US 3559813 A
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I United States Patent 1 13559313  Inventor Charles William Sosinski 3,388,885 6/1968 Holmes 248/310 L n NJ. F ORElGN PATENTS I211 P 7491883 62,250 1 1/1913 Austria 339/198G1 ggf xi 3 287,435 7/1931 Italy 339/198G1 Assignee Thomas & Bans Corporation 1,206,354 8/1959 France 339/198Gl Elizabeth, NJ. Primary Examiner-Ramon S. Britts a corporation of New Jersey Attorney--David Teschner  MODULE MOUNTING SYSTEM ABSTRACT: A modular mounting system for mounting feed- 19 Claims 15 Drawing Figs. through modules. A feed-through module 1s one 1n WhlCll components, or conductors, may be introduced to the module U-S. Cl from both its front and back surfaeeg The module mounting 2 1/2 24 14. 24 1 I 1 98; system comprises first and second side rails held together and 5 l int. Cl A47 5/00, supported by means of end blocks to which the first and 7 second side rails are assembled. Provision is made for mount- Of Search 26, holes in both the ends blocks and side rails to permit 339/198, 198 248/3l4, fastening devices to be passed therethrough to mount the as- 361 sembly to a mounting surface. Placed within the side rails are flexure means which engage in locking relationship ste s on  References cued the module walls thus retaining the module within the mgunt- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing system. The flexure members side rails and end blocks may 3,135,572 1 6/1964 Curtis et a1. 339/ 1986] take on a number of different configurations in accordance 3,173,738 3/ 1965 Gluntz 339/ 19861 with the module configuration, and the manner of mounting.
PATENTED FEB 2 I97! 7 3559813 sum 1 0F 3 INVI'IN'I'UH CHARLES W SOSINSKI PATENTEU FEB 2191:
SHEET 2 OF 3 CHARLES INVI'IN'IOH.
W SOSINSKI MODULE MOUNTING SYSTEM CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS 1. Module Mounting System by Charles W. Sosinski, Ser. No. 724,033 filed Apr. 25, 1968 2. Module Extraction Tool by Charles W. Sosinski, Ser. No. 73 l ,67l filed Apr. 26, l968 3. Module By Charles W. Sosinski, Ser. No. 750,265 filed Aug. 5, 1968 i 4. Module System by Charles W. Sosinski, Ser. No. 756,254 filed Aug. 29, 1968 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention The invention is directed to the field of rack or rail mounting of component modules, which either contain components of an electronic system or which contain the interconnection modules for coupling together one or more of a plurality of individual conductors and components.
2. Description of the Prior Art Modular mounting systems, as are presently known in the prior art, employ either two shallow U-shaped channels to support, and mount, individual modules or a single large U- shaped support member. In the former arrangement, that of the two shallow U-shaped channels, the first of these channels is arranged to fit at the bottom of the module while the second fits over the module top, both with the straight portions of the U engaging portions of the back and front faces of the module. A number of modules are arranged along the lower rail and the top rail is then placed atop the modules. Mounting blocks are then inserted at the ends of the two rails in order to hold the rails in engagement with the modules and to facilitate the mounting of the entire module support system. To prevent bowing of the support rail, which would permit the unwanted removal or falling out of the modules, it is necessary to put additional support blocks along the length of the support rails. The removal, or insertion, of individual ones of modules within the support system is made difficult because of the presence of the overhanging lips which engage the front and rear faces of the modules themselves and the mounting hardware. It is necessary, in order to remove individual modules, or to insert modules after the rails have been assembled, to remove the assembly entirely from the mounting surface, remove one end block and perhaps one or more of the intermediate support blocks and then slide the modules free of the ends of the rails. All service, which the modules on the rail would provide, is disrupted during the time the modules are inserted or replaced.
The further approach of the mounting of the individual modules is the use of a U-shaped channel which surrounds the sides and front surfaces of the module and has overhanging lips which seize the back of the module. The modules are supported, and positioned within the rails, by means of end blocks which are also used to fasten the rail to a mounting surface. In order to minimize the amount of block removal and disruption of service, slots are placed along the overhanging front edges at various positions along them so that only one or more of the adjacent modules will have to be disrupted in order to remove or insert any desired module. However, due to high packing density it may also be necessary to remove the rail from a mounting surface, remove one of the end blocks and then remove one or more modules in order to remove, or insert, a further module.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention seeks to overcome the difficulties noted above with respect to prior art devices by providing a modular mounting system which mounts and supports the modules and which permits the easy insertion, or removal, of a single module, or any number of modules without disturbing the adjacent modules and without requiring that the entire mounting system be removed from a mounting surface. In addition, the module mounting system of the invention provides for feed-through, or double faced modules, permitting the interconnection of conductors, or components, mounted on both the front and back faces of the module and providing the necessary internal coupling therebetween. The module mounting system provides for rigid support of a plurality of such feed-through modules permitting individual modules to be removed, inserted, or repositioned along the module mounting system without disruption to other modules. It permits the module to be operated upon from both the front and back surfaces as well as permitting the individual removal of component portions of a single module either from a front face or rear face without disruption to the remaining portion of the modules.
These desired characteristics are obtained by the use of a module mounting system wherein there are provided first and second discrete mounting side rails which are coupled together by means of end blocks which serve to support the side rails, establish the spacing required for the placement of modules therebetween and permits the mounting of the system upon a mounting surface. Positioned within the first and second side rails are a plurality of first flexure members which engage a step on the sidewall of the module to lock the module into position once the module has been properly placed between the side rails. in addition there are provided second flexure members which bear upon portions of the module and force the module into intimate contact with the first flexure members to assure locking of the module within the support mounting system. In such an arrangement unitary modules proportioned to fit between the first and second side rails and with recesses arranged to engage the first flexure members and bearing surfaces to engage the second flexure surface are provided. In a second embodiment, wherein the first and second side rails are completely symmetrical provision is made to receive a module which is also symmetrical about a center line and can be separated into two component halves about such central line. The module is introduced into the module mounting system from opposite exposed faces of the assembled mounting system and joined to one another limited by means of a stop arranged to limit the insertion of the individual component portions of the module.
In a further embodiment the sides are provided with first and second flexure members which are formed as intrical portions of the sidewall and thus remove the necessity of providing additional flexure members. The end blocks may take a variety of shapes in accordance with the types of mounting desired and the type of sidewalls employed. In addition, there are provided central supports to lock the individual module side rails together to maintain the desired spacing should the first and second side rails be of extremely great length. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved form of module mounting system.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved form of module mounting system for feed-through modules.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system wherein individual ones of the modules may be inserted, removed or repositioned without disruption of service and without disturbing adjacent modules.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system and a unitary module having feed-through capabilities to be mounted within the module mounting system in a first direction and its components and interconnection so as to utilize both a front and back face thereof.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system where an individual component portions of the modules can be inserted from the front and back faces and joined within the module support system itself.
Other objects and features of the invention will be pointed out in the following description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which disclose, by way of example, the principles of the invention, and the best modes which have been contemplated for carrying it outv BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the Drawings:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a module to be employed with the module mounting system constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a portion of the module mounting system constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention but with the end block removed in order to disclose the internal details of the module mounting system.
FIG. 3 is an isometric exploded view of an end block employed to complete the module mounting system of FIG. 2 and showing the fasteners used to assemble the end block and side rails and assemble the module mounting system to a support member.
FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of a module to be employed with an alternative embodiment of a module mounting system constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.
FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a module mounting system constructed in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention and with the end block removed to disclose the internal details of the module mounting system.
FIG. 6 is an isometric view of an end block employed with the module mounting system of FIG. 5.
FIGS. 7 through 13 are isometric views of additional end blocks employed with the module mounting systems of FIGS. 2 and 5.
FIG. 14 is an isometric view of an intermediate support member employed with the module mounting systems of FIGS. 2 and 5.
FIG. 15 shows an alternative construction of the module mounting system sidewalls of FIG. 5.
Similar elements are given similar reference characters in each of the respective FIGS.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Turning now to FIG. 1 there is shown a module arranged to be positioned and engaged to a module mounting system as will be described below in relation to FIG. 2. The modules are described in the above cited applications 1, 2, and to which reference is hereby made. Module 20 consists of a body portion 22 and sidewalls 24. Positioned within the sidewall 24 is a large recess 26 which extends for a portion of its height. At the bottom of recess 26 there is provided a step 28 whose function will be described below. Further, communicating with the recess 26 and extending to the bottom of the module sidewall 24 is a smaller recess 30. Chamfered edge 32 marks the transition from the upper portion of the module 20 to the bottom portion 39 of lesser width. Mounted within the module 20 are a plurality of cavities for receipt therein of connection hardware to permit the coupling together of components or electrical conductors. The cavities are sealed by means of a rear face seal 36 which has a number of access apertures 38 therethrough.
Module 20 is arranged to be positioned between two mounting rails 40 and 42 as is shown in FIG. 2 to which reference is now made. Mounting rails 40 and 42 are generally identical to one another and have therein first longitudinal grooves 44. Longitudinal grooves 44 are formed in such a manner as to provide dovetail edges 46. In addition, there is provided at the lower portion of the side rails 40 and 42 a built-up shoulder 48 which restricts the spacing between the side rails 40 and 42 at the bottom. Along this built-up area, or shoulder, 48, is a second longitudinal groove 50. Positioned within the first longitudinal groove 44 is a blank 52 from which are struck a plurality of bifurcated flexure members 54. The free ends 56, of the bifurcated flexure members 54, will extend in a direction generally termed to be downward and inward. The definition of downward is assumed to be towards the restricted space portion between the side rails 40 and 42 whereas inward is taken to be towards the longitudinal center of the assembly. Although bifurcated flexure members 54 are shown it should be understood that a single flexure member may be employed if such is desired. It should also be understood, although not visible in FIG. 2, a similar flexure member 54 exists in the rail 42. Thus there will be one pair of such flexure members 54 for each module 20 positioned between the rails. The free ends 56 of the flexure members 54 will engage the steps 38 of the module 20 as is better seen in FIG. 1. Chamfered edge 30 of the module will cause the deflection of the free ends 56 of the 'flexure members 54 outwardly, that is away from the longitudinal center between the rails 40 and 42 to permit the passage of the module 20 in the interspace between the rails 40 and 42. As soon as the step 28 has passed the free end 56 of the flexure members 54, they will be permitted to return to their initial positions thus engaging the step 28. The manner of interconnection between such flexure members 54 and the steps 28 of the module 20 sidewalls and the manner in which such modules may be inserted and removed are more fully described in the above cited applications 1 and 2 to which references is made.
Mounted within the second longitudinal groove 50 is a second flexure member 57 which consists generally of a tubular member 58 and a tab 60. Tab 60 will be positioned within the second longitudinal groove 50 and will permit the tubular portion 58 to remain above the groove 50. Upon downward insertion of the module 20, between the rails 40 and 42, the tubular member 58 of the second flexure means 57 will engage the chamfered portion 30, of the module 20, thus limiting downward insertion of the module 20 in the interspace between the rails 40 and 42. In addition the flexure member 57 will exert a certain upward force upon the module 20 thus assuring intimate contact between the free ends 56, of the flexure members 54, and the step 28. It should be noted that the flexure members 54 do not extend all the way to the end of the side rails 40 and 42. This is the portion wherein the end blocks will be inserted as described below. Positioned in this portion of the side rails 40 and 42 are mounting holes 62 and assembly holes 64.
Turning now to FIG. 3 details of a first embodiment of the end block may be seen. End block 70 is provided with male dovetails 72 arranged to engage the overhanging edges 46 of the female dovetail 44 on side rails 40 and 42. End block 70 will be advance so that end 74 will be flush with the end of the side rails 40 and 42 but no overhanging occurs. After the end block 70 has been positioned in the manner described, fastening means such as 77 (only one of which is shown) are passed through the assembly holes 64 and into complementary threaded apertures 76 in end block 70 to assembly the side rails 40 and 42 to the end block 70. Although not shown, a similar end block 70 will be assembled at the opposite end of the side rails 40 and 42 of FIG. 2. The assembled mounting system is now ready to be mounted upon a mounting surface. For this purpose, recessed holes 78 are provided within the male dovetails 72 further aperture 80 is provided in the base of end block 70, to receive a fastening means such as screw 83, and finally an aperture 82 is provided in a top portion of the end block 70. It should be noted that the aperture 82 is of sufficient size to permit the passage therethrough of the head of the fastening device so as to permit the head to come into engagement with the material about the aperture 80 thus preventing the head of the fastening device from being exposed outside of the assembled mounting system. In a similar fashion, mounting holes 62, in the side rails 40 and 42 are also oversized so that the head of a fastening device will come to rest around the material surrounding the aperture 78 so as not to expose the head of the mounting device outside of the assembled mounting system. For example; if it is desired to position a module 20 in such a position as to face the operator when the end block 70 is positioned between the side rails 40 and 42, a fastening means can be passed through the holes 82 and thence the holes 80 of end block 70 and the entire assembled mounting system mounted to two upright spaced rails. Full access is then available to both the front and the back of the module as is needed.
With the devices of FIG. 1 and 2 it is quite evident, as far as insertion or removal of the module 20 is concerned with respect to the side rails 40 and 42, that this must be done from the module 20's rear face. In certain instances it is desirable that the module be insertable and removable from either direction. At least, that a portion of it be so removable. Reference is now made to FIG. 4 which depicts a module 100 composed of two identical portions 102 and 104 coupled together by means of pins connecting the various cavities within the module 100 together. Each portion of module 100, that is 102 and 104, are identical each having a large recess portion 106 as was described with respect to recess 26 of module 20 of FIG. 1 and a smaller recess 108, communicates with recess 106 of module 100 forming steps 110, chamfered areas 112 extend from the parting line 114 which provides a slight indentation with respect to the remaining portions of the sidewalls of the module 100. At the parting line 114 is a flexible cushion which acts to push the respective portions 102 and 104 against their associated flexure members 128. In the assembled condition each of the cavities (not shown) will be extended straight through from portion 102 to portion 104. Each will have an end seal such as 116, having passages through the seal into the cavities such as 118.
Turning now to FIG. 5 there is shown a mounting system for employment with the module 100 of FIG. 4. Walls 120 and 122 are identical to one another and are symmetrical about a center line. Dovetailed slots 124 extend along their longitudinal length and are adapted to receive therein a blank 126 having complementary pairs of bifurcated flexure members 128, whose free ends 130 face one another, extend generally inwardly; that is, towards the opposite side rails 120 and 122. Also along the blank 126 are stop members 132 approximately center the width of the dovetail slot 124. In order to position a module 100 within the assembled mounting system employing side rails 120 and 122, once the endblocks have been assembled, it is necessary to separate the module 100 into its component parts 102 and 104 and insert one each from respective top and bottom surfaces. Module portions 102 and 104 will cause deflection of the bifurcated flexure members 128 until such time as free ends 130 are able to engage the steps 110. Stop member 132 will act against the chamfered portions 112 and limit the insertion of the module portions 102 and 104 to their correct depth. In this position the module portions 102 and 104 will be joined to form the overall module 100 which will be locked by the combined efforts of the flexure members 128. The cushion at the parting line 114 will urge the module portions 102 and 104 against the flexure members 128. It should be noted again that the blank 126 does not extend to the end of the rails 120 and 122 but stops somewhat short of them. In this portion, there are assembly holes 134 placed on either side of a mounting hole 136.
Turning now to FIG. 6 there is shown an end block 40 having male dovetails 142 arranged to engage the upper and lower edges of the dovetail slots 124 of the side rails 120 and 122. A plurality of threaded mounting apertures 144 are provided to receive therein the fastening devices (not shown) which are passed through the assembly holes 134 in the side rails 120 and 122 to fasten the side rails 120 and 122 to the end block 140. Recessed mounting holes 146 are provided in the sidewalls of the end block 140 and a bottom mounting hole 148 is provided in the base 148. An enlarged aperture 150 is provided in the upper portion of the end block 140 to permit the head of a fastening device to pass therethrough, as was described with reference to aperture 82 of FIG. 3. Once the module mounting system has been assembled; that is, with the side rails 120 and 122 assembled to the end block 140 the entire assembly may be mounted upon two vertical support rails and the module portions 100 to !04 inserted as described above. 1
Turning now to FIGS. 7 through 13 other forms of end blocks can be seen. In FIG. 7 the end block 160 is shown rotated with respect to the end block position shown in FIG. 6. End block will have a plurality of male dovetailed tabs 162 for engagement with the edges of the female dovetail 124 of the mounting system of FIGS. 2 and 5. The end block 160, of FIG. 7, is constructed of two portions; the first being a U-shaped channel upon which are formed the male dovetailed tabs 162 and a central portion 164. Tabs 166 are passed through apertures, not visible in the FIG., and are crimped over to assemble the two part unit into a unitary end block 160.
In FIG. 8 there is shown a one piece end block 170 formed with a tab 172 which permits this end block 170 merely to mount the side rails 120 and 122 of FIG. 5 in a position such that the faces of the modules 100 are visible to one standing before the module mounting system. The device of FIG. 9 is a three part end block composed of identical upper and lower portions [82 joined to a central portion 184. It presents a somewhat simpler fabrication than the end block 140 described with reference to FIG. 6.
In FIG. 10 there is shown an end block which permits the mounting of the side rails 120 and 122 further from the mounting surface by providing along column 192 which may be fastened to the mounting surface to cause the side rails 120 and 122 to extend further from that mounting surface. FIGS. 11, 12 and 13, are other forms of single piece end blocks, 200, 210 and 220 respectively. In each of these, provision is made for employment of these end blocks in mountings in the horizontal position as described above with respect to FIG. 8 or in positions at 90 rotation from that position. End blocks of the general type shown in IGS. 7 through 13 may be proportioned for use with the side rails of either FIGS. 2 or S, and coupled to such side rails by appropriate means well known in the art. FIG. 14 shows an intermediate support member 230 to be positioned anywhere along the length of an assembled mounting system of either FIGS. 2 or 5, to prevent the unwanted separation of rails of great length. Using such an intermediate support member 230 the rails will not be permitted to bow or if such bowing does occur the spacing between the two side rails will be maintained so that modules will not be removable from the mounting system except by the normal removing techniques.
Turning now to FIG. 15 there is shown an alternative construction of the side rails 120 and 122 of FIG. 5. In this arrangement a side rail 240 is provided with pairs of bifurcated flexure members 242 adjacent a longitudinal groove 244. In this instance the entire sidewall, including the bifurcated flexure members 242, are fabricated from a single material, having the proper resilience, so that it is unnecessary to provide additional, separate flexure members as is necessary with the devices of FIGS. 2 and 5.
While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied in the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the devices illustrated and in their operation may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed is defined as follows:
1. A module mounting system comprising: a first sidewall; a second sidewall; said first and second sidewalls having first longitudinal grooves therein; first and second end blocks; said end blocks having tabs therein engaging said grooves in said first and second sidewalls; fastening means fastening said first and second sidewalls to said first and second end blocks to position and lock said first and second side walls in parallel relationship, spaced apart by a distance sufficient to receive a module therebetween; said first and second sidewalls and said first and second end blocks defining therebetween a completely open, bottomless passage from a first end surface of said first and second sidewalls to a second end surface of said first and second sidewalls a thereby providing access to both the front and the rear faces of a module received between said sidewalls and at least one first flexure member projecting inwardly from at least one of said sidewalls for each module to be mounted between said sidewalls positioned adjacent said first longitudinal grooves for engaging means on said module to retain said module in its position between said first and second sidewalls.
2. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second sidewalls each have second longitudinal grooves therein; second flexure members, one for each of said first and second sidewalls; said second flexure members being mounted in associated second longitudinal grooves to engage said modules into engagement with said first flexure members.
3. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 2, wherein said second flexure members are tubes fabricated from a resilient material and having a tab coupled thereto to be positioned in said second longitudinal groove.
4. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 2, wherein said first and second sidewalls have shoulders adjacent said second longitudinal grooves; said shoulders and said second flexure members acting to limit the insertion of modules between said first and second sidewalls.
5. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second end blocks have a plurality of mounting holes therein and said first and second sidewalls have a plurality of associated mounting holes whereby fastening devices may be passed through said mounting holes of said first and second end blocks and said associated mounting holes of said first and second sidewalls to mount said module mounting system to a mounting surface.
6. A module mounting system, as defined in claim I, further comprising an intermediate support block; said intermediate support block having tabs thereon to engage said first longitudinal grooves whereby said intermediate support block may be positioned along said first and second sidewalls intermediate said end blocks to support said first and second sidewalls and maintain their desired spacing.
7. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 4, wherein said module has first and second sidewalls arranged to be positioned adjacent said first and second sidewalls of said mounting system; said module first and second sidewalls having first portions proportioned to fit between and be engaged by said first flexure members; second portions proportioned to fit between said shoulders of said first and second sidewalls and third portions proportioned to engage said second flexure members.
8. A module mounting system as defined in claim 1, wherein said first flexure members are positioned upon blanks placed in said first longitudinal grooves; said first flexure members having free ends extending in a first direction transverse to said first longitudinal grooves and toward the opposite one of said first and second sidewalls.
9. A module mounting system. as defined in claim 8, wherein said first flexure members are bifurcated.
10. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 1, wherein said first flexure members are positioned upon blanks placed in said first longitudinal grooves; said first flexure members comprising complementary pairs, each member of the pair having a free end, the free ends of the pair facing each other and generally extending toward the opposite one of said first and second sidewalls.
11. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 10, wherein each of said flexure members is bifurcated.
12. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 10, further comprising stop members one for each complementary flexure member pair, positioned intermediate said flexure member complementary pairs and upon said blanks.
13. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 1, wherein said first flexure member is integral with a first edge defining said first longitudinal groove, and extends into said first longitudinal groove.
14. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 13,
further comprising second flexure members; said second flexure members engaging said module and urging said module into intimate contact with said first flexure members; said second flexure members are integral with the second edge defining said second longitudinal groove and extend into said first longitudinal groove; at least one first and second flexure member comprising a complementary pair, whose free ends face one another and extend generally towards the opposite one of said first and second sidewalls.
15. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 5, wherein said end blocks are provided with recesses adjacent said mounting holes to accept the head portion of a fastening device, whereby said head portion is prevented from extending beyond the surface of said mounting system.
16. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 15, wherein said end blocks are unitary.
17. A module mounting system, as defined in claim I, wherein said end blocks comprise a plurality of portions coupled together.
18. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 12, said module is symmetrical about a center position and is severable into two portions about said center position; each of said portions placed in said system from opposite directions, and caused to engage each other and said stop members whereby said module is retained in said system by means of said complementary flexure member pairs.
19. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 1, further comprising second flexure members, one for each of said first and second sidewalls; each of said second flexure members being coupled to one of said first and second sidewalls and extending therebetween.