|Publication number||USRE42970 E1|
|Application number||US 10/241,827|
|Publication date||Nov 29, 2011|
|Filing date||Sep 12, 2002|
|Priority date||Dec 17, 1999|
|Also published as||US6347714|
|Publication number||10241827, 241827, US RE42970 E1, US RE42970E1, US-E1-RE42970, USRE42970 E1, USRE42970E1|
|Inventors||Steven O. Fournier, William G. Sobieski, Robert C. Baxter|
|Original Assignee||Hubbell Incorporated|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (9), Classifications (14), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a cable management assembly designed to manage and organize various wires. More specifically, the cable management assembly includes a channel that is Z-shaped in cross-section that mounts onto a relay rack through the use of integral clips, and has openings to permit wires to pass through the channel.
Relay racks provide an efficient method of providing structure for a variety of cross-connect applications. The racks are typically used in a termination closet for the management of wiring systems such as telecommunication wiring systems. Employing a channel in conjunction with the relay rack facilitates the handling, routing, and organizing of things such as cable wires and optical fiber.
Current cable management assemblies include channels that are mounted on the sides of the relay rack. The channels hold bundles of wires that are connected to various cross-connect products held within the center of the relay rack. The channels are mounted by using nut and bolt type fasteners to couple the relay rack to the channels. In addition, nut and bolt type fasteners are commonly used to make any attachments to the channels, such as for securing covers over the front compartments of the channels. The requirement of employing nut and bolt type fasteners to secure the channels and the covers increases costs and creates inefficiency in securing and using the channels.
The design of the current channels creates additional problems. For example, more than one mold is required to form the channels thus increasing costs in making the channels. Also, channels are often broken in shipping and storage because they are not sufficiently durable. In addition, the design of the channel hinders loading and accessing wires in the front and rear compartments of the channel. Specifically, to load the wires in the front compartment, the cover and fasteners must be removed, and to load the wires in the rear compartment, the wires must be weaved through gates. Moreover, the covers and gates obstruct access to the wires in the front and rear compartments.
An additional problem is that the current channels fail to provide means for efficiently securing and organizing the numerous wires making it difficult for an operator to access the wires and the cross-connect products on the rack.
Examples of prior art cross-connect products are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Ser. No. 5,765,698 to Bullivant.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide a cable management assembly with a channel that can be mounted to a relay rack without the use of separate fasteners.
Another object of this invention is to provide a channel that can receive a cover without the use of separate fasteners.
Another object of this invention is to provide a channel that is efficient and inexpensive to make and use.
A further object of this invention is to provide a channel that is durable, that can be formed using only one mold, and that facilitates access to the wires held in the channel.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a channel capable of efficiently securing and organizing the wires held in the channel.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a cable management channel that can be ganged without the use of separate fasteners.
The foregoing objects are basically attained by a channel member comprising a first member having a first surface, a second surface, and a plurality of first fastening elements, and an opposing, second member having a third surface, a fourth surface, and a plurality of second fastening elements. The third surface of the second member is planar with the first surface of the first member, and the fourth surface of the second member is planar with the second surface of the first member. A middle member connects the second surface of the first member to the third surface of the second member forming a Z-shaped section transverse to the longitudinal axis of the first and second members. The middle member defines first and second receiving areas between the first and second members and has an aperture for providing access between the first and second receiving areas, such that a wire can be received concurrently in both the first and second receiving areas.
The foregoing objects are also attained by a rack assembly comprising a channel member for managing wires having, a one-piece first member with a first surface, a second surface, and an integral fastening element, and an opposing, second member with a third surface and a fourth surface. The third surface of the second member is planar with the first surface of the first member, and the fourth surface of the second member is planar with the second surface of the first member. A middle member connects the first member to the second member forming first and second receiving areas between the first and second members. A frame for supporting the channel member having a support element engaging the integral fastening element of the first member to support the channel member adjacent the frame.
The foregoing objects are also attained by a rack assembly comprising a first channel member for managing wires having, a one-piece first member with a first surface, a second surface, and an integral first fastening element extending from said first member, and an opposing, second member with a third surface, a fourth surface, and a second fastening element for engaging a cooperating first fastening element of a second channel member. The third surface of the second member is planar with the first surface of the first member, and the fourth surface of the second member is planar with the second surface of the first member, and a middle member connecting the first member to the second member forming first and second receiving areas between the first and second members, and having an aperture for providing access between the first and second receiving areas. A frame for supporting the first channel member, the frame having a support element engaging the first integral fastening element of the first member to support the first channel member adjacent the frame, such that a wire can be received concurrently in both the first and second receiving areas of the first channel member.
The foregoing objects are also attained by a rack assembly comprising a channel member for managing wires having a one-piece first member and an opposing, one-piece second member. The first and second members each having an integral fastening element extending therefrom respectively and a front surface. The channel member further having a middle member connecting the first member to the second member at a location opposite the front surfaces, forming a C-shaped section transverse to a longitudinal axis of the first and second members, the middle, first, and second members defining a receiving area for holding wires. A frame for supporting the channel member, the frame having a support element engaging the integral fastening element of the first member to support the channel member adjacent the frame.
The foregoing objects are also attained by a method for managing wires, comprising the steps of providing a bracket having opposing ends and a hanging element, and a channel member having an area for holding wires, fastening elements for receiving the ends of the bracket, and an engaging element for receiving the hanging element of the bracket. Storing the bracket on the channel member in a stored position such that the hanging element of the bracket is coupled to the engaging element of the channel member. Accessing the area for holding wires in the channel member. Removing the bracket from the stored position. Placing the bracket back on the channel member to hold the wires in the channel member such that the ends of the bracket are engaged with the fastening elements of the channel member.
Other objects, advantages and salient features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment of the invention.
Referring to the drawings which form a part of this disclosure:
As seen in
Channel members 60 are mounted on outer surfaces 26 and 32 of left and right portions 22 and 28, respectively. Wires 12 are held and organized in channel members 60 and can be connected to the cross-connect products held in central area 46. Although four channel members 60 are shown, both rack 20 and channel member 60 can be sized such that more or less than four channel members 60 can be used. Rack 20 is preferably made of a metal material but can be formed of any rigid material.
As seen in
Each rear wall 64 and front wall 66 are substantially perpendicular to left member 62. Right or second member 72 has inner and outer surfaces 78 and 80, respectively, and a plurality of elongated cutouts 73 that for a plurality of segments 75 similar to segments 65. A plurality of front walls or fourth surfaces 76 extend inwardly from inner surface 78 such that each front wall 76 extends from each segment 75. Rear wall or third surface 74 extends inwardly from inner surface 78 opposite front walls 76. Rear wall 74 and each front wall 76 are substantially perpendicular to right member 72. Rear walls 64 of left member 62 are substantially planar with rear wall 74 of right member 72. Front wall 66 of left member 62 is substantially planar with front walls 76 of right member 72. Preferably, front wall 66 and rear wall 74 are wider than front walls 76 and rears walls 64, however, they can be of various widths or the same width. Also, four rear walls 64 and four front walls 76 are shown where the two middle walls have a length approximately half of the length of the outer walls, as shown in
Middle member 82 has left and right surfaces 84 and 86 and extends from front wall 66 to rear wall 74. Middle member 82 connects left member 62 to right member 72 such that the cross section, a section transverse to the longitudinal axis of Z-channel member 60, is Z-shaped, as seen in
Apertures 88, each with outer lip 89, are preferably evenly disposed along middle member 82 and provide access for wires 12 between first and second receiving areas 90 and 92. Although shown as generally circular, apertures 88 can be of any shape, such as square or oval. In addition, only one aperture 88 need be employed as long as first receiving area 90 can be accessed by second receiving area 92, and second receiving area 92 can be accessed by first receiving area 90. Wires 12 can be vertically received in both first and second receiving areas 90 and 92 such that one wire 12 can be concurrently received in both first and second receiving areas 90 and 92 through apertures 88, as seen in
Z-channel member 60 further has top edge 94, bottom edge 96 and beveled side edges 98 connecting middle member 82 to front and rear wall 66 and 74, connecting rear walls 64 and front wall 66 to left member 62, and connecting rear wall 74 and front walls 76 to right member 72. It is preferred that Z-channel member be formed of metal material but it may be formed of a lighter weight material such as plastic.
Top and bottom integral clips, or fastening elements, 100 and 102 are disposed on left member 62 proximate top and bottom edge 94 and 96, respectively. Clips 100 and 102 are formed by punching out a small section of left member 62 and extend outwardly from outer surface 70. Although pairs of clips 100 and 102 are shown, it will be understood that any number of clips 100 and 102 can be used as long as they correspond to mating holes 44 of rack 20. As seen in
Channel member 60 is designed such that the same channel member 60 can be mounted on either left portion 22 or right portion 28 of rack 20. This design reduces costs by requiring only one mold to be used to make channel members 60 eliminating the necessity of two different molds, one to accommodate the left portion 22 and one to accommodate the right portion 28. However, left, right, and middle members 62, 72 and 82 can be formed separately and then connected by any known attachment means.
To mount Z-channel member on right portion 28 of rack 20, top integral clips 100 are inserted into mating holes 44 proximate top bracing portion 34 of rack 20, and bottom integral clips 102 are inserted into mating holes 44 located near a mid-section of rack 20, as seen in
As seen in
In addition, two or more channel members 60 can be ganged between more than one rack 20 (not shown). Upon mounting a first channel member 60 on right portion 28 of a first rack 20, a second channel member 60 can then be coupled with the first channel member 60 by fastening together corresponding mating holes 108 located on right member 72 of each first and second channel members 60 such that front wall 66 of the first channel member 60 faces forwardly and front wall 66 of the second channel member 60 faces rearwardly. Typically, nut and bolt type fasteners are employed to couple first and second channel members 60 together. This allows second channel member 60 to be coupled with a second rack 20 by inserting clips 100 and 102 of the second channel member 60 into corresponding mating holes 44 of left portion 22 of second rack 20.
Z-channel member includes pairs of first and second slots, or fastening elements, 110 and 112 that are evenly disposed on front wall 66 and rear wall 74. Pairs of slots 110 and 112 are also disposed on each front and rear walls 64 and 76. The location of slots 110 and 112 on front wall 66 correspond to the location of slots 110 and 112 on front walls 76. Similarly, the location of slots 110 and 112 on rear wall 74 correspond to the location of slots 110 and 112 on rear walls 64. Gates, or brackets, 140 can then be received in each corresponding pairs of slots, as seen in
As seen in
As seen in
A lance or hanging element 144 for storing gates 140 onto Z-channel member 60 extends outwardly from left end wall 142. Specifically, lance element 144 engages tongue elements 114 of Z-channel member 60. Lance element 144 is preferably formed by punching out a section from left end member 144, as seen in
Cable management assembly 10 also includes covers 180 for providing enhanced aesthetics mounted to gates 140, as seen in
Top and bottom integral clips 240 and 242 are formed in C-channel member in substantially the same fashion as integral clips 100 and 102 as discussed above with respect to Z-channel member 60. In addition, the C-shaped design of C-channel member 210 allows clips 240 and 242 to be disposed on both left and right member 212 and 222 and requires only one mold to form C-channel member 210. Pairs of top clips 240 are disposed on each left and right member 212 and 222 proximate the top of C-channel member 210. Pairs of bottom clips 242 are disposed on each left and right member 212 and 222 proximate the bottom of C-channel member. It will be understood that any number of clips 240 and 242 can be used as long as they correspond to mating holes 44 on rack 20.
C-channel member and clips 240 and 242 engage rack 20 in the same manner as Z-channel member and clips 100 and 102 such that one C-channel member can be mounted on either left or right portion 22 and 28 of rack 20. When mounted in a first position on right portion 28, outer surface 230 of left member 212 is adjacent outer surface 32 of right portion 28 and front opening 238 faces forwardly. When mounted in a second position on left portion 22, outer surface 230 of right member 222 is adjacent outer surface 26 of left member 22 and front opening 238 faces forwardly. Mating holes or fastening elements 244 for providing additional means for securing C-channel member 210 on rack 20, are disposed on left and right members 212 and 222 and correspond to mating holes 44 on rack 20 such that mating holes 44 and mating holes 244 can be coupled using a typical fastener such as a nut and bolt.
Front walls 234 include corresponding pairs of first and second slots 246 and 248 for receiving first and second foot members 150 and 152 of gates 140 in a fashion substantially similar to first and second receiving slots 110 and 112 of S-channel member 60. Gates 140 serve to enclose wires 12 in inner receiving area 236 in the same manner as discussed above with respect to first and second receiving areas 90 and 92 of Z-channel member 60. Slots 246 and 248 are generally evenly dispersed along front walls 234 but can be located anywhere along front walls 234 as long as corresponding pairs of slots are disposed on each front wall 234, respectively. Front walls 234 further include tongue or engaging elements 250 for storing gates 140, in the same fashion as discussed above with respect to tongue elements 114. Tongue elements 250 are also evenly dispersed along front wall 234, however, they can be located anywhere along front walls 234. It will be understood that only one pair of slots 246 and 248 and only one tongue element 250 is necessary for mounting and storing gates 140. Covers 180 can be used with C-channel member 210 in the same manner as discussed above with respect to S-channel member 60.
Middle member 232 includes elongated slots 252 for receiving straps for bundling and managing wires 12 in inner receiving area 236. C-channel is preferable formed of metal material but can be formed of a lighter weight material such as plastic. Also, C-channel 210 and Z-channel 60 can be used together on the same rack 22 or ganged together or used separately.
While a particular embodiment has been chosen to illustrate the invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8307996 *||Aug 26, 2009||Nov 13, 2012||Adc Gmbh||Frame with cable management|
|US8737090 *||Jul 19, 2011||May 27, 2014||Delta Electronics, Inc.||Rack mounted computer system and cable management mechanism thereof|
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|US9510471||Aug 14, 2015||Nov 29, 2016||Panduit Corp.||Electronics cabinet|
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|US20150270637 *||Mar 24, 2015||Sep 24, 2015||Commscope Technologies Llc||Plate for cable connector attachments|
|International Classification||A47F7/00, H02G3/04, H04Q1/14, H04Q1/06, G02B6/44|
|Cooperative Classification||H04Q1/062, H02G3/0437, G02B6/4452, H04Q2201/02, H04Q1/142|
|European Classification||H02G3/04F, H04Q1/06, G02B6/44C8A4|