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Publication numberUS3468591 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 23, 1969
Filing dateDec 30, 1966
Priority dateJan 10, 1966
Also published asDE1554524A1, DE1947947U
Publication numberUS 3468591 A, US 3468591A, US-A-3468591, US3468591 A, US3468591A
InventorsWodli Emile
Original AssigneeWodli Emile
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Trays or drawers and systems for stacking the same
US 3468591 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

E. WODLI sept. 23, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 30, 1966 F/ M l. @u Wm fm h, ,Q M W l E 1l JU r S \Q d C S fm LA T-J. 1: km, |12 *HI NQ? \1, wl v Q i KE@ l:

V 1 .CJ- r.. Q S .Q T MJQ .num MW MU MMU J. j TH ET w L w 1V a w mw ,w NQ .Q Q vb V. I; Q D\\ Y ,U .w

Sept. 23, 1969 E. woDLl 3,468,591

TRAYS OR DRAWERS AND SYSTEMS FOR STACKING THE SAME Filed Dec. 30, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept. 23, 1969 WQDL. 3,468,591

TRAYS OR DRAWERS AND SYSTEMS FOR STACKING THE SAME Filed Dec. 30, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 404 404 407 C 4 PT Ll 5 /W/ United States Patent O 3,468,591 TRAYS R DRAWERS AND SYSTEMS FOR STACKING THE SAME Emile Wodli, 12 Rue de Wissembourg, Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France Filed Dec. 30, 1966, Ser. No. 606,295

Claims priority, application France, Jan. 10, 1966,

45,360; Apr. 26, 1966, 59,124

Int. Cl. A47b 96/00; F16b 12/00 U.S. Cl. S12-111 9 Claims ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to a system of stackable trays or drawers or the like disposed on at least one column disposed between two columns of caissons, each tray resting by one of its sides on the tray disposed immediately below in the same column and by the other side on a seat belonging to a tray of the adjacent column or to one of the end caissons, an element making it possible to raise the tray disposed above the tray which it is required to withdraw. The invention also relates to a tray or drawer or the like comprising an enclosure, a bearing surface adapted to receive at least the -foot of another tray, means for raising the tray by raising the adjacent tray, and a movable and independent raising element.

The most familar way of storing bulk parts or articles is to dispose them for instance, in categories, in drawers which slide on rails or slideways relatively to a cabinet or the like. A disadvantage of this system is that, since the dimensions imposed by the structure of the cabinet are unchangeable, the volume of the container cannot be made appropriate for the volume of what is contained.

Volume adaptation has been improved by trays being placed one beside another on shelving or racks, so that trays of different width can be used, and therefore, tray width can be chosen in dependence upon the volume to be stored.

A more desirable solution has been to use stacks of stackable `trays without any support shelving and without any slideway or rail. The undoubted advantage which stacks of this kind have so far as volume rationalisation is concerned is accompanied by the considerable disadvantage that, all the trays above the wanted trays must first be removed to pull out any single tray.

In the system columns of stackable storage trays are arranged in juxtaposition and each tray of an immediate column rests by one of its sides on the immediately lower tray in the same column and at the opposite side on a tray of an adjacent column, a raising element making it possible to raise that tray of the intermediate column which is disposed immediately above the tray to be pulled or withdrawn.

A tray adapted to cooperate with similar kinds of tray to form such a system may comprise an enclosure for receiving the articles to be stored, one ofthe enclosure side walls having at the top a bearing surface adpated to support base of at least one other tray, there being means for raising a tray relatively to a different tray in a lower seating and means for raising in the same row the tray adjacent the raised tray.

The term storage tray or drawer is to be understood as denoting any enclosure adapted to receive articles, whatever the forms of such enclosure and the nature of the materials which form it. Crates and bottle racks, baskets, containers and so on are therefore to be considered as trays in this context.

For a. better understanding of the invention reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings wherein:

3,468,591 Patented Sept. 23, 1969 ICC FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating the principle of the invention,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one of the trays which is shown diagrammatically in FIG. l and which has a raising element,

FIG. 3 shows one embodiment of a system of trays,

FIG. 4 shows diagrammatically, a second embodiment, particularly useful for wood crates serving as bottle racks, and

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic View of a third embodiment of a system of trays.

As can be seen from FIG. 1, a system according to the invention comprises a number of adjacent columns E, C, A, B, D formed by trays disposed in a number of horizontal rows, and two vertical Walls MG, MD each adjacent one of the end columns E, D.

Column MG is formed by tubular caissons which are nested one in another, each cassion having a projecting bearing surface PM. Column MD is formed by tubular caissons which are placed one above another and which are nested one in another but which, through the agency of a lateral guide GL, can slide in one another.

As previously stated, each tray must be so disposed as to rest directly or indirectly by one of its sides on the immediately lower tray in the same column and, by its other side, on a bearing surface belong either to a tray on the adjacent column or to one of the end caissons. For instance, the tray D2 rests by way of its left foot on tray B1 of an adjacent column and on tray D1 which is disposed immediately below. Similarly, the extreme left-hand tray E2 rests by its left foot on bearing surface PM of caisson MGl and, on the other side, of tray E1. If it is required, for instance, to remove tray D2 from the end row D, caisson MD3 is raised and in turn raises tray D3 so that tray D2 is freed from all load. Similarly, raising tray A2 releases C1.

Clearly, the raising elemets can vary with the nature, kind and loading of the trays to be handled, from a simple lever introduced between two consecutive trays of the same column, up to more complicated elements comprising mechanical or hydraulic or pneumatic jacks.

A structure intermediate the sample and the complex is satisfactory for all normal usage and will be described with reference to FIG. 2 which refers to a tray of the kind diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. l.

The tray comprises an enclosure adapted to receive the articles to be stored and bounded by a base F, two longitudinal walls PLl, PL2 and two end cheeks or uprights AV, AR. At the top the tray has, on the side of the wall PL1, a bearing surface P bounded by a vertical projection 3 and, on the side of the wall PL2, two parallel vertical projections 2, 4. At the bottom the tray has, projecting below its base, two longitudinal tongues R and 6 on the side of the wall PLI, and on the side of the wall PL2, a runner or foot or the like S which is U-shaped which is oiset from the wall PL2. The bearing surface P is adapted to receive the runner S of the tray which is disposed in the adjacent column and in the next-highest row, and the longitudinal tongue or strip 6 which forms the bearing base of the tray disposed immediately above. The strip or tongue R, when engaged in the runner S, cooperates with projection 5 of runner S to limit lateral movement of the bases during raising.

The strips 2, 4 define a track or the like into which a releasable raising element O may be introduced. The element O takes the form of a fiat rod, for instance, with rounded edges (or a rod of substantially elliptical cross-section) which is introduced between the strips 2 and 4 between the superimposed trays at two different levels. This flat rod has of course an operating handle Om. Rotating rod O from the position shown in chaindotted lines in FIGURE 1 to the position shown in solid lines separates from one another the two superimposed trays or the two consecutive caissons MD.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, each tray comprises an enclosure bounded by a base 300, two longitudinal walls 301, 302, a front upright or the like and a rear upright or the like. Wall 301 has, disposed substantially halfway along its height, a downwardly bent projection R. Similarly, wall 302 is rigidly connected to an upwardly bent projection S so disposed that the bent or curved parts engage with one another. Provided that adequate clearance is left these projections form a kind of articulation enabling one of the adjacent walls to incline relatively to the other. Provided also that the top part of projection S is near the inner part of projection R, it will be readily apparent that a substantially vertical displacement of projection S will raise projection R and therefore the tray to which projection R is rigidly connected.

Disposed at the top of the trays on the side of the wall 301 is a U-shaped rail 303 forming the bearing surface P, while on the side of the wall 302 a second U-member 304 forms a track or guideway or the like for receiving the raising element O. The walls 301, 302 extend below the level of the base 300 to form skids or shoes 305, 306, the skids 305, 306 of two contiguous trays on the same level being carried by the rail 303 of one of the trays of the immediately lower level. Base 300 also has two angle-members 311, 312 which cooperate with the U members 303, 304 to limit transverse movement of a tray relatively to its supporting tray.

The raising element O can be a lever disposed at the top of the tray, on that side thereof which is opposite the bearing surface P (U-member 303) for instance, inside the U-member 304, as just stated. This lever is of the kind hereinbefore described or of a similar kind, such as a rod having ngers adapted to engage, when the lever is rotated, below a part of the base of the tray to be raised, or else a rod resembling a crankshaft.

For instance, to withdraw tray A1 like a drawer without having to handle the other adjacent trays, tray A2 and tray B2 must be raised, since skid or shoe or the like 306 of tray A2 and skid or shoe or the like 305 of tray B2 rests on rail 303 of tray A1. To this end, the raising element O disposed in guideway 304 of tray B1 is operated. The latter raising element raises tray B2 and therefore the tray A2 through the agency of the projections R, S, so that the tray A1 ceases to be loaded by the trays A2, B2.

To prevent overhang on rail 303 beyond the alignment of wall 301 the longitudinal walls 301, 302 are, advantageously inclined parallel to one another.

To retain vertical walls and inter alia in the case of trays which have to withstand heavy loads, the embodiment just described requires special modifications. This is particularly the case with crates serving as bottle racks and inter alia when crates of this kind are made of wood as shown in FIG. 4. The enclosure occupied by the bottles is bounded by two longitudinal walls 401, 402, and base 400, and a front end and a rear end. Wall 401 has an external member 407 which-may have a nosepiece 408 and which forms the projection R. The longitudinal Wall 402 has an outer projecting member 409 forming the projection S; the member 409 has a thickened part 409:1 which, like the nosepiece 408, enables a gap to be left between the contiguous boxes of a single level and forms a tilting line. The members 407-409 can of course be either al1-metal or of metalreinforced wood. A U-member 404 is disposed at the top of wall 402. Base 400 can be formed with a groove 410 adapted to receive the U-member 404 which forms the track or guideway or the like for the raising member O. As shown in FIG. 4, to facilitate the construction of wooden crates the top part can be omitted, the base 400 of two contiguous crates resting directly on the top part of the crate immediately below. Groove 410 cooperates with the U-member 404 of the tray irnmediately below to locate the two superimposed trays.

Operation for this kind of crate is similar to that described with reference to the trays shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment wherein the raising is effected by the top part. Each tray comprises an enclosure adapted to receive the articles for storage and bounded by a base 500, two longitudinalwalls 501, 502 and two end members. The tray has at the top, on the side of the wall 501, an inverted U-shaped skid or runner or the like P5 which projects not only from the top surface of the tray but also from the surface of the wall 501, and on the side of the wall 502 the tray has at the top a vertical tongue 504 which lies in extension of the wall. At the bottom two runners 503, 506 project from the base 500. The top parts of runner P5 serves as bearing member for bases 500 of the two trays of the row immediately above. The element O is disposed between the top part of the end members of the enclosure and the base 500.

If it is required, for instance, to withdraw tray C1, the element O is placed between trays A'1 and A2, so that tray A2 is lifted, the tongue 504 thereof engaging below the U-member of runner P5 of tray C2 to lift the same. Also, side 505 of the latter U-member and the tongue 504 limit relative lateral displacement of the trays A2, C2.

The advantages of this invention over the known systems will be clearly apparent. Without any need for a cabinet to have horizontal bearing structures, the invention provides all the advantages of cabinets with drawers while retaining the advantages of stacks of stackable trays and, more particularly, the possibility of placing trays of different heights at the same horizontal level.

What I claim is:

1. A system of trays comprising a plurality of storage trays stackable in columns and disposed in horizontal rows, each tray comprising an enclosure for receiving articles to be stored therein and having shoes resting on one side on the tray immediately below and on the other side on the tray of the adjacent column, and means for raising each tray from au adjacent tray disposed in the same row.

2. Tray as claimed in claim 1, wherein each tray has a bearing surface in the form of a channel or rail and engages around the shoes of two contiguous trays to limit their relative displacement during tilting.

3. Tray as claimed in claim 1, wherein one of its walls has an outer projection cooperating with a part of an adjacent tray, to enable the trays to be raised relatively to one another.

`4. Tray as claimed in claim 3, wherein the outer projection is disposed at the bottom part of the tray and serves as a shoe on one side to rest on the tray of an adjacent column disposed in a lower row and below the shoe of the adjacent tray.

5. Tray as claimed in claim 3, wherein the outer projection is disposed at the top of the tray and its top surface serves as a seating for the two trays disposed in the row immediately above, and its bottom surface serves as an abutment for a part of an adjacent tray to enable the two trays to be raised relatively to one another.

6. Tray as claimed in` claim 3, wherein each longitudinal wall has an outer projection, the outer projections of each longitudinal wall being staggered vertically relatively to one another so that the projection of any one of the trays can be engaged below the projection of an adjacent tray in order to raise the same, the projections also serving to maintain a spacing between contiguous trays.

7. Tray as claimed in claim 1, wherein the longitudinal walls of each tray are inclined in the same direction.

8. Tray as claimed in claim 1, wherein a U-shaped recess adapted to receive the raising means is disposed at the top of the tray.

9. Tray as claimed in claim 3, particularly for heavy loads or crates or the like, wherein on the side of the 6 outer projection the base of the crates is formed with a 3,107,131 10/ 1963 Lightburn 312--107 groove for the passage of a U-shaped member serving to 3,203,744 8/ 1965 Batke etal 312-111 receive the raising element, thus locating the two trays which are disposed one above another. CASMIR A, NUNBERG, Primary Examiner References Cited 5 Us CL X R UNITED STATES PATENTS 312 107 3,030,163 4/1962 Gottsegen 312-111

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3030163 *Aug 15, 1960Apr 17, 1962Gotham Ind IncNesting slide drawer receptacle
US3107131 *Jul 11, 1961Oct 15, 1963Robert A LightburnSectional drawer cabinet
US3203744 *Dec 12, 1962Aug 31, 1965Ethicon IncCabinet assembly unit
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3661271 *Oct 6, 1969May 9, 1972Goodman & Sons Inc HMerchandise displays
US4321654 *Jul 13, 1979Mar 23, 1982Fujitsu LimitedFrame unit for electronic communication devices
US5607215 *Feb 17, 1994Mar 4, 1997Snap-On Technologies, Inc.Stackable divided drawer partition
US5664856 *May 30, 1996Sep 9, 1997Snap-On Technologies, Inc.Stackable divided drawer partition
US7866769Sep 6, 2007Jan 11, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system and components thereof
US8113600Sep 4, 2009Feb 14, 2012Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system with stackable shells
US8186776Sep 4, 2009May 29, 2012Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system and connectivity of the components therein
US8414092Feb 13, 2012Apr 9, 2013Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system with stackable shells
US8418874Dec 3, 2010Apr 16, 2013Target Brands, Inc.Storage bin and associated system
US8573716May 25, 2012Nov 5, 2013Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system and connectivity of the components therein
US8708433Apr 15, 2013Apr 29, 2014Target Brands, Inc.Storage and organization system and components thereof
U.S. Classification312/111, 312/107
International ClassificationB65D21/02, A47B88/04, A47B87/00, A47B63/00, A47B87/02, A47B88/06, A47B88/12, A47B63/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47B87/0284, A47B88/12, A47B88/06, B65D21/0235, B65D21/02, A47B63/02
European ClassificationA47B88/06, A47B63/02, A47B87/02D, A47B88/12, B65D21/02H, B65D21/02