PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1136201 20.01.2005
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001136201
Titel VORRICHTUNG UND VERFAHREN ZUR BENACHRICHTIGUNG EINES MASCHINEFÜHRERS ÜBER DIE NOTWENDIGKEIT EINER PRÄVENTIVEN WARTUNG
Anmelder Gerber Technology, Inc., Tolland, Conn., US
Erfinder Vivirito, Joseph R., South Windsor, US;
Gates, John H., Manchester, US;
Kuchta, Richard, Shickshinny, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 60107740
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 20.02.2001
EP-Aktenzeichen 011040490
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 26.09.2001
EP date of grant 15.12.2004
Veröffentlichungstag der Übersetzung europäischer Ansprüche 04.04.2002
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 20.01.2005
IPC-Hauptklasse B26D 5/00
IPC-Nebenklasse G05B 19/4065   

Beschreibung[en]
Field Of The Invention

The present invention generally pertains to automated machinery, such as machines for cutting cloth and other sheet-type work materials, and is more particularly directed to a system for monitoring various operating parameters and providing a means for alerting an operator when preventive maintenance is required.

Background Of The Invention

The present invention can be used with several different types of machine but has particular utility when used with machinery for performing cutting operations on a single ply or one or more layers of sheet-type work material stacked one-on-top-of-the-other. Accordingly, the present invention will be described herein as being directed to such use, however it should be noted that the present invention, in its broader aspects is not limited in this regard.

All machinery requires periodic preventive maintenance, however, the intervals between maintenance activities vary depending on the type and severity of the use to which the particular machine is subjected. Machinery for performing cutting operations on one or more layers of sheet-type work material, typically include a cutting head that carries a high speed reciprocating cutting blade. Generally the blade, and the mechanism for driving the blade are subjected to heavy loads.

The severity of these loads can vary, and as such, the frequency of scheduled preventive maintenance, e.g. lubrication of bearings, and sharpening of the blades should also vary accordingly. A difficulty that often occurs is that these machines do not include any system for alerting an operator to the necessity for preventive maintenance. Therefore, a periodic maintenance schedule is usually implemented wherein the maintenance operations are executed at predetermined regular intervals. The difficulty associated with this type of maintenance schedule is that no consideration is given to the severity, or lack thereof, of the conditions under which the machine is operating. Accordingly, maintenance operations are often performed before they are needed, unnecessarily taking the machine out of service and disrupting production schedules. Alternatively, the scheduled maintenance periods could be too infrequent, resulting in damage to the machine.

WO 96/40558 discloses a diagnostic system for the detection of service conditions such that when a specified operating parameter exceeds a predetermined value, a need for service is indicated. The operation of such a system is based on alerting an operator to a predicted failure, which may or may not be imminent or even required.

Based on the foregoing, it is the general object of the present invention to provide a means for determining when preventive maintenance on a machine is required, that overcomes the drawbacks of prior art methods for determining maintenance schedules.

It is a more specific object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for monitoring various machine operating parameters, comparing these parameters with stored data pertaining to machine wear, and alerting an operator when maintenance is required.

These objects are solved by the independent claims. Further developments are defined in the dependent claims.

Summary Of The Invention

The present invention is directed to an apparatus for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance that includes means for inputting and storing difficulty factors corresponding to a level of machine, or component use at which preventive maintenance is required. Means are also provided for measuring various different machine operating parameters and for quantifying the measured operating parameters and proportionally adjusting the quantified operating parameters in comparison with the stored difficulty factors related to the severity of the machine operating conditions.

Once the proportionally adjusted operating parameters are established, they are accumulated via a summation means to determine the total accumulated machine usage since the last maintenance was performed on the machine. Once the total accumulated usage has been determined, means for comparing this data to the data corresponding to a maximum level or value of machine, or component use at which preventive maintenance is required are employed. When the means for comparing indicates that preventive maintenance is required, an indicator is energized to alert the operator. The indicator can also be set to alert the operator at a predetermined interval prior to the necessity for preventive maintenance, thereby allowing for a planned shutdown of the particular machine.

Preferably, the above-described apparatus will be used in conjunction with an apparatus for cutting pattern pieces from one or more layers of sheet-type work material having a cutter head and a reciprocating cutting blade. In this situation, the rate of reciprocation, the load on the motor, or some other operating parameter would be monitored by the measuring means and then proportionally adjusted by applying the appropriate difficulty factor corresponding to the severity of the use to which the machine is subjected. The indicator would then be energized once a predetermined accumulated usage level has been reached.

The present invention also resides in a method for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance wherein a sheet material cutting machine is provided that includes a movable cutter head for carrying a blade reciprocatingly mounted thereto and driven by a motor. A controller is associated with the sheet material cutting machine and has predetermined difficulty factors corresponding to the severity of cutting operations stored therein. In addition maximum values at which maintenance should be performed on the cutting machine are also stored in the controller.

During operation, it is preferable that the load on the motor and the duration of each use of the machine be measured. A difficulty factor is then assigned to each cutting operation performed by the cutting machine which quantifies the severity of the particular cutting operation. Next, the difficulty factor and the duration of each use are multiplied together to arrive at a product.

The products of each cutting machine use are then summed together to determine a total summed value which is then compared to the appropriate maximum value. Once the maximum value is reached, a warning preferably in the form of an indicator light is energized providing the machine operator with an indication for the need for maintenance to be performed on the machine.

Brief Description Of The Drawings

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance.

FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic of the control logic for operating the apparatus of FIG. 1.

Detailed Description Of The Preferred Embodiment

An apparatus embodying the present invention is shown being used in connection with a sheet-type work material cutting machine generally designated by the reference number 10. The cutting machine 10 includes a cutter head 12 mounted to the machine for movement in both a longitudinal and transverse direction thereof. A blade 14 is reciprocatingly coupled to the cutter head 12 and is driven at a predetermined rate of rotation by a suitable drive, such as an electric motor (not shown) in response to commands issued from a controller 16. In operation, the blade 14 cuts pattern pieces from one or more layers of sheet-type work material stacked one-on-top-of-the-other.

In order to appropriately assess the degree and severity of use to which the machine 10 and its components, namely, the blade 14 and its drive mechanism are subjected the actual use of the machine in terms of time, load on the motor, strokes of the blade, or other parameters, is measured. Depending on the severity of a particular machine use, a "difficulty factor" is assigned to the use, and the measured data is weighted or quantified according to this difficulty factor. For example, cutting through several plies of fabric requires that the blade and therefore the motor and bearings supporting the blade rotate at higher RPM's, than if a single ply was cut through. Accordingly, the difficulty factors corresponding to the severity of each use would be quite different. For example, higher machine idle times and light operating loads would allow for increased time between bearing lubrications than if heavier loads and less idle were encountered.

The cutting machine 10 should only be operated for a predetermined period of time for a given difficulty factor before maintenance is performed on the machine. Where the machine is operated under several different operating conditions, a different difficulty factor is assigned to each condition. Accordingly, it is the summation of the products of the difficulty factors multiplied by the time during which cutting machine 10 operated, for each condition that determines when preventive maintenance is necessary. This summation yields a total summed value which should not exceed a predetermined stored maximum value. As this maximum value is approached the machine operator should be alerted to the need for maintenance.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, operation of the cutting machine 10 is continuously monitored by sensors (not shown) mounted in the cutter head 12 which detects the extent of the actual usage of the cutting machine as indicated by box 18, FIG. 2. The sensors generate and transmit signals to the controller 16 corresponding to the monitored operating parameters. The operating parameter that is most preferably monitored by the sensors is the load, or power being drawn by the electric motor. By measuring this parameter, there is no need to differentiate between the number of plies, or the particular material being cut. Based on signals sent to the controller by the sensors, corresponding to the rate of reciprocation of the blade 14, a difficulty factor is assigned by the controller 16, to the particular operation being performed. While the measured parameter has been described as being the rate of reciprocation of the blade 14, the present invention is not limited in this regard as other parameters, such as, but not limited to the load on the motor, or ambient temperature can also be monitored without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.

The duration of the particular operation is also monitored by the controller 16, box 20, FIG. 2. As indicated by box 22, FIG. 2, the previously determined difficulty factor and the duration of operation are multiplied together for each use of the cutting machine 10. The products of the difficulty factor and the duration for each use are then accumulated and summed together by the controller 16 to yield a total summed value, box 24, FIG. 2.

As shown in box 26 of FIG. 2, the total summed value is then compared to a database of maximum values stored in the controller 16. When the total summed value approaches the stored maximum value a signal is generated, box 28, FIG. 2, by the controller 16, to illuminate an indicator light 30, alerting the machine operator that maintenance needs to be performed on the cutting machine 10. If desired, the system may be programmed to provide a first alert at some predetermined point in advance of the maintenance requirement, and a second alert, when maintenance is actually due. After the specified maintenance, such as bearing lubrication, has been performed, the total summed value is reset to zero in anticipation of the next maintenance interval.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Vorrichtung zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung, gekennzeichnet durch,

    Speichermittel zum Speichern von vorgegebenen Schwierigkeitsfaktoren, die verschiedenen Maschinenbetriebsparametern entsprechen, welche die Härte bestimmter Maschinenbetriebsbedingungen beschreiben, wobei die Speichermittel ferner Maximalwerte speichern, bei denen an der Maschine eine Wartung durchgeführt werden sollte,

    Messvorrichtungen (18, 20) zum Erfassen der Maschinenbetriebsparameter und der Zeitdauer, für welche die Maschine unter diesen Betriebsbedingungen arbeitet,

    Zuordnungsmittel (22, 24) zum Quantifizieren der erfassten Betriebsbedingung für jede Maschinennutzung in Bezug auf einen der Schwierigkeitsfaktoren, der mit dieser Betriebsbedingung am engsten in Beziehung steht,

    Summierungsmittel (26) zum Aufsummieren der quantifizierten erfassten Betriebsbedingungen für mehrere Maschinennutzungen,

    Vergleichsmittel (28) zum Gleichsetzen der quantifizierten erfassten Betriebsbedingungen, wie sie von den Summierungsmitteln aufsummiert worden sind, mit einem der gespeicherten Maximalwerte, der mit den erfassten Betriebsbedingungen am engsten in Beziehung steht, und

    ein Anzeigegerät (30) zum Alarmieren eines Bedieners, wenn der Maximalwert erreicht ist.
  2. Vorrichtung zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Maschine (10) einen Schneidekopf (12) mit einem Schneidemesser (14) enthält, das mit diesem zur Hin- und Herbewegung gekoppelt ist, ferner dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Messvorrichtungen (18, 20) die Rate der Hin- und Herbewegung des Schneidemessers erfassen.
  3. Vorrichtung zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Maschine (10) einen Schneidekopf (12) mit einem Schneidemesser (14) enthält, das mit diesem zur Hin- und Herbewegung gekoppelt ist, ferner dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Messvorrichtungen (18, 20) mindestens einen Sensor enthalten, der mit dem Schneidekopf (12) gekoppelt ist, um die Last auf den Motor während eines Schneidevorgangs zu erfassen.
  4. Vorrichtung zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung nach Anspruch 1, ferner dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    das Anzeigegerät (30) den Bediener einen vorgegebenen Zeitraum vor dem Erreichen des Maximalwertes alarmiert.
  5. Verfahren zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung an einer Flachmaterial-Schneidemaschine (10) und einer dazugehörigen Steuerung (16), wobei die Schneidemaschine einen beweglichen Schneidekopf (12) zum Tragen eines Schneidemessers (14) enthält, das zur Hin- und Herbewegung daran befestigt ist und von einem Motor angetrieben wird, und wobei die Maschine betrieben wird, um einen Schneidevorgang an einer oder mehreren Schichten eines lagenartigen Arbeitsmaterials durchzuführen, wobei das Verfahren gekennzeichnet ist durch die Schritte:
    • Bereitstellen vorgegebener Schwierigkeitsfaktoren an die Steuerung (16), die in ihr entsprechend den verschiedenen Maschinenbetriebsparametern, welche die Härte eines Schneidevorgangs beschreiben, gespeichert sind, und von Maximalwerten, bei denen eine Wartung durchgeführt werden sollte,
    • Messen der Hin- und Herbewegungsrate (18) des Schneidemessers (14) und der Zeitdauer (20) jeder Nutzung der Schneidemaschine während ihres Betriebes,
    • Zuordnen eines Schwierigkeitsfaktors (22) zum Schneidevorgang, der am engsten mit der Härte der Betriebsbedingungen in Beziehung steht, unter denen die Schneidemaschine arbeitet, wie dies durch die erfasste Last auf den Motor angegebenen wird,
    • Quantifizieren (24) der Härte und der Zeitdauer jeder Nutzung der Schneidemaschine in Bezug auf einen Schwierigkeitsfaktor, der am engsten mit der Härte jeder Nutzung in Beziehung steht,
    • Aufsummieren der Produkte (26) für mehrere Schneidemaschinennutzungen, um einen aufsummierten Gesamtwert zu bestimmen,
    • Vergleichen (28) des aufsummierten Gesamtwertes mit dem Maximalwert, und
    • Alarmieren (30) des Schneidemaschinenbedieners, wenn der Maximalwert erreicht ist.
  6. Verfahren zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung gemäß Anspruch 5, ferner gekennzeichnet durch den Schritt des Alarmierens (30) des Bedieners der Schneidemaschine (10) zu einem vorgegebenen Zeitpunkt vor dem Erreichen des Maximalwertes.
  7. Verfahren zum Informieren von Maschinisten über die Notwendigkeit einer vorbeugenden Wartung nach Anspruch 5, ferner gekennzeichnet durch den Schritt des Zurücksetzens des aufsummierten Gesamtwertes auf Null, nachdem ein Wartungsvorgang an der Maschine durchgeführt worden ist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An apparatus for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance characterized by
    • memory means for storing predetermined difficulty factors corresponding to the various different machine operating parameters which describe the severity of particular machine operating conditions, said memory means also for storing maximum values at which maintenance should be performed on said machine;
    • measurement means (18, 20) for sensing said machine operating parameters and the duration for which said machine functions under said operating conditions;
    • assignment means (22, 24) for quantifying said sensed operating condition for each machine use with respect to one of said difficulty factors most closely related to said operating condition;
    • summation means (26) for accumulating the quantified sensed operating conditions for a number of machine uses;
    • comparison means (28) for equating the quantified sensed operating conditions as accumulated by said summation means, to one of said stored maximum values most closely related to said sensed operating conditions; and
    • an indicator (30) for alerting an operating when said maximum value is attained.
  2. An apparatus for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance as defined by claim 1, wherein said machine (10) includes a cutter head (12) having a blade (14) coupled for reciprocation thereto, furthercharacterized by

       said measurement means (18, 20) detecting the rate of reciprocation of said blade.
  3. An apparatus for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance as defined by claim 1, wherein said machine (10) includes a cutter head (12) having a blade (14) coupled for reciprocation thereto, furthercharacterized by

       said measurement means (18, 20) including at least one sensor coupled to said cutter head (12) for detecting the load on said motor during a cutting operation.
  4. An apparatus for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance as defined by claim 1 further characterized by

       said indicator (30) alerting the operator at a predetermined interval before said maximum value is reached.
  5. A method for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance on a sheet material cutting machine (10) and an associated controller (16), wherein said cutting machine includes a movable cutter head (12) for carrying a blade (14) reciprocatingly mounted thereto and driven by a motor and said machine is operated to perform a cutting operation on one or more layers of sheet-type work material, said method characterized by the steps of:
    • providing said controller (16) with predetermined difficulty factors stored therein corresponding to the various different machine operating parameters which describe the severity of a cutting operation, and maximum values at which maintenance should be performed;
    • measuring the rate of reciprocation (18) of the blade (14) and the duration (20) of each use of said cutting machine during operation thereof;
    • assigning a difficulty factor (22) to said cutting operation most closely related to the severity of the operating conditions under which the cutting machine is functioning as indicated by the detected load on said motor;
    • quantifying (24) the severity and the duration of each use of said cutting machine with respect to a difficulty factor most closely related to the severity of each use;
    • accumulating the products (26) for a number of said cutting machine uses to determine a total accumulated value;
    • comparing (28) said total accumulated value to said maximum value; and
    • warning (30) the cutting machine operator when said maximum value is reached.
  6. A method for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance as defined by claim 5, further characterized by the step of warning (30) the operator of said cutting machine (10) at a predetermined point prior to reaching said maximum value.
  7. A method for notifying machine operators of the necessity for preventive maintenance as defined by claim 5, further characterized by the step of resetting the total summed value to zero after a maintenance operation has been performed on the machine.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Dispositif destiné à alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif,caractérisé par :
    • un moyen de mémoire destiné à mémoriser des facteurs de difficulté prédéterminés correspondant à divers paramètres différents de fonctionnement de la machine qui représentent la rigueur de conditions particulières de fonctionnement de la machine, ledit moyen de mémoire étant également destiné à mémoriser des valeurs maximales auxquelles un entretien devrait être exécuté sur ladite machine,
    • un moyen de mesure (18, 20) destiné à détecter lesdits paramètres de fonctionnement de la machine, et la durée pendant laquelle ladite machine fonctionne dans lesdites conditions de fonctionnement,
    • un moyen d'attribution (22, 24) destiné à quantifier ladite condition de fonctionnement détectée pour chaque utilisation de la machine par rapport à l'un desdits facteurs de difficulté se rapportant au plus près de ladite condition de fonctionnement,
    • un moyen d'addition (26) destiné à accumuler les conditions de fonctionnement détectées quantifiées pour un certain nombre d'utilisations de la machine,
    • un moyen de comparaison (28) destiné à égaler les conditions de fonctionnement détectées quantifiées qui sont accumulées par ledit moyen d'addition, à l'une desdites valeurs maximales mémorisées se rapportant le plus étroitement auxdites conditions de fonctionnement détectées, et
    • un indicateur (30) destiné à alerter un opérateur lorsque ladite valeur maximale est atteinte.
  2. Dispositif destiné à alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite machine (10) comprend une tête de coupe (12) comportant une lame (14) accouplée en vue d'un mouvement de va-et-vient sur celle-ci, caractérisé en outre. par le fait que

       ledit moyen de mesure (18, 20) détecte la vitesse d'aller et venue de ladite lame.
  3. Dispositif destiné à alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite machine (10) comprend une tête de coupe (12) comportant une lame (14) accouplée en vue d'un mouvement de va-et-vient sur celle-ci, caractérisé en outre par le fait que

       ledit moyen de mesure (18, 20) comprend au moins un détecteur couplé à ladite tête de coupe (12) en vue de détecter la charge exercée sur ledit moteur durant une opération de coupe.
  4. Dispositif destiné à alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en outre par le fait que

       ledit indicateur (30) alerte l'opérateur à un intervalle prédéterminé avant que ladite valeur maximale ne soit atteinte.
  5. Procédé pour alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif sur une machine de coupe de matériau en feuille (10) et un contrôleur associé (16), dans lequel ladite machine de coupe comprend une tête de coupe mobile (12) destinée à porter une lame (14) montée sur celle-ci avec possibilité de va-et-vient et entraînée par un moteur, et ladite machine est mise en oeuvre afin d'exécuter une opération de coupe sur une ou plusieurs couches de matériau d'ouvrage de type feuille, ledit procédé étantcaractérisé par les étapes consistant à :
    • munir ledit contrôleur (16) de facteurs de difficulté prédéterminés mémorisés dans celui-ci, correspondant à divers paramètres différents de fonctionnement de la machine qui représentent la rigueur d'une opération de coupe, et de valeurs maximales auxquelles un entretien devrait être exécuté,
    • mesurer la vitesse de va-et-vient (18) de la lame (14) et la durée (20) de chaque utilisation de ladite machine de coupe durant le fonctionnement de celle-ci,
    • attribuer un facteur de difficulté (22) à ladite opération de coupe se rapportant le plus étroitement à la rigueur des conditions de fonctionnement dans lesquelles la machine de coupe fonctionne comme indiqué par la charge détectée exercée sur ledit moteur,
    • quantifier (24) la sévérité et la durée de chaque utilisation de ladite machine de coupe par rapport à un facteur de difficulté se rapportant le plus étroitement à la rigueur de chaque utilisation,
    • accumuler les produits (26) pour un certain nombre desdites utilisations de la machine de coupe afin de déterminer une valeur totale accumulée,
    • comparer (28) ladite valeur totale accumulée à ladite valeur maximale, et
    • alerter (30) l'opérateur de la machine de coupe lorsque ladite valeur maximale est atteinte.
  6. Procédé destiné à alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif selon la revendication 5, caractérisé en outre par l'étape consistant à alerter (30) l'opérateur de ladite machine de coupe (10) à un point prédéterminé avant que ladite valeur maximale soit atteinte.
  7. Procédé destiné à alerter les opérateurs d'une machine de la nécessité d'un entretien préventif selon la revendication 5, caractérisé en outre par l'étape consistant à réinitialiser à zéro la valeur totale additionnée après qu'une opération d'entretien a été exécutée sur la machine.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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