Title:
WORK SEAT APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A work seat apparatus (20) in which an operator (22) can work on a workpiece (13) while seated. The apparatus includes a horizontal first arm part (31) that is raised and lowered by a raising and lowering part (29), and a second arm part (32). The second arm part (32) is rotatably provided to the first arm part via a joint part (34). A seat on which the operator sits is rotatably provided to a distal end part of the second arm part and is readily brought near to an operation position.



Inventors:
Ueda, Minoru (Tokyo, JP)
Konagaya, Katsunori (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
12/302490
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
05/14/2007
Assignee:
HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C3/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CAHN, DANIEL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STANDLEY LAW GROUP LLP (Dublin, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A work seat apparatus with which an operator can work on a workpiece while seated, the work seat apparatus comprising: a base part provided to an anchoring object in a horizontally moveable manner; a rotating support part provided to the base part so as to be able to rotate about a vertical shaft; a raising and lowering part that is provided to the rotating support part and that extends and retracts in a vertical direction; a first arm part that extends horizontally and that is raisably and lowerably supported by the raising and lowering part; a second arm part that extends horizontally and that is rotatably connected to a distal end of the first arm part via a joint part; and a seat rotating mechanism that is provided to a distal end of the second arm part and that supports, in a manner that allows rotation about the vertical shaft, the seat part on which the operator sits.

2. The work seat apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base part is designed to be supported by a rail provided to the anchoring object.

3. The work seat apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base part comprises a wheel that travels on the anchoring object.

4. The work seat apparatus of claim 1, wherein a connecting arm connected to a conveying mechanism for conveying the workpiece is provided to the base part.

5. The work seat apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat part is detachably provided to the seat rotating mechanism.

6. (canceled)

7. The work seat apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat rotating mechanism is disposed on either a left side or a right side of the seat part.

8. The work seat apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat rotating mechanism is disposed to the rear of the seat part.

9. A work seat apparatus in which an operator can work on a workpiece while seated, the work seat apparatus comprising: a support member extending toward the workpiece; a frame provided to a distal end of the support member; a rotating member swingably supported by the frame via support shafts; and a seat part that is attached to the rotating member and is provided with a seat surface part on which the operator sits and a backrest part on which the operator leans back.

10. The work seat apparatus of claim 9, wherein the support member comprises a base part provided to an anchoring object in a horizontally moveable manner; a rotating support part provided to the base part so as to be able to rotate about a vertical shaft; a raising and lowering part that is provided to the rotating support part and that extends and retracts in a vertical direction; a first arm part that extends horizontally and that is raisably and lowerably supported by the raising and lowering part; and a second arm part that extends horizontally and that is rotatably connected to a distal end of the first arm part via a joint part.

11. The work seat apparatus of claim 9, wherein the support shafts are provided above the seat surface part and below an upper end of the backrest.

12. The work seat apparatus of claim 9, wherein in the support shaft, an elastic member that is provided below the seat surface part and that returns the seat part to an original position is disposed between the seat part and the frame.

13. The work seat apparatus of claim 9, wherein the apparatus is provided in a vehicle assembly line, and the support member is disposed to one side of a vehicle.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a work seat apparatus in which an operator can perform an operation on a workpiece while sitting.

BACKGROUND ART

In a vehicle assembly line, an operator performs operations in a standing posture, a crouching posture, a seated posture while sitting in a seat, or a bent-over posture. A seated posture is preferable for increasing the ease with which tasks are performed. In other words, an operation can comfortably be performed if the operator can perform the operation while seated in a seat. A work seat apparatus for this purpose is disclosed in, e.g., Japanese Patent No, 3241492. The disclosed work seat apparatus shall be described below with reference to FIG. 18 hereof.

A work seat apparatus 200 comprises a pair of travel rails 202, 202 anchored to a ceiling frame 201; a hanger rail 203 hung on the travel rails 202, 202 in a manner that allows movement in a direction perpendicular to the drawing; a slider 204 supported by the hanger rail 203 in a manner that allows movement in a lateral direction of the drawing; a cylinder 206 extending downward from the slider 204; a raising and lowering frame 208 hung at the cylinder 206; an arched hanger arm 209 hung at the raising and lowering frame 208; and a seat part 211 attached to the hanger arm 209, as shown in FIG. 18.

The hanger arm 209 has an arched form. Therefore, the seat part 211 can be moved into a vehicle 212 from a door opening 213 of the vehicle 212. The operator can perform operations in an interior of the vehicle 212 while seated in the seat part 211.

However, when the vehicle 212 is wide, the seat part 211 may not reach a center of the vehicle 212. The center can be reached when the hanger arm 209 is increased in size. However, the hanger arm 209 will become heavier correspondingly with the increase in size. In addition, the ceiling frame 201 and travel rails 202, 202 must be raised in position correspondingly with the increase in size, and the work seat apparatus 200 will become larger and more expensive.

Therefore, there exists a desire for a work seat apparatus in which the seat part 211 can be placed in the interior of the vehicle regardless of the width of the vehicle 212.

The operator seated in the seat part 211 can see a wall of the vehicle interior directly to the front and can therefore comfortably perform operations on the wall of the vehicle interior. However, in order to perform operations on the ceiling of the vehicle interior, the operator must bend his neck to a great degree and look at the ceiling. Operations are not readily performed on the ceiling.

Therefore, there exists a desire for a work seat apparatus in which operations can be comfortably performed on both the walls and ceiling of the vehicle interior.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a work seat apparatus with which an operator can work on a workpiece while seated, which work seat apparatus comprises: a base part provided to an anchoring object in horizontally moveable manner; a rotating support part provided to the base part so as to be able to rotate about a vertical shaft; a raising and lowering part that is provided to the rotating support part and that extends and contracts in a vertical direction; a first arm part that extends horizontally and that is raisably and lowerably supported by the raising and lowering part; a second arm part that extends horizontally and that is rotatably connected to a distal end of the first arm part via a joint part; and a seat rotating mechanism that is provided to a distal end of the second arm part and that supports, in a manner that allows rotation about the vertical shaft, the seat part on which the operator sits.

In this arrangement, the operator sits in the seat part, raises and lowers the first arm part and second arm part using the raising and lowering part, and bends the first arm part and second arm part using the joint part, and can thereby readily bring the seat part near an operation position. When an operation is to be performed on the interior of the vehicle, the seat part can comfortably be moved to any position within the interior. The lengths of the first arm part and second arm part are not affected by the width of the vehicle. As a result, the seat part can be placed in the interior of a vehicle regardless of the width of the vehicle.

Preferably, the base part is supported by a rail provided to the anchoring object. The work seat apparatus can readily be moved in linear fashion if the rail is used.

Desirably, the base part comprises a wheel that travels over the anchoring object. The work seat apparatus can readily move if the wheel is used.

In a preferred form, a connecting arm connected to a conveying mechanism for conveying the workpiece is provided to the base part. The work seat apparatus is connected to the workpiece by the connecting arm, and the industrial work seat apparatus and the workpiece can be moved together. This configuration is preferable for a vehicle assembly line on which the workpiece moves.

Preferably, the seat part is detachably provided to seat rotating mechanism. The seat part can be changed to match the body frame of the operator.

Desirably, a configuration is adopted in which the seat rotating mechanism and the seat part are connected via a horizontal rotation shaft, and the seat part is supported in a manner that allows rotation about the rotation shaft. The seat part can be caused to tilt about the horizontal rotation shaft. Therefore, the operator can incline the seat part rearward, and can perform an operation in a posture that is conducive to performing operations while facing upward. When the seat part enters and exits from a narrow opening, the operator can comfortably enter and exit the vehicle when the seat is inclined rearward.

In a preferred form, the seat rotating mechanism is provided to either the left or right of the seat part. When the seat rotating mechanism is disposed on the left of the seat part, the right of the seat part is faced forward, and the seat part is brought forward or sent rearward. When the seat rotating mechanism is disposed on the right of the seat, the left of the seat part is faced forward, and the seat part is brought forward or sent rearward. The seat rotating mechanism is disposed on either the left or right of the seat part. Therefore, the second arm part can be made shorter than in an example in which the seat rotating mechanism is disposed on a rear part of the seat part.

Desirably, the seat rotating mechanism is disposed to the rear of the seat part. The front, left, and right of the seat part are left unoccupied, and the operation area in a forward facing posture can be increased.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a work seat apparatus in which an operator can work on a workpiece while seated, which work seat apparatus comprises: a support member extending toward the workpiece; a frame provided to a distal end of the support member; an rotating member swingably supported by to the frame via support shafts; and a seat part that is attached to the rotating member and is provided with a seat surface part on which the operator sits and a backrest part on which the operator leans back.

When performing an operation while facing upward, the operator rests on the backrest part and can then perform the operation while inclining the seat part rearward. Therefore, operations can be comfortably performed on both the walls and the ceiling of the vehicle interior.

Preferably, the support member comprises a base part provided to an anchoring object in horizontally moveable manner; a rotating support part provided to the base part so as to be able to rotate about a vertical shaft; a raising and lowering part that is provided to the rotating support part and that extends and contracts in a vertical direction; a first arm part that extends horizontally and that is raisably and lowerably supported by the raising and lowering part; and a second arm part that extends horizontally and that is rotatably connected to a distal end of the first arm part via a joint part.

The height of the seat part can be changed by the raising and lowering part. The position of the seat part in a horizontal direction can be changed by bending the first arm part and second arm.

Desirably, the support shaft is provided above the seat surface part and below an upper end of the backrest. The support shaft can be disposed near a center of gravity of the operator. As a result, the seat part can be caused to tilt using a smaller force than when the support shaft is disposed at a position that is a distance from the center of gravity of the operator.

In the support shaft, an elastic member that is provided below the seat surface part and that returns the seat part to an original position is preferably disposed between the seat part and the frame. The support shaft is disposed below a seating part. Therefore, there is no risk of, e.g., part of the body of the operator coming into contact with the support shaft.

In a preferred form, the work seat apparatus is provided to a vehicle assembly line, and the support member is preferably disposed to one side of the vehicle. The seat part can be brought into the interior from a door opening on a side surface of the vehicle because the support member is disposed to the side of the vehicle. The operator seated on the seat part can comfortably perform an operation in the interior and, in particular, can perform an operation while facing upward.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a work seat apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the work seat apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view showing a main part of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view showing a main part of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a joint part;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of a seat rotating mechanism and a seat part;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the seat rotating mechanism;

FIGS. 9A through 9C are views showing an operation of a seat oscillating mechanism;

FIGS. 10A through 10C are views showing an action up to a point where a seat part disposed on a vehicle exterior enters a vehicle interior;

FIG. 11 is a view showing an action up to a point where the seat part in the interior of the vehicle is brought out to the exterior of the vehicle;

FIG. 12 is a view showing an example in which a base part is a carriage;

FIGS. 13A through 13B are views showing in detail an operation of the work seat apparatus;

FIGS. 14A through 14B are views showing a comparison of orientations of the seat part;

FIG. 15 is a view showing a first modification of the seat part;

FIG. 16 is a view showing a second modification of the seat part;

FIG. 17 is a view showing a third modification of the seat part; and

FIG. 18 is a view showing a conventional work seat apparatus in principle.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

An overhead conveyer 11 for conveying a vehicle and a conveying hanger 12 that is provided to the overhead conveyer 11 and that is used as a conveying mechanism to convey a vehicle are provided to an automobile assembly line, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A vehicle 13 is mounted on the conveying hanger 12 as a workpiece. In the automobile assembly line, components and the like are attached while the vehicle 13 is moved.

Rails 14, 14 are disposed to sides of the vehicle 13 along a movement direction of the vehicle 13 above the floor, stage, or other anchoring object 10. A work seat apparatus 20 that is provided for tasks in an interior of the automobile is provided to the rails 14, 14 via wheels 15, 15.

The work seat apparatus 20 is characterized in comprising a base part 27 provided to an anchoring object 10 in a manner that allows horizontal movement; a rotating support part 28 provided to the base part 27 in a manner that allows rotation about a vertical shaft; a raising and lowering part 29 that is provided to the rotating support part 28 and that extends and contracts in a vertical direction; a first arm part 31 that is raisably and lowerably supported by the raising and lowering part 29 and that extends horizontally; a second arm part 32 that is rotatably connected to a distal end of the first arm part 31 via a joint part 34 and that extends horizontally; and a seat rotating mechanism 121 that is provided to a distal end of the second arm part 32 and that supports, in a manner that allows rotation about the vertical shaft, the seat part 23 on which the operator 22 sits.

A connecting arm 35 extends from the work seat apparatus 20 toward the conveying hanger 12. An engaging part 36 that engages with the conveying hanger 12 is provided to a distal end part of the connecting arm 35. The work seat apparatus 20 can be moved along with the conveying hanger 12 by the connecting arm 35.

The first arm part 31 can be rotated as indicated by the arrow e by the rotating support part 28. The second arm part 32 can be rotated as indicated by the arrow f by the joint part 34. The seat part 23 can therefore be moved in a three dimensional fashion.

Details of the rotating support part 28 and raising and lowering part 29 shall be described below with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4.

The rotating support part 28 comprises a bottom plate 39; a tabular base member 41 provided on the bottom plate 39; a vertical member 42 standing on the base member 41; left and right reinforcing members 43, 43 that are provided to a rear surface 42b of the vertical member 42 and that are used to reinforce the vertical member 42; an arm member 44 provided in horizontal fashion to an upper part of a front surface 42a of the vertical member 42; a cylindrical post member 47 standing on the base member 41; and a rotating support member 49 rotatably provided to the post member 47 via shaft bearings 48, 48, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. An upper end part 47t of the post member 47 is supported by the arm member 44.

The raising and lowering part 29 comprises a vertical plate 51 and a transverse plate 52 that extend from a side part of the rotating support member 49; a cylinder unit 53 that is provided to an upper surface of the transverse plate 52 and that raises and lowers the first arm part 31; left and right raising and lowering rails 54, 54 provided to the vertical plate 51; left and right sliders 55, 55 moveably provided to the raising and lowering rails 54, 54; and a moving member 56 that is attached to the left and right sliders 55, 55 and that is used to guide the first arm part 31.

A lower surface of the first arm part 31 is attached to a piston rod 61 of the cylinder unit 53, and a rear end of the first arm part 31 is attached to the moving member 56.

The raising and lowering part 29 can be moved by the rotating support part 28 by ±θ° in relation to a reference line k of the base part 27. The first arm part 31 can be raised and lowered by the raising and lowering part 29 by H in relation to a reference line m.

A structure of the joint part 34 shall next be described with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6.

The joint part 34 comprises a rotating support mechanism 63 that connects the second arm part 32 to the first arm part 31, and an arm braking mechanism 64 that restricts the rotational movement of the second arm part 32 in relation to the first arm part 31, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

The rotating support mechanism 63 comprises a tubular first holder member 66 attached to a distal end of the first arm part 31; a stepped shaft 68 whose lower half part 68q is inserted into the first holder member 66 and that is provided with a flange part 69; washers 76a, 76b and a nut 77 that, along with the flange part 69, sandwich the first holder member 66 and that are used to anchor the stepped shaft 68 to the first holder 66; shaft bearings 70, 71 and a sleeve 72 fitted to an upper half part 68p of the stepped shaft 68 that protrudes upward; washers 78a, 78b and a nut 79 that prevent the shaft bearing 70 from moving upward and being dislodged; and a second holder member 67 provided to the upper half part 68p of the stepped shaft 68 via the shaft bearings 70, 71.

The second holder member 67 is attached to a base of the second arm part 32. For this reason, the second arm 32 can be rotated about the stepped shaft 68 in relation to the first arm 31.

The arm braking mechanism 64 comprises a brake plate 73 that has a width of w, is anchored to a lower surface of the second holder member 67 by bolts 74, 74, and has a toothed part 82s on an outer peripheral surface; a brake pad 84 provided facing the toothed part 82s; and a holder 81 that supports the brake pad 84 in a manner that allows the brake pad to move a distance s. The holder 81 is attached to the upper surface of the first arm part 31. The toothed part 82s may also be a knurled groove.

When the brake pad 84 is moved forward and brought into contact with the toothed part 82s, a braking state is created, and the second arm part 32 cannot be rotated relative to the first arm part 31. The braking state is removed when the braking pad 84 is moved backward.

A seat rotating mechanism 121 and seat oscillating mechanism provided to the work seat apparatus 20 shall be described next.

The seat rotating mechanism 121 comprises a rotation shaft 92 whose lower part is inserted in a hole 91 formed on the distal end of the second arm part 32, and a connecting member 93 anchored to an upper part of the rotation shaft 92 using a washer 133b and a nut 134, as shown in FIG. 7. As shown in FIG. 8, the rotation shaft 92 is supported by the second arm part 32 in a manner that allows rotation about a vertical shaft. The connecting member 93 therefore rotates.

The seat part 23 is attached to the connecting member 93 via a seat oscillating mechanism 124.

The seat oscillating mechanism 124 comprises a rotation shaft 94 inserted in a hole 97 provided in the connecting member 93; a washer 95 and a nut 96 that are provided to a distal end of the inserted rotation shaft 94 and that prevent the rotation shaft 94 from falling out of the hole 97; a shaft support member 99 that supports a base part of the rotation shaft 94; an L-shaped bracket 111 that supports the shaft support member 99; a bolt 112 that anchors a seating part 116 of the seat part 23 mounted on a transverse part 113 of the L-shaped bracket 111; and a stopper member 125 provided to a longitudinal part 114 of the L-shaped bracket 111.

A rotation braking mechanism 122 is further provided in the vicinity of the rotation shaft 62.

The rotation braking mechanism 122 comprises a brake pad 123, and a brake holder 128 that is provided to the second arm part 32 and that movably supports the brake pad 123 so the break pad does not come into contact with the rotation shaft 62. A knurled toothed part 92g is provided to an outer peripheral surface of the rotation shaft 62. When the brake pad 123 is moved forward and pressed against the rotation shaft 62, the rotation shaft 62 can no longer be rotated. The rotation shaft 62 can once again be rotated if the brake pad 123 is moved backward.

The rotation shaft 92 is longitudinally attached to the distal end of the second arm part 32 via two bearings 135, 135 and can therefore rotate about a vertical shaft, as shown in FIG. 8. A gap between the two bearings 135, 135 is maintained by an inner sleeve 136 and an outer sleeve 137. The lower bearing 135 is anchored to the rotation shaft 92 using washers 131a, 131b and a nut 132. The upper bearing 135 is anchored to the second arm part 32 using a lid 138 and bolts 139, 139.

The rotation shaft 94 is inserted into the connecting member 93 that is anchored to the upper part of the rotation shaft 92. The rotation shaft 94 rotates clockwise or counterclockwise in the drawing in relation to the connecting member 93. For this reason, in the drawing, the shaft support member 99, stopper member 125, and L-shaped bracket 111 rotate together clockwise or counterclockwise in the drawing in relation to the standing rotation shaft 92 and connecting member 93. The connecting member 99 and stopper member 125 can be removed from the L-shaped bracket 111 by loosening a bolt 129.

A front convex part 126 and a rear convex part 127 are provided to the stopper member 125 so as to sandwich the rotation shaft 92. The convex parts 126, 127 function as stoppers. An operation of the convex parts 126, 127 shall be described using FIGS. 9A through 9C.

The L-shaped bracket 111 is held vertical, and the convex parts 126, 127 do not come into contact with the rotation shaft 92, as shown in FIG. 9A. This is the basic position.

The seat part 23 can be rotated clockwise in the drawing about the rotation shaft 94 until the rear convex apart 128 makes contact with the rotation shaft 92, as shown in FIG. 9B. This is the rearward inclined position. The angle of inclination is, e.g., 15°.

The seat part 23 can be rotated in the counterclockwise direction of the drawing about the rotation shaft 94 until the front convex part 126 makes contact with the rotation shaft 92, as shown in FIG. 9C. This is the forward inclined position. The angle of incline is e.g., 15°. The angle of incline of the seat part 23 was set at 15°. However, the angle of incline is not limited thereto. The angle can be set to any angle with consideration given to, e.g., entrance into the vehicle interior, exit from the vehicle interior, and assembly conditions.

An operation of the above-described work seat apparatus shall be described next.

In FIG. 10A, an operator 22 engages the engaging part 36 provided to the distal end part of the connecting arm 35 with the conveying hanger 12 (FIG. 1) to synchronize the movement of the work seat apparatus 20 with the movement of the conveying hanger 12. The user sits in the seat part 23 while holding a necessary implement, component, or the like; operates a raising and lowering switch (not shown) provided to the work seat apparatus 20; and raises the seat part 23 in relation to the base part 27. The operator 22 performs operations for moving the seat part 23 other than raising and lowering the seat part 23.

In FIG. 10B, the operator 22 enters a vehicle interior 24 from the open part of the vehicle 13. The operator 22 can then bend the first arm part 31 and second arm part 32 using the joint part 34. Therefore, the operator can readily enter the vehicle interior 24 along with the seat part 23 from the open part of the door.

Since the seat oscillating mechanism 124 (FIG. 9) is provided, the operator 22 tilts the seat part 23 when entering the vehicle interior 24, whereby the body of the operator 22 does not readily interfere with part of the vehicle 13, and entrance can more readily be made.

In FIG. 10C, the operator 22 performs an assembly operation or the like at a necessary position while moving through the vehicle interior 24. The operator 22 then operates the rotation braking mechanism 122 or arm braking mechanism 64 and places the work seat apparatus in a braked state as needed. For example, when bolts are to be tightened in the vehicle interior 24, the seat part 23 does not rotate. Therefore, preferable working conditions can be maintained in the vehicle interior 24.

The seat oscillating mechanism 124 (FIG. 7) is provided between the second arm part 32 and the seat part 23. Thus, when an operation is to be performed in the vehicle interior 24 in, e.g., an upward facing position, the operator 22 can perform the operation in a position appropriately corresponding thereto. Therefore, the operation will be far less burdensome.

The operator 22 sits in the seat part 23, the first arm part 31 and second arm part 32 are raised and lowered by the raising and lifting part 29, and the first arm part 31 and second arm part 32 are bent using the joint part 34, whereby the seat part 23 can be readily brought near an operation position. In addition, the seat part 23 can be readily brought into the vehicle interior 24 from the open part of the door, and the seat part 23 can be readily brought out to the exterior of the vehicle from the vehicle interior 24.

On having completed the operation in the vehicle interior, the operator 22 turns his back to the open part of the vehicle in the vehicle interior 24 and exits from the vehicle interior 24 to the exterior of the vehicle while facing backward, as shown in FIG. 11. The engaging part 36 is then unlocked, the work seat apparatus is returned to the position of FIG. 10A, and the raising and lowering part 29 is lowered. In instances where the operator 22 does not dismount from the seat part 23, the raising and lowering part 29 need not be lowered, and other operations may be omitted. Such procedures can be suitably altered under certain operating conditions.

Since the seat oscillating mechanism 124 is provided, the operator 22 tilts the seat part 23 rearward when exiting, whereby their body will tend not to interfere with parts of the vehicle 13, and the operator can more readily exit from the vehicle 13. The first arm part 31 and second arm part 32 bend via the joint part 34, and the floor or another part of the vehicle 13 is stepped on or otherwise pressed, whereby the seat part 23 can readily be brought out to the exterior of the vehicle from the vehicle interior 24.

Another embodiment according to the present invention shall be described using FIG. 12.

The base part 27 of a work seat apparatus 20B may be enlarged and disposed on a lower part of a vehicle, as shown in FIG. 12. An entire body of a vehicle 13B is supported from below by a raising and lowering part 29B that can be raised and lowered. As a result, even when the vehicle 13B is removed from a conveying hanger 12B that acts as a conveying mechanism, assembling the vehicle interior and a variety of other operations can readily be performed. The use of such a configuration improves the ability to assemble the vehicle interior from outside of the assembly and enables the work seat apparatus 20B to be more versatile in the interior of the automobile.

As described above, the conveying mechanism may be a synchronized carriage, conveying hanger, floor conveyer, or the like.

A detailed operation of the work seat apparatus shall next be described.

The operator 22 enters the vehicle interior while sitting in the seat part 23 provided to the work seat apparatus 20, as shown in FIG. 13A.

The operator 22 steps on or otherwise moves the work seat apparatus 20 to an operation position in the vehicle interior, and operates the arm braking mechanism 64 (FIG. 6) or rotation braking mechanism 122 (FIG. 7) as necessary to anchor the seat part 23, as shown in FIG. 13B. The operator 22 inclines the seat part 23 rearward and attaches components to a ceiling part of the vehicle interior. In other words, the seat oscillating mechanism 124 is provided between the seat part 23 and the distal end of the second arm part 32. Thus, when an operation is to be performed in an upward facing posture, the operator 22 rests on the backrest part 117, inclines the seat part 23 rearward, and is able to perform attachment operations while in a conducive posture.

An effect created by inclining the seat part 23 shall be described next with reference to FIG. 14.

The seat part 23 can be placed in a non-inclined state as shown in FIG. 14A.

The seat part 23 can be placed in a rearward inclined state as shown in FIG. 14B.

When a comparison is made between FIGS. 14A and 14B of a height T that is between the lower surface of the seat part 23 and a head of the operator 22, it is apparent that the height T can be reduced by the operator 22 inclining the seat part 23 rearward. In other words, a relationship exist such that Tb<Ta.

The seat oscillating mechanism 124 is provided. Therefore, the operator 22 inclines the seat part 23 rearward when entering the vehicle interior, whereby the height T can be reduced. The body of the operator 22 is less likely to interfere with the vehicle 13 (FIG. 10) because the height T has been reduced, and entry into the vehicle interior is more readily made. The same is true when making an exit.

The work seat apparatus 20 according to the present invention is not limited to a vehicle interior that is the inner part of a vehicle, and can also be used in, e.g., a construction site.

Several modifications of the seat part and the support structure of the seat part shall next be described sequentially with reference to FIGS. 15 through 17.

The seat part and support structure of the seat part comprise a frame 161; a rotating member 163B swingably supported on the frame via support shafts 162, 162; and a seat part 23B that is attached to the rotating member 163B and has a seat surface part 116B on which an operator sits and a backrest part 117B on which the operator leans back.

The frame 161 comprises, e.g., two base plates 165, 165; U-shaped frames 166, 166 built on the base plates 165, 165; and cross members 167, 167 that connect the U-shaped frames 166, 166. Bolts or other support shafts 162, 162 can be passed through holes 168, 168. The two base plates 165, 165 are provided to the support member 169.

The seat part 23B is an oscillating seat. The support shafts 162, 162 are provided above the seat surface part 116B and below an upper end 117t of the backrest part 117B. In other words, the support shafts 162, 162 are disposed at positions relatively near a center of gravity of the operator. The seat part 23B can be caused to tilt using a smaller force than when the support shafts 162, 162 are disposed at positions that are a distance from the center of gravity of the operator.

The support member 169 preferably comprises the base part 27 provided to the anchoring object 10 in a manner that allows horizontal movement; the rotating support part 28 provided to the base part 27 in a manner that allows rotation about the vertical shaft; the raising and lowering part 29 that is provided to the rotating support part 28 and that extends and contracts in a vertical direction; the first arm part 31 that is raisably and lowerably supported by the raising and lowering part 29 and that extends horizontally; the second arm part 32 that is rotatably connected to the distal end of the first arm part 31 via the joint part 34 and that extends horizontally; and the seat rotating mechanism 121 that is provided to the distal end of the second arm part 32 and that supports, in a manner that allows rotation about the vertical shaft, the seat part on which the operator sits, as shown in FIG. 1. However, a differently configured object can be used for the support member 169 as long as the support member faces the workpiece.

A support structure of a seat part 23C comprises a rotation shaft 92C inserted into the distal end of the second arm part 32; a first rotating plate 141 extending horizontally from a lower end of the rotation shaft 92C; a second rotating plate 142 attached, in a manner allowing horizontal rotation, to a shaft 144 standing from the first rotating plate 141 using a metal bush 151 and a nut 153; an oscillating plate 143 stacked on the second rotating plate 142; a hinge pin 146 connecting the second rotating plate 142 and an apertured plate 145 provided to a lower surface of the oscillating plate 143; elastic members 147, 147 provided to a front and rear between the second rotating plate 142 and the oscillating plate 143; and a bolt 149 that anchors the seat part 23C to the oscillating plate 143, as shown in FIG. 16. When split pins 152 are attached to the hinge pin 146, there is no risk of the hinge pin 146 falling from the apertured plate 145.

The oscillating plate 143 supporting the seat part 23C can oscillate forward and rearward about the hinge pin 146. When the operator compresses the front elastic member 147, the seat part 23C is placed in the forward inclined position. When the operator compresses the front elastic member 147, the seat part 23C is placed in the forward inclined position. When the operator stands up or otherwise removes the load from the seat part 23C, the seat part 23C is returned to an original position by the elastic action of the front and rear elastic members 147, 147. In other words, the seat part returns to a standing position.

An elastic member 173 extending from a frame 161D to a back surface support member 171 may also be provided between a backrest part 117D of a seat part 23D and the back surface support member 171, as shown in FIG. 17. In other words, the frame 161 extends upward from a base plate 165D, a rotating member 163D is connected to the frame 161D via a shaft member 162D corresponding to a hinge pin, front and rear elastic members 172, 172 are provided between the rotating member 163D and seat part 23D, the seat member 23D is attached to the rotating member 163D, and the elastic member 173 is provided between the backrest part 117D and the back surface support member 171 that extends from the frame 161D, as shown in FIG. 17.

Due to the addition of the elastic member 173, the seat part 23D promptly returns to the original position when no load has been applied.

In the embodiments of the present example, an automobile was used as the workpiece. However, the workpiece is not limited to objects on a conveyor. The present invention can also be used in various construction operations.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present invention is useful in work seats used for performing tasks in the interior of a vehicle.