Title:
Slatwall section and assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A slatwall section including a plurality of parallel frontal wall segments each extending between a first side edge portion of the slatwall section and an opposing second side edge portion of the slatwall section. Parallel slats are formed between adjacent frontal wall segments and extend between the first side edge portion and the second side edge portion. The adjacent frontal wall segments form a slat opening that extends into a depth of the slatwall section and transitions into a channel generally parallel with a front surface of the frontal wall segments. The slatwall section includes a bottom edge portion forming an angular groove and a top edge portion forming an angular tongue that is mateably engageable with an angular groove of a second slatwall section. A slatwall assembly including a plurality of slatwall sections can be constructed by mateably engaging an angular tongue formed at a top edge portion of a first slatwall section with an angular groove formed at a bottom edge portion of a second slatwall section to form a concealed joint.



Inventors:
Schuberth, Gus A. (Naperville, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/978595
Publication Date:
05/04/2006
Filing Date:
11/01/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAVCHAVADZE, COLLEEN MARGARET
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pauley Petersen & Erickson (Suite 365, 2800 West Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates, IL, 60195, US)
Claims:
1. A security system comprising: a base station; at least one sensor module comprising at least one sensor and a processor; and at least one calibration unit, said calibration unit configured to transmit signals to be received by said at least one sensor module, said signals containing a plurality of GPS derived locations and times of transmission, said processor programmed to calculate a position of said sensor module within a three dimensional coordinate system utilizing said plurality of GPS derived locations and times of transmission, said at least one sensor module configured to transmit module location data, module orientation data, and sensor status from said at least one sensor to said base station.

2. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one sensor comprises one or more of a smoke sensor, a fire sensor, a gas sensor, an audio sensor, a video sensor, and a vibration sensor.

3. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one sensor module is configured to periodically transmit module location data, module orientation data, and sensor status utilizing a frequency from about 20 kHz to about 100 kHz.

4. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one calibration unit is configured to: determine its location within a coordinate system utilizing GPS; and transmit a GPS derived location and a time of transmission.

5. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one calibration unit comprises a clock, said clock configured to receive time updates based on GPS information received by said calibration unit.

6. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one calibration unit comprises a first calibration unit and a second calibration unit, said first calibration unit configured to determine its location within a coordinate system utilizing GPS, said second calibration unit configured to receive a location of said first calibration unit from said first calibration unit, then determine its location within the coordinate system utilizing GPS.

7. A security system according to claim 6 wherein said first calibration unit and said second calibration unit are configured to sequentially transmit their location within the coordinate system, as derived from received GPS signals, and a time of transmission.

8. (canceled)

9. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one sensor module comprises a clock, and wherein said processor is programmed with a distance calculation program configured to determine a distance between said sensor module and a respective said calibration unit, based upon a time of transmission received from the respective said calibration unit and a time provided by said clock.

10. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said processor is programmed with a three dimensional position program configured to determine a position of said sensor module based upon a GPS derived location received from the respective said calibration units.

11. A security system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one sensor module comprises an orientation compass configured to provide module orientation data to said processor.

12. A sensor module for a security system, said sensor module comprising: at least one sensor providing a status; a receiver configured to receive at least a plurality of GPS derived locations and times of transmission from a plurality of calibration unit locations; a processor programmed to calculate a position of said sensor module within a three dimensional coordinate system based on the received plurality of GPS derived locations and times of transmission; and a transmitter configured to transmit the status from said at least one sensor and the calculated position from said processor.

13. A sensor module according to claim 12 further comprising a clock, said processor configured to determine a distance between said sensor module and a unit transmitting a time of transmission to said receiver utilizing a time from said clock.

14. A sensor module according to claim 13 wherein said processor is configured to determine a delay by subtracting the time of transmission from the time from said clock.

15. A sensor module according to claim 13 wherein said processor is configured to correct any errors in said clock based on receiving at least four GPS derived locations and times of transmission.

16. A sensor module according to claim 12 further comprising an orientation compass configured to determine an orientation of said sensor module, said transmitter configured to transmit the orientation of said sensor module.

17. A sensor module according to claim 16 wherein said transmitter is configured to periodically transmit status from said sensor, the calculated position of said sensor module, and the orientation of said sensor module.

18. A sensor module according to claim 12 wherein said sensor comprises at least one of a smoke sensor, a fire sensor, a gas sensor, an audio sensor, a video sensor, and a vibration sensor.

19. A method for providing security to an area utilizing a plurality of sensor modules, said method comprising: providing sensor modules each including at least one sensor therein to be dispersed within the area to be monitored, the sensor modules also including a processor; providing a plurality of calibration units to be dispersed within a vicinity of the sensor modules; configuring the calibration units to derive and transmit their GPS location and a time of transmission to the sensor modules; programming the processor of each sensor module to calculate a position of the sensor module within a three dimensional coordinate system based on the signals and times of transmission received from the calibration units; and further programming the sensor modules to transmit their location and a status from the at least one sensor therein.

20. A method according to claim 19 further comprising: providing the sensor modules with an orientation compass therein; and further programming the sensor modules to transmit their orientation along with their location and the status from the at least one sensor.

21. A method according to claim 19 wherein programming the processor of each sensor module to calculate a position of the sensor module comprises: configuring the sensor modules with a clock providing a time; and programming the processor of each sensor module to determine a delay time by comparing the time of transmission received from each calibration unit to a time provided by the clock.

22. A method according to claim 19 wherein programming the processor of each sensor module to calculate a position of the sensor module comprises: configuring the sensor modules with a clock providing a time; configuring the sensor modules to receive GPS locations and times of transmission from four calibration unit locations; and programming the processor of each sensor module to correct any errors in the clock based on the received GPS locations and times of transmission.

23. A method according to claim 19 wherein configuring the calibration units to derive and transmit their GPS location and a time of transmission to the sensor modules comprises: configuring the calibration units with a sequence; and causing each calibration unit to derive and transmit their GPS location and a time of transmission according to the sequence.

24. A method according to claim 23 further comprising configuring the calibration units to derive and transmit their GPS location and a time of transmission upon reception of a GPS location and time from a calibration unit immediately preceding the respective calibration unit in the sequence.

25. A method according to claim 19 further comprising: receiving the locations and status transmitted from the at least one sensor module at a base station; and causing a response to be initiated based on the status received at the base station.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to my earlier filed pending application, Ser. No. 29/199,146, filed on 10 Feb. 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to slatwall sections that are mateably engageable to construct a slatwall assembly.

2. Description of Related Art

Slatwall sections or panels and slatwall assemblies are useful in commercial settings or for home use, for displaying merchandise or storing articles for example. Typically, slatwall sections contain grooves within which hanging elements, such as hooks, hangers, brackets and shelves are positioned. The slatwall sections can be fastened to a support structure, such as a wall, to form a slatwall assembly having suitable dimensions for a particular use.

Some attempt has been made to simplify the construction of the slatwall assembly. For example, some conventional slatwall assemblies include a plurality of slatwall sections that can be interlocked with adjacent slatwall sections at edge portions to secure the slatwall sections together. However, it may be difficult to interlock the adjacent slatwall sections, for example if the slatwall sections are fastened to a support structure that is not planar. Further, the adjacent slatwall sections are connected at a joint that is not water or moisture proof and may not be aesthetically pleasing.

It is desirable to provide a slatwall section that can be easily and positively engaged with an adjacent slatwall section to construct a slatwall assembly.

It is also desirable to provide a slatwall section that can be engaged with an adjacent slatwall section to form a concealed joint that provides a moisture barrier and is aesthetically pleasing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of this invention is to provide an improved slatwall section and slatwall assembly including a plurality of mateably engageable slatwall sections.

It is another object of this invention to provide a slatwall section that is mateably engageable with a similar slatwall section to form a concealed joint that forms a liquid and moisture proof seam between the slatwall sections and enhances the aesthetics of the slatwall assembly.

It is another object of this invention to provide a slatwall section having a top portion that positively engages a bottom portion of a second slatwall section.

The above and other objects of this invention can be attained through a slatwall section having a plurality of parallel frontal wall segments each extending between a first side edge portion of the slatwall section and an opposing second side edge portion of the slatwall section. Adjacent frontal wall segments form a plurality of parallel or aligned slats that extend between the first side edge portion and the second side edge portion. Adjacent frontal wall segments form a slat opening that extends into a depth of the slatwall section and transitions into a channel generally parallel with a front surface of the frontal wall segments. The slatwall section includes a bottom edge portion forming an angular groove and a top edge portion forming an angular tongue mateably engageable with an angular groove of a second slatwall section to form a concealed joint. At least one slat includes a seam formed in a back surface of the slat and extending along at least a portion of a length of the slat for receiving a fastener.

A plurality of slatwall sections can be mateably engaged and fastened to a support surface to form a slatwall assembly. The slatwall assembly preferably includes a baseboard having a first portion positionable within a slat of a bottom slatwall section and having an integrated clip engageable with the angular groove of the slatwall section to conceal at least the bottom edge portion of the slatwall section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention will be better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a slatwall section, according to one preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a back perspective view of the slatwall section, as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the slatwall section, as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a back view of the slatwall section, as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the slatwall section, as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective side view of a slatwall assembly, according to one preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 7 is a side view of a top edge portion of a first slatwall section mateably engaged with a bottom edge portion of a second slatwall section, according to one preferred embodiment of this invention; and

FIG. 8 is a side view of a base board connected to a bottom edge portion of a slatwall section, according to one preferred embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-8, the present invention provides a slatwall section 10 and a slatwall assembly including a plurality of mateably engageable slatwall sections. Slatwall section 10 can be made of any suitable material, such as a plastic, metal, alloy and/or composite material, using any suitable manufacturing process known to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein provided. In one preferred embodiment of this invention, slatwall section 10 is formed of an extruded plastic material. Slatwall section 10 can be fastened or attached to a support wall 100 using any suitable fastener, such as a screw. A second slatwall section 10′ can be mateably engaged with slatwall section 10 and fastened to support wall 100 to form or construct the slatwall assembly, as discussed in more detail below.

Slatwall section 10 forms or includes a plurality of parallel frontal wall segments 12 which collectively form a front surface 14 of slatwall section 10. Preferably, but not necessarily, front surface 14 is generally flat or planar. In one preferred embodiment of this invention, at least one frontal wall segment 12 includes a decorative beading 16, such as a wainscott beading, to enhance the appearance of slat wall section 10. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, each frontal wall segment 12 preferably extends between a first side edge portion 20 of slatwall section 10 and an opposing second side edge portion 22 of slatwall section 10.

Slatwall section 10 further includes a plurality of parallel slats 24 formed between adjacent frontal wall segments 12, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, 5 and 6. Each slat 24 has suitable dimensions for receiving at least one hanging element, such as a hanger, a hook and/or another suitable display or storage element. For example, in one preferred embodiment of this invention, suitable storage elements, such as hangers, hooks, baskets, racks, shelves and storage units are positioned within at least one slat 24 and supported by slatwall section 10. Preferably, each slat 24 extends between first side edge portion 20 and second side edge portion 22. Referring further to FIGS. 1 and 5, adjacent frontal wall segments 12 form a slat opening 26 therebetween. Slat opening 26 extends into a depth of slatwall section 10 and transitions into a channel 28 that is preferably generally parallel with front surface 14 of frontal wall segments 12. The depth of slatwall section 10 is generally indicated in FIG. 5 by element reference letter A.

In one preferred embodiment of this invention, a seam 30 for receiving a fastener is formed in a back surface 32 of at least one slat 24, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5. Seam 30 preferably extends along at least a portion of a length of slat 24. A fastener, such as a screw, nail or bolt, can be positioned within seam 30 such that the tip of the fastener is placed in seam 30 resulting in uniform placement of fasteners and, functionally, seam 30 acts as a pilot for positioning and insertion of the fastener. In addition, when slatwall section 10 is secured or fastened to support wall 100 using the fastener, a head portion of the fastener is positioned within seam 30 and a head portion surface of the fastener is flush with back surface 32. Thus, the fastener will not interfere with a hanging element, such as a hanger or hook, positioned within slat 24 and can be concealed or hidden from view by the hanging element.

As shown in FIG. 5, a portion of one frontal wall segment 12 forming slat 24 extends or protrudes into opening 26 to form a lip or projection 36. Preferably, projection 36 extends into opening 26 from an upper portion of slat 24, as shown in FIG. 5, and extends along a length of slatwall section 10. Projection 36 can extend continuously along the slatwall section length or can be segmented. Projection 36 interferes with a portion of the hanging element positioned within a corresponding slat 24 to support and secure the hanging element with respect to front surface 14 of slatwall section 10. In one preferred embodiment of this invention, a thickness (T1) of projection 36 is greater than a thickness (T2) of a portion of frontal wall segment 12 between adjacent slats 24, as shown in FIG. 5. The added thickness of projection 36 provides increased strength for supporting hanging elements positioned within slat 24. It is apparent to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein provided that each adjacent frontal wall segment 12 forming the corresponding slat 24 can include projection 36, which extends into opening 26.

In one preferred embodiment of this invention, slatwall section 10 includes a bottom edge portion 40 that forms or includes a groove, such as an angular groove 42. Angular groove 42 is formed or defined by an intersection of a back surface 44 of slatwall section 10 and a surface 46 of a leg 48 that extends from back surface 44, as shown in FIG. 5. Although angular groove 42 preferably has a generally triangular or v-shape, angular groove 42 may alternatively be formed with a square, rectangular, circular or any other suitable shape or cross-section known to those having ordinary skill in the art. As shown in FIG. 5, back surface 44 is preferably generally parallel to front surface 14 of slatwall section 10 at bottom edge portion 40.

In one preferred embodiment of this invention, slatwall section 10 includes a top edge portion 50 that forms or includes a tongue, such as an angular tongue 52 mateably engageable with an angular groove 42′ of a second slatwall section 10′, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. Referring further to FIGS. 5-7, angular tongue 52 is formed or defined by an intersection of a surface 54 extending from front surface 14 of slatwall section 10 and a surface 56 extending from back surface 44 of slatwall section 10. As shown in FIG. 5, surface 54 is preferably generally parallel to front surface 14 at top edge portion 50. As shown in FIG. 5, angular tongue 52 preferably has a triangular cross-section, that generally corresponds to the triangular shape of angular groove 42′. Angular tongue 52 may alternatively be formed with a square, rectangular, circular or any other suitable cross-section known to those having ordinary skill in the art.

Angular tongue 52 of slatwall section 10′ is mateably engageable with angular groove 42′ of second slatwall section 10′ to form a concealed joint 60. In addition to enhancing the aesthetics of the slatwall assembly, concealed joint 60 prevents water and/or moisture, for example, from moving between adjacent slatwall sections. In one preferred embodiment of this invention, angular tongue 52 has a triangular shape and angular groove 42′ has a triangular shape positively engaging the corresponding triangular-shaped angular tongue 52. Because surface 56 extends outwardly and upwardly from back surface 44 of slatwall section 10, bottom edge portion 40′ of slatwall section 10′ can be slidably positioned with respect to top edge portion 50 of slatwall section 10 to provide positive engagement between angular tongue 52 and angular groove 42′. As shown in FIG. 7, angular groove 42′ preferably has an intersection angle corresponding to the intersection angle of angular tongue 52 so that surface 56 positively contacts surface 46′ and surface 54 positive contacts surface 44′. Additionally, because surface 56 extends from back surface 44 of slatwall section 10 at an angle, slatwall section 10′ can be slidably positioned with respect to slatwall section 10 to compensate for when slatwall section 10 is fastened or connected to a support wall having a support surface that is uneven or which includes undulations.

In one preferred embodiment of this invention, top edge portion 50 of slatwall section 10 includes at least a portion of decorative beading 16 so that when concealed joint 60 is formed by the mating engagement of slatwall section 10 with slatwall section 10′, concealed joint 60 forms decorative beading 16. As a result, multiple slatwall sections 10, 10′, when assembled, create a uniform and seamless appearance.

In one preferred embodiment of this invention, a plurality of slatwall sections can be mateably engaged to form or construct a slatwall assembly. The slatwall assembly includes a first slatwall section 10 having a plurality of parallel frontal wall segments 14 that extend between first side edge portion 20 of first slatwall section 10 and opposing second side edge portion 22 of first slatwall section 10. Adjacent frontal wall segments 14 form parallel slats 24 that extend between first side edge portion 20 and second side edge portion 22. First slatwall section 10 has top edge portion 50 forming angular tongue 52.

A second slatwall section 10′ includes a plurality of parallel frontal wall segments 14′ that extend between a first side edge portion 20′ of second slatwall section 10′ and an opposing second side edge portion 22′ of second slatwall section 10′. Adjacent frontal slatwall segments 14′ form parallel slats 24′ that extend between first side edge portion 20′ and second side edge portion 22′. Second slatwall section 10′ has a bottom edge portion 40′ that forms an angular groove 42′, which is mateably engageable with angular tongue 52 to form a concealed joint 60.

First slatwall section 10 includes a bottom edge portion 40 that forms an angular groove 42, which is mateably engageable with an angular tongue of an adjacent slatwall section. Further, second slatwall section 10′ includes a top edge portion 50′ forming an angular tongue 52′, which is mateably engageable with an angular groove formed at a bottom edge portion of an adjacent slatwall section.

In one preferred embodiment of this invention, the slatwall assembly also includes a baseboard 70 having an upper portion 72 that is positionable within a slat 24 of first slatwall section 10 and an integrated clip portion 74. Preferably, upper portion 72 of baseboard 70 is positioned within slat 24 nearest bottom portion 40 of first slatwall section 10. Integrated clip portion 74 is engageable with first slatwall section angular groove 42 for concealing at least bottom edge portion 40 of first slatwall section 10, as shown in FIG. 8. Preferably, clip portion 74 can be compression fitted, snapped or clipped onto bottom edge portion 40.

Thus, the present invention provides a slatwall section including a plurality of parallel frontal wall segments and a plurality of parallel slats formed between adjacent frontal wall segments. The slatwall section includes a bottom edge portion forming an angular groove and a top edge portion forming an angular tongue that is mateably engageable with an angular groove of a second slatwall section. A surface of the angular tongue extends upwardly and outwardly with respect to a back surface of the slatwall section and intersects with a surface extending from a front surface of the slatwall section to form a triangular-shaped angular tongue. The angular groove of the second slatwall section has a triangular shape that positively engages the corresponding triangular-shaped angular tongue of the first slatwall section to form a concealed joint. Further, a seam is formed in a back surface of at least one slat and extends along at least a portion of a length of the slat for receiving a fastener.

The present invention also provides a slatwall assembly including a first slatwall section having a top edge portion forming an angular tongue and a second slatwall section having a bottom edge portion forming an angular groove mateably engageable with the angular tongue of the first slatwall section to form a concealed joint. A baseboard of the slatwall assembly has a first portion that is positionable within a slat of the first slatwall section and an integrated clip that is engageable with the first slatwall section angular groove to conceal at least the bottom edge portion of the first slatwall section.

The invention illustratively disclosed herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element, part, step, component, or ingredient which is not specifically disclosed herein.

While in the foregoing detailed description this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments thereof, and many details have been set forth for purposes of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention.