Title:
Quick connect pump to pump mount and drive arrangement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and method for pumping fluid. The apparatus includes a first pump defined by a first housing having a first primary shaft rotatably attached to a first gear set positioned internal to the first housing. The apparatus includes a second pump defined by a second housing having a second primary shaft rotatably attached to a second gear set positioned internal to the second housing. The first and second housings being connectible to one another. A shaft quick connect mechanism is provided to couple the first and second primary shafts to one another such that when the first and second pump housings are connected, the first primary shaft rotatingly drives the second primary shaft.



Inventors:
Mayer, James (Cedar Falls, IA, US)
Allen Jr., William (Cedar Falls, IA, US)
Jakel, Sandra (Cedar Falls, IA, US)
Application Number:
10/847483
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/17/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
417/360
International Classes:
F04C2/08; F04C11/00; F04C15/00; F04C2/18; (IPC1-7): F04B17/00; F04B35/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BERTHEAUD, PETER JOHN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP (233 S. WACKER DRIVE, SUITE 6300, SEARS TOWER, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for pumping fluid comprising: a first pump defined by a first housing having a first primary shaft rotatingly attached to a first gear set positioned internal to the first housing; a second pump defined by a second housing having a second primary shaft rotatingly attached to a second gear set positioned internal to the first housing, the first and second housings connected to one another for preventing relative movement the first and second housings; a shaft quick connect mechanism for coupling the first and second primary shafts to one another.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the shaft quick connect mechanism includes a tang receiving slot formed in the first primary shaft and a tang formed in the second primary shaft, the tang being slidingly engageable with the tang receiving slot.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: at least one threaded fastener for fixedly holding the first and second housings adjacent one another.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each gear set includes a primary gear and a secondary gear meshed with one another.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, further comprising: a secondary shaft connected to each secondary gear.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: at least one bearing support positioned in each housing for rotatably supporting a corresponding primary shaft.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: at least one seal disposed on each primary shaft for preventing fluid from flowing between the housing and the primary shaft.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, further comprising: at least one snap ring for retaining each seal in a corresponding housing.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each housing further comprises: a forward bracket; a pump head connectable to the forward bracket; and an o-ring seal positioned between the forward bracket and the pump head.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a woodruff key adapted to connect the first primary shaft to a power source.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the power source is an electric motor operable for driving both of the first and second pumps.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first housing includes a bore and the second housing includes a protruding hub, the hub of second housing being mountable within the bore of the first housing.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising: a set screw positioned in the first housing operable for lockingly engaging the hub of the second housing.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each housing further comprises: at least one fluid inlet port; and at least one fluid outlet port.

15. A pump apparatus comprising: a plurality of pump housings coupled to one another; a plurality of primary shafts having first and second ends positioned internal to the housings; a gear set disposed in each housing driven by the primary shaft in the corresponding housing; and a shaft quick connect mechanism for coupling the primary shafts of each pump to one another.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the shaft quick connect mechanism includes a tang formed in the first end of each primary shaft and a tang receiving slot formed in the second end of each primary shaft, the tang in one primary shaft being slidingly engageable with the tang receiving slot of an adjacent primary shaft.

17. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising: at least one threaded fastener for fixedly holding the plurality of pump housings together.

18. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein each gear set includes a primary gear and a secondary gear meshed with one another.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising: a secondary shaft connected to each secondary gear.

20. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising: at least one bearing support positioned in each housing for rotatably supporting a corresponding shaft.

21. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising: at least one seal disposed on each primary shaft for preventing fluid from flowing between the housing and the primary shaft.

22. The apparatus of claim 21, further comprising: at least one snap ring for retaining each seal in a corresponding housing.

23. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein each housing further comprises: a forward bracket; a pump head connectable to the forward bracket; and an o-ring seal positioned between the forward bracket and the pump head.

24. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising: a woodruff key adapted to connect one primary shaft to a power source.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the power source is an electric motor operable for driving the plurality of pumps.

26. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising: a recessed bore area formed on one end of a first housing connected to the power source; a recessed bore area formed on one end and a protruding hub formed on an opposing end of intermediate housings; a protruding hub formed on the last housing of the plurality of housings, the hubs of the housings being mountable within the recessed bore areas of each adjoining housing such that the first housing, intermediate housings, and last housing are connectable to one another.

27. The apparatus of claim 26, further comprising: a threaded fastener for threadingly engaging through the bore area of one housing and adapted to lockingly engage the hub of an adjoining housing.

28. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein each housing further comprises: at least one fluid inlet port; and at least one fluid outlet port.

29. A method of pumping a plurality of discreet fluids with a pumping apparatus comprising the steps of: providing a primary shaft formed with a quick connect mechanism in a plurality of pump housings; joining the plurality of pump housings together; coupling the primary shafts of the pump housings to one another by sliding a tang formed in one end of each shaft into a tang receiving slot formed in an adjacent shaft; connecting a power source to one drive shaft; driving the plurality of pump units with the power source; and pumping the discreet fluids from one location to another.

Description:

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to multiple pump assembly and more particularly to a multiple pump assembly having a quick connect coupling and drive arrangement for connecting pumps together.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Pump units connected to one another and driven by one power source are known. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,672,843 issued to Holder et al. on Jan. 6, 2004, relates to a dual pump apparatus comprising dual drive shafts and an auxiliary pump. A dual pump apparatus is disclosed for use on a vehicle or industrial application having a housing in which a pair of hydraulic pumps is mounted. The apparatus includes at least one charge pump mounted on an end cap with trunnion arms for controlling the hydraulic pumps that extend out of opposite sides of the housing. A cooling fan may be mounted on the primary or secondary input shaft on the opposite side of a pulley that is used to engage the prime mover. An auxiliary pump may also be mounted on the primary input shaft and may be located either at the input end adjacent to the pulley or on the opposite side of the housing.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,361,282 issued to Wanschura on Mar. 26, 2002, relates to a dual pump unit. The Wanschura patent discloses a dual pump unit having two hydraulic pumps with coaxially mounted drive shafts that are coupled to each other. The coupling member surrounds a connecting member, wherein high pressure lines and low pressure lines are formed. The connecting member extends between two control bodies that are respectively associated with one hydraulic pump and which are used to create a cyclic connection between the cylinders of the hydraulic pumps and the high pressure lines and low pressure lines. The connecting member requires two connector plates defining one of the hydraulic pumps respectively on the control bodies and an individually formed interchangeable intermediate element arranged between the connector plates. The connector plates each have a recess into which the intermediate element can be respectively inserted so that the connector plates can radially encompass the intermediate element and the intermediate element can be fixed between the connector plates.

The prior art of Holder et al. and Wanschura disclose pump connections that are complex. A more robust and less complex pump to pump coupling system is contemplated by the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure, an apparatus for pumping fluid is provided. The apparatus includes a first pump defined by a first housing having a first rotating primary shaft attached to a first gear set positioned internal to the first housing. A second pump defined by a second housing includes a second rotating primary shaft attached to a second gear set. The first and second housings can be connected to one another. A shaft quick connect mechanism is provided to couple the first and second primary shafts to one another such that when the first primary shaft rotates, the second primary shaft is driven in a like manner.

In an illustrative embodiment, the shaft quick connect mechanism includes a tang receiving slot formed in the first primary shaft and a tang formed in the second primary shaft. The tang of the second primary shaft can be slidingly engaged with the tang receiving slot of the first primary shaft causing the shafts to lockingly engage one another.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, a pumping apparatus including a plurality of pump housings coupled to one another is provided. A primary shaft having first and second ends is positioned internal to each housing. A gear set is positioned in each housing and is driven by a corresponding primary shaft. A shaft quick connect mechanism is provided for coupling the primary shafts of each pump to one another. The shaft quick connect mechanism includes a tang formed in the first end of each primary shaft and a tang receiving slot formed in the second end of each primary shaft. The tang in one primary shaft is slidingly engageable with a tang receiving slot in an adjacent primary shaft.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, a method for pumping a plurality of discreet fluids with a pumping apparatus having a plurality of pump units connected together is provided. The method includes positioning a primary shaft having a quick connect mechanism for coupling the primary shafts of each pump unit to one another. A power source is connected to one drive shaft for driving the plurality of pump units together and pumping the discreet fluids from one location to another.

Other applications of the present disclosure 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.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dual pump assembly spaced apart for clarity;

FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of the dual pump assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of the dual pump assembly of FIG. 1 coupled together;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the dual pump assembly of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic showing a motor drive coupled to a plurality of pumps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

Referring to FIG. 1, an apparatus 10 for pumping fluid as shown therein. The apparatus 10 can include a first pump housing 12 and a second pump housing 14. The pump housings 12, 14 each include a first primary shaft 16a and 16b, respectively. The primary shaft 16a is rotatably disposed in the first pump housing 12. The second primary shaft 16b is rotatably disposed in the second pump housing 14. The first primary shaft 16a is coupled with and drives the second primary shaft 16b. Each pump housings 12, 14 includes a fluid inlet port 18 and a fluid outlet port (not shown) that can be positioned on the opposite side of the housing 12, 14. The second pump housing 14 includes a protruding annular hub 20 formed thereon for slidingly engaging with the first pump housing 12. The first and second pump housings 12, 14 are held together via a threaded fastener 22 that lockingly engages through the first pump housing 12 into a groove 24 of the protruding annular hub 20. The first pump housing 12 can include a plurality of fasteners 26 to engage with a power source such as an electric motor (not shown). The first primary shaft 16a can include a woodruff key 27 to engage with a power output shaft (not shown) of the electric motor (not shown).

Referring now to FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 3, the pump housings 12 and 14 are shown in cross-section and in exploded view respectively. Each pump housing 12, 14 includes a forward bracket 28 and a head 30. The head 30 and the forward bracket 28 are connected to one another via a plurality of threaded fasteners 32 that extend through the head 30 and threadingly engage a corresponding threaded aperture 34 formed in the forward bracket 28.

At least one alignment sleeve 36 can extend between the forward bracket 28 and the pump head 30 to align the housings 12, 14 with one another to ensure proper dimensional alignment during the assembly process. The first primary shaft 16a in the first pump housing 12 is coupled to the second primary shaft 16b in the second housing 14 with a quick connect mechanism 40. The quick connect mechanism 40 can include a tang 42 extending from the second primary shaft 16b and a tang receiving slot 44 formed in the first primary shaft 16a. The tang 42 of the second primary shaft 16b is operable for slidingly engaging with the tang receiving slot 44 of the first primary shaft 16a. The quick connect mechanism 40 ensures a positively coupled connection such that when the primary shaft 16a is driven by a power source (not shown), the second primary shaft 16b is driven in like manner.

The first and second pump housings 12, 14 are coupled by sliding the protruding annular hub 20 of the second housing 14 into a bore 21 formed in the first housing 12. The primary shafts 16a, 16b are coupled to one another after the tang 42 and slot 44 are aligned and the housings 12, 14 are pressed together such that the annular hub 20 is inserted into the bore 21 of the first housing 12.

The first primary shaft 16a includes a first primary gear 46a positioned on the outer diameter of the shaft 16a. The second primary shaft 16b includes a second primary gear 46b positioned on the outer diameter of the shaft 16b. The primary gears 46a, 46b are coupled to secondary gears 48a and 48b, respectively. The secondary gears 48a and 48b are driven by the primary gears 46a and 46b, respectively. The secondary gears 48a and 48b are connected to secondary shaft 50a and 50b, respectively. The secondary gears 48a, 48b rotate with the secondary shafts 50a, 50b when the primary gears 46a and 46b are rotated.

A pair of journal bearings, 52a and 52b, are positioned in the forward bracket 28 and the pump head 30, respectively. It should be understood to those skilled in the art that other types of bearings could be used such as roller bearings or ball bearings and the like. The primary shafts 16a, 16b are rotatingly supported by journal bearings 52a, 52b. A pair of lip seals 54a and 54b are positioned in the first pump housing 12 to prevent fluid from escaping along the interface between the shaft 16a and the housing 12. A pair of retaining rings 56a and 56b prevents the lip seals 54a, 56a from inadvertently disengaging from the housing 12. The second pump housing 14 includes a lip seal 58 positioned around the second primary shaft 16b. A retaining ring 60 engages the second pump housing 14 to prevent the lip seal 58 from inadvertently disengaging from the pump housing 14. An O-ring 62 is positioned at the interface between the forward bracket 28 and the head 30 of each pump housing 12, 14. The O-ring 62 prevents fluids from escaping at the interface of the forward bracket 28 and the pump head 30.

Drive ball elements 63 (best seen in FIG. 3) are positioned in depressions 64 formed in the primary and secondary shafts 16a, 16b, 50a, and 50b. The primary and secondary gears 46a, 46b, 48a, and 48b have a matching slot 66 that is formed on the hub of the gears. The gears 46a, 46b, 48a, and 48b slide over and engage with the drive ball elements 63 causing a positive engagement with the primary and secondary shafts 16a, 16b, 50a, and 50b, respectively. A pair of retaining rings 68a, 68b can be snapped into mating grooves 70a, 70b formed in the primary and secondary shafts 16a, 16b, 50a, and 50b. The retaining rings 68a, 68b hold the gears 46a, 46b, 48a, and 48b in longitudinal position relative to their respective shafts.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a schematic showing a multi-pump arrangement is depicted therein. A power source such as an electric motor 80 can be coupled with a plurality of pump units 82. The pump units 82 are coupled together with quick connect coupling mechanisms 40 described above. While one aspect of the present disclosure includes the multiple unit configuration schematically shown in FIG. 4, it should be understood that the present invention contemplates a pump arrangement with as many pumps as advantageously required for a particular application. Also, it is further contemplated that other shaft quick connect features could be incorporated, such as a spline coupling.

In operation, the first pump housing 12 is connected to a first fluid source (not shown), and the second pump housing 14 is connected to a second fluid source (not shown). The gear sets 46a, 48a, and 46b, 48b draw fluid from fluid sources (not shown) through the inlet ports 18 of the first and second pump housings 12, 14 and pump the fluid out through the outlet ports (not shown). The inlet ports 18 and outlet ports can be connected to the fluid sources via conduits such as flexible tubing as desired. A power source such as an electric motor (not shown) is coupled with and drives the first primary shaft 16a of the first pump housing 12. The first primary gear 46a rotates with the first primary shaft 16a and drives the secondary gear 48a disposed on the secondary rotating shaft 50a. The rotation of the first gear set 46a, 48a causes fluid to be pumped from a first fluid source. The primary shaft 16a of the first pump housing 12 is coupled to the primary shaft 16b of the second pump housing 14. The primary shaft 16a and 16b are coupled to one another with a quick connect coupling mechanism 40 wherein the tang 42 of the second primary shaft 16b engages with a slot 44 formed in the first primary shaft 16a causing the second primary shaft 16b to be driven by the first primary shaft 16a. The second primary shaft 16b drives the second primary gear 46b which in turn meshes with and drives the secondary gear 48b. The rotation of the second gear set 46b, 48b causes fluid to be pumped from a second fluid source.

While the preceding text sets forth a detailed description of numerous different embodiments of the invention, it should be understood that the legal scope of the invention is defined by the words of the claims set forth at the end of this patent. The detailed description is to be construed as exemplary only and does not describe every possible embodiment of the invention since describing every possible embodiment would be impractical, if not impossible. Numerous alternative embodiments could be implemented, using either current technology or technology developed after the filing date of this patent, which would still fall within the scope of the claims defining the invention.