Title:
Serviceable pop-up bollard
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The system includes a bollard, a primary casing that houses the bollard, and a portion of the actuating system used to initiate the selective deployment of the bollard. The serviceable elements of the actuating system deployed within the casing are limited to a pneumatically operated cylinder and piston, and when applicable, position sensors attached to the cylinder. The present invention solves the problem of accessing the serviceable elements of the system by mechanically linking the cylinder and piston to a removable access section that closes an access opening in the bollard. When the removable access section is removed and pulled away from the bollard, the piston and cylinder, which may include the position sensors, are drawn out of the casing through the access opening for servicing. Any hoses attached to the cylinder will also be at least partially drawn through the access opening.



Inventors:
Netah, Shay (Holon, IL)
Elis, Zeev (Tel-Aviv, IL)
Application Number:
11/105369
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/14/2005
Assignee:
B.G. ILANIT GATES AND URBAN ELEMENTS, LTD.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
49/49, 49/131
International Classes:
E01F13/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MAYO-PINNOCK, TARA LEIGH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DR. MARK FRIEDMAN LTD. (C/o Bill Polkinghorn 9003 Florin Way, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772, US)
Claims:
1. A system for selectively deploying a bollard so as to restricting passage on a surface, the system comprising: a) a bollard housed within a system volume, said bollard selectively deployable between a raised position and a lowered position, said bollard being substantially hollow and including a removable access section that closes an access opening; and b) an actuating system having at least one serviceable element deployed within said system volume, said actuating system mechanically linked to said bollard and configured for selectively deploying said bollard; wherein removal of said removable access section provides access to said system volume and at least a portion of said actuating system is removable from said system volume through said access opening.

2. The system of claim 1, further including a stationary support base substantially permanently mounted within said system volume, said stationary support base configured to support at least a portion of said actuating system.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein said system volume is defined by a primary casing implanted below the surface and said support base is integral to said primary casing.

4. The system of claim 3, further including a secondary casing implanted below the surface of vehicular movement such that said primary casing is deployed in said secondary casing.

5. The system of claim 2, wherein support of said actuating system on said support base includes each of said support base and said actuating system being configured with corresponding support regions.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein said corresponding support regions include said support base being configured with at least one cut-out area and said actuating system being configured with a corresponding extension region configured to extend at least partially into said cut-out area.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein said removable access section is in a top region of said bollard.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein said removable access section has a circular outer contour.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein a perimeter of said access opening and a perimeter of said removable access section are configured with corresponding threads such that said removable access section is screwably removable from said bollard.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein said top region is planar and said removable access section is co-planar with said top region when said access section is deployed in a fully closed state.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein said actuating system is mechanically linked to said removable access section.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein said actuating system is pneumatically operated and said at least one serviceable element includes a pneumatic piston and cylinder combination.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein at least a portion of said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination extends into said interior volume of said bollard, and an end of said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is mechanically linked to said removable access section, such that said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is removed through said access opening as said removable access section is removed from said access opening.

14. The system of claim 1, wherein said enclosed system volume is configured with a separation partition defining at least a first region housing said bollard and a second region housing cables and hoses associated with said actuating system, said separation partition configured to allow substantially unrestricted movement of said cables and hoses as require for deployment of said bollard.

15. A method for servicing a system for selectively restricting passage on a surface, the method comprising: a) providing a system for selectively restricting passage on the surface, said system including: i) a selectively deployable bollard at least partially deployed within a system volume, said bollard including a removable access section that closes an access opening, said access opening providing access to said system volume, and ii) an actuating system including at least one serviceable element releasably mounted within said system volume, said actuating system mechanically linked to said bollard and configured for selectively deploying said bollard; b) removing said removable access section; c) accessing said system volume; and d) removing at least a portion of said actuating system from said system volume through said access opening.

16. The method of claim 15, further including providing a primary casing that defines said system volume, said primary casing implanted below the surface and including a support base configured to support at least a portion of said actuating system.

17. The method of claim 16, further including providing a secondary casing implanted below the surface and deploying said primary casing in said secondary casing.

18. The method of claim 17, further including supporting said actuating system on said support base with each of said support base and said actuating system being configured with corresponding support regions such that said support base is configured with at least one cut-out region and said actuating system is configured with a corresponding extension region configure to extend at least partially into said cut-out region.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said removable access section is implemented in a top region of said bollard.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein said removable access section and said removable access opening are each implemented with a circular contour and a perimeter of said access opening and a perimeter of said removable access section are implemented with corresponding threads such that said removable access section is screwably removable from said bollard.

21. The method of claim 15, further including mechanically linking said actuating system to said removable access section.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein said actuating system implemented so as to be pneumatically operated and includes a pneumatic piston and cylinder combination, and an end of said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is mechanically linked to said removable access section, such that said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is removed through said access opening as said removable access section is removed from said access opening.

Description:

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to bollards and, in particular, it concerns serviceable pop-up bollard.

Pop-up bollards, also known as retractable or automatic bollards, of various configurations are know in the art, however, gaining access to the serviceable elements of such bollards has presented some difficulties. The least satisfactory solution has been to completely unearth the entire bollard mechanism and housing.

One solution is suggested by the SUMO raising bollard offered by Cale Briparc on its Website. More specifically on Webpage www.cale.se/briparc/products/bollards/index_bollards.shtm. This bollard apparatus provides access to the serviceable elements deployed inside by fully removing the entire bollard element. This solution may be appropriate for smaller bollards having weights that may be manually lifted by service personnel. However, once such weight limits are exceeded and lifting equipment must be employed, the advantage of the system is lessened.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,919,563 discloses another suggested solution. The bollard of this patent provides access to serviceable elements through two separate openings. Serviceable elements deployed inside of the bollard itself are accessible by removing the top of the bollard. Serviceable elements deployed in the housing that holds the bollard are accessible by first removing the bollard from the housing, and then removing a bezel that surrounds the bollard opening. Here too, the advantage is limited to bollards no larger or heavier than can be manually lifted by service personnel.

Especially within the class of bollard design for anti-terrorist protection, the limitations of the above referenced bollards of prior art off set the suggested advantages.

There is therefore a need for serviceable pop-up bollard apparatus that provides access to the serviceable element of the apparatus without remove of the bollard element. It would be of benefit if the bollard apparatus were to provide removal of serviceable elements through an access opening provided in the top region of the bollard.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is serviceable pop-up bollard.

According to the teachings of the present invention there is provided, a system for selectively deploying a bollard so as to restricting passage on a surface, the system comprising: a) a bollard housed within a system volume, said bollard selectively deployable between a raised position and a lowered position, said bollard being substantially hollow and including a removable access section that closes an access opening; and b) an actuating system having at least one serviceable element deployed within said system volume, said actuating system mechanically linked to said bollard and configured for selectively deploying said bollard; wherein removal of said removable access section provides access to an interior volume of said bollard and said system volume and at least a portion of said at least one serviceable element is removable from said system volume through said access opening.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided a stationary support base substantially permanently mounted within said system volume, said stationary support base configured to support at least a portion of said actuating system.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said system volume is defined by a primary casing implanted below the surface and said support base is integral to said primary casing.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided a secondary casing implanted below the surface of vehicular movement such that said primary casing is deployed in said secondary casing.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, support of said actuating system on said support base includes each of said support base and said actuating system being configured with corresponding support regions.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said corresponding support regions include said support base being configured with at least one cut-out area and said actuating system being configured with a corresponding extension region configure to extend at least partially into said cut-out area.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said removable access section is in a top region of said bollard.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said removable access section has a circular outer contour.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, a perimeter of said access opening and a perimeter of said removable access section are configured with corresponding threads such that said removable access section is screwably removable from said bollard.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said top region is planar and said removable access section is co-planar with said top region when said access section is deployed in a fully closed state.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said actuating system is mechanically linked to said removable access section.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said actuating system is pneumatically operated and said at least one serviceable element includes a pneumatic piston and cylinder combination.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, at least a portion of said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination extends into said interior volume of said bollard, and an end of said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is mechanically linked to said removable access section, such that said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is removed through said access opening as said removable access section is removed from said access opening.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said enclosed system volume is configured with a separation partition defining at least a first region housing said bollard and a second region housing cables and hoses associated with said actuating system, said separation partition configured to allow substantially unrestricted movement of said cables and hoses as require for deployment of said bollard.

There is also provided according to the teachings of the present invention, a method for servicing a system for selectively restricting passage on a surface, the method comprising: a) providing a system for selectively restricting passage on the surface, said system including: i) a selectively deployable bollard at least partially deployed within a system volume, said bollard including a removable access section that closes an access opening, said access opening providing access to said system volume, and ii) an actuating system including at least one serviceable element releasably mounted within said system volume, said actuating system mechanically linked to said bollard and configured for selectively deploying said bollard; b) removing said removable access section; c) accessing said system volume; and d) removing at least a portion of said one serviceable element from said system volume through said access opening.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided providing a primary casing that defines said system volume, said primary casing implanted below the surface and including a support base configured to support at least a portion of said actuating system.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided providing a secondary casing implanted below the surface and deploying said primary casing in said secondary casing.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided supporting said actuating system on said support base with each of said support base and said actuating system being configured with corresponding support regions such that said support base is configured with at least one cut-out region and said actuating system is configured with a corresponding extension region configure to extend at least partially into said cut-out region.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said removable access section is implemented in a top region of said bollard.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said removable access section and said removable access opening are each implemented with a circular contour and a perimeter of said access opening and a perimeter of said removable access section are implemented with corresponding threads such that said removable access section is screwably removable from said bollard.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided mechanically linking said actuating system to said removable access section.

According to a further teaching of the present invention, said actuating system implemented so as to be pneumatically operated and includes a pneumatic piston and cylinder combination, and an end of said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is mechanically linked to said removable access section, such that said pneumatic piston and cylinder combination is removed through said access opening as said removable access section is removed from said access opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention, shown in a raised position;

FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a detail of area A of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of a removable access section constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an isometric cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, shown in a lowered position with the removable access section removed and a portion of the piston extending through the access opening;

FIG. 6 is a schematic isometric transparent view of a primary casing constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is an isometric detail of an extension region configured on the bottom of the pneumatic cylinder;

FIG. 8 is a top elevation of stationary support base constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of a secondary casing constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention; and

FIG. 10 is a side cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, including a cylinder support element constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is serviceable pop-up bollard

The principles and operation of serviceable pop-up bollard according to the present invention may be better understood with reference to the drawings and the accompanying description.

By way of introduction, the system of the present invention provides a pop-up bollard that may be used for selectively restricting passage on a surface of vehicular movement such as, but not limited to, roadways, streets, driveways, and parking lots and garages. It should be noted that configuration of the bollard for restricting pedestrian traffic is also within the scope of the present invention. The bollard is selectively deployable between a raised position, in which passage on a surface of vehicular movement is restricted, and a lowered position, in which passage on a surface of vehicular movement is unrestricted.

In the preferred embodiment described herein, the system of the present invention includes the substantially hollow bollard, a primary casing that houses the bollard, and a portion of the actuating system used to selectively deploy the bollard. The casing is deployed below ground level and is preferably cemented into place, thereby providing a secure base for the bollard should a vehicle attempt to break through the barrier provided by the bollard. It will be appreciated that unless the entire system is unearthed, access to the actuating system is limited to the top surface provided by the casing and the bollard. Therefore, in the preferred embodiment described herein, the present invention has limited the serviceable elements of the actuating system that are deployed within the casing to a pneumatically operated cylinder and piston, and when applicable, position sensors attached to the cylinder. The source of pressurized air, preferably an air compressor and control/activating system that includes the necessary switched and valves, is remotely located preferably above ground for easy access and connected to the cylinder by hoses, which are preferably routed through a buried conduit. In such a configuration, substantially any number of bollards may be operated using a single air source. It will be understood that substantially any source of pressurized gas may be used to actuate the movement of the piston. A preferred source is an air compressor with an electric motor, however, other sources such as, but not limited to, air compressors with gasoline or diesel motors, and tanks of pressurized air or other appropriate gas, are within the scope of the present invention. It will be appreciated that numerous control/activating systems are known in the art, and the use of substantially any such system is within the scope of the present invention.

The present invention solves the problem of accessing the serviceable elements of the system by mechanically linking the cylinder and piston to a removable access section that closes an access opening in the bollard. When the removable access section is removed and pulled away from the bollard, the piston and cylinder, which may include position sensors, are drawn out of the casing through the access opening for servicing. Any hoses attached to the cylinder will also be at least partially drawn through the access opening. If the hoses required repair or replacement, the end may be detached, for example, from the pressurized air source and drawn completely out through the access opening. New or repaired hoses can than be fed back through the buried conduit and then reconnected to the pressurized air source.

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the pop-up bollard system of the present invention, generally referred to in the drawings by reference numeral 2, in a raised position. The bollard 4 is housed in a first region 50 of the primary casing 6, and selective deployment of the bollard 4 is activated by the pneumatic piston 8 and cylinder 10. The primary casing 6 also includes a second region 52 that houses any hoses, wires and cables deployed within the primary casing 6. It will be understood that the primary casing 6 may be implemented without the second region 52, however, the second region 52 provides protection for the hoses not afforded by devices of prior art.

The top surface of the bollard 4 illustrated herein is planar and includes an access opening 32 that is closed by a removable access section 30 that is co-planar with the top surface of the bollard 4 when the access section 30 is deployed in a fully closed state as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Preferably, the removable access section 30 has a circular contour and, as seen in FIG. 4, is threaded about a perimeter surface 34 so as to be screwably attached to the bollard 4 by corresponding threads configured in the perimeter of the access opening 32. It will be appreciated, however, that the removable access section and the access opening may be configured with substantially any suitable contour and attachment of the removable access section may be by substantially any suitable attachment device.

The top end of the piston 8 is attached to the removable access section 30 preferably by a joint element 72 that allows rotation of the removable access section 30 in relation to the piston 8 about two axes of rotation. The joint element 72, see FIG. 3, includes two joint sections. The lower joint section 76 allows rotation about the centerline 76a of the piston 8. This allows for unscrewing of the removable access section 30 from the bollard. The upper joint section 74 allows rotation about an axis of rotation 74a that is perpendicular to the centerline of the piston. This allows the removable access section 30 to be rotated to one side if a technician desires access to the interior of the bollard through the access opening 32. It will be appreciated that deployment of the cylinder 10 and piston 8 may be reversed such that the cylinder 10 is attached to the removable access section 30.

FIG. 6 shows the primary casing 6 without the bollard and actuating system in order to illustrate a preferred implementation of the support base 80 that is configured in the bottom of the primary casing 6. Also illustrated in FIG. 6 is partition 54 that separates sections 50 and 52 on the primary casing 6. Partition 54 is configured with an opening 56 that provides a passageway for any hoses and wires that are generally housed in section 52 and extend into section 50 and are connected to the cylinder 10 or piston 8. It should be noted that opening 56 may be implemented in substantially any suitable configuration and location in partition 54.

Both the support base and the actuating system are configured with corresponding support regions. FIGS. 7 and 8, illustrate a preferred implementation in which the bottom surface 10b of the cylinder 10 includes an extension region 12, and the support base includes a corresponding cut-out area 82 such that the extension region 12 extends at least partially into the cut-out area 82. It will be understood that the circular contours of the extension region 12 and cut-out area 82 are used only as examples and that substantially any contour or other suitable non-fixed-attachment support structure may be implemented within the scope of the present invention.

Therefore, in this preferred embodiment of the present invention, the cylinder 10 and piston 8 of the actuating system are fixedly attached only to the bollard 4, by way of the removable access section 30, and only rest on the support base 80. Configured thusly, removal of the cylinder and piston for servicing, as illustrated in FIG. 5, may be accomplished by unscrewing the removable access section 30 and lifting it up out of the access opening 32, bringing with it the cylinder 10 and piston 8.

Deployment of the bollard system of the present invention may be accomplished by burying the primary casing 6 such that the top surface is co-planar to the surrounding surface. In some applications it may be preferable to bury a secondary casing, 90 in FIG. 9, and then deploy the primary casing 6 within the secondary casing 90.

With regard to the operation of the bollard 4, upward travel during selective deployment is limited by contact between the flanges 40 on the bollard 4 and plate 42, which may be configured as the cover of the primary casing 6. Downward travel is limited by contact of the bottom 44 of the bollard 4 with the support base 80. In some applications, it may be desirable to incorporate electronic position sensors 48 into the cylinder, thereby providing bollard position information to a central system processing-unit which may also control the activating system.

For some applications of the present invention, it may be advantageous to provide extra support for the cylinder 10. In such cases, a cylinder support element 96 as illustrated in FIG. 10 may be used to further stabilize the cylinder 10. When used, the cylinder support element 96 is fixedly attached to the support base 80, and releasably attached to the top of the cylinder 10 using bolts for example; however, substantially any releasable attachment arrangement may be utilized and is within the scope of the present invention. In order to remove the cylinder 10 and piston 8 for servicing, the removable access section 30 is unscrewed for the bollard 4 and rotated to the side about axis of rotation 74a so as to allow access through the access opening 32. The cylinder 10 is released from the cylinder support element 96. The cylinder 10 and piston 8 are then removed through the access opening 32.

It will be appreciated that the above descriptions are intended only to serve as examples and that many other embodiments are possible within the spirit and the scope of the present invention.