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The invention relates to a distribution cabinet, which is generally installed outdoors and which accommodates technical, for example electrical or optical, distribution systems for, for example, weak-current systems, for example telephone systems, with associated power supply devices and cable termination/connection devices for a specific physical area.
Such distribution cabinets nowadays need to meet further requirements, in addition to sufficient physical stability and sufficient IP security, i.e. imperviousness to rain and spray water, and an ability to resist vandalism etc., for example no excessive electromagnetic radiation should be emitted to the surrounding environment, and for use primarily in warmer countries the temperatures in the interior of the distribution cabinet should not rise too high despite the heat-emitting electrical assemblies accommodated there, but should also not sink too low.
Such distribution cabinets are in principle either produced from metal or from plastic, plastic combining the advantage of cheaper production possibilities with the advantage of an electrically nonconductive material, with the result that even when unintentional contact is made with the housing of the distribution cabinet by means of an electrical element there is never the risk of the person concerned receiving an electric shock when touching the housing from the outside.
Since the monopoly of the national telecommunication companies has been lifted in Germany and also in other countries and different operators of networks such as telecommunications networks, for example, are in existence, there continues to be the problem for the manufacturer of such distribution cabinets that the different network operators specify different requirements as being necessary for these distribution cabinets, for example as regards the dimensions of the distribution cabinets, paneling of the inner body, the fixing position and shape of the mounting frame in the interior of the inner body, ventilation option etc.
This results in the problem for the manufacturers of the distribution cabinets that a very large number of different variants of distribution cabinets need to be developed and held in stock, which inter alia drastically increases the complexity involved with warehousing and the complexity in terms of shapes and the apparatus.
This increased complexity for stock keeping also includes stock keeping for cases of repair work, for which not only parts of the outer body need to be kept in stock but also parts or even entire inner bodies, which are often likewise damaged in the event of collisions with motor vehicles.
In this case, there is the additional problem that in the event of damage to the inner body, this damage can usually only be eliminated by the internals in the inner body and its mounting rack being disconnected, i.e. the distribution cabinet as a whole being deactivated, since the mounting rack is fixed to the inner body and the risk of a short circuit or electric shock is therefore too great.
A further problem in addition to the repair work is the lateral extension of distribution cabinets which should firstly make possible a fixed, aligned, lateral connection of the two distribution cabinets and should secondly take place as quickly as possible, as is also the case for the repair work.
It is therefore preferable to dispense with the construction of a base below the body to be attached if at all possible.
It is therefore the object to design the distribution cabinet and particularly its body in such a way that subsequent work is possible as quickly as possible and, if possible, without deactivating the distribution cabinet, that is both repair work in the event of damage to the distribution cabinet and lateral extension of the distribution cabinet, and to provide a corresponding method.
This object is achieved by the features of claims 1 and 27. Advantageous embodiments result from the dependent claims.
By stretching the body frame into a lower and upper part, which can also be removed from one another subsequently easily and quickly, and by fixing the mounting rack bearing the electrical internals to the lower of the two body frames, but preferably not also to the upper body frame, the upper body frame can be withdrawn from the lower body frame once the fixing has been released.
This has the advantage that, in the event of damage, for example owing to a collision with motor vehicles which only hit the upper body frame, and this is often the case in minor collisions, the repair work is possible very quickly and primarily without needing to disconnect the internals in the distribution cabinet, i.e. without interrupting operation of the distribution cabinet, by first the entire outer paneling or only the damaged parts of the upper body frame being removed and the upper body frame then being removed from the lower body frame once the connection to the lower body frame has been released.
Then, a new, upper body frame is emplaced on the lower body frame and provided with the outer body, generally paneling, or the damaged upper body frame is repaired, for example the individual parts which make up the upper body frame and which are damaged are replaced, for example individual frame profiles.
Then, this upper body frame which has now been repaired can also be emplaced again and paneled.
In this case, the mounting rack generally extends from the lower body frame into the upper body frame and preferably up to or close to the upper end of the body frame, the mounting rack usually protruding from the lower body frame close to the rear edge thereof.
The lower body frame in this case generally comprises less than 25% of the entire height of the body frame, in particular even less than 20%, as a result of which the probability of damage only to the upper body frame is already relatively high.
The upper body frame has an open bottom face at the bottom, with the result that it can be turned over the populated mounting rack from above and can be connected to the lower body frame, which preferably takes place only by means of transverse bolts, which can be plugged in and possibly locked.
As a result, fixing of the two frames to one another in the vertical direction is achieved.
In order that the upper body frame does not need to be lifted above the entire height of the mounting rack once the lower body frame has been detached, which primarily means very considerable manual force expenditure, the frontmost, lowermost transverse strut of the upper body frame can preferably first be removed, with the result that there is then only a transverse strut provided along the upper edge on the front side.
It is therefore sufficient then to lift the upper body frame only until it comes vertically out of engagement with its guides on the lower body frame, and then to move the upper body frame towards the rear and, as a result, withdraw it from the rest of the distribution cabinet, i.e. the populated mounting rack and the lower mounting frame.
An interlocking connection takes place in the two horizontal directions by the upper body frame having frame profiles which protrude freely downwards, for example a parallelepipedal frame with frame profiles running along the edges, the vertical profiles protruding downwards over the lower corners and these free ends of the vertical profiles running downwards laterally adjacent to the sides of the lower body frame, to be precise preferably in guides formed there which fix these free ends in an interlocking manner in the two horizontal directions.
For this purpose, at least the vertical edges of the parallelepipedal lower body frame are not formed from the same body profiles as the rest of the frame or at least not only from these body profiles, but are supplemented or replaced by sheet-metal parts shaped as guides.
Preferably, the side parts of the lower body frame comprise a sheet-metal part which is in the form of a U or frame-shaped in the side view and whose vertical limbs with free ends at the top are bent to form a guide, into which the free ends of the upper body frame can be inserted and fixed there, the transverse limb usually resting at the bottom on the base and also being capable of being connected fixedly to said base.
The fixing of the upper body frame with respect to the lower one takes place by means of locking bars being inserted, it being possible to use the same bars which are used as hinge spindles in the doors of the body by such a bar being deflected onto the depth of the cabinet and being pushed through from the front to the rear and, in the process, extending both through openings in the upper body frame and in the lower body frame.
The openings in the lower body frame are in this case provided in the outer holders, which are positioned in the lower region of the vertical struts of the upper body frame in any case for the purpose of fixing the outer paneling. The through-openings in the lower body frame are therefore designed in such a way that they are aligned in the corresponding limbs of the guides for the upper body frame, in particular in the side frames.
Firstly, this does not result in any additional material consumption owing to the additional attachment of guides to the vertical, conventional frame profiles and primarily this U-shaped side part can be removed once the connection to the rest of the profile frame has been released even in the populated state of the distribution cabinet once the outer paneling has been removed and possibly the upper body frame has been lifted, for example by it being withdrawn at an angle downwards, if the mounting rack with the internals is provisionally supported in the meantime until a new side part is mounted and fixed.
In the same way, individual frame profiles of the lower body frame can also be replaced from the distribution cabinet in which the corresponding parts of the paneling have been removed if the lower body frame has also been affected by damage.
In particular, the entire lower body frame can also be replaced, to be precise preferably without deactivating or even dismantling the internals on the mounting rack.
Since, however, the lower mounting frame bears the mounting rack, which generally comprises a plurality of adjacent mounting panels which are reinforced with respect to one another at least in the upper region, during the replacement of the lower body frame the mounting rack or the individual mounting panels need to be stabilized.
Since this would impede the dismantling and refitting of the lower body frame in the lower region provisionally owing to the support, the invention proposes that the individual mounting panels or the entire mounting rack, which for this purpose naturally need to be designed to have sufficient intrinsic stability even in the populated state, have hanging points in the upper region and are hung on a mounting yoke set up provisionally above the switchgear cabinet until the lower mounting frame or its damaged parts have been replaced.
If the damage is so great that the internals have in any case also been damaged or destroyed, they need to be dismantled in any case.
As a result of the fact that the free ends of the vertical struts of the upper body frame run over preferably the entire length of the vertical struts of the lower body frame adjacent thereto, they are held in an interlocking manner with respect to one another over the entire length, which results in a high degree of mechanical connection rigidity and load-bearing capacity, despite the simple insertion and locking into the guides of the lower body frame.
In this case, the lower body frame, as is the case with most distribution cabinets, is positioned on a base, which in turn comprises a base box and a base foot, which provides the body frame with the required stability.
If the corresponding distribution cabinet requires EMC sealing, shielding plates are fixed to the upper body frame, in particular to its outsides, but only down to the lower horizontal profiles, and only in exceptional cases down to the lower free ends of the vertical profiles.
The individual parts of the body frame, preferably both of the lower and the upper body frame, are connected releasably to one another via the same connecting elements, preferably cubic connectors in the outer corners, which cubic connectors are designed such that profile rods between two such connecting elements can be released and replaced, for example without the adjoining shielding plates needing to be removed first.
While the above measures serve to reduce the repair time and in the process avoid downtimes of the distribution cabinet, the following measures serve to expedite the process of extending a distribution cabinet and likewise to avoid a disconnection of the distribution cabinet:
An existing distribution cabinet can be extended by the outer paneling on one side and the adjoining rear wall and front door being removed and a further inner body being fixed on this side to the inner body, to be precise with an attachment element interposed.
In this case, the second inner body can additionally be mechanically fixed to the first inner body, for example by means of screws or clips, primarily if the attachment element is merely made from plastic, since in this case the attachment element merely performs the function of providing hinge parts or receptacles for the front doors and rear walls articulated there, both of the previous distribution cabinet and of the positioned distribution cabinet.
Support for the additional body at the bottom is not absolutely necessary, but can additionally take place via a supporting frame or else a complete base.
Once the additional inner body has been positioned, in which inner body a mounting rack is also fixed, internals can be fitted in the interior of the new body frame, i.e. to the mounting rack, and electrically connected to the internals in the first body frame.
Then, the new inner body is equipped with an outer body, i.e. generally paneled, and also the rear wall and door of the previous body are refitted, using the attachment elements located between the two.
The attachment element may be a single rectangular integral frame running around the periphery in a vertical plane or else may comprise two separate strips, which firstly run between the front vertical profiles of the adjoining body frame and secondly also run between the rear vertical profiles.
The attachment element(s) is/are in this case preferably fixed to the same outer holders, which protrude outwards from the inner body, on which the outer paneling of the inner body is otherwise hung and fixed.
Preferably, front and rear attachment strips are in this case identical by virtue of the same elements on the rear side serving to accommodate the side edge of the rear wall and acting as hinge parts for the door on the front side.
If attaching to one another inner bodies with a two-part inner body comprising a lower and an upper inner body is realized, the attachment elements are preferably only connected to the vertical profiles of the upper body frame on both sides.
This results in a construction kit which comprises the following parts for the provision of two-part body frames:
If the construction kit is also or alternatively suitable for attaching bodies to one another, it comprises at least the following individual parts:
The connecting elements for the two inner bodies with respect to one another may be plug-in bolts or screw connections, which possibly also extend through the attachment element(s).
Embodiments in accordance with the invention will be described in more detail by way of example in the text which follows. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 shows a distribution cabinet on a base without outer paneling and without internals,
FIG. 2 shows the distribution cabinet in FIG. 1 with a slightly raised upper body frame,
FIG. 3 shows the distribution cabinet with an almost completely withdrawn upper body frame,
FIG. 4 shows the distribution cabinet without the upper body frame,
FIG. 5 shows adjacent and interconnected distribution cabinets, for the most part with paneling,
FIG. 6 shows a plan view of the connection point of the two distribution cabinets from above with the outer paneling removed, and
FIG. 7 shows an attachment strip as individual pieces.
FIG. 1 shows a distribution cabinet according to the invention, but without the outer body in the form of paneling and without internals, which are normally provided in the interior of the inner body 21 and in particular on the mounting rack 6 there and are connected to the cables (not shown) which are passed out from underground.
The inner body 21 is a frame, comprising frame profiles 7, which run along both the outer edges of the upright, parallelepipedal inner body 21 and furthermore also have further horizontal and vertical struts therebetween.
The entire inner body 21 rests on a base 2, comprising a base foot comprising a metal structure, which is partially sunk into the ground, and a base box 2a, which surrounds the base on the outside above ground level and is generally made from plastic.
The inner body 21, which in the prior art is emplaced as one unit on the base 2 and is fixedly connected thereto, in the prior art and here too comprises a body frame 16 with frame profiles 7 along at least the outer edges of the upright, parallelepipedal inner body 21, whose faces are paneled, if required, with shielding plates 13 and closed in order to produce the EMC sealing of the housing.
In the present case, the body frame 16 is considered in two parts with a lower body frame 16a and an upper body frame 16b, whose extent can be seen better in FIGS. 2 and 3:
The lower body frame 16a, which can only be seen in FIG. 4, comprises approximately 20% of the height of the entire body frame 16 and, in terms of the basic area, is slightly smaller than the base box 2a, with the result that the paneling, which is then fitted on the outside to the body frame 16 with a spacing and which forms the outer body 22, as can be seen in FIG. 5, is aligned vertically with the base box 2a therebeneath.
The lower body frame 16a is in turn parallelepipedal with horizontally running frame profiles 7 and, depending on the size, vertically running transverse struts therebetween comprising such frame profiles 7, while the sides comprise side frames 18, which run around the periphery in rectangular fashion or else are in the form of a U which is open at the top, which side frames preferably comprise bent-back plates.
The bending back is necessary in order that the vertical limbs of the side frames 18 have plate faces running, when viewed in the plan view, both in the longitudinal direction and in the transverse direction of the distribution cabinet 1, which plate faces form an angle which is open, for example, from the bottom face of the distribution cabinet at an angle outwards.
These vertical plate angles act as guides 15 in order to accommodate the ends, which run freely downwards, of vertical frame profiles 7 of the upper body frame 16b therein and in order to hold them in the two horizontal directions, since these ends of the vertical frame profiles 7 are held at such a distance from one another over the rest of the horizontally running frame profiles of the upper body frame 16b that they fit precisely in the guides 15 of this lower body frame 16a.
The upper body frame 16b is in turn parallelepipedal, approximately with the same basic area as the lower body frame 16a, the vertical frame profiles of the upper body frame 16b being extended downwards to such an extent over the lower edge of the parallelopiped that they reach down as far as the lower transverse limb of the side frames 18 of the lower body frame 16a or even rest on it and in the process run downwards outside the lower body frame.
After locking by means of simple plug-in bolts on the lower body frame 16a, possibly with additional latching, the upper body frame 16b can no longer be withdrawn upwards since the entire body frame 16 then forms a fixed unit.
As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the upper body frame is clad with shielding plates 13 on the upper side and rear side and on the side faces, but down as far as its lower horizontal struts, which, as shown in FIG. 1, in the emplaced state comes to lie just above the upper horizontal strut of the lower body frame 16a or even rests on it.
FIG. 4 also shows best the fact that the mounting rack 6, on which the majority of the subsequent electrical internals are fitted, protrudes vertically upwards from the inner face of the lower body frame 16a, preferably close to its rear edge, and has such a height that, in the emplaced state, it reaches as far as close to the upper end of the upper body frame 16b, i.e. makes as full use as possible of its interior.
As a result, the insides of the distribution cabinet 1 which are mounted on this mounting rack 6 can be mounted and remain in operation even if the upper body frame, preferably once the outer paneling has been removed, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, is released in terms of its connection from the lower body frame 16a and lifted or completely withdrawn upwards in order to repair it or to completely replace it.
Even individual parts of the lower body frame 16a can then be replaced without the internals needing to be disconnected and dismantled, possibly provisional mechanical support for the rest of the body frame 16 needing to be produced for the time of the replacement of the individual part.
FIG. 5 shows two distribution cabinets positioned laterally next to one another, with an outer body 22, but without a door for the outer body, but likewise in turn without internals, as the empty interior of the right-hand distribution cabinet 1 shows.
In contrast to FIGS. 1 to 3, the narrower base foot 2b is the base 2 used which in this case does not protrude in terms of its width beyond the dimensions of the bottom face of the upper part of the distribution cabinet 1.
The two distribution cabinets 1 in FIG. 5 are not positioned loosely next to one another, however, but are connected to one another via attachment elements 12 in the form of attachment strips, of which one is illustrated separately in FIG. 7.
The connection point between the two distribution cabinets 1 is illustrated from above at an angle in FIG. 6, with the outer body 22 removed:
However, it is first necessary to mention that the outer body 22 is fixed to the body frame 16 of the inner body 21 in the form of outer paneling via outer holders 14, which are shown, for example, in FIG. 2 and are fixed to the outer faces of the frame profiles 7 and are used as spacers with respect to the plate-shaped elements of the outer body 22, which are fixed thereto, usually only hung thereon.
Since the front side of the outer body 22 is generally formed from one or more doors 4, these doors need to be articulated on hinges and these hinge parts are formed in the side parts of the outer paneling, i.e. of the outer body 22.
Instead of positioning two complete distribution cabinets clad on the outside next to one another, as a result of which a separating plane between the two distribution cabinets is formed in the form of the side parts of the outer paneling, at least two bodies 3, in particular two complete distribution cabinets 1, i.e. with the base, can be positioned next to one another in such a way that an interior which is continuous over the two bodies 3 is achieved, which greatly facilitates the connection of the internals in the two bodies 3.
If, for this purpose, the side parts of the outer paneling 22 of the two bodies on the mutually facing sides are removed, the corresponding hinge receptacle on the front side for the adjoining front doors 4 and on the rear side for the adjoining rear wall 11 is missing.
This aim is achieved by the attachment strip 12, which is fitted along the front and rear vertical edge between the two bodies 3, is plastic-injection-molded as is the outer paneling 22 and provides corresponding receptacles for the hinge parts of the doors 4 on the front side and the rear walls 11 on the rear side.
This attachment strip 12 is fixed in turn on both sides by means of the outer holders 14 to the vertical struts of the adjacent body frame 16 and they have a depth which corresponds approximately only to the thickness of the frame profiles, so that the interior is freely continuous in the transverse direction in the depth region between the front and rear vertical profile 7.
The front and rear attachment strips 12 are identical, and in the case of a normal side part of the outer paneling, the front and rear edge are likewise identical.
The mechanically stable connection between the left-hand and the right-hand body frame 16 is, however, not provided by the attachment elements 12, in particular attachment strips, which are generally only made from plastic, but by additional stable connecting elements, whether these be screw connections or connecting clips which fix the two body frames, preferably the vertical frame profiles running adjacent to one another of the two adjacent body frames 16.
These connecting elements are not illustrated in FIG. 6 and can also extend through the attachment strips 12 through drilled holes provided there, in particular in the case of a screw connection.
FIG. 7 shows such an attachment strip 12 with the sleeve elements provided in sections along the front edges, which sleeve elements act as hinge parts for the door articulated thereon by means of a spindle being pushed through.
At the upper and lower end and once therebetween, in total three outer holders 14 are mounted on the side faces, as are also provided on the opposite side (not shown) of the attachment strip 12 and in the same form, but resting slightly lower or higher on the vertical profiles of the profile frame, since these outer holders 14 have a journal at the top in the vertical direction and an appropriately sized opening at the bottom, or vice versa, with the result that such an outer holder 14 can be emplaced on another one and inserted therein, as a result of which the attachment strip 12 is hung on the first profile frame and, in the next step, the second profile frame 16 is hung on the attachment strip 12.
Owing to the additional stable connecting elements of the two profile frames 16 with respect to one another, which are not illustrated, the second profile frame 16 is held in stable fashion on the first, with the result that it can also be equipped with internals and operated without being supported by a base or possibly only with a relatively simple supporting means with the aid of an auxiliary frame, which is fixed to the first distribution cabinet.