US 3833279 A
A modular supporting assembly is provided which is formed from a plurality of complemental extruded components. A first set of components are arranged relative to one another so as to form a pair of spaced substantially parallel upright columns. A second set of components are arranged relative to one another so as to form elongated supports disposed transversely of the columns. The supports are removably secured to the columns by suitable connecting means. The height of the columns may be varied by securing the components of a set in abutting end to end relation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
. United States Patent 1191 MacKenzie', Jr. Sept. 3, 1974  MODULAR SUPPORTINGASSEMBLY 3,747,88 5 7 1972 Ciancimino 312/263  Inventor: Joseph H. MacKenzie, Jr., 431 I p Prairie Ave.,"Wilmette, 111. 60091 Primary ExaminerCasm1r'A- Numbers 22 Filed: Mar. 2', 1973 I 21 Appl. No.: 337,410 r  1 ABSTRACT A modular supporting assembly is provided which is formed-from a plurality of complemental extruded g }g 1 components. A first set of components are arranged  Fi h 312/108 140 198 relative to one another so as to form a pair of spaced 5"; SK 2625' substantially parallel upright columns. A second set of components are arranged relative to one another so as j vto form elongated supports disposed transversely of  g mE cued the columns. The supports are removably secured to UNITED STATES PATENTS the columns by suitable connecting means. The height 2,529,826 11/ 1950 Walker 312/ 140 of the columns may be varied by securing the compo- 2,884,296 4/ 1959 .Meilinger et a1 .nents of a set in abutting'end to end relation. 3,305,286 2/1967 'Fem'vick.....' v 3,623,784 11/1971 Neufeld 312/263 13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 55? 31974 SHEET 10F 4 FIG.|
PATENIEUSEP 3w -3 .833 .279
sum 3 or 4 PATENTED EP 31914 3.ssa.279
V SHEET 0F 4 F l G. 5
Ill 1 H )jll ll In! I L 36 5 IM 37 W- ze i 7 I 1- MODULAR SUPPORTING ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various modular supporting assemblies have heretofore been provided; however, becauseof certain design characteristics, they havebeen beset by one or more of the following shortcomings: (a) the structure is awkward and difficult to assemble and disassemble; (b) an inordinate number of components comprise the supporting assembly, thereby increasing the overall cost of the assembly and time for erecting same; (c) substantial on-site manual effort is required to erect the assembly; (d) it is difficult to vary the dimensions of the structure in order to meet certain installation requirements; (e) replacement of one or more components is difficult and time-consuming.
Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide a modular supporting assembly which is formed of a plurality of complemental extruded components.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a modular supporting assembly which may be readily assembled and disassembled without requiring a variety of special tools or personnel possessed of special dex terityor talents.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a modular supporting assembly wherein the various extruded components thereof are of certain standardized design configurations and yet, are versatile in forming assemblies varying in size and shape.
-It is a still further object of the invention to provide a supporting assembly which is of simple, inexpensive construction, and is possessed of great strength and stability.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a modular supporting assembly wherein the compo.- nents thereof may be readily fabricated using known techniques and high speed automatic equipment.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a modular supporting-assembly which may be shipped or stored in either assembled or disassembled condition.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings, and appended claims.
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a modular supporting assembly is provided which has particular applicability for use as a support for terminal blocks or the like commonly .utilized in communication systems. The supporting assembly is formed of a first set of extruded components which are arranged relative to one another so as to form spaced substantially parallel upright columns. A second set of extruded components is provided wherein the components thereof are arranged so as to form elongated supports which extend transversely of the columns; Connecting means are provided which are adapted to interconnect the columns and supports so as to form a unitary structure. The extruded components comprising the first set have a uniform predetermined crosssectional configuration and the components comprising the second set also have a uniform predetermined cross-sectional configuration. Where the height of a column is to be increased, two or more components of a set are readily capable of beingsecured together in abutting end to end relation.
DESCRIPTION For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of cabinet having components thereof embodying the claimed invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top perspective view of the cabinet of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is anexploded perspective view of the cabinet of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4' is an enlarged, fragmentary, exploded, perspective view of various components comprising the modular supporting assembly embodied in the cabinet of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary top plan view showing certain of the components of FIG. 4 in assembled relation;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged end view of a pair of columnforming members assembled in side-by-side relation.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIGS. 1-3, a cabinet 10 is shown which is of a type capable of accommodating terminal blocks, switching equipment, etc. commonly utilized in the telephone communication field. The cabinet 10 is merely one example of a structure which may be formed when practicing the invention to be hereafter described. A pair of doors 11a and 11b, a frame 12 therefor, side panels 13, a back panel 14, and a top panel 15 are provided and supported by a suitable modular assembly 16, as seen more clearly in FIG. 3. The various panels and doors are not essential to the invention, but may be utilized where security of equipment to be mounted on the assembly is a problem. The various panels aforenoted may be formed of sheet metal, plastic, wood or the like, or a combination of same. Where the cabinet is used to house various communication equipment, the top panel 15 or one of the other panels may be provided with one or more openings 15a to accommodate cables or the like, not shown. The size and shape of the panels, doors and door frame may be varied from that shown and will depend upon the equipment to be housed within the cabinet and the location where the cabinet is to be installed. As aforenoted in certain installations, only the assembly 16 is required without any panels, doors or door frame being assembled thereto.
The assembly 16 in the illustrated embodiment, see FIGS. 3 and 4 basically consists of upstanding columns 17 arranged in spaced parallel relation, and'a plurality of cross members or supports 18 which interconnect corresponding portions of the columns.
Each of the columns 17 is formed of one or more extruded members 20, depending upon the desired height of the assembly. As seen in FIG. 4, each extruded member 20 has a unique cross-sectional configuration. The member 20 is preferably formed of metal or other suitable material.
The outwardly facing surface 20a of the member 20 is provided with an elongated, substantially T-shaped pocket 21. The exposed side 21a of the pocket is narrow and the inner portions of the pocket form curved lateral extensions 21b. The opposite, or inwardly facing, surface 20b of the member 20 is also provided with an elongated pocket 22 having a narrow exposed side 22a and an enlarged inner portion 22b of substantially semi-cylindrical configuration. The opposite side sur faces 20c of member 20 are each provided with an elongated pocket 23 of like configuration. Each pocket 23 is of substantially T-shape configuration and has a narrow open side 23a. Each pocket 21, 22 and 23 extends the full length of the member.
Disposed within each pocket 23'is an elongated strip 24 which is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced openings 25 which may be internally threaded,
' if desired. The length of strip 24 may correspond to or screws 27 or by welding to the adjacent portion of column 17. Theother flange 26b of each plate may be bolted or otherwise anchored to a fioor or supporting surface, not shown.
Where two or more members 20 are to be assembled in abutting end-to-end relation, strip 24 or a similar extruded piece is inserted into the corresponding pockets of the abutting members. To secure the strip to both of the abutting members, screws maybe threaded in predetermined openings 25 of the strip until the lead end of each screw snugly engages a groove 23b formed in the base of the pocket 23. As the screw snugly engages the groove, the strip 24 will be drawn up tightly against shoulders 28 delimiting the narrow open side 23a of the pocket 23. In certain instances, the strip or piece may be welded to both of the abutting members.
Besides the base plates 26, a predetermined number of transversely extending support members 30 may be secured to the upright column 20 by way of the strips 24 and securing screws or bolts 31. Slots or openings 30a may be formed in the support members adjacent opposite ends thereof in order to receive the shanks of the securing screws or bolts 31. The support members 30 are normally disposed on opposite sides of the column members 20 and the number of members 30 and their relative positions on the upright members 20 will The side panels 13 of the cabinet are secured to the corresponding upright column mernbers by a plurality of adaptor pieces 32 which are riveted or otherwise affixed to the concealed surface of the panel. Each adaptor piece 32 has a cross-sectional configuration which corresponds substantially to the crosssectional configuration of pocket 21. Thus, the piece is assembled into the pocket normally from the top of the column member 20.
To support and secure the top and bottom edges of the panels to the adjacent column member, a suitable bracket 33 may be positioned at the top and bottom of the member 20. The bracket 33 may have various configurations and will depend upon the size and shape of the cabinet side panel 13. In the bracket 33, shown in FIG. 4, there is provided an elongated central portion 33a which is adapted to be disposed adjacent the inwardly disposed surface 20b of the column member 20. The central portion is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced openings 34a, 34b and 340. The number and location of these openings may vary from that shown. Extending longitudinally and offset outwardly from opposite ends of the central portion 33a are elongated end portions 33b. The amount of offset the end portions have relative to the central portion depends upon the cross-sectional configuration of the column member 20. When the bracket 33 is in position relative to the column member, the end portions 33b will supportingly engage the concealed surface of the cabinet side panel 13 which is secured to the column member 20. The longitudinal axis of the bracket is disposed transversely to the longitudinal axis of the column member.
In order to secure the bracket 33 in a desired position on the column member 20, a second adaptor piece 35 is provided which is shaped so as to slidably fit within the rearpo'cket 22 formed in the column member. The piece35 is provided with an internally threaded opening 35a which is adapted to receive the threaded shank of a mounting screw 36. The screw shank extends through the selected opening 34a, 34b or 340 formed in the central portion of the bracket 33, and the opening 35a in adaptor piece 35. The leading end of the shank snugly engages the base of pocket 22. The relative position of the doors 11a and 11b and frame 12, and the back panel 14 of the cabinet 10 with respect to the column members 20 of the assembly 16 will be determined by which of the openings formed in the central portion 33a is selected to receive the shank of screw 36. By reason of this arrangement, the assembly 16 and cabinet panels can be adjusted so as to accommodate various types of equipment.
In FIG. 3, a slightly modified bracket 37 is also shown secured to one of thecolumn members. Bracket 37 has an elongated central portion 37a provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced openings 38 similar to those provided in bracket 33. End portions 37b of the bracket extend transversely outwardly from opposite ends of the central portion 37a and are adapted to engage the interior surface of adjacent inwardly extending flanges 13a formed along the vertical edges of the panel 13. The central portion 37a of bracket 37 is secured to the column member 20 in the same manner as described with respect to bracket 33.
The upper ends, or in certain instances the bottom ends of thecolumn members 20 may be interconnected by an elongated sectional plate 40, see FIGS. 4 and 5. The plate 40 in the illustrated embodiment, includes a pair of complemental sections 41 and 42 of like configuration. The length of each section is such that it will readily span the distance between the upper ends of the column members. One elongated side 41a and 42a of each section is provided with a cut-out, the two cut-out portions cooperate with one another to form an elongated opening for the cables passing through the top panel 15 of the cabinet.
Opposite ends of the plate sections are provided with suitable openings 41b and 42b through which the shanks of bolts or screws 43 may pass when the plate is being assembled across the top or bottom of the column members 20. The screws 43 preferably have selfcutting means at the leading ends of the shanks so that the screws can threadably engage the lateral extensions 21b of the pocket 21 formed in each column member, see FIG. 5. Plates 26 and 40 may be of like or dissimilar configuration.
While the improved assembly 16 has been described with regard to a storage cabinet 10 for accommodating various components and equipment utilized in telephone communication systems, it is to be understood, of course, that it is not intended to be limited thereto. Furthermore, the extruded members may take various other forms from that shown without departing from the scope of the invention.
In FIG. 7 a modified column construction is shown wherein two column members are arranged in sideby-side relation with the pockets'Zl thereof in opposed relation. The column members are retained in the sideby-side relation by an extruded connecting piece 44. Piece 44 is provided with four shoulder-like projections 44a, 44b, 44c and 44d. Projections 44a and b cooperate with one another so as to interlock with the pocket 21 formed in right-hand column member 20 and in a similar manner projections 44c and d interlock with the pocket of the other column member. Projections 44a and d and 44b and c form wedge-shaped exterior notches 44e which are adapted to receive corresponding portions of the members which partially delimit the narrow opening 21a to each pocket 21.
Thus, it will be seen that a modular supporting assembly has been provided which is of simple, yet sturdy construction, utilizes a plurality of extruded components, and is versatile in forming structures of various sizes and shapes.
1. A modular supporting assembly formed from a plurality of complemental components, said assembly comprising a first set of extruded components arranged to form a pair of spaced substantially parallel upright columns, each component of said first set being provided with a first elongated longitudinally extending pocket formed in one surface thereof and coextensive with said component, and a second elongated longitu-. dinally extending pocket formed in a second surface of said component and being coextensive therewith, said first and second pockets having dissimilar crosssectional configurations; a second set of components arranged to form elongated supports disposed transversely of said columns; and means engaging said sets of components and effecting interconnection between said columns and said elongated supports; each of said columns being formed of one or more components of said first set and each support being formed of one or more components of said second set; the components of said first set having like cross-sectional configurations.
2. The modular supporting assembly of claim 1 wherein each upright column comprises a plurality of first set components disposed in abutting end-to-end relation with corresponding first and second pockets being in longitudinal alignment, and an extruded insert piece fixedly disposed only within predetermined aligned pockets, said insert piece being assembled within said aligned pockets only upon movement thereof endwise of said components.
3. The modular supporting assembly of claim 1 wherein each component of said first set is provided with a third elongated longitudinally extending pocket formed in a third surface of said component and being coextensive therewith; said first, second and third pockets having dissimilar cross-sectional configurations.