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Publication numberUS3777437 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 11, 1973
Filing dateMay 28, 1971
Priority dateMay 28, 1971
Publication numberUS 3777437 A, US 3777437A, US-A-3777437, US3777437 A, US3777437A
InventorsChristen A
Original AssigneeKnoll International
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Panel and post assembly
US 3777437 A
Abstract
A sheet-like panel is held in place by a post. The post has a longitudinal internal channel, with a longitudinal opening through one of the outer walls of the post into the channel. A longitudinal groove in the post forms a part of the channel, and the groove is positioned in a side of the channel opposite from the longitudinal opening and laterally displaced from that opening. The sheet-like panel has a large area surface that terminates along one edge thereof in a first edge portion which is substantially at right angles to the large area surface and a second edge portion substantially parallel to that surface. The outer edge of the second edge portion constitutes one of the outer edges of the sheet-like panel and is positioned inside the longitudinal groove forming part of the longitudinal internal channel. One side of the first edge portion is positioned against an outwardly exposed part of the post. The other side of the first edge portion is positioned against an internal wall of the channel substantially opposite from the longitudinal groove. In this fashion the sheet-like panel is maintained firmly in position.
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[451 Dec. 11, 1973 PANEL AND POST ASSEMBLY Primary Examiner-Thomas F. Callaghan Inventor: Andreas Christen, Zurich, Ass'stam Examinerwayne Shedd Switzerland Attorney-Robert Scobey, Robert S. Dunham, Pern E. I Henninger, Lester W. Clark, Gerald W. Griffin, A s g Knoll New York, Thomas F. Moran, Howard J. Churchill, R. Bradlee Boal, Christopher C. Dunham and Henry T. Burke Filed: May 28, 1971 AB TR T Appl. No.: 147,829 [57] s AC V V A sheet-like panel is held 111 place by a post. The post has a longitudinal internal channel, with a longitudinal opening through one of the outer walls of the post into United States Patent Christen 7 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures the channel. A longitudinal groove in the post forms a part of the channel, and the groove is positioned in a side of the channel opposite from the longitudinal opening and laterally displaced from that opening. The sheet-like panel has a large area surface that terminates along one edge thereof in a first edge portion which is substantially at right angles to the large area surface and a second edge portion substantially parallel to that surface. The outer edge of the second edge portion constitutes one of the outer edges of the sheetlike panel and is positioned inside the longitudinal groove forming part of the longitudinal internal channel. One side of the first edge portion is positioned against an outwardly exposed part of the post. The other side of the first edge portion is positioned against an internal wall of the channel substantially opposite from the longitudinal groove. In this fashion the sheet-like panel is maintained firmly in position.

amt/J7 SHEET 2 BF 4 PAIENTEDHEI: 1 1 ms PAIENTED DEC 1 1 I975 SHEET t [If 4 PANEL AND POST ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the field of office landscaping. More particularly, it provides a panel system suitable for providing a work station.

In the office landscape field, many attempts have been made to provide modular furniture. While many different types of modular furniture have been produced, many are complicated and cumbersome to produce and assemble. Many modular units do not have the flexibility in use that is necessary to render them adaptable to different environments.

The present invention is directed to providing a basic panel system which is simple to produce and assemble and which is sufficiently flexible in use as to render it adaptable to many different environments. A panel system in accordance with the present invention utilizes a sheet-like panel, typically of sheet metal. A post structure is utilized which may be extruded from metal, for example, to hold one or more panels in place. The post structure utilizes a novel channel arrangement, to be described in detail below, in order to firmly secure panels in place.

The following US. patents are representative of the prior art in the field of the present invention:

Patentee Patent No. Issued Vervloet 3,378,977 23 Apr. 1968 Luss 3,189,140 15 June 1965 Beckman 3,449,877 17 June 1969 Cripe 3,261,625 19 July 1966 Wilson 3,159,250 1 Dec. 1964 Mutchnik 3,011,229 5 Dec. 1961 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a panel and post assembly in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 1, taken to an enlarged scale and along the section 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3, 5, 6 and 7 are sectional views taken along the corresponding sections in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing the details of assembly of the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of part of two panels used in the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a retaining lug used in the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another panel and post assembly embodying the invention;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view, to an enlarged scale, of the assembly of FIG. 10, taken along the section 1lll in FIG. 10;

FIGS. 12 and 13 are side and bottom views of a trim piece used in the assembly of FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION are employed in conjunction with panel-supporting members 40 and 42 along with lower trim pieces and 46 and upper trim pieces 48 and 50 for supporting and maintaining the side and back panels in place.

The exploded perspective view of FIG. 4 will be helpful in understanding the panel and post assembly of the present invention. The side panel 24 is in fact composed of two parts, namely, an inside panel part 24a and an outside panel part 24b. Each panel part is sheetlike, and may be advantageously formed from sheet metal. Taking the inside panel part 24a as representative, tthe panel has a large area surface 24al that terminates along one edge thereof in a first edge portion 24a-2 that is substantially at right angles to the large area surface 24a-l as well as a second edge portion 24a-3 that is parallel to the large area surface 24a-1. The outer edge of the second edge portion 24a3 constitutes one of the outer edges of the sheet-like panel 24a. This edge of the panel 24a is firmly maintained in position by part of the vertical post 38, now to be described with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5.

For supporting the sheet-like panel 24a, the corner post 38 includes a longitudinal internal channel 38a therein. There is a longitudinal opening 38b through one of the outer walls of the post 38 that opens into the channel 38a. There is also a longitudinal groove 38al in the post that forms a part of the longitudinal internal channel 380. The longitudinal groove 38a-l is positioned in a side of the channel that is opposite from the longitudinal opening 38b and is laterally displaced from that opening. To elaborate, and with respect to FIG. 5, the longitudinal groove 3811-1 may be considered as being located in the right-hand, rear corner of the channel 38a, while the longitudinal opening 38b may be considered to be located at the left-hand, front corner of the channel 38a.

Still with reference to FIG. 5, the outer side of the first edge portion 24a-2 is positioned against an outwardly exposed part 380 of the post 38 that is adjacent to the longitudinal opening 38b. The inner side of the first edge portion 24a-2 is positioned against an internal wall of the channel 38a (the internal wall is designated 38a-2). It should be noted that the right-hand edge of the panel 24a (as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5) is positioned within the longitudinal groove 38a-1.

With the first edge portion 24a-2 of the panel 24a being positioned against the outwardly exposed part 38c of the post 38 and the internal wall 38a-2 of the channel 38a, the panel 240 cannot be moved either to the right or the left with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5. The positioning of the right-hand edge of the panel 24a in the longitudinal groove 38a-1 also inhibits the movement of the panel to the right. The positioning of this right-hand edge in this groove also prevents the panel 24a from moving outwardly (the downward direction with respect to FIG. 5).

The panel 24a is maintained in position by channel arrangements as just described in both posts 36 and 38. The same is true for the panel 24b. As shown in FIG.

4, the two panels 24a and 24b include top flanges.

24a-4 and 24b-4 (see also FIG. 8). The trim piece 50 shown in FIG. 4 is positioned over the top flanges 24a-4 and 24b-4 and is held in place by bolts such as 52 shown in FIG. 4. Each bolt 52 is threaded into a corresponding hole in one of the corner posts, (for example, the bolt 52 shown in FIG. 4 is threaded into the hole 36d in the corner post 36').

A similar trim piece 46 is positioned at the bottoms of panels 24a and 24b (see FIGS. 4 and 6). The lower trim piece 46 may be secured to the corner posts 36 and 38 in the same fashion as the top trim piece 50, i.e., by the use of bolts 52 (see FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 2 leveling feet 54 may be employed held by inserts 56 that are positioned in the lower trim pieces 44 and 46. The leveling feet are adjusted to provide a suitable leveling of the work station.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 7, panel-supporting members 40 and 42 are employed to maintain the back panel 26 in place. The two members 40 and 42 are identical, and are typically extruded. The panelsupporting member 42 will be described in detail. It includes upper and lower channels 42a and 42b. These channels are for supporting a panel such as the sheetlike panel 26 shown in FIG. 4, whose upper edge is positioned within the channel 42b. The panel-supporting members are maintained in position by a retaining lug 60. The lug is shown in detail in FIG. 9 and includes an end 60a that is shaped to fit into and slide within correspondingly-shaped groove 38e (for example) in the corner post 38 shown in FIG. 4. The retaining lug 60 includes a slot 60b therethrough for the purpose of maintaining a wedge 62. In practice, the retaining lug 60 is positioned within the channel 382 (the channel constitutes a longitudinal external groove in one of the outer surfaces of the corner post 38) and is moved to some vertical position desired. The panel-supporting member 42 is positioned so that a channel 42c therein engages the lug 60. Next, the wedge 62 is positioned as shown in FIG. 7. With reference to that figure, the lefthand edge of the wedge is against surfaces 42d, 42e and 42f in the panel-supporting member 42. The right-hand edge of the wedge 62 is positioned against surface 60c of the retaining lug 60. As the wedge 62 is driven downwardly, the left-hand end of the panel-supporting member 42 is firmly urged against the outer surface of the post 38 that is adjacent thereto. At the same time the end 60a of the retaining lug 60 is urged into firm engagement with the walls of the channel or longitudinal external groove 38a so as to maintain the retaining lug 60 and the panel-supporting member 42 in fixed longitudinal position (vertical position) with respect to the corner post 38.

With reference to FIGS. 4 and 7, it should be noted that the wedge 62 includes a notched portion 62a. The notched portion is utilized in connection with removal of the wedge 62 in connection with the dismantling of the work station. Typically, the end of a screwdriver is inserted into the notched portion 62a, and the wedge is pried upwardly in order to remove it to permit disassembly of the work station.

It should be noted that any number of corner post arrangements may be employed for the purpose of making a work station. As shown in FIG. 4, the corner post 36 simply is for holding the panels 24a and 24b (specifically the left-hand edges of the two panels). Thus, the corner-post need not provide for the retention of any other panels. The post 38, on the other hand, not only is for the purpose of holding the panels 24a and 24b (specifically the right-hand edges thereof) but is also suitable for holding the panel 26 (by virtue of the groove 38c) and another panel (not shown) that would be in line with the panel 26' and which would be maintained in position by groove 38f in the corner post.

FIGS. 10-l3 show another form of post similar to the tion such as shown in FIG. 10. In this case a front unit 70a and a rear unit 70b are separated by back panel 72. The back panel 72 is maintained in place by upper and lower trim pieces 74 and 76 that may be the same as the upper and lower trim pieces 42 and 40 described above in connection with FIG. 1. Posts 78, 80, 82 and 84 are the same as posts 34 and 36 in the assembly of FIG. 1. Center posts 86 and 88 are similar to the posts 32 and 38 in the assembly of FIG. 1. The center post 86 shown in FIG. 11 is the same as the comer post 38 shown in FIG. 4, except that there are four longitudinal internal channels 860 corresponding to the two longitudinal internal channels 38a of the corner post 38. In this fashion the center post 86 may be used to hold in position panels 90a and 90b as well as panels 92a and 92b.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show trim piece 94 which is used in connection with the assembly of FIG. 10. The trim piece 94 is the same as the trim piece 50, for example, shown in FIG. 4, except that it includes a middle portion 94a to accommodate a bolt 52 such as shown in FIG. 4 that is threaded into hole 86d forming a part of the center post 86.

It will be appreciated that structure embodying the present invention is simple to make and simple to as semble. The sheet-like panels aresimply slid into place along their edges within the longitudinal internal channels (such as channel 38a of FIG. 4) or within the longitudinal external grooves (such as the groove 38s in FIG. 4). Simple positioning of the retaining lugs 60 and panel-supporting members (such as the member 42 shown in FIG. 4) provides for the simple positioning of single panels such as the panel 26 shown in FIG. 4. The positioning and maintaining in place of trim pieces (such as the trim pieces 46 and 50 shown in FIG. 4) completes the fabrication of a work unit, except for the placement of shelves, such as shelf 28 and desk surface 30 in FIG. 1.

One of the advantages of the present invention is that many pieces are identical (e.g., upper and lower trim pieces 40 and 42 and panels 24a and 24b) and may be used on right and left sides (e.g., posts 38 and 36), i.e., orientation of parts is not crucial, thereby facilitating manufacture by reducing the number of different parts required.

It will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible of modification. Accordingly, the invention should be taken to be defined by the following claims.

I claim:

1. A post for securing a sheet-like panelin place, said post having a longitudinal internal channel therethrough, a longitudinal opening through one of the outer walls of said post into said channel, and a longitudinal groove in said post forming a part of said channel, said groove being positioned in a side of said channel opposite from said longitudinal opening and laterally displaced from said longitudinal opening.

2. A post according to claim 1, in combination with a sheet-like panel, said panel having a large area surface terminating along one edge thereof in a first edge portion substantially at right angles to said large area surface and a second edge portion substantially parallel to said large area surface, the outer edge of said second edge-portion constituting the outer edge of said sheetlike panel and being positioned inside said longitudinal groove.

3. A post according to claim 2, in which one side of said first edge portion is positioned against an outwardly exposed part of said post, and the other side of said first edge portion is positioned against an internal wall of said channel substantially opposite from said longitudinal groove.

4. A post according to claim 1, including a longitudinal external groove in one of the outer surfaces of said post to accommodate the edge of a sheet-like panel.

5. A post according to claim 4, including a retaining lug slidable in said longitudinal external groove, a panel-supporting member engaging said lug and supported thereby, and wedge means urging said retaining lug against a wall of said longitudinal external channel secured to one end of said post.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1079117 *May 4, 1911Nov 18, 1913A J Ellis IncHollow sheet-metal structure.
US2134008 *Dec 16, 1936Oct 25, 1938William W MartinFastening mechanism
US2140772 *May 17, 1937Dec 20, 1938Ingleside CompanySpline and connecter
US2519162 *Mar 15, 1948Aug 15, 1950Tucker Thomas TAcoustic testing structure including sound absorbing panels
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4404776 *Jan 21, 1981Sep 20, 1983Hauserman Ltd.Hanging components for space divider system
US4821477 *Jan 7, 1988Apr 18, 1989Rydqvist Sune S LPartition panel system
US5287909 *Dec 9, 1992Feb 22, 1994Steelcase Inc.Freestanding privacy screen
US6116326 *Nov 20, 1998Sep 12, 2000Steelcase Development Inc.Mobile screen
WO1986004372A1 *Jan 21, 1986Jul 31, 1986Sune Sigfrid Lennart RydqvistPartition panel system
WO1999015050A1 *Sep 23, 1998Apr 1, 1999Duran Robles FerminDevice for conforming furniture by means of panels
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/140, 52/580, 52/239, 403/6, 52/285.4
International ClassificationE04B2/74, F16B12/00, F16B12/02, F16B12/20
Cooperative ClassificationF16B12/02, E04B2002/749, E04B2002/7483, F16B12/20, E04B2/7425
European ClassificationE04B2/74C3D2, F16B12/02, F16B12/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 15, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, WESTINGHOUSE BU
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:KNOLL INTERNATIONAL, INC., A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:005570/0598
Effective date: 19901127