FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
2 views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
2014: 1 views
2012: 1 views
Updated: October 13 2014
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Apparatus and method for refinishing a surface in-situ

last patentdownload pdfimage previewnext patent


Title: Apparatus and method for refinishing a surface in-situ.
Abstract: A rotary grinding system includes a support frame and a grinding assembly coupled to the support frame for longitudinal movement, with respect to a workpiece attached to the support frame. A radial arm is suspended below the grinding assembly and rotated in a plane parallel to the workpiece. A grinding wheel traverses the radial arm, thereby working a circular, annular or sector portion of the workpiece. The height, and therefore the depth of cut, of the grinding wheel may be precisely adjusted via a single point adjustment screw or the like. Optionally, the grinding system may be controlled by a computer numeric controller (CNC) to automatically refinish programmed portions or all of the workpiece. Eccentric pins extending from the support frame and into the workpiece may be used to adjust the lateral position of the support frame, relative to the workpiece. Support members may be used to offload the weight of at least a portion of the grinding assembly, thereby relieving bearings of this weight, such as during shipment or storage of the system. ...


Browse recent Artisan Industries Inc. patents - Waltham, MA, US
Inventors: David A. Hudson, Craig Karl Wallace, Michael McLaughlin, John A. Umina, John D. Andrews, Richard D. Regan
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120003900 - Class: 451 5 (USPTO) - 01/05/12 - Class 451 
Abrading > Precision Device Or Process - Or With Condition Responsive Control >Computer Controlled

view organizer monitor keywords


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120003900, Apparatus and method for refinishing a surface in-situ.

last patentpdficondownload pdfimage previewnext patent

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to rotary grinders and more particularly to vertically axised rotary grinders.

BACKGROUND ART

A rotary valve is a valve, a part of which rotates intermittently to control fluid flow, such as in an oil refinery. A rotary valve typically includes a track plate, a rotor plate and an upper pressure-tight shell or casing. The casing and the track plate form a fluid-tight housing totally enclosing the rotor plate. The rotor plate is maintained in fluid-tight contact with the track plate and typically rotates in a horizontal plane. The rotor plate has a slick, smooth surface, referred to as a “seal surface,” and a number of channels and holes and/or ports that communicate with corresponding channels, holes and/or ports in the track plate in order to direct the flow of fluid within the rotary valve.

Wear and tear to the surface of the track plate during use can cause it to become damaged to such an extent that the necessary sealing required for proper fluid control is impaired. Such damage can be caused by corrosion, erosion, friction or distortion, or by the presence of foreign objects. Once the surface is damaged, either repair or replacement is necessary to reestablish an acceptable seal, so that the function of the rotary valve for the particular fluid control application is restored. To avoid the significant cost of replacing a worn track plate, the surface of the track plate may be refinished by a process commonly referred to as “resurfacing.”

It is known in the prior art to use a rotary grinder to refinish a surface of an item (a “workpiece”), such as a track plate. Due to the complexity, time and expense required to remove or ship such items, it is advantageous to be able to refinish the surface of a track plate without shipping the track plate or the entire valve to a refinishing facility.

Apparatus, such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,921,322, for refinishing the surface of a track plate on site generally include height adjusting mechanisms to control depths of cuts made by a traversing rotary grinding wheel. A typical prior art refinishing machine includes a lower frame member and an upper frame member connected to each other by three adjustable assemblies spatially distributed around the peripheries of the frame members. In use, the lower frame member is rigidly attached to the track plate, and the grinding wheel is attached to the upper frame member. Adjusting the assemblies changes the height and orientation of the upper frame member and, consequently, the height and orientation of the grinding wheel, with respect to the lower frame member and the track plate. The height of the grinding wheel determines the depth of a refinishing pass over the track plate.

Adjusting the height of the grinding wheel to set the depth of a refinishing pass requires separately and precisely adjusting each one of the three assemblies. For a given refinishing pass, all the assemblies must be adjusted by precisely the same amount, which is difficult to do efficiently and consistently without stopping the machine, even for skilled operators. Many passes of the grinding wheel are typically required to resurface a track plate, because each pass removes only a small amount of material. Consequently, refinishing a track plate can be time consuming and labor intensive.

SUMMARY

OF EMBODIMENTS

An embodiment of the present invention provides a rotary grinder system that may be coupled with a workpiece. The rotary grinder system includes a support frame, a grinder assembly and a grinder wheel. The support frame may include an upper frame coupled to a lower frame. The support frame has an engagement region configured to be coupled to the workpiece. The grinder assembly is coupled to the support frame. The grinder assembly includes an axial arm and a radial arm coupled to the axial arm. The radial arm is coupled to the axial arm in a substantially orthogonal orientation. The radial arm is coupled to the axial arm, such that the radial arm rotates about an axis of the axial arm. The grinder wheel is rotatably coupled to the radial arm of the grinder assembly via a grinder wheel driver. The grinder wheel is translatable along the radial arm. The rotary grinder system also includes a single point axial positioner configured to drive the radial arm of the grinder assembly along the axis of the axial arm. The single point axial positioner is configured to drive the radial arm translationally, with respect to the support frame.

The single point axial positioner may include a ball screw system and, optionally, a mechanical slide. Optionally or alternatively, the single point axial positioner may be configured to drive the radial arm though translation of the axial arm or through rotation of the axial arm or through extension of the axial arm.

The grinder assembly may be coupled to the support frame via at least one slide assembly connected to the axial arm of the grinding assembly and to the support frame.

The axial arm may include a telescoping arm configured to change length upon application of force from the single point axial positioner.

The grinder wheel may be coupled to a mechanical slide on the radial arm and configured to translate along an axis of the radial arm. In this case, translation of the mechanical slide along the radial arm displaces the grinder wheel.

The radial arm may include a telescoping arm, and the grinder wheel may be coupled to the radial arm.

The rotary grinding system may also include a counterweight coupled to the grinder assembly and to the support frame. Such a counterweight may be configured to urge the grinder assembly in a direction away from the workpiece, along the axis of the axial arm. The counterweight may include a hydraulic device, a spring and/or a mass-based counterweight.

The rotary grinding system may also include a counterweight that is movably coupled to the radial arm. Such a counterweight may be configured to move along the radial arm a distance proportional to, and in a direction opposite, the grinder wheel.

A rotary grinding system according to claim 13, wherein the counterweight includes at least one of a chain drive, a screw drive and a dual rack with an interconnecting gear drive.

A rotary grinding system according to claim 1, further comprising a micrometer adjustable dressing tool configured to dress the grinder wheel.

Optionally, the rotary grinding system includes one or more eccentric pins. Each such eccentric pin extends through a respective hole defined by the support frame and into the workpiece. Rotation of at least one of the eccentric pins laterally displaces the support frame, relative to the workpiece.

Optionally, the rotary grinding system includes at least one support member connected between the support frame and the grinder assembly. Such a support member may be configured to selectively support weight of at least a portion of the grinder assembly.

Optionally, the rotary grinding system may be computer numerically controlled. Actuators may be employed to adjust various elements of the rotary grinding system. A computer numerical control may be electrically connected to a first actuator, which may be configured to adjust the single point axial positioner. In addition, the computer numerical control may be electrically connected to a second actuator, which may be configured to translate the grinder wheel driver along the radial arm. Each of the actuators may include an encoder for measuring the magnitude of the respective adjustment and translation.

Optionally, the grinder assembly includes at least one slip ring configured to transmit electrical signals to the radial arm during rotation of the radial arm. Optionally or alternatively, the grinder assembly may include at least one hydraulic rotary union configured to transmit hydraulic fluid to the radial arm during rotation of the radial arm.

The grinder assembly may include at least one mechanical stop on the axial arm or on the radial arm.

The grinder wheel may be retractable translationally beyond a zero point on the radial arm, so as to expose a diameter of the workpiece.

The rotary grinding system may include an adapter plate. In this case, the support frame may be configured to be coupled to the workpiece via the adapter plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more fully understood by referring to the following Detailed Description of Specific Embodiments in conjunction with the Drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a cut-away view of a prior art rotary valve assembly, with which embodiments of the present invention may be used;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a rotary grinding system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a close-up perspective view of a height-adjustable connector of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2, as seen from one side;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2, as seen from another side;

FIG. 6 is a cutaway view of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is another cutaway view of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a rotary grinding assembly portion of the grinding system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view, from one side, of a radial arm portion of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view, from below, of the radial arm of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a single point tool holder for a rotary grinding system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a side view of an adjustable grinding wheel dressing tool holder, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a schematic block diagram of a computer-controlled rotary grinding system, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view, from below, of the rotary grinding system of FIG. 2; and

FIGS. 15, 16 and 17 are respective top, side and sectional views of an eccentric adjuster, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with preferred embodiments of the present invention, methods and apparatus are disclosed for a rotary grinding system useful in resurfacing applications, particularly where a workpiece requires resurfacing without removal from its environment. Advantageously, the cutting depth of the grinding system can be adjusted at a single point. Consequently, depth-of-cut adjustments can be made more precisely, because equal adjustments need not be made on multiple connecting members. Furthermore, the depth-of-cut adjustments may be made while the grinding system is in operation, thereby significantly reducing the total amount of time to resurface a workpiece.

The rotary grinding system may be coupled to a workpiece via a support frame of the rotary grinding system. A grinding assembly, coupled to the support frame, may be axially re-positioned through precise adjustments made at a single location. The axial repositioning may be vertical re-positioning, or the grinding assembly may be disposed in an alternative orientation, for example horizontally, in which case the axial repositioning would be horizontal. As noted, such adjustments may serve to alter the depth of a grinding wheel that is coupled to a radial arm of the grinding assembly, thereby changing the amount of material the wheel removes from the workpiece in one pass across the workpiece.

The radial arm may be rotated in a plane parallel to the workpiece to move the grinding wheel in a circular pattern across the surface of the workpiece, and the grinding wheel may be translated radially across the surface of the workpiece. Accordingly, an entire circular area, or an annular portion, of a workpiece may be resurfaced using embodiments of the present invention, and the depth of the resurfacing cut may be accurately and quickly adjusted via adjustments of a single re-positioning mechanism, such as a single point screw adjuster. The grinding system makes the grinding/machining process more accurate and efficient, thereby decreasing the down time experienced by an end-user.

FIG. 1 illustrates a typical prior art rotary valve 100, with which embodiments of the present invention may be used. As noted, a rotary valve 100 typically includes an upper pressure-tight shell or casing 103 with a track plate 106 and a rotor plate 110 disposed within the shell 103. The rotor plate 110 is maintained in fluid-tight contact with the track plate 106 and typically rotates in a horizontal plane. The rotor plate 110 is driven by a drive assembly 113 and a drive shaft 116. If the track plate 106 becomes damaged, an upper portion 120 of the rotary valve 100, from (and including) the rotor plate 110 up, may be removed from the rotary valve 100. Upon removal of the upper portion 120, a rotary grinding system (not shown) according to the present disclosure may be mounted to the track plate 106 or another portion of the rotary valve 100, and the rotary grinding system may be used to refinish the surface of the track plate 106. Alternatively, the track plate 106 may also be removed, and the rotary grinding system may be attached to the track plate 106 to refinish it.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a rotary grinding system 200, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Also shown in FIG. 2 is an exemplary track plate 204, to which the rotary grinding system 200 may be attached. The rotary grinding system 200 includes four main subassemblies: a lower frame 206, an upper frame 210, an axial drive assembly 213 and a radial drive assembly 216, each of which is described in detail below. The lower frame 206 is attached to a workpiece, such as the track plate 204. The upper frame 210 is rigidly, but adjustably, attached to the lower frame 206. The lower frame 206 and the upper frame 210 are collectively referred to as a support frame. The axial drive assembly 213 is attached to the upper frame 210, such that the height of the axial drive assembly 213 above the track plate 204 can be adjusted by a single adjustment point. The radial drive assembly 216 is suspended by and below the axial drive assembly 213.

The upper and lower frames 206 and 210 are designed to provide a known and engineered amount of deflection, which allows for specific amounts of flexibility in the system. Various parts of frames 206 and/or 210 may include hollow or tubular members to minimize the weight of the frames 206 and/or 210.

As noted, the lower frame 206 may be rigidly attached, such as by bolts, to the track plate 204 or to another workpiece or to another portion of a rotary valve. The bolts (not shown) may be inserted through some or all holes 220 defined in the lower frame 206 and into corresponding holes 223 in the track plate 204. Optionally or alternatively, an adapter plate (not shown) may be placed between the lower frame 206 and the track plate 204 or another workpiece, in case the workpiece lacks holes 223 that align with the holes 220 in the lower frame 206 or in case the workpiece is of a size or shape that is otherwise incompatible with the lower frame 206. Such an adapter may have holes that align with the holes 220 in the lower frame 206 and additional holes that align with holes in the workpiece. Optionally or alternatively, the adapter may provide hooks, bosses, threads or other features that may be used to secure the adapter to the workpiece.

Prior to tightening the bolts to secure the lower frame 206 to the track plate 204, eccentric pins inserted through some of the holes 220 and into corresponding holes 223 in the workpiece 204 may be used to laterally adjust the position of the lower frame 206, relative to the workpiece 204. An exemplary eccentric pin 1500 is shown in FIGS. 15, 16 and 17. Each eccentric pin 1500 includes a lower portion 1503 and an upper portion 1506, as well as a hexagonal or other suitably shaped drive portion 1510. Centers 1513 and 1516 of the upper and lower portions 1506 and 1503 of the pin 1500 do not coincide, thereby providing the eccentricity. FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of a portion 1703 of the lower frame and a portion 1706 of the workpiece, with an eccentric pin 1500 inserted in corresponding holes defined by the lower frame and by the workpiece. Rotating the pin 1500 displaces the lower frame, relative to the workpiece.



Download full PDF for full patent description/claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Apparatus and method for refinishing a surface in-situ patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Apparatus and method for refinishing a surface in-situ or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Combined toy doll and artificial flower
Next Patent Application:
Composition for advanced node front-and back-end of line chemical mechanical polishing
Industry Class:
Abrading
Thank you for viewing the Apparatus and method for refinishing a surface in-situ patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 1.01415 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Novartis , Pfizer , Philips , Procter & Gamble ,

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2--0.5928
     SHARE
  
           

FreshNews promo


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120003900 A1
Publish Date
01/05/2012
Document #
12828416
File Date
07/01/2010
USPTO Class
451/5
Other USPTO Classes
451252
International Class
/
Drawings
16



Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents