Assembled Products Corporation wins Blue Chip Enterprises Initiative Award
July 20, 1995- ASSEMBLED PRODUCTS CORPORATION, the parent corporation of MART CART and SPRAY MASTER TECHNOLOGIES (SMT), was recently named as the top state designee of "Blue Chip Enterprises Initiative", an award sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "Nation's Business" magazine and by Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company.
The award is presented to businesses that have demonstrated exceptional management of key resources to meet challenges and emerge successful. Lessons learned from these business are shared through participating Chambers of Commerce and other participants nationwide. The company receives the award as it enters its 12th year in business.
ASSEMBLED PRODUCTS CORPORATION owns and operates a number of businesses including SPRAY MASTER TECHNOLOGIES (SMT), a line of pressure wash down machines used to clean food service areas. The company also owns and operates MART CART, the leading manufacturer of the popular battery powered shopping cart used in retail stores by mobility impaired shoppers while shopping, Hub Motors, an Innovative new wheel with a motor inside, and Jotto Desk, an adjustable business center that mounts inside vehicles.
INNOVA Award Winner for the July/August 2003 Issue
Browser Has Unique Motor, Carries One Person and Operates on 24 Volts
Assembled Products Corp. has released the Browser, a three-wheeled vehicle that carries one person in a standing position along with optional cargo. Cargo may be carried either in side or front mounted baskets or in a pull along cart. The Browser operates on 24 volts and will run continuously for over 20 miles. It operates with its own on-board charger, and can be plugged into any 120-volt outlet.
It is apparent from the 16-inch, free-turning rear wheels, that the Browser does not use a transaxle. Likewise, it is apparent from the small profile of the front of the Browser, that it does not use a belt drive or right angle gear drive system. So where is the motor? It is inside the 8-inch front wheel.
“The most unique aspect of the Browser,” said Pat Turner, product engineer inventor at Assembled Products Corp., “is our patent-pending 8-inch Hub Motor, which allows for maximum performance efficiency.” The Hub Motor is a combination of five major components: motor, gears, electric brake, hub and tire. The motor uses the newest in printed disk technology and is a 24-volt DC brush permanent magnet motor. It utilizes a steel primary/secondary gear system with a unique shock absorbing motor-to-gear coupler. The brake is a friction disk type brake, which is electrically disengaged (at 24 volts DC) by the PWM (pulse-width-modulator) controller as power is applied to the motor. The rotating aluminum hub, with a bonded non-marking tire, encases all of the motor's components.
Equipped with a variable speed control, the vehicle can reach a maximum speed of four mph. It has a zero turning radius up to 360º. Because the steering crank handle can rotate 340º, it allows the user to travel in reverse and to make a zero-degree turn. Standard speed for the Browser is set at 4.4 miles per hour. Should the customer desire it, top speed can be reduced without any compromise on load capacity. This feature is a result of a special motor compensation feature of the drive, which senses the back EMF of the motor, and adjusts the Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) of the controller to insure maximum voltage is applied, even though top speed is not.
Turner explains, “The 45-amp, ‘S-Drive’ PWM controller from PG Drives Technology meets the criteria we set for the Browser's controller; compact, programmable, on-board diagnostic capabilities, standard connectors and meets with many international approvals. Its compact size made it easy to position in the upright column of the Browser.” “The programmable feature of the controller made variable speed control and a zerodegree turning radius easily attainable. When turning, the controller reduces power to the motor, thus slowing the Browser for a safer turn. The controller also responds to either side of the finger grip throttles with the forward function.”
The Browser uses two 12-volt, 18-amp-hour, sealed lead-acid batteries. The batteries, which fit into the tray under the floorboard, lie on their sides without damage or affect on performance. Their weight and placement give the Browser a low center of gravity. “A special low voltage sensor in the charger will send ‘pulses’ of voltage to wake up a battery that has been over discharged, insuring maximum battery life,” said Turner.
The most obvious difference between the Browser and other stand-up vehicles is that the Browser does not rely on computer-driven gyroscopes to maintain balance. Its targeted application does not necessitate those features. The Browser is a “back to basics” machine that uses the laws of physics to balance on its three wheels. Turner commented, “This unit is not designed for the mobility-impaired. It requires full use of arms and legs. Because there are no gyroscopic ‘balancing devices’, ramps are not recommended.”
The Browser is designed for commercial, institutional and industrial usage. It is designed to move people and cargo while reducing fatigue and increasing productivity. It is aimed at large warehouses, retail stores (for stocking), amusement parks, public safety and anywhere it is necessary to travel long distances in a short time. A universal hitch for the Browser is being developed, so that it can tow. For example, warehouses would benefit from being able to tow pallet loads.
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