Title:
APPARATUS FOR FABRICATING WALL PANELS AND THE LIKE FOR BUILDINGS
United States Patent 3735464


Abstract:
Multi-station apparatus for constructing and handling wall panels, floors and the like in a "house factory". The apparatus comprises a framing table having a rectangular flat workbed with an air-cylinder operated jig assembly for holding the work pieces in position during fabrication. The framing table has a series of conveyor rollers longitudinally spaced along each side of the workbed on a pivotable carriage whereby a rough wall panel fabricated on the workbed can be lifted above the bed by the elevating rollers for moving the rough wall panel to a finishing table where exterior siding is put on and window units are installed. The finishing table has a series of fixed axis rollers longitudinally spaced along each side for receiving the rough wall panel from the framing table with which it is aligned. The finishing table has a hydraulically operated tilt bed for standing the finished wall panel in a substantially upright position under an overhead crane extending longitudinally above the pivot axis of the tilt bed and beyond the finishing table for carrying the wall panel directly to the factory loading dock.



Inventors:
Linzmeier, Leonard J. (Madison, WI)
Kowing, Loren D. (Madison, WI)
Application Number:
05/201714
Publication Date:
05/29/1973
Filing Date:
11/24/1971
Assignee:
LINZMEIER L
KOWING L,MADISON US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/823, 269/26, 269/910
International Classes:
B27M3/00; (IPC1-7): B23P19/00
Field of Search:
29/2A,2J,2P 144
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3302942Panel frame assembling apparatus1967-02-07Hallomon
2884967N/A1959-05-05Le Vay
2662565Table for constructing building frames1953-12-15Le Vay



Primary Examiner:
Eager, Thomas H.
Claims:
We claim

1. Apparatus for fabricating wall panels for buildings, comprising in combination:

2. a rectangular flat bed having front and rear ends and a pair of longitudinally extending side plates for supporting wall panel members thereon during fabrication of a wall panel,

3. a first series of freely rotatable transverse rollers spaced along each of the two longitudinal side plates of said flat bed, each of the rollers of said first series being mounted on a carriage pivotable about a horizontal axis, and

4. means for pivoting said carriages in unison for moving said rollers between a lower rest position recessed below the top of the side plates of said flat bed and an upper work position for lifting a wall panel off said side plates for conveying same from said framing table,

5. a frame,

6. a tilt bed mounted on said frame for pivotal movement about a longitudinally extending axis between a horizontal position and a substantially upright position,

7. a second series of freely rotatable transverse rollers spaced along each longitudinal side of said tilt bed for supporting a wall panel thereon, said rollers each having a fixed rotational axis with respect to said tilt bed, and said rollers being at substantially the same elevation when said tilt bed is in said horizontal position as the rollers of said first series on said framing table when the rollers of said first series are in their elevated position,

8. means at one side of said tilt bed and extending upwardly above the rollers of said second series when said tilt bed is in said horizontal position for supporting a finished wall panel along its lower edge on said tilt bed during movement thereof to said substantially upright position, and

9. means for actuating said tilt bed, and

10. The apparatus for fabricating wall panels for buildings as specified in claim 1 wherein the rectangular flat bed of said framing table has a raised end rail and a raised side rail protruding above said side plates and extending respectively along the front end and one side of said flat bed for abutting wall panel members during fabrication of a wall panel on said framing table, and a series of power cylinders spaced along the opposite side of said flat bed from said raised side rail, said power cylinders having reciprocal pistons positioned above said side plates for movement toward and away from said raised side rail to provide an assembly jig for positioning and holding wall panel members during fabrication of a wall panel on said framing table.

11. In apparatus for fabricating wall panels for buildings, a framing table comprising:

12. In apparatus for fabricating wall panels for buildings, a framing table as specified in claim 2 having a series of elongate wooden members fixedly secured between said power cylinders to one of said longitudinal side plates opposite from said raised side rail.

13. In apparatus for fabricating wall panels for buildings, a finishing table comprising:

14. In apparatus for fabricating wall panels for buildings, a finishing table as specified in claim 5 having positive engagement means for stopping said tilt bed after it has pivoted through an arc of about 75°-85° from its said horizontal position.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to work holders with work mover and discharge facilitators (U.S. Patent Office Class 69, Sub-classes 13 and 14) and to woodwork holding stands (U.S. Patent Office Class 144, Sub-class 288). More specifically, this invention relates to apparatus for factory constructing and handling wall panels, floors, and the like for wooden buildings, particularly homes.

2. Prior Art

The art of building pre-fabricated or modular type housing resulting in completely self-contained units is well known. The completed wall panels of such units include the factory installation of electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation and interior wall surface. Apparatus for factory built pre-fabricated or modular housing units is shown in U.S. Pats. Nos. 2,662,565; 2,884,967; and 3,302,942.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Basically, our invention comprises various apparatus and the combination thereof for constructing and handling wall panels, floors, and the like in a "house factory." Unlike the building of the completely pre-fabricated or modular type units, the apparatus herein described is used to provide the basic structure of a house including floor, exterior walls with window units installed and interior wall panel frames. Roof trusses and other materials are also provided. After erection at the site the plumbers, electricians and tradesmen come in to complete the house from the enclosed shell.

The apparatus of this invention comprises a flat bed framing station or table having a power operated assembly jig and elevating conveyor rollers for transferring an assembled rough wall panel to a finishing station or table where exterior siding is put on over the sheathing of the rough wall panel and window units are installed. The finishing table has a power operated tilt bed for standing the completed wall panel in a substantially upright position under an overhead crane extending longitudinally above the pivot axis of the tilt bed and beyond the finishing table for carrying the completed wall panel directly to the factory loading dock.

The many advantages of building under factory controlled conditions, the improved quality control, and lower cost are well known and need no elaboration here.

In addition, our apparatus is substantially simplier, less expensive, easier to use and allows more flexibility in building design than known apparatus for factory home construction. Further, the unique combination of our particular framing table, tilt table and overhead crane assembly allow building and handling of wall panels and the like with substantially less likelihood of damage.

Other objects, features and advantages of our invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing preferred embodiments of the invention for exemplification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of the combined framing table, tilt table and overhead discharge assembly emboding our invention.

FIG. 2 is a somewhat enlarged plan view of the framing table of FIG. 1 showing a portion of a wall panel frame thereon.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the framing table shown in FIG. 2 without the wall panel.

FIG. 4 is a section view of the framing table taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a somewhat enlarged plan view of the finishing table shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the finishing table shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a somewhat enlarged end elevation view of the finishing table shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

FIG. 8 is an end isometric view of the finishing table shown in FIG. 7 with the tilt bed supporting a wall panel in substantially upright position for pick-up by the overhead crane.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now more particularly to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, our multi-station apparatus is schematically shown in FIG. 1. The combined apparatus basically comprises a framing station or table 10, a finishing station or table 30, and an overhead crane 50.

As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the framing table 10 has a rectangular flat bed 11 having front and rear ends 11a and 11b, respectively, and a pair of longitudinally extending steel side plates 12 and 13 for supporting wooden wall panel members such as 2×4's during fabrication of a wall panel frame thereon.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a raised end rail 14 in the form of a fixed angle iron welded to and protruding above the top surface of side plates 12 and 13 extends across the front end of the flat bed. As best seen in FIGS. 2-4, a raised side rail 15 in the form of a series of fixed angle-iron sections welded to and protruding above the top surface of side plate 13 extends the full length of the table. The raised end and side rails meet at a right angle as shown at 16 in FIG. 2 so that when a wall plate and stud are held thereagainst they form a square corner.

Referring again to FIGS. 2-4, a series of air-cylinders 17 are fixedly secured to and longitudinally spaced along side plate 12. The air-cylinders have reciprocal pistons 17a disposed above side plate 12 for movement toward and away from raised side rail 15. The raised end rail 14, raised side rail 15, and air-cylinders 17 provide an assembly jig for positioning and holding the 2×4 plates and studs during fabrication of a rough wall panel on said framing table.

The framing table also has a series of freely rotatable transverse rollers 18 longitudinally spaced along the sides of the table as best shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 4, each of the rollers 18 is carried in the top of a carriage 19 which is mounted by a pivot pin 20 between the elongate channels 21 forming the sides of the table. The carriages are pivoted between an inclined position and a vertical position by tie rods 22 reciprocated by air-cylinders, one of which is shown at 23, and which in turn are controlled by manipulation of lever 24. The rollers 18 are thus raised and lowered in unison between a lower rest position recessed below the top of side plates as shown in FIG. 4 and an upper working position as shown in FIG. 3 wherein they extend through the openings 12a and 13a formed in the side plates to lift a wall panel off the side plates and out of the assembly jig.

To assemble a rough wall panel 60 on the framing table, a bottom plate 61 is laid along raised side rail 15 with one end abutting raised end rail 14 as shown in FIG. 2. A top plate 62 is laid on side plate 12 with one end also abutting end rail 14. An end stud shown at 63 is then positioned between the bottom plate and top plate and the remaining studs 64 laid across the longitudinal planks 25 which rest on cross members 26 to form a portion of the flat bed of the framing table. Any number of planks may be used, however, it is preferred that they be transversely spaced from one another to allow material to fall therebetween. After the plates and studs are laid in position, air pressure is supplied to the air-cylinders via conduit 27 and connecting taps 28 by actuating control lever 29 whereby the pistons 17a are extended against the top plate tightly holding the studs between the top and bottom plates in the assembly jig. The studs and plates are then nailed together to form a wall panel frame on which sheathing 65 is then nailed. As noted in FIG. 4, the sheathing extends slightly beyond the top plate 62. Window and door openings are then cut in the wall panel.

Control lever 29 is then operated to deactivate the air-cylinders 17 and control lever 24 actuated to elevate the rollers 18 to their upper working position thereby raising the wall panel off the side plates 12 and 13 and above the assembly jig formed by the rails 14 and 15 and the air-cylinders 17. A second 2×4 is then nailed onto top plate 62 to provide a double top plate.

The rough wall panel is then pushed on rollers 18 off of the framing table 10 and onto the finishing table 30 which is spaced adjacent the rear end 11b of the framing table and longitudinally aligned with the framing table as shown in FIG. 1. The tables should be spaced apart far enough to perrmit workers to walk between them.

The finishing table 30 has a rectangular tilt bed 31 mounted on a frame 32 for pivotal movement about a longitudinally extending pivot axis 33 between a horizontal position shown in FIG. 7 and a substantially upright position shown in FIG. 8.

As shown in the drawings, the tilt bed has a series of freely rotatable transverse rollers 34 spaced along each longitudinal side of the tilt bed for supporting a wall panel. The rollers are carried between longitudinally extending chanels 35 which are welded to cross members 36 to form the tilt bed.

The tilt bed has a plurality of upright support flanges 37 welded to the outside chanel 35 at the side of the tilt bed closest to the pivot axis. The flanges extend upwardly above the rollers 34 when the tilt bed is in horizontal position as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 for supporting a wall panel along its lower edge on the tilt bed during movement thereof to the substantially upright position shown in FIG. 8. The flanges are spaced along the entire length of the tilt bed to support the wall panel along its entire length.

The tilt bed is operated by three hydraulic cylinders 38. The tilt bed is moved to a substantially upright position between about 75° to about 85° from its horizontal position, and in the preferred form as shown in FIG. 8, it is stopped after an 80° swing from the horizontal. A positive stop in this position is provided by an abutment 39 which is mounted on frame 32 as shown in FIG. 7 and engages a member 35 of the tilt bed.

In this position, the upper double plate 62 of the completed wall panel is disposed directly under the track 51 of the overhead crane 50. The track of the overhead crane extends longitudinally of and above the pivot axis of the tilt bed and beyond the end of the finishing table to facilitate movement of the finished wall panel directly to the factory loading dock. The overhead crane is of known construction and comprises a lifting head 52 which runs on the track 51 and has cable or chain apparatus 53 with attaching elbows 54 which extend into holes in the top plate for lifting the wall panel.

When a rough wall panel has been completed on the framing table as hereinbefore described, it is moved on the elevator rollers of the framing table onto the rollers of the finishing table. The finishing table has a lead-in guide comprising a baffle 40 and vertical roller 41 as best shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 to guide the rough wall panel as it is moved onto the finishing table. On the finishing table, the window casings are set into the wall panel and the exterior siding is also put on to complete the wall panel. Upon completion, the hydraulic cylinders 38 are actuated to pivot the tilt bed from its horizontal position shown in FIG. 7 to its upright position shown in FIG. 8 for pickup by the longitudinally extending overhead crane for discharge to the factory loading dock. The wall panel is loaded on a truck in the upright position along with the other wall panels of the house for transportation to the site.

The framing table and its assembly jig are particularly designed for building rectangular wooded wall panels, however, the table also equipped with a series of elongate wooden members 70 fixedly bolted to side plate 12 between the air-cylinders 17 as shown in FIG. 2. These members provide means to which braces can be temporarily nailed for holding the members of smaller than standard height wall panels irregular shaped pieces in place during fabrication when the air-cylinders 17 cannot be used.

It is understood that our invention is not confined to the particular construction and arrangement of parts herein illustrated and described, but embraces all such modified forms thereof as come within the scope of the following claims.