Title:
Modular portable compressor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable compressor package comprises a sub-frame module that comprises the mechanical components of an apparatus for ease of assembly in combination with associated structural modules for minimisation of assembly time and ease of assembly.



Inventors:
Husted, Dale E. (Rolling Prairie, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/299407
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/12/2005
Assignee:
Sullair Corporation
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04B35/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COMLEY, ALEXANDER BRYANT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPHEN GEORGE MICAN (West Point, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable compressor assembly with machinery comprising at least a compressor driven by a prime mover, comprising: a sub-frame module comprising a chassis for mounting the machinery and a lifting bail; a containment frame module for supporting, protecting and transporting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module; and a canopy module mounted on the containment frame that covers and protects the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, comprising a plurality of ventilation louvers and access doors.

2. The compressor assembly of claim 1, wherein the sub-frame module further comprises a plurality of mounting flanges for attaching it to the containment frame module.

3. The compressor assembly of claim 2, wherein the containment frame module further comprises a plurality of mounting flanges for attaching it to the sub-frame module.

4. The compressor assembly of claim 3, further comprising a plurality of fasteners that pass through apertures in the sub-frame mounting flanges to clamp the sub-frame module to the containment frame module.

5. The compressor assembly of claim 4, wherein the fasteners comprise threaded bolts that screw into mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges.

6. The compressor assembly of claim 5, wherein the mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges comprise threaded nuts fastened to the containment frame module flanges.

7. The compressor assembly of claim 1, wherein the canopy module further comprises mounting flanges for attaching it to the containment frame module.

8. The compressor assembly of claim 8, wherein the containment frame module further comprises mounting flanges for attaching it to the canopy module.

9. The compressor assembly of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of fasteners that pass through apertures in the canopy mounting flanges to clamp the sub-frame module to the containment frame module.

10. The compressor assembly of claim 10, wherein the fasteners comprise threaded bolts that screw into mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges.

11. The compressor assembly of claim 11, wherein the mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges comprise threaded nuts fastened to the containment frame module flanges.

12. The compressor assembly of claim 1, wherein the containment frame module further comprises a containment shield for protecting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module and a support frame for supporting and transporting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module.

13. The compressor assembly of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of wheel/axle assemblies.

14. The compressor assembly of claim 14, further comprising a trailer hitch.

15. A portable compressor assembly with machinery comprising at least a compressor driven by a prime mover, comprising: a sub-frame module comprising a chassis for mounting the machinery, a lifting bail and a plurality of mounting flanges; a containment frame module comprising a containment shield for protecting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, a support frame for supporting and transporting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module and a plurality of mounting flanges, at least some of which engage respective ones of the sub-frame mounting flanges; and a canopy module mounted on the containment frame that covers and protects the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, comprising a plurality of ventilation louvers, access doors and a plurality of mounting flanges, at least some of which engage respective ones of the containment frame mounting flanges.

16. The compressor assembly of claim 16, further comprising a plurality of fasteners that pass through apertures in the sub-frame mounting flanges to clamp the sub-frame module to the containment frame module.

17. The compressor assembly of claim 17, wherein the fasteners comprise threaded bolts that screw into mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges.

18. The compressor assembly of claim 18, wherein the mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges comprise threaded nuts fastened to the containment frame module flanges.

19. The compressor assembly of claim 16, further comprising a plurality of fasteners that pass through apertures in the canopy mounting flanges to clamp the sub-frame module to the containment frame module.

20. The compressor assembly of claim 20, wherein the fasteners comprise threaded bolts that screw into mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges.

21. The compressor assembly of claim 21, wherein the mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges comprise threaded nuts fastened to the containment frame module flanges.

22. The compressor assembly of claim 16, further comprising a plurality of wheel/axle assemblies.

23. The compressor assembly of claim 23, further comprising a trailer hitch.

24. A portable compressor assembly with machinery comprising at least a compressor driven by a prime mover, comprising: a sub-frame module comprising a chassis for mounting the machinery, a lifting bail and a plurality of mounting flanges; a containment frame module comprising a containment shield for protecting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, a support frame for supporting and transporting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, a plurality of mounting flanges, at least some of which engage respective ones of the sub-frame mounting flanges, a plurality of wheel/axle assemblies and a trailer hitch; and a canopy module mounted on the containment frame that covers and protects the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, comprising a plurality of ventilation louvers, access doors and a plurality of mounting flanges, at least some of which engage respective ones of the containment frame mounting flanges.

25. The compressor assembly of claim 25, further comprising a plurality of fasteners that pass through apertures in the sub-frame mounting flanges to clamp the sub-frame module to the containment frame module.

26. The compressor assembly of claim 26, wherein the fasteners comprise threaded bolts that screw into mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges.

27. The compressor assembly of claim 27, wherein the mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges comprise threaded nuts fastened to the containment frame module flanges.

28. The compressor assembly of claim 25, further comprising a plurality of fasteners that pass through apertures in the canopy mounting flanges to clamp the sub-frame module to the containment frame module.

29. The compressor assembly of claim 29, wherein the fasteners comprise threaded bolts that screw into mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges.

30. The compressor assembly of claim 30, wherein the mating threaded apertures in the containment frame module flanges comprise threaded nuts fastened to the containment frame module flanges.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to portable compressor equipment, and more particularly to portable compressor equipment of modular design.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Traditionally, portable compressors for compressing gas, such as air and natural gases, have a single integrated unit design. The various components for the compressor are mounted and assembled sequentially on a single chassis or frame. Because the compressor components mount onto the chassis or frame sequentially, it is impossible to assemble different portions of the compressor at the same time in order to reduce assembly time. Furthermore, mounting many components directly on the compressor chassis or frame is often difficult and physically challenging. Assembly in this manner may thereby cause unnecessary physical strain or injury to assemblers.

Although other industries have employed modular techniques to aid in assembly or servicing of equipment, such as the vehicular and industrial tool industries, such modular techniques have not addressed the modularisation of mechanical components of an apparatus for ease of assembly in combination with minimisation of assembly time.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention comprises a portable compressor package with a sub-frame module that comprises the mechanical components of an apparatus for ease of assembly in combination with associated structural modules for minimisation of assembly time and ease of assembly. More specifically, a compressor according to the invention comprises a sub-frame module that contains the machinery for the compressor, a containment frame module for supporting and transporting the sub-frame module and a canopy module for jacketing the machinery contained in the sub-frame module.

Generally, the invention comprises a portable compressor assembly with machinery comprising at least a compressor driven by a prime mover, comprising: a sub-frame module comprising a sub-frame for mounting the machinery and a lifting bail; a containment frame module for supporting, protecting and transporting the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module; and a canopy module mounted on the containment frame that covers and protects the machinery mounted on the sub-frame module, comprising a plurality of ventilation louvers and access doors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 and 2 are top and side views, respectively, of a sub-frame module ready to mount to a containment frame module for a portable compressor according to a possible embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a detailed cut-away side view of one of a plurality of alignment guides useful for aligning the sub-frame module with the containment frame module during assembly of the portable compressor.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are top and side views, respectively, of a sub-frame module mounted to a containment frame module for a portable compressor according to a possible embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are top and side views, respectively, of a canopy module ready to mount to a sub-frame module and a containment frame module for a portable compressor according to a possible embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are top and side views, respectively, of a canopy module mounted to a sub-frame module and a containment frame module for a portable compressor according to a possible embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 are top and side views, respectively, of a sub-frame module 2 ready to mount to a containment frame 4 module for a portable compressor according to a possible embodiment of the invention. The sub-frame module 2 preferably comprises a chassis for mounting most of the operating components for the compressor. These most commonly comprise a prime mover 6, typically a diesel engine, a compressor 8 coupled to the prime mover 6, an air cooling system 10, such as a cooler module, an accumulator 12, such as an air tank, a lifting bail 14. The sub-frame module 2 also mounts sundry components associated with the aforementioned components, such as batteries, hose lines, hydraulic tubing lines and so forth. Lastly, the sub-frame module 2 comprises a plurality of mounting pads or flanges 16 for mounting the sub-frame module 2 to the containment frame module 4.

It is convenient to mount the sub-frame module 2 on a movable platform, such as a scissor lift table, during assembly of the aforementioned components onto it. In this way, the position of the sub-frame module 2 is adjustable to any height desired to minimise physical strain whilst mounting the components.

The containment frame module 4 comprises a containment barrier or shield 18 and support frame 18 for supporting the sub-frame module 2. The containment shield 18 protects the ambient surroundings from any fluids, such as oil or fuel, that may drip from components mounted on the sub-frame module 2. The containment shield 18 also protects the components mounted on the sub-frame module 2 from exposure to the ambient surroundings underneath the containment frame module 4, such as flying rocks, splashing water and mud. The support frame 20 provides structural support for the sub-frame module 2.

The containment frame module 4 also comprises a plurality of mounting pads or flanges 22 that attach to the mounting flanges 16 on the sub-frame module 2 to hold the sub-frame module 2 in place once mounted. The containment frame module 4 may also comprise means for transporting the portable compressor, such as a plurality of wheel/axle assemblies 24 and a trailer hitch 26.

A plurality of assembly guides 28 assist mounting of the sub-frame module 2 to the containment frame module 4. The assembly guides 28 comprise generally cylindrical elements that mount in sockets or apertures 30 in the containment frame module 4. Typically, the apertures 30 are located in selected ones of the mounting flanges 22, although they could be positioned otherwise, such as in various positions in the support frame 20. Preferably, two of the assembly guides 28 mount in apertures 30 that are located near opposite corners of the containment frame module 4. Preferably, the apertures 30 and insertion ends of the assembly guides 28 are threaded so that the assembly guides 28 screw into their mating apertures 30 for secure mounting. The apertures 30 may conveniently comprise threaded nuts fastened to their respective mounting flanges 22. Flats 32 along the assembly guides 28 near their insertion ends assist screwing them into the apertures 30.

The sub-frame module 2 has a plurality of apertures 34 for receiving the assembly guides 28 during mounting of the sub-frame module 2 onto the containment frame module 4. Typically, the apertures 34 are located in selected ones of the mounting flanges 16, although they could be positioned otherwise, such as in various other positions in the sub-frame module 20. In any case, the apertures 34 are aligned on the so that when they receive their mating assembly guides 28, the sub-frame module 2 is correctly aligned for mounting onto the containment frame module 4.

With the sub-frame module 2 positioned over the containment frame module 4, such as with a lifting crane (not shown) that attaches to the lifting bail 14, the sub-frame module 2 starts to drop onto the containment frame module 4. Preferably, one of the assembly guides 28 is longer so that a simple rotation of the sub-frame module 2 as it drops allows it to engage first with its corresponding aperture 34 in the sub-frame module 2, thus establishing initial alignment with the containment frame module 4. As the sub-frame module 2 continues to drop, a slight additional rotation of the sub-frame module 2 as needed allows another assembly guide 28 to engage with its corresponding aperture 34 in the sub-frame module 2. This establishes correct positioning of the sub-frame module 2 onto the containment frame module 4 as the sub-frame module 2 comes to rest in place on the containment frame module 4 and the mounting flanges 16 on the sub-frame module 2 engage their respective mounting flanges 22 on the containment frame module 4.

Removal of the assembly guides 28 from their mating apertures 34 is possible after the sub-frame module 2 comes to rest on the containment frame module 4. FIG. 3 is a detailed side view of one of the alignment guides 28 inserted into its mating mounting flange 22 on the containment frame module 4, and its mating mounting flange 16 on the sub-frame module 2 shown before engagement with the alignment rod 28, after engagement with the alignment rod 28 and upon coming to rest on its respective mounting flange 22, as indicated by mounting flanges 16, 16′ and 16″, respectively.

Flats 36 along the assembly guides 28 near their free ends assist screwing them out of the apertures 30. The mounting flanges 16 and 22 have mating attachment points that may comprise additional apertures 38 and 40 or the apertures 30 and 34 themselves. Suitable fasteners 42 clamp the sub-frame module 2 to the containment frame module 4 to form a rigid assembly as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. It is convenient for the fasteners 42 to comprise threaded bolts and their mating apertures 40 to comprise mating threaded nuts that are fastened to their respective mounting flanges 16.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are top and side views, respectively, of a canopy module 44 ready to mount to the mounted sub-frame module 2 and the containment frame module 4 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The canopy module 44 comprises a cover 46 that typically comprises a plurality of louvers 48 for ventilation and a plurality of access doors 50 for maintenance and servicing of the aforementioned components mounted to the sub-frame module 2. The canopy module 44 also comprises a plurality of mounting pads or flanges 52 that attach to a plurality of mounting pads or flanges 56 on the containment frame module 4 to mount the canopy module 44 over the sub-frame module 2 to the containment frame module 4.

The mounting flanges 52 and 54 have mating attachment points that may comprise apertures 56 and 58 respectively. Suitable fasteners 42 clamp the canopy module 44 to the containment frame module 4 to form the complete portable compressor assembly as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. It is convenient for the fasteners 42 to comprise threaded bolts and their mating apertures 58 to comprise mating threaded nuts that are fastened to their respective mounting flanges 54.

Described above is a portable compressor package with a sub-frame module that comprises the mechanical components of an apparatus for ease of assembly in combination with associated structural modules for minimisation of assembly time and ease of assembly. The described embodiment of the invention is only an illustrative implementation of the invention wherein changes and substitutions of the various parts and arrangement thereof are within the scope of the invention as set forth in the attached claims.