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Publication numberUS3575479 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 20, 1971
Filing dateMar 25, 1969
Priority dateApr 6, 1968
Also published asDE1778213A1
Publication numberUS 3575479 A, US 3575479A, US-A-3575479, US3575479 A, US3575479A
InventorsKombuchen Rudi
Original AssigneeAcrow Automation Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Movable storage-unit assemblies
US 3575479 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Rudi Kombuchen Dusseldorf, Germany Appl. No. 810,308

Filed Mar. 25, 1969 Patented .Apr. 20, 1971 Assignee Acrow (Automation) Limited London, England Priority Apr. 6, 1968 Germany P 17 78 213.7

MOVABLE STORAGE-UNIT ASSEMBLIES [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 542,341 7/1895 Little 312/198 1,875,383 9/1932 Porte 312/199 2,530,233 1 H1950 Dockray et al. 312/198X Primary ExaminerPatrick D. Lawson Attorney-Christen & Sabol ABSTRACT: A movable storage unit assembly comprising a base storage unit having a pair of runners adapted to ride on a 6Claims2Drawing Figs pair of parallel rails and first and second auxiliary storage U.S.Cl 312/200 units, each of the auxiliary storage units having one side Int. Cl A47b 53/00 attached to andsupported by the base storage unit and the Fieldoi Search 312/198, other side of each auxiliary storage unit having a runner 199, 200; 109/49 adapted to ride on one of a second pair of parallel rails.

25 10 25 1h 4 I 1 1 I g, at

1 MOVABLE STORAGE-UNIT ASSEMBLIES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION assemblies including a base storage unit and at least one auxiliary storage unit supported in part by the base unit.

Movable storage units are well known and widely utilized because they permit maximum utilization of storage space in restricted areas. Such storage units are particularly useful for shelves and cupboards. Since the storage units are movable the area necessary to store the unit and permit access thereto is equal to the total area of the movable storage units plus the access space necessary to remove and insert objects to be stored. That is, in order to remove or insert an object in one storage unit the other storage units are moved to provide an access space adjacent the one storage unit; and, accordingly, the access space may be provided adjacent any of the storage units.

When stationary storage units are utilized, access spaces must be provided adjacent each storage unit to permit removal and insertion of objects. Even though the number of access spaces may be reduced by placing two stationary units adjacent one another and providing the access spaces on the opposite sides, the amount of space required for the utilization of stationary storage units is undesirable where storage space is limited.

One disadvantage of conventional movable storage units is that they are relatively expensive in comparison with stationary storage units. Movable storage units normally incorporate a drive system which may be a central drive whereby all of the movable storage units are driven by a single motor by means of a cable or a chain, or an individual drive whereby each movable storage unit includes a motor. Conventional assemblies of movable storage units are extremely difficult to extend or expand, particularly those assemblies utilizing a central drive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a movable storage unit assembly that avoids the disadvantages and expense of conventional movable storage units.

Another object of the present invention is to reduce the peripheral equipment necessary to support a movable storage unit assembly.

A further object of the present invention is to utilize a base storage unit of a movable storage unit assembly to support one side of an auxiliary or side storage unit.

The present invention has another object in that a base storage unit of a movable storage unit assembly is supported on runners riding on a pair of parallel rails and is utilized to provide support for the sides of a pair of auxiliary storage units each of which includes runners adapted to ride on one rail of a second pair or rails.

Some of the advantages of the movable storage unit assembly of the present invention over conventional movable storage unit assemblies are that the number of rails necessary to support the assembly is reduced, that the assembly may be disassembled for transportation purposes and to permit entrance into areas having narrow passageways through which an entire assembly could not be moved, that due to the simplified structure and reduction in peripheral equipment manual labor during installation is reduced to a minimum, that existing assemblies may be expanded or reduced without changing or altering the drive system in any manner whether a central, individual or hand drive is utilized, and that lateral storage space is fully utilized with a minimum of equipment and expense.

' The present invention is generally characterized in a movable storage unit assembly including a base storage unit having runners disposed on both sides and adapted to ride on first and second parallel rails, and an auxiliary storage unit having a first side and a second side, means connecting the first side of the auxiliary storage unit with a side of the base storage unit, and a runner disposed on the second side of the auxiliary storage unit and adapted to ride on a third rail parallel to the first and second rails.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the description of the preferred embodiment as shown in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic front elevational view of a movable storage unit assembly according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic side elevational view of the assembly of FIG. 1 taken along lines II-II.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A movable storage unit assembly according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 and includes a base storage unit 10 and two side or auxiliary storage units 12 and 14. Base storage unit 10 is supported on runners 16 and 18 disposed at either side of the unit, respectively, to ride on a pair of parallel rails or tracks 20 and 22. As best shown in FIG. 2, it is desirable to provide two runners spaced from each other in the direction of travel of base storage unit 10 on rails 20 and 22 in order to stabilize the unit and to prevent tipping.

Auxiliary storage units 12 and 14 are connected with base storage unit 10 for support by means of bolts 24 and 34. Resilient means such as rubber springs may be utilized with or instead of the bolts and may be inserted between the side edges of base storage unit 10 and auxiliary storage units 12 and 14 in order to act as buffers between the base and auxiliary storage units and to permit slight variations in movement between the base storage unit and the auxiliary storage units without undue wear on the bolts 24 and 34 and the connections on the side edges of the units. Furthermore, the resilient connecting means compensate for unevenness in the foundation supporting the rails and permit the assembly to move around curves in the rails with little difficulty. Auxiliary storage unit 12 has a runner 26 disposed at the side opposite the side supported by base storage unit 10, and runner 26 is adapted to ride on a rail 30 arranged in parallel with rails 20 and 22. Similarly, auxiliary storage unit 14 has a runner 28 disposed at the side opposite the side supported by base storage unit 10, and runner 28 is adapted to ride a rail 32 arranged in parallel with rails 20, 22 and 30.

Auxiliary storage units 12 and 14 are thus supported on only one side by runners and are supported on the other side by base storage unit 10. Accordingly, the second rail normally required to support a storage unit is obviated thereby reducing the peripheral equipment necessary to install the assembly of the present invention. Clearly auxiliary units may be added or removed, as described, to provide an extremely flexible system.

Runners 16, I8, 26 and 28 may comprise any easily slidable surface; however, the runners are preferably wheels to reduce friction to a minimum. The stability of base storage member 10 in cooperation with the horizontal and vertically spaced bolts 24 and 34, as shown in FIG. 2, permit the use of only one runner with the side of each auxiliary storage unit without the danger of tipping; however, a plurality of runners spaced in the direction of travel of the auxiliary storage units may be utilized as a safety precaution.

The base and auxiliary storage units may take any conventional form and may include shelves and doors to facilitate storage and access. Base storage unit 10 may be utilized with only one auxiliary storage unit without causing imbalance due to the alignment of support bearings obtained by making the support structure for each storage unit identical except for the number of runners.

Inasmuch as the present invention is subject to many variations, modifications and changes in detail, it is intended that all matter described in the foregoing specification or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

lclaim:

l. A movable storage unit assembly for use with a plurality of parallel rails comprising a base storage unit having a first side and second side. load-supporting runners disposed adjacent said first and second sides of said base storage unit and adapted to ride on first and second of said plurality of parallel rails, a first auxiliary storage unit having a first side and a second side, first means detachably connecting said first side of said first auxiliary storage unit with said first side of said base storage unit, and a first runner disposed adjacent said second side of said first auxiliary storage unit and adapted to ride on a third one of said plurality of rails parallel to the first and second rails.

2. An assembly as recited in claim 1 wherein said first means includes means for resiliently connecting said first side of said auxiliary storage unit to said first side of said base storage unit.

3. An assembly as recited in claim 2 wherein a second runner is disposed adjacent said second side of said first auxiliary storage unit, said second runner being spaced from the first runner in the direction of travel of said first auxiliary storage unit on the third rail.

4. An assembly as recited in claim 1 and further including a second auxiliary storage unit having a first side and a second side, second means connecting said first side of said auxiliary storage unit with said second side of said base storage unit, and a second runner disposed adjacent said second side of said second auxiliary storage unit and adapted to ride on a fourth one of said plurality of rails parallel to the first, second and third rails.

5. An assembly as recited in claim 4 wherein said first means includes means for resiliently connecting said first side of said first auxiliary storage unit to said first side of said base storage unit and said second means includes means for resiliently connecting said first side of said second auxiliary storage unit to said second side of said base storage unit.

6. An assembly as recited in claim 5 wherein a third runner is disposed adjacent said second side of said first auxiliary storage unit spaced from said first runner in the direction of travel of said first auxiliary storage unit on the third rail, and a fourth runner is disposed adjacent said second side of said auxiliary storage unit spaced from said second runner in the direction of travel of said second auxiliary storage unit on the fourth rail.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US542341 *Mar 11, 1895Jul 9, 1895 Kitchen-cabinet
US1875383 *May 27, 1930Sep 6, 1932 la porte
US2530233 *Jul 23, 1947Nov 14, 1950Bruesewitz Roger HRepair unit for radio sets
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4017131 *Sep 22, 1970Apr 12, 1977J. Gestle, AgMaximum density mobile storage system
US5007351 *Feb 3, 1989Apr 16, 1991Spacesaver CorporationMobile carriage with center drive
US7370587Dec 14, 2004May 13, 2008Spacesaver CorporationModular wheel assembly for a carriage in a mobile storage system
US7484631Nov 16, 2004Feb 3, 2009Nenger CorporationModular storage system for logistical management of operational units
US7963533Mar 16, 2007Jun 21, 2011Wenger CorporationAll-terrain retail merchandising unit
US9232856 *Oct 24, 2012Jan 12, 2016Spacesaver CorporationStructural articulation joint for high density mobile carriage
US20050132924 *Nov 17, 2004Jun 23, 2005Bothun Richard A.Track system for modular storage
US20050144858 *Nov 17, 2004Jul 7, 2005Bothun Richard A.Modular storage structure for logistical management of operational units
US20050150178 *Nov 17, 2004Jul 14, 2005Bothun Richard A.Modular storage units for uniforms and wearable equipment
US20060043813 *Aug 26, 2005Mar 2, 2006Delta Electronics, Inc.Stator structures
US20060124025 *Dec 14, 2004Jun 15, 2006Janson Steven LModular wheel assembly for a carriage in a mobile storage system
US20060231517 *Mar 16, 2006Oct 19, 2006Bothun Richard AModular storage system for logistical management of operational units
US20070216120 *Mar 16, 2007Sep 20, 2007Bothun Richard AAll-terrain retail merchandising unit
US20130105428 *Oct 24, 2012May 2, 2013Spacesaver CorporationStructural articulation joint for high density mobile carriage
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/200
International ClassificationA47B53/02, A47B53/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B53/02
European ClassificationA47B53/02