly associated with said moving crank member, said driving assembly being mounted to drive said moving crank member around a closed path while maintaining said crank plane
substantially parallel to a fixed reference plane.

15. A moving crank member of Claim 14 further comprising an object support member rigidly mounted to said moving crank member, said object support member being adapted to carry objects continuously about said closed path.

16. A moving crank member of Claim 14 including a plurality of moving crank members, said moving crank members being substantially evenly spaced about said closed path.

17. A moving crank member of claim 16 wherein said closed path is vertically oriented and said moving crank members are adapted to convey objects along said closed path.