US 3610429 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Robert H. MacKay Fort Wayne, Ind.
 Appl. No. 841,851
 Filed July 15, 1969  Patented Oct. 5, 1971  Assignee Lincoln Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
 ARRANGEMENTS FOR SLIDABLY SUPPORTING PANLIKE OR TRAYLIKE ARTICLES 14 Claims, 10 Drawing Figs.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 751,466 2/1904 Colling 211/162 754,817 3/1904 Schriefer 108/109 Primary ExaminerRamon S. Britts Attorney-Jeffers and Rickert ABSTRACT: The invention relates to a supporting arrangement for panlike or traylike articles, in which the structure takes the form of vertical columns arranged in laterally spaced pairs with the columns of each pair spaced in the foreand-aft direction. The columns are fixedly interconnected at their upper and lower ends and the laterally spaced pairs of columns define spaces therebetween for receiving panlike or traylike articles. The articles are supported by horizontal guide members detachably connected to the pairs of columns on the support sides of the space. The structure can be stationarily mounted, or it may be provided with wheels on the bottom so that it is portable.
PATENTED OCT 5 l9."
SHEET 1 BF 3 PATENTEU UB1 5 IHYI SHEEI 3 0F 3 FIG.8
Q m N E W I Roaenr H. MAcK/w (H JeFFERs'qVouNQ ARRANGEMENTS FOR SLIDABLY SUPPORTING PANLIKE R TRAYLIKE ARTICLES This invention relates to an arrangement for slidably supporting pans or trays, including stationary structures, and with a portable cart arrangement adapted for removably receiving trays or pans for the transporting thereof.
Supporting or can arrangements of the nature with which the present invention is concerned are, in general, known and are used in shops, restaurants, hospitals and like establishments for storing and for transporting food trays, dish trays, utensils and equipment from place to place.
' Such supporting or cart arrangements when employed in hospitals or restaurants for storing or conveying foodstuffs and the like must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned so as to be in a sanitary condition at all times.
Further, such supporting or cart arrangements are sometimes heavily loaded and for this reason must be made extremely strong. Still further, the arrangements, to present the greatest convenience, should be adjustable so as to be able to receive relatively thin trays or pans, or for receiving trays or pans having a relatively great height, or having loads thereon of substantial height.
With the foregoing in mind, it is a primary objective of the present invention to provide an improved tray or pan supporting or cart arrangement of the nature generally referred to above.
A particular object of the present invention is the provision of a supporting or cart arrangement of the nature referred to which is extremely easy to dismantle for the purpose of cleaning and sanitizing the arrangement.
A particular object of the invention is the provision of a supporting or cart arrangement or structure of the nature referred to having guide members therein for slidably and supportingly engaging the edge portions of pans or trays in which the guide members are easily removable and are easily adjustable therein and which guide members are, furthermore, of relatively simple configuration so that they can be manufactured at relatively low cost.
Still another object of this invention is the provision of a novel arrangement for providing the structure, particularly when it is in the form of a cart, with an extension of the top surface thereof. such as might be used as for a serving area, or for other operations, and so arranged that the surface extension can be readily removed when it is not in use.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a supporting or cart arrangement or structure of the nature referred to, in which the principal structural elements of the arrangement, including the aforementioned guide members, can be formed of simple extrusions or shaped sheet metal parts, thereby permitting the arrangement to be manufactured quite inexpensively while, at the same time, the arrangement will be extremely strong.
' The foregoing objects of the present invention, as well as still other objects and advantages, will become more apparent upon reference to the following detailed specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an arrangement according to the present invention in the form of a cart showing the guide members for the pans or trays to be mounted therein, and with a top surface extension tray member removably attached to one side thereof;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, drawn at enlarged scale, and indicated byline 11- of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view, drawn at enlarged scale, and indicated by line III-III on FIG. 1 and looking down on one of the corner posts or columns of the cart in section:
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view indicated by line IV-IV on FIGS. 1 and 3 and looking endwise at a pair of guide members and showing the connection thereof with the supporting columns therefor;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view showing one of the guide members;
FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 5, but shows a modification of the guide member wherein it is provided with double guiding means for receiving two pans or trays;
FIG. 7 is a view like FIGS. 5 and 6, but shows a modified construction of the guide member;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view indicated by line VIII-VIII on FIG. 1, showing how support wheels can be connected to the cart;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing how a cart according to the present invention could be constructed as a double unit, if so desired, so as to have two panor tray-receiving spaces therein in side-by-side relation; and
FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing how the arrangement of the present invention with respect to the support columns and guide members could be incorporated in a stationary arrangement or structure for receiving pans or trays.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with a stationary or portable supporting structure or arrangement for panlike or traylike articles in which the arrangement has distributed vertical columns forming a primary supporting structure, the said columns being interconnected at their upper and lower ends to form a rigid basic framework. The framework can be stationarily mounted, or it can be provided with wheels to form a transportable cart arrangement.
The framework described above is open toward at least one of the front and backsides of the framework so that panlike or traylike articles can be introduced therein and removed therefrom. Guide members are provided detachably connected with the framework and are adapted for engaging the edges of the articles for slidably receiving the articles and for supporting the articles when in position within the framework.
According to the present invention, the vertical extending frame member, or posts, or columns, are in the form of U- shaped extrusions arranged at the corners of the articlereceiving space, or spaces, in the framework. The front and back extrusions on each side of the framework open toward each other.
The leg, or flange, of each such frame member adjacent the space in the framework which is to receive the article is provided with horizontal slots vertically distributed therealong. These slots are employed for receiving the ends of the guide members for detachably supporting the guide members in the framework. Each guide member is provided on the one side with a leg, or flange, for slidably engaging the article to be supported thereby, with means for engaging the aforementioned slots in the legs, or flanges, of the pair of columns at the front and back of the space on the respective side of the article space.
More specifically, each guide member, on the side adjacent the pertaining columns, has a vertically extending leg or flange adapted for laying flat against the leg or flange of the columns and having offset finger portions adapted for being received in the aforementioned slots arid engaging the column flange on the side thereof opposite the article space. The lower one of the aforementioned offset finger portions is shorter than its slot and the upper one is longer than its slot so that the guide members can be disassembled from the columns by raising the guide members vertically and rotating them to disengage the lower finger portions from the respective slots and then bodily moving the guide members to disengage the upper legs thereof from the respective slots. The guide-members are assembled with the columns of the framework by reversing the abovementioned procedure.
When the invention is embodied in a cart, the framework at the bottom is provided with wheels and at the top has a continuous horizontal surface providing a work top or tabletop. Still further, when the invention is embodied in a cart, at least one side of the framework at the top has a clip member fixed thereto adapted for detachably engaging one edge of a panlike or traylike member for supporting the member in a horizontal position so as to extend the useable work area at the top of the cart.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings somewhat more in detail, FIG. 1 shows a cart arrangement constructed according to the present invention. The cart has a skeletonlike framework, including four vertical corner columns, or posts 10, a top member 12 presenting a continuous horizontal surface at the top of the cart and secured to the upper ends of columns as by bolts or rivets 14. At their lower ends, columns 10 are interconnected by transversely extending structural elements 16, which may be in the form of channels and which are located at the front and rear of the cart. The columns 10 are connected to the ends of structural members 16 as by bolts or rivets indicated at 18 in FIG. 1.
The framework also comprises side structural members 20 extending in the fore-and-aft direction at the sides of the cart and interconnected in any suitable manner with the lower ends of columns 10, as by bolts or rivets 21 and are connected to the adjacent ends of structural members 16. As will be seen in FIG. 8, the structural members 20 are preferably in the form of T-shaped sections and have the crossbar portion extending in the vertical direction at the sides of the framework and the other bar portion is extending horizontally over the tops of the respective structural elements 16. Bolts or rivets, as indicated at 22 in FIG. 8, may be employed for connecting structural elements 20 to structural elements 16, thereby completing the main structural framework of the cart illustrated in FIG. 1.
The aforementioned structural elements making up the framework of the structure, with the exception of top member 12, are preferably in the form of extrusions of aluminum or magnesium, or an alloy thereof, but can, of course, be made of steel and, in which case, the elements would be in the form of round sections.
Each of the corner columns 10 is in the form of a U-shaped member, one of which will be seen in cross section in FIG. 3. The columns 10 are laterally spaced, as will be seen in FIG, 1, to define a space, indicated by arrow S, into which panlike or traylike articles are to be introduced endwise. The columns 10 are arranged in pairs at each side of space S; one at the front of the space at each side and one at the back of the space at each side.
The columns are, as mentioned, U-shaped and the two columns at each side of space S open toward each other and, thus, each has one leg or flange 10a on the side toward space S and another leg or flange 10b on the side remote from the space S and which, in the case of the cart of FIG. 1, will be disposed at the outer side of the cart.
As will be seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the leg or flange 10a of each column 10 is provided with horizontal slots therein distributed in the vertical direction along the respective column and providing support for guide members arranged at the side edges of space S.
Referring again to FIG. 1, it will be seen that along each side of space 8 there are provided guide members 32 extending in the fore-and-aft direction of the space between the columns 10 at that side of the space S.
Each of the guide members 32, as will best be seen in FIGs. 3, 4 and 5, has a horizontally extending leg or flange portion 34 extending into space S for sliding engagement with the respective side edge of a panlike or traylike article. Legs 34 may have a bead 36 along their free edges, if desired.
At the ends of legs or flanges 34 adjacent columns 10 there is a vertical leg or flange 38 adapted for laying flat along legs or flanges 10a of columns 10 and having at the lower and upper extremities thereof offset fingers 40 and 42 respectively. Each finger 40 is shorter in a vertical direction than its slot 30; whereas, each finger 42 is longer in the vertical direction than its slot 30. That is Y 30 X. This arrangement permits the guide members to be moved vertically in their slots 30 and then rotated to disengage their lower fingers 40 from the respective slots 30, whereupon the guide members can be moved bodily to disengage their upper fingers 42 from the respective slots 30 and permit the guide members to be removed from the structure.
In FIG. 4, the lowermost guide member is shown in assembled position with the column 10 illustrated therein, whereas the upper one of the guide members is illustrated in the process of being disassembled from the column 10.
The guide members 32 extend substantially from the bottom of slots 30 in one of the pertaining columns 10 to the bottom of the slots 30 in the other one of the pertaining columns and, thus, cannot become disengaged merely by axial movement in the said slots. The legs 10a of the columns 10 are preferably thinner in the portions thereof in which the slots 30 are disposed by about the thickness of the portions 38 of the guide members 32 so as to eliminate any shoulder at the ends of the guide members which might interfere with the sliding of articles along the guide members or which might scrape the edges of the articles and thereby damage or deface the articles.
As will be seen in FIG. 3, legs 10b of the columns 10 could be recessed as at 44 for receiving a closure or decorative side panel 46, if so desired, said panel being held in place by screws or the like.
FIG. 6 shows a guide member 48 which, instead of having only a single article-supporting flange, is provided with two vertically spaced supporting flanges 50 and 52 so that the guide member can receive the edges of two superimposed articles.
FIG. 7 shows a further modification of a guide member 54 which has a leg or flange 56 which extends into the working spaces which are contoured so that it will more or less conform in contour to the edge portion of a tray, thereby providing good support for the supported tray and also preventing lateral movement of the supported tray.
Returning to FIGS 1 and 2, it will be seen that the cart therein has a clip 60 secured to each side edge at the top. Each clip is adapted for engaging the side edge of a tray 62 for supporting the tray in a horizontal position adjacent top 12 of the cart.
FIG. 2 shows the arrangement in cross section, wherein it will be seen that clip 60 is secured by a bolt or rivet 64 to the cart structure and is in the form of a round or extruded section having a portion 66 to engage the bottom of tray 62 and a lip 68 to engage over the top edge of tray 62. FIG. 2 will also show that the framework of the cart could include structural elements 70 at the top thereof interconnecting the upper ends of columns 10 and stiffening top member 12 at the edges thereof.
FIG. 8, taken together with FIG. I, will show that the cart could have wheels 72 secured to the comers at the bottom and which wheels could include caster wheels at one or both of the back edges of the cart.
In FIG. 9, the cart 74 illustrated is substantially the same as the one previously described, except that it is constructed so as to have two spaces 51 and S2 arranged in side-by-side relation. The cart of FIG. 9 could be made as tall as the cart of FIG. 1, or it could be made shorter and in either case would have a large capacity because of the two spaces provided therein for receiving articles.
FIG. 10 shows the arrangement of the present invention in the form of a stationary rack, or the like, for use as storage as in a refrigerator, or freezer, or the like.
In FIG. 10, the same corner columns 10 are employed as were previously described. These columns are fixedly interconnected at the top and bottom by suitable structural elements 76 and are adapted for detachably receiving guide members 32 of the same type as previously described. As will be seen in FIG. 10, the racks could be arranged in batteries in side-by-side relation, if so desired.
It will be understood that modifications can be made in the invention within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a supporting arrangement for slidably receiving traylike articles; a framework having pairs of vertical columns spaced in the lateral direction, the columns of each pair of columns being spaced in the fore-and-aft direction, said framework including horizontal structural elements extending between and fixedly connected to said columns and imparting rigidity to said framework, said laterally spaced pairs of columns defining therebetween a space open on the front side of the structure and adapted for a slidably receiving traylike articles, each said column having a recessed flange on the side thereof adjacent said space extending toward the other column of the respective pair of columns, each said column flange being recessed in the lateral direction a prescribed amount, each said column flange having horizontal slots formed therein and uniformly distributed along the respective column flange in the vertical direction, each slot having a vertical dimension Z, and at least one pair of guide members extending horizontally along the opposite lateral sides of said space and having leg elements extending into the lateral regions of said space for sliding supporting engagement with the undersides of the side edges of said articles introduced into said space, each guide member having a substantially vertical portion of a lateral thickness less than said prescribed recess whereby said vertical portion does not extend into the lateral regions of said space, said vertical portion connected to the said leg elements thereof and at its opposite ends engaging the flanges of the pair of columns on the same side of said space, each said vertical portion having offset angular portions on the upper and lower extremities thereof and extending through a pair of the said slots in said column flanges and engaging the sides of said flanges which face away from said space, the upper offset angular portion having a vertical dimension Y and the lower offset angular portion having a vertical dimension X where Y Z X.
2. A supporting element according to claim 1, in which each said guide member extends substantially to the bottoms of the said horizontal slots in the respective pair of columns so as to be prevented from any substantial amount of longitudinal movement relative to the pair of columns.
3. A supporting element according to claim 2, in which at least said columns and guide members are extruded aluminum alloy pieces each piece having identical cross sections throughout its extent at points other than said column horizontal slots.
4, A supporting element according to claim 1, in which said horizontal structural elements extend in the lateral and foreand-aft directions at the upper and lower ends of said columns whereby the said space between said laterally spaced pairs of columns is unobstructed from top to bottom.
5. A supporting element according to claim 4, in which said structure is in the form of a portable cart and includes support wheels at the bottom.
6. A supporting element according to claim 5, which said cart has a horizontal panel secured to the top forming a tabletoplike surface.
7. A supporting element according to claim 6, which includes clip means secured to at least one edge of said cart at the top and adapted for receiving the edge of a tray and operable to support the tray in a substantially horizontal position adjacent the top of the cart.
8. A supporting element according to claim 1, in which each offset angular portion includes a horizontal part extending through the respective slot and a vertical part at the end of the horizontal part, said vertical parts extending away from each other, the length Z of each slot in the vertical direction exf ceeding the vertical length of the lower of said vertical parts but less than the vertical length of the upper one of said vertical parts.
9. A supporting element according to claim 8, in which each said column flange is formed with a tenon portion extending therealong on the side toward said space and forming a shoulder on the column which defines said recess and which faces the other column of the respective pair of columns, each shoulder being of about the same extent in the horizontal direction as the thickness of said vertical portions of said guide members, each guide member when mounted on its pertaining pair of columns having its support ends closely adjacent to the said shoulders on the columns.
10. A supporting element according to claim I, which includes at least two sets of laterally spaced pairs of columns forming at least two of said spaces in side-by-side relation.
11. A supporting element according to claim 1, in which each said column is in the form of a U-shaped channel opening toward the other column of the respective pairs of columns.
12. A supporting element according to claim 5, in which each said column is in the form of a U-shaped channel opening toward the other column of the respective pairs of columns, and each said pair of columns on the sides facing the outside of the cart at the sides thereof is adapted for receiving a closure panel.
13. A supporting element according to claim l, in which each guide member has a vertically spaced pair of the said leg elements thereon.
14. A supporting element according to claim 1, in which the said leg element of each guide member is contained so as to conform the contour of the side edge of a tray.