Title:
Conveyor flange adapter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A one-piece conveyor flange adapter designed for hollow bore, direct drive configurations. A dual flange casting has two opposite flanges machined and bored to attach between a mounting plate on an electric motor speed reducer housing and a similar mounting plate on a conveyor drive frame. The adapter has a large central axial opening between the two parallel plates, through which a rotating drive shaft extends. The adapter is bolted in place between the speed reducer housing and the conveyor drive frame. The flange adapter has a base mounted on the speed reducer. The outer cruciform flange mounts directly on the conveyor frame with two or four bolt connections. The conveyor drive shaft fits through the opening and connects to gears inside the reducer. Alternatively, the reducer has an output shaft that extends through the opening and directly connects to the conveyor drive.



Inventors:
Whitley, Ralph E. (Huntersville, NC, US)
Dickey, Gene (Plano, TX, US)
Green, Philip (Tulsa, OK, US)
O'donell, Dan (Portland, OR, US)
Ayers, Eric (Charlotte, NC, US)
Vollmar, Larry (Lakeville, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/114062
Publication Date:
10/26/2006
Filing Date:
04/26/2005
Assignee:
Boston Gear, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B96/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SINGH, KAVEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC (BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A single piece conveyor flange adapter comprising: first and second flanges connected together by a neck, a central axial opening through the neck and between the first and second flanges, one or more holes in the first flange for passing bolts through the first flange and into a conveyor drive frame, and one or more holes in the second flange for passing bolts through the second flange and into a speed reducer housing.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the conveyor flange adapter is used on hollow bore, direct drive configurations.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein either two or four bolts are used to secure the conveyor flange adapter on the speed reducer housing and on the conveyor drive frame.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first flange has six drilled holes.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the one or more holes on the first flange are slots.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the one or more holes on the first flange are enclosed, scalloped slots.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising rubber grommets surrounding the bolts passing through the first flange.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the conveyor flange adapter is stored as a blank in inventory and the one or more holes in the first flange and the one or more holes in the second flange are sized and created for particular uses when the conveyor flange adapter is removed from inventory.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a conveyor drive shaft extends through the central axial opening between the first and second flanges.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the conveyor drive shaft connects to gears inside a speed reducer.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an output shaft extending through the central axial opening between the first and second flanges and directly connecting to a conveyor drive.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the diameter of the central axial opening varies along the length of the central axial opening.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a connection system on the second flange for connecting the second flange to the speed reducer housing.

14. A method of connecting a speed reducer to a conveyor drive comprising: providing a conveyor flange adapter comprising: first and second flanges connected together by a neck, a central axial opening between the first and second flanges, one or more holes in the first flange, and one or more holes in the second flange, passing a conveyor drive shaft through the central axial opening between the first and second flanges, securing bolts through the one or more holes in the first flange and a conveyor drive frame, and securing bolts through the one or more holes in the second flange and a speed reducer housing.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the conveyor flange adapter is used on hollow bore, direct drive configurations.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein either two or four bolts are used to secure the conveyor flange adapter on the speed reducer housing and on the conveyor drive frame.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the one or more holes on the first flange are slots.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the one or more holes on the first flange are enclosed, scalloped slots.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein rubber grommets surround the bolts passing through the first flange.

20. The method of claim 14, further comprising storing the conveyor flange adapter as a blank in inventory and providing the one or more holes in the first flange and the one or more holes in the second flange for particular uses when the conveyor flange adapter is removed from inventory.

21. The method of claim 14, wherein the conveyor drive shaft connects to gears inside a speed reducer.

22. The method of claim 14, wherein the conveyor drive shaft connects directly to a conveyor drive.

23. The method of claim 14, wherein the diameter of the central axial opening varies along the length of the central axial opening.

24. The method of claim 14, wherein the conveyor flange adapter further comprises a connection system on the second flange for connecting the second flange to the speed reducer housing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Present methods of connecting speed reducers to conveyor systems are cost and labor intensive. The cumbersome existing methods for mounting speed reducers on conveyors require extensive amounts of time and labor for installation and maintenance. A traditional drive system mounting method can take experienced technicians hours to install. The costs of installation and maintenance add up quickly when considering the miles of conveyor lines in any commercial warehouse. Furthermore, time and manpower is lost on paperwork, phone calls and receiving time associated with sourcing multiple components.

These existing systems generally include a reducer, two mounted bearings, a motor, two sprockets, a chain, a chain guard and mounting brackets. Often, systems are incompatible with certain parts or components because the systems utilize various bolt mounted bearings. Common problems associated with existing conveyor systems are related to shock loads. Shock loads can cause chain stretch, sprocket changeovers and other damaging effects.

Needs exist for simpler conveyor flange adaptors with fewer components that are easier and quicker to install.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an innovative one-piece conveyor flange designed for hollow bore, direct drive configurations. A dual flange casting has two opposite flanges machined and drilled to attach between a mounting plate on an electric motor speed reducer housing and a similar mounting plate on a conveyor drive frame. The adapter has a large central axial opening between the two parallel plates, through which a rotating drive shaft extends. The adapter is bolted in place between the speed reducer housing and the conveyor drive frame. The flange adapter has a base mounted on the speed reducer. The outer cruciform flange, with six drilled holes, slots or enclosed scalloped slots, mounts directly on the conveyor frame with two or four bolt connections. Rubber grommets may pass through the enclosed scalloped slots. The conveyor drive shaft fits through the opening and connects to gears inside the reducer. Alternatively, the reducer has an output shaft that extends through the opening and directly connects to the conveyor drive.

The conveyor flange drive speed reducer adapter of the present invention provides a direct conveyor drive and eliminates bearing flanges, drive sprockets, driven sprockets, roller chains, chain guards and reducer mounting brackets. The present invention also reduces the space and cost associated with installing and maintaining such devices.

The conveyor flange of the present invention decreases maintenance assembly and disassembly time by approximately 75% due to the reduction in components and the decrease in complexity. The present invention also reduces the overall cost of a power transmission drive by about 40%. The reduction in components also reduces the amount of space required in a plant for the systems. The present invention is compatible with existing systems and may be used with both two and four bolt mountings.

These and further and other objects and features of the invention are apparent in the disclosure, which includes the above and ongoing written specification, with the claims and the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a blank conveyor flange adapter.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a conveyor flange adapter with drilled holes.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional side view of the conveyor flange adapter taken along the line A-A in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the conveyor flange adapter mounted and attached to a speed reducer housing, which is directly coupled to a drive motor.

FIG. 5 is a front view of a conveyor flange adapter with drilled holes.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional side view of the conveyor flange adapter taken along the line A-A in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the conveyor flange adapter mounted and attached to a speed reducer housing, which is directly coupled to a drive motor.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the conveyor flange adapter with enclosed, scalloped slots.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the conveyor flange adapter with enclosed, scalloped slots.

FIG. 10 is a rear view of the conveyor flange adapter with enclosed, scalloped slots.

FIG. 11 is a front view of the conveyor flange adapter with enclosed, scalloped slots.

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional side view of the conveyor flange adapter taken along the line A-A in FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is an innovative one-piece conveyor flange designed for hollow bore, direct drive configurations.

FIG. 1 is a front view of a blank conveyor flange adapter 9. The blank conveyor flange adapter 9 is stored in inventory. The conveyor flange adapter 9 has two opposite parallel flanges, a front flange 13 and a back flange 15. The back flange 15 is machined and bored to attach to a mounting plate 17 on an electric motor speed reducer housing 19, as shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 2 is a front view of a conveyor flange adapter 11. The front flange 13 is machined and bored to attach to a similar mounting plate on a conveyor drive frame for driving the conveyor with a shaft directly coupled to the speed reducer. The conveyor flange adapter 11 has a large, central, axial opening 21 between the two parallel flanges 13, 15. A rotating drive shaft extends through the opening 21.

The conveyor flange adapter 11 is bolted in place between the speed reducer housing 19 and the conveyor drive frame. Four bolts 23 are passed through holes 25 in the flange 15 to connect the flange 15 to the speed reducer housing 19. Bolts 23, shown in FIG. 4, attach the back flange 15 to threaded bores in the speed reducer mounting plate 17. Similar bolts 23 are passed through one or more drilled holes 27 on the front flange 13 to connect the front flange 13 to the conveyor direct drive frame. Preferably, the conveyor flange adapter 11 has six drilled holes 27 so that two or four threaded bores on the conveyor frame may be used. The drilled holes 27 are sized to correspond to particular sized mounting bolts used in existing connection systems. For example, bolts may be preferably, but not limited to, ⅜″ or 7/16″.

The conveyor drive shaft fits through the opening 21 and connects to an output gear inside the speed reducer. Alternatively, the speed reducer has an output shaft that extends through the opening 21 and directly connects to the conveyor drive.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the conveyor flange adapter 11 taken along line A-A in FIG. 2. The diameter of the opening 21 varies through the conveyor flange adapter 11 to accommodate the drive shaft and bearings in cylindrical sectors 37, 39 and 41. Between the front flange 13 and the back flange 15 is a neck 29. The neck 29 may be tapered outward from the front flange 13 out to the back flange 15. Protruding from the back flange 15 is a connector 31 that interacts with the connection system on the speed reducer housing 19. The connector 31 has a collar 33 with a groove 35 to hold an o-ring seal for sealing the interior gear case in the speed reducer housing 19.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the conveyor flange adapter 11 attached to the speed reducer housing 19.

FIG. 5 is a front view of a conveyor flange adapter 43 with slots 45. The conveyor flange adapter 43 has two opposite parallel flanges, a front flange 13 and a back flange 15. The back flange 15 is machined and bored to attach to a mounting plate 17 on an electric motor speed reducer housing 19, as shown in FIG. 7. The front flange 13 is machined and bored to attach to a similar mounting plate on a conveyor drive frame for driving the conveyor with a shaft directly coupled to the speed reducer. The conveyor flange adapter 43 has a large, central, axial opening 21 between the two parallel flanges 13, 15. A rotating drive shaft extends through the opening 21.

The conveyor flange adapter 43 is bolted in place between the speed reducer housing 19 and the conveyor drive frame. Four bolts 23 are passed through holes 25 in the flange 15 to connect the flange 15 to the speed reducer housing 19. Bolts 23, shown in FIG. 7, attach the back flange 15 to threaded bores in the speed reducer mounting plate 17. Similar bolts 23 are passed through one or more slots 45 on the front flange 13 to connect the front flange 13 to the conveyor direct drive frame. Preferably, the conveyor flange adapter 43 has six slots 45 so that two or four threaded bores on the conveyor frame may be used. The slots 45 are sized to correspond to particular sized mounting bolts used in existing connection systems. For example, bolts may be preferably, but not limited to, ⅜″ or 7/16″.

The conveyor drive shaft fits through the opening 21 and connects to an output gear inside the speed reducer. Alternatively, the speed reducer has an output shaft that extends through the opening 21 and directly connects to the conveyor drive.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the conveyor flange adapter 43 taken along line A-A in FIG. 5. The diameter of the opening 21 varies through the conveyor flange adapter 43 to accommodate the drive shaft and bearings in cylindrical sectors 37, 39 and 41. Between the front flange 13 and the back flange 15 is a neck 29. The neck 29 may be tapered outward from the front flange 13 out to the back flange 15. Protruding from the back flange 15 is a connector 31 that interacts with the connection system on the speed reducer housing 19. The connector 31 has a collar 33 with a groove 35 to hold an o-ring seal for sealing the interior gear case in the speed reducer housing 19.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the conveyor flange adapter 43 attached to the speed reducer housing 19.

FIG. 8 is a front view of a conveyor flange adapter 51 with enclosed, scalloped slots 53. The conveyor flange adapter 51 has two opposite parallel flanges, a front flange 13 and a back flange 15. The back flange 15 is machined and bored to attach to an electric motor speed reducer housing 19. The front flange 13 is machined and bored to attach to a similar mounting plate on a conveyor drive frame for driving the conveyor with a shaft directly coupled to the speed reducer. The conveyor flange adapter 51 has a large, central, axial opening 21 between the two parallel flanges 13, 15. A rotating drive shaft extends through the opening 21.

The conveyor flange adapter 51 is bolted in place between the speed reducer housing 19 and the conveyor drive frame. Four bolts 23 are passed through the flange 15 to connect the flange 15 to the speed reducer housing 19. Other bolts 55 are passed through one or more enclosed, scalloped slots 53 on the front flange 13 to connect the front flange 13 to the conveyor direct drive frame. Preferably, the conveyor flange adapter 51 has six slots 53 so that two or four threaded bores on the conveyor frame may be used. The slots 53 are sized to correspond to particular sized mounting bolts used in existing connection systems. Rubber grommets 57 or other similar devices may surround the bolts 55. Scallops 59 capture the bolts 55 and corresponding grommets 57 in the appropriate location.

The conveyor drive shaft fits through the opening 21 and connects to an output gear inside the speed reducer. Alternatively, the speed reducer has an output shaft that extends through the opening 21 and directly connects to the conveyor drive. The diameter of the opening 21 varies through the conveyor flange adapter 51 to accommodate the drive shaft and bearings. Between the front flange 13 and the back flange 15 is a neck 29. The neck 29 may be tapered outward from the front flange 13 out to the back flange 15.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the conveyor flange adapter 51 with enclosed, scalloped slots 53. FIGS. 10-12 are various views of the conveyor flange adapter 51 with enclosed, scalloped slots 53.

The conveyor flange drive speed reducer adapter of the present invention provides a direct conveyor drive and eliminates bearing flanges, drive sprockets, driven sprockets, roller drive chains, chain guards and reducer mounting brackets. The present invention also reduces the space and cost associated with installing and maintaining such devices.

The conveyor flange of the present invention decreases maintenance assembly and disassembly time by approximately 75% due to the reduction in components and the decrease in complexity. The present invention also reduces the overall cost of a power transmission drive by about 40%. The reduction in components also reduces the amount of space required in a plant for the systems. The present invention is compatible with existing systems and may be used with both two and four bolt mountings.

While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, modifications and variations of the invention may be constructed without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined in the following claims.