Ohio Patent of the Month – August 2021

Strapping is a method of closing packages or attaching objects together – like boxes to pallets. Strapping can be done with a wide variety of tools, usually those that use a large vertical force to hold straps in place. This vertical force is important, but also creates a huge limitation. The force makes it difficult for an operator to lift a gripper portion of the tool from the tensioned lower strap once it has been tensioned and cut. Golden Bear LLC has developed a tool that better retains the holding ability of the gripper while also decreasing the force needed to lift the gripper.

The tool is designed with a gripper, windlass, cutter, and base. The base retains each of these, holding them in the following order: cutter close to the base, windlass close to rear of the base, and gripper in between each. A motor can rotate in two directions, where one tensions the strap and the other cuts it. The power from the motor transfers to the windlass shaft and then eventually to the cutter. The upper strapping portion applies the vertical force needed to the gripper holder, supplementing the force applied to the gripper foot and creating a more balanced force application. This supplementation ultimately reduces the force needed. When tensioning the strap, the lower part of the strap is held by the gripper while the upper portion is threaded through the cutter and windlass. Rotating the motor tensions the strap by rotating the windlass and applying tension to the upper portion of the strap. The gripper needs to hold as much force as the windlass can create. The motor is then initiated in the reverse, and cuts the strap. Once cut, the gripper continues to hold the tension while being lifted. Cutting the strap removes the supplemental force while maintaining the reduced force on the foot. This makes strapping simpler, safer, and reduces damage to the product being strapped.

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