Title:
ADJUSTABLE PIVOTING PANEL DISPLAY AND/OR STORAGE SYSTEM WITH ADJACENT PANEL NON-INTERFERENCE FEATURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A storage system includes a mounting structure having one or more mounting pivot devices positioned thereon. The storage system also includes one or more frames defining a first edge and a second edge with frame pivot devices positioned coaxially therebetween. At least one of the frames has one or more storage receptacles disposed thereon. Each of the mounting pivot devices engages respective frame pivot devices such that the frames are movably positioned on the mounting structure. According to another aspect of the present invention, the storage system includes one or more delimiter wheels having an engagement surface located thereon. The delimiter wheels are rotatably positioned on the first and/or the second edges of a frame. The engagement surfaces of adjacent delimiter wheels movably and adjustably engage one another and space the frames apart from one another.



Inventors:
Hafey, Thomas V. (Torrington, CT, US)
Application Number:
12/362932
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
01/30/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B95/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MKG LLC (MIDDLETOWN, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A storage system comprising: a mounting structure having at least one mounting pivot means positioned thereon; at least one frame defining a first edge and a second edge with frame pivot means positioned coaxially therebetween, at least one of said frames having at least one storage receptacle disposed thereon and wherein each of said mounting pivot means pivotally engage respective frame pivot means such that said frames are movably positioned on said mounting structure; at least one delimiter means having an engagement surface located thereon, said delimiter means being rotatably positioned on at least one of said first edge and said second edge and wherein said engagement surfaces of adjacent ones of said delimiter means movably engage one another and space said frames apart from one another.

2. The storage system of claim 1, wherein said delimiter means comprises a wheel rotatably mounted to at least one of said first edge and said second edge and wherein said engagement surface is positioned circumferentially around said wheel.

3. The storage system of claim 1, wherein at least one of said first edge and said second edge includes means for adjusting the position of said delimiter means thereon.

4. The storage system of claim 3, wherein said means for adjusting comprises a plurality of holes formed in at least one of said first edge and said second edge and said delimiter means is pivotally mounted on an axle removably positioned in one of said holes.

5. The storage system of claim 1, wherein at least one of said mounting pivot means and said frame pivot means further comprises frame adjusting means for changing at least one of spacing between said frames and spacing between said frames and said mounting structure.

6. The storage system of claim 1, wherein at least one channel is secured to said mounting structure and said mounting pivot means comprises at least one pivot member slidingly positioned in said channel for adjusting at least one of spacing between said frames and spacing between said frames and said mounting structure.

7. The storage system of claim 6, wherein said pivot member has a locking device for removably holding said pivot member to said channel and said frame pivot means to said pivot member.

8. The storage system of claim 6, wherein said delimiter means comprises a wheel rotatably mounted to at least one of said first edge and said second edge and wherein said engagement surface is positioned circumferentially around said wheel and wherein said engagement surface engages at least one point along said channel to limit travel of said frame.

9. The storage system of claim 1, wherein said storage receptacle comprises at least one of a peg board, a basket, a hook, a slot board, a cork board and a shelf.

10. The storage system of claim 1, wherein at least one bearing is disposed between said delimiter means and at least one of said first edge and said second edge.

11. The storage system of claim 1, comprising an adjustment member having an engagement surface positioned on one end of said adjustment member, wherein said mounting structure has a receiving opening, and wherein said adjustment member is positioned in said receiving opening such that said engagement surface extends therefrom and engages a portion of said delimiter means to space said delimiter means away from said mounting structure.

12. The storage system of claim 6, comprising an adjustment member having an engagement surface positioned on one end of said adjustment member, wherein said channel has a receiving opening, and wherein said adjustment member is positioned in said receiving opening such that said engagement surface extends therefrom and engages a portion of said delimiter means to space said delimiter means away from said channel.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/063,553, filed Feb. 1, 2008, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is generally directed to a pivoting panel display and/or storage system and is more specifically directed to an adjustable panel display and/or storage system having a non-interference feature for adjustably maintaining space between adjacent panels, keeping the panels apart from one another and arranging the panels in such a way that each panel may be moved, viewed, and accessed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A flat perimeter wall, room-separating wall or free-standing wall in a retail store, residential garage, factory, production facility, storage area or display area generally offers a finite amount of useable area upon which to implement a storage and/or display system.

Methods of storage and/or display of products such as carded retail merchandise, common homeowner tools, equipment, modular display panels, or other items on a section of wall include pegboard, slot board, cork board, shelves and other customary methods. Such methods require accessibility for users to place, inspect and remove the items.

Useable area for the storage and/or display of the products can be limited by the size of store, garage, basement, room or other space in which the storage and/or display system is located. Typically, there are more items to store and/or display than the useable area can accommodate.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, a storage system including a mounting structure having one or more adjustable mounting pivot devices positioned thereon is disclosed. The storage system also includes one or more frames. Each of the frames has a first edge and a second edge. The frame also has frame pivot devices positioned coaxially between the first and second edge of the frame. At least one of the frames has one or more storage receptacles disposed thereon. Each of the mounting pivot devices engage respective frame pivot devices such that the frames are movably positioned on the mounting structure.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the storage system includes one or more delimiter wheels having an engagement surface located thereon. The delimiter wheels are rotatably positioned on the first and/or the second edges of the frame. The engagement surfaces of adjacent delimiter wheels movably engage one another and space the frames apart from one another.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage system.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a portion of a frame.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a first position.

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a second position.

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a third position.

FIG. 6 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a fourth position.

FIG. 7 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in the first position.

FIG. 8 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in the second position.

FIG. 9 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a third position.

FIG. 10 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a fourth position.

FIG. 11 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a fourth position with an adjustment screw positioned in the channel.

FIG. 12 is a schematic view of the storage system of FIG. 1 in a fifth position with an adjustment screw positioned in the channel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, a storage system 10 is shown having three panels 12 pivotally positioned on a mounting structure 14. Each of the panels 12 has two storage areas 16A, 16B secured to opposing faces of a frame 18. The storage areas 16A, 16B can include, for example, peg board, slot board, plywood, baskets, shelves, racks, pegs and/or hooks for storing and/or displaying products thereon. The frame 18 has a first edge 20 and a second edge 22 positioned on opposing ends thereof. The mounting structure 14 has a channel 24 secured thereto for adjustably positioning the panels 12 on the mounting structure. In one embodiment, the mounting structure 14 and the channel 24 are substantially parallel to one another.

As shown in FIG. 1, the storage system 10 includes three first pivot members 26 each having a frame portion 28 secured to a distal end 30 of the first edge 20 of respective panels 12. Each of the first pivot members 26 also have a first mounting portion 32 moveably positioned in the channel 24 and removably secured therein. Each of the frame portions 28 and the first mounting portions 32 are pivotally and removably coupled to one another. In addition, the frame portions 28 and the mounting portions can be temporarily locked together.

The storage system 10 also includes three second pivot members 34 each having a frame portion 36 disposed in a distal end 38 of the second edge 22 of respective panels 12. In one embodiment the frame portion 36 includes a base plate 36A positioned on the distal end 38 of the second edge 22. The base plate 36A is shown having a threaded passage extending therethrough. A threaded shaft 36B is rotatably engaged in the threaded passage. One end of the threaded shaft 36B has a bearing 36C formed thereon. Each of the second pivot members 34 have a cup shaped mounting portion 42 secured to the mounting structure 14. Each of the frame portions 36 and the cup shaped mounting portions 42 are pivotally and removably coupled to one another. The bearing 36C slidably and rotatably engages the cup shaped mounting portion 42. When the threaded shaft 36B is rotated relative to the threaded passage, the panel 12 adjustably moves along the pivot axis A. Such adjustment may be required to compensate for variations in flatness of a base portion 14A of the mounting structure 14. The threaded shaft 36B is positioned in the cup shaped mounting portion 42 to bear a substantial portion of the weight of the individual panel 12.

The first and second pivot members 26, 34 are coaxial with one another and allow the panels 12 to rotate about a pivot axis A. The first mounting portions 32 and/or cup shaped mounting portions 42 have an adjustment mechanism (not shown) which allows their positions on the channel 24 and/or the mounting structure 14 to be changed, such that the position of the panels 12 relative to each other and relative to the mounting structure can be changed. For example, the panels 12 can be leveled and/or plumbed in one or more directions using the first mounting portions 32 and/or the cup shaped mounting portions 42.

While the storage system 10 is described as having three panels 12, three first pivot members 26 and three second pivot members 34, the present invention is not limited in this regard as any number of panels and pivot members may be employed without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.

The position of the panels 12 can be set at any desired location along the mounting structure 14. Although the panels 12 are described as being aligned along the channel 24, the present invention is not limited in this regard as other configurations, including but not limited to configurations having multiple channels, configurations with one or more vertical channels, configurations with one or more channels offset from an adjacent wall to allow for storage on the adjacent wall behind the panels and configurations with curved channels, can be employed without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.

In one embodiment, an L. E. Johnson #100 track can be used for the channel 24; an L. E. Johnson #107PIV-S Top Pivot Set with #1001 top pivot can be used for the first pivot member 26 and the first mounting portion 32; and a Johnson #2007 pivot and a Johnson #2011 adjustable pivot retainer can be used for the second pivot member 34 and the frame portion 36.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the panels 12 is shown having a delimiter wheel 44 having a circumferential edges 50 extending around the delimiter wheel The delimiter wheels 44 are rotatably positioned on an axel 46 which is removably fit into one of eight holes 48 A-H formed in the first edge 20. Each of the delimiter wheels 44 has a circular face 44A which is positioned generally parallel to the first edge 20. The delimiter wheels 44 have a diameter D selected by the user. The delimiter wheels line up tangentially, and are in the same horizontal plane. The diameter D establishes how far apart adjacent panels 12 (FIG. 1) are to be spaced apart from one another and from the support structure 14 to preclude interference between the panels and the product stored thereon. Smaller diameter delimiter wheels 44 allow the panels 12 to be spaced closer together and allow, when pivoted, the face (16A or 16B) of the panel to be closer to channel 24 and closer to support structure 14 than delimiter wheels with larger diameters. The delimiter wheels 44 are aligned in a common plane such that the circumferential edges 50 of adjacent ones of the delimiter wheels 44 engage one another and roll relative to each other at a variable point of tangential engagement K.

The delimiter wheels 44 have utility in the present invention, for example by reducing friction between adjacent panels 12, thereby allowing the panels to be moved with a small a force, even when the panels are loaded with relatively heavy products such as ceramic tiles.

A compliant material such as a foam or synthetic rubber may be disposed on the circumferential edges 50 to cushion any impact caused by engaging the delimiter wheels 44 with one another. The compliant material also cushions any impact between the delimiter wheels 44 and the channel 24. A bearing 52 is disposed between each of the delimiter wheels 44 and the first edges 20 to facilitate rotation of the delimiter wheels relative to the respective panel 12. In addition, the bearing 52 may be positioned on a support structure (not shown) secured to the panel 12 to allow for the use of a bearing with a greater surface area than that which an interface area between first edge 20 and the bearing 52 define.

Although the delimiter wheel 44 is described to space the panels 12 apart from one another and from the channel 24, the present invention is not limited in this regard as other delimiter devices, including but not limited to a hub and spoke assembly, one or more shafts, multiple delimiter devices positioned on each panel, and springs may be employed without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention. While the delimiter wheels 44 having a circumferential edges 50 and having a diameter D, the present invention is not limited in this regard, as the delimiter wheels can be of other shapes including but not limited to octagon, hexagon and shapes with multiple edge surfaces, can also be employed without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 3, the panels 12 are shown temporarily locked into place along the channel 24. The panels 12 are shown positioned approximately perpendicular to the channel 24 such that the respective pivot axes A are spaced apart from one another by a distance S. The delimiter wheels 44 engage one another at the point of engagement K1 so that the panels 12 are spaced apart from one another by a distance V1. The distances S and V1 are approximately equal to the diameter D of the delimiter wheel 44.

Referring to FIG. 4, the respective pivot axes A are also spaced apart from one another by a distance S which is also approximately equal to the diameter D of the delimiter wheels 44. The delimiter wheels 44 engage one another at the point of engagement K2. However, the panels 12 shown in FIG. 4 have been pivoted so that they are offset from the perpendicular position illustrated in FIG. 3. As the panels 12 pivot towards a first side L due to a force F1 being applied to one of the panels 12, the panels are continually spaced apart from one another by a minimum distance V2 such that the distance V2 is less than the distance V1.

Referring to FIG. 5, the respective pivot axes A are also spaced apart from one another by a distance S which is also approximately equal to the diameter D of the delimiter wheels 44. The delimiter wheels 44 engage one another at the point of engagement K3. However, the panels 12 are shown further offset from the perpendicular position illustrated in FIG. 3 when compared to FIG. 4, as a result of the panels 12 pivoting towards second side R and/or due to another force applied to one of the panels positioned on the first side L. In addition, a portion of the circumferential edges 50 of the delimiter wheels 44 engage the channel 24 at a point Q thereby limiting travel of the delimiter wheel and limiting travel of the panel 12. The panels 12 are spaced apart from one another by a distance V3 such that the distance V3 is less than V1 and V2. The distance V3 is defined as the current minimum distance between panels 12, and is defined by the furthest travel of one of the panels 12 to towards the second side R and stopped by and at points Q and K3.

During use of the storage system 10, as shown in FIG. 4, a force F1 can be applied to one of the panels 12 to move that panel. As a result of application of the force F1 to one of the panels 12 another force F2 is transmitted through the delimiter wheels 44 at the point of engagement K2 thereby causing the adjacent panel to also move. The magnitude of the forces required to move the panels depends on which hole 48A-H the axel 46 is mounted in (See FIG. 2). The magnitude of the force required to move the panel 12 decreases the further the axel 46 is positioned from the pivot axis A.

The point Q at which the edge 50 of the delimiter wheel 44 engages the channel 24 (FIG. 5) and the amount of offset of the panels 12 from the perpendicular position illustrated in FIG. 3 also depend on which one of the holes 48A-H the axel 46 is positioned in. For example, when the axel 46 is positioned in the hole 48A the panel can be offset the greatest amount from the perpendicular position shown in FIG. 3. Positioning the axel 46 in the hole 48H limits the panels 12 to the least amount of offset from the perpendicular position. As shown in FIG. 6, the panels 12 can also be positioned further away from each other compared to that illustrated in FIGS. 3-5, for access to products stored and/or displayed on the panels. Such positioning also provides access to products stored on the mounting structure 14 and extending to a storage area positioned between the mounting structure and a portion of the panels 12 aligned with pivot axis A.

Referring to FIGS. 7, 8, 9, and 10, during use of the storage system 10 a force F1 can be applied to panel 12R initializing a movement of the panels 12R, 12M, and 12L from the second side R to the first side L. As a result of application of the force F1 to panel 12R another force F2 is transmitted through the delimiter wheel 44R at the point of engagement K3 thereby causing the adjacent panel to also move. Forces required to move the panels 12R, 12M, and 12L together vary as (for example) depending on where the panels are positioned relative to the first and second sides L, R. The force required to move the panels 12R, 12M, and 12L is also dependant on which hole 48A-48H, the axel 46 is positioned in. Lesser forces are required to move the panels 12R, 12M, and 12L when the axel is positioned in hole 48A than if the axel where positioned in the hole 48H.

Referring to FIG. 7, during use of the storage system 10 a force F1 can be applied to panel 12R to move the panel toward the first side L, initializing a movement of the three panels 12R, 12M, and 12L. As a result of application of the force F1 to panel 12R a second force F2 is transmitted through the delimiter wheel 44R at the point of engagement K3 thereby causing the adjacent panel 12M to also move. As a result of the second force F2 transmitted through the delimiter wheel 44R at the point of engagement K3 a third force F3 is transmitted through the delimiter wheel 44M at the point of engagement K4, thereby causing adjacent panel 12L to move simultaneously.

Referring to FIGS. 8-10, during use of the storage system 10 the force F1, applied to panel 12R continues the movement of the panels 12R, 12M, and 12L from the second side R to the first side L, through the transmission of the second and third forces F2 and F3 through delimiter wheels 44R to 44M, through to 44L.

Referring to FIGS. 11 & 12, the channel 24 is shown having an adjustment screw 60 threaded into a threaded hole 62 extending though a portion of the channel 24 facing the edge 50 of the delimiter wheel 44. The adjustment screw 60 has an engagement surface 64 projecting radially outward from one end 66 of the adjustment screw. The engagement surface 64 engages the edge 50 of the delimiter wheel 44, as described below.

Referring to FIGS. 4 & 5, it is sometimes necessary to increase the distance V2 and V3 maintained between panels 12 during use of storage system 10. The adjustment can be accomplished using adjustment screw 60. Such an adjustment has utility, for example, after installation of the storage system 10, after the diameter of the delimiter wheel(s) is chosen, after locations of pivots A have been established, and after the delimiter wheel(s) have been installed on their respective panels with axel(s) 46 through one of holes 48A thru 48H.

While the adjustment screw 60 and threaded hole 62 are described, any number of adjustment screws and threaded holes and other configurations for adjustment of the position of the panels 12 relative to the channel 24, including but not limited to detent mechanisms, springs and the like, can be employed without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention. Although the adjustment screw 60 is described as being positioned in the threaded hole 62 extending through the channel, the present invention is not limited in this regard as the adjusting screw can be positioned elsewhere, including but not limited to in a threaded hole disposed in the mounting structure 14.

In one embodiment, the adjustment screw 60 is a ΒΌ-28 round head machine screw, approximately 4 inches long and the threaded hole is a machine-tapped hole, running through the opposing faces of the channel 24. The engagement surface 64 of the adjustment screw may be capped with a compliant synthetic rubber-like cap. In one embodiment an H. B. Ives #CRT-5 is used. The edge 50 of a delimiter wheel strikes the cap. A zero position for the adjustment screw 60 is defined by a position wherein the adjustment screw fully threaded into the threaded hole 62 and a base portion of the rounded head engages the channel 24.

Referring to FIG. 11, when the panels 12L, 12M are fully extended toward the first side L, the edge 50 of the delimiter wheel 44L engages the adjustment screw 60 at point Q2, stopping the travel of the delimiter wheel 44L and stopping and defining the position of panel 12L. The delimiter wheel 44M of the panel 12 engages the delimiter wheel 44L at point K4 and stops the motion of panel 12M. There is a minimum distance V3 that becomes measurably maintained between panels 12L and 12 M.

Referring to FIG. 12, the panels 12L, 12M are shown with the adjusting screw 60 extending away from the channel 24 by a gap W. The gap W is established by unscrewing the adjustment screw 60 from the threaded hole 62, causing the engagement surface 64 to incrementally and adjustably extend away from the channel 24. The edge 50 of the delimiter wheel 44L engages the adjustment screw 60 at point Q3, stopping the travel of the delimiter wheel 44L and stopping and defining the position of panel 12L

Referring to FIG. 12 the above user-defined adjustment determines the maximum travel of panel 12L, towards the first side L which in turn determines the maximum travel of panel 12M towards the first side L. The panels 12L, 12M are spaced apart from one another by a distance V4 such that distance V4 is greater than distance V3 (FIG. 11). The greater the space W that is maintained between edge 50 and the channel 24, the greater the distance V4 becomes.

Although the pivot axes A are described as being spaced apart from one another by the distance S which is approximately equal to the diameter D of the delimiter wheel 44, the present invention is not limited in this regard as the pivot axes A may be spaced closer and/or further apart than the distance corresponding to the diameter D of the delimiter wheel, without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.

Although the present invention has been disclosed and described with reference to certain embodiments thereof, it should be noted that other variations and modifications may be made, and it is intended that the following claims cover the variations and modifications within the true scope of the invention.