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Publication numberUS3563627 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1971
Filing dateDec 3, 1968
Priority dateDec 3, 1968
Publication numberUS 3563627 A, US 3563627A, US-A-3563627, US3563627 A, US3563627A
InventorsWhipps George E
Original AssigneeDigital Equipment Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet construction
US 3563627 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 16, 1971 G. E. W'HIPPS CABINET CONSTRUCTION 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Decis. 5, 1968 FIG. I

INVENTOR. GEORGE E. WHIPPS ATTORNEYS G. E. WHIPPS CABINET CONSTRUCTION Feb. 16, 1971 Filed Dec.

5 Sheets-Sheet 2 36b 34 42b sab FIG. 2

INVENTOR.

GEORGE E WH l PPS ATTORNEYS Feb. 16, 1971 G. E. WHIPPS CABINET; CONSTRUCTION 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Dec. 5, 1968 FIG. 5

2 8 W mfivwnw lp b O 7 8 8 9 O 8 n b O 7 w md o q HJ- hill 4 O 7 4 8 m 8 I 4 G F P mw m H w me E G R O E G ATTORNEYS United States Patent US. Cl. 312257 22 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved cabinet employs a relatively few load bearing frame members which consist of inexpensive metal stampings formed so that they can be secured together using conventional welding techniques. Yet they still possess substantial structural rigidity and are configured specifically to enable the cabinet to withstand considerable sideways tilting and vertical impact forces. The frame members are formed initially with a large variety of fastening holes to give the user relatively great flexibility in the placement of shelves or drawers within the cabinet. Interchangeable panels are removably secured to the frame members to protectively enclose the cabinet contents.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (a) Field of the invention This invention relates to an improved cabinet used particularly for housing data processing equipment and other equipment employing electrical or electromechanical components. The cabinet should protect its contents from dirt and moisture and present a relatively nice appearance. Also, it should permit ready access to the components inside in the event that they have to be repaired or replaced. To this end, many such enclosures have sections or drawers which may be pulled out to expose the components for servicing.

(b) Description of the prior art Prior cabinets used for this purpose are generally constructed of a series of vertical and horizontal tubular members which are connected together to form a skeleton or frame structure. The electrical equipment is supported on shelves or in drawers suspended horizontally from the frame members. Panels and doors are secured to the frame members to complete the enclosure.

When making enclosures of this type, it is essential that they be able to withstand considerable vertical and sideways stresses. This is because the cabinet may be shaken and dropped when it is being moved about. For example, it is not at all unusual for a data processing unit to be dropped as much as six inches while being off-loaded from a delivery truck. Bearing in mind that the contents of the cabinet may weigh several hundred pounds, the stress on the cabinet components upon impact is considerable. Actually, some company specifications require that these cabinets be able to sustain a two-foot drop while carrying a load of 75 to 100 pounds on each of their shelves.

Therefore, in order to protect their contents, prior cabinets have invariably been constructed of tubular frame members which are able to withstand these large stresses. However, several drawbacks attend this type of construction. More particularly, the cabinets are quite expensive and relatively difiicult to assemble. This is because the tubular members themselves have to be made by expensive extrusion or rolling and seam-welding techniques. Also, the various cabinet components have to be secured to the tubular frame members by means of blind fasteners rather than by bolts or spot welds because the 3,563,627 Patented Feb. 16, 1971 latter two modes of securement require access to both sides of the member wall at the point of securement. But the attachment of the blind fasteners to the tubular members can be relatively time-consuming because they must be installed by hand using a special multiple-operation tool.

We should point out also that even the formation of the fastening holes in the tubular members is relatively costly. They must be stamped out in the plant one at a time or in groups of no more than two or three. A multiple stamping operation larger than this is not feasible because the walls of the tubes tend to collapse under the simultaneous impacts of several stamping tools. An alternative is a multiple hole drilling operation, but this is also costly and time-consuming.

Thus, because of these cost considerations, manufacturers tend to keep the number of fastening holes in the frame members to a minimum. As a result, the cabinets cannot be modified easily as to shape, size or location of their various parts. For example, if the user wants an extra shelf or wants an existing shelf at a different location, he must measure and then drill additional fastening holes at the new location before the shelf can be installed. Taking into consideration all the different shelf placements that a user may want and the number of cabinets involved, it quickly becomes apparent that even small alterations to these cabinets entail considerable cost to the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a cabinet which is relatively inexpensive, i.e. whose cost is on the order of one-third the cost of a conventional cabinet of the same capability.

A further object of the invention is to provide a cabinet which is easily modified as to size and placement of its parts.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved cabinet for data processing equipment and the like which is composed of relatively few components, some of which are interchangeable.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved cabinet which uses no tubular frame members, yet which is very strong and sturdy.

A further object of the invention is to provide an im proved cabinet which, when fully loaded, is able to withstand relatively large impacts without general failure of its parts.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved cabinet structure which is easy to assemble by relatively unskilled personnel using conventional welding techniques.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

Briefly, the structural elements of my cabinet consist of a relatively few metal stampings as opposed to the tubular members formerly used in such enclosures. Access may be had to both sides of all the stampings so that conventional spot-welding techniques may be used to secure the various elements together.

More particularly, the cabinet base comprises a generally rectangular metal plate which is stamped out with several lateral and longitudinal flanges to lend rigidity to the plate. Also, the plate has front and rear margins which are turned down and under to create a pair of generally rectangular transverse channels. An additional pair of transverse channels are then welded to the underside of the plate and to the edge of the inwardly turned margin to form a pair of transverse box frame members which lend considerable structural rigidity to the plate and particularly enhance the cabinets ability to withstand sideways tilting forces.

The cabinet uprights comprise four identical channels which are arranged at the four corners of the base plate directly above the transverse channels. The lower ends of these vertical channels are welded to the top of the plate and also to the upwardly directed flanges thereon. The vertical channels are formed so as to present vertical flanges at the front, rear and sides of the cabinet at each corner thereof. 'Each of these flanges has a vertical row of fastening holes.

A generally rectangular plate is welded to the tops of the vertical channels. The top plate also has side margins which are turned down and welded to the sides of the vertical channels for extra rigidity. Also, front and rear margins of the plate are turned down and under to form a pair of transverse chanels, the lower edges of which are also welded to the uprights to further increase the cabinets resistance to sideways tilting forces.

The electrical components are mounted in pull-out drawers or shelves suspended from the vertical channels. The drawers and shelves are easily installed at any location using conventional bolts extending through the appropriate fastening holes formed in the upright flanges.

Removable side and rear panels are removably secured to the frame structure to protectively enclose the components inside. Also, doors are removably mounted at the front of the cabinet to complete the enclosure.

In order to facilitate moving the cabinet and its contents, casters are mounted on the underside of the transverse channels below the bottom plate and directly below the vertical channels. This particular placement assures that the casters will not punch up through the bottom plate even when the cabinet is dropped, as will be described in more detail later.

The aforesaid configuration and arrangement of its various structural elements makes the cabinet quite resistant to tilting stresses as well as compression stresses due to vertical impacts. As a result, even when the cabinet is fully loaded, it can be tipped and moved about and even be dropped from a relatively great height without a general failure of its parts.

The present cabinet is particularly advantaged because its major structural components are simple stamped pieces which can be fabricated quite easily and inexpensively as compared to the structural members found in prior comparable cabinets of this type. Moreover, during the same factory stamping operation, each member may be formed with a large variety of ditferent flanges and fastener openings which allow for a wide selection in the placement of shelves, drawers and other elements of the cabinet. Also, the same basic components can be used to construct cabinets in a variety of sizes as will be described in more detail later.

Finally, since one has access to all sides of the various metal stampings, all the elements of the enclosure can be secured together by welds or bolts, resulting in a further saving in assembly time and, therefore, cost.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a cabinet embodying the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view in elevation on a larger scale of a portion of the cabinet frame structure;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view thereof;

FIG. 4 is a side view in elevation of another portion thereof;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view thereof; and FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified frame member for use in the cabinet.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the cabinet comprises a generally rectangular bottom frame section indicated generally at 12. Four relatively long upstanding channels 14 are secured at the four corners of section 12. A top frame section 16 is secured to the tops of channels 14.

The electrical and electromechanical components housed in the cabinets are mounted in shelves suspended from channels 14 in a manner to be described in more detail later. For ease of illustration, we have shown only one box-like shelf 18 installed partway up on the two front channels 14. Other shelves might extend the full depth of the cabinet. Also, in lieu of shelves, the components may be mounted in pullout drawers suspended from channels 14 at each side of the cabinet.

The aforedescribed load bearing elements of the cabinet are enclosed by a series of removable panels. More particularly, a generally rectangular back panel 26 is removably secured at its upper and lower ends to top and bottom sections 16 and 12. A pair of identical side panels 28 (only one being shown) are also removably secured to upper and lower sections 16 and 12. A pair of swingout doors 30 (only one being shown) are removably hinged to sections 16 and 12 at the front of the cabinet. Lastly, a filter cover 32 is placed over the top section 16.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the bottom frame section 12 consists of three distinct elements, to wit: a flanged plate 34 and a pair of identical underlying transverse channels 36 and 38. Plate 34 has a generally rectangular central opening 42 having downwardly flanged side walls 42a 42b to lend a certain amount of rigidity to the plate. Plate 34 has opposite side margins 44 and 46 which are bent up vertically, i.e. at right angles, to the plate 34 proper. In this, margins 44 and 46 engage the sides of the vertical channels 14 and are permanently secured thereto by spot welds 48 and continuous welds 50. Additional continuous welds 52 secure the bottom of each channel 14 to the top of plate 34.

As best seen in FIG. 1, the vertical channels 14 are set in from the front and rear edges of margins 44 and 46, leaving portions 44a and 46a of those margins extending out beyond members 14 at the front and rear of the cabinet. These margin portions 44a and 46a facilitate connecting together a number of the illustrated cabinets to form a single larger unit as will be described in more detail later.

Margins 44 and 46 have upper edge portions 44b and 4612 located between channels 14 which are turned in toward the center of the cabinet to lend additional structural rigidity to frame section 12 and to strengthen the connections between that section and vertical channels 14.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, plate 34 has front and rear marginal portions 56 and 58 which are turned down and then under so as to form a pair of rectangular transverse channels 60 and 62 at the front and rear of plate 34. These channels coact with the aforementioned underlying channels 36 and 38 to form a pair of box frame members. More particularly, channel 36 is positioned adjacent channel 60. It has a vertical side edge portion 36a which is sized to just close the open side of channels 60. That is, the edge of portion 36a rests on the edge of margin 56 and the two edges are continuously welded together at 64. Channel 36 also has its opposite marginal edge portion 3612 turned down parallel to portion 36a. Portion 36b is approximately the same width as flange 42b in plate 34 so that, in effect, it constitutes a continuation of these flanges 42a and 42]) as best seen in FIG. 2.

Channel 38 is exactly the same as channel 36. That is, it has a relatively wide, downwardly turned flange 38a which closes off the open side of channel 62. This flange is welded to the edge of margin 58 as indicated at 66 in FIG. 2. As best seen in FIG. 3, the opposite side edge portion 38b of channel 38 is bent down like portion 36b and forms with that portion and flanges 42a and 4212 a continuous rib which extends all around opening 42. A series of spot welds 68 permanently secure channels 36 and 38 to plate 34.

The aforesaid construction of bottom frame section 12 and its securement to upright channels 14 yield a structure which is quite resistant to vertical impact and tilting forces. More particularly, plate 34 with its variously angled flanges and box frame construction has very little tendence to flex or bend. Moreover, the transverse channels 36 and 38 themselves further minimize this possibility.

The vertical channels 14 are rigidly secured to frame section 12 both by butt welds 52 (with plate 34) and by spot and seam welds 48 and 50 (with margins 46). Therefore, there is little tendency for these channels to tilt relative to, or pull away from, bottom frame section 12.

Referring again to FIG. 1, each vertical channel 14 is a one-piece stamped metal member whose length determines the height of the cabinet. In cross-section, each channel 14 has a main channel portion 70 and a side extending flange 72 integral with one edge of portion 70. Each channel 14 is oriented so that the back 70a of its portion 70 engages the upstanding margins 44 or 46 of plate 36 and also so that the side 70b of portion 70 faces the front (or the rear) of the cabinet.

A vertical array of fastening holes 74 are provided in channel side 70b of each channel 14. Another vertical array of fastening holes 76 are formed near the edge of its flange 72. The fastening holes 74 and 76 are stamped out simultaneously during the formation of the channel at the factory. Consequently, a large number of fastening holes can be formed giving the user a wide selection of shelf positions in the cabinet without materially increasing the cost of the unit. This is in sharp contrast to the relatively high cost of forming fastening holes in the tubular members formerly used in these cabinets.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, the top frame section 16 is a one-piece metal stamping which is secured to the tops of channels 14. Frame member 16 has a generally rectangular top portion 80 containing a pair of vent openings 81. Portion 80 also has side margins 82 and 84 which are turned down over channels 14. Channels 14 are butt-welded at 85 to plate 80, and margins 82 and 84 are spot-welded at 86 (FIG. 1) to the backs 70a of each channel 14. Margins 82 and 84 have front and rear edge portions 82a and 84a projecting out beyond channel 14. These, along with the similar end portions 46a and 44a in bottom frame section 12 are used to connect a series of the illustrated cabinets together side-by-side as will be described later. The portions of margins 82 and 84 (FIG. between the corresponding portions 70 of channels 14 have inwardly turned flanges 82b and 84b, respectively, turned in toward the center of the cabinet. This further strengthens section 16 and increases the ability of the cabinet to withstand forward and backward tilting forces. Continuous welds 87 (FIG. 1) then seam margins 82 and 84 to channel portions 70.

Plate 80 also has front and rear margins 88 and 90 which are folded down and under to form a pair of transverse rectangular channels 92 and 94 at the front and rear of the cabinet. Channels 92 and 94 are also formed with dependings lips 96 and 98, respectively, which are spotwelded at 100 (FIG. 4) to the sides 70b of each channel 14. Consequently, channels 92 and 94 constitute rigid, box-frame members extending across the top of the cabinet at the front and rear thereof. These add greatly to the ability of the cabinet to withstand sideways tilting forces.

Referring to FIG. 1, drawers or shelves 18 are suspended at the selected height in the cabinet. More particularly, the illustrated shelf 18 is secured to the front two channels 14 by means of threaded bolts 110 inserted 6 through the appropriate fastening holes 74 and 76. Nuts 112 are turned down on bolts to rigidly attach each shelf to channels 14. It is important to note that easy access is gained to the back side of each channel side 70b containing the fastening holes 74. Therefore, conventional nuts and bolts can be used to secure shelves 18 to channels 14. The same is, of course, true with fastening holes 76 in each flange 72. Thus, each shelf 18 (or drawers) can be installed quickly and easily by relatively unskilled personnel using just a conventional screwdriver or wrench.

The shelf 18 illustrated specifically at FIG. 1 is a fixed box-like shelf which does not extend the full depth of the cabinet. Yet, the securement of the shelf to each of the two channels 14 at two places indicated produces a very strong supporting structure. Of course, other shelves 18 may extend all the way back to the channels 14 at the rear of the cabinet to provide additional structural support for the cabinet as a whole.

If pull-out drawers or shelves 18 are to be used, conventional drawer runners are secured to channel 14 by fastening them to the appropriate holes 76 in the above manner.

It will be appreciated that the present cabinet construction permits very wide latitude in the placement of the various shelves and drawers, as well as in their size and general configuration. Thus, the same basic cabinet can house a variety of different data processing systems or system models. For example, where one model may require a vertical array of six or seven pull-out drawers, another model may need only three such pull-out drawers and one larger vertical pull-out section at the bottom of the cabinet. A third system may not require any pullout units at all. The important thing to realize is that all of these systems can be accommodated by the present enclosure. This ability to utilize the same basic cabinet construction for a variety of different installations results in a considerable reduction in overall cost as Well as a reduction in the cabinet inventory required to be maintained at a given facility.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the electrical components in the cabinet are fully enclosed by means of panels 26, 28, 30 and 32. Panel 26 is an elongated and generally rectangular unit which movably attaches to the back of the frame structure. More particularly, panel 26 has a pair of angle irons affixed to the back thereof. Each angle iron 120 has an opening 124 therein adjacent to one side of the cabinet. Pins 122 projecting out from the top and bottom plates 34 and 80 are in register with the openings 124 in angle iron 120.

An identical panel 26 may be secured in exactly the same way to the top and bottom frame members at the front of the cabinet. On the other hand, if pull-out drawers and sections are employed, the front of the cabinet may be enclosed by means of two doors 30 which together extend across the front of the cabinet. For ease of illustration, only one door 30 is shown in FIG. 1. Each door 30 has a pair of angle irons 120 with openings 124 in position to receive pins 122 at each side of the cabinet. In other words, each door 30 is half a panel 26. These doors are able to swing out with pins 122 acting as hinges.

It is important to note that with the illustrated hinge construction, when the doors 30 are open, they are positioned well to the side of the cabinet. Consequently, they do not interfere at all with the withdrawal of the standardized pull-out drawers and shelves (which are on the order of 19 inches wide). This is in contradistinction to the conventional cabinet constructions whose doors must be removed in order to pull out the drawers. Of course, this feature simplifies maintenance and repair of the cabinet contents.

Side panels 28 are also elongated, generally rectangular units which are secured to the top and bottom frame sections. Each side panel 28 has a horizontal L-shaped bracket 132 extending along the rear face of the panel near the bottom thereof. Also, a pair of buttons 134 project out from the rear of the panel at the top thereof. Each panel 28 is set in place by engaging bracket 132 over the edge 44]; (or 46b) of bottom frame section 12 and then inserting buttons 134 into registering holes 136 in margins 82 and 84 of upper frame member 16. Identical panels 28 are used on each side of the cabinet. As seen in FIG. 1, flanges 72 on each channel 14 are set back from the panels 28 which they are in place. This allows clearance space for cables and harnesses to extend up between drawers or shelves 18 on panels 28.

Cover 32 is then removably secured to the top of frame section 16. Cover 32 is a generally rectangular plate which is coextensive with plate portion 80. It has a pair of openings 138 in register with openings 81 in plate 80. Openings 138 may contain filter elements 140 to prevent ingestion of dust and dirt into the cabinet while the system is in operation. A pair of male snap fasteners elements 141 are afiixed to the underside of cover 12. They removably engage in a pair of registering female snap fastener elements 142 in plate portion 80 at the front and back of the cabinet.

When all of the panels are in place, the electrical components therein are fully shielded from dust and dirt and especially from contact with people or objects which might damage them. Yet, all of the panels 36, 28 30 and 32 can be removed quickly to expose the contents of the cabinet for servicing. It is also important to note that the panels and doors 26, 30 at the front and rear of the cabinet are interchangeable as are the side panels 28. This further minimizes number of different cabinet components which must be kept on hand.

Instead of using full sized doors 30 at the front of the cabinet, pairs of shorter doors can be installed one over the other. For example, with two pairs of half-sized doors, a repairman may expose components in the uppermost shelves without exposing those in the lower half of the cabinet. A transverse angle iron 144 indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 1 is bolted to channels 14 at the front of the cabinet to anchor the bottoms of the upper pair of doors and the tops of the bottom pair of doors.

These smaller doors may also serve as full sized doors in a shorter cabinet. In this connection, it should be emphased that exactly the same frame components are used to construct cabinets of all sizes. The only thing that varies is the length of channels 14. That is, the standard channels 14 are simply cut off to make the smaller cabinets.

Referring now to FIG. 3, to facilitate moving the cabinet and its contents, casters 150 are secured to the underside of bottom section 12. More particularly, the casters are secured to the underside of transverse channels 36 and 38 directly below vertical channels 14. This placement of the casters minimizes the chances of them punching up through bottom section 12 when the cabinet is dropped or rocked. This is because channels 36, 38 and plate 34 provided a double thickness of metal above each caster. Also, since the casters are located directly below channels 14, any substantial vertical shock forces are transmitted directly from the casters to these channels 14 so that plates 34 and channels 36 and 38 have a minimum tendency to bend or tear.

As best seen in FIG. 2, conventional screw-type leveling buttons 154 are installed in threaded openings 156 at each end of box frames 60 and 62. When the unit is brought to its destination, each button 154 is adjusted to level the entire cabinet which will insure that all of the electromechanical components therein will function properly. Here again, it should be noted that the load hearing buttons 154 are mounted in the strongest elements of the cabinet, to wit, box frames 60 and 62. Therefore, once they are set, theer is little likelihood of the box frames bending or flexing to upset the adjustment.

It is a further feature of this invention that several of the cabinets illustrated in FIG. 1 can be connected together side-by-side to form a single relatively rigid unit without disturbing the components inside the cabinets. More partioularly, as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, a pair of fastening holes 158 are formed in each of the margin end portions 44a, 46a, 82a and 84a. Thus, by arranging a pair of the cabinet units illustrated in FIG. 1 side-by-side so that their fastening holes 158 are in register, the two units can be secured together using conventional bolts inserted through these openings. In order to do this, it is only necessary to open or remove the panels at the front and rear of the cabinet. Of course, if two or more units are secured side-by-side, the side panels 28 are not installed on the two opposing sides of the adjacent cabinets.

In order to present a more finished appearance, the open ends of box frames 60 and 62 and of channels 92 and 94 are closed by means of plugs 160, only one of which is shown at the lower right-hand corner of FIG. 1. Of course, when a series of the FIG. 1 cabinet units are connected together side-by-side, plugs are inserted only in the exposed ends of the box frames and channel in the two outermost units.

Referring to FIG. 6, in applications where the cabinet is to house particularly heavy equipment or where it will be subjected to unusually large stresses, channel 14 can be reinforced to further increase its resistance to these stresses. For this, a generally S-shaped frame member 164 is secured to channel 14 so that these two pieces form a. box frame.

Each member 164 has a short leg 164a and a longer leg 164b connected by a web 164a oriented at right angles to the two legs. Each member is positioned so that its short leg 164c engages along channel portion 70 and its long leg 16% engages along the inside of flange 72. Also, the web 164a is spaced from channel side 7012, leaving an access space behind fastening holes 74. This allows room to insert fastening nuts 112 (FIG. 1) when mounting shelves 18 on the cabinet uprights. The long leg 16% terminates short of fastening holes 76 in flange 72 so as not to obstruct them.

Member 164 is permanently secured in place by a series of conventional spot welds 166 connecting flange 72 and leg 164D and also by spot welds 168 between the side of leg 164s and channel portion 70.

The FIG. 6 member is substantially as strong as conventional tubular frame members. However, it costs much less to make and unlike the tube can be formed initially with a wide variety of fastening holes 74 and 76.

It will be seen from the foregoing then that by improved cabinet provides a very strong and sturdy structure for containing rather delicate electrical and electromechanical components. The load bearing elements of the cabinet are all composed of stamped metal parts fabricated using relatively inexpensive stamping techniques. As a result, a large number of fastening holes may be formed in each frame member which makes the cabinet quite flexible as far as placement of its shelves and drawers are concerned. In addition, the load bearing elements of the cabinet are constructed with special attention given to the stresses which arise in use. The various frame elements are designed and secured together in such a way as to provide a rigid, rugged structure which is able to sustain substantial vertical impact and tilting forces without a general failure of its parts.

Still further, the elements of the cabinet are formed to give access to both sides of the frame elements being secured together so that conventional welding techniques can be employed. This also decreases the cost of making the cabinet. Moreover, the various shelves and drawers can be mounted in the cabinet using conventional bolts and nuts, thereby minimizing the time required to assemble each unit.

The same basic structural components are employed to make cabinets in a variety of heights, the only difference being the length of the vertical channels 14 and the length of the panels enclosing the frame structure. Also, for relatively large installations, a number of the individual cabinet units can easily be connected together side-by-side to form a single rigid unit.

All of the above factors considerably reduce the initial cost of making such cabinets in volume. In fact, each cabinet costs on the order of one-third as much as prior comparable cabinets of the same capacity. In addition, the present cabinet has great flexibility in that a relatively few number of standard parts can be used to make cabinets capable of accommodating a variety of different combinations and placements of internal components. Not only does this minimize initial manufacturing cost, it also minimizes the number of different parts which must be kept on hand in order to satisfy the different replacement needs of different users.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efliciently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

I claim:

1. An improved cabinet comprising (A) a rectangular parallelepiped-defining load-bearing weldment, said weldment (1) being composed of sheet metal stock so that access may be had to both sides of each element in the weldment allowing utilization of conventional welding techniques,

( 2) including a bottom plate having flanged edges,

(3) a top plate having flanged edges,

(4) means defining box frames at edges of the bottom plate, and

(5) upright flanged channels having their bottom ends butting said bottom plate and having their top ends butting said top plate, the flanges on said plates being secured to the sides of said channels to prevent racking of said weldment out of square.

2. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 1 and further including pa'nels removably secured to the sides of said weldment to form an enclosure.

3. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 1 wherein said bottom plate has front and rear edge margins folded back on themselves forming transverse rigidifying channels.

4. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 3 and further including a pair of transverse channels (A) secured to the underside of said bottom plate, and

(B) arranged to close off the open side of said rigidifying channels forming said box frames at the front and back of said weldment.

5. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 4 and further including adjustable leveling screws mounted near the ends of each said box frame.

6. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 4 and further including casters secured to the underside of said bottom plate directly below said upright channels.

7. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 4 wherein said bottom plate has a relatively large central flanged opening to reinforce said bottom plate against bending stresses.

8. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 4 wherein said top plate has front and rear edge margins turned down and under forming a pair of transverse channels which add structural rigidity to said weldment.

9. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 8 and further including panels removably connected to said 'tOp and bottom plates so as to form a protective enclosure.

10. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 1 wherein said upright channels are set in form the front and rear edges of said top and bottom plates so that portions of said flanged edges project beyond said upright channels at the front and rear of said weldment, said portions functioning as securing tabs so that said weldment can readily be connected to opposing tabs of an adjacent similar weldment without disturbing the contents of the cabinets.

11. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 1 and further including a multiplicity of fastening holes formed in said upright channels for receiving fastening screws, said fastening holes being arranged on said upright channels to allow access to both sides of said fastening holes.

12. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 11 and further including an L-shaped channel arranged parallel to and welded to each of said upright channels without obstructing said fastening holes forming upright box frame members which strengthen said weldment.

13. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 11 and further including component supporting shelves adjustably mounted on said upright channels within said weldment.

14. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 1 wherein said top plate has front and rear edge margins turned down and under forming a pair of transverse channels at the front and rear of said weldment.

15. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 14 and further including (A) means defining vent openings in said top plate,

(B) a vent cover containing filter elements in register with said vent openings, and

(C) means for securing said cover to said top plate.

16. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 14 wherein said upright channels are set in from the front and back of said top plate forming a pair of tabs projecting out beyond said upright channels at the front and rear of said weldment for securing to tabs on an adjacent similar weldment so that said cabinets can be connected together side-by-side without disturbing their contents.

17. An improved cabinet as defined in claim 1 and further including a panel hinged to said top and bottom plates at the front and rear of the cabinet,

said panels being hinged so that when said panel is open, it does not obstruct the space between said upright channels.

18. A cabinet for data processing equipment and the like comprising (A) a. rectangular parallelepiped-defining, load-bearing weldment composed of sheet metal stock so that access may be had to the various elements of the weldment enabling the use of conventional welding techniques,

(B) a bottom frame member including (1) a generally rectangular plate having front and rear margins turned down and under forming a pair of transverse channels, and a pair of transverse channel members secured to the underside of said plate adjacent said channel, corresponding sides of said channel members closing off the open sides of said channels, thereby forming a pair of transverse box frames at the front and rear of said bottom frame member,

(C) a top frame member comprising a plate having front and rear edge margins turned down and under forming a pair of transverse channels,

(D) upright flanged channels (1) butting said top and bottom frame members,

and

(2) having a multiplicity of fastening holes formed in their flanges,

(E) means on said top and bottom frame members for mounting panels,

(F) a pair of similar panels removably mounted to said top and bottom frame members at the sides of said weldment, and

(G) closure members removably secured to said top and bottom frame members at the front and rear of said weldment.

19. The cabinet defined in claim 18 wherein said front closure member comprises a pair of swing-out doors hinged to said top and bottom frame members.

20. The cabinet defined in claim 18 and further including casters mounted to said channel members directly below said upright channels.

21. The cabinet defined in claim 18 and further including shelves removably secured to said upright channels by way of said fastening holes.

22. The cabinet defined in claim 18 wherein said front closure member comprises front and rear of the cabinet,

said panels being so that when said panel is open, it does not obstruct the space between said upright channels.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner a panel hinged to said top and bottom plates at the 15 G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner

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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/265.2
International ClassificationA47B47/00, A47B47/03
Cooperative ClassificationA47B47/03
European ClassificationA47B47/03