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1. (WO2017001422) DISPOSITIF D'ASSEMBLAGE, EN PARTICULIER POUR RELIER UNE ÉTAGÈRE À UNE PAROI D'UN MEUBLE
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

JOINING DEVICE, PARTICULARLY FOR JOINING A SHELF TO A WALL OF A PIECE OF FURNITURE

The present invention relates to a joining device, particularly for joining a shelf to a wall of a piece of furniture.

Currently, Italian utility model no. 262995, filed with application

PN2005U000035, is known which claims a joint, for the detachable connection of two structural elements of a piece of furniture that mutually abut at right angles, comprising an accommodation body that can be associated with a first structural element and is adapted to engage a fixing element that can be associated with a second structural element and an actuation element that is arranged in the accommodation body and is adapted to cooperate with the fixing element so as to mutually fix the structural elements; the fixing element comprises a toothed head that is monolithic with a stem of a screw, the head being coupled rotatably within the accommodation body and the screw stem protruding from the accommodation body, the actuation element comprising a crown gear that is adapted to actuate the head in order to screw the screw stem into the second structural element.

This solution suffers drawbacks: a high production and assembly cost is in fact noted, due to the structural complexity of the joint, the need to provide the joint in various sizes/dimensions as a function of the thickness of the panel, the need to use the joint on panels with high minimum thicknesses, a considerable aesthetic impact since the joint exposes the flat edge that must be applied so as to affect one edge of the panel, and the need to provide two holes/seats on the panel for the placement of the accommodation body and of the pin, the execution of which is complicated.

The accommodation body has a cylindrical shape and is divided diametrically into two components, which must be joined in order to clamp the crown gear and the fixing element: a high degree of clamping might not allow optimum interaction between the gears, while clamping provided with the presence of plays might lead to difficulty in activating the gears due to possible mutual jamming of the teeth.

Furthermore, the crown gear and the fixing element are embedded in the accommodation body: in case of maintenance on the crown gear it is necessary to remove the entire accommodation body from the panel and then open, in practice breaking it, the accommodation body in order to access the internal components; in practice, in case of maintenance, it is thus necessary to replace the entire joint; moreover, the panel is also ruined in this case.

This solution makes it necessary to provide a further hole in the panel in order to be able to perform any adjustment of a leveling foot associated with the piece of furniture.

Finally, this structure is bulky and is therefore difficult to install if thin panels are used.

WO 2008/076089 is also known which discloses a solution for obtaining the connection of construction elements such as a panel; this solution comprises a threaded bush and a frame that can be arranged within a hole provided transversely to the panel; the following are placed inside the frame: a first screw, provided with a crown-shaped head; a bushing (8), which is externally threaded and is associated rotatably with a first complementary thread provided axially to the frame; a precompressed spring; a second screw, the head of which has a seat for accommodating the spring and the stem of the first screw; a third screw, which is arranged transversely to the first screw and the head of which interacts with the head of the first screw, according to a crown gear-pinion system.

The elements contained in the frame are fixed stably to the structure of the frame by way of a first threaded ring, which is associated rotatably with a second complementary thread provided axially to the frame, at an end thereof, keeping in position the second screw, and by a second ring, which is associated rotatably with a third complementary thread provided

tangentially to the frame, at one end thereof, keeping the third screw in position.

Figure 6 shows a further solution in which a hole is provided in a panel to allow adjustment of the second screw.

This solution, also, has drawbacks: the third screw, once screwed to the frame, is fixed in its position and is no longer removable and therefore it is not possible to perform any maintenance in case of malfunctions or wear.

Furthermore, in this solution the head of the first screw works in contrast with an externally threaded bush that is associated rotatably with the first complementary thread provided axially to the frame; if the bush loosens, optimum interaction of the head of the first screw with the head of the second screw is no longer permitted, thus making adjustment unattainable.

A similar remark can be made in relation to the rotatable connection of the second screw to the frame by means of the bush.

This solution is structurally complicated, due to the large number of components that constitute the device, requiring a long and laborious preassembly of the various components to the frame, furthermore using a spring that is partially pre-compressed.

This solution, too, makes it necessary to provide an additional hole in the panel in order to be able to perform any adjustment of a leveling foot associated with the piece of furniture.

Finally, this structure, also, is bulky and difficult to install in thin panels.

US5743670A is also known which discloses a joining device, accommodated within a body or structural housing or frame, which is constituted by: a ring gear; a shell that accommodates the stem of the ring gear; a helical spring; a pinion gear; a coupler shaft; a front support.

The coupler shaft is a multi-segment constituted by: a cylindrical segment, which is accommodated at one end inside the shell; a cylindrical central segment, which is provided with a longitudinal retainer slot for a key; a cylindrical collar; a cylindrical coupling segment, which is accommodated in the front support and comprises a longitudinal shaft with a non-threaded segment and a threaded end.

The assembly method of the present known solution provides for a large number of constructive steps and furthermore such solution is structurally complicated due to the large number of components that constitute the device, requiring a preassembly of the various components to the frame that is long and laborious, furthermore using a spring that is partially pre-compressed and additional mechanical means or welds or adhesives as elements for fixing the shell and the front support to the body.

This solution is also particularly expensive in terms of production costs, due to the large number of components required, and in terms of cost and time required for preassembly of the components.

Finally, in this background art document it is found that maintenance or replacement of the activation element, i.e., of the pinion gear, is long, complicated and laborious, since it requires the complete disassembly of the joint as the pinion gear is the first element that is assembled during assembly and since it is not possible to extract it from the opening as the head of the pinion gear has a larger diameter than the opening.

The aim of the present invention is to eliminate the drawbacks noted above, by providing a joining device that is structurally compact, can be used also on panels that have low thicknesses and requires, for its installation, limited work on the panel, so as to maximize the utilization of the space generated by the work on the panel to provide the invention.

Within this aim, an object of the present invention is to provide a joining device that has a limited impact on the panel and the activation of which is simple and effective over time regardless of the machining tolerances both in the panel and in the joint.

Another object is to provide a joining device on which it is possible to perform maintenance on the activation element rapidly and easily, preserving the integrity of the joint and of the panel.

Another object is to provide a joining device that allows to achieve an optimum activation thereof, compensating the forces that tend to space the gears.

A further object is to obtain a joining device that allows quick, easy and simple adjustment of a leveling foot associated with the piece of furniture in a region below the invention itself.

Another object is to provide a joining device that allows to reduce the dimensions of the components so as to allow application in particularly thin panels.

Another object is to provide a joining device the assembly of which to the panel is simple and easy.

Another object is to obtain a joining device that has low manufacturing costs and can be provided with usual and known systems.

This aim and these and other objects that will become better apparent hereinafter, are achieved by a joining device, associable with a shelf that can be arranged against a wall of a piece of furniture, comprising a cylindrical body that can be associated in a first hole adapted to be provided transversely in said shelf and provided with a first axial seat for the rotatable coupling of the first stem of a screw provided with a first crown-shaped head that can be arranged rotatably within a second seat that is adjacent to said first seat, characterized in that it comprises an insert accommodated within a second hole adapted to be provided in said shelf, at right angles to said first hole, said insert being arranged substantially flush with or below the upper surface of said shelf, said insert being provided axially with a seventh through seat that is axially aligned with the central axis of said insert so as to arrange itself along the same axis as a third seat or hole, provided in said cylindrical body, adapted for the rotatable coupling of a second head of a pinion that interacts with said first crown-shaped head, a second stem of said pinion being arrangeable temporarily in said seventh seat, said second head thereof protruding outside said cylindrical body, being accommodated rotatably within said seventh seat of said insert and being adapted to mate kinematically with said first head accommodated within said second seat.

Further characteristics and advantages of the joining device according to the invention will become better apparent from the detailed description of a particular but not exclusive embodiment, illustrated by way of nonlimiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is an exploded view of a joining device according to the present invention;

Figure 2 is a lateral perspective view of the joining device;

Figure 3 is a sectional view of the joining device;

Figure 4 is a sectional view of the cylindrical body;

Figure 5 is a bottom view of the joining device;

Figure 6 is a sectional view of the joining device in a different embodiment.

In the exemplary embodiments that follow, individual characteristics, given in relation to specific examples, may actually be interchanged with other different characteristics that exist in other exemplary embodiments.

With reference to the figures, the reference numeral 1 designates a joining device, associable with a shelf 2 that can be arranged adjacent to a wall 3 of a piece of furniture.

The joining device 1 is constituted by a cylindrical body 4, which can be associated within a complementarily shaped first hole 5 that is adapted to be provided transversely to the shelf 2 through part of its thickness.

The cylindrical body 4 is composed of a single shell 6 that has an essentially cylindrical and internally hollow shape, so as to form, starting from the end directed toward said wall 3 and along part of the length of the cylindrical body 4, a first axial seat 8 for the rotary coupling of a first stem 9 of a screw 10 provided with a first crown-shaped head 11.

The first stem 9 rests rotatably on the inner lateral surface 51 of the shell 6 defined at the first seat 8.

Advantageously, proximate to the part of the first stem 9 that protrudes from the first head 1 1 of the screw 10 there is an annular recess 44 that interacts with an annular ridge or tooth 52 adapted to block the axial sliding of the screw 10.

The first head 11 of the screw 10 can be arranged rotatably within a second seat 12 provided a same axis as the first seat 8 and contiguous thereto, having a substantially cylindrical shape.

The first head 1 1 of the screw 10 protrudes within the second seat 12.

The shell 6 has an outer lateral surface 19 on which there is, at right angles to the axis of the first seat 8 and of the second seat 12 and therefore to the axis of the first stem 9, a third seat or hole 18 inside which it is possible to arrange temporarily a second stem 20 of a pinion 21 provided with a second head 22 that protrudes externally to the cylindrical body 4 and is adapted to couple kinematically to the first head 11 accommodated in the second seat 12.

A second hole 28 is adapted to be provided in the shelf 2, at right angles to the first hole 5 and connected thereto, and accommodates, substantially flush with or below the upper surface 29, an insert 37.

The insert 37 has a substantially cylindrical shape and has a height that is substantially equal to the distance that lies, once the joining device has been assembled, between the upper surface 29 of the shelf 2 and the outer lateral surface 19 of the shell 6, so that the insert 37, once installed, rests on the first head 11 of the screw 10 while remaining substantially flush with the shelf 2.

The insert 37 locks the cylindrical body 4 with respect to the shelf 2 and thus acts as extraction prevention or bolt.

A seventh through seat 38 is provided axially in the insert 37 and is axially aligned with the central axis of the insert 37 so as to lie along the same axis as the third seat or hole 18.

The insert 37 can thus be inserted in the third seat or hole 18, provided in the cylindrical body 4.

The seventh seat 38 in fact has such a diameter as to accommodate rotatably the second head 22 of the pinion 21.

The second head 22 of the pinion 21 protrudes from the third seat or hole 18 and is accommodated within the seventh seat 38, so as to be internal or substantially flush with the upper surface 29 of the shelf 2.

In this manner, the second head 22 of the pinion 21, in addition to providing motion to the first crown-shaped head 11 of the screw 10, also increases the extraction-prevention or bolt function, since it is accommodated in the insert 37 that is located in the seventh seat 38, locking the cylindrical body 4 within the shelf 2.

In a variation shown in Figure 6, the seventh seat 38 is provided in the insert 37 and has an axis that is not parallel with respect to the axis of the third seat or hole 18 provided in the cylindrical body 4 and is therefore inclined with respect to the central axis of the insert 37.

Moreover, in this solution the ninth seat 42 provided in the flat lateral surface 53 of the first wing 40 has the same axis as the seventh seat 38 and is shaped complementarily to the second stem 20 of the pinion 21, which therefore can again be coupled rotatably to the first crown- shaped head 11.

Means for the engagement of a pressure tool are provided on the second upper end 30 of the second head 22 of the pinion 21 and are constituted by a fifth seat 31 within which it is possible to arrange by pressing a tool such as a screwdriver or a specific tool that operates by pressure.

The insert 37 has a first wing 40 which protrudes downward from it at the seventh seat 38 and is extended radially at the part of the seventh seat 38 that contains the second stem 20 of the pinion 21.

The insert 37 has a height that is substantially lower than that of the second hole 28.

The first wing 40 has a lower free end 54 that lies at a fifth hole 46 provided in the cylindrical body 4.

The flat lateral surface 53 of the first wing 40 that is directed toward the first head 11 of the screw 10 is partially hollow so as to obtain a ninth seat 42 that is shaped complementarily to the second stem 20 of the pinion 21.

The rotary and temporary interconnection of the second stem 20 with the insert 37 occurs by way of the presence of an annular groove 23, provided proximate to its end, which interacts selectively with an annular ridge 58 that protrudes from the ninth seat 42 provided on the first wing 40.

In this case, the extraction prevention or bolt function is provided both by the presence of the insert 37 and by the second head 22 of the pinion 21, which block the cylindrical body 4 with respect to the shelf 2, since the second head 22 is accommodated within the eighth seat 38 and the insert 37 is inserted within the second hole 28 provided in the shelf 2.

A third hole 32 is adapted to be provided transversely in the wall 3 and an internally threaded bushing 33 can be arranged or screwed therein for the interconnection of the third end 34 of the first stem 9 of the screw 10.

The interconnection can also be achieved in a different manner: for example, the first stem 9 can have a thread for chipboard.

A fourth hole 35 is adapted to be provided on the lower surface of the shelf 2 that lies opposite the upper surface 29, is parallel to the third seat 18, and matches up with the second hole 28.

In its use, the invention is therefore constituted by a joining device 1 of the concealed type, in that it is entirely accommodated both in the shelf 2 and in the wall 3, only the second hole 28 being visible.

After placing the screw 10 inside the single shell 6, the cylindrical

body 4 is inserted in the first hole 5.

Then the insert 37 is inserted through the second hole 28, adapted to be provided in the shelf 2, and the pinion 21 in the seventh seat 38 of the insert 37, thus locking temporarily the cylindrical body 4.

The rotation imparted to the pinion 21 through the second hole 28 thus allows to screw the first screw 10 to the threaded bushing 33 associated with the wall 3.

The insertion of the insert 37 in the second hole 28 performs the function of locking the cylindrical body 4 to the shelf 2.

It has thus been found that the invention has achieved the intended aim and objects, a joining device 1 having been obtained which is structurally compact, can be assembled rapidly and simply, can also be used on low-thickness panels and requires, for its installation, limited machining on the panel, so as to maximize the utilization of the space generated by the machining on the panel to provide the invention, also avoiding spoiling it.

Furthermore, it has a scarce impact on the panel due to its concealed insertion, since the joining device 1 is accommodated entirely both in the shelf 2 and in the wall 3, only the second hole 28 being visible.

Furthermore, it has been observed that the seventh seat 38 of the insert 37 allows both to accommodate an activation element, i.e., the pinion 21, and to insert the pinion 21 after the insertion of the cylindrical body 4, with the screw 10 inside it, in the shelf 2, making the activation of the pinion 21 simple and effective over time regardless of the machining tolerances both in the panel and in the components of the device; the simple rotation imparted to the pinion 21 through the second hole 28 and through the seventh seat 38 of the insert 37 in fact allows to screw the first screw 10 into the threaded bushing 33 associated with the wall 3.

Furthermore, it has been found that the second head 22 of the pinion 21 and the insert 37 also perform the extraction-prevention or bolt function, by way of the fact that the second head 22 of the pinion 21 is accommodated within the eighth seat 38 of the insert 37 and the insert 37 is inserted within the second hole 28 adapted to be provided in the shelf 2, so as to be substantially flush with or below the upper surface 29 of the shelf 2, thus allowing to lock the cylindrical body 4 within the shelf 2.

Furthermore, it has been observed that maintenance of the pinion 21 can occur rapidly and easily, since it is simply removable from the cylindrical body 4 through the second hole 28 and through the seventh seat 38 of the insert 37 in which it is accommodated, without having to extract the cylindrical body 4 from the shelf 2, and is equally simply replaceable.

Moreover, it has been found that maintenance of the insert 37 also occurs rapidly and easily, since the insert can be simply removed from the cylindrical body 4 through the second hole 28 in which it is accommodated, without having to extract the cylindrical body 4 from the shelf 2, and is equally simply replaceable.

The invention is of course susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims. The materials used, as well as the dimensions that constitute the individual components of the invention, may of course be more pertinent according to the specific requirements.

The characteristics indicated as advantageous, convenient or the like may also be omitted or be replaced with equivalents.

The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. 102015000028402 (UB2015A001756) from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.

Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way of example by such reference si