Page 68 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - February 2019
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INVENTOR’S CORNER
         continued from previous page
         hub 14 about which a cable 12 may be wound, such as exem-
         plary drum shown in figure 16. Exemplary winch 10 may be
         used in association with barges (not shown) for transport of
         solid and/or liquid goods on waterways. In particular, winch
         10 may be used to adjust the tension and/or length of a cable
         extending between two or more barges grouped together in a
         barge “train” or “tow.” Such adjustment may facilitate control
         of the barges during the release or addition of barges with re-
         spect to the group, or during navigation of a waterway. Other
         uses for exemplary winch 10 are contemplated.
           Although exemplary hub 14 shown in figures 16 and 17 is
         a drum for exemplary winch 10, hub 14 may serve as other
         output devices associated with other machines. For exam-
         ple, hub 14 may serve as a drum for a winch or a spindle
         adapted to be used on a vehicle, such as, a tow truck, rescue
         vehicle, or off-road vehicle. In addition, hub 14 may serve as   Figure 17: Perspective view of the exemplary embodiment shown in
         a drum for a winch of a crane.                       figure 16 from a reverse side.
           Exemplary winch 10 shown in figures 16 and 17 includes
         a base member 16 and two opposing side members 18a and   tationally, hub 14 rotates, thereby deploying or paying-out,
                                                              and/or retracting a line, such as cable 12, as it is unwound or
                                                              wound-up around hub 14.
                                                               According to some embodiments, exemplary winch 10 may
                                                              be capable of acting against loads of as much as, for example,
                                                              25 tons to 75 tons, for example, 40 tons, or more. Some em-
                                                              bodiments may be used in combination with motors and/or
                                                              engines having, for example, 5 horsepower to 25 horsepower
                                                              or more. Some embodiments of exemplary winch 10 may be
                                                              capable of being used with line, such as cable (or wire-rope),
                                                              having a diameter of between about, for example, 0.25 inch
                                                              to 1.50 inches, for example, 1.0 inch. Hub 14 may be between
                                                              about, for example, 6 inches and 90 inches long, for example,
                                                              6 inches to 12 inches long, in the direction of the longitudinal
                                                              axis X. Hub 14 may have a diameter based on the circular
                                                              cross-sectional shape between about, for example, 6 inches
                                                              and 90 inches,  for  example, 18 inches.  Other  capabilities
                                                              and/or dimensions are contemplated.
                                                               As shown in figures 17 and 18, exemplary base member
                                                              16 includes an anchor 28 formed by an extension 29 of base
         Figure 16: Perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a
         winch.                                               member  16. Exemplary  anchor  28 includes one or more
                                                              apertures 30. Anchor 28 may be used to couple exemplary
                                                              winch 10 to a support. For example, winch 10 may be placed
         18b. Exemplary hub 14 is substantially cylindrical, having a
         circular cross-sectional shape with a longitudinal axis X ex-  on a barge (not shown) and, for example, a post, stud, or bolt
         tending through the center of the circular cross-section. Hub   may extend through aperture 30, thereby holding winch 10
         14 is positioned between opposing side members 18a and 18b   in a fixed position relative to the supporting structure. Other
         such that longitudinal axis X is substantially perpendicular   anchor structures are contemplated, such as anchor struc-
         to opposing side members 18a and 18b. As explained in more
         detail herein, exemplary hub 14 is supported in a rotating
         manner  by  a  main  input  shaft  20,  which  extends  through
         apertures 22a and 22b of respective opposing sides 18a and
         18b. Main input shaft 20, in turn, is supported by bearings
         24a and 24b received in respective apertures 22a and 22b.
         Side members 18a and 18b may be held together in a spaced
         manner by one or more cross-members 26, which in the exem-
         plary embodiment shown, extend between side members 18a
         and 18b in a substantially perpendicular manner.
           Arranged in this exemplary manner, main input shaft 20
         may be driven by hand operation via, for example, a crank
         27, and/or by a motor (not shown), such as, for example, an
         electric motor, or an engine, such as, for example, an inter-
         nal combustion engine, or a combination thereof. For exam-
         ple, as shown in figure 16, crank 27 may include a handle 31
         for facilitating faster rotation of crank 27. According to some
         embodiments, winch 10 may include a handle lock mecha-
         nism 33 for preventing crank 27 from being accidentally ro-  Figure 18: Side view of the exemplary embodiment shown in figures
         tated. During operation, as main input shaft 20 is driven ro-  16 and 17.

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