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Apparatus and method for conditioning the outer flanges of a vehicle wheel

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Larry Mustread, Danny Vincent, Mike Marcum, John Penrod, Jerry Buland

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An apparatus adapted to condition the outer flanges of a vehicle wheel includes a main base assembly secured to a fixed surface, a lower tool assembly operatively supported by the main base assembly, at least one upper drive assembly operatively supported by the main base assembly, and an upper rim guide assembly. The upper drive assembly of the apparatus includes an electric servo drive unit operatively connected to drive a conditioner roll having an outer surface provided with a predetermined profile adapted to engage and condition at least one of the outer flanges of the vehicle wheel.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an apparatus for producing a vehicle wheel in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view of the main base assembly shown in the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIG.

1.

FIG. 2A is a view of a portion an upper drive assembly shown in FIG.

2.

FIG. 3 is a view of the lower tooling apparatus shown in the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIG.

1.

FIG. 4 is a view of the rim support roll shown in the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3.

FIG. 5 is a view of the rim support roll taken along line

5

5 of FIG.

4.

FIG. 6 is a view of the upper drive assembly shown in the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIG.

1.

FIG. 7 is a view of the shaft assembly of the upper drive assembly shown in the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 6.

FIG. 8 is a view of the conditioner roll shown in the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIG.

1.

FIG. 9 is another view of the conditioner roll illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 8.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of a portion of the conditioner roll illustrated in FIG.

9.

FIG. 11 is another view of the apparatus of the present invention illustrated in FIG.

1.

FIG. 12 is a partial sectional view of a first embodiment of a vehicle wheel constructed using the apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a partial sectional view of a second embodiment of a vehicle wheel constructed using the apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a partial sectional view of a third embodiment of a vehicle wheel constructed using the apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a partial sectional view of a fourth embodiment of a vehicle wheel constructed using the apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is an enlarged view of an outboard flange portion of the vehicle wheel illustrated in FIG.

12.

FIG. 17 is an enlarged view of an inboard flange portion of the vehicle wheel illustrated in FIG.

12.

FIG. 18 is an enlarged view of an outboard flange portion of a prior art vehicle wheel.

FIG. 19 is an enlarged view of an inboard flange portion of the prior art vehicle wheel.

FIG. 20 is a block diagram showing a sequence of steps for producing a vehicle wheel in accordance with the apparatus of the present invention.

Claims

1. An apparatus for conditioning the outer flanges of a vehicle wheel comprising:

2. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the conditioner rolls are rotatably supported on a shaft by a bearing unit.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the main base assembly includes a pair of motor stands for supporting the pair of upper drive assemblies.

4. The apparatus according to claim 3 wherein the main base assembly further includes a ball screw mechanism operatively coupled to the motor stands, the ball screw mechanism operative to adjust the position of the motor stands relative to a center axis of the main base assembly.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the upper rim guide assembly includes a roller selectively moveable between a first position, wherein the roller is spaced from contact with an associated surface of the vehicle wheel, and a second position, wherein the roller is in contact with the associated surface of the vehicle wheel.

6. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the apparatus further includes a load and unload assembly.

7. A method for producing a vehicle wheel having at least one conditioned outer flange comprising the steps of:

8. A fabricated vehicle wheel produced according to the method of claim 7.

9. An apparatus for conditioning at least one outer flange of a vehicle wheel comprising:

10. The apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the conditioner rolls are rotatably supported on a shaft by a bearing unit.

11. The apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the upper rim guide assembly includes a roller selectively moveable between a first position, wherein the roller is spaced from contact with an associated surface of the vehicle wheel, and a second position, wherein the roller is in contact with the associated surface of the vehicle wheel.

12. The apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the main base assembly further includes a ball screw mechanism operatively coupled to each of the motor stands, the ball screw mechanism operative to adjust the position of the motor stands relative to a center axis of the main base assembly.

13. The apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the upper rim guide assembly includes a roller selectively moveable between a first position, wherein the roller is spaced from contact with an associated surface of the vehicle wheel, and a second position, wherein the roller is in contact with the associated surface of the vehicle wheel.