The present invention refers to the field of drilling machines for civil engineering, building of foundations and underground investigations. More specifically, the invention relates to a magazine equipment for drill rods and pipes (or more properly drill rods and casing pipes) suitable for equipping a machine for drilling vertical or otherwise inclined perforations, whether it is a true drilling machine, an excavator or any other type of machine or vehicle generally suitable for the purpose.
In this field and for this type of machine, the safety of the workers is a deeply felt problem. In fact, the workers find themselves in dangerous conditions, as they are exposed to moving mechanical parts as well as to all dynamics of the environmental context, near the drilling point during the drilling itself. Their task is in particular related with the manual loading and unloading of the drill rods and the relative casing pipes, components which must be supplied and installed as the drilling progresses, and recovered at a later stage. On the other hand, the loading and unloading steps also slower the drilling operations, with consequent productivity losses (increase in the execution times of each hole or perforation).
The fundamental, although not the only, object of the present invention is to provide a contribution to overcoming this state of the art, through a novel magazine system suitable for equipping a drilling machine of the above mentioned type, to achieve a substantial increase in safety and productivity.
This object is attained with the revolving magazine equipment for drill rods and pipes according to the invention, the essential characteristics of which are defined by the first of the attached claims. Other objects and secondary advantages are also attained by means of the constructive solutions defined by the dependent claims.
The characteristics and advantages of the revolving magazine equipment for drill rods and pipes according to the present invention will become apparent from the following description of an embodiment thereof, given by way of non-limiting example with reference to the attached drawings in which:
- figure 1 is an axonometric view of an equipment with revolving magazine according to the invention, fully loaded with sets of rod/pipe drilling tools and with one of these sets seized by a drilling head, shown here schematically;
- figure 2 is a side view of only the revolving magazine of the equipment of figure 1, seen from the side adjacent to the head, omitting a sheath in the foreground and with parts (including a set of tools) sectioned along different planes;
- figure 3 is a front and detailed view of only the drilling head of the equipment of figure 1, configured in a double head mode also for the rotation of casing pipes;
- figures 4a to 4d show each a front view of the equipment with the same schematic depiction as in figure 1 in respective and subsequent working phases that conceptually represent the tool loading process (rod and/or pipe) from the revolving magazine;
- figures 5a to 5c show each a side view of the equipment with only the head and the magazine, represented alike in figures 2 and 3, in successive steps of a sub-phase of seizing a drill rod from a magazine according to the invention to the head, configured here in single head mode for the rotation of rods only; and
- figures from 6a to 6n again show the equipment comprising the magazine according to the invention in side view similarly to the previous figures 5a to 5c, in successive steps of sub-phases of hooking and releasing a set of rod and pipe to/from the head, here configured in double head mode for the rotation of rods and pipes.
With reference to the above figures, but in particular for the moment to figure 1, a drilling equipment according to the invention comprises a linear guide 1 suitable for being mounted, with fixing systems chosen in a traditional way, on a machine or vehicle. in turn traditional for use in the field. On the guide 1, extending according to a sliding direction Y, a carriage 2 slides along the aforesaid direction, carrying a drilling head 3 via a slide 4 which allows the translation of the head with respect to the carriage in accordance with a crosswise direction Z, orthogonal to the sliding direction. The head 3 is designed to seize and rotate a drilling tool 5 (drilling rod 51 and/or casing pipe 52) around its own drilling axis Y', as better discussed hereafter in the context of a more detailed description of the head 3.
The guide 1 supports at a base end (the one closest to the perforation region) a vise 6 of a type known per se, to be used for unscrewing the tools while removing them. A tool magazine 7 is also mounted on the guide 1 near the same base end, spaced laterally from the guide itself in the aforementioned crosswise direction Z.
With reference now also and in particular to figure 2, the tool magazine generally indicated at 7 comprises a revolving table 8, rotatable through a hub 81 around a rotation axis Y" parallel to the sliding direction Y defined by the elongation of the guide 1. This axis Y" is materialized by an axle (not visible) on which the hub 81 of the table 8 engages and defined by a stationary platform 9. The latter is connected to the guide 1 by an arm 10 which extends substantially along a third direction X which completes a Cartesian reference system along with the already mentioned directions Y and Z. Preferably, both the revolving table 8 and the stationary platform have a substantially circular periphery.
Through the arm 10, the magazine is therefore spaced from the guide not only in the crosswise direction Z but also in the third direction X. Preferably the arm 10 has an extensible structure, for example a telescopic one, so as to allow a position adjustment of the platform 9 (and with it of the other supported components) along the third direction X. The connection between the platform 9 and guide 1 is then completed by a washer rotary joint 11, with axis of rotation according to the crosswise direction Z, between a base end of the arm 10 and the guide 1, to allow for an adjustment movement of the inclination of the arm itself (and, again, of all the other components of the magazine supported by it), pivoting right around the crosswise direction Z.
Multiple sheaths 12 rise from the rotary table 8, for example in number of four as in the illustrated embodiment, but in general in number n that can be higher or lower than four. The sheaths 12 are preferably distributed in a circular path centered in the hub, being equally spaced along the path, and are adapted to house each a drilling tool (rod, pipe, or a set of both). The sheaths 12 are open at the bottom through holes, not visible from the figures, formed in the revolving table 8, so that once the tools are inserted into the sheaths they rest with their lower ends on the stationary platform 9. The table 8 rotates in steps of an angular span equal to 2π/n.
According to a preferred embodiment, in a loading station preferably identified by the diameter of the platform drawn parallel to the crosswise direction Z, a passage 91 is formed on the stationary platform 9 which is adapted to correspond with each one of the sheaths, once they revolve along with the table 8; accordingly, the passage 91 is at the same distance as the sheaths from the center of rotation. In practice, in this embodiment as here depicted, following rotation of the table 8, the sheath which passes (and stops) at a loading station which is at the point of minimum (measured in the crosswise direction Z) becomes located in correspondence to the passage 91. The axis of the passage 91 and therefore of the loading station (being it also an unloading station, as will be understood shortly), is in turn parallel to the sliding direction Y and indicated with Y'".
A clamp 13 is arranged below the passage, and is adapted for clamping and locking the tool (rod or pipe) which is introduced in the passage itself, both with respect to the axial translation, and above all to the rotation around the loading and unloading station axis Y'". A piston 14 reciprocating along the latter axis Y'" below the platform 9 is then adapted, in a lifted position, with its end plate 141 to shut the passage 91 flush with the top face of the platform, clearing it instead in a lowered position.
Returning to the head 3, with particular reference to figure 3, this comprises, in a basic configuration for seizing and driving into rotation only a drill rod, a upper unit 31 provided with a drill rod mandrel 311, and in a complete configuration (the one shown in figure 3), also a lower unit 32 for seizing and driving casing pipes into rotation, equipped with a pipe mandrel 321. The lower unit 32 obviously has a central channel to allow the insertion of an extension 312 to be mounted on the first mandrel 311, and permit the engagement of the rods to the upper unit 31 even in the complete configuration. The upper unit 31 can move in the sliding directions Y relative to the lower unit 32 for a stroke that can vary according to the needs, in a range that is indicatively of a few tens of cm. It should be understood that the construction of the head and of the relative units, as well as their interface with the tools is of a known type and their further description is not necessary. Likewise, it should be understood that the configuration of the power feeding and control system in charge of the operating behavior of the various parts introduced above, as described below, is based on the general knowledge and/or obviously implementable for the skilled person.
With reference to figures 4a to 4d, the basic dynamics of the equipment according to the invention respond to the following general outline. Starting from figure 4a, during the execution of a hole in the substrate to be drilled, the driving head 3 is coaxial with an active drilling tool 5'. When the insertion (i.e. the penetration into the hole in execution) has reached a point that requires the loading of an additional tool (rod, pipe or both of these components), the carriage 2 carrying the head 3 (free of tools) rises along the guide 1, until it overhangs the top end of the tools 5 loaded in the magazine 7. At this point the slide 4 is displaced in the crosswise direction Z with respect to the carriage 2, aligning the head 3 with a tool 5" which is located in the sheath 12 positioned in the loading station. This condition is shown in figure 4b.
At this point the head 3 descends due to the movement of the carriage 2 along the guide 1, seizes the tool 5" and moves back up, always conducted by the carriage, completely extracting this tool from the magazine (figure 4c). Once the slide 4 is back in alignment with the guide 1, the new loaded tool 5" is aligned with the axis of the hole to be drilled (figure 4d) and will descend following the carriage 2 downwards until such new tool can be screwed 5" with the previous tool 5' (the one already driven into the hole). While the drilling operation continues in this way, a new loading is prepared by revolving the rotary table 8 until a full sheath is placed in the loading station to replace the one just emptied. This new and further loading will therefore take place exactly by repeating the steps just described. Basically, the operations of recovery of the tools from the hole will also follow the same steps, in reverse order.
With reference now to figures from 5a to 5c, there will be now described in further detail a constructive aspect that relates more specifically with the sub-phase of seizing drill rods through a single head unit 31 with a mandrel 311, precisely configured for the loading of drill rods only. Still by way of example, reference is made to a magazine with four sheaths, and therefore with four steps of rotation of the table 8 each spanning an angle of 90°, being it understood that a completely similar description will be applied to embodiments with a different number of sheaths (or similar elements suitable for defining stable housing seats for the tools at a raised level with respect to the stationary platform or more generally in parallel to the sliding direction Y) and consequently rotation steps of different number and angular span.
In a start situation, each sheath 12 will contain a drill rod 51 (even if only one is shown in figure 5a), the lower end of which is in contact with the platform 9. The passage 91 of the loading station of the platform 9 is shut by the plate 141 of the piston 14. The joint 11 and the arm 10 allow, in case of alignment defects, to recover the centering of the rod 51 with the driving head unit 31, when the latter is displaced towards the revolving magazine.
Figure 5b shows how the piston 14 is lowered and in this way the plate 141 clears the passage 91 of the platform 9. The overhanging rod 51 descends by gravity. As the clamp 13 closes, the rod 51 is locked. The driving head unit 31, already displaced to the loading station axis Y'", goes down and with the mandrel 311 screws the rod 51' locked by clamp 13.
Finally, figure 5c shows the subsequent step in which the clamp 13 opens to release the rod 51. The driving head unit 31 goes up with the rod screwed on the mandrel 311 until it is extracted from the sheath 12; the head unit will displace back on the axis of the hole to seize the rod already inserted in the bored hole; in the meantime the piston 14 shuts the passage 19 again with its plate 141 and the table 8 rotates by one step to make the next rod available in the loading station and so on, until all the necessary rods are loaded, with the magazine that, in any case, can also be gradually replenished in operation, hiddenly with respect to the active phases, and advantageously as will be mentioned hereafter, assisted by the possibility of movement offered by the joint 11.
As easily understandable, the rods will be recovered with steps that are inverse to those just described. Starting from a situation in which each sheath 12 is empty, the driving head 31 recovers the first rod from the bored hole and moves along the loading station axis Y'" to then unload the rod recovered in the sheath which is located in this station (which obviously can also be defined as an unloading station). The piston 14 is lowered to clear the passage 91 of the platform 9, so as to allow the released rod to be accommodated therein, and therefore to the clamp 13 to lock the rod, in order to oppose the unscrewing action by the mandrel 311 of the head unit 31. The latter can then position itself on the next rod to be recovered from the bored hole.
Once the clamp reopens to release the rod, the piston 14 goes up and with the plate 141 pushes the rod up to bring the lower end of the same to the level of the platform 9. In this condition, the passage 91 is again shut. The revolving table 8 rotates by one step to bring an empty sheath to the loading and unloading station, allowing acceptance of the next rod, thus to repeat the cycle for the number of iterations required.
With reference now to figures from 6a to 6n, and similarly to what just done for the loading and recovery operations of simple rods, a detailed description will follow of sub-phases for seizing/loading and releasing/recovery of tool sets comprising each both a drill rod 51 and casing pipe 52, and therefore with a double unit head 3, comprising an upper unit 31 for the rods and a lower unit 32 for the pipes. From the upper unit 31, the drill rod mandrel (right-wise rotation) is materialized by the aforementioned extension 312 which extends through and beyond the lower unit 32, equipped with a pipe mandrel 321 (left-wise rotation).
Starting from the loading sub-phase, figure 6a represents a start situation with the sheaths 12 full of respective tools (only a pair of rod 51' and pipe 52' in the loading station being here, once again, represented for the sake of illustrative clarity). All the tools have their lower ends resting in contact with the stationary platform 9, including the tool 5' in the loading station, because the passage 91 is shut by the plate 141 of the piston 14. Also in this case the adjustments allowed by the joint 11 and the arm 10 can allow the correction of centering defects between the tool and the driving units moved above the magazine.
In figure 6b the lowering of the piston 14 caused the tool 5' to drop into the passage 91 in the loading station. Inside the passage the pipe 52' is clamped by the clamp 13. Both the head units 31 and 32, displaced to the loading and unloading axis Y"', descend towards the tool to be loaded. The upper head unit 31 retracts (lifts) for its entire stroke to avoid the interference of its mandrel 312 with the rod 51' which is located inside the pipe 52'. At the end of the descent, the lower head unit 32 screws the pipe 52', locked by clamp 13, with its mandrel 321.
As soon as the pipe has been screwed on, as shown in figure 6c, the clamp 13 opens, the carriage 2 (not shown here) moves upwards with the double head to extract the pipe 52' and to bring the lower end of the latter at the level of the stationary platform 9. The rod 51' which is still within the passage 91, becomes exposed, and can now be locked by the clamp 13.
Figure 6d shows the upper head unit 31 which has fallen with respect to the lower unit 32 exposing the mandrel 312 which screws the rod 51' locked by the clamp. Once the clamp 13 has been opened to release the rod 51', the carriage 2 moves back up carrying away both the head units 31 and 32 with their mandrels engaged (by screwing) respectively with the rod 51' and the pipe 52' (figure 6e). The double head thus moves to align with the drilling axis, and to screw the rod and the pipe just loaded onto those already present in the bored hole. In figure 6f the piston 14 is finally raised with the plate 141 to shut the passage 91 of the stationary platform 9; the rotary table 8 is rotated by one step to present to the loading station a new and subsequent set 5" of rod 51" and pipe 52". The operations will repeat iteratively in the same way.
Starting from figure 6g, the recovery sub-phase is now illustrated. Normally the drill rods are recovered first, the bored hole is injected and finally the casing pipes (the function of which is to keep the hole open in loose soils) are also recovered.
Starting from a completely empty condition of the magazine 7 the head 3 recovers the first rod 51' from the bored hole and moves to the unloading axis Y'" to unload this rod 51' recovered in the sheath located in the loading/unloading station. Figure 6g shows this rod already in the magazine, with the cylinder 14 which, having reached the lowered condition, has cleared the passage 91 to allow the clamp 13 to take action on the rod, as in figure 6h. With the rod locked against rotation, the mandrel 312 of the upper unit 31 unscrews, the head goes up and is displaced back onto the bored hole (figure 6i) to recover a subsequent rod 51". In the meantime, as shown again in figure 6i, the clamp 13 opens, the plate 141 of the piston 14 raises the rod in the loading station so as to allow the rotation of the table 8 by one step, to place an empty sheath in the unloading station, for accommodating the next rod.
In figure 6l all the sheaths are occupied by rods recovered in succession (51', 51", 51"' not visible as hidden by the tool 51iv
in the foreground), the first rod recovered 51' having returned to the loading/unloading station. Having to recover the pipes, this takes place starting from a first pipe 52' which in the same figure 6l has already been discharged into its own sheath 12, coaxially with the rod 51' already present in it.
In the following figure 6m the piston 14, by lowering its plate 141, made the assembly of rod 51' and pipe 52' descend into the passage 91, where the clamp 13 clamps around the pipe, allowing the mandrel 321 of the lower head unit 32 to be unscrewed, until then gripped on the same pipe. In this situation the upper unit 31 is raised to avoid interference between the relative mandrel 312 and the tool. Finally, in figure 6n it can be seen how after the lifting of the piston 14 the table 8 could rotate bringing the first set 5' of rod and pipe (at this point completely recovered) in a subsequent location, so that in the loading/unloading station there is now a second rod 51", previously recovered. The head 3 will then move to the bored hole to retrieve and then unload a subsequent pipe in a manner completely similar to what just seen for the first pipe 52'. Obviously, the operations will continue until completion of the recovery, being also here to keep in mind that possibly the magazine can be gradually emptied even when the head is active in a (relatively) remote position.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that, according to the invention, the provision of a drilling equipment with a revolving magazine allows to considerably increase the safety of all workers working near the dangerous area, because manual loading and unloading operations of the rods and pipes made directly on the head are eliminated. The invention also substantially increases productivity by allowing shorter boring times for each hole because loading is faster and less affected by stops.
When the depth of the hole is greater than the total length of the rods and pipes available on the magazine, it is also possible, as mentioned, to replenish the magazine; to this purpose, and advantageous use can be made of the washer rotary joint 11 to rotate the magazine itself to a position that facilitates its refilling, carried out for example by means of a hydraulic gripper supported and moved by a common construction vehicle such as a small excavator. It is also important to confirm that during the loading and unloading phases of the rods and pipes it is possible to compensate for any misalignment of the tools with respect to the head by repositioning the joint 11 or the arm 10 or both. More generally speaking, the magazine has also a simple structure and functionality that does not introduce significant complications or cost increases in terms of construction or maintenance.
The present invention has been described so far with reference to its preferred embodiments. It is to be understood that other embodiments may exist that pertain to the same inventive scope, as defined by the claims set out below.
1. A drilling equipment for a drilling means or machine, said equipment comprising: a linear guide (1) adapted to be mounted on said machine or means; a drilling head (3) slidable along said guide (1) along a sliding direction (Y), said head (3) being configured for seizing at least one drilling tool (5) and for driving said tool around a drilling axis (Y'); a tool magazine (7) comprising a stationary platform (9) connected to said guide, a revolving table (8) pivotally supported by said stationary platform (9) around a rotation axis (Y") parallel to said sliding direction, and a plurality of seats provided by said revolving table (8) and distributed around said rotation axis (Y") for stably housing respective drilling tools (5) in an upright position substantially parallel with said sliding direction; wherein said stationary platform (9) comprises a tool loading and unloading station to be occupied in sequence by said seats further to a step-like rotation of said revolving table (8), said drilling head (3) being displaceable in accordance with a crosswise direction (Z), orthogonal with said sliding direction (Y), to align its drilling axis (Y') to said loading and unloading station, said station comprising clamping means (13) adapted to lock the drilling tool stopping at the station.
2. The equipment according to claim 1, wherein said tool seats are defined by respective multiple sheaths (12) arising from said revolving table (8) with an open bottom, whereby the tools (5) inserted in the sheaths rest with their lower ends on a top face of said stationary platform (9).
3. The equipment according to claim 1, wherein said loading and unloading station comprises a passage (91) formed in said stationary platform (9) with center at a loading and unloading axis (Y"') parallel to said sliding direction (Y), said clamping means configured as a clamp (13) arranged below the platform and adapted to keep hold of a tool (5) partially introduced through said passage (91), and a piston (14) reciprocating along said loading and unloading axis (Y'"), adapted to shut said passage (91) in a lifted position with a top end plate (141) flush with said top face of said stationary platform (9), and to clear said passage (91) in a lowered position.
4. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said seats are equally spaced in a circular path centered in said rotation axis (Y").
5. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said stationary platform (9) is connected to said guide (1) by an arm (10) that extends according to a third direction (X) that forms a Cartesian system with said sliding direction (Y) and said crosswise direction (Z).
6. The equipment according to claim 5, wherein said arm (10) is extensible, e.g. in a telescopic fashion.
7. The equipment according to claim 5 or 6, wherein said arm (10) is linked with said guide (1) via a washer rotary joint (11) with an axis of rotation in accordance with said crosswise direction (Z).
8. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said guide (1) supports at a base end a tool clutching vise (6).
9. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said head (3) is mounted on a slide (4) displaceable according to said crosswise direction (Z) with respect to a carriage (2) movable along said guide (1) in said sliding direction (X).
10. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said stationary platform (9) and said revolving table (8) have a substantially circular periphery.
11. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said tool seats in said revolving table (8) are four in number.
12. The equipment according to any of the previous claims, wherein said head (3) comprises at least one upper unit (31) with an upper mandrel (311) configured for engagement and rotational drive of a drilling rod.
13. The equipment according to claim 12, wherein said head (3) further comprises at least one lower unit (32) with a lower mandrel (321) configured for engagement and rotational drive of a drilling pipe and provided with a central channel adapted to permit the insertion and the fixing to said upper unit mandrel (311) of an extension (312) configured for engagement with a drilling rod (31).
14. The equipment according to claim 13, wherein said upper unit (31) is displaceable with respect to said lower unit (32) along said sliding direction (Y).