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Title:
A FITTINGS SYSTEM INCLUDING AN OPERATING MEMBER AND A MOUNTING PLATE, AS WELL AS A METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/059756
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fittings system including an operating member and a mounting plate, to be mounted on a panel for operating a bolting mechanism of the panel, wherein the operating member has a coupling section being rotatably held in an opening of the mounting plate, wherein the coupling section of the operating member is provided with a blocking member that snap-fits into a recess of the mounting plate during assembly, in particular a recess that is provided by an inner edge protruding radially inwards into the opening of the mounting plate.

Inventors:
TERLOUW, Adrianus Matthijs (3903 AV Veenendaal, NL)
Application Number:
NL2018/050367
Publication Date:
March 28, 2019
Filing Date:
June 06, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AXA STENMAN NEDERLAND B.V. (Energiestraat 2, 3903 AV Veenendaal, NL)
International Classes:
E05B3/06
Foreign References:
FR2650321A11991-02-01
GB1155834A1969-06-25
GB834118A1960-05-04
DE9321112U11996-03-07
US1441845A1923-01-09
DE8809585U11988-12-01
EP1022413A12000-07-26
FR2650321A11991-02-01
GB1115834A1968-05-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JANSEN, C.M. (V.O, Carnegieplein 5, 2517 KJ Den Haag, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A fittings system (10) including an operating member (12) and a mounting plate (14), to be mounted on a panel (16) for operating a bolting mechanism of the panel (16), wherein the operating member (12) has a coupling section (18) being rotatably held in an opening (20) of the mounting plate (14), wherein the coupling section (18) of the operating member (12) is provided with a blocking member (22) that snap-fits into a recess (24) of the mounting plate (14) during assembly, in particular a recess (24) that is provided by an inner edge protruding radially inwards into the opening (20) of the mounting plate (14).

2. The fittings system (10) according to claim 1, wherein the blocking member (22) comprises a retainer ring.

3. The fittings system (10) according to claim 2, wherein the retainer ring (22) has a rectangular cross-section, wherein the retainer ring (22) has a top surface TS that extends in parallel with an opposite inner edge of the opening of the mounting plate (14) after assembly.

4. The fittings system (10) according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the retainer ring (22) is made of steel or metal.

5. The system according to any of the preceding claims 2-4, including an inner ring (23) abutting an inner surface (SB) of the retainer ring (22). 6. The fittings system (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the coupling section (18) comprises an end part (28) of the operating member (12) provided with a locking nut (30), wherein the locking nut (30) prevents the blocking member (22) from moving in an axial direction along the end part (28).

7. The system according to claim 6, wherein the locking nut (30) is connected to the end part (28) of the operating member (12) by a screw- thread connection.

8. The fittings system (10) according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the end part (28) of the coupling section is further provided with a locking groove (32) and an O-ring (34), for fixating the mounted locking nut (30).

9. The system according to any of the preceding claims, including a spring support (41), configured to revert the operating member back to a initial or rest situation after use.

10. The fittings system (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein an inner side of the mounting plate, defining the opening (20), extends along at least one virtual conical plane (38) , for example a virtual conical plane (38) having a top angle Θ in the range of about 5 to 90 degrees.

11. The fittings system (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein an outer part of an inner side (40) of the mounting plate (14), defining the opening (20), extends along a first virtual conical plane (42), wherein a subsequent second part of the inner side (44) of the mounting plate (14), which extends between the outer part of the inner side (40) and the recess (24), extends along a second virtual conical plane (46), wherein a top angle θι of the first virtual conical plane (42) is larger than a top angle Θ2 of the second virtual conical plane (46).

12. The fittings system (10) according any of the preceding claims, wherein the operating member (12) is selected from: a handle and a knob, for example a door handle or a thumb turn. 13. The fittings system (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a maximum thickness T of the mounting plate (14), measured normally with respect to a panel mounting side of the mounting plate (14), is smaller than 10 mm. 14. A fittings system according to any of the preceding claims, including at least two operating members (12) and two respective mounting plates (14), to be mounted on opposite sides of the panel (16), wherein each operating member (12) has a coupling section (18) being rotatably held in an opening (20) of the respective mounting plate (14), each coupling section (18) being provided with a respective blocking member (22) that snap-fits into a recess (24) of the respective mounting plate (14) during assembly.

15. A fittings system according to any of the preceding claims, including two operating members (12) and a mounting plates (14), to be mounted on one side of the panel (16), wherein each operating member (12) has a coupling section (18) being rotatably held in an opening (20) of respective mounting plate (14), each coupling section (18) being provided with a respective blocking member (22) that snap-fits into a recess (24) of the mounting plate (14) during assembly.

16. The fittings system (10) according to at least claim 1, wherein the blocking member (22) comprises a retainer ring, wherein the retainer ring (22) has a flat top surface (TS) that extends in parallel with an opposite annular retaining surface (SI) of the mounting plate (14) after assembly, wherein an end part (28) of the operating member (12) is provided with a locking nut (30), the locking nut (30) including an annular ring supporting surface (SL) extending in parallel with said inner retaining surface (SI) of the mounting plate (14) after assembly, wherein the locking nut (30) is preferably connected to the end part (28) of the operating member (12) by a screw-thread connection, and the locking nut (30) and respective retaining surface (SL) preferably being spaced-apart from the mounting plate (14) after assembly.

17. An operating member (12) for use in a fittings system (10) according to any one of the claims 1 to 16, the operating member having the coupling section (18) configured to be rotatably held in an opening (20) of the mounting plate (14), wherein the coupling section (18) of the operating member (12) is provided with a blocking member (22) that is configured to snap-fit into a recess (24) of the mounting plate (14) during assembly.

18. A mounting plate (14) for use in a fittings system (10) according to any one of the claims 1 to 16, wherein the mounting plate is configured to be mounted on an outer side of a panel (16), the mounting plate including an opening (20) for receiving a coupling section (18) of the operating member, wherein the mounting plate includes a recess (24) for snap -fittingly receiving the blocking member (22) of the operating member (12) during assembly, in particular a recess (24) that is provided by an inner edge protruding radially inwards into the opening (20) of the mounting plate (14).

A method for assembling a fittings system (10), comprising:

providing a panel (16), in particular a panel (16) configured for receiving a bolting mechanism or already having a bolting

mechanism; providing a fittings system (10) according to any one of the claims 1 to 16, configured for operating the bolting mechanism of the panel after assembly;

mounting the mounting plate (14) unto the panel (16); and mounting the operating member (12) unto the mounting plate (14), wherein the blocking member (22) snaps into the recess (24) of the mounting plate (14) thereby interconnecting the operating member (12) to the mounting plate (14), in particular to prevent removal of the operating member from the mounting plate.

Description:
A fittings system including an operating member and a mounting plate, as well as a method FIELD

The invention relates to a fittings system for a panel, e.g. door or window, the fittings system including an operating member and a mounting plate, to be mounted on the panel for operating a bolting mechanism of the panel, wherein the operating member has a coupling section being rotatably held in an opening of the mounting plate.

BACKGROUND

In the construction industry there is a tendency to using as much pre-fabricated component as. Pre-fabricated components are being made and constructed off site, e.g. in a factory, as automated as possible. This saves construction time on site and thus money. In the case of doors and windows, hinges and locks are preferably mounted in the factory.

A fitting usually comprises a handle and mounting plate, which can be already pre-assembled with each other in an axially fixed manner. Off site mounting of a fitting would result in panels with protruding handles, which would make the transport of such panels much more cumbersome and expensive.

On site mounting of pre-assembled fittings has disadvantages. In the case of a rosette mounting plate, the handle is usually located in front of screws wherewith the mounting plate is fixed to the door or window leaf. Thus, mounting can only be achieved by holding the handle downwards during screwing or using a inclined tool. Mounting is therefore tedious and cumbersome.

It is further disadvantageous that the pre-assembled fittings occupy a great deal of space during packaging, which also has an

undesirable effect on required shipping and storage space. This effect is worsened when different door or window handles are to be provided with differently shaped and/or structured mounting plates. The desired

combinations must be pre-assembled and stored accordingly.

A known solution to the described drawbacks is to separate the handle and the mounting plate. The latter is first screwed firmly to the door or the window without the handle. This can be done off site, in a factory. Subsequently, the handle is inserted into mounting plate so that an axially fixedly rotatable connection is produced. Known solutions for thus

connecting the handle and mounting plate are in particular disclosed in DE 8809585 Ul (DE'858) and EP 1022413 Al (EF413).

In DE'858 a fitting for a window or door is disclosed, consisting of a rosette to be fastened to a window or door, and a handle. The handle is provided with a peripheral annular groove and the rosette is provided with a retaining ring. When the handle is inserted into the rosette, the retaining ring widens, and when the complete insertion position is reached, the retaining ring snaps into the groove of the handle. The retainer ring is circle-symmetrical and consists of four identical parts, which parts make the widening, which is needed for insertion, possible in a simple manner.

In EP'413 a mounting plate is disclosed, for the axially fixed- rotatable receiving of a handle. The mounting plate can be fixated to a door, window etc. The mounting plate is provided with a circlip and the to be mounted handle is provided with a circumferential latching groove. When the handle is shoved unto the mounting plate the circlip firstly widens and subsequently snaps into the latching grove, axially fixing the handle to the mounting plate.

A problem with both solutions is that lead to a relatively thick, bulky mounting plates. The mounting plates of the known solutions also have to protrude into the panel, requiring e.g. additional drilling or milling of the panel in order to make room for the mounting plate. This requires more operations for the off site mounting of the mounting plate and thus makes it more expensive.

FR2650321 discloses an assembly, having a handle and fastening plate, mounted to a door. The plate is made of relatively weak material, e.g. plastic or wood, and includes a through-hole, a dedicated mounting sleeve being located in though-hole. After assembly, an end fitting of the door handle is received in said mounting sleeve of the plate. The mounting sleeve has supporting means (7, 8) for resting against the external main surfaces of the plate. Thus, the supporting means of the mounting sleeve are located externally of the plate, an inner supporting part being located within a respective gap made in the door. The end fitting of the door handle includes a groove for receiving an elastic spring wire, connecting the handle to the mounting sleeve via a respective groove of the sleeve. A disadvantage of this assembly is that it is relatively complex and weak, requiring additional machining on the door for receiving the fittings system. Also, the fittings system leads to a relatively weak connection between handle and door plate, allowing play and a relatively wobbly mounting of the handle with respect to the plate c.q. mounting sleeve.

GBl, 115,834 discloses an example of a system, having a window fastener, a mounting plate of the window fastener having a tubular neck portion that protrudes into the winding after mounting. A resilient contractible ring connects a spigot portion of the fastener to a bore of the mounting member. This also leads to a relatively weak, instable coupling, wherein the window has to be provided with a large opening for receiving the tubular portion of the fastener.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention is therefore to provide a fitting system for a panel, e.g. door or window, which can be easily mounted on site, need little shipping or storing space, whilst needing less operations off site than known systems. Also, the invention aims to provide a very durable and reliable fittings system that can provide a stable coupling between the operation member and the coupling plate, allowing no or substantially no play after mounting.

To that end, the invention provides fittings system including an operating member and a mounting plate, to be mounted on a panel for operating a bolting mechanism of the panel, wherein the operating member has a coupling section being rotatably held in an opening of the mounting plate, wherein the coupling section of the operating member is provided with a blocking member that snap-fits into a recess of the mounting plate during assembly, in particular a recess that is provided by an inner edge protruding radially inwards into the opening of the mounting plate

An advantage of the fittings system according to the invention is that the coupling section is provided at the operating member. This means the mounting plate does not need to accommodate such a section and can be made thinner than mounting plates of known solutions. It also means the mounting plate does not need to protrude into the panel, and that the panel requires no or only little machining or the-like for receiving the fittings system. Another consequence of the invention is, that the operating member can withstand higher forces than the known handles. It can meet the criteria for NEN-EN 1906 and can be classified in user category grade 4 and durability grade 7, according to a preferred embodiment. As a result, also, the invention can provide a system wherein the handle can snuggingly fit onto the mounting plate, with no or substantially no play there-between, whereas the system can be made relatively durable and reliable compared to existing systems.

The invention also provides a method for assembling a fittings system, comprising:

• providing a panel, in particular a panel configured for receiving a bolting mechanism or already having a bolting mechanism; • providing a fittings system according to any one of the claims 1 to 12, configured for operating the bolting mechanism of the panel after assembly;

• mounting the mounting plate unto the panel; and

· mounting the operating member unto the mounting plate,

wherein the blocking member snaps into the recess of the mounting plate thereby interconnecting the operating member to the mounting plate, in particular to prevent removal of the operating member from the mounting plate.

The method according to the invention provides a simple yet effective procedure for assembling a fittings system. It also minimizes the construction and shipping costs. All steps but mounting the operating member to the mounting plate, can preferably be done off site, e.g. in a factory, as automated as possible. This costs less than on site construction. The thus assembled parts can be packaged flat and shipped to the

construction site separately, thus saving shipping costs. The only remaining on site step is the simple insertion of the operating member into the mounting plate, requiring no tool. Also, the method leads to a relatively stable and strong assembly, wherein the operating member and the mounting plate can be mounted to the panel (e.g. door) with substantially no play, allowing tight and reliable operation of the system (e.g. opening and closing of the panel).

Extra advantageous embodiments are provided by the dependent claims. The invention will be further elucidated with reference to some examples shown in the figures. The embodiments may be combined or may be applied separate from each other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Figure 1 is an exploded view of a configuration of a fittings system according to an example of the invention; Figure 2 shows a front view of the system depicted in Fig. 1, in an assembled state;

Figure 3A shows a cross-section along line B-B of figure 2;

Figure 3B shows an expanded detail of section C of figure 3A;

Figure 3C shows angles θι, Θ2, schematically;

Figure 4A shows a cross-section along line D-D of figure 2;

Figure 4B shows an expanded detail of section E of figure 4A;

Figure 5A shows a top view of an embodiment of a blocking member; and

Figure 5B shows a cross-section of the blocking member of Figure

5A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In this application similar or corresponding features are denoted by similar or corresponding reference signs. The description of the various embodiments is not limited to the examples shown in the figures and the reference number used in the detailed description and the claims are not intended to limit the description of the embodiments, but are included to elucidate the embodiments by referring to the examples shown in the figures.

In the most general terms, the invention concerns a fittings system 10 including an operating member 12 (e.g. handle) and a mounting plate 14, to be mounted on a panel 16, partly shown in Fig. 2, for operating a bolting mechanism of the panel 16. In the drawings, only an operating axle 48 of the bolting mechanism (known as such) is depicted. After assembly, the operating axle 48 provides a pivot axis for the respective operating member.

The operating member 12 has a coupling structure/section 18, part of which is rotatably held in an opening 20 of the mounting plate 14 (i.e. to be pivoted downwardly over a certain operating angle for operating the bolting member, as will be appreciated by the skilled person). In the example of Figures 1-3, the coupling section includes an end part 28 of the operating member 12, carrying/holding a spring support 41, a blocking member 22, an inner ring 23 and a locking nut 30.

Preferably, the mounting plate is made of a rigid material, for example metal, aluminum, steel, or an alloy.

In this example, and as follows from the drawings, the system includes an integrated spring support 41 (know per se), including a spring means 41a and two support members 41b, 41c, configured to cooperate to return the operating member 12 back to a initial or rest situation after use (wherein the returning movement of the operating member 12 is achieved under spring force—a spring relaxation- of the spring means 41a as will be appreciated by the skilled person). As is also know, the spring force of the spring means 41a of the spring support 41 is an axial spring force (i.e. in parallel with the rotation axis i.e. operating axle 48). In the depicted example, the spring means 41a of the spring support consist of a coil spring, the coil spring 41a in particular being compressed after mounting (see Figure 3A), consequently exerting an axial spring pressure onto the handle 12 on the one hand and the inner spring support members 14b, 14c on the other hand.

A locking nut 30, mounted to a distal end 28 of the handle 12 keeps the parts together. It is preferred that the locking nut 30 can be screwed onto the end part 28 of the handle 12, via respective screw thread (not depicted), during assembly. This allows for ease of assembly and can also adjust axial position of the various components, e.g. allowing setting of an axial supporting force of the blocking member 22, and leading to a minimum of play after assembly. Also, in this way, a relatively stable connection can be achieved.

To be able to prevent movement of the blocking member 22 in an axial direction along the end part 28 of the operating member 12, the locking nut 30 itself can be tightly fixed unto the end part 28. In a elaboration of the invention (see Figure 3B), the end part 28 of the operating member 12 is further provided with a locking groove 32 and an O-ring 34, jointly fixating the mounted locking nut 30 to the end part 28 (the locking nut also including a respective locking groove 31). The O-ring is a ring shaped object of elastic material, e.g. an elastomer, having a round cross- section. The O-ring thus fills any imperfections of the touching sides of the end part 28 and locking nut 30, thus improving the connection between both.

Advantageously, the coupling section 18 of the operating member 12 is provided with a blocking member 22 that snap-fits into a recess 24 of the mounting plate 14 during assembly, in particular a recess 24 that is provided by an inner edge (providing a ring-shaped/annular retaining surface SI) protruding radially inwards into the opening 20 of the mounting plate 14. As follows from the drawings, at an opposite side, faced away from the edge surface SI, the blocking member 22 abuts an inner retaining surface SR of the system. In this example, both retaining surfaces SI, SR extend in parallel with a mounting surface S of the door, after

assembly/mounting.

In this case, the inner blocking member retaining surface SR of the system is associated with the operating member 12 and is not provided by the mounting plate (i.e. the inner retainer surface SR is spaced-apart from the mounting plate). For example, the inner retaining surface can be part of locking member 30', as in Figure 4B, or it can be part of an inner ring 23 located between a locking member 30 and the retaining ring 22 (as in Fig. 1- 3).

It follows that the mounting plate 14 itself provides the inner edge (and respective retaining surface SI) for axially supporting the blocking member 22 (i.e. the mounting plate directly abuts a top/outer surface ST of the blocking member 22 after assembly) , so that a compact, relatively simple configuration can be achieved. Also, an advantage of the fittings system 10 according to the invention is that the coupling section 18 is provided on the operating member 12. This means the mounting plate 14 does not need to

accommodate such a section and can be made thin. It also means the mounting plate 14 does not need to protrude into the panel. This can save cost during off site mounting of the mounting plate 14 to a panel 16.

Another consequence of an aspect of the invention is, that the operating member 12 can withstand higher forces than known handles. It can meet the criteria for NEN-EN 1906 and can be classified in user category grade 4 and durability grade 7. User category grade 4 stands for high frequency of use on doors which are subject to frequent violent usage, e.g. football stadiums, offshore installations (oil rigs), barracks, public toilets, etc. And durability grade 7 stands for high frequency of use: 200 000 cycles. Another advantage of an aspect of the invention involves spring support 41. More luxurious fittings systems have spring support for their operating member to revert the operating member back to a initial or rest situation after use. An advantage of the fittings system 10 according to an aspect of the invention is that such spring support 41 can be easily built into the operating member 12 (as in the present embodiment). Previously, such spring support 41 was only possible for fixed fittings.

In an extra advantageous embodiment of the invention, the blocking member 22 consist of a retainer ring 22. Preferably it is a retainer ring without ears or lugs unto it.

A retainer ring is a ring-shaped object, with a small part of the ring open, forming a hole H there-in. A schematic view of a retainer ring is shown in Fig. 5A. The ring is resilient and made of sturdy material, e.g. metal or steel, in particular spring steel. A follows from e.g. Figure 3B and Figure 5B, the present ring 22 has a rectangular cross-section (with four sharp -90°- edges 22a), a ring thickness V (measured in axial direction) being smaller than width U of the ring's cross-section. Thus, the retainer ring 22 is relatively flat.

Also, after assembly, a flat top surface ST of the ring 22 extends in parallel with an opposite inner edge of the opening of the mounting plate 14. The present ring 22 has a flat inner surface SB, faced-away from said outer surface ST, wherein the inner surface SB extends in parallel with said outer surface ST as well as in parallel with the opposite (inner) retaining surface SR of the system.

In this case, as is mentioned before, an inner retaining surface SR (for supporting the inner surface SB of the retainer ring 22) is provided by a flat side surface of an inner ring 23, which ring is supported/held on a flat supporting surface SL of the locking nut 30. Thus, in this example, the locking nut 30 can indirectly hold the retainer ring 22 in place, via the intermediate retainer ring 23. Also, as follows from the drawings, the locking nut 30 as such, including its flat ring supporting surface SL, is spaced- apart from the opposite side of the mounting plate 14, after assembly.

In the example, the supporting surface SL of the locking nut 30 is annular, extending in parallel with respect to the afore-mentioned retaining surfaces SI, SR. The inner ring 23 located on the locking nut 30, has a smaller outer diameter than an outer diameter of the retainer ring 22. The inner ring 23 of the present example has a closed ring structure, and is preferably a low friction ring (glide ring), for example a ring 23 made of rigid durable low friction plastic, for example nylon or a similar material.

Besides, as follows from the drawings, the present inner ring 23 is relatively flat, having a rectangular cross-section (with four sharp -90°- edges 22a), a ring thickness (measured in axial direction) being smaller than width of the ring's cross-section.

When under a (radial) compressing force, the retainer ring will assume a smaller diameter than without the compressing force. Because of its resilience, the retainer ring will revert to its original diameter without the compressing force. A retainer ring is a simple means to implement a blocking member 22. It works well and it is inexpensive to manufacture.

Moreover, because of the shape of the retainer ring (with the rectangular cross-section), the ring can operate under c.q. withstand relatively large axial load, which is particularly advantageous in case of application of the integrated spring support means 41, configured to revert the operating member back to an initial or rest situation after use.

The same holds for the application of the additional inner ring 23: the additional inner ring 23 with the rectangular cross-section, can operate under c.q. withstand relatively large axial load, as well. Besides, since the locking nut's axial position can be set with relatively high accuracy during mounting, i.e. when the nut 30 is screwed onto the end section 28 of the handle 12, the various components can be held firmly in place with a minimum of play, in combination of a proper freedom of handle rotation and spring support action (allowing optimum user friendly handling of the system).

In the present embodiment, the coupling section 18 of the handle 12 comprises an end part 28 that is provided with the aforementioned locking nut 30. The locking nut 30 prevents the blocking member 22 from moving in an axial direction along the end part 28, via the intermediate inner ring 23, and also holds the aforementioned spring support 41 in a respective handle location.

It follows that the blocking member 22 can be movable in direction substantially orthogonal to an axial direction of the end part 28, i.e.

temporarily reduce its diameter during assembly, using snap -fit action. The blocking member 22 preferably does not move in an axial direction along the end part 28. The locking nut 30 prevents the latter movement. In an embodiment of the invention an inner side of the mounting plate, defining the opening 20, extends along at least one virtual conical plane 38. For example a virtual conical plane 38 having a top angle Θ in the range of about 5 to 90 degrees. Two respective angles θι and Θ2 are schematically shown in Fig. 3C.

As said before, the coupling section 18 of the operating member 12 is being rotatably held in the opening 20 of the mounting plate 14. Because of the conical plane 38, the opening 20 has a inclined edge, so that during assembly of the operating member 12 to the mounting plate 14 the space between the coupling section 18 and the edge of the opening 20 will decrease. This edge ensures that the blocking member 22 will be compressed gradually, until it snap-fits into the recess 24. By compressing the blocking member 12 gradually, little force is needed for assembly. A relatively small top angle Θ has the advantage that less force is needed for insertion of the coupling section 18 into the opening 20. Besides, the application of a conical plane along the entrance of the opening 20 provides for a smooth guidance of the relatively sharp corners of the present blocking member 22, and prevents damage to that member 22.

In a preferred embodiment, an outer part of an inner side 40 of the mounting plate 14, defining the opening 20, extends along a first virtual conical plane 42. A subsequent second part of the inner side 44 of the mounting plate 14, which extends between the outer part of the inner side 40 and the recess 24, extends along a second virtual conical plane 46. A top angle θι of the first virtual conical plane 42 is larger than a top angle Θ2 of the second virtual conical plane 46. See Fig. 3C. The first conical plane 42 serves as an insertion edge to guide the coupling section 18 to the rest of the opening 20. It is an simple yet effective way for co-centering the coupling section 18 to the opening 20 and facilitates the insertion of said coupling section 18 into the opening 20.

In an embodiment of the invention the operating member 12 is selected from: a handle and a knob, for example a door handle or a thumb turn. A panel, e.g. door or window, is most commonly operated by a handle or knob. Examples are a door handle or a thumb turn.

In an embodiment of the invention, a maximum thickness T of the mounting plate 14, measured normally with respect to a panel mounting side of the mounting plate 14, is 10 mm. Preferably, the coupling section 18 is provided on the operating member 12. The mounting plate 14 only needs to receive the coupling section 18. The mounting plate 14 can therefore be less bulky and thinner than would be required when the coupling section 18 would be provided on the mounting plate 14. Because of the less bulky and thinner implementation of the mounting plate 14, the mounting plate 14 does not need to protrude the panel 16. The mounting plate 14 can simply be bolted to the panel 16 and no additional drilling or milling of the panel is required for mounting the mounting plate 14 to the panel 16. This means less operations for the off site mounting of the mounting plate 14 and thus less costs.

In an embodiment, the fittings system includes at least two operating members 12 and two respective mounting plates 14, to be mounted on opposite sides of the panel 16. Each operating member 12 has a coupling section 18 being rotatably held in an opening 20 of the respective mounting plate 14. Each coupling section 18 is provided with a respective blocking member 22 that snap-fits into a recess 24 of the respective mounting plate 14 during assembly.

With mounting plates 14 and operating members 12 on two opposite sides of the panel 16, the panel 16 can be operated from both sides of said panel 16. This would be desirable for instance when the panel is a door, which needs to be opened from either side.

Naturally, the system can also include only one operating member 12 and one respective mounting plate 14, for cooperating with a bolting mechanism of a panel (e.g. in case of single side operation, such as in case of a bolting mechanism of a panel of a cupboard or the-like).. In an embodiment of the invention the fittings system includes two operating members 12, 12' and a mounting plate 14, to be mounted on one side of the panel 16. Each operating member 12,12' has a coupling section 18,18' being rotatably held in an opening 20,20' of respective mounting plate 14. Each coupling section 18 is provided with a respective blocking member 22,22' that snap-fits into a recess 24 of the mounting plate 14 during assembly.

An example of mounting more than one operating member 12 on one or more mounting plates 14 on one side of the panel 16, is to mount both a door handle and a thumb turn on one side of a door. This is common practice for toilet doors which need to be opened and closed by the door handle, but also locked by the thumb turn. (See Fig. 1) An example of such fittings with a thumb turn, is shown in figures 4A and 4B. Fig. 4A. shows the operating member 12' (thumb turn) connected to an end of the operating axle 50. On another site of the door 16, opposite of the thumb turn, connected to another side of the operating axle 50, is a toilet indicator 52. The toilet door indicator is also provided with the coupling section 18', which is rotatably held in the recess 20'. In case of an emergency the toilet door indicator 52, can be used to operate the bolting mechanism of the door 16. An expanded detail of section E of Fig. 4A can be found in Fig. 4B. This detail shows the conical plane 38' provided in the recess 20' for facilitating acceptance of the coupling section 18' and it shows the blocking member 22'.

The invention also provides an operating member 12 for use in a fittings system 10 according to any one of the previous embodiments. The operating member having the coupling section 18 configured to be rotatably held in an opening 20 of the mounting plate 14. The coupling section 18 of the operating member 12 is provided with a blocking member 22 that is configured to snap-fit into a recess 24 of the mounting plate 14 during assembly. The fittings system 10 as described above, preferably includes both an operating member 12 and a mounting plate 14. An advantage of said fittings system 10, is that the mounting plate 14 and the operating member 12 can be assembled and stored separately. An aspect of the invention also provides an operating member 12 to use in said fittings system 10. This operating member 12 can be for instance a handle or knob, e.g. door handle or thumb turn. In use, it can be used to operate a panel 16, e.g. door or window. Different versions of the operating member 12 can be combined with different versions of a mounting plate 14, to form the fittings system 10, thus making multiple combination possible. Before mounting the operating member 12 to a mounting plate 14, the operating member 12 can be stored and shipped individually keeping the costs thereof low.

The invention furthermore provides a mounting plate 14 for use in a fittings system 10, for example according to any one of the previous embodiments. The mounting plate is configured to be mounted on an outer side of a panel 16, the mounting plate including an opening 20 for receiving a coupling section 18 of the operating member The mounting plate includes a recess 24 for snap-fittingly receiving the blocking member 22 of the operating member 12 during assembly, in particular a recess 24 that is provided by an inner edge protruding radially inwards into the opening 20 of the mounting plate 14.

As said before, the fittings system 10 as described above, includes both an operating member 12 and a mounting plate 14, with the advantage that the mounting plate 14 and the operating member 12 can be assembled and stored separately. An aspect of the invention also provides an mounting plate 14 to use in said fittings system 10. This mounting plate 14 can be mounted unto a panel 16, e.g. door or window. Different versions of the mounting plate 14 can be combined with different versions of an operating member 12, to form the fittings system 10, thus making multiple

combination possible. The mounting plate 14, without a mounted operating member 12 thereon, is substantially flat, in particular having a substantially flat back side facing the panel 16 after mounting. Also when mounted upon a panel 16, the panel 16 with mounted mounting plate 14 is substantially flat. Both the mounting plate 14 and the panel 16, the plate 14 in a mounted condition on the panel 16, can therefore be easily stored and shipped together, keeping the costs thereof low.

The invention also provides a method for assembling a fittings system 10. Said method comprises: providing a panel 16, in particular a panel 16 configured for receiving a bolting mechanism or already having a bolting mechanism; providing a fittings system 10 according to the

invention, configured for operating the bolting mechanism of the panel after assembly; mounting the mounting plate 14 unto the panel 16; and mounting the operating member 12 unto the mounting plate 14, wherein the blocking member 22 snaps into the recess 24 of the mounting plate 14 thereby interconnecting the operating member 12 to the mounting plate 14, in particular to prevent removal of the operating member from the mounting plate. The method preferably includes at least one transportation step, of transporting the panel and mounted mounting plate from one location to another location, wherein the fittings system has not been assembled to the mounting plate during the at least one transportation step. After the transportation step(s), the fitting system is assembled to the mounting plate.

Thus, the method according to the invention can provide a simple yet effective procedure for assembling a fittings system. It can also help to minimize the construction and shipping costs. The method can be

summarized in 4 simple steps: 1) provide a panel 16; 2) provide a fittings system 10 according to an aspect of the invention; 3) mount the mounting plate 14 unto the panel 16; and 4) mount the operating member 12 unto the mounting plate 14. Steps 1-3 can preferably be done off site, e.g. in a factory, as automated as possible. This costs less than on site construction. After the third step, the assembled parts, being the panel 16 with the thereupon mounted mounting plate 14, and the operating member 12, can be shipped to the construction site separately. Both can be packaged flat, thus saving shipping costs. The last step of mounting the operating member 12 to the mounting plate does not have to require any tools and can be done by simply inserting the operating member 12 into the mounting plate 14. Requiring little time and effort on site.

Also, as is mentioned before, during assembly, preferably, a locking nut 30 is screwed onto the handle 12 for keeping the various components of the coupling section 18 together. The axial position of the locking nut can be set or adjusted accurately, for setting e.g. tightness of a clamping or fit of the intermediate inner components, for example of the locking member 22 clamped or held (directly or indirectly) between an inner surface SL of the locking nut 30 and a retaining edge SI of the plate 14.

The various embodiments which are described above may be used independently from one another and may be combined with one another in various ways. The reference numbers used in the detailed description and the claims do not limit the description of the embodiments nor do they limit the claims.

Legend

10- fittings system

12- operating member

14- mounting plate

16- panel

18- coupling section

20- opening

22- blocking member

23- inner ring

24- - recess

26- ■ retainer ring

28- ■ end part

30 - locking nut

31- - groove locking nut

32- - locking groove end part

34- - O-ring

36- - inner side (of the mounting plate)

38- - conical plane

40- - outer part of the inner side

42- - first conical plane

44- - second part of the inner side

46- - second conical plane

48- - operating axle

50- - operating axle

52- - toilet indicator

12'- - operating member

18' - coupling section

20'- - opening

22'- - blocking member 30'- locking member

38'— conical plane

41 - spring support

H— ring opening

SI - edge surface

ST - ring outer surface

SB - ring inner surface

SR - inner retaining surface

SR' - inner retaining surface

SL - locking nut supporting surface

T— thickness of the mounting plate 14

U— ring width

V— ring thickness

Θ— top angle of the conical plane 38 θι— top angle of the first conical plane 42

Θ2 - top angle of the second conical plane 46