Title:
DUST TRAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dust tray includes: a collection chamber having a rectangular bottom and surrounding walls extending upward from four sides of the bottom; a tubular handle extending through one of the surrounding walls of the collection chamber with no gap therebetween, the handle being movable in a direction in which the handle extends; and a suction head having an opening elongated in a direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends, the suction head being provided at a proximal end of the handle, the proximal end being positioned inside the collection chamber, the opening facing the bottom of the collection chamber and being proximate thereto with a clearance allowing the dust particles to pass therethrough, whereby a path is provided from the opening into the handle, wherein a distal end of the handle is connectable to an external suction source.



Inventors:
Minemura, Gen (Kamiminochi, JP)
Inoue, Tadashi (Kawasaki, JP)
Application Number:
12/500388
Publication Date:
01/14/2010
Filing Date:
07/09/2009
Assignee:
FUJITSU LIMITED (Kawasaki, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SCRUGGS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fujitsu Technology & Business of America (Merrifield, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dust tray included in a dust collection mechanism that collects and stores dust particles, the dust tray comprising: a collection chamber having a rectangular bottom and surrounding walls extending upward from four sides of the bottom; a tubular handle extending through one of the surrounding walls of the collection chamber with no gap therebetween, the handle being movable in a direction in which the handle extends; and a suction head having an opening elongated in a direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends, the suction head being provided at a proximal end of the handle, the proximal end being positioned inside the collection chamber, the opening facing the bottom of the collection chamber and being proximate thereto with a clearance allowing the dust particles to pass through the opening, whereby a path is provided from the opening into the handle, wherein a distal end of the handle is connectable to an external suction source.

2. The dust tray according to claim 1, wherein the length of the opening is the same as the width of the bottom, the width being a dimension in the direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends.

3. The dust tray according to claim 1, wherein the suction head has scrapers on front and rear sides thereof, respectively, positioned in the direction in which the handle extends, the scrapers being elongated in the direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends, and pushing and evening out the dust particles, and wherein the length of the scrapers is the same as the width of the bottom, the width being a dimension in the direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends.

4. The dust tray according to claim 1, wherein surfaces of the scrapers are perpendicular to the bottom of the collection chamber, and wherein inner surfaces of the surrounding walls of the collection chamber on the front and rear sides in the direction in which the handle extends are sloped such that a distance between the inner surfaces increases in a direction orthogonally away from the bottom of the collection chamber.

5. A dust tray unit comprising a plurality of the dust trays according to claim 1, the dust trays being arranged side by side in the direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from the prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2008-181897 filed on Jul. 11, 2008, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present invention relates to dust trays included in dust collection mechanisms configured to collect and store dust particles.

BACKGROUND

Printed-board-cutting apparatuses are known for dividing a composite printed board having electronic components and the like mounted thereon into a plurality of pieces.

Typically, in such a printed-board-cutting apparatus, after a composite printed board is immobilized, the composite printed board is cut by a cutter or the like along given lines into individual pieces of printed boards. Shavings generated in such cutting are removed from the printed boards by suction or the like using a suction device.

Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2003-300196 discloses an example of a mechanism of collecting shavings generated in cutting a printed board.

SUMMARY

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a dust tray includes: a collection chamber having a rectangular bottom and surrounding walls extending upward from four sides of the bottom; a tubular handle extending through one of the surrounding walls of the collection chamber with no gap therebetween, the handle being movable in a direction in which the handle extends; and a suction head having an opening elongated in a direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle extends, the suction head being provided at a proximal end of the handle, the proximal end being positioned inside the collection chamber, the opening facing the bottom of the collection chamber and being proximate thereto with a clearance allowing the dust particles to pass therethrough, whereby a path is provided from the opening into the handle, wherein a distal end of the handle is connectable to an external suction source.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 schematically illustrates an example of a printed-board-cutting apparatus;

FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an example of a dust collection mechanism included in the printed-board-cutting apparatus;

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates an example of a dust tray according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 schematically illustrates the configuration of a suction head included in the dust tray illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the dust tray illustrated in FIG. 3; and

FIGS. 6A and 6B schematically illustrate an example of a dust tray according to a prior art.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 schematically illustrates an example of a printed-board-cutting apparatus 1. FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an example of a dust collection mechanism 4 included in the printed-board-cutting apparatus 1. FIG. 3 schematically illustrates an example of a dust tray 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a suction head 15 included in the dust tray 10, seen from the side of an opening 16. FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the dust tray 10, taken in a direction in which a handle 14 extends through the dust tray 10.

Referring to FIG. 1, the printed-board-cutting apparatus 1 cuts a flat printed board 2, which is a processing target, along given cutting lines by using a router bit 3 having a blade at the tip of a rotating shaft thereof, the router bit 3 being movable in a plane substantially parallel to the printed board 2. The printed-board-cutting apparatus 1 includes the dust collection mechanism 4 that collects, by means of suction, dust particles (shavings) generated at a cutting point where the printed board 2 is cut.

Referring to FIG. 2, the dust collection mechanism 4 includes a body 5 in which a suction pump (not shown) is provided, a hose 7 having one end thereof connected to the body 5 and the other end thereof provided with a collection nozzle 6 having a cone-shaped opening, and the dust tray 10 in which collected dust particles are stored.

When the printed board 2 is cut, the suction pump is activated, whereby dust particles 8 generated at the cutting point are attracted by suction into the collection nozzle 6, pass through the hose 7 into the body 5, are trapped by and shaken off from a filter or the like (not shown), and are collected and stored in the dust tray 10.

FIG. 6B illustrates a known dust tray 50. FIG. 6A illustrates a state where the dust tray 50 is set in the dust collection mechanism 4.

Referring to FIG. 6B, the known dust tray 50 is a simple box-like drawer. Therefore, to remove dust particles from a collection chamber 51, the dust tray 50 is drawn out and suction is applied to the dust particles directly with a cleaner.

In this known technique, however, dust particles 8 may disperse and float around when the dust tray 50 is drawn out, resulting in a possible hazard to the human body or contamination of the ambient environment.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the dust tray 10 according to the present embodiment. The dust tray 10 according to the embodiment includes a dust tray 10A and a dust tray 10B having the same configuration and arranged side by side.

In each of the dust tray 10A and a dust tray 10B, a collection chamber 11 has a rectangular bottom 12 and surrounding walls 13 extending upward from the four sides of the bottom 12, and stores dust particles 8 collected on the bottom 12.

The handle 14 is a tubular member having a passageway therein. The handle 14 extends through one of the surrounding walls 13 of the collection chamber 11 and is movable in a direction in which the handle 14 extends (the direction indicated by the arrow X in the drawings, hereinafter referred to as the “X direction”). To prevent dispersion of the dust particles 8, packing or the like (not shown) is preferably provided between the handle 14 and the surrounding wall 13 so that no gap is produced therebetween.

The handle 14 is provided at a distal end 14B thereof with a hose connector 19, to which a hose 21 communicating with a suction source (not shown), such as a cleaner, is removably connected. When the hose 21 is disconnected from the hose connector 19, a cap 22 is fitted onto the hose connector 19, whereby dispersion of the dust particles 8 is prevented.

Such a configuration allows a suction force produced by activating a suction source to act from the handle 14 through the hose 21.

The suction head 15 has the opening 16 elongated in a direction orthogonal to the direction in which the handle 14 extends (the direction indicated by the arrow Y in the drawings, hereinafter referred to as the “Y direction”). The suction head 15 is connected to a proximal end 14A of the handle 14 such that a dust suction path (indicated by the dashed-line arrow in FIG. 5) is provided from the opening 16 into the passageway in the handle 14.

Such a configuration allows a suction force produced inside the handle 14 by activating the suction source to act at the opening 16 of the suction head 15, whereby the dust particles 8 can be attracted by suction through the opening 16. Further, while the suction force is acting as described above, the handle 14 may be moved in the X direction. Accordingly, the suction head 15 may also be moved in the X direction within the collection chamber 11.

In short, while the dust tray 10 is set airtight in the dust collection mechanism 4, without being drawn out, the dust particles 8 in the collection chamber 11 can be attracted by suction from the suction head 15, thereby being discharged through the handle 14 to the outside of the dust tray 10.

The shape and disposition of the opening 16 will now be described. FIG. 4 illustrates the suction head 15 seen from the side of the opening 16.

In the embodiment, the opening 16 has an elongated rectangular shape with the length (the Y-direction dimension) thereof substantially the same as the Y-direction dimension of the bottom 12. The expression “substantially the same” means that the length of the opening 16 becomes the same as the Y-direction dimension of the bottom 12 if the thickness (about several millimeters) of a contour member defining the opening 16 and the gaps (about several millimeters) between the contour member and the surrounding walls 13 are included.

The opening 16 having the aforementioned shape is positioned so as to face the bottom 12 of the collection chamber 11. The plane at the opening 16 facing the bottom 12, i.e., the plane at the mouth of the suction head 15, is proximate to the bottom 12 with a clearance allowing the dust particles 8 to pass therethrough. The dust particles 8 have different shapes and sizes depending on, for example, the type of the printed board 2 and the cutting method (the type of cutter). Therefore, the foregoing clearance may be adjusted accordingly. With such proximate disposition, the velocity of flow of air, produced by suction, toward the opening 16 can be increased, whereby the suction force for attracting the dust particles 8 can also be increased. However, if the foregoing clearance is too small, the dust particles 8 cannot pass therethrough, and are prevented from reaching the opening 16. Conversely, if the foregoing clearance is too large, the dust particles 8 may not be attracted by the suction force.

For dust particles (shavings) generated when a resin printed board, like the printed board 2, is cut by the router bit 3, the clearance between the mouth of the suction head 15 and the bottom 12 is preferably about 2 mm.

With such a configuration in which the Y-direction dimension of the opening 16 is substantially the same as the Y-direction dimension of the bottom 12 and the opening 16 is movable in the X direction as described above, the area of the opening 16 can be made smaller than the area of the bottom 12, and the suction force at the opening 16 can be made to act over the entirety of the bottom 12. Thus, most if not all the dust particles 8 are removed from inside the collection chamber 11 (on the bottom 12).

Moreover, since the reduction in the area of the opening 16 contributes to further increasing the suction force, the capability of removing the dust particles 8 increases. From another viewpoint, since there is no need to provide a large suction source to produce a large suction force and the suction head 15 is provided with a reduced size, the manufacturing cost may be reduced.

One of the features of the embodiment is that the suction head 15 has elongated plate-like scrapers 18 on the front and rear sides thereof, respectively, positioned in the X direction. In the embodiment, the scrapers 18 are provided integrally with the suction head 15, forming part of the outer frame of the suction head 15. The scrapers 18 each have a plate-like shape elongated in the Y direction, with the length thereof being substantially the same as the Y-direction dimension of the bottom 12. The expression “substantially the same” means that the length of each scraper 18 becomes the same as the Y-direction dimension of the bottom 12 if the gaps (about several millimeters) between the scraper 18 and the surrounding walls 13 are included. The scrapers 18 may alternatively be provided as separate bodies from the suction head 15.

In such a configuration, the dust particles 8 stored in the collection chamber 11 are pushed and evened out by the scrapers 18 with the movement of the suction head 15 in the X direction. Accordingly, suction of the dust particles 8 through the opening 16 is facilitated.

Another feature of the embodiment is that, referring to FIG. 5, the surfaces of the scrapers 18 are perpendicular to the bottom 12 of the collection chamber 11, whereas inner surfaces of the surrounding walls 13 of the collection chamber 11 on the front and rear sides in the X direction form sloping surfaces 13′. The sloping surfaces 13′ slope such that the distance between the front and rear inner surfaces, i.e., the sloping surfaces 13′, of the surrounding walls 13 increases from the bottom 12 in a direction orthogonally upward in FIG. 5.

Although the sloping surfaces 13′ of the embodiment are provided as separate members from the surrounding walls 13 as in FIG. 5, the sloping surfaces 13′ may alternatively be provided by sloping the corresponding surrounding walls 13 themselves.

If the surrounding walls 13 are not sloped but are perpendicular to the bottom 12, the dust particles 8 pushed by the scrapers 18 of the suction head 15 moving in the X direction may adhere to and form clumps on the inner surfaces of the surrounding walls 13, depending on the material of the dust particles 8. This problem can be solved by employing the above-described configuration, in which the dust particles 8 are not trapped between the scrapers 18 and the sloping surfaces 13′.

As described above, the dust tray 10 according to the embodiment includes the dust trays 10A and 10B having the same configuration and arranged side by side (refer to FIG. 3).

With a plurality of dust trays having the same configuration and arranged side by side in the Y direction, even if, for example, each opening 16 cannot be provided with a sufficient size because of limitations of the suction force that can be produced by the suction source, the size of the opening 16 for each of the collection chambers 11 can be kept small, but a large total area of the bottoms 12 of the collection chambers 11 can be provided. In short, the collection chambers 11 can be provided with a large total area without reducing the suction force, or without increasing the size of the suction source. Thus, the area for receiving dust particles 8, i.e., the amount of storable dust particles 8, can be increased.

To summarize, according to the dust tray of the embodiment, dust particles that are generated in, for example, cutting a printed board and are stored in the collection chamber can be discharged to the outside while the collection chamber is kept closed airtight, e.g., with the dust tray not being drawn out, preventing dust particles from being left inside the collection chamber and from being dispersed.

While the present invention has been described with reference to an embodiment in which a printed-board-cutting apparatus divides a composite printed board into a plurality of pieces, the present invention is not limited thereto and may alternatively be applied to a dust tray of a dust collection mechanism that collects and stores dust particles (shavings) generated in a machining apparatus that performs, for example, cutting of a resin or metal material.

The embodiment described above is a preferred embodiment. The present invention is not limited to this but various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

All examples and conditional language recited herein are intended for pedagogical purposes to aid the reader in understanding the invention and the concepts contributed by the inventor to furthering the art, and are to be construed as being without limitation to such specifically recited examples and conditions, nor does the organization of such examples in the specification relate to a showing of the superiority and inferiority of the invention. Although the embodiment of the present invention has been described in detail, it should be understood that the various changes, substitutions, and alterations could be made hereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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