US 3103396 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 10,-1963 A. J. PORTNOY 3,
MOVING SHELF DISPLAY CASE Filed April 5, 1962 l l f INVENTOR ALLEN J. PORTNOY ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,103,396 MOVING SHELF DISPLAY EASE Allen J. Portnoy, St. Louis, Mo., assignor to Blair Displays, Inc, a corporation of Missouri Filed Apr. 5, 1962, Ser. No. 185,41e 3 Claims. (Cl. 312-426) My invention relates in general to the design and provision of a motor-driven set of shelves which can be adapted for use in many kinds of display cases and showcases for the display of a great variety of articles.
One of the principal objects of my invention is to provide an arrangement of motor-driven shelves in which the set of shelves in a given cabinet or case is divided into two classes, the first, third, fifth and so on being in one class, and the second, fourth, sixth and so on being in another class. By means of my motor drive I move one class of shelves to the front or viewing side of the showcase, while the other class of shelves remains at least partially hidden. Then I move the first class to a partially hidden position and move the other class of shelves to the front or viewing side of the showcase. This complete cycle is repeated continuously while the showcase is on display.
A further object of my invention is to provide a reciprocating motion for the shelves as described above, but further arranged so that each class of shelves when presented in the viewing position, will remain or dwell there for a relatively longer period in that position, and then move relatively rapidly to the rearward or partially hidden position. Thus the other set of shelves, which formerly remained for the relatively longer period in the hidden position is then moved forward rapidly to the viewting position and it then remains or dwells there for a relatively longer period of time. Thus the period of travel or displacement to the next positions is accomplished relatively rapidly, whereas the period of time in the position of viewing, as well as that of being hidden, is relatively longer than the period of moving, to those positions.
Another object of my invention is to provide a simple, efficient sliding shelf arrangement which can be driven rreciprocably by a drive mechanism which is foolproof and fault-free.
A still further object of my invention is to provide a simple, rugged drive mechanism which uses a friction member to accomplish the reciprocable driving motions of the shelves. Such a mechanism is best designed so that if there is any interference of objects or parts, the drive mechanism will slip and not be in tight, forced engagement which would result in bending or distorting parts.
An additional object of my invention is to provide a friction drive mechanism for my sliding shelves system in which any interference of parts will be self-correcting on the next half cycle of the drive operation.
These and additional objects of my invention revealed herein will more clearly appear to those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part of the present specification, wherein like characters of reference designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of a pair of associated shelves; and
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of my motordriven shelving arrangement in a display case.
In FIGURE 1, the right Wall of the display case is given the numeral 1 and the left wall is numbered 2.. Mounted on wall 1 by means of the bolts 3 are the supporting rails 3, i fi33 96 Patented Sept. 10, 1963 4 of channel section. The rails are formed of extrusions and are provided with the legs 5 which are conformed to provide outwardly opposing ball races or ways 6 and 7.
The slide channels 8 and 9 are also formed of we trusions. At their right side in FIGURE 1 they are seen to be formed into the shape of a letter C. The top and the bottom of the right portion of their shape passes over and around the ball bearings 10', 1 1 and 12, 13 respectively.
Thus the top of slide channel 8 holds the ball bearing 10 against the race way 6 on the upper leg 5 of the upper rail, while the bottom portion of the slide channel 8 holds the ball bearing 11 against the race way 7 on the lower leg of the upper rail. Similarly the top of slide channel 9 holds the ball bearing '12 against the raceway 6 on the upper leg of the lower rail associated with it, while the bottom portion of the slide channel 9 holds the ball bearing 13 against the race way 7 on the 'lower leg of the lower rail.
On the left sides in FIGURE 1 of the slide channels 8 and 9 are seen the extension legs 14, 15, and 16, 17 respectively. Between the legs 14, 15 of slide channel 3 is disposed the plate glass shelf 18. Between the legs 16, 17 of slide channel 9 is disposed the plate glass shelf 19.
At the opposite end of shelf 18 is the C-channel 20, likewise an extrusion. C-channel 20 rides upon a ball bearing 21 or a set of such ball bearings which rests in the race way 22. in the shelf support rail 23. Similarly the left end portion of shelf 19 in FIGURE 1 is seen to be contained in the =C-channel 24. C-ehannel 24 rides upon a ball bearing 25 which rests in the race way 26 in the shelf support rail 27.
The shelf support rails 23 and 27 are disposed in slots in the left side wall 2. of the display case. The right and left ends of the plate glass shelves 18 and 19 are maintained in their respective positions in their associated extrusions by means of an epoxy cement shown at 28.
Between the slide channels 8 and 9 and in frictional contact with both slide channels is the rubber drive wheel 29. This drive wheel is mounted rotatably on the shaft 30. The shaft 30 is in turn mounted in a bearing in the wall 1, through which it extends. On the right side of the wall 1 is mounted on the shaft 30 the sprocket 31. The drive mechanism can best be understood with reference to FIGURE 2. In FIGURE 2 it will be seen that there are two pairs of shelves, each associated with a rubber drive wheel 29 and 32. The four shelves are divided into two sets which differ from the pairs, that is the pairs associated with the wheels. The pair associated with the upper rubber drive wheel 29 are numbered 18 and 19. The pair associated with the lower drive wheel 32 are numbered 33 and 34.
The sets however are different. Shelf 18 and shelf 33 constitute a set; similarly shelf 19 and shelf 34 constitute a set. It will be noted that the drive wheel 32 is set a little further to the right in the FIGURE 2 than the drive wheel 29. Consequently the pair of shelves 33 and 34 move a little differently from the pair 18 and 19. Similarly the sprocket 35 is chosen appropriately smaller than the sprocket 31. Sprocket 35 is shown in dotted lines behind the rubber drive wheel 32 in FIGURE 2. The reason for the sprocket 35 being smaller is that the shelves 33 and 34 must move through a greater distance than the shelves 18 and 19. Also it will be noted that the shelves form a slanted relationship to correspond to the slanted front of the display case. The front glass of the display case is 36. The rear of the case is provided with the two customary sliding doors 37 and 38.
The drive mechanism consists of a motor 39 in the bottom of the display case. The motor drives a rocker arm 40, and through it a drive sprocket 41. A chain 42, shown in FIGURE 2, passes around the drive sprocket 41, the upper sprocket 31 and the lower sprocket 35.
In operation the motor is started. The rocker arm 40 is in the full line position. The shelves are all in their full line positions. As the motor rotates, the rocker arm moves to the position 40, the dotted line position. As this happens, the shelves quickly move to their dotted line positions 18', 19' and 33, 34. Because of the rocker arm action the shelves dwell at the extremities of their movements. Thus I prefer to have them dwell for about fifteen seconds or twenty seconds at the extreme right and left of FIGURE 2. However the movement to the left and the right extreme positions is accomplished in about three or five seconds. This is accomplished by the proper choice of motor speed and size of drive sprocket.
It will be noted that as the rubber drive wheels 29 and 32 rotate, each moves both shelves in its associated pair in opposite directions. The shelf 18 in FIGURE 2 moves to the right with clockwise motion of the drive wheel, while at the same time the shelf 19 moves to the left. This situation is due to the fact that the shelves are disposed on opposite sides of the drive wheels.
For the same motion shelf 33 moves to the right with clockwise motions of the drive wheel and the shelf 34 moves to the left in FIGURE 2. Consequently the set of shelves I8 and 33 move together to the right while the set of shelves 19 and 34 move to the left.
It will be also noted that the sprocket 31 is larger than the friction wheel 29, whereas the sprocket 35 is smaller than the friction wheel 32, which is the same size as friction drive wheel 29. Consequently for a given rotation of the drive sprocket 41 and a given motion of the chain 42, the sprocket 35 rotates through a greater angle than the sprocket 31. Since the associated drive wheels 29 and 32 are the same size, that is in diameter, the lower pair of shelves 33-, 34 move through a greater distance than the upper pair of shelves 1% and 19.
In their full line positions the shelves 19 and 34 are presented at their extreme right positions for viewing from the front of the glass 36. After a half cycle of movement these shelves have been moved to the rear, or the left in FIGURE 2, and the shelves 18 and 33 have moved to the dotted line positions 18 and 33' where they are viewed to the best advantage.
In the event that an article on one of the shelves falls against the side or against the front glass and is wedged in position, the shelf on which that article is wedged will merely slide instead of rolling with the frictionally engaged drive wheel which drives that shelf. This resulting slide action will continue until the direction of travel of the shelf which is wedged is reversed. At that point the drive wheel will again grip the shelf and pull that shelf away from the wedged position and thus correct the wedged arrangement. In this manner it is impossible to damage the driving mechanism by the use of wedged articles or similar accidental arrangements.
It will be noted that there is no contained arrangement of ball hearings in extrusions on the left side of FIGURE 1, in other words, the structural arrangement of the right side is not duplicated on the left. This results in reduction of structure required to accomplish the objects of the invention. In addition it will be noted that all the driving of the mechanism is from one side, so that all drive wheels are located on one side. This does not result in any cocking action of the shelving, and the left side in FIGURE 1 does not lag behind the right side when driven. 7
Of course I prefer to build my several varieties of display cabinets embodying the present invention, with more than four shelves, that i with more than two sets of two shelves each. I prefer to have six or eight shelves. I arrange them so that for the six shelf case, three alterl nate shelves move forward at a time. For the eight shelf case, I have four alternate shelves move forward at a time. I
Although I have herein shown and described only one embodiment of my invention, it is to be understood that various changes, modifications and variations may be made in the size of the sprockets, the arrangement of the rocker arm, and the like which will be within the scope of the invention and I prefer the definition of my invention to be expressed most fully in the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
1. In a display cabinet, provided with two side walls and a front glass, a pair of rails, an upper and a lower mounted on a first side wall, a pair of legs on each rail, an upper and a lower, each of which forms a raceway, a set of ball bearings in each of said raceways, two slide channels one associated with each of said rails, a C-shaped means on each slide channel disposed to cooperate with said sets of ball bearings in the raceways on each rail, two extension legs on each slide channel, a pair of shelves one end of each of which is disposed in each slide channel between said extension legs, a C-channel mounted on the other end of each of said shelves, a pair of shelfsupport rails on the second side wall, a set of ball bearings disposed in a raceway formed in each of said shelfsupport rails and slidably cooperative with said C-channel, a friction drive wheel disposed between said two slide channels and reciprocably engaging both of said channels, a rotatable shaft on which said drive wheel is mounted and which extends through said first side wall, a sprocket on said shaft, a drive sprocket associated with said sprocket, a chain drive connecting said two sprockets, and a motor and rocker arm connected to said drive sprocket to reciprocably move said pair of shelves back and forth toward and away from said front glass of said display cabinet.
2. In a display cabinet provided with side walls and a front glass, a pair of rail in the form of extrusions, an upper and a lower, mounted on one side wall, a pair of legs on each rail, an upper and a lower, each of said legs forming a raceway, a set of ball bearings in each of said two r aceways, a pair of slide channels one associated with each of said rails, a G-shaped means on one side of each slide channel disposed to cooperate with said two sets of ball bearings in the race-ways on each rail, two extension legs on the other side of each slide channel, a pair of shelves, one end of each of which is mounted .in each slide channel between the pair of extension legs, a C-channel mounted on the other end of each of said shelves, a pair of shelf-support rails mounted on the other side wall, a raceway formed in each of said shelfsupport rails, a set of ball bearings disposed in said raceway and slidably cooperative with said C-channel, a friction drive wheel disposed between said two slide channels and reciprocably engaging both of said channels, a rotatable shaft on which said drive wheel is mounted and which extends through said first side wall, a sprocket integrally mounted on said shaft, a drive sprocket associated with said sprocket, a chain drive connecting said two sprockets, and a motor and rocker arm connected to said drive sprocket to reciprocably drive said pair of shelves back and forth toward and away from said front glass in said display cabinet.
3. In a display cabinet, provided with side walls and a front glass, a pair of rails, an upper and a lower in the form of extrusions mounted on one side wall, a pair of legs on each rail, an upper and a lower, each of which forms a raceway, a set of ball bearings in each of said two raceways, a pair of slide channels one associated with each of said rails, a C-shaped means on one side of each slide channel disposed to cooperate with said two sets of ball bearings in the raceways on each rail, two extension legs on the other side of each slide channel, a pair of shelves one end of each of which is disposed in each slide channel between said extension legs, a
C-channel mounted on the other end of each shelf, a pair of shelf-support rails adjacent said C-cha-nnels on the other side wall, a raceway formed in each shelf-support channel, a set of ball bearings disposed in each race- Way in said shelf-support rails and slidably cooperative 5 with each of said C-channels, a rubber drive, Wheel disposed between said two slide channels and reciprocably engaging :both of said channels, a. rotatable shaft on which said drive wheel is mounted, a sprocket mounted on said shaft, said shaft being mounted rotatably on said first wall, a drive sprocket mounted on said wall and associated with said sprocket, a chain drive connecting said two sprockets, and a motor and rocker arm connected to said drive sprocket to reciprocably move said pair of 6 shelves towards and away from said front glass in said display cabinet.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 760,581 Strumpf May 24, 1904 1,245,203 Dodson Nov. 6, 1917 1,293,501 Ohlson Feb. 4, 1919 2,545,575 Gauvreau Mar. 20, 19511 FOREIGN PATENTS 6,657 Great Britain of 1912, 14,724 Great Britain of 1884 229,384 Switzerland Jan. 17, 1944