US 20020153814 A1
A storage cabinet for electronic components. The storage cabinet is made up of removably attachable components including: a rectangular base, a rectangular vertical front frame, a rectangular vertical rear frame, a pair of side walls, a rectangular cover, a door hingedly connected to the front frame, and a door hingedly connected to the rear frame. Four apertures vertical support bars are adjustably mounted on the inner sides of side frames for supporting the electronic components. The side walls are mechanically interlocked with the front and rear frames. The side walls are secured to the base and cover by nuts and bolts.
1. A storage cabinet for electronic components comprising:
(a) a rectangular supporting base having a front end, a rear end, a left end and a right end;
(b) a rectangular top wall having a front end, a rear end, a left end and a right end;
(c) a rectangular left wall having a top end connected to the left end of said top wall and a lower end connected to the left end of said supporting base;
(d) a rectangular right wall having an upper end connected to the right end of said top wall and a lower end connected to the right end of said supporting base;
(e) a rectangular rear frame extending vertically from the rear end of said supporting base to the rear end of said top wall, said rear from being securely retained by said supporting base, said top wall, said left wall and said right wall;
(f) a rectangular front frame extending vertically from the front end of said supporting base to the front end of said top wall, said front frame being securely retained by said supporting base, said top wall, said left wall and said right wall, said front frame having a rectangular front opening;
(g) a door mounted on said front frame at said front opening for movement between an open position and a closed position; and
(h) fixtures mounted within said cabinet for supporting electrical components.
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 This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of prior U.S. Provisional Application No. 601256,816 filed Dec. 19, 2000: which is hereby incorporated by reference.
 This invention has been created without the sponsorship or funding of any federally sponsored research or development program.
 This present invention is directed to a supporting apparatus for holding and storing a large number of electronic components of the type generally referred to as “rack mounted”. These electronic components which typically include computers, network servers, electronic network components, such as routers, bridges, switches and hubs, and computer storage devices, are generally configured so that numerous of the components can be stored in a common storage system. The electronic components have flanges extending to the right and left of the front face of the component so that the component can be bolted to the supporting apparatus to locate the device in the component within the supporting apparatus.
 A typical supporting apparatus for holding and storing electronic components is a vertically extending rectangular frame into which the individual electronic components can be bolted. The frame is supported by two horizontal feet which extends forward and rearward of the frame.
 A variation of the basic frame for supporting and storing electronic components is referred to in the trade as a “double-sided component rack”. In the storage rack version of the storage frame, a second rectangular frame component is positioned parallel to and rearwardly of the first frame. This enables the back ends of the electronic components to be held in position to provide a more stable system for storing the components. Also, the rear frame is adjustable relative to the front frame to selectively change the distance between the two frame components.
 A still further variation of the basic frame concept is a supporting apparatus known as a “component cabinet”. The cabinet enables the electronic components to stored within a container for securing and cleanliness purposes. Traditionally, these cabinets are made from a Mig/Tig welded frame with the structural elements running vertical along the four corners and horizontal around the base and top. The doors and sides then fasten into openings on all four sides. This Mig/Tig welding process is slow and expensive. Once the cabinet is welded, it is bulky to store, more difficult to paint and more expensive to ship.
 The traditional forms of supporting apparatus for holding electronic components were designed to minimize the cost of shipping in the so-called “knocked down” condition, that is, the supporting apparatus was manufactured in a totally disassembled state, shipped to the site of use, and then assembled on the site. The reasonableness of the traditional designs for the supporting apparatus, which were primarily “bolt-together” designs, was that the cost of shipping was relatively high, and the availability of low cost assembly personnel at the installation site was assumed and typical. Furthermore, the dynamics of the installation process and facilities were such that the time required to construct the storage systems at the installation site did not interfere with other scheduling.
 One of the things that has happened in recent times in connection with the market for electronic component storage is that the market has become dominated by large component facilities which typically represent the computer equipment facility for a large computer network, or sometimes represent worldwide global network servers for providing web page service. Another major application is large computer data storage warehouses which are facilities filled with electronic computer storage devices which can be accessed using networks. These type of facilities typically involve huge numbers of electronic components all of which have to be appropriately supported and wired together. The process of assembling the supporting apparatus and securing the electronic components typically involves relatively highly paid technicians who are primarily involved in the installation of the electronic computer network equipment and are, therefore, relatively expensive sources of assembly labor. Furthermore, the time table for installing these types of facilities is often very short and the time taken to conduct bolt-together assemblies is sometimes a serious problem. In addition, the clearance in the untapped or unthreaded holes for the bolts very often causes the frame to be out of square when the supporting apparatus is assembled.
 These and other difficulties experienced in the prior art supporting apparatus for holding and storing electronic components have been obviated by the invention.
 It is, therefore, a primary object of the invention to provide a storage cabinet for holding and storing electronic component which can be shipped in a relatively low volume condition, but which can be very easily and quickly assembled at the assembly site.
 In general, the invention consists of a storage cabinet for electronic components. The storage cabinet is made up of removably attachable components including: a rectangular base, a rectangular vertical front frame, a rectangular vertical rear frame, a pair of side walls, a rectangular cover, a door hingedly connected to the front frame, and a door hingedly connected to the rear frame. Four apertures vertical support bars are adjustably mounted on the inner sides of side frames for supporting the electronic components. More specifically, the side walls are mechanically interlocked with the front and rear frames. The side walls are secured to the base and cover by nuts and bolts.
 The character of the invention, however, may be best understood by reference to one of its structural forms, as illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a storage cabinet for electronic components embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the storage cabinet shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the cover component of the storage component;
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the cover viewed from below;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the front frame component of the storage cabinet;
FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the front frame;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the front frame;
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the front frame;
FIG. 9 is a rear elevational view of the door component of the storage cabinet;
FIG. 10 is an isometric view of one of the side wall components of the storage cabinet;
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of one of the side wall;
FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the side wall, looking from inside of the cabinet;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view of the side wall, taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 12 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the base component of the storage cabinet;
FIG. 15 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the base, taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 14 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 16 was a top plan view of one of the support bar components of the storage cabinet;
FIG. 17 is a front elevational view of the support bar of FIG. 16; and
FIG. 18 is a side elevational view of the support bar, looking in the direction of arrow 18 of FIG. 16.
 Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the storage cabinet of the present invention is generally indicated by the reference numeral 20 and is made up of a plurality of component parts which can be assembled and disassembled. The component parts of cabinet 20 comprise a base, generally indicated by the reference numeral 22, a top cover, generally indicated by the reference numeral 24, a front rectangular frame, generally indicated by the reference numeral 26, a rear rectangular frame, generally indicated by the reference numeral 28, a pair of identical side walls, generally indicated by the reference numeral 30, a door 32, and four support bars 34.
 Referring particularly to FIGS. 2, 14, and 15 the base 22 comprises a rectangular vertical wall, generally indicated by the reference numeral 33, reinforced by a plurality of tubular bars. The rectangular vertical wall comprises a front wall portion 35, a rear wall portion 36 and a pair of identical side wall portions 37. The upper portion of each side wall portion 37 has a plurality of horizontal apertures 39. Each side wall portion 37 is reinforced by a tubular bar 40 which has a square cross section. Each of the front and rear wall portions 35 and 36, respectively, is reinforced by a tubular bar 38 which has a rectangular cross section. A vertical cylindrical tube 42 is located in each inside corner where the bars 40 intersect the bars 36 and 38. The bars 40 are fixed to the walls 37, the bars 38 are fixed to the walls 36 and 35, and the tubes 42 are fixed to the bars 38 and 40, i.e., by welding. The tubes 42 are adapted to receive casters 44 in a conventional manner.
 Referring particularly to FIGS. 2-4, the cover 24 has a horizontal planar top wall 46, a vertical front wall 48, vertical rear wall 50 and pair of vertical side walls 52. Each of the side walls 52 has a plurality of holes 54.
 Referring particularly to FIGS. 2, and 6-8, the front rectangular frame 26 comprises a pair of rectangular tubular bars 56 fixed at their upper ends to a upper cross bar 58. The bars 56 are fixed at their lower ends to a lower cross bar 60. Each of the cross bars 58 and 60 is a square tube which is fixed to the side bars 56, i.e., by welding. The upper and lower walls of each of the bars 58 and 60 has an aperture 62 at each end of the bar. The rearwardly facing wall portion 64 of each side bar 56 has a terminal end 66. The outwardly facing side wall portion 68 of each side bar 56 has a free end portion 70 that extends inwardly at a right angle to the wall portion 64 to define with the wall portion 64 a slot 72. The rear frame 28 is identical to the front frame 26.
 Referring particularly to FIGS. 10-13, each side wall 30 comprises a planar vertical wall 74 and a plurality of horizontal tubular bars 84 fixed, i.e. by welding, to the inwardly facing side of the wall 74. The wall 74 has an L-shaped flange, generally indicated by the reference numeral 76, along each side edge of the wall 74. Each flange 76 consists of first portion that extends transversely of the wall 74 inwardly of the cabinet and a terminal end 80 that is parallel to the wall 74. Each bar 84 has an elongated slot 86 in the inwardly facing wall of the bar.
 Referring to FIG. 9, the door 32 has a pair of L-shaped hinge pins, generally indicated by the reference numeral 90, slidably mounted in a housings 93 at the upper and lower corners along one side of the door. Each hinge pin 90 has a vertical portion 94 that is biased by a spring, not shown, within the housing so that the terminal end extends beyond the respective upper and lower ends of the door. The opposite end of each pin 90 has horizontal portion 96 which enables to a person to move the pin 90 against the spring bias so that the opposite end of the pin is drawn inwardly of the outer periphery of the door. The door 32 has a bore 88 for receiving a conventional latching mechanism, generally indicated by the reference numeral 89.
 Referring to FIGS. 16-18, there is illustrated one of the support bars 34 commonly referred to in the trade as a “rack mounting angle”. The support bar 34 has a C-shaped cross section and includes a side wall 97, a front wall 99, and a rear wall 98. Each of the rear and front wall of the bar 34 has a plurality of square apertures 100. The side wall 97 has a plurality of spaced apertures 101.
 The four support bars 34 are pre-assembled with the side wall 30 before the cabinet components are shipped to the customer's assembly site. Two of the support bars are positioned against the tubular bar 84 of each side wall 30 so that the bars 34 extend vertically and the front wall 99 of each bar faces forwardly. The apertures 101 are aligned with the slots 86 of the bars 84. This enables the bars 34 to be secured to the bars 84 by extending bolts through the apertures 101 and threading the bolts into flat nuts located within the bars 84. The nuts are wider than the slots 86. This enables the bars 34 to be fastened by the bolts in fixed positions relative to the side walls 30. However, the bars 34 can be adjusted rearwardly and forwardly to any desired position relative to the side walls 30 by loosening the bolts.
 The components of the storage cabinet 20 can be packed in a relatively small container for shipment to an installation site. The cabinet 20 is assembled at the site by positioning the front and rear rectangular frames 26 and 28, respectively, on top of the bar 38 so that the walls 64 of the vertical bars 56 face toward each other as shown in FIG. 2. The side walls 30 are coupled with the frames 26 and 28 by positioning each side wall so that the bottom edge of the side wall is vertically aligned with the top edges of the frames 26 and 28 parallel with the side wall portions 37 of the base 22. The first portions 78 of the flanges 76 are inserted into the slots 72 so that the terminal ends 80 of flanges 76 are inside of terminal ends 70 of walls 68. The side walls 30 are then moved downwardly relative to the frames 26 and 28 so that the walls 30 are mechanically interlocked with the frames 26 and 28 and the aperture 82 are aligned with the apertures 39.
 The cover 24 is placed on the upper edges of the frames 26 and 28 and the side walls 30 so that the vertical side walls overlap the upper ends of the frames and side walls. The cover is positioned so that the side walls 54 extends along the walls 74 and the apertures 82 are horizontally aligned with the apertures 54. The side walls 30 are secured to the base 22 and the cover 24 by fasteners 83 such as machine screws or nuts and bolts. The door 32 is connected to the front frame 26 by inserting the vertical portions 94 of pins 90 into the vertically opposed apertures 62 at one end of the bars 58 and 60. The apertures 62 at the right side of the frame 26 are utilized for a right-hand door opening. For a left-hand door opening, the door 32 is rotated end over end and the pins 90 are inserted into the apertures 62 at the left-hand ends of the bars 58 and 60.
 The latch 89 is applied to the door 32 and the casters 44 are applied to the tubes 42 to complete the assembly. A second door 32 is applied to the rear frame 28 in the same manner as the application of door 32 to the front frame 26.