(19)
(11)EP 2 623 268 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 11828764.8

(22)Date of filing:  12.09.2011
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B25F 5/00(2006.01)
B25B 23/14(2006.01)
H02J 7/00(2006.01)
B25B 21/00(2006.01)
H02P 7/14(2006.01)
H02P 29/024(2016.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2011/070686
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/043204 (05.04.2012 Gazette  2012/14)

(54)

RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC TOOL AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC TOOL

WIEDERAUFLADBARES ELEKTROWERKZEUG UND VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG DES WIEDERAUFLADBAREN ELEKTROWERKZEUGS

OUTIL ÉLECTRIQUE RECHARGEABLE ET PROCÉDÉ DE FABRICATION D'UN OUTIL ÉLECTRIQUE RECHARGEABLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.09.2010 JP 2010216191

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.08.2013 Bulletin 2013/32

(73)Proprietor: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
Osaka-shi, Osaka 540-6207 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • MUTO, Motoharu
    Osaka 540-6207 (JP)
  • NAKAMURA, Masamichi
    Osaka 540-6207 (JP)
  • IKEDA, Masaki
    Osaka 540-6207 (JP)

(74)Representative: Appelt, Christian W. 
Boehmert & Boehmert Anwaltspartnerschaft mbB Pettenkoferstrasse 22
80336 München
80336 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- H0 799 721
JP-A- 2009 050 932
JP-A- 2010 082 761
US-A1- 2008 315 815
US-A1- 2009 058 332
US-A1- 2010 213 900
JP-A- 2008 132 551
JP-A- 2009 285 805
JP-A- 2010 082 761
US-A1- 2009 051 306
US-A1- 2009 295 313
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The invention relates to an electric tool powered by a secondary battery, and a method for manufacturing the electric tool.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] As is well known, an electric tool such as a drill-driver sometimes causes that the output shaft thereof is locked up while using the tool. At this time, the motor as a drive source thereof is also locked up (motor-lock). The motor does not rotate during the motor-lock. Therefore, temperature of the winding wire of the motor increases if the motor-lock continues, and the motor may be caused a thermal damage. In this case, the performance of the motor may be seriously deteriorated.

    [0003] Therefore, it has been demanded to detect as soon as possible the occurrence of the motor-lock in order to decelerate the motor or stop the supply of electric current.

    [0004] The occurrence of the motor-lock can be detected, for example, by monitoring the rotary speed of the motor, measuring the motor current, or measuring the temperature of the motor. However, these configurations require additional sensors. Incidentally, it has been known that the voltage of the battery decreases during the motor-lock because large electric current flows, and therefore the motor-lock can be detected by utilizing this characteristics. Herein, the electric tool that is powered by a secondary battery of a lithium-ion battery is generally configured to stop the supply of the electric current to the motor when the battery voltage drops to a certain voltage (hereinafter, referred to as "overdischarge protection voltage"), in order to prevent an overdischarge of the lithium-ion battery. The occurrence of the motor-lock can be prevented by this configuration. That is, when the battery voltage drops to the overdischarge protection voltage due to the voltage drop caused by the motor-lock, the electric tool stops supplying the electric current to the motor. Therefore, this "overdischarge protection function" may serve for preventing the continuation of the motor-lock.

    [0005] As for an electric tool that is provided with a comparatively large motor, a large electric current of 100 [A] or more flows during the motor-lock. In this case, the battery voltage drops to reach the overdischarge protection voltage during the motor-lock. On the contrary, as for an electric tool that is provided with a comparatively small motor, the electric current that flows during the motor-lock is several tens of amperes, and therefore the battery voltage may not reach the overdischarge protection voltage even when the motor-lock occurs. In this case, the motor cannot be protected.

    [0006] Incidentally, Japan patent document 3268086 B discloses a protection circuit that includes a comparator and that is configured to detect the occurrence of the motor-lock based on an amount of voltage drop within a predetermined period of time. This circuit can detect the occurrence of the motor-lock if the battery voltage changes rapidly. However, this circuit cannot detect the occurrence of the motor-lock if the battery voltage changes slowly as in a case of tightening a wood screw having a large diameter and a long length, or a case of boring a hole of a large diameter.

    [0007] US 2009/295313 A1 describes a rechargeable power tool that includes a direct current motor, a switching circuit, at least one speed setting unit, a duty ratio setting unit, a drive unit, an operation amount detecting unit, an abnormality determining unit, and a determination threshold setting unit. The abnormality determining unit compares an operation amount detected by the operation amount detecting unit and a determination threshold set based on the operation amount to thereby determine whether or not an operation state of the rechargeable power tool is abnormal. The determination threshold setting unit sets the determination threshold in a continuous or stepwise manner in accordance with a rotation speed set by the speed setting unit.

    [0008] US 2010/213900 A1 describes a battery pack which includes a battery pack electronic control circuit adapted to control an attached power tool and/or an attached charger. The battery pack includes additional protection circuits, methodologies and devices to protect against fault conditions within the pack, as the pack is operatively attached to and providing power to the power tool, and/or as they pack is operatively attached to and being charged by the charger.

    DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION



    [0009] The present invention is developed in view of above problem. An object of the present invention is to provide an electric tool that can reliably detect the occurrence of the motor-lock and can prevent the damage of the motor without adding a sensor and/or a circuit, and to provide a method for manufacturing the electric tool.

    [0010] An electric tool of the present invention is disclosed in the independent claim. An example of said tool powered by a secondary battery as a power source comprises: an output section configured to be transmitted thereto a rotation of a motor directly or through a decelerator; a voltage measurement section configured to measure a battery voltage; a storage means configured to store, as a reference voltage, a voltage value of the battery voltage measured preliminarily at that time a motor-lock is occurring; and a control means configured to control a driving of said motor, wherein said control means is configured to decide that said motor is being locked and then stop or decelerate said motor when the battery voltage measured through said voltage measurement section is maintained lower than or equal to the reference voltage stored in said storage means for a predetermined period of time during the driving of said motor. The electric tool judges whether or not the motor-lock occurs by comparing the battery voltage measured when the motor is rotated and the battery voltage measured when the motor was locked.

    [0011] Preferably, the reference voltage stored in said storage means is a voltage value of the battery voltage obtained at that time said motor is being locked under a condition where the environmental temperature is a maximum value within a temperature range supposed for using the electric tool.

    [0012] Preferably, the electric tool further comprises a temperature sensor for measuring a temperature, wherein said control means is configured to change the reference voltage that is compared with the battery voltage during the driving of said motor, on the basis of the temperature measured through said temperature sensor.

    [0013] Preferably, the reference voltage stored in said storage means is a voltage value of the battery voltage obtained at that time said motor is being locked under a condition where said secondary battery is fully charged.

    [0014] Preferably, said control means is configured to change the reference voltage that is compared with the battery voltage during the driving of said motor, on the basis of a battery level measured before said motor is driven.

    [0015] Preferably, the electric tool further comprises a rewriting means for rewriting the reference voltage stored in said storage means.

    [0016] Preferably, the reference voltage is set higher than or equal to a threshold value used for preventing an overdischarge of said power source.

    [0017] The present invention is configured to judge the occurrence of the motor-lock by comparing a voltage value of a battery voltage measured at that time the motor is being locked and a voltage value of the operation of the motor. The present invention therefore can reliably detect the occurrence of the motor-lock not only in a case where the battery voltage changes rapidly but also in a case where the battery voltage changes slowly.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



    [0018] 

    FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an electric tool according to an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment a part of which is detached;

    FIG. 3 is a side view of the embodiment a part of which is omitted under a condition where a clutch handle is detached;

    FIG. 4 is a time chart showing time changes of a battery voltage and a motor current in a normal operation of an electric tool;

    FIG. 5 is a time chart showing time changes of the battery voltage and the motor current, of a case where the electric tool is caused a motor-lock during the operation;

    FIG. 6 is a time chart showing time changes of the battery voltage and the motor current, of a case where the electric tool is caused a motor-lock of another type during the operation;

    FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an electric tool according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

    FIG. 8 is a block diagram of an electric tool according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.


    BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0019] An embodiment of the present invention is explained below. FIGS. 2 and 3 show a structural example of the embodiment. An electric tool 1 of the embodiment shown in the figure is a drill-driver having a drill-mode and a driver-mode which can be selected freely. The electric tool 1 includes a grip portion 10. A battery pack 2 that includes a lithium-ion battery is detachably connected to a lower end of the grip portion 10. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3, the electric tool 1 includes a motor 11, a decelerator 12, a selector switch 21, a bit-holder (output section) 13, a clutch-handle 14, a clutch spring 15, a trigger 18, and a pack connection section.

    [0020] In the embodiment, rotation of the motor 11 is transmitted to the bit-holder 13 through the decelerator 12. The decelerator 12 is configured so that the reduction ratio thereof is changed through an operation of the selector switch (reduction ratio selector switch) 21. The decelerator 12 includes a built-in clutch that is configured to change a tightening torque by adjusting a length of the clutch spring 15 in an axial direction in response to an operation of the clutch-handle 14. In the driver-mode, the clutch is activated. In the drill-mode, the clutch is not activated and the bit-holder 13 is kept connected directly to the decelerator 12 even when a load torque increases. The electric tool 1 may be configured so that the rotation of the motor 11 is directly transmitted to the bit-holder 13.

    [0021] The battery pack 2 is detachably attached to the pack connection section that is formed, for example, at the lower end of the grip portion 10. As shown in FIG. 1, the battery pack 2 includes a battery temperature measuring section 25 for measuring the temperature of the battery.

    [0022] The electric tool 1 has a built-in switch block S that is provided at a basal part of the grip portion 10. As shown in FIG. 1, the switch block S includes a triggered amount measuring section 16, a main contacts 17 and a contact section 20. The triggered amount measuring section 16 is configured to measure a pulled amount of the trigger 18. The main contacts 17 is configured to make a connection between the motor 11 and a battery when the trigger 18 is pulled. The contact section 20 is configured to change the direction of the rotation of the motor 11 by switching the polarity of the connection between the motor 11 and the battery in response to an operation of the selector switch 21.

    [0023] The electric tool 1 includes a switching element 4 and a control circuit 3 configured to control the driving of the motor 11 via the switching element 4 based on PWM control signal. As shown in FIG. 1, the control circuit 3 includes a control section (control means) 30 for controlling the switching element 4 and a battery voltage measurement section (voltage measurement section) 31 for measuring the battery voltage. The battery voltage measurement section 31 is configured, for example, to measure the voltage of the battery pack 2 that is connected to the pack connection section.

    [0024] In the present embodiment, the battery voltage measurement section 31 is included in the electric tool 1. This configuration is enabled to simplify the structure of the battery pack 2 compared with a case where a battery voltage measurement section is included in the battery pack 2.

    [0025] The control section 30 is configured to control the driving of the motor 11 via the switching element 4 based on the information sent from the triggered amount measuring section 16 and that sent from the battery voltage measurement section 31. The control section 30 may be configured to turn off the switching element 4 to stop (or reduce the speed of) the rotation of the motor 11 when the control section 30 receives the information that the temperature of the battery pack 2 has increased from the battery temperature measuring section 25 (that includes a thermistor) of the battery pack 2.

    [0026] When the battery pack 2 is connected to the electric tool 1 and the main contact 17 and the switching element 4 are closed to form a closed circuit, an electric current flows through the motor 11 by an electromotive force of the battery pack 2, and then the motor 11 starts to rotate. In this time, the motor 11 generates a back electromotive force that is proportional to the rotation speed of the motor 11. During the rotation of the motor 11, the electromotive force of the battery pack 2 matches with a sum of the back electromotive force of the motor 11, a voltage drop due to an internal resistance of the electric tool 1, and a voltage drop due to an internal resistance of the battery pack 2.

    [0027] If the motor 11 is loaded when the motor 11 is driven, the rotation speed of the motor 11 decreases, and therefore the back electromotive force generated by the motor 11 decreases. In contrast, the electromotive force of the battery pack 2 does not change instantly. As a result, the electric current flowing through the closed circuit increases, and the voltage drop due to the internal resistance of the battery pack 2 increases. Accordingly, the battery voltage of the battery pack 2 (battery voltage measured through the battery voltage measurement section 31) in this state is smaller than that in a state where the motor 11 is not loaded. Note that, the battery voltage of the battery pack 2 measured through the battery voltage measurement section 31 decreases with the increase of the load on the motor 11.

    [0028] FIGS. 4 to 6 each are a time chart showing time changes of a battery voltage and a motor current of a typical electric tool after pulling a trigger. FIG. 4 is a time chart that illustrates the changes of the battery voltage and the motor current under a condition where a screw is tightened into a screw hole formed at a metal material by use of the electric tool that is set to the driver-mode. As shown in FIG. 4, when a switching element is turned on by pulling the trigger, a starting current for starting the rotation of the motor flows first, and after that the motor current changes depending on an amount of an applied load on the motor. In this case, because the screw hole is formed preliminarily, the load is comparatively small and the electric current is comparatively small. As is seen from the figure, the load increases sharply when a head of the screw comes in contact with the metal material. In this case, the clutch is activated to separate the bit-holder from the motor when an amount of the load reaches the tightening torque that is preset in the clutch, and the motor current is kept at a certain value after the clutch is activated.

    [0029] In this condition however, if the reduction ratio of the decelerator is set at a comparatively small value, it may occur that the load torque becomes larger than an output torque while that the output torque becomes smaller than the tightening torque of the clutch. In this case, the electric tool is caused the motor-lock. In a condition where the electric tool is set to the drill-mode, the electric tool is caused the motor lock when the load torque becomes larger than the output torque.

    [0030] In a case where a screw is tightened into a screw hole formed at a plate by use of the electric tool that is set to the drill-mode, the electric tool may be caused the motor-lock because the clutch is not worked. FIG. 5 is a time chart of this case that illustrates the changes of the battery voltage and the motor current. The motor stops rotating during the motor-lock. Therefore, the electric tool may be regarded as a condition where the battery is connected between terminals of a coil (i.e. resistor). Accordingly, the electric current is kept at a certain value during the motor-lock.

    [0031] FIG. 6 is a time chart that illustrates the changes of the battery voltage and the motor current under a condition where a long wood screw is tightened to a wood material by use of the electric tool that is set to the drill-mode. As is seen from the figure, the electric tool is always subjected to a load because the electric tool digs to make a screw hole. Also, since the inserted portion of the screw increases as the screw tightening progresses, the load on the motor increases gradually. And then, the electric tool is caused the motor-lock when the load torque becomes larger than the output torque. In this case, the battery voltage changes slowly until the electric tool is caused the motor-lock.

    [0032] In the present invention, a voltage value of the battery voltage when the motor-lock is occurring (hereinafter referred to as "lock-voltage"; see FIGS. 5, 6) is measured preliminarily, and the value is stored in a memory (storage means) 32 in the control section 30 of a microcomputer, as a reference voltage. The control section 30 is configured to use the reference voltage as a threshold value, and is configured to decide that the motor 11 is being locked and to turn off the switching element 4 when the battery voltage, during the driving of the motor 11, decreases to the threshold value. Note that, the control section 30 is configured to turn off the switching element 4 only when the battery voltage is maintained lower than or equal to the threshold value (lock-voltage) for a predetermined period of time so that the control section 30 will not stop the motor when the battery voltage decreases to the threshold value due to the voltage drop caused of the starting current.

    [0033] In the electric tool 1 of the present embodiment, the voltage value of the battery voltage (lock-voltage) obtained when the motor 11 is being locked is stored in the memory 32 as the reference voltage. The voltage value of the battery voltage when motor 11 is being locked is a value that has been measured preliminarily. The control section 30 is configured to make a decision of occurrence of the motor-lock only when the battery voltage (voltage of the battery pack 2) measured through the battery voltage measurement section 31 is maintained lower than or equal to the reference voltage for the predetermined period of time. With this configuration, the control section 30 can reliably detect the occurrence of the lock of the motor 11. When deciding that the motor 11 is being locked, the control section 30 turns off the switching element 4 to stop the driving of the motor 11.

    [0034] According to the above mentioned configuration for detecting the motor-lock, it can detect the occurrence of the motor-lock by means of the voltage measurement section that is provided for preventing the overdischarge of the battery pack, without adding another sensor (such as a sensor for monitoring the rotation speed of the motor, a sensor for measuring the motor current, or a sensor for measuring the temperature of the motor). The control section 30 of the present embodiment is configured to decide that the motor-lock occurs and then turns off the switching element 4, based on a detection that the battery voltage measured through the battery voltage measurement section 31 becomes lower than or equal to the threshold value (reference voltage). This configuration can reliably detect the motor-lock even when the voltage changes slowly. The present embodiment therefore enables to prevent the damage of the motor caused by the continuation of the motor-lock.

    [0035] In the above example, the motor is stopped upon detection of the motor-lock, but the present embodiment is not limited to such a configuration. For example, the electric tool may be configured to gradually reduce the on-duty of the PWM control signal of the switching element 4. This configuration can achieve similar effect with the above configuration of stopping the motor.

    [0036] In the above example, the switching element 4 is turned off when the battery voltage becomes lower than or equal to the lock-voltage, but the present embodiment is not limited to such a configuration. For example, in consideration of the variability in components and detection variability of the control circuit, the switching element 4 may be turned off when the battery voltage becomes lower than the lock-voltage, or the threshold value may be defined by adding a certain value to the lock-voltage in light of the variability. In other words, the reference voltage that is stored in the memory 32 may be a value defined by adding a certain value to the voltage value of the battery voltage (lock-voltage) obtained when the motor-lock occurs. The control section 30 may be configured to use, as the threshold value for detecting the motor-lock, a value obtained by adding a certain value to the reference voltage stored in the memory.

    [0037] It is noted that the lock-voltage varies depending on a battery voltage before the rotation (driving) of the motor 11. If the battery voltage before the rotation is low, the lock-voltage becomes small. In view of this, it is preferred to perform the measurement of the lock-voltage in under a condition where the electric tool is connected to the battery pack 2 that is fully charged (i.e. voltage before the rotation is maximum), and to store the obtained value on the memory 32 as the reference voltage. In other words, the reference voltage stored in the memory 32 is preferably a voltage value of the battery voltage obtained at that time the motor 11 is being locked under a condition where the secondary battery of the battery pack 2 is fully charged. This configuration enables not to be affected by the change of the battery voltage caused by the change of the remaining battery level.

    [0038] It is also noted that the lock-voltage varies depending on a temperature of the battery, because the voltage drop during the motor-lock of the battery is related to the internal resistance of the battery. If an electric tool, which stores in the memory 32 the lock-voltage that was measured at a normal temperature as the reference voltage and is configured to use the reference voltage for the threshold value of the control section 30, is driven in a hot environment, it may occur that the battery voltage does not drops to the threshold value (lock-voltage) even when the motor 11 is locked. In this case, the motor 11 may be damaged at worst. In view of this, it is preferred that the memory 32 stores the lock-voltage that is measured at a possible highest environmental temperature (e.g. 40 degrees C) as the reference voltage. That is, it is preferred that the reference voltage stored in the memory 32 is a voltage value of the battery voltage obtained at that time the motor 11 is being locked under a condition where the environmental temperature is a maximum value within a temperature range supposed for using the electric tool. This configuration enables to protect the motor from being damaged caused by the motor-lock as long as the electric tool is used in a supposed temperature range (e.g. 0 to 40 degrees C).

    [0039] By the way, when the reference voltage is determined based on the above explanations, the electric tool is to use a higher value as the threshold value than a value at which the motor actually is caused the motor-lock, if the temperature of the battery is low and/or the battery voltage before the driving of the motor is low. Therefore, this configuration may reduce the throughput (quantity of work or work-load) of the electric tool.

    [0040] In view of this, it is preferred to measure the lock-voltages at a plurality of temperature conditions, to produce a data table in which the temperatures and the respective lock-voltages (reference voltages) are associated with, and to store the data table in the memory 32 of the control section 30. In this configuration, the control section 30 retrieves the reference voltage that is associated with a temperature measured at the battery temperature measuring section (temperature sensor) 25 from the data table stored in the memory 32, and uses the obtained reference voltage as the threshold value for detecting the motor-lock, during the rotation of the motor 11. That is, the control section 30 can be configured to change the reference voltage that is compared with the battery voltage during the driving of the motor 11, on the basis of the temperature measured through the battery temperature measuring section 25. In this configuration, the threshold value decreases with the decrease of the temperature, and therefore this configuration enables to avoid an improper judgment of deciding the motor-lock in spite of that the motor is not locked yet. As a result, this configuration enables to increase the throughput (quantity of work).

    [0041] The similar can be said for the battery voltage before the rotation. That is, it is preferred to measure the lock-voltages with regard to a plurality of battery voltages before the rotation, to produce a data table in which the battery voltage before the rotation and the respective lock-voltages (reference voltages) are associated with, and to store the data table in the control section 30. That is, the control section 30 can be configured to change the reference voltage that is compared with the battery voltage during the driving of the motor, on the basis of a battery voltage of the battery pack 2 before the motor is driven. This configuration uses the threshold value that is related to the actual battery voltage before the rotation. As a result, this configuration enables to increase the throughput (quantity of work).

    [0042] It is of course preferred to measure the lock-voltages at a plural conditions that have different battery voltages before the rotation and temperatures, to produce a data table in which the battery voltage before the rotation, the temperatures and the respective lock-voltages (reference voltages) are associated with, and to store the data table in the control section 30. This configuration enables to use an optimum threshold value with regard to the temperature as well as the battery voltage.

    [0043] The memory 32 is not limited to store the data table. For example, the memory 32 can be configured to store: a reference voltage (lock-voltage) at a certain temperature and/or at a certain battery voltage before the rotation; and an adjustment factor with regard to the temperatures and/or the battery voltages before the rotation. In this configuration, the control section 30 is configured to adjust (correct) the reference voltage stored in the memory 32 by use of an adjustment factor that is associated with the temperature at the time of using the tool and/of the battery voltage before the rotation, and to use the adjusted value as the threshold value for the detection of the motor-lock. The battery voltage before the rotation may be the remaining battery level.

    [0044] As shown in FIG. 7, it is also preferred that the control circuit 3 includes a memory (storage means) 7, such as an EEPROM, that can be rewritten and can be accessed from outward. The reference voltage (lock-voltage) can be stored in the (rewritable) memory 7. The control section 30 reads out the reference voltage (lock-voltage) stored in the memory 7 to determine the threshold value, and uses the threshold value for judging whether or not the motor is being locked.

    [0045] The electric tool can include a connection section (rewriting means) 70 that is adapted to access from the outward to the memory 7, such as a terminal in conformity with RS232C standards. The content of the memory 7 can be rewritten through serial communication, when the memory 7 is connected to a personal computer via the connection section 70.

    [0046] In using the electric tool, if the electric tool has a dispersion of the internal resistance of the battery pack 2 or the characteristics of the motor 11; or they have been caused a deterioration with time; or when the electric tool is used in an environment that the temperature is higher than the supposed maximum value for using the electric tool, the pre-stored threshold value may not be appropriate for judging the motor-lock. Even in such the situation, this configuration can modify the threshold value for judging the occurrence of the motor-lock to be appropriate for the current condition, by way of measuring the lock-voltage with using the current tool in the current environmental condition and then rewriting the obtained value onto the memory 7 as the reference value.

    [0047] FIG. 8 shows a yet another example of the embodiment. In this example, the electric tool is further provided with a memorizing switch (rewriting means) 33 that is connected to the control section 30. The control section 30 is configured to overwrite the voltage value of the battery voltage measured at that moment into the memory 7 when the memorizing switch 33 is pressed. After overwriting, the control section 30 uses the threshold value based on the modified (overwritten) reference voltage for judging the occurrence of the motor-lock.

    [0048] The memorizing switch 33 is preferably provided at a casing surface (e.g. at a place pointed by an arrow in FIG. 2) of the electric tool 1. In the electric tool, it may occur that the control section 30 does not decide the occurrence of the motor-lock and continues the supply of electricity in spite of the occurrence of the motor-lock during the driving of the motor. In such a condition, if a user presses the memorizing switch 33, the voltage value of the battery voltage at that moment is written into the memory 7 as the lock-voltage (reference voltage). After that, when the motor is locked again, the control section 30 can reliably judge the occurrence of the motor-lock based on the rewritten (new) threshold value. With this configuration, the electric tool can be made appropriate for the situation without separately measuring the lock-voltage or connecting the personal computer for rewriting the voltage value.

    [0049] As to the electric tool that is sensitive to a noise, it is preferred to measure the voltage values (e.g.) four times after pressing the memorizing switch 33, to obtain an average value of them, and to write the averaged value into the memory 7 as the reference voltage, instead of writing the value directly measured at the moment the memorizing switch 33 is pressed. This configuration enables to reduce the influence of the noise.

    [0050] The electric tool that is powered by the battery pack 2 that includes a secondary battery of a lithium battery is generally configured to prevent the overdischarge. Note that, it is preferred that the threshold value used for the detection of the motor-lock is set higher than or equal to an overdischarge protection voltage (a voltage used for preventing the overdischarge). If the threshold value used for the motor-lock becomes lower than the overdischarge protection voltage, the overdischarge protection voltage is preferably used for the threshold value for the motor-lock.

    [0051] The above described configurations can be combined.

    [0052] The reference voltage is preferably memorized into the memory 32 (or memory 7) by performing a measurement step and a storage step at the time of the manufacturing the electric tool 1. The measurement step is a step of measuring a voltage value of the battery voltage when the motor 11 is being locked. The storage step is a step of memorizing on the memory 32 (or memory 7), as the reference voltage, the voltage value of the battery voltage when the motor 11 is being locked. In the storage step, the reference voltage may be written in the memory 32 (or memory 7) by means of a writing means (not shown in figure) or a rewriting means such as the abovedescrived memorizing switch 33.

    [0053] The measurement step may includes a plurality of measurement steps. The plurality of measurement steps are performed using a plurality of electric tools that have the same configuration with the electric tool 1 of the present embodiment, and voltage values of the battery voltage (lock-voltage) when the motor are being locked are obtained with regard to the plurality of electric tools. In the storage step, the reference voltage is determined based on the plurality of voltage values obtained with regard to the measurements about the plurality of electric tools, and the reference value is stored in the memory 32 (or memory 7).

    [0054] For example, the maximum value of the lock-voltages obtained through the measurement with regard to the plurality of electric tools may be selected. In the storage step, this maximum value (or a value obtained by adding a certain value to the maximum value) may be stored in the memory 32 (or memory 7) as the reference voltage.

    [0055] For example, an average value of the lock-voltages obtained through the measurement with regard to the plurality of electric tools may be selected. In the storage step, this average value (or a value obtained by adding a certain value to the average value) may be stored in the memory 32 (or memory 7) as the reference voltage.


    Claims

    1. An electric tool powered by a secondary battery as a power source, comprising:

    an output section configured to be transmitted thereto a rotation of a motor (11) directly or through a decelerator (12);

    a voltage measurement section (31) configured to measure a battery voltage;

    a storage means (32; 7) configured to store, as a reference voltage, a voltage value of the battery voltage that has been measured preliminarily when a motor-lock is occurring; and

    a control means (30) configured to control a driving of said motor (11),

    wherein said control means (30) is configured to decide that said motor (11) is being locked and then stop or decelerate said motor (11) upon detecting that the battery voltage measured through said voltage measurement section (31) is maintained lower than or equal to the reference voltage stored in said storage means (32; 7) for a predetermined period of time during the driving of said motor (11), and

    wherein the control means (30) does not stop the motor (11) when the battery voltage decreases to the reference voltage due to a voltage drop caused of a starting current for starting the rotation of the motor (11).


     
    2. The electric tool as set forth in claim 1, wherein the reference voltage stored in said storage means (32; 7) is a voltage value of the battery voltage obtained at that time said motor (11) is being locked under a condition where the environmental temperature is a maximum value within a temperature range supposed for using the electric tool.
     
    3. The electric tool as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a temperature sensor (25) for measuring a temperature,
    wherein said control means (30) is configured to change the reference voltage that is compared with the battery voltage during the driving of said motor (11), on the basis of the temperature measured through said temperature sensor (25).
     
    4. The electric tool as set forth in any one claims of 1 to 3, wherein the reference voltage stored in said storage means (32; 7) is a voltage value of the battery voltage obtained at that time said motor (11) is being locked under a condition where said secondary battery is fully charged.
     
    5. The electric tool as set forth in any one claims of 1 to 4, wherein said control means (30) is configured to change the reference voltage that is compared with the battery voltage during the driving of said motor (11), on the basis of a battery level measured before said motor (11) is driven.
     
    6. The electric tool as set forth in any one claims of 1 to 5, further comprising a rewriting means (33) for rewriting the reference voltage stored in said storage means (7).
     
    7. The electric tool as set forth in claim 1, wherein the reference voltage is set higher than or equal to a threshold value that is used for preventing an overdischarge of said power source.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Elektrowerkzeug, das durch eine Sekundärbatterie als Stromquelle betrieben wird, aufweisend:

    einen Ausgangsabschnitt, der so konfiguriert ist, dass unmittelbar oder über einen Verzögerer (12) auf ihn eine Drehung eines Motors (11) übertragen wird;

    einen Spannungsmessabschnitt (31), der konfiguriert ist, um eine Batteriespannung zu messen;

    ein Speichermittel (32; 7), das konfiguriert ist, um als Referenzspannung einen Spannungswert der Batteriespannung zu speichern, der beim Auftreten einer Motorsperre vorläufig gemessen wurde; und

    ein Steuermittel (30), das konfiguriert ist, um einen Antrieb des Motors (11) zu steuern,

    wobei das Steuermittel (30) konfiguriert ist, um zu entscheiden, dass der Motor (11) gesperrt ist, und dann den Motor (11) anzuhalten oder abzubremsen, wenn erfasst wird, dass die Batteriespannung, die durch den Spannungsmessabschnitt (31) gemessen wird, für eine vorbestimmte Zeitdauer während des Antriebs des Motors (11) niedriger oder gleich der Referenzspannung gehalten wird, die in dem Speichermittel (32; 7) gespeichert ist, und

    wobei das Steuermittel (30) den Motor (11) nicht anhält, wenn die Batteriespannung aufgrund eines Spannungsabfalls, der durch einen Startstrom zum Starten der Drehung des Motors (11) verursacht ist, auf die Referenzspannung abnimmt.


     
    2. Elektrowerkzeug nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Referenzspannung, die in dem Speichermittel (32; 7) gespeichert ist, ein Spannungswert der Batteriespannung ist, der zu der Zeit gewonnen wird, zu der der Motor (11) unter einer Bedingung gesperrt ist, bei der die Umgebungstemperatur ein maximaler Wert innerhalb eines Temperaturbereichs ist, der für die Verwendung des Elektrowerkzeugs angenommen wird.
     
    3. Elektrowerkzeug nach Anspruch 1, ferner einen Temperatursensor (25) zum Messen einer Temperatur aufweisend,
    wobei das Steuermittel (30) konfiguriert ist, um die Referenzspannung, die mit der Batteriespannung während des Antriebs des Motors (11) verglichen wird, auf der Grundlage der Temperatur, die durch den Temperatursensor (25) gemessen ist, zu ändern.
     
    4. Elektrowerkzeug nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei die Referenzspannung, die in dem Speichermittel (32; 7) gespeichert ist, ein Spannungswert der Batteriespannung ist, der zu der Zeit gewonnen wird, zu der der Motor (11) unter einer Bedingung gesperrt ist, in der die Sekundärbatterie vollkommen geladen ist.
     
    5. Elektrowerkzeug nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei das Steuermittel (30) konfiguriert ist, um die Referenzspannung, die mit der Batteriespannung während des Antriebs des Motors (11) verglichen wird, auf der Grundlage eines Batteriepegels zu ändern, der gemessenen wurde, bevor der Motor (11) angetrieben wurde.
     
    6. Elektrowerkzeug nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, ferner mit einem Überschreibungsmittel (33) zum Überschreiben der Referenzspannung, die in dem Speichermittel (7) gespeichert ist.
     
    7. Elektrowerkzeug nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Referenzspannung höher oder gleich einem Schwellenwert eingestellt ist, der zur Verhinderung einer Überentladung der Stromquelle verwendet wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Outil électrique alimenté par une batterie secondaire en tant que source d'énergie, comprenant :

    une section de sortie conçue pour qu'une rotation d'un moteur (11) lui soit transmise directement ou par l'intermédiaire d'un décélérateur (12) ;

    une section de mesure de tension (31) conçue pour mesurer une tension de batterie ;

    un moyen de stockage (32 ; 7) conçu pour stocker, en tant que tension de référence, une valeur de tension de la tension de batterie qui été mesurée préalablement lorsqu'un blocage de moteur survient ; et

    un moyen de contrôle (30) conçu pour contrôler un entraînement dudit moteur (11),

    dans lequel ledit moyen de contrôle (30) est conçu pour décider que ledit moteur (11) est bloqué puis pour arrêter ou décélérer ledit moteur (11) lors de la détection que la tension de batterie mesurée par l'intermédiaire de ladite section de mesure de tension (31) est maintenue inférieure ou égale à la tension de référence stockée dans ledit moyen de stockage (32 ; 7) pendant une période prédéterminée lors de l'entraînement dudit moteur (11) et

    dans lequel le moyen de contrôle (30) n'arrête pas le moteur (11) lorsque la tension de batterie diminue vers la tension de référence du fait d'une chute de tension causée par un courant de démarrage pour le démarrage de la rotation du moteur (11).


     
    2. Outil électrique selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la tension de référence stockée dans ledit moyen de stockage (32 ; 7) est une valeur de tension de la tension de batterie obtenue au moment où ledit moteur (11) est bloqué dans un état où la température ambiante présente une valeur maximale à l'intérieur d'une plage de température supposée pour l'utilisation de l'outil électrique.
     
    3. Outil électrique selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un capteur de température (25) pour la mesure d'une température,
    dans lequel ledit moyen de contrôle (30) est conçu pour modifier la tension de référence qui est comparée avec la tension de batterie pendant l'entraînement dudit moteur (11), sur la base de la température mesurée par l'intermédiaire dudit capteur de température (25).
     
    4. Outil électrique selon l'une des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel la tension de référence stockée dans ledit moyen de stockage (32 ; 7) est une valeur de tension de batterie obtenue au moment où ledit moteur (11) est bloqué dans un état où ladite batterie secondaire est entièrement chargée.
     
    5. Outil électrique selon l'une des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel ledit moyen de contrôle (30) est conçu pour modifier la tension de référence qui est comparée avec la tension de batterie pendant l'entraînement dudit moteur (11), sur la base d'un niveau de batterie mesuré avant que ledit moteur (11) soit entraîné.
     
    6. Outil électrique selon l'une des revendications 1 à 5, comprenant en outre un moyen de réécriture (33) pour la réécriture de la tension de référence stockée dans ledit moyen de stockage (7).
     
    7. Outil électrique selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la tension de référence est réglée plus élevée qu'une valeur de seuil qui est utilisée pour empêcher une décharge excessive de ladite source d'énergie.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description