US20030233965A1 - Shelving system - Google Patents

Shelving system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030233965A1
US20030233965A1 US10/299,338 US29933802A US2003233965A1 US 20030233965 A1 US20030233965 A1 US 20030233965A1 US 29933802 A US29933802 A US 29933802A US 2003233965 A1 US2003233965 A1 US 2003233965A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
bracket
screw
screw guide
coupling member
shelving
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/299,338
Inventor
Keith Brazier
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Newell Ltd
Original Assignee
Newell Ltd
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB0214401.2 priority Critical
Priority to GB0214401A priority patent/GB0214401D0/en
Application filed by Newell Ltd filed Critical Newell Ltd
Assigned to NEWELL LIMITED reassignment NEWELL LIMITED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BRAZIER, KEITH
Publication of US20030233965A1 publication Critical patent/US20030233965A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B96/00Details of cabinets, racks or shelf units not covered by a single one of groups A47B43/00 - A47B95/00; General details of furniture
    • A47B96/02Shelves
    • A47B96/027Cantilever shelves
    • A47B96/028Cantilever shelves characterised by support bracket location means, e.g. fixing means between support bracket and shelf

Abstract

The modular shelving system consists of one or more uprights (1) in combination with respective supporting shelving brackets (10, 11) which engage with the uprights (1) by means of slots (7) provided in the uprights (1). The brackets (10, 11) act to support a shelf (5) which is attached to the brackets by means of a screw (9) which passes through the bracket (10, 11) to the underneath of the shelf (5). To ensure accurate alignment of the screw (9), a screw guide (17) is provided within the bracket (10, 11) which is releasably held within the bracket (10, 11) by means of biased lugs (23) which engage with apertures (16) provided in the walls of the bracket (10, 11). In addition to ensuring that the screw cuts into the underneath of the shelf (5) substantially perpendicular to its surface, the screw guide (17) is removable detachable from the bracket (10, 11) so that when it is desired to reposition the shelf (5) the need to cut new screw holes in the shelf (5) is avoided as the screw guide (17) with the screw (9) is removed from the bracket (10, 11) and stays with the shelf (5) whilst the brackets are repositioned on the uprights (1).

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • The present invention relates to shelving systems and in particular, but not exclusively, to modular shelving kits suitable for use for example in the home, in offices, in businesses and as product display shelving in shops. [0002]
  • 2. Description of Related Art [0003]
  • Modular shelving systems, which have greatly simplified the installation of either wall-hung or free-standing shelving, have been generally available for a number of years and are popular both for commercial installations and in the DIY market. FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional wall-hung metal shelving system comprising a pair of uprights [0004] 1, 2, a pair of brackets 3, 4, one bracket being mounted on each of the two uprights 1, 2, and a shelf 5 secured to the brackets 3, 4. Whilst the uprights 1, 2 and the brackets 3, 4 are generally made of a metal such as steel the shelf 5 is most commonly of wood or a similar artificial composite material. Normally a shelving system would consist of two or more pairs of brackets and an equivalent number of shelves which are mounted on the uprights one above the other with space in between each shelf.
  • The two uprights [0005] 1, 2 are intended for mounting generally vertically and parallel with one another on a wall. Each upright 1, 2 has a substantially U-shaped cross-section such that when it is secured to the wall it defines with the surface of the wall an enclosed channel extending substantially vertically. Each upright 1, 2 includes at least two through holes 6 for receiving wall screws for attaching the uprights to the wall. Each upright 1,2 additionally includes two parallel lines of repeating lozenge-shaped apertures 7 extending the length of the upright and opening to the enclosed channel defined by the upright and the wall.
  • The brackets [0006] 3, 4 are also of generally U-shaped cross-section with each side of the bracket generally describing a right-angled triangle. The two sides of the bracket are joined along the hypotenuse edge of each side of the bracket and the two other edges of each side of the bracket respectively contact the front surface of an upright and the lower surface of the shelf. Thus, the U-shape of the bracket is deepest adjacent the upright and gradually reduces in size to a point furthest from the upright. Two through holes 8 are provided in the downwardly facing surface of each bracket intermediate its two ends. The through holes 8 are adapted to receive screws 9 for securing the shelf 5 to the bracket, as is described in greater detail below. At the edge of the bracket which contacts the upright, a pair of parallel flat hooks are provided which project outwardly from the edge of the bracket. The hooks are L-shaped and are adapted to be inserted through one pair of lozenge-shaped apertures 7 in the upright and to engage with the upright in this manner.
  • The shelf [0007] 5 is a generally rectangular slab which rests over and is supported by the upwardly facing parallel edges of the two brackets 3, 4. Screws 9 inserted through the apertures 8 in the brackets have to be sufficiently long to extent across the depth of the bracket to the underside of the shelf. The screws are then screwed into the underneath of the shelf to secure the shelf to the brackets and to prevent the shelf 5 from tipping if a force were to be applied to the edge of the shelf furthest from the wall.
  • Construction of a shelving system of the type described above is relatively easy. As long as the two uprights are secured to the wall vertically, aligned and parallel with one another and the brackets present horizontal upper edges when mounted into the slots of the upright, the individual shelves should be horizontal. Such a shelving system also permits the person constructing the shelving to decide the spacing between adjacent shelves and the shelving system allows for different spacing between adjacent shelves in a series of shelves mounted on the same pair of uprights. [0008]
  • Shelving systems of the type described above have often been promoted on the basis that they are re-useable and that individual shelves can be re-positioned as required. However, re-use of a shelving system such as the one illustrated in FIG. 1 is not as straightforward as the modular nature of the system would suggest. As mentioned above, to prevent individual shelves from slipping the shelves are secured to the brackets by means of screws which must pass from the underside of the bracket through the depth of the bracket into the underside of the shelf. This requires a comparatively long screw, the length of which is not accessible within the bracket. As a result, the screw often penetrates the underside of the shelf at an acute angle which can undermine the holding strength of the screw in the shelf. Additionally, penetration of the screw into the underside of the shelf leaves a screw hole. When a shelving system is disassembled or the shelves are removed so as to be re-positioned, the same screw holes cannot be reused as a screw will not adequately hold the shelf if screwed into the same hole. Therefore, the shelf is usually turned over so that a new screw hole can be cut into the other side of the shelf. However, this leaves the former screw holes clearly in the visible upper surface of the shelf. [0009]
  • The present invention seeks to address the problems encountered with conventional modular shelving systems and to provide an improved shelving system. [0010]
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In accordance with the present invention there is provided a shelving system comprising at least one upright, at least one bracket for attachment to the upright and at least one shelf for mounting on the bracket, the bracket including at least one bracket screw hole for receiving a screw to be screwed into the underside of a shelf, shelving system further comprising at least one screw guide having a screw channel for guiding the passage of a screw and a bracket coupling member adapted for holding the screw guide in position within the bracket adjacent the bracket screw hole. [0011]
  • Thus with the present invention individual shelves may be attached to the brackets of the shelving system confident in the knowledge that the shelves are securely screwed to the brackets as the screws through the brackets will be accurately guided to the underside of the shelf via the screw guide in the bracket. [0012]
  • Ideally, the screw guide includes a biasing member associated with the bracket coupling member and movable between a holding position in which the screw guide is held in position within the bracket and a releasing position in which the screw guide is able to move into and out of the bracket. [0013]
  • The bracket coupling member may be in the form of opposed lugs adapted for engagement in apertures provided in the sides of the brackets, the lugs being mounted on respective resilient arms or flanges. [0014]
  • With this preferred embodiment the screw guide is removable from the bracket and once attached to a shelf the screw guide remains with the shelf even if the shelf is subsequently re-positioned. This means that unsightly screw holes in the shelf may be avoided and the re-positioning of the shelf is simple and reliable. [0015]
  • Moreover, with the shelving system of the present invention individual brackets may be capable of withstanding a 110 Kg force when attached to an upright. [0016]
  • In an alternative aspect the present invention provides a shelving screw guide for use with a shelving system consisting essentially of an upright, at least one bracket and at least one shelf, the shelving screw guide comprising a screw channel for guiding the passage of a screw, a bracket coupling member adapted for holding the screw guide in position within the bracket and a biasing member associated with the bracket coupling member movable between a holding position and a releasing position. [0017]
  • Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:[0018]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional modular shelving system, not in accordance with the present invention; [0019]
  • FIG. 2 illustrates in an exploded perspective view a wall mounted shelving system in accordance with the present invention; [0020]
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative suspended shelving system in accordance with the present invention; [0021]
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the screw guide of the shelving system of FIG. 2; [0022]
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional drawing of the screw guide of FIG. 4; [0023]
  • FIGS. 6[0024] a-6 c illustrate the movement of the flanges of the screw guide of FIG. 4 as the screw guide is inserted into a shelving bracket;
  • FIGS. 7[0025] a and 7 b are perspective views from above and below respectively of a first alternative screw guide in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIGS. 8[0026] a and 8 b are perspective views from above and below respectively of a second alternative screw guide in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIGS. 9[0027] a and 9 b are perspective views from above and below respectively of a third alternative screw guide in accordance with the present invention; and
  • FIGS. 10[0028] a and 10 b are perspective views from above and below respectively of a fourth alternative screw guide in accordance with the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The shelving system illustrated in FIG. 2 has similar components to those of the conventional shelving system illustrated in FIG. 1 and is intended to be capable of being retro-fitted to conventional shelving uprights. Hence, like reference numerals shall be used where appropriate. [0029]
  • The uprights [0030] 1, 2 of FIG. 2 are of U-shaped cross-section and, when mounted on a wall, define in combination with the wall an enclosed channel. Two lines of apertures 7 extending the length of each of the uprights 1, 2 again provide access to the enclosed channel. In the shelving system of FIG. 2, however, the apertures 7 are mirrored D-shaped apertures rather than lozenge-shaped. The uprights 1, 2 are again attached to the wall by means of at least two apertures 6 in each upright that are adapted to receive conventional wall screws. Caps are additionally provided at each end of the uprights 1, 2 to close off the ends of the uprights and to provide a more pleasing appearance. The shelves 5 (only one is illustrated in FIG. 2) may be identical in all respects to conventional shelves and as before are preferably made of a wood or an equivalent material.
  • The brackets [0031] 10, 11 are similar to conventional shelving brackets in that they are of U-shaped cross-section with each side having a right-angled corner between two straight edges: the first edge 12, abutting the upright 1, 2 and the second straight edge 13 abutting the underneath of a shelf 5. The third downwardly facing edge 14 of the bracket, which would be the hypotenuse on a conventional shelving bracket, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 describes an arc rather than a straight line so that the bracket remains deeper for a greater proportion of its length before tailing off to a point furthest from the upright. Of course, this effect could be achieved with different shapes of brackets such as a stepped structure, for example. The brackets 10, 11 also include opposed pairs of L-shaped hooks 15 along the first edge 12 for attaching the brackets to the uprights 1, 2 by insertion of the hooks into the slots in an upright.
  • The brackets [0032] 10, 11 each includes a single screw hole 8 in the downwardly facing edge 14 of the bracket and because of the pronounced arc the screw hole 8 is positioned further from the upright in comparison to conventional shelving brackets. Additionally, a pair of opposed side apertures 16 are provided, one in each side of the bracket. The side apertures 16 are illustrated as generally rectangular in shape, however, alternative shapes of aperture may equally be employed and the side apertures 16 are positioned such that a line passing through the two side apertures intersects a vertical line passing through the screw hole 8.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative suspended shelving system in which the two uprights are hung from a crossbar otherwise referred to as a suspension girder or rail. In all other respects the shelving system is identical to the one illustrated in FIG. 2. It is also envisaged that the shelving system described herein may be implemented as a free standing shelving system. [0033]
  • The shelving systems illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 include a further component not found in existing modular shelving systems. The further component consists of a screw guide [0034] 17 which may be more clearly seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. The screw guide 17 has a central wall 18 through which a screw hole 19 extends lengthways and has two outer flanges 20, 21 attached to the central wall 18 along one edge 22. The screw guide is preferably fabricated from a hard plastics material such as nylon or polypropylene that has sufficient resilience to permit a small amount of flexure of the outer flanges 20, 21 along the edge 22 relative to the central wall 18. On the outwardly facing surface of each of the two flanges 20, 21 respective lugs 23 are provided that are shaped to be inserted into and engage with the side apertures 16 of the brackets 10, 11.
  • In use, a screw [0035] 9 is partially screwed into the screw hole 19 in the guide 17 so that the head of the screw 9 projects downwardly from the edge 22 of the guide 17 (FIG. 6a). The two flanges 20, 21 of the screw guide 17 are then urged towards the central wall 18 (FIG. 6b), against the natural outward bias of the flanges, so that the guide 17 can be inserted into the space between the two side walls of one of the brackets 10, 11 with the screw 9 and the edge 22 of the guide 17 leading the insertion of the guide 17 into the space between the two sides of the bracket. Once inside the bracket the screw guide 17 is moved to its final position in which the two lugs 23 are aligned with the side apertures 16. With the screw guide 17 in its final position, the flanges 20, 21 automatically flex away from the central wall 18 and the lugs engage with the side apertures 16 (FIGS. 5 and 6c) thereby securely holding the screw guide 17 in position within the bracket 10, 11. Location of the lugs 23 in the side apertures 16 also ensures that the screw 9 is aligned with the screw hole 8 in the bracket 10, 11.
  • With the screw guide [0036] 17 in place, a screw driver may be inserted through the screw hole 8 to engage with the head of the screw 9 and thereby enable the screw to be screwed into the underside of the shelf 5. The screw hole 19 in the screw guide 17 ensures that even the very long screws required to bridge the space from the outside edge of the bracket to the underneath of the shelf are supported in the space between the sides of the bracket and are thus guided to the underside of the shelf 5. This in turn ensures that the screw 9 is screwed into the shelf 5 substantially normal to the surface of the shelf rather than at an acute angle, as can often be the case with conventional modular shelving systems.
  • Furthermore, if at any stage in the future it is decided to disassemble the shelving system and re-position the height of individual shelves this can be done very easily without resorting to cutting extra screw holes into the shelves. To remove the shelves, the lugs [0037] 23 projecting through the side apertures in each of the two brackets 10, 11 are pressed and urged against their natural bias towards one another so as to be released from the side apertures 16 in the bracket. This enables the screw guide 17 to be removed from the bracket 10, 11 and enables the shelf 5, still attached to the screw guide 17, to be removed from the brackets 10, 11. The brackets can then be re-positioned as desired on the uprights and the shelf re-attached to the brackets by re-inserting the two screw guides 17 between the side walls of respective brackets until the lugs 23 once again engage in the side apertures 16 of the brackets. Thus, once attached to the underneath of the shelf the screw guide 17 preferably remains attached to the shelf 5 at all times thereby avoiding the need to re-screw the shelf to the bracket when re-positioning the shelf.
  • FIGS. 7[0038] a, 7 b, 8 a and 8 b illustrate two alternative designs of the removable screw guide 17 described above. In all cases however, the screw guide includes a through hole 19 which receives and guides the screw that will be used to secure the shelf to the screw guide 17, at least one coupling member such as a lug 23 for coupling the screw guide 17 to the bracket 10, 11 inside the side walls of the bracket at a predetermined location and at least one biasing member such as the flanges 20, 21 to permit limited movement of the coupling member between an engaged and a releasing position. In the case of FIGS. 8a and 8 b the flanges 20, 21 are arranged so as to be attached along an upper edge 24 of the screw guide 17. In the case of FIGS. 7a and 7 b the coupling members 23 are mounted on biasing members in the form of opposed pairs of bent arms 25 and 26 which permit compression of the coupling member towards to screw hole 19 but are naturally biased away from the central screw hole 19. Other alternative coupling members and biasing members are envisaged without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined in the accompanying claims. For example, the screw guide may releaseably engage with a shoulder or ramp in the interior of the bracket rather than in apertures provided in the walls of the brackets, as illustrated.
  • Alternative permanent screw guides are illustrated in FIGS. 9[0039] a, 9 b, 10 a and 10 b. With these alternative screw guides a detent 27 is provided to establish a permanent attachment of the screw guide 17 to the bracket 10, 11. In the case of FIGS. 9a and 9 b the detent 27 is intended for engagement with a ridge or shoulder provided on the inner surfaces of the bracket sides. In the case of the screw guide illustrated in FIGS. 10a and 10 b the detent 27 is intended to establish a force fit with the side walls of the bracket through rotation of the screw guide once in position between the bracket sides. Further alternative designs of the screw guide will, of course, be apparent which similarly provide the benefit of acting as a guide to a screw passing from the outer lower edge of a shelving bracket to the underside of a shelf. With the permanent screw guide 17, the screw guide 17 still provides the benefit of guiding the screw 9 so that the screw cuts into the shelf 5 substantially normal to the surface of the shelf. However, as the screw guide 17 of FIGS. 9 and 10 are intended to be permanently held in the bracket 10, 11, the shelf 5 must be unscrewed from the bracket 10, 11 in the conventional manner if it is decided to re-position the shelf.
  • Although reference has been made herein to metal modular shelving systems it will of course be immediately apparent that the features of the present invention may apply to a large range of different modular shelving systems and the present invention is not limited to shelving systems constructed using metal and encompasses systems of wood or composites for wood, for example. [0040]

Claims (16)

What we claim is:
1. A shelving system comprising:
at least one upright;
at least one bracket for attachment to the upright;
at least one shelf for mounting on the bracket;
at least one bracket screw hole in each bracket for receiving a screw to be screwed into the underside of a shelf; and
at least one screw guide having
a screw channel for guiding the passage of a screw and
a bracket coupling member adapted for holding the screw guide in position within the bracket adjacent the bracket screw hole.
2. A shelving system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the screw guide is permanently held within the bracket.
3. A shelving system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the bracket coupling member is force-fitted with the sides of the bracket.
4. A shelving system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the screw guide is permanently held within the bracket by means of the bracket coupling member which is in the form of a detent and at least one of the sides of the bracket includes a ridge or shoulder for permanently barring movement of the detent in a direction that would release the screw guide from the bracket.
5. A shelving system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the screw guide includes a biasing member associated with the bracket coupling member and movable between a holding position in which the screw guide is held in position within the bracket and a releasing position in which the screw guide is able to move into and out of the bracket.
6. A shelving system as claimed in claim 5, wherein biasing member is in the form of a spring.
7. A shelving system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the biasing member is in the form of at least one resilient arm or flange on which the bracket coupling member is mounted.
8. A shelving system as claimed in 1, wherein the screw guide includes a biasing member associated with the bracket coupling member and movable between a holding position in which the screw guide is held in position within the bracket and a releasing position in which the screw guide is able to move into and out of the bracket and in which the bracket includes an aperture in at least one side and the bracket coupling member is in the form of a movable lug mounted on the biasing member and adapted for engagement in the aperture in the side of the bracket, the lug being biased, in the absence of an external force, away from the screw channel.
9. A shelving system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the bracket includes a pair of opposed apertures and the bracket coupling member includes a pair of opposed movable lugs each biased away from the screw channel.
10. A shelving system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the biasing member is in the form of a spring.
11. A shelving system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the biasing member is in the form of at least one resilient arm or flange on which the bracket coupling member is mounted.
12. A shelving screw guide for use with a shelving system consisting essentially of an upright, at least one bracket and at least one shelf, the shelving screw guide comprising:
a screw channel for guiding the passage of a screw;
a bracket coupling member adapted for holding the screw guide in position within the bracket; and
a biasing member associated with the bracket coupling member movable between a holding position and a releasing position.
13. A shelving screw guide as claimed in claim 12, wherein the biasing member is in the form of at least one resilient arm or flange on which the bracket coupling member is mounted.
14. A shelving screw guide as claimed in claim 12, wherein the bracket coupling member is in the form of a lug adapted for engagement with an aperture in a bracket of the shelving system.
15. A shelving screw guide as claimed in claim 12, wherein the bracket coupling member consists of opposed lugs mounted on opposed resilient arms or flanges.
16. A shelving screw guide as claimed in claim 12, wherein the bracket coupling member consists of opposed lugs mounted on opposed resilient arms or flanges and the opposed resilient arms or flanges are attached to the screw channel along a common edge and the opposed lugs are mounted on respective arms or flanges remote from the common edge.
US10/299,338 2002-06-21 2002-11-19 Shelving system Abandoned US20030233965A1 (en)

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GB0214401.2 2002-06-21
GB0214401A GB0214401D0 (en) 2002-06-21 2002-06-21 Shelving system

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US20070221595A1 (en) * 2006-03-22 2007-09-27 Protrend Co., Ltd. Wall-mount rack
US20080000260A1 (en) * 2006-06-29 2008-01-03 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Refrigerator including shelving system
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US8434629B2 (en) 2011-04-08 2013-05-07 Clairson Inc. Adjustable shelving system with overlapping tracks
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