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Publication numberUS2166704 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1939
Filing dateMar 10, 1937
Priority dateMar 14, 1936
Also published asUS2174260
Publication numberUS 2166704 A, US 2166704A, US-A-2166704, US2166704 A, US2166704A
InventorsFoulkes Thomas Edward
Original AssigneeFoulkes Thomas Edward
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means for storing articles in warerooms
US 2166704 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 18, 1939. 115; ou s 2,156,704

MEANS FOR STORING ARTICLES In VIAREROOHS Filed March 10, 1837 i 2 sheets sheet'l J Haj Z By MSAZzOrW -WQ Um &

July 18, 1939.. T. E. FOULKES v 5 HEARS FOR STORING ARTICLES IN WAREROOKS Filed March 10, 1937 2 Sheets$haet 2 m enlor; wf

511 ms Atiorne yx Patented July 18, 1939 UNITED STATES MEAN 8 FOR STORING ARTICLES IN WAREROOMS Thomas Edward Foulkes, London, England Application March 10,

1937, Serial No. 130,065

In Great Britain March 14, 1936 7 Claims.

The industrial activities antecedent to the retail purchase of domestic and like commodities may be devided into four classes or sections, namely production, transport, distribution and storage. This is especially so in a large self-contained organization such as the co-operative movement.

During recent years, the rates of production, transport and distribution have been accelerated considerably and the stream of goods flowing into and out of the storage departments has increased, both in its volume and in rate.

It is found, as a consequence, that the hitherto known methods of storage in which the goods are placed on fixed shelves in presses or parallel rows with a gangway between them, are inadequate to deal with the increased rate of flow of goods without requiring increased storage space and increased staffs for handling the goods, all of which means increased running costs for those departments.

The object of this invention is to provide a method of storing goods whereby within a given volume of space an increased quantity of goods may be located, and whereby such goods will be in a mobile or mechanised state so that their flow into and out of the storage departments which have not been increased in size may keep pace with the accelerated production, transport and distribution.

According to the invention, the articles to be stored are mounted on carrier-members or units arranged in rows, the rows being close together, and the carrier members in all the rows, or in all but one of the rows being capable of movement along their respective rows so that any of the carrier members may be exposed to view at will, for inspection of or removal and replacement of the goods.

Usually the rearmost row of carrier members will be stationary, and may consist of one continuous unit, of a length exceeding the combined lengths (widths) of the units in the next foremost row at least by the width of the widest of such units. The rows of units in front of the rearmost row may all have the same number of units, or each succeeding row may have one or more less than the next behind it, or every pair or other number of rows may have one or more members less than the next pair etc. behind it.

It is not necessary that the total Width of the units in the rearmost row should be greater than that of the units in the other rows, provided there is at least sufiicient space in all the rows for movement of the units to places such that any of them is exposed to view from the front.

When the rearmost row is to be stationary, and is to be erected in a Warehouse or the like where pillars are present for supporting the floor above, such rearmost row may be built in between the pillars. In such cases, and in other cases also, say for instance down the centre of a shop, two sets of rows of units may be arranged back to back, the centre row constituting the rearmost row of each set and having its units open on both sides.

In the preferred arrangements of the carrier members, in all but the rearmost row, and when intended merely for storage, all the units will be of the same width, and they will all be spaced away from each other, the alternate spaces being equal to the width of a unit, and the intermediate spaces being of less width, say equal to one half the width of a unit. With such arrangement, it possible for the warehousemen whilst pulling any unit into the full Width space, to push the one in front in the opposite direction, into the half width space, and the reaction which is thus made possible, greatly increases the facility with which the unit may be made accessible.

According to a further feature of the invention, means are provided for the mechanical movement of the units to and fro in their rows.

In all cases, brake mechanism can be applied to the units, to prevent their accidental movement.

The units will usually be provided with handles or hand holes to facilitate their being moved, which handles may be part of the brake mechanism, and will have buffers or the like on their ends to minimise any shock of collision. Such buffers will also serve to prevent the units coming too close together and trapping the users hands.

The invention may also include means for facilitating the recording or indicating of stocks carried by the units. According to one feature for this purpose, there is provided on one or both vertical front edges of the unit a cork or like strip into which pins may be stuck to affix notes etc. According to another feature for the same purpose, the front edges of the shelves are perforated to receive small tabs, the perforations being numbered and the position of the tab indicating the number, quantity or value of goods on that particular shelf. Tabs of dilferent colours may be added for diiferent purposes, for instance, a red tab may indicate that stocks are becoming dangerously low and require renewing.

Again there may be distinctive colourings on the ends of the units to indicate the nature of the goods, such as strips, or coloured panels, or the units themselves being differently coloured for different goods. Alternatively, according to a further feature for the purpose of recording stocks, there may be a sliding indicator arranged to be moved across the front edge of a shelf and to be positioned opposite any desired number or other indication, the slide preferably having friction means to prevent accidental displacement.

In a warehouse the tracks or rails may have small notches into Which the rollers of the units will fit so as to locate them in the normal stationary positions and each unit may have a number at the top, the number plates being staggered so that all can be seen at once and a chart may be provided at the end of a bank of units showing the position of the members and the nature of the goods contained therein.

When desired the units, instead of being integral with their wheeled bases may be separate therefrom, and the same base or bogie serve for different units.

In the accompanying drawings, various examples of construction of apparatus are shown to illustrate the invention:

Fig. 1 is a plan of a ware-room fitted with storage racks according to the usual system hitherto known, and having 49 bays or units;

Fig. 2 is a plan of the same ware-room fitted with mobile storage apparatus according to this invention, in which '71 bays or units, of the same size, are provided, whilst leaving adequate room for a truck and for general operations;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a steel unit or carrier member for use according to this invention;

Fig. 4 is a similar view of an undercarriage or bogies for such units;

Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic plan of a further layout of storage units, accessible from both sides, with the centre row built in between fixed pillars of the building;

Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic elevation to illustrate one means for automatically traversing the units shown in Fig. 3;

Fig. 7 is a diagrammatic elevation to illustrate another means for mechanically traversing the units shown in Fig. 3;

Fig. 8 is an end view of an alternative construction of unit; and

Fig. 9 is a plan of a further lay-out of units, in which those in the front row may be transferred to the back row and vice versa.

Fig. 10 illustrates one method of recording stocks.

Comparing Figs. 1 and 2 it will be seen that each has a row of fixed stationary units a around three sides of the room, whilst the arrangement in Fig. 2 also includes further rows of movable units b, such units moving on rails 0. Each row I) however has a space d equal in width at least to one unit, whereby all the units of the rows 0. can be made accessible as and when required by the units b being moved along their rails. The increase of storage capacity is from 49 bays to 71, and is equal to 44.9%. If desired. and especially in larger rooms than that shown, a second row of movable units may be provided in front of any of the rows a, and such second row may contain the same number of units as the first movable row, or a smaller number. The drawings are intended mainly to be diagrammatic and in no way intended to limit the relative sizes, shapes, and numbers of units. Where the units are comparatively thin, say in the case of a library, where they would carry books, there may be a number of movable rows with any desired sequence of decrease in the number of units in a row, and with either a regular or an irregular order of decrease. If the two tracks 0 are crossed in a corner, as shown in Fig. 2, the same space (1 may serve for two rows at right angles to each other, and another unit a inserted in one of the rows.

Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate one form of unit which has been found suitable in a wholesale stationery warehouse. It consists of a metal underframe e carried on four wheels f, which run on the rails c. To the underframe e are secured two side walls g, which are connected together by a top piece g and shelves 9 the side walls being adapted to receive the shelves in a number of alternative positions. A back wall may be provided if required, or in its place an arrangement of crossed metal strips may be provided, as is known in stationary steel ofiice shelving.

Where the goods to be stored are heavy, the units may have more than four wheels, and may run on more than two rails.

In Fig. 5 an arrangement of units is illustrated suitable for a warehouse or the like where pillars or columns are present, to support the next floor above. As shown, the row of fixed units a is built in between the pillars h, the movable rows b being on each side of the fixed row. In this arrangement also, an intermediate space i is left between certain of the units, of less width than the spaces 01 (although they could be of the same width). As explained above, the provision of the intermediate spaces facilitates the moving of the units as the operator can pull against a unit in one row whilst pushing against that in front of it, in the next row.

Fig. 9 shows a still further lay-out of units, where there is a double row of fixed units a, and a row of movable units 2), on each side, the tracks c for the units b merging together at each end so that units may be shunted from one row to another. Any other arrangement of tracks may be provided, with or without switch points, for transferring units from row to row. For example, the track 0 may be continuous, having semi-circular ends.

The underframe e may be made as a standard member adapted to receive removable, interchangeable containers such as the skip or trough 9 shown in Fig. 8. These, when intended for the storage of light-weight, bulky goods, may overhang the underframe. As also shown, in Fig. 8, the wheels f on the centre rail may be of slightly larger diameter than those on the outer rails. Alternatively, the wheels may be of the same size and either the third rail be slightly higher than the others, or the axles of the centre wheels be slightly lower than the others.

One method of automatically moving the units of shelving constructed according to this invention is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 6. An endless conveyor s mounted below the units carries spring-pressed projections s adapted to meet similarly but oppositely set tongues l on the units 9. The springs are of a strength such that I timiiwtmwww journey, the springs I would be the ones to yield upon the units y being obstructed.

The projections s and Z may be in a number of different planes, to prevent fouling with each other, and may be adjustable to various positions to vary the order of movement of the units.

If the movable units are carried on an inclined track 12, they will run back by gravity as soon as released by the conveyor, and in such case the conveyor could run continuously in the same direction.

Fig. 7 illustrates diagrammatically a method of mechanically moving the units of a ware-room. The constantly driven endless rope or like member 1) passes through two fixed brackets w at the foot of the unit, and a movable bracket to mounted on a hand operated bar w By raising or depressing the bracket w the rope is gripped and caused to draw the unit along. Other methods of moving the units mechanically may be adopted. For example, a retractable friction surface on the unit may be pressed into contact with a like surface on a conveyor band. There may be a second rope v moving in the opposite direction, with separate connecting means therefor on the unit.

The units a, see Fig. 3, will have buffers a to prevent damage to each other, and will have handles such as o The size of the buffers will be such as to avoid the trapping of the users hands between adjacent units.

Referring now to Fig. 10, one method of recording or indicating the contents of the units is illustrated. To the front edge of the side wall g is secured a cork or like strip 9 held in a channel member g, into which strip pins or the like may be stuck to hold notices or other papers. Further, a similar channel g is secured to the front edge of the shelf, containing a numbered strip g and a movable indicator o As previously stated, other means may be adopted for denoting the contents of the shelves.

When several units such as the one shown in Fig. 3 are bolted together to form a single combined unit, they may have a single underframe, or some of the rollers of the combined underframe may be omitted.

What I claim is:

l. A storeroom construction adapted for the compact storage of merchandise comprising a floor, a series of fixed storage units on said floor, each of said units having a plurality of shelves and having a front opening, the sides of the adjacent units being in lateral contact, whereby all of said units are accessible from the front, a second series of similar units parallel to said first series located substantially in contact therewith with the backs of said second series adjacent to the front openings of said first series, said second series being less in extent by at least one unit and being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of the first series.

2. A storeroom construction adapted for the compact storage of merchandise comprising a substantially rectangular floor, a plurality of walls at right angles, a series of fixed storage units along each of said walls on said floor, each of said units having a plurality of shelves and having a front opening, the backs of said units being along said walls with the adjacent units in lateral contact, whereby all of said units are ac cessible from the front, a second series of similar units parallel to said first series located substantially in contact therewith with the backs of said second series adjacent to the front openings of said first series, said second series being less in extent by at least one unit and being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of the first series.

3. A storeroom construction adapted for the compact Storage of merchandise comprising a substantially rectangular fioor, a plurality of walls at right angles, a series of fixed storage units along each of said walls, each of said units having a plurality of shelves and having a front opening, the backs of said units being along said walls with the adjacent units in lateral contact, whereby all of said units are accessible from the front, a second series of similar units parallel to said first series located substantially in contact therewith with the backs of said second series adjacent to the front openings of said first series, said second series being less in extent by at least one unit and being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of the first series, there being also an additional space equal to at least one unit at those corners of said fioor where two such series meet.

4. A construction according to claim 1 wherein in an adjacent part of said floor spaced from said series of units there are placed two rows of storage units back to back and having front openings, said rows being parallel to said series, and a passageway between said rows and series.

5. A storeroom construction adapted for the compact storage of merchandise comprising a floor, supporting spaced pillars thereon, a series of fixed storage units substantially filling the space between said pillars, each of said units having a plurality of shelves and having a front opening, the adjacent units bing in lateral contact and arranged with said front openings in alignment, whereby all of said units are accessible from the front, a second series of units similarly arranged parallel to said first series and located substantially in contact therewith with the backs of said second series adjacent to the front openings of said first series, said second series being entirely in front of said spaced pillars and being less in extent than the width of said first series plus said pillars by at least one unit, said second series being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of the first series.

6. A storeroom construction adapted for the compact storage of merchandise comprising a substantially rectangular fioor, a plurality of opposed walls in substantially parallel relationship, a series of fixed storage units along each of said walls on said fioor, each of said units having a plurality of shelves and having a front opening, the backs of said units being along said walls with the adjacent units in lateral contact, whereby all of said units are accessible from the front, a second series of similar units parallel to said first series located substantially in contact therewith with the backs of said second series adjacent to the front openings of said first series, said second series being less in extent by at least one unit and being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of the first series.

'7. A storeroom construction adapted for the compact storage of merchandise comprising a fioor, a row of fixed storage units having openings on both front and back and located in a central portion of said floor and with the units of each row in lateral contact, front openings on said rows of units facing in opposite directions, said units each having a plurality of shelves, a

series of similar units parallel to said rows 10- cated with the backs thereof substantially in contact with one of said rows, said series being less in extent than its adjacent row by at least one unit and being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of its adjacent row, a second series of similar units parallel to said rows and located with the backs thereof substantially in contact with the other of said rows, said second series being less in extent than its adjacent row by at least one unit and being mounted for lateral movement to expose any one of the units of its adjacent row.

THOMAS EDWARD FOULKES.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2706573 *Mar 5, 1952Apr 19, 1955Hans IngoldSafety means for storage devices
US2762515 *Aug 29, 1952Sep 11, 1956Ingold HansGarage structures and similar storage devices
US2915195 *Dec 23, 1955Dec 1, 1959Sedgwick Machine Works IncStorage systems
US3052415 *Dec 2, 1958Sep 4, 1962Hans IngoldStorage assembly
US3198592 *Dec 19, 1963Aug 3, 1965Alfred Zippel GeorgApparatus for effecting the shifting of shelf or cabinet units for filing systems
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US5943967 *Nov 14, 1997Aug 31, 1999Morgan Marshall Industries, Inc.Mobile pharmacy shelving
US6112917 *Nov 23, 1998Sep 5, 2000Denstor Mobile Storage Systems, Inc.Moveable file storage supporting apparatus
US7124902 *Sep 24, 2004Oct 24, 2006I Jang Industrial Co.,Ltd.Rack with linear guide
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US7484631Nov 16, 2004Feb 3, 2009Nenger CorporationModular storage system for logistical management of operational units
US7963533Mar 16, 2007Jun 21, 2011Wenger CorporationAll-terrain retail merchandising unit
US20120104918 *Mar 18, 2011May 3, 2012Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Data center
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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/199, 312/201, 312/198
International ClassificationA47B53/02, A47B53/00, A47F10/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B53/02, A47F10/00
European ClassificationA47F10/00, A47B53/02