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Idler system for conveyor

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

Robert A. Horne

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An idler system for conveyors, the system providing an idler which is released or propelled downwardly away from the conveyor belt, when a pre-determined condition is present, such as the tripping of an idler guard or the presence of a pre-determined amount of pressure on the idler. The idler itself may be releasably attached to a conveyor framework, or it may be provided with an idler bracket which is partially or wholly released with the idler.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the following accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a conveyor assembly with an idler applied on the return conveyor belt;

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of one embodiment of this invention wherein a releasable bracket retains the return idler against the bottom surface of the conveyor belt and is released when the trigger mechanism is engaged;

FIG. 3 is an elevation view of another embodiment of this invention wherein the idler is typically held in place by a support bracket and the idler is released downward when a predetermined pinch condition occurs, or when the trigger or guard mechanism is tripped;

FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 3 after a predetermined condition has occurred and the bracket and the idler have been released;

FIG. 5 is view

5

5 from FIG.

3 and illustrates a longitudinal elevation view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an elevation view of another embodiment of this invention wherein the bracket retaining the idler in its normal position has been released and pivots downward to create a distance between the idler surface and the bottom surface of the conveyor;

FIG. 7 is a schematic depiction showing an increase in the pinch distance between the idler surface and the bottom surface of the conveyor belt;

FIG. 8 is an elevation view of another embodiment of the invention wherein the idler is mounted to the conveyor framework and released upon a predetermined condition occurring;

FIG. 9 is an elevation view of an idler support mechanism utilizing a bracket, once the mechanism has released the idler;

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of the invention in which the idler is released and limit switch attached to the framework shuts down the conveyor upon a predetermined condition occurring;

FIG. 12 is an elevation view of another embodiment of this invention, showing the return idler and a support or trough idler arrangement for the conveyor belt;

FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of the invention in which an electric solenoid interconnects the idler bracket with the framework and releases it when a predetermined condition exists;

FIG. 14 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 13, after the electric solenoid has disengaged the idler bracket;

FIG. 15 is another embodiment of the invention in which the idler is released upon triggering a guard or trigger mechanism;

FIG. 16 is yet another embodiment of the invention in which no bracket is required and a predetermined pressure on the idler causes the idler to release from the framework; and

FIG. 17 illustrates the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 16 after a predetermined pressure on the idler has caused the idler to move away from the conveyor belt.

Claims

1. A belt conveyor apparatus comprising:

2. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and further wherein the idler is rotatably mounted directly to the belt conveyor framework.

3. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and further wherein the idler is rotatably mounted to the belt conveyor framework at two engagement areas.

4. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and wherein the predetermined operational condition is detection of a force of a pre-determined magnitude applied to the idler by a disengagement trigger.

5. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and wherein the predetermined operational condition is a detection of an object near the idler by a disengagement trigger.

6. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and wherein the predetermined operational condition is a physical movement of an idler guard by an object near the idler.

7. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and further comprising an idler support means to which the idler is rotatably mounted, the idler support means being configured to releasably attach to the belt conveyor framework, and to detach in response to a predetermined operational condition.

8. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 1, and further wherein the quick release mechanism is an electric connecting solenoid with a first side attached to the belt conveyor framework, a second side integral with the idler and an interconnecting link removably attaching the first side and the second side of the connecting solenoid, the electric connecting solenoid being operationally connected to a disengagement trigger.

9. A belt conveyor apparatus comprising:

10. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 9, and further wherein the idler is rotatably mounted directly to the belt conveyor framework.

11. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 9, and wherein the predetermined operational condition is a detection of a force of a pre-determined magnitude applied to the idler by a disengagement trigger.

12. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 9, and wherein the predetermined operational condition is a detection of an object near the idler by a disengagement trigger.

13. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 9, and wherein the predetermined operational condition is a physical movement of an idler guard by an object near the idler.

14. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 9, and further wherein the disengagement trigger is an idler guard operatively attached to at least one of the two engagement areas and disposed to automatically disengage at least one of the two engagement areas when moved.

15. A belt conveyor apparatus as recited in claim 9, and further wherein the idler is supported by at least one electric connecting solenoid with a first side attached to the belt conveyor framework, and a second side integral with the idler and an interconnecting link removably attaching the first side and the second side of the connecting solenoid.

16. An idler system for belt conveyors, comprising:

17. An idler system for belt conveyors as recited in claim 16, and further comprising a spring between the first bracket section and the second bracket section, the spring configured to force the second bracket section away from the first bracket section when at least one of the first support area and the second support area are automatically disengaged.

18. An idler system for belt conveyors as recited in claim 16, and further comprising a disengagement trigger operatively attached to at least one of the two support areas and disposed to automatically disengage at least one of the two support areas.

19. An idler system for mounting to a belt conveyor framework, the idler system comprising:

20. An idler system as recited in claim 19, and further wherein the idler disengagement system includes a bias idler axis member against a corresponding fixed idler support on the belt conveyor framework.

21. An idler system as recited in claim 19, and further wherein the predetermined operational condition is physical movement of a disengagement trigger.

22. An idler system as recited in claim 19, and further wherein the predetermined operational condition is a sensing of an object near the idler by a disengagement trigger.

23. A method for providing a belt conveyor idler disengagement system, comprising the following:

24. A method for providing a belt conveyor idler disengagement system as recited in claim 23, and further comprising providing an idler guard operative connected to the second support section such that the movement of the idler guard automatically disengages the second support section.

25. A method for providing a belt conveyor idler disengagement system, comprising the following:

26. A method for providing a belt conveyor idler disengagement system as recited in claim 25, and further wherein the disengagement trigger is an idler guard movably mounted to also act as a disengagement trigger.