WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 Supporting device. Technical field 5 This invention relates to a support for goods standing in rows on the shelves of a shop or store-room, in particular such support as are arranged in compartments formed by transverse dividers, which support comprises 10 a track provided with sawtooth racks and a support device which can be moved along the track, which support device has a bottom plate provided with projections which engage with the sawtooth racks on the track and has a support back projecting upwardly from 15 the bottom plate. Background to the invention Supports of this kind are used for example for 20 supporting products packed in bags, small boxes or packages. In order to make it easy for the consumer to take hold of the first package in a row, the row of packages should be kept to the front edge of the shelf. This requires among other things the row of packages to 25 be supported by a support back which can easily be moved in the appropriate compartment. The support is moved forwards as the goods are removed, but must then be able to be returned to a position towards the back of the shelf for replenishing goods in the compartment. 30 Known support devices are available for this purpose comprising a track provided with a sawtooth rack which is arranged in the compartment and interacts with a support device which can be moved along the track, 35 which support device has projections engaging in the sawtooth rack on the track and a support back projecting vertically from the bottom plate. A problem WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 2 with certain known devices of this kind is that the support device can be moved backwards in the compartment unintentionally by a force applied to the vertical support back. 5 In order to eliminate this problem, devices have previously been proposed in which the risk of such unintentional movement is eliminated. This has, however, meant that the devices have become more 10 complicated to use, as an intentional movement of the support device has also been made more difficult. In some embodiments such a movement requires the whole support device to be pivoted forward before it can be moved. This means, however, that products standing on 15 the support device must also be tipped forward. Another device utilizes a spring element which engages in the sawtooth rack on the track. The engagement of the spring element with the track must be released 20 manually to permit an intentional movement of the support device. As the spring element is located at the back of the support device there must be room to reach beside or above the support device, which is not always the case. 25 Object of the invention An object of this invention is to achieve a support of the abovementioned type, in which the risk of 30 unintentional movement of the support in a backward direction is eliminated, while at the same time intentional movement can be carried out very easily. An other object is to achieve such a device in which 35 the support device can be moved forwards in the compartment even when the positions of the shelf above and the side dividers mean that there is no room to WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 3 reach behind the support device. The first of the abovementioned objects is achieved according to this invention by means of a support of 5 the kind described in the first paragraph which is characterized in that the support device is provided with backward-projecting locking elements which engage and lock in the sawtooth racks on the track when a backward force is applied to the support back and in 10 that the abovementioned locking elements are arranged to be lifted up out of engagement with the above mentioned sawtooth racks when a backward force is applied to a front part of the bottom plate of the support device, which force causes the bottom plate to 15 pivot upwards around a transverse axis at its front end as a result of the interaction between the bottom plate and the sawtooth racks on the abovementioned track, raising the back part and the abovementioned locKing elements. 20 This device thus effectively prevents an unintentional movement of the support device backwards as a result of a force on the support back and at the same time makes it easy to move it intentionally by the application of: 25 a force to the bottom plate of the support device, which force brings about a small pivoting movement of the support device and also the required backward movement. 30 The second of the abovementioned objects is achieved according to the invention by the support device which can be moved along the abovementioned track being designed such that an elongated operating tool can be inserted under the bottom plate of the support device 35 from the front end of the track and can lift the device thereby releasing the engagement of the abovementioned locking elements with the sawtooth racks on the track WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 4 and also the engagement between the projections on the bottom plate and the abovementioned sawtooth racks, after which the support device can be moved forwards or backwards using the abovementioned operating tool. 5 By using an elongated operating tool in this way the support device can be operated from the front of the compartment without needing to reach the back of the upstanding support back. This is a great advantage when 10 the compartments are narrow and when there is only a small distance between a shelf and the one above. It is preferable for the sawtooth racks to have the shape of transverse crests and intermediate troughs and 15 for the bottom plate of the support device to have an essentially corresponding profile and for it to be provided with elements which enclose at least the edges of the abovementioned track in order to hold together the track and the abovementioned support device as a 20 unit. In a preferred embodiment the troughs have an essentially V-shaped profile and there is a forward-projecting flange extending along the top of 25 each of the crests formed between the V-shaped troughs, where the abovementioned locking element is arranged to engage with this flange in a locking position. The abovementioned track has suitably two edges with 30 sawtooth racks and a recess running between these to take the abovementioned operating tool. This operating tool can have such a thickness that upon insertion in the recess it lifts up the products and the support device standing on the track out of engagement with the 35 sawtooth racks on the track. For this purpose the front end is suitably wedge-shaped.
WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 5 In an alternative embodiment the operating tool is designed such that its thickness can be changed, where it is inserted under the products on the track and the support device in a narrow state. Thereafter it is 5 changed to a greater thickness so that the products and the support device are lifted up out of engagement with the sawtooth racks on the track. They can then be moved together with the operating tool. 10 Other characteristics of the invention are disclosed in the patent claims. The invention will be described in greater detail below utilizing examples of preferred embodiments and with 15 reference to the attached figures. Brief description of the figures Figure 1 shows part of a shop shelf with a support 20 according to the invention. Figure 2 shows a support device depicted in figure 1. Figure 3 is a side view of a support device according 25 to figure 2 mounted on a track on which it can be moved. Figure 4 shows the device according to figure 3 viewed from the front. 30 Figure 5 illustrates diagrammatically a function of the device according to figure 3. Figure 6 shows a tool for use when moving a support 35 device according to figure 2. Figure 7 illustrates the use of a tool according to WO 00/48488 PCT/SE00/00324 6 figure 6. Figure 8 shows an alternative embodiment of a tool for moving the support device. 5 Figure 9 shows part of the tool according to figure 8, partly cut away. Figures 10 and 11 illustrate the use of the tool 10 according to figure 8. Description of preferred embodiments Figure 1 shows a part 1 of a shop shelf with fixing 15 strips 2 running along the front and back edges of the shelf. Dividers 3 with essentially U-shaped fixing heads 4 can be snapped onto the fixing strips 2 so that these dividers can be moved along the shelf to form compartments of the required width. In the figure only 20 one such compartment 5 is shown. At the bottom of the compartment 5 there is a track for a support device 7. The track 6 has two edges provided with sawtooth racks 8. Between these edges there is a 25 recess 9. The sawtooth racks 8 comprise essentially V-shaped transverse troughs with crests 10 between these. The support device which can be moved along the track 6 30 is shown in greater detail in figure 2. The support device has a bottom plate 11 with essentially the same profile as the edges of the track 6. The essentially V-shaped projections on the bottom plate 11 engage with the sawtooth racks 8 on the track 6. 35 The bottom plate 11 is provided with longitudinal clamp-shaped projections 12 which enclose the edges of WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 the track 6, see also figure 4. As can be seen there is a certain amount of play between the projections 12 and the track 6 which means that the support device 7 can be raised slightly relative to the track. This means 5 among other things that the support device 7 can be moved towards the front edge of the shelf 1 as a result of a force applied from the back. The toothed bottom plate 11 will then be lifted up automatically as a result of the interaction between the inclined faces of 10 the teeth on the bottom plate and the corresponding faces of the edges of the track 6, so that the engagement between these faces is released while the support device is moved forwards. If necessary this can be made easier by rounding off slightly the bottom of 15 the teeth of the bottom plate 11. The bottom plate is connected to an upwardly projecting support back 13. The support back 13 acts as a support for a row of goods, such as bags, standing on the 20 bottom plate 11 and the edges of the part of the track 6 situated in front of this. When some packages have been removed from the shelf, the support device 7 with the support back 13 can easily be moved forwards to a new position, as described above. There is very little 25 risk of an unintentional movement of the support device 7 in a direction towards the front edge of the shelf. In order to prevent an unintentional movement of the support device 7 in the opposite direction, that is 30 towards the back of the shelf, the support back 13 is provided with two backward-projecting support plates 14 arranged to interact with the toothed edges of the track 6. 35 Figure 3 shows that the support plates 14 have a lower part 15 which is arranged to engage with forward-projecting flanges 16 running along the top of WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 8 the crests 10. A force or unintentional movement of the support back 13 in the direction of the arrow A will therefore not result in any movement of the support device 7 backwards on the shelf as a result of the 5' locking engagement between the support plate 14 and the flanges 16 on the crests 10. These plates can be replaced by arms projecting backwards from the bottom plate 11 with engaging parts corresponding to the parts 15. 10 An intentional return of the support device 7 to a position further back on the shelf in order to replenish the shelf with new goods can easily be carried out without requiring any separate element for 15 releasing the locking engagement. For this purpose it is only necessary to apply a force in the direction of the arrow B in figure 5 to a part 17 of the bottom plate 11 of the support device 7 which part projects downwards at an angle, see figure 2. As a result of the 20 interaction between the teeth on the bottom plate 11 and the teeth on the edges of the track 6 such a force results in a slight pivoting upwards of the bottom plate 11 around a transverse axis at its front end. The locking engagement between the lower edges 15 of the 25 support plates 14 and the flanges 16 of the toothed parts of the track 6 is thereby released, which results in the support device 7 being moved backward by the same force B in the direction of the arrow C. When the force B ceases to be applied, the support device 7 30 returns to the locking position shown in figure 3, in which any further unintentional movement backwards, as a result of a force applied to the support back 13, is not possible. 35 The described pivoting upwards of the bottom plate 11 can be made easier by rounding off slightly the bottom of the teeth on the bottom plate.
WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 9 In certain cases the distance between a shelf and the shelf above it and the distance between the support back 13 and the adjacent dividers 3 can be so small that it is not possible to reach behind the support 5 back 13 in order to move the support device 7 forwards towards the front edge of the shelf. According to the invention this problem is solved using an elongated operating tool. Figure 6 shows a first embodiment of an operating tool 23 which fits in the recess 9 between 10 the edges of the track 6 provided with sawtooth racks 8. Fitted in a recess in the operating tool 23 there is a longitudinal rod 18 which can be turned, which rod has 15 an angled front part 19 and a handle 20 at the back. The rod 18 can be turned using the handle 20 from the passive position shown, in which the angled front part is located in a recess in the front part of the operating tool 23, to an active position in which the 20 angled part 19 protrudes from the upper surface of the operating tool. There is a slot 21 in the surface of the operating tool 23 which slot is open at the top and can interact with a lug 22 on the downward-projecting part 17 of the bottom plate 11 of the support device 7, 25 see figure 2. To use the operating tool 23 to return the support device 7 towards the front edge of the shelf 1, the operating tool is inserted in the recess 9 and under 30 the bottom plate 11 of the support device 7 to the position shown in figure 7, which corresponds to the position in which the lug 22 bottoms in the slot 21. The operating tool has suitably a wedge-shaped front 35 part 24 and is of such a thickness that when it is inserted in the recess 9 it lifts up the support device 7 so that the engagement of the support plates 15 and WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 10 also of the bottom plate 11 with the teeth on the edges of the track 6 is released. This means that any products (not shown) located in front of the bottom plate 11 of the support device which stand directly on 5 the track 6 are also lifted up out of engagement with this. The angled front part 19 of the rod 18 is then turned upwards into the position illustrated in figure 7, in 10 which it engages with the support device 7. This can then easily be pulled towards the front edge of the shelf using the operating tool 23. When the required position is reached, the angled end part 19 is turned downwards again, after which the operating tool is 15 removed. The support device 7 then reassumes a locked position corresponding to figure 3. By means of the operating tool 23 the support device 7 can easily be moved towards the front edge of the shelf 20 without it being necessary to be able to reach the back surface of the support device. The operating tool 23 can of course also be used to move the support device towards the back edge of the shelf. This can either be carried out with the operating tool in the position 25 shown in figure 7 or by the front end of the operating tool being engaged with the downward-projecting part 17 of the bottom plate of the support device in order to apply a force in the direction of the arrow B in figure 5. 30 Figures 8 and 9 show an alternative embodiment of an operating tool 25 for use when moving the support device 7. 35 The operating tool 25 comprises two elongated parts 26, 27 which can be moved relative to each other, see figure 9. The upper part 26 has an essentially U-shaped WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 11 cross section, while the lower inner part 27 is guided between side flanges projecting downwards from the upper part 26. There is a handle 28 connected to the upper part 26 with an operating button 29. This is 5 connected to the upper end of a lever 30, which is pivoted around a spindle 31. The lower end of the lever 30 is connected to the movable lower part 27. The connection 32 between the lever 30 and the part 27 permits a certain turning movement between these parts 10 when the lever pivots. The upper surface of the part 26 is provided with three rows of teeth 33 which are intended to prevent the lower edge of products which are to be moved using the operating tool 25 from sliding along the part 26. 15 The lower part 27 is provided with inclined surfaces 34 arranged in pairs beside each other, which surfaces slope upwards at an angle and interact with corresponding inclined surfaces 35 on the upper part 26 20 which slope downwards. The function of these inclined surfaces is as follows. When the operating button 29 is pressed the lever 30 moves the lower part 27 forwards in relation to the 25 fixed upper part 26. The inclined surfaces 34 and 35 in each pair then slide over each other, which causes the upper part 26 to be raised in relation to the lower part 27. In this way the height or thickness of the operating tool 25 can be increased by pressing the 30 button 29. As the parts 27 and 26 are provided with a number of pairs of inclined surface-s 34 and 35 distributed along their length, a parallel movement upwards of the whole of the part 26 is obtained relative to the lower part 27. 35 The use of the operating tool according to figures 8 and 9 is illustrated in figures 10 and 11. In figure 10 WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 12 the operating tool 25 is being inserted in the recess 9, so that its thinner front part 39 is inserted under the support plate 11 of the support device 7. 5 Figure 11 shows a longitudinal section where the operating tool has been inserted so far that a front contact surface 36 on the upper part 26 makes contact with the downward-projecting part 17 of the support plate 11. The part 17 is then located over an opening 10 38, see figure 8, in the thinner front part 39 of the operating tool 25. Figure 11 shows the condition which is obtained after the button 29 on the handle 28 has been pressed and the 15 movable part 27 has been moved forwards. The inclined surfaces 34 and 35 have then been moved relative to each other so that the part 26 has been moved upwards while remaining parallel to the lower part 27 and in this way the total thickness of the operating tool 25 20 is increased. The downward-projecting part 17 of the support plate 11 then extends down into the opening 38, so that the support plate 11 and the part 26 are temporarily attached to each other. 25 In the position shown in figure 11 the support plate 11 together with any products, not shown, which stand directly on the track 6 in front of the bottom plate 11 of the support device are lifted up out of engagement with the troughs 8. This means that the support device 30 7 with the products supported upon it and the products in front of it can be pulled forwards towards the front edge of the shelf using the operating tool 25. When the button 29 is released, the upper part 26 of the operating tool is lowered back towards the lower part 35 27 guided by the inclined surfaces 35 and 34. The operating tool can then be removed completely.
WO 00/48488 PCT/SEOO/00324 13 In addition to pulling the support device 7 and the products forwards towards the front edge of the shelf, the operating tool 25 can also be used to move the support device 7 towards the back edge of the shelf in 5 order for the shelf to be replenished with new products. The invention has been described above in connection with the preferred embodiments shown in the figures. 10 These can, however, be varied in several respects within the framework of the patent claims. For example, the precise shape of the teeth on both the edges of the track 6 and on the bottom plate 11 of the support device 7 can be varied. As an alternative to 15 forward-projecting flanges 16, the crests 10 of the sawtooth rack can be provided with a vertical face, which engages with a stop element on the movable device 7. 20