US 11,054,060 B2
Pipe retriever apparatus, system, and method
Joshua E. Clapper, Downingtown, PA (US); Dmitry Yashin, Haverford, PA (US); Aaron Blinn, Wayne, PA (US); Mark Brunni, Wayne, PA (US); John Swartzentruber, Wayne, PA (US); and Michael A. Dotsey, Chester Springs, PA (US)
Assigned to NORTH AMERICAN PIPE CORPORATION, Houston, TX (US)
Filed by North American Pipe Corporation, Houston, TX (US)
Filed on Aug. 28, 2019, as Appl. No. 16/554,554.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/723,917, filed on Aug. 28, 2018.
Prior Publication US 2020/0124208 A1, Apr. 23, 2020
Int. Cl. B65G 43/08 (2006.01); F16L 1/024 (2006.01); B65G 13/071 (2006.01); B65G 39/18 (2006.01); F16L 1/10 (2006.01)
CPC F16L 1/0243 (2013.01) [B65G 13/071 (2013.01); B65G 39/18 (2013.01); B65G 43/08 (2013.01); F16L 1/10 (2013.01)] 18 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A pipe retrieval system comprising:
a pipe having a leading pipe section, a trailing pipe section connected to the leading pipe section at a joint, and a remaining pipe joined to the trailing pipe section by a next joint; and
a pipe retrieval machine, the machine including
a frame defining a decoupling region and a travel axis;
a transporting mechanism supported on the frame and having a first gripping structure adjacent an infeed end of the machine and a second gripping structure adjacent an outfeed end of the machine, the decoupling region disposed between the first and second gripping structures;
a drive system configured to move the first and second gripping structures at a steady state speed to direct the pipe along the travel axis; and
a decoupling device in the decoupling region and having a decoupler, the decoupler being operable to engage a locking part of the joint, and the decoupling device being configured to engage the pipe to selectively slow portions of the pipe relative to the steady state speed,
wherein the first gripping structure and the second gripping structure are independently and automatically controllable to change from the steady state speed according to a position of the joint relative to the decoupling device,
wherein, when the pipe is engaged by the decoupling device with the joint adjacent the decoupler, the second gripping structure is automatically reduced from the steady state speed to a second reduced speed and the first gripping structure is automatically reduced from the steady state speed to a first reduced speed,
wherein, while the pipe is slowed with the joint adjacent the decoupler, the decoupler is automatically actuated to release the locking part,
wherein, after the locking part is released, the second gripping structure is increased to the steady state speed to withdraw the leading pipe section from the joint, and
wherein, after the leading pipe section is withdrawn from the joint, the pipe is released by the decoupling device and the first gripping structure is increased to the steady state speed to advance the pipe along the travel axis.