US 2986281 A
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M y 1961 J. JORDAN 2,986,281
STORAGE RACK FOR CONTROL PANELS Filed July 28, 1959 IN V EN TOR. JOHN L. JORDAN United States Patent The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The present invention relates to a cabinet or rack for storing control panels, particularly of the type having handle portions extending obliquely outwardly along one side of the panel, such, for example, as the panels used in IBM No. 407.
Generally, the previous rack and panel arrangement was such that the panels were stored in a flat or horizontal position so that the obliquely-extending handle portion faced outwardly to provide for the operator a handhold by means of which he could manipulate the panels as they were removed from therack and transported to the machine. In other storage arrangements panels of similar type were stored on end with the handle portion extending outwardly and disposed in a vertical plane.
In either of the above-noted arrangements considerable difliculty was experienced and time lost in transferring the panels from an in-rack to an in-machine position and in the reverse operation. This was due to the fact that the panels when in storage were not positioned in the same way as when they were when in the machine. As a result the operator sometime during making the transfer must change his grasp and rotate the panel at least 90 degrees in order to place it into the machine.
These panels are relatively heavy and, since the operators for the most part are women the matter of their handling is of cardinal importance.
Another difficulty frequently experienced is that the panels are often diflicult to move into and out of the racks and frequently bind in the racks with resulting damage both to racks and panels and attendant loss of time and effort. 1
According to the invention a storage rack or cabinet for control panels of the type identified above is provided in which the panels are stored in an upright position with the panel handle freely available to the extent that the operator can in a single motion and without shifting his grip withdraw the panel and insert it into the machine. This result is enabled by the specific configuration of the vertically-disposed guideways intowhich the panels slide for storage. Although this configuration subsequently will be described in detail it is characterized by the fact that it is adapted to receive the handle of the panel in the same relative position as that in which the handle is disposed in the machine. Also the support for the panel which holds the panel in an upright position in the rack is formed by bearing surfaces abutting the handle as well as the side portions of the panel.
A feature of the invention is the provision of relatively frictionless paths along the bottom of the guideways, through use of rollers or ball bearings, which enable the panels to slide into or out of the racks with a minimum of effort and time required of the operator.
An object of the present invention is the provision of a storage rack or cabinet for control panels of the type identified above which requires a minimum of time and effort in shifting the panels from in-storage to in-machin position and vice versa.
Another object is to provide a storage rack or cabinet for control panels in which the panels require no shifting of handholds as they are carried between in-machine and in-rack positions.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a storagerack for control panels which requires a minimum of effort for inserting or extracting the panels.
Still another object is to provide a storage rack for control panels which minimizes possible damage to rack and panels.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become apparent upon consideration of .the detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures and wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the rack with panels shown therein;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view showing the panel and lower portion of the rack guideways in greater detail;
Fig. 3 illustrates a modification of the rack.
Before describing the present invention it might be well to describe the panel used in these particular machines.
As best seen in Fig. 2 panel 11 has a rectangular frame with side members 12 and 13, bottom member 14, and top member 16. Integral with top member 16 is a handle 17 extending obliquely, outwardly from a vertical side of this top member.
conventionally, these panels are inserted in their stor- I age racks either in a horizontal position with all four of the frame members 12, 13, 14 and 16 serving as a base and the handle disposed in a horizontal direction and extending upwardly from the top member =16 which is located outboard or with either side members 12 or 13 serving as a base and the handle 17 outboard and disposed in a vertical direction. However, when the panels are inserted in" the machine, bottom member 14 serves as the base.
ln the present invention the rack arrangement is such as to permit insertion of the panels into the rack in such a way that the panels 11 are supported on their bottommembers 14, the manner in which they are supported in the machine. To accomplish this, special guideway configurations are provided. I
housing 22 are parallel, equally-spaced rows of rightangled, U-shaped channels 23 in which the bottom mem- The upstanding sides 24 and 26 of these channels 23 are rounded and outwardly flared as seen in portions 27 and 28 (Fig. 2) to facilitate entry of the. panel bottom members 14 into the channels. f, Rollers 29, of conventional construction and preferably bers 14 of panels 11 seat.
of nylon, are positioned at spaced intervals in the bottom of each channel 23 and extend above the bottom of each channel so that they provide a friction-reduced path along which each panel slides into or out of the rack. Ball bearings or any other suitable friction-reducing elements may be used as an alternative to the rollers for yielding this same result. Mounted to the underside of transverse frame members 31 and 32 are parallel rows of equally-spaced, downwardly-facing U-shaped members 33 whose sides 34 and 36 are rounded at their outer ends. The right-hand side 36 of each member 33 is in vertical alignment with the left-hand side 24 of an underlying channel 23 so as to yield the left-hand side of the guideway for each panel. The right-hand side of the panel Ice Patented May30, 1961 breadth of panel top member 16 and. handle 17. The
left-hand sides 34 of members 33 areshorter than the right-hand sides 36 thereof. This makes for easy access by the operators hand for grasping the, panel handle 17. The back portion 15 of housing 22 serves as a back-stop for each panelll. t
The upper tier is substantially a duplicate of the lower tier the only difference being that the upper members 33 therein are mounted to the top portion of the housing.
In another embodiment portrayed by Fig. 3 the lefthand sides 34 of the upper members 33 do not extend down vertically, but slope at anangle. This requires a slightly greater spacing of consecutive upper members and lower channels than in the previous embodiment.
' In transferring a panel from its position in the machine an operator lifts the panel out of the machine by the handle and without having to turn the panel or shift his handhold introduces the panel bottom into the channel and then slides the panel back into the rack, the panels top end and handle being guided by the upper members. The rollers at the bottom of the channels enable quick and easy sliding of the panels into or out of the racks. In the reverse operation the operator grasps the handle of the desired panel in the rack and with a swift easy motion which requires no turning of the panel or shift of handhold extracts it from the rack and places it into the machine.
Obviously many modifications and variations are posisible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood, that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. 1
What is claimed and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. Arack for storing control panels, of the type which has a rectangular-shaped outer frame and a hand-grasp handle extending obliquely outwardly and upwardly from its top frame member and substantially along the length of said top frame member when the panel is in its upright, operative, in-machine position, comprising a housing, means within said housing for allowing transfer between in-rack and in-machine positions of each panel by a swift single movement involving no change of handholds by the operator, said means comprising a plurality of equallyspaced parallel upwardly-facing substantially Ushaped channels disposed at the bottom of said housing and a plurality of downwardly-facing substantially U-shaped members, whose sides are rounded at the rack-entry end and whose left-hand sides are shorter than their righthand sides so as to facilitate grasping of the handle of the panel, disposed in equally-spaced parallel rows at the top of said housing, the right-hand side of each downwardly-facing member being vertically aligned with the '4 left-hand side of one of said upwardly-facing channels, eachof. said upwardly-facing channelsbeing ofta width adapted to provide a seat for the panel bottom edge and the downwardly-facing members being so spaced from one another as to provide a breadth between the left and right-hand sides respectively of consecutive members which is adapted to accommodate the combined width of the panel top frame member and the handle, said breadth being substantially greater than the width of each of said channels, each panel when in stored position being constrained on three of its edges, at the top by portions of consecutive downwardly-facing members, at the back 9 by the housing, and at the bottom by the upwardlyfacing channel. 1
2. A rack for storing computer control panels of the type which has a rectangular-shaped outer frame and a hand-grasp handle extending obliquely upwardly and outwardly from its top frame member and substantially along the length of said top frame member .when the panel is in its upright, operative, in-computer position comprising a housing, means within said housing for allowing transfer, between in-rack and in-computer positions of each panel by a swift single movement involving no change of handholds by the operator, said means comprising a plurality of equally-spaced parallel upwardly facing substantially U-shaped channels disposed at the bottom of said housing, each channel having rollers at spaced intervals along its bottom portion and having upwardly extending sides which are outwardly flared and rounded at their outer, panel-entry ends and a plurality of, downwardly-facing substantially U-shaped members, both of whose downwardly-projecting sides are rounded at their panel-entry ends and whose left-hand downwardly-projecting sides are shorter than their right-hand downwardly-projecting sides, disposed in equally-spaced parallel rows at the top of said housing, the right-hand side of each downwardly-facing member being vertically aligned with the left-hand side of one of said upwardlyfacing channels, each'of said upwardly-facing channels being of a width adapted to provide a seat for the panel bottom edge and the downwardly-facing members being so spaced from one another as to provide a breadth between the left and right-hand sides respectively of consecutive members which is adapted to accommodate the combined width of the panel top'frame member and the handle, said breadth being substantially greater than the width of each of said channels, each panel when in stored position being constrained on three of itsedges, at the topby portions of consecutive downwardly-facing members, at the back by the housing, and at the bottom by the upwardly-facing channel.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 291,513 Hoffman Jan. 8, 1884 1,272,207 Bullen July 9, 1918 1,421,391 Bower July 4, 1922 FOREIGN PATENTS 245,353 Germany Apr. 4, 1912 737,599 Great Britain Sept. 28, 1955
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