Title:
Loading arrangement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A loading arrangement is proposed for the wrapping material roll of a wrapping assembly, in which the wrapping material roll can be deposited on a carrier and moved into an operating condition, where it is secured in this position by several rolls. The loading arrangement includes an intermediate frame that is moveable between a frame loading position and a frame operating position as a function of the position of the carrier.



Inventors:
Viaud, Jean (Gray, FR)
Chapon, Emmanuel (Champvans, FR)
Millerat, Vincent (Issy les Moulineaux, FR)
Application Number:
11/388581
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
03/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65B41/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, LOUIS K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEERE & COMPANY (MOLINE, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A loading arrangement of a wrapping arrangement for a wrapping material roll, particularly of a rotobaler, the loading arrangement comprising: a carrier to receive the wrapping material roll, the carrier being movable between a carrier loading position and a carrier operating position, the carrier including an intermediate frame and the intermediate frame also being movable between a frame loading position and a frame operating position; and a frame actuating assembly mounted to the carrier and coupled to the intermediate frame, the frame actuating assembly configured to move the intermediate frame from the frame loading position to the frame operating position, the frame actuating assembly being configured to move from the frame loading position to the frame operating position as a function of the position of the carrier.

2. The loading arrangement of claim 1 further comprising a second actuating assembly coupled to the carrier and configured move the carrier between the carrier loading and operating positions.

3. The loading arrangement according to claim 1 further comprising a transverse strut provided on the carrier, the strut being located on the carrier such that in the frame operation position the wrapping material roll is brought into engagement with the strut.

4. The loading arrangement according to claim 1 wherein the frame actuating assembly includes a motor.

5. The loading arrangement according to claim 1 wherein the frame actuating assembly includes a gas spring.

6. The loading arrangement according to claim 1 further comprising a stationary support roll and a driven roll, the wrapping material roll being moved into engagement with the stationary support roll and the driven roll when the carrier is moved into the carrier operation position.

7. The loading arrangement according to claim 1 wherein the frame actuating assembly includes a linkage coupled between the carrier and the intermediate frame.

8. The loading arrangement according to claim 7 wherein the linkage includeds a stop and a slot in a steering arm that are connected with the carrier and the actuating arrangement and with a chassis and/or side walls of a machine.

9. The loading arrangement of claim 1 further comprising a second actuating assembly coupled to the carrier and configured to move the carrier between the carrier loading and operating positions, the second actuating assembly including a motor.

10. The loading arrangement of claim 1 further comprising a second actuating assembly coupled to the carrier and configured to move the carrier between the carrier loading and operating positions, the second actuating assembly including a gas spring.

11. The loading arrangement of claim 1 further comprising a second actuating assembly coupled to the carrier and configured to move the carrier between the carrier loading and operating positions, the second actuating assembly including a linkage connected to the carrier and a gas spring or motor for causing movement of the carrier.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally concerns a loading arrangement, and in particular, such an arrangement as part of for a wrapping assembly for a wrapping roll of a rotobaler.

2. Related Technology

Several arrangements are known in the state of the art with which a wrapping material roll can be inserted into the wrapping assembly of, for example, a rotobaler. As seen in EP 1 099 366 A1, a loading arrangement can be provided in which a wrapping material roll is deposited on a carrier and brought into an operating position with the latter.

The limitation of the known technology is seen in the fact that further manual operating steps are required, after the insertion of the wrapping material roll, before the wrapping arrangement is ready for operation.

SUMMARY

Since the loading arrangement includes a carrier that can take up the wrapping material roll and can be moved between a loading position and an operating position, it also contains an actuating arrangement that is appropriate to bring the wrapping material roll into an operating/preoperating position on the carrier, and it contains devices or linkages that activate the actuation arrangement as a function of the position of the carrier, it is brought into a condition ready for operation merely by the movement of the carrier. This advantage simplifies the operation, provides the assurance that the loading arrangement is ready for operation when the carrier is folded upward and saves time. The relationship between the carrier and the actuating arrangement can be established mechanically as well as electrically or hydraulically, among other possibilities by switches or mechanical followers.

The repositioning of the carrier by means of a motor offers the particular advantage in the case of a very heavy carrier and/or poor accessibility. Moreover, the motorized repositioning can be transmitted to a control arrangement and brought to conform to the situation.

The use of a transverse strut on the carrier permits the position of the wrapping material roll to be secured upon a movement of the carrier.

Since the purpose of the carrier is to carry a wrapping material roll, to position it and later to bring the loading arrangement into a condition ready for operation by means of its movement, an intermediate carrier or frame is provided upon which the wrapping material roll rests and to which it can be brought into a position, preferably in contact with the transverse strut, that permits it to be brought into the operating position without any problems.

The use of an actuating arrangement with the intermediate frame makes it possible to secure the wrapping material roll on the carrier is such a way that it can even be conveyed overhead. If the actuating arrangement is configured as a spring, particularly a gas spring, this can be tensioned and, if required, the tension released by means of a movement derived from the machine on which the loading arrangement is located. On the other hand the actuating arrangement can also be configured as a motor that can be activated in one or both directions. The tension results when the carrier is brought into its loading position, that is, in particular, if it is lowered. By the same token the actuating arrangement is activated or freed, when the carrier is moved towards its operating position.

In order to bring a wrapping arrangement into an operating condition, rolls are provided in a meaningful way that secure the position of the wrapping material roll or carry it if necessary. Here the one or more rolls may be configured as braked, driven or rotating freely. Regardless of this, rolls may be provided that can be repositioned electrically or hydraulically, in order to conform to the changing size of the wrapping material roll.

This capability of bringing the loading arrangement into an operating condition lies in the fact that the devices (that activate the actuating arrangement as a function of the position of the carrier) contain stops that are connected, on the one hand, with the carrier and the actuating arrangement and, on the other hand, connected with a fixed point on the chassis or the side walls of the rotobaler. Thus, a relative movement is created that can be used for the control of the loading arrangement.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above, as well as other advantages of the present invention, will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows a rotobaler with a wrapping arrangement embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows the wrapping arrangement in a loading position.

FIG. 3 shows the wrapping arrangement of FIG. 2 with a wrapping material roll loaded therein; and

FIG. 4 shows the wrapping arrangement of FIG. 3 with the wrapping material roll moved into an operating position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, a rotobaler 10 is shown in FIG. 1 and has as its primary components a chassis 12, a harvested crop supply arrangement 14, a baling chamber 16 and a wrapping arrangement 18. The rotobaler 10 herein represents a baler that delivers a baled product that can be wrapped with wrapping material. As such this may be a baler that can be applied in agricultural or industrial applications with which harvested crop, garbage, paper, cloth, cotton, tobacco, etc. can be formed, in particular, into cylindrical bales. The configuration shown of a fixed chamber baler is also only used as an example and may be replaced by a baling chamber 16 that is variable in size or of a mixed configuration. Fundamentally, the wrapping arrangement 18 could be applied wherever an object is to be covered by a wrapping material that is removed from a roll, in other words, independent of the presence of a baler.

The chassis 12 is of generally conventional construction, and therefore need not be shown in any further detail, and includes a frame and an axle with wheels, it also carries side walls 20 and a towbar 22 as is customary practice. The towbar 22 extends generally horizontally from the forward end region of the chassis 12 (to the right in FIG. 1) to a towing vehicle (not shown).

The harvested crop supply arrangement 14 is representative of any arrangement with which crop that is to be baled is fed into the baling chamber 16. The harvested crop supply arrangement 14 is generally located beneath the towbar 22 on the forward side of the baler 10.

The baling chamber 16 extends between the two side walls 20 and is surrounded in this case by a plurality of rollers 24 generally located in a circle, which, however, are provided so as to leave an upper slot in the forward region for the wrapping arrangement 18 and a lower slot for the harvested crop supply arrangement 14.

The wrapping arrangement 18 is used to introduce wrapping material 26 in the form of foil, net, paper or the like into the baling chamber 16 and to wrap it around a product of the baler. Wrapping arrangement 18 of this general type may be arranged at almost any desired location of the rotobaler 10. Preferably, the location of the wrapping arrangement 18 is selected in such a way that an operator has easy access to it. In the present case, the wrapping arrangement 18 is located in the forward region of the chassis 12 above the towbar 22 and is configured in such a way that it delivers the wrapping material 26 through a slot—the upper slot—between two rolls 24 into the baling chamber 16. A roller 28 for supplying the wrapping material 26, and a separating arrangement 30 to separate it, are located in the region of the slot, and are not further discussed herein in that they are adequately known in the art. The wrapping material 26 is wrapped about a wrapping material roll 32. A loading arrangement 34 is also associated with the wrapping arrangement 18.

As seen in the enlarged view of FIG. 2, the wrapping arrangement 18, and its loading arrangement 34, of FIG. 1 are provided in a loading condition, with the following components, in particular, being visible in the illustration: a bearing 36, a carrier 38, an arm 40, an intermediate frame 42, a first steering arm 44, a second steering arm 46, a lever arm 48, a first actuating arrangement 50, a second actuating arrangement 52, a movable support roll 54 and a stationary support roll 56.

The loading arrangement 34 is constructed, as will be seen below, in such a way that a wrapping material roll 32 can be deposited relatively comfortably by an operator on the carrier 38, or more specifically on its intermediate frame 42, and brought into an operating position, in particular by means of or supported by the first and, if necessary, the second actuating arrangement 50, 52.

The bearing 36 is formed by a through shaft, journal or the like, that defines a horizontal pivot axis or an axis of rotation extending transverse to the direction of cooperation and which extends parallel to, ahead of an underneath the axis of rotation of the roller 28.

The carrier 38 may consist of steel or plastic and is sufficiently strong to be able to carry the wrapping material roll 32; usually it is configured as a weldment and extends between the two side walls 20 and is free to pivot vertically (counterclockwise in FIG. 2) about the bearing 36. The carrier 38 is subdivided into a long and slightly bent support leg 58 and a front side 60, these are configured as a one-piece component and extend generally at a right angle to each other. In each case the lengths of the support leg 58 and of the front side 60 are selected in such a way that the wrapping material roll 32 can be grasped or retained by the carrier 38 in the loading position as well as in the operating position. In the loading position, the support leg 58 is inclined towards the front side 60 so that a wrapping material roll 32 deposited on it cannot unintentionally roll way to the right as seen in FIG. 2. The support leg 58 is retained, free to pivot, about the bearing 36, with its free end region facing away from the front side 60.

The arm 40 has a straight shape and is provided in its lower end region with a lower bearing 62, a central bearing 64 and an upper bearing 66. The arm 40 is configured as a flat component, for example, of flat rolled steel strip and is provided in each case on the inner or the outer side of the a side wall 20. Each arm 40 is engaged with it upper bearing 66 on a bearing 68 so as to pivot vertically thereabout. The central bearing 64 is used for the connection to the end region (shown in the drawing toward the right) of the actuating arrangement 50. The lower bearing 62 is used for the connection of the first steering arm 44. All bearings 62, 64, 66 lie along a straight line and are configured relatively simply, for example, with journals or screws in a bore.

The intermediate frame 42 is configured as a bent plate or the like, that lies with some sections upon the carrier 38, is retained on a bearing 70 and is free to pivot about this bearing. The intermediate frame 42 is bent slightly upward in its end region facing the front side 60, so as to form a pan in which the wrapping material roll 32 can be held in place. The intermediate frame 42 makes it possible to raise the wrapping material roll 32 and to bring it into an operating position on the carrier 38, where it remains until the carrier 38 is pivoted into its operating position.

The first steering arm 44 is configured as a simple flat rolled steel strip that engages in joints with one end in the lower bearing 62 of the arm 40 and with its other end in a bearing 72 in an end region of the support leg 58 of the carrier 38 near the bearing 36. Here too, a steering arm 44 is provided on each side.

The second steering arm 46 is provided in the shape of a slender “S” and is provided with a slot 74 over somewhat more than half its length. A stop 76 is provided on the side wall 20 or the chassis 12, it can be formed by a simple journal, a screw or the like.

On the one hand, the second steering arm 46 is guided on the stop 76 and on the other hand it is connected so as to pivot vertically by means of a bearing 78 to the lever arm 48.

The lever arm 48 extends essentially at a right angle to the intermediate frame 42 and is rigidly connected to it. The lever arm 48 is connected to the intermediate frame 42 in the region of the bearing 70 and can pivot with the intermediate frame relative to the carrier 38. In the end region of the lever arm 48, away from the bearing 70, the further actuating arrangement 52 engages, so as to pivot, in the bearing 78. In comparison to the intermediate frame 42, the lever arm 48 is very short, so that a considerable ratio of movement in the movement of the intermediate frame 42 results.

In this embodiment of the actuating arrangement 50 is configured as a hydraulic motor; alternatively a mechanical spring, for example, a helical compression spring or a gas spring could be provided. In place of the hydraulic motor, an electric motor could be used. The actuating arrangement 50 is retained in a bearing 80 in the chassis 12 or in a side wall 20 at an end region, shown toward the left in the drawing of FIG. 2, that is, facing the baling chamber 16. Its right end region is in the central bearing 64 of the arm 40. In every operating condition, it extends almost horizontally, while the central bearing 64 is located at all times underneath the upper bearing 66. The arrangement of the actuating arrangement 50 is selected in such a way that it forces the carrier 38 upward out of the position shown in FIG. 2 to the position shown in FIG. 4, and preferably moves it out of this position.

In this embodiment the other actuating arrangement 52 is configured as a gas spring; alternatively a mechanical spring, for example, a helical compression spring could be provided, or even a motor, for example, a hydraulic motor or an electric motor. The further actuating arrangement 52 is retained with one end region in the bearing 78 and with the other end region in a bearing 82 on the carrier 38. The arrangement of the actuating arrangement 52 is selected in such a way that it forces the intermediate frame 42, if necessary together with the wrapping material roll 32, upward out of the position shown in FIG. 2 to a transverse strut 84 on the upper side of the front side 60, as soon as this is possible.

The movable support roll 54 that is arranged on the intermediate frame 42 and is configured in the form of a steel or plastic pipe and extends parallel to the axis of the bearing 36. The support roll 54 is retained, free to rotate, in the intermediate frame 42 and is able to hold the wrapping material roll 32 in its operating position together with the roll 28 and the stationary support roll 56, that is, the actuating arrangement 52 brings the wrapping arrangement 18 into a condition in which wrapping material 26 can be removed from the wrapping material roll 32. The support roll 54 may be configured as either driven, braked or rotating freely.

The stationary support roll 56 is located at approximately the height of the roll 28 and is located between this and baling chamber 16, spaced at a distance to the roll 28 that is smaller than the minimum diameter of the wrapping material roll 32. This support roll 56 may also freely rotate, be driven, or be braked.

The arrangement described above according to FIG. 2 results in the following configuration in the case of a loading situation. The first actuating arrangement 50 is not loaded and occupies its shortest length. During the path of the carrier 38 into its lowered position the end region of the slot 74 of the second steering arm 46 facing the bearing 78 comes to lie against the stop 76, with the result that now the intermediate frame 42 is moved about the bearing 70 into its position lying upon the carrier 38 on the basis of the weight of the carrier 38 and, if necessary, the active movement of the actuating arrangement 50. Since during this movement the lever arm 48 is also pivoted in the clockwise direction about the bearing 70, the second actuating arrangement 52 is thereby unloaded, that is, it is compressed. The loading arrangement 34 assumes its position as shown in FIG. 2 as soon as the intermediate frame 42 is deposited on the carrier 38. This position results in the greatest distance between the intermediate frame 42 and the transverse strut 84, which in addition is able to take up the wrapping material roll 32.

When the loading arrangement 34 is in the position shown in FIG. 2, a wrapping material roll 32 can be inserted, that is, deposited from the front side 60 to the intermediate frame 42. Immediately following a part of the wrapping material 26 is removed from the wrapping material roll 32 and deposited over the roll 28 up to the separating arrangement 30. Now the first actuating arrangement 50 is extended so that the carrier 38 moves in the counterclockwise direction about the bearing 36 and thereby also pivots the second steering arm 46 along with it. Since the distance between the bearing 78 and the stationary stop 76 now increases, the second actuating arrangement 52 can extend and retains the end of the slot 74 in firm contact with the stop 76. However, this means that the lever arm 48, and with it the intermediate frame 42, will pivot about the bearing 70 in the counterclockwise direction, so that the intermediate frame 42 is moved from the plane of the carrier 38 to the transverse strut 84 and the wrapping material roll 32 is finally brought into contact with the transverse strut 84 during the continuing upward movement of the carrier 38 (see FIG. 3), from which position it can be moved to the roll 28 for operation.

As can be seen in FIG. 3, a line through the centers of the movable roll 54 and the transverse strut 84 intersect the half of the wrapping material roll 32 facing away from the front side 60, so that it is secured during the continuing lifting movement of the carrier 38 and cannot fall out between these two elements. The first actuating arrangement 50 is extended further until the wrapping material roll 32 has been deposited on the roller 28 and the stationary support roll 56. In this position, shown in FIG. 4, the wrapping material roll 32 is secured in its position between the roller 28, the movable support roll 54 and the stationary support roll 56. During a continuing movement of the actuating arrangement 50 the carrier 38 is pivoted further about the bearing 36 and since the wrapping material roll 32 has already been deposited on the roller 28 and the stationary support roll 56, the intermediate frame 42 will move relative to the carrier 38 and thereby apply tension to the further actuating arrangement 52, whereby the contact pressure of the wrapping material roll 32 and with it the resistance to the removal of wrapping material 26 increases.

When the wrapping material roll 32 has been consumed and is to be replaced by a new roll, the first actuating arrangement 50 is retracted and the processes described above are performed in reverse order.

While the preceding description refers in each case to one actuating arrangement 50 or 52, it should be noted here that several actuating arrangements could be provided that are distributed over the width.

In accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, the present invention has been described in what is considered to represent its preferred embodiment. However, it should be noted that the invention can be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.