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Publication numberUS3624648 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 30, 1971
Filing dateAug 15, 1969
Priority dateAug 15, 1969
Publication numberUS 3624648 A, US 3624648A, US-A-3624648, US3624648 A, US3624648A
InventorsWilloughby John G
Original AssigneeReliance Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Graphic display annunciator
US 3624648 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] inventor John G. Willoughby Leeds, Ale. [2 l 1 Appl. No. 850,607 [22] Filed Aug. 15, 1969 [45] Patented Nov. 30, 1971 [73] Assignee Reliance Electric Company Cleveland, Ohio [54] GRAPHIC DISPLAY ANNUNCIATOR 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 340/381, 240/52. l 5, 340/225 [51] Int. Cl. 609i 9/38 [50] FieldolSearch 340/225, 38l;240/52.l5; 35/6,7 A;40/13l R, 132 D, 142 A [56] Reierences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,598,559 8/l926 Cohen 240/52. 15

Primary Examiner Robert L. Griffin Assistant Examiner-.loseph A. Orsino, Jr. Attorney-Jones & Thomas ABSTRACT: An annunciator system for displaying and controlling operating conditions of a plant process, including a graphic display which indicates the changing conditions of the plant operation. The graphic display comprises a metal sheet with a high iron content, a translucent display panel positioned in parallel and spaced relationship with respect to the metal sheet, and at least one lamp positioned in the space between the metal sheet and the panel. The lamp includes a magnetized base which engages and is supported from the metal sheet. Circuitry is connected between the lamp and the components of the annunciator system whereby the lamp illuminates a portion of the display panel in response to a condition in the annunciator system.

PATENTEU NOV 3 0 l9?! SHEEI 1 BF 2 INVENTOR JOHN G. WILLOUGHBY ATIORNEYS PATENTED NUV30 IQYI SHEET 2 UF 2 INVENTOR JOHN G WILLOUGHBY BY 'yaahwl M ATTORNEYS GRAPHIC DISPLAY ANNUNCIATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Annunciator systems have been developed for monitoring and displaying operating conditions in complex process plant systems. The typical annunciator system might include a plurality of gages for indicating pressures, temperatures quantities, etc. for illustrating the various conditions in the process plant. When a complex process is displayed by an annunciator system, the various details and indicators may be so many in number and so complex in their arrangement that a graphic display is desirable in order for the plant operators to understand and easily read the various indicators. A graphic display of this type might include a translucent panel positioned in or near the annunciator cabinet which carries symbols that represent pumps, valves, liquid levels,pressures, and other plant equipment and conditions, and flow lines extending between the various symbols. The various symbols on the display panel are illuminated by lamps placed behind the display panel, and the light emitted from the lamps would represent various plant conditions. For instance, when a lamp illuminates the symbol of a pump on the display panel, it would indicate a certain condition existing in a corresponding pump in the process plant: if the pump were in operation, overheated, or not operating properly. Similarly, a lamp might be utilized to illuminate the symbol of a storage tank to indicate an empty, properly filled, or an overfilled condition in the storage tank.

While various graphic display panels for annunciator systems have been developed in the past, the versatility of the display has been somewhat limited in that the display applied to the display panel must correspond to the various lamp positions that can be attained behind the display panel. For instance, one of the previously developed display panels comprises a grid or honeycomb structure that receives lamps in the openings of the grid. This allows a lamp to be positioned in any of the openings of the grid but prevents a lamp from being moved to positions between the openings. In order to have the display properly illuminated by the lamps supported by such grid, it has been necessary to place the sheet of translucent material on which the display is to be created over a layout of the lamp support grid and place the symbols of the process plant which are to be illuminated by the lamps over the openings in the grid layout. With this procedure the plant display will have its symbols which are to be illuminated properly located with respect to the lamp support grid when applied to the display panel. Of course, there are many instances when the engineering draftsmen is unable to properly illustrate the plant process because of the limitations of the grid versatility, or the draftsmen may not have access to a layout of the lamp support grid.

When a graphic display panel is manufactured with a lamp support grid, the entire grid must be utilized with the display panel in order to provide the desired versatility of such a display, even though only one or a few lamps may be needed for the particular display desired. Of course, this makes even the most simple display almost as expensive as a more complex display having a multitude of lamps for illuminating numerous points on the translucent display panel. Furthermore, the grid utilized to support the lamps is usually hinged to the annunciator cabinet in order that the lamps and their electrical connections can be extended through the rear of the grid and the bulb of each lamp will be exposed to the front of the grid and the backside of the translucent display panel. This arrangement is expensive to construct, is not highly versatile, and is cumbersome to arrange.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described, the present invention comprises a graphic display annunciator for displaying operating conditions of a process plant and which includes a plurality of lamps positioned behind a translucent display panel. The lamps are movable to virtually any position behind the display panel to provide complete versatility in illuminating the symbols applied to the display panel. The lamps each include a magnetized base, and a metal support sheet is placed in a parallel, spaced relationship behind the translucent display panel, and the lamps are supported from the metal sheet at any position thereon.

Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a graphic display annunciator with a display panel having lamps for illuminating the panel that can be positioned at any position with respect to the rear surface of the panel.

Another object of this invention is to provide a graphic display panel in combination with a process plant annunciator which includes lamps for illuminating various symbols of a plant process on a display panel, which is inexpensive to manufacture, the lamps of which can be arranged to illuminate virtually any symbol at virtually any position on the display panel, and which is reliable to represent the various conditions within the process.

Other objects, features and advantages will become apparent upon reading the following disclosure, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a graphic display annunciator.

FIG. 2 is a partially exploded perspective view of the display panel assembly of the annunciator.

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of the display panel assembly.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a lamp utilized in the display panel assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in more detail to the drawing, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows graphic display annunciator 10 which includes cabinet 11 having a lower portion 12 and an upper graphic display portion 14. A plurality of indicating gauges, dials, switches, and other devices 15 are supported in the front face of the lower portion of cabinet 11, while display panel assembly 16 is supported in the front face of upper graphic display portion 14 of cabinet 11.

As shown in FIG. 2, display panel assembly 16 is connected to the framework of cabinet 11. Display panel assembly 16 includes metal pan 18 which has a virtually flat body portion or sheet 19 and flanges 20 at its upper and lower edges at its side edges (not shown). Flanges 20 extend substantially at right angles with respect to body portion 19 and terminate in connecting flanges 21. Connecting flanges 21 are attached to the framework 22 of the cabinet, in such a manner that body portion 19 is spaced inwardly of the framework. Translucent panel assembly 24 is hingedly connected to the upper frame member 22 and comprises support sheet 25, display sheet 26, and outer sheet 28. Display sheet 26 carries the graphic display of the plant process, with symbols which represent pumps, storage tanks, valves, switches, and other elements utilized to control and operate the process plant. Display sheet 26 can be fabricated of virtually any translucent or transparent material, including paper or Mylar sheets. The support sheet and outer sheet can be translucent or transparent, as may be desired. Display sheet 26 is placed between support sheet 25 and outer sheet 28, and outer sheet 28 is attached to support sheet 25 by means of border strip 29 and screws 30 extending through aligned openings in border strip 29, outer sheet 28 and support sheet 25. Thus, translucent panel assembly 24 comprises a translucent laminate of sheets.

As is best shown in FIG. 3, support sheet 25 of translucent panel assembly 24 is connected to the upper framework member 22 .by means of hidden hinges 31. Hinges 31 are attached to support sheet 25 in such a manner that they are normally hidden from view when observing the outside surface of translucent panel assembly 24. Furthermore, hinges 31 are arranged so that the outer surface of translucent panel assembly 24 normally is substantially coextensive with the outer surface of cabinet 11. With this arrangement, translucent panel assembly 24 can be pivoted about its hinges 31 from the open position as shown in FIG. 2 to the closed position as shown in FIG. 3. Apertured locking tabs 32 extend in an upward direction from lower'framework element 22, and threaded screws 34 extend through aligned apertures defined in the sheets of translucent panel assembly 24 to engage locking tabs 32 and rigidly connect translucent panel assembly 24 at its bottom edge to lower framework member 22. This maintains translucent panel assembly 24 in a closed condition with respect to cabinet and in a parallel spaced relationship with respect to pan 18.

As is best shown in FIG. 4, lamp 35 comprises magnet support block 36 which has front and rear flux emitting surfaces 38 and side surfaces 39. L-shaped bracket 40 has one of its legs 41 connected to a side surface 39 of magnet support block, and its other leg 42 supports lamp fixture 44. Lamp fixture 44 extends through an opening (not shown) in leg 42, and shield 45 protrudes through the opening from lamp fixture 44. Shield 45 is externally threaded and can be rotated to adjust its length of protrusion from leg 42. Locknut 46 is threaded over shield 45 to rigidly connect shield 45 with respect to leg 42. With this arrangement, the length of lamp 35 from the back flux emitting surface 38 of its magnet block to the outer edge of shield 45 can be adjusted. If desired, shield 45 can be spring urged (not shown) toward the inside of the translucent panel assembly so that the shield engages the panel assembly. Wires 48 are connected to lamp fixture 44 and extend to an electrical connection to illuminate the light bulb (not shown) if desired to maintain a neat and orderly appearance inside display panel assembly 16.

Magnet support block 36 magnetically connects lamp 35 to body portion 19 of metal pan 18 in such a manner that lamp fixture 44 and its shield 45 extend toward support sheet 25 of translucent panel assembly 24. Shield 45 is adjusted so that it is juxtaposed the inside surface of support sheet 25, to substantially isolate the light emitted from the lamp fixture to a small portion of translucent panel assembly 24. While magnet support block 36 rigidly connects lamp 35 to metal pan l8, lamp 35 can be removed by tugging its away from metal pan [8. In order that lamp 35 can be accurately repositioned in its former location on metal pan 18 after having been removed, a strip of material 49 having an adhesive backing (not shown) is normally applied to body portion 19 of metal pan 18 at a location immediately below and adjacent lamp '35. The strip of material 49 can be of virtually any texture or configuration; however, it is also usually desirable to label the strip of material with an appropriate symbol or word to indicate which lamp belongs at this position. The strip of material should be of some substantial thickness in order that the lamp 35 can be placed in abutment with the upper edge 50, and the strip of material utilized as a bench mark. Furthermore, the thickness of the strip of material 49 is chosen so that any vibrations encountered by cabinet 11 and metal pan 18 of display panel assembly 16 will not function to cause lamp 35 to walk or creep in a downward direction. Of course, the strip of material can be removed from or relocated on metal pan 18 when its lamp is to be removed from or relocated. To further aid in locating the lamps inside display panel assembly a grid system (not shown) can be imprinted on the surface of pan 18 which would simplify the initial locating of the lamps. I

As is best shown in FIG. 3, wires 48 from each lamp 35 are connected to a bank of terminals 51 which extend along upper flange of metal pan 18. A slot 52 is defined in the upper flange, and electrical connection is made through slot 52. Wires 54 are connected to the bank of terminals 51 and extend back in a downward direction to the lower indicating control portion 12 of cabinet 11 to make appropriate electrical connection between lamps 35 and the controls of cabinet 11. Wires 48 of lamps 35 terminate in a U-shaped wedge which is received in a clip of the bank of terminals 5l, to provide a quick disconnect arrangement.

OPERATION When an annunciator is connected to a process system, the various gauges, meters, etc. 15 are connected to the front face of cabinet 11. The electrical feed-in signals for the gauges and dials are also connected to the bank of terminals 51 by means of wires 54 and other circuitry from the gauges, etc., up over metal pan 18. Display sheet 26 of display panel assembly 16 has a schematic representation of the plant process applied thereto. The representation may include symbols for tanks, pumps, switches, valves, blowers, and any of the other equipment utilized in the plant. Display sheet 26 is sandwiched between support sheet and outer sheet 28 of translucent panel assembly 24, and the sheets are rigidly connected together by means of screws extending through aligned apertures of border strip 29, outer sheet 28 and support sheet 25.

Lamps are then positioned within the space 55 between metal pan l8 and translucent panel assembly 24, by applying 20 magnet support block 36 to body portion 19 of metal pan 18.

This rigidly connects lamp 35 to body portion 19 with lamp fixture 44 projected toward translucent panel assembly 24. Lamps 35 will be positioned so that lamp fixtures 44 emit light toward a symbol of display sheet 25, to illuminate the symbol. The wires 48 from lamp 35 are connected to the terminals of the bank of terminals 51 that are connected to the appropriate wires 54 leading to the control device or gauge in the lower indicating control portion 12 of cabinet 11 which corresponds to the symbol that the lamp 35 is to illuminate on translucent 30 panel assembly 24. Thus, each lamp 35 will be illuminates in response to a condition of the corresponding equipment in the plant.

When translucent panel assembly 24 is closed, the engineer can observe the outer face of the translucent panel assembly to detect proper alignment of lamps 35 with their corresponding symbols. If one or more of the lamps are not exactly aligned with their corresponding symbols, the engineer can open the panel assembly and move the lamp into proper alignment. After the lamp has been properly aligned, the engineer can apply a strip of material 49 to the face of metal pan 18 at a position directly below and in abutment with the bottom of lamp 35, which provides a bench mark on the face of metal pan 18 for that particular lamp 35. The strip of material 49 can be labeled with a word or symbol to indicate which lamp is to be positioned at this location. Furthermore, the strips of material 49 will prevent the lamps 35 from walking or creeping in a downward direction due to vibrations or other conditions experienced by cabinet 11.

50 The shields 45 of the lamps 35 can be rotated and moved outwardly or inwardly with respect to lamp 35 to abut the inside surface of translucent panel assembly 24, or to be displaced inwardly of the panel assembly, as may be desired. With this arrangement, the light from the lamp can be isolated to a small area on the translucent panel assembly 24 or can be dispersed over a larger area.

Once the display sheet 26 has been included in the translucent panel assembly 24 and the lamps properly located and connected, the assembly is ready for permanent operation. If

the plant process is modified by the rearrangement, deletion or inclusion of equipment, or if the display'applied, to display sheet 26 is modified in any manner, the lamps can be included in the system or some of the lamps 35 can be disconnected and removed from the system, as may be necessary. Also, lamps 35 can be relocated at any point on the surface of pan 18, without limitation. Thus, the engineer has virtually no limitation with respect to the display desired on display sheet 26 and the proper illumination of the symbols used in the display.

While the invention has been disclosed as displaying the conditions of a plant process, it should be obvious that various different systems can be monitored and the conditions thereof graphically displayed by the invention. For instance, a power system for a building, dam, ship or plant can be displayed, and elevator, air conditioning, heating, storage and conveying conditions can be displayed, as well as many other operating,

storage, power and similar systems. Therefore. while this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described hereinbefore and as defined in the appended claims.

lclaim:

1. In an annunciator system for monitoring and displaying operating conditions of a plant process or the like, the improvement therein of a graphic display device comprising a metal sheet, a translucent display panel positioned in parallel spaced relationship from said metal sheet, and at least one lamp positioned in the space between said metal sheet and said panel, said lamp including a magnet member engaging and supporting the lamp from said metal sheet and comprising a rectangular magnet block with opposed flux emitting surfaces, said lamp comprising an L-shaped bracket with one of its legs connected to a surface of said magnet block which extends nonnal to said flux emitting surfaces, and an electric lamp socket connected to the other of its legs, and circuit means for electrically connecting said lamp to the components of an annunciator system whereby said lamp illuminates a portion of said display panel in response to a condition in the annunciator system.

2. The invention of claim 1 and wherein said metal sheet comprises a substantially impervious flat metal sheet disposed in an upright attitude, and wherein said circuit means comprises a plurality of electrical connectors positioned adjacent at least one edge of said sheet.

3. The invention of claim 1 wherein said lamp extends across the space between said metal sheet and said panel and includes a shield normally juxtaposed said panel to confine the light emitted from said lamp to a small area of said panel which corresponds in size to the size of said shield.

4. The invention of claim 1 and wherein said translucent display panel comprises a pair of juxtaposed substantially transparent support sheets and an intermediate translucent sheet carrying a graphic display, said support sheets being attached together at their edges.

5. The invention of claim 1 and further including a strip of material with an adhesive backing attached to said metal sheet directly below said lamp in such a manner as to limit any downward sliding movement of said lamp on said metal sheet.

6. The invention of claim 1 and further including a cabinet and wherein said metal sheet includes flanges at its edges extending generally at right angles with respect to said metal sheet, said metal sheet being positioned within the confines of said cabinet with its flanges maintaining said sheet in spaced relationship with respect to one side of said cabinet, and wherein said translucent display panel comprises a door hingedly connected at one of its edges to said cabinet and pivotal to and from its parallel spaced relationship with respect to said sheet.

7. In an annunciator system for displaying and controlling operating conditions of a plant process or the like, the improvement therein of a graphic display device comprising a normally upright lamp support sheet, a translucent door normally maintained in parallel spaced relationship with respect to said lamp support sheet, and at least one lamp positioned between said lamp support and said translucent door, said lamp comprising a magnet support block magnetically connected to said lamp support sheet, a lamp support bracket having one end connected to said magnet support block, a lamp fixture connected to the other end of said lamp support bracket, and a shield extending from said lamp fixture toward said translucent door for confining the light emitted from said light fixture to a small area on said translucent door, whereby said lamp is mountable in an infinite number of positions on said support sheet to illuminate an infinite variation of positions on said translucent door.

8. The invention of claim 7 and further including a strip of material connected to said lamp support sheet immediately below said lamp to limit the downward sliding movement of said lamp on said lamp s upp ort she t. I

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3742446 *Aug 26, 1971Jun 26, 1973Staco Switch IncModular light display panel
US3754245 *Dec 27, 1971Aug 21, 1973Ferranti Packard LtdSystem indicator board
US4167322 *Jul 31, 1978Sep 11, 1979Ricoh Company, Ltd.Electrostatic copying system having monitoring devices
US4301449 *Dec 7, 1978Nov 17, 1981Fitzgerald Engineering Company, Inc.Control panel
US4310832 *Mar 17, 1980Jan 12, 1982Fitzgerald Engineering Co., Inc.Back-lit graphic display panel apparatus
US4639724 *Sep 27, 1978Jan 27, 1987Togneri Mauro GGraphic display
US4705456 *Aug 8, 1986Nov 10, 1987Consolidated Electric Co.Control panel structure for a liquid pumping station
US5049870 *Oct 31, 1988Sep 17, 1991Fitzgerald Engineering Company, Inc.Graphic display panel
US5057024 *Aug 22, 1988Oct 15, 1991Sprott Glenn CComputerized globe/almanac system
US5057818 *Apr 29, 1991Oct 15, 1991Stellar Systems IncorporatedSecurity map display and alarm monitor
US5280271 *Jul 9, 1990Jan 18, 1994John BerraEmergency action plan display
US5414408 *Jan 14, 1994May 9, 1995Berra; JohnEmergency action plan display
US5503533 *May 26, 1994Apr 2, 1996Metropolitan Pump CompanyFluid level control panel structure for multi-pump system
US5557512 *Jun 23, 1995Sep 17, 1996Fawn Industries, Inc.Electronic data entry and analysis system
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/815.55, 340/815.77, 340/525, 362/398, 340/286.13
International ClassificationH02B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationH02B15/00
European ClassificationH02B15/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 16, 1984AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: D.M. WEATHERLY COMPANY, THE STE 800, 1100 SPRING S
Effective date: 19840702
Owner name: FITZGERALD ENGINEERING CO.,
Jul 16, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: D.M. WEATHERLY COMPANY, THE STE 800, 1100 SPRING S
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:FITZGERALD ENGINEERING CO.,;REEL/FRAME:004284/0212
Effective date: 19840702