BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a holder for a beverage container, for example a cup, a beaker or a can, which is provided for installation in a motor vehicle.
Such a holder is known, for example, from the printed publication DE 101 34 027. The known holder comprises a storage compartment with a divider. The divider serves to divide off a region for a beverage container to be inserted. For that purpose, it can be moved from a non-use position, in which it does not divide up the storage compartment, into a position of use in which it divides off the insertion region. To do this, it has a rotary bearing as guide means, so that it can be pivoted out of a lateral wall of the storage compartment into the interior of the storage compartment. In addition, the known holder has a diameter-compensating flap, which is moved into the interior of the storage compartment as the divider is pivoted into the position of use. When the divider is pivoted out, however, the diameter-compensating flap is moved out of the storage compartment.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The drawback of the known holder lies in the awkward manipulation of the divider. The above-mentioned printed publication therefore proposes arranging a grippable enlargement on the wall of the divider, by means of which the divider can be pivoted. Nevertheless, operation of this grippable enlargement requires considerable dexterity when pivoting the divider into the position of use since the grippable enlargement is intended to protrude only a little way into the compartment and therefore lacks adequate contours for gripping.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a holder for a beverage container, which eliminates the disadvantages of the prior art.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a holder for beverage containers of the kind described in the introduction that is more convenient to operate.
In keeping with these objects and with others which will become apparent hereinafter, one feature of the present invention resides, briefly stated, in a holder for a beverage container in which the divider of the holder comprises a torsion spring system.
This produces the moment required for pivoting into the position of use. To retain it in the non-use position, the holder has a locking device for the divider. To pivot the divider into the position of use, it is merely unlocked and then pivots, driven by the torsional spring system. To pivot it into the non-use position, the divider is operated against the spring action.
Compared with the prior art, this allows a distinctly easier manipulation. In particular, the appeal of the product is substantially improved thereby, since pivoting into the position of use is effected “automatically”. Furthermore, there is the advantage that the divider assumes stable positions only in the position of use and in the non-use position. Compared with the prior art, in which, without additional locking devices, the divider may be undesirably pivoted owing to vibrations and/or inertia forces resulting from driving, this is excluded with the holder according to the invention.
The invention also excludes the possibility that the divider will be left in an only partly pivoted position, which would provide neither a satisfactory hold for a beverages container nor render the storage compartment as such fully usable. This also increases convenience of operation and improves the product appeal, since the divider can no longer stick in arbitrary pivoted positions.
In a preferred construction of the holder, the divider includes an operating element. Pivoting into the position of use is initiated not by manipulation of the divider itself, but by the operating element. This considerably simplifies operation of the divider. In the non-use position it can also be pivoted fully out of the storage compartment, or can position itself next to the inner side, with the result that the storage compartment has no projections or the like whatsoever.
The locking device and the operating element are in this case preferably arranged partly on the diameter-compensating flap. A simple structural design with few parts is consequently possible. Similarly, a single spring is preferably employed for simultaneous use as part of the locking device and to effect the compensating movement of the diameter-compensating flap.
In an alternative construction of the holder, the locking device is a push-push mechanism. This renders a separate operating element superfluous. For pivoting into the position of use, the divider is pressed briefly against the action of the torsion spring and then pivots automatically into the position of use. To pivot it back, the divider is again pivoted against the action of the torsion spring until the stop of the push-push locking device is reached.
In a development of the holder according to the invention, the divider has a rotary damping element. The speed in particular of the pivoting movement into the position of use is limited by this means, providing both better product appeal and protection of the end-position stops compared with an undamped movement.
To ensure simple assembly of the holder, in a preferred construction the rotary bearing of the divider is in the form of a bayonet connection. To attach the divider to the storage compartment, it is merely inserted and turned. To prevent accidental disassembly during use, insertion can be effected, for example, in a rotated position that is not reached during pivoting between the position of use and the non-use position. In that case, it must be possible during assembly for the divider to pivot over at least one of the two stops for the position of use and the non-use position. Furthermore, if removal, for example, for cleaning purposes, is to be possible, then again at least one of the two stops must be capable of being overriden, this override option being achieved by increased forces or separate detachment of the relevant stop.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the present invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a holder according to the invention in the position of use;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of parts of the same holder;
FIG. 3 is a perspective sectional view of a second holder according to the invention in the position of use;
FIG. 4 is a further perspective view of the same holder;
FIG. 5 is a perspective sectional view of a third holder according to the invention during assembly;
FIG. 6 is a further perspective sectional view of the same holder during assembly;
FIG. 7 is a perspective sectional view of the same holder in the position of use; and
- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 8 is a further perspective view of the same holder in the position of use.
A holder 1 according to the invention illustrated in FIG. 1 for holding a beverage container, such as, for example, a cup, a beaker or a can (not shown), is provided for installation in a motor vehicle. The holder 1 comprises a dish-form or tray-form storage compartment 2. The rim 3 serves for building the holder 1 into, for example, the centre console of a motor vehicle. For dividing off an insertion region 4, the holder 1 comprises a cylindrical divider 5 having a wall 6 passing around approximately 180°, and a rotary plate 7.
The divider is mounted to rotate about the vertical axis. It could equally well have a rotary plate arranged beneath the base 8 of the storage compartment 1. In that case, it would also be possible to pivot the divider 5 in and out between the position of use and the non-use position through an opening (not shown) in the wall 6. The illustrated rotated position of the divider 5 corresponds to the position of use. The wall 6 projects into the interior of the storage compartment 2 and thus divides off the cylindrical insertion region 4. It is not closed around the entire circumference, with the result that in particular it is possible to insert cups with handles.
If the insertion region 4 is not required, the divider 5 can simply be manually pivoted following the pivot movement A. This pivoting movement A is effected against the moment of the torsion spring system (not shown). In order to pivot the divider into the position of use again using the torsion spring system; the operating element in the form of the button 9 is released by vertical pressure.
Apart from the divider 5, the holder also comprises a diameter-compensating flap. It is mounted so as to pivot and slide vertically along the axis B, and in the illustrated position of use is pressed by the spring 131 acting as torsion spring into the interior of the insertion opening 4. The diameter-compensating flap 10 thus serves for secure hold of different sizes of beverages containers. As the divider 5 is pivoted into the non-use position, the diameter-compensating flap 10 is pivoted by the divider 5 radially outwards into the recess 12.
In order to hold the divider 5 in the non-use position against the moment of the torsion spring system (not shown), the holder 1 has a locking device in the form of a pin 13 on the divider 5 and a groove 14 on the diameter-compensating flap 10. If the divider 5 is pivoted into the non-use position, then the pin 13 snaps into the groove 14 and thus locks the pivoting movement. On operation of the button 9, the diameter-compensating flap 10 is pressed a little way downwards against the spring 11 acting as compression spring here. The spring 11 is thus both part of the locking device of the divider 5 and also a spring element for the compensating movement of the diameter-compensating flap 10.
By lowering the diameter-compensating flap 10, the pin 13 slides vertically out of the groove 14 and thus releases the divider 5, which thereupon pivots into the position of use. If the button is subsequently released, then the spring 11 lifts the diameter-compensating flap 10 again into the position illustrated, and pivots it into the interior of the insertion region 4.
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the most important parts of the described mechanism in the non-use position. Through pressure on the button 8 in the direction of arrow C, the pin 13 is pushed out of the groove 14 on the diameter-compensating flap 10. By virtue of the torsion spring system 15, which is arranged between the rotary plate 7 and the base 8 beneath it of the storage compartment 2 (see FIG. 10, the divider 5 is pivoted in accordance with the arrow D into the position of use. This pivoting movement is dampened by the rotary damping element in the form of a rotation damper 16, whereby the speed of rotation is virtually constant after traversing just a small pivoting angle.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show a second exemplary embodiment of the holder 1 a with a push-push locking mechanism 17, the holder 1 a likewise comprises a dish-form or tray-form storage compartment 2 a as well as a divider 5 a to divide off an insertion region 4 a. The divider 5 a is here, however, not cylindrical but U-shaped.
In FIG. 3, the divider 5 a is shown in the position of use. It is mounted in slideways 19 by means of several guide pins 18, 18 a. The slideways 19 form here a circular path, but geometries varying slightly from that form are also conceivable. The scroll spring 20 is used as torsion spring system. The diameter-compensating flap 10 a is pressed by the spring 11a into the interior of the insertion region 4 a. By virtue of the arrangement of the pivot axis 21 of the diameter-compensating flap 10 a, this is pressed out of the storage compartment 2 a when the divider 5 a is pivoted into the non-use position.
FIG. 4 shows the divider 5 a in the non-use position. In addition to its guide function, one of the guide pins 18 a is used as a locking pin for the push-push mechanism 17. To pivot the divider 5 a, this is pressed lightly corresponding to arrow E. This unlocks the push-push mechanism 17 and the divider 5 a pivots into the position of use through the action of the scroll spring 20. Conversely, to pivot it into the non-use position, the divider 5 a is pivoted against the action of the scroll spring 20 until the guide pin 18 a stops inside the push-push mechanism 17 and locks it after release.
A further exemplary embodiment is shown in FIGS. 5 to 8. The holder 1 b again comprises a dish-form or tray-form storage compartment 2 b and a cylindrical divider 5 b. For the sake of clarity, no diameter-compensating flap is shown.
In FIGS. 5 and 6, first of all the position of the divider 5 b during assembly is shown. The divider 5 b is set on the base 8 b, as indicated by the arrow F. FIG. 6 shows the lowermost part of the divider 5 b in section (sectional surfaces shown hatched). It has circumferential guide ribs 21, which are recessed in the region of the bayonet ribs 22 of the base rib 8 b in order to permit assembly. The torsion spring system 15 b has already been inserted during a pre-assembly step and is biased between the spring stops 23 of the base 8 b.
FIGS. 7 and 8 show the holder 1 b in similar perspective views with the divider 5 b in the position of use. Starting from the previously illustrated position, this position is reached by turning the divider 5 b in accordance with the arrow G. FIG. 8 again shows the lowermost part of the divider 5 b in section. The guide ribs 21 are engaged with the bayonet ribs 22 and hence provide both the rotary guidance of the divider 5 b and the bayonet connection. The torsion spring system is clamped between the spring stop 23 and the base 8 b and the spring stop 24 of the divider 5 b and thus produces a moment in the clockwise direction on the divider 5 b.
To prevent the divider 5 b from turning further in this direction than the illustrated position of use, a stop lug 25 is arranged on the base 8 b and a stop rib 26 is arranged on the divider 5 b. When mounting the divider 5 b, the stop rib 26 rides over the stop lug 25, which is consequently pressed resiliently downwards. If the divider 5 b is to be removed, for example, for cleaning purposes, then the stop lug 25 can be sent downwards, for example, by means of a pin pushed through the bore 27 (see FIG. 7), and hence the stop function is disabled. By rotation opposite to arrow G, the bayonet connection can then be released.
FIG. 8 shows additionally a rotation damper 16 b, which is let into the base 8 b and engages with a toothed rack 28 of the divider 5 b. Analogous to the other two exemplary embodiments described, the divider 5 b can be pivoted in the direction of arrow G from the position of use into the non-use position. A push-push mechanism (not shown) is again used as stop and locking means.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in holder for a beverage container, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.