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Title:
MOTORIZED HINGE DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/167560
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A motorized hinge device comprises a first connection means (3) assigned to be fixed to a structure or framework of an appliance, and connected, at least by means of a connecting rod means (5), to a second connection means (7) assigned to be fixed to a door or a shutter of the appliance. This second connection means (7) is hinged to the first connection means (3) by means of a hinge pin means (11). Said device (1) comprises at least one actuator means (13) having a body (15) fixed to the first connection means (3) or to a structure or a framework of the appliance, and a movable member (17) which is movable with respect to the body (15) and connected to the connecting rod means (5). In an operative condition, the actuator means (13) is operated to move, by means of the connecting rod means (5), the door or shutter of the appliance around the hinge pin means (11) between extreme opening (A) and closing (C) conditions, and vice versa.

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Inventors:
GHERARDI, Eros (Via Laura Bassi Veratti 1, Bologna, I-40137, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/000265
Publication Date:
September 20, 2018
Filing Date:
March 14, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
C.M.I. CERNIERE MECCANICHE INDUSTRIALI S.R.L. (Via 2 Agosto 1980, 1/DLoc. Crespellano, Valsamoggia, I-40053, IT)
International Classes:
E05D3/02; E05F15/611; E05F15/63
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014111827A12014-07-24
WO2014111827A12014-07-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEGRINI, Elena (Agazzani & Associati S.r.l, Via dell'Angelo Custode 11/6, Bologna, I-40141, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

Motorized hinge device comprising a first connection means (3) assigned to be fixed to a structure or a framework of an appliance, and connected, at least by means of a connecting rod means (5), to a second connection means (7) assigned to be fixed to a door or a shutter of the appliance, and hinged to the first connection means (3) by means of a hinge pin means (1 1 ); said device comprises at least one actuator means (13) having a body ( 15) fixed to the first connection means (3) or to a structure or a framework of the appliance, and a movable member (17) which is movable with respect to the body (15), and connected to the connecting rod means (5); in an operative condition, the actuator means (13) is operated to move, by means of the connecting rod means (5), the door or the shutter of the appliance around the hinge pin means ( 1 1 ) between extreme opening (A) and closing (C) conditions, and vice versa; a second link pin means (23) is engaged in a respective eyelet carried out in the movable member (17) of the actuator means (13) and is connected to the connecting rod means (5), the axis of the second link pin means (23) is parallel to the axis of the hinge pin means ( 1 1); said device being characterized in that said second link pin means (23) is connected to the connecting rod means (5) by means of drag means or by means of detachable coupling means and the body (15) of the actuator means ( 13) is fixed to or in respect to the first connection means (3) or the second link pin means (23) is engaged in a respective seat hole of the connecting rod means (5) and the body ( 15) of the actuator means (13) is connected to the first connection means (3) or to the structure or framework of the appliance by means of said drag means or said detachable coupling means; In the operative condition said drag means or detachable coupling means limit the maximum force transmissible from the actuator to the door preventing damages in case the door being blocked by an object or being forced.

Device according to claim 1 characterized in that the detachable coupling means comprise a slider (43) which slides along an elongated seat (41 ) parallel to a line of action of the actuator means (13) or inclined of an angle smaller than 45° and provided with a resilient and detachable stop (45) for the slider (43) in a middle or end position of the seat (41); such slider (43) is connected to the second link pin means (23) or to the body (15) of the actuator means (13) and the elongated seat (41 ) with the resilient stop is fixed or integral to the connecting rod means (5) or to the first connection means (3) or to the structure or framework of the appliance; the latter or the connecting rod means (5) and the elongated seat (41 ) are provided with respective facing slots for the free sliding of a pin connecting the body of the actuator to said first connection means (3) or said structure or of the second link pin means (23); said detachable stop (45) transmit a force, equal or smaller than a preset threshold, between slider (43) and the elongated seat (41 ) rigidly transmitting the force of the actuator to the door, when said force exceeds said threshold, the sliding block slides along the race preventing damages in case of a block of the rotation of the door.

Device according to claim 1 characterized in that the drag means comprises a sliding block frictionally sliding along a race parallel to a line of action of the actuator means (13) or inclined of an angle smaller than 45°, where such sliding block is connected to the second link pin means (23) or to the body ( 15) of the actuator means (13) and the race is fixed to the connecting rod means (5) or to the first connection means (3) or to the structure or framework of the appliance; in the operative condition, the drag means rigidly transmits the force of the actuator means to the connecting rod means (5) when said force is smaller or equal to the static friction between the sliding block and the race; when said force exceeds said static friction, the sliding block slides along the race preventing damages in case of a block of the rotation of the door.

Device according to any of the preceding claims characterized in that an end of the connecting rod means (5) is connected to the second connection means (7) by means of a first link pin means (21) whose rotation axis is parallel to the rotation axis of the hinge pin means ( 1 1). 5) Device according to claim 1 characterized in that the second link pin means (23) is connected to the free end of the movable member (17) of the actuator means (13), and is connected to the end portion of the connecting rod means

(5) which is opposed to the first link pin means (21); and in that the second link pin means (23) is bound to slide along a guide means (25) made in, or fixed to, the first connection means (3). 6) Device according to claim 5 characterized in that the guide means (25) is rectilinear and parallel to the line of action of the movable member (17) of the actuator means ( 13), and such guide means consists of one among a sliding slot for the second link pin means (23) or a guide or sliding track for a carriage which is connected to the second link pin means (23).

7) Device according to any of the preceding claims characterized in that the actuator means ( 13) is of a linear electric type, and in that the movable member (17) consists of a rectilinear stem axially translating when it enters or leaves the body (15) of the actuator means ( 13).

8) Device according to claims 6 and 7 characterized in that the second link pin means (23) is fixed to the free end of the stem and slides into the slot of the guide means (25), said slot being aligned with, or parallel to, the axis of the stem.

9) Device according to claim 8 characterized in that in the extreme opening (A) and closing (C) conditions, the second link pin means (23) matches with the corresponding ends of the slot of the guide means (25).

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 31 August 2018 (31.08.2018)

1) Motorized hinge device comprising a first connection means (3) assigned to be fixed to a structure or a framework of an appliance, and connected, at least by means of a connecting rod means (5), to a second connection means (7) assigned to be fixed to a door or a shutter of the appliance, and hinged to the first connection means (3) by means of a hinge pin means (11), said device comprises at least one actuator means (13) having a body (15) fixed to the first connection means (3) or to a structure or a framework of the appliance, and a movable member (17) which is movable with respect to the body (15), and connected to the connecting rod means (5), in an operative condition, the actuator means (13) is operated to move, by means of the connecting rod means (5), the door or the shutter of the appliance around the hinge pin means (11) between extreme opening (A) and closing (C) conditions, and vice versa, a second link pin means (23) is engaged in a respective eyelet carried out in the movable member (17) of the actuator means (13) and is connected to the connecting rod means (5), the axis of the second link pin means (23) is parallel to the axis of the hinge pin means (11); said device being characterized in that said second link pin means (23) is connected to the connecting rod means (5) by means of drag means or by means of detachable coupling means and the body (15) of the actuator means

(13) is fixed to or in respect to the first connection means (3) or the second link pin means (23) is engaged in a respective seat hole of the connecting rod means (5) and the body (15) of the actuator means (13) is connected to the first connection means (3) or to the structure or framework of the appliance by means of said drag means or said detachable coupling means; in the operative condition said drag means or said detachable coupling means limit the maximum force transmissible from the actuator to the door preventing damages in case the door being blocked by an object or being forced; were said detachable coupling means comprise a slider (43) which slides along an elongated seat (41) parallel to a line of action of the actuator means (13) or inclined of an angle smaller than

45° and provided with a resilient and detachable stop (45) for the slider (43) in a middle or end position of the seat (41); such slider (43) is connected to the second link pin means (23) or to the body (15) of the actuator means (13) and the elongated seat (41) with the resilient stop is fixed or integral to the connecting rod means (5) or to the first connection means (3) or to the structure or framework of the appliance; the latter or the connecting rod means (5) and the elongated seat (41) are provided with respective facing slots for the free sliding of a pin connecting the body of the actuator to said first connection means (3) or said structure or of the second link pin means (23); said detachable stop (45) transmit a force, equal or smaller than a preset threshold, between slider (43) and the elongated seat (41) rigidly transmitting the force of the actuator to the door, when said force exceeds said threshold, the sliding block slides along the race preventing damages in case of a block of the rotation of the door; or were said drag means comprises a sliding block frictionally sliding along a race parallel to a line of action of the actuator means (13) or inclined of an angle smaller than 45°, where such sliding block is connected to the second link pin means (23) or to the body (15) of the actuator means (13) and the race is fixed to the connecting rod means (5) or to the first connection means (3) or to the structure or framework of the appliance; in the operative condition, the drag means rigidly transmits the force of the actuator means to the connecting rod means (5) when said force is smaller or equal to the static friction between the sliding block and the race; when said force exceeds said static friction, the sliding block slides along the race preventing damages in case of a block of the rotation of the door.

Device according to claim 1 characterized in that an end of the connecting rod means (5) is connected to the second connection means (7) by means of a first link pin means (21) whose rotation axis is parallel to the rotation axis of the hinge pin means (11).

Device according to claim 1 characterized in that the second link pin means (23) is connected to the free end of the movable member (17) of the actuator means (13), and is connected to the end portion of the connecting rod means (5) which is opposed to the first link pin means (21); and in that the second link pin means (23) is bound to slide along a guide means (25) made in, or fixed to, the first connection means (3).

4) Device according to claim 3 characterized in that the guide means (25) is rectilinear and parallel to the line of action of the movable member (17) of the actuator means (13), and such guide means consists of one among a sliding slot for the second link pin means (23) or a guide or sliding track for a carriage which is connected to the second link pin means (23).

5) Device according to any of the preceding claims characterized in that the actuator means (13) is of a linear electric type, and in that the movable member

(17) consists of a rectilinear stem axially translating when it enters or leaves the body (15) of the actuator means (13).

6) Device according to claims 4 and 5 characterized in that the second link pin means (23) is fixed to the free end of the stem and slides into the slot of the guide means (25), said slot being aligned with, or parallel to, the axis of the stem.

8) Device according to claim 6 characterized in that in the extreme opening (A) and closing (C) conditions, the second link pin means (23) matches with the corresponding ends of the slot of the guide means (25).

Description:
MOTORIZED HINGE DEVICE

DESCRIPTION TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is in the field of hinges for household appliances or furnishings, and relates to a motorized hinge device particularly suitable for household appliances, such as dishwashers, with doors having horizontal, bottom rotation axes.

BACKGROUND ART

There are known hinges with horizontal rotation axes, for doors of household appliances and furnishings provided with elastic members and/or brakes assigned to balance the weights thereof, to slow down their strokes and/or to stabilize them in all positions, or in any given position, e.g., in the extreme closing and opening positions as well as in an intermediate steam-discharge position, or the like. A drawback of such known devices is that in any case they require a manual operation for opening and closing.

Another drawback of the known devices is that since they are subject to very variable forces and handling-related stresses, they are to be so dimensioned as to withstand even the worst stresses, and, as a result, they are expensive, awkward and heavy.

Document WO 2014/1 1 1827 A l discloses a motorized hinge comprising the features of the preamble of claim 1. DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a motorized hinge device adapted to avoid damages to objects or persons interfering with the opening or closing path of the door.

A further object is to provide a device preventing damages of its parts in case the door being blocked by an object.

Another object is to provide a device preventing damages of its parts in case the door being forced by an used trying to stop, to close or to open the door by hand. Another object is to provide a device adapted to open and close the door or shutter on which it is mounted, following a respective electric command.

Another object is to provide a device adapted to stop the door or shutter in any desired intermediate position between the extreme opening and closing positions.

A further object is to provide a device adapted to avoid breaks even in the case that the rotation of the door or shutter is accidentally blocked, for example due to objects, children, animals or persons interfering with the opening or closing path.

Still another object is to provide a device that is reliable, compact and relatively cheap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The features of the invention are highlighted hereinbelow, with specific reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a side view of the motorized hinge device subject-matter of the present invention, in a closed condition;

- Figure 2 shows a section view along the plane II - II of Figure 1 ;

- Figures 3 and 4 show enlarged views of the details III and IV of Figure 1 ; - Figure 5 shows a partial view of the device of Figure 1 , from the opposite side of said Figure 1 ;

- Figures 6 and 7 show partial, enlarged views of the device in Figure 5, in the intermediate and open conditions, respectively;

- Figure 8 shows the device in Figure 1 , in the open condition;

Figure 9 shows an axonometric, exploded view of the device in Figure 1 ;

Figure 10 shows possible variants of the details of the device in Figure 2.

BEST MODE TO CARRY OUT THE INVENTION

Referring to Figures 1 -9, numeral 1 denotes the motorized hinge device subject- matter of the present invention, comprising a first connection means 3 assigned to be fixed to a structure or a framework of an appliance, such as a dishwasher, and connected, at least by means of a connecting rod means 5, to a second connection means 7 assigned to be fixed to a door or a shutter of the appliance.

The second connection means 7 is hinged to the first connection means 3 by means of a hinge pin means 1 1. The device 1 comprises at least one actuator means 13 having a body 15 fixed to the first connection means 3 or to a structure or a framework of the appliance, and a movable member 17 axially translating with respect to the body 15 upon operation of the actuator means itself. The movable member 17 is connected to the connecting rod means 5.

The connecting rod means 5 is connected to the second connection means 7 by means of a first link pin means 21 having a rotation axis parallel to the rotation axis of the hinge pin means 1 1 . This first link pin means 21 is accommodated, with little play, in respective holes obtained in an end of the connecting rod means 5 and in a specific protruding flat surface of the second connection means 7. The movable member 17 of the actuator means 13 is connected to the connecting rod means 5 by means of a second link pin means 23 having an axis parallel to the axis of the hinge pin means 1 1. In an operative condition of the device, the actuator means 13 is operated to move, by means of the connecting rod means 5, the door or shutter of the appliance around the hinge pin means 1 1 , between extreme opening A and closing C conditions, and vice versa. The second link pin means 23 is accommodated, with little play, in an end eyelet of the free end of the movable member 17 of the actuator means 13.

The axis of the second link pin means 23 is parallel to the axis of the hinge pin means 1 1.

The invention provides that the second link pin means 23 is connected to the connecting rod means 5 by means of drag means or by means of detachable coupling means and that the body 15 of the actuator means 13 is fixed to the first connection means 3 or to the structure, framework, chassis or body of the appliance.

In alternative, the invention provides that the second link pin means 23 is housed, with little play, in a respective seat hole of the connecting rod means 5 and the body 15 of the actuator means 13 is connected to the first connection means 3 or to the structure or framework of the appliance by means of said drag means or of said detachable coupling means.

In the operative condition said drag means or detachable coupling means limit the maximum force of the actuator transmissible to the door preventing damages in case the door is blocked by an object or being forced.

The detachable coupling means comprises a slider 43, for instance consisting of, or including, a block made of a material having a selected coefficient of friction, which slides along a channel or concave longitudinal sliding path of an elongated seat 41 , for instance a metallic "C" section bar, parallel to a line of action of the actuator means 13 or inclined in respect to said line, of an angle smaller than 45°, preferably smaller than 20°.

Said elongated seat 41 is provided with a resilient or elastic and detachable stop 45.

This elastic stop 45 comprises a hollow housing transversely obtained in a wall of the elongated seat 41 and ending into the channel of the elongated seat 41. The housing accommodates a sphere and a spring that keeps such sphere elastically protruding from said end of the housing into said channel.

The slider 43 has at least one concavity assigned for elastically accommodating the sphere under normal conditions of use. In the event of an obstacle being interposed between the structure of the appliance and the door, such as an arm or a dish, during the closing process, where the latter is hampered by said arm or dish, beyond the coupling threshold between the slider 43 and the elongated seat 41 , as determined by the elastic stop 45, there is an uncoupling of the actuator means 13 from the connecting rod means 5, so as to avoid the breaking of the appliance and/or damages to anything or to any person hindering the closing process.

The position of the hollow housing in the elongated seat 41 elastically stops the slider 43 in a middle or end position along the seat 41. Such slider 43 is connected to the second link pin means 23 or, for instance by means of an appropriate pin or arm, to the body 15 of the actuator means 13.

The elongated seat 41 , with its resilient stop, is fixed or integral to the connecting rod means 5 or to the first connection means 3 or to the structure or framework of the appliance.

The first connection means 3 or the structure or framework of the appliance or the connecting rod means 5 and the elongated seat 41 are provided with respective and mutually facing slots for the free sliding of the pin or arm connecting the body of the actuator to said slider 43 or for the free sliding of the second link pin means 23. Said detachable stop 45 transmits a force, equal or smaller than a preset threshold, between the slider 43 and the elongated seat 41 rigidly transmitting the force of the actuator to the door; when said force exceeds said threshold, the sliding block is released by the detachable stop 45 and slides along the elongated seat 41 preventing damages in case of a block of the rotation of the door.

The end of the hollow housing opposite to the channel can be threaded and provided of a screw assigned to set the compression of the spring of the elastic stop 45 so setting the threshold. The drag means comprises a sliding block, for instance a lining for brake, frictionally sliding along a race, for instance a rail or an elongated concave score, parallel to a line of action of the actuator means 13 or inclined of an angle preferably smaller than 45°, where such sliding block is connected to the second link pin means 23 or to the body 15 of the actuator means 13.

The race is carried out in, or preferably fixed to, the connecting rod means 5 or to the first connection means 3 or to the structure or framework of the appliance.

In the operative condition, the drag means rigidly transmits the force of the actuator means to the connecting rod means 5 when said force is smaller than or equal to the static friction between the sliding block and the race; when said force exceeds said static friction, the sliding block slides along the race preventing damages in case of a block of the rotation of the door. A protruding end of the second link pin means 23 is bound to slide along a guide means 5 made in, or fixed to, the first connection means 3; said guide means 25 is rectilinear and parallel to the line of action of the movable member 17 of the actuator means 13.

This guide means consists of a sliding slot for a protruding end of the second link pin means 23; alternatively, the guide means 25 may comprise a sliding guide or track for a carriage connected to the second link pin means 23.

The actuator means 13 is of an electric linear type, and the movable member 17 consists of a rectilinear stem axially translating when it enters or leaves the body 1 5 of the actuator means 13 itself.

Preferably, and as exemplarily shown in the Figures, the second link pin means 23 is fixed to the free end of the stem, and slides into the slot of the guide means 25, said slot being aligned with, or parallel to, the axis of the stem 17 of the actuator means. The length and the position of the slot of the guide means 25 are given, so that in the extreme opening A and closing C conditions, the second link pin means 23 matches with the corresponding ends of this slot of the guide means 25, thus providing stops that prevent the door from rotating beyond said extreme conditions. The invention provides that the device, and specifically the actuator means 13, is operated, for example, by control means of the household appliance, these means consisting of a timer or a digital programmer, e.g., of the programmable microprocessor type. It is also contemplated that the device may be provided with means for detecting the respective conditions of the device itself. For example, the first connection means 3 may comprise fixings for three detectors, for detecting the position of the connecting rod means 5, where a detector sends a signal to the control means when the connecting rod means 5 is in a position corresponding to the closed condition C; a second detector sends a signal when the door is in a steam-discharge, a grill, or another condition; and the third detector sends a signal upon reaching the extreme opening condition A. Each detector, for example, may consist of a micro- switch, an optoelectronic sensor, a Hall effect transistor fixed to a static member of the device, and a corresponding magnet fixed to a movable member of the device, or the like.

A further variant of the invention provides that the device is equipped with an angular sensor, e.g., a wire potentiometer, a circular encoder, or the like, with the frame fixed to the first connection means 3 and with the rotating member fixed to the second connection means 7, to communicate the instantaneous closing angle to the control means, the latter thus changing the speed of the actuator means 13 accordingly, and slowing it down, for example, in the vicinity of the extreme opening and closing conditions.