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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PLASTIC ENCLOSURE FOR ENCLOSING INDUSTRIAL COMPONENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/092304
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a plastic enclosure for enclosing industrial components. The enclosure comprises a case (2), a lid (9), and a latch device (13) for locking the lid to the case. The lid (9) has a grip means formed as a rigid lug (14) molded to be monolithic with the lid (9), the lug comprising a throughhole (19) to which a hook portion (17) of a rocker (15) can grip. The lug (14) is arranged, in the closed position of the lid, to extend over and at a distance from the second wall (7) to be substantially in parallel with a wall of the case to limit an intermediate space between the wall (7) and the lug (14) when the lid is in the closed position. The hook portion (17) is arranged so that, in the release position (II) of the rocker (15), it is turned inside the intermediate space away from the path of the lug (14) and, in the locking position (I) of the rocker, the hook portion is turned to protrude laterally outwards through the through-hole (19) of the lug (14) and to compress the sealing gasket (12) by pressing the sealing flange (8) against the sealing gasket (12) to create a spring force against which the hook portion holds the lug (14). The output force of the hook portion (17) exerted to the lug (14) is amplified by a mechanical advantage provided by a lever effect of the rocker (15) when being turned to the locking position by an input force exerted to the handle arm (18).

Inventors:
MATTILA, Reijo (Katrintie 26, Vantaa, 01400, FI)
TUOMISTO, Timo (Jaanankuja 8 A, Helsinki, 00760, FI)
NIEMI, Markus (Rannikonmäenkuja 6, Nurmijärvi, 01900, FI)
HEISKA, Turkka (Agricolankatu 7 B 46, Helsinki, 00530, FI)
KURRI, Marjo (Simo Klementinpojantie 4 C 13, Helsinki, 00790, FI)
Application Number:
FI2017/050768
Publication Date:
May 16, 2019
Filing Date:
November 08, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ENSTO OY (Ensio Miettisen katu 2, Porvoo, 06100, FI)
International Classes:
E05B65/52; B65D43/16; B65D43/22; B65D43/26; B65D45/16; E05B65/48; E05C19/14; G12B9/04; H05K5/02
Foreign References:
DE19505425A11996-08-22
US20130043250A12013-02-21
US20090114646A12009-05-07
US20080307835A12008-12-18
US6032988A2000-03-07
EP2387297A22011-11-16
FR535455A1922-04-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAPULA OY (P.O. Box 981, Helsinki, 00101, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A plastic enclosure (1) for enclosing industrial components, the molded plastic enclosure comprising

- a case (2) molded from plastics comprising a rear wall (3) and four side walls delimiting an interior (4), a mouth opening (5) enabling access to the interior, the side walls comprising a first side wall (6) and a second side wall (7) which is parallel to the first side wall, and a sealing flange (8) defining an outer periphery of the mouth opening,

- a lid (9) molded from plastics for covering the case (2), the lid being hinged at the side of the first side wall (6) by one or more hinges (10) to be movable between a closed position, wherein the lid co- vers the mouth opening of the case, and an open posi¬ tion to permit access to the interior, the hinge being located near to to the mouth opening, the lid having a groove (11) arranged at the periphery of the lid to receive therein a resilient sealing gasket (12), to co-operate with the sealing flange (8) when the lid is in the closed position,

- one or more a latch devices (13) for lock¬ ing the lid (9) relative to the case (2) in the closed position, the latch device comprising a grip means (14) arranged to the lid (9) and a rocker (15) con¬ nected removably and pivotally with a pivot axle (16) relative to the second side wall to be turnable about a single axis (x) between a locking position (I) and a release position (II), the rocker comprising a hook portion (17) at one side of the pivot axle, which hook portion can grip the grip means, and a handle arm (18) at the opposite side of the pivot axle in rela¬ tion to the hook portion, the handle arm being arranged to be manually operable for turning the rocker about the pivot axis between the locking and release positions ,

wherein - the grip means is a rigid lug (14) molded to be monolithic with the lid (9), the lug comprising a through-hole (19) to which the hook portion (17) can grip, the lug being arranged, in the closed position of the lid, to extend over and at a distance from the second side wall (7) to be substantially in parallel with the second side wall to limit an intermediate space between the second side wall (7) and the lug

(14) when the lid is in the closed position,

- the hook portion (17) is arranged so that, in the release position (II) of the rocker (15), it is turned inside the intermediate space away from the path of the lug (14) and, in the locking position (I) of the rocker, the hook portion is turned to protrude laterally outwards through the through-hole (19) of the lug (14) and to compress the sealing gasket (12) by pressing the sealing flange (8) against the sealing gasket (12) to create a spring force against which the hook portion holds the lug, and

- the output force of the hook portion (17) exerted to the lug (14) is amplified by a mechanical advantage provided by a lever effect of the rocker

(15) when being turned to the locking position by an input force exerted to the handle arm (18) .

2. The plastic enclosure according to claim 1, wherein the latch device (13) comprises a first snap-fit joint (20) to hold the rocker (15) stationary in the locking position ( I ) .

3. The plastic enclosure according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the latch device (13) comprises a second snap- fit joint (21) to hold the rocker (15) stationary in the release position (II).

4. The plastic enclosure according to any one of the claims 1 to 3, wherein the hook portion (17) and the lug (14) have a mutual contact point at a first radius (a) from the pivot axis (x) of the rocker (15), and the handle arm (18) has a second radius (b) from the pivot axis (x) of the rocker to an outmost point where the handle arm can be manually pressed by hand, the second radius (b) being a multiple of the first radius

(a) in order to exert an output force by the hook por¬ tion on the lug which output force is a multiple of the input force exerted to the handle arm to win the spring force provided by the sealing gasket (12) when moving the rocker from the release position (II) to the locking position (I) .

5. The plastic enclosure according to claim 4, wherein the ratio of the first radius (a) to the second radius

(b) is in the range of 1:3 to 15, preferably 1:4.

6. The plastic enclosure according to any one of the claims 1 to 5, wherein the rocker (15) is a molded monolithic one-piece element of plastics, the rocker comprising a pair of pins (22) which form the pivot axle (16).

7. The plastic enclosure according to any one of the claims 1 to 6, wherein the case (2) comprises a pair of mounting brackets (23) for mounting of the rocker (15), the mounting brackets being monolithic with the case . 8. The plastic enclosure according to claim 7, wherein each mounting bracket (23) comprises a seat (24) to receive and to removably connect the pin (22) of the rocker (15) for pivotally supporting the rocker, the mounting brackets being molded as monolithic with the case (2 ) .

9. The plastic enclosure according to any one of the claims 1 to 8, wherein the handle arm (18) comprises a locking hole (25) . 10. The plastic enclosure according to claim 9, where¬ in the mounting bracket (23) comprises a retaining projection (26) which protrudes along and at a dis¬ tance from the second wall; and wherein, in the lock¬ ing position (I) of the rocker (15), the locking hole (25) is located between the second wall (7) and the retaining projection (26) to receive a locking element, such as a locking pin or a shackle of a padlock.

11. The plastic enclosure according to claim 9, where- in the handle arm (18) comprises one or more rigid clips (27) to co-operate with one or more edges of the retaining projection (26) to form the first snap-fit joint (20) to hold the rocker (15) in the locking po¬ sition ( I ) .

12. The plastic enclosure according to claim 9, where¬ in the case (2) comprises a prominent collar (28) be¬ side the mouth opening (5) , the collar comprising a cutout (29) which is disposed to receive the hook por- tion (17) of the rocker (15) therein, the collar having one or more edge portions near to the cutout (28), and wherein the rocker (15) comprises one or more rig¬ id clips (30) arranged to co-operate with the one or more edge portions to form the second snap-fit joint (21) to hold the rocker in the release position (II) .

Description:
PLASTIC ENCLOSURE FOR ENCLOSING INDUSTRIAL COMPONENTS FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a molded plastic en- closure for enclosing industrial components.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Enclosures are available for protecting industrial equipment in numerous applications from various exter- nal risk factors, among them dust, water, moisture, impacts and tampering. Such enclosures are commonly called as industrial enclosures. The industrial compo ¬ nents to be enclosed in such an enclosure may be e.g. electrical components, electronic components, and/or equipment that does not involve electricity, such as pneumatic equipment, hydraulic equipment, fiber optics equipment, such as optic fiber splices, optic fiber connectors, optic fiber amplifiers etc. The enclo ¬ sure must also provide a degree of protection to per- sonnel against incidental contact with the equipment enclosed in the enclosure. Further, the enclosure must provide a degree of protection against the surrounding environment for enclosed equipment. Frequent access to the components within such enclosures is common for adjustments, maintenance, and inspection of the compo ¬ nents. The enclosure comprises a case and a lid which is hinged to be openable and closable to be sealed thereto. A resilient sealing gasket is attached to the lid and arranged to act between the lid and the case. A latch device is arranged for locking the lid to the case. When closing the lid, the sealing gasket pro ¬ vides a spring force against which the latch device must provide a counter force in order to close the lid tightly. Especially in large enclosures the latch de- vice must be able to provide a considerably large closing force to counteract the spring force of the sealing gasket. Sometimes also such an enclosure may be installed at a high place above the installer' s head whereby the operator or installer must work with outreached hands to reach the enclosure. In that situ- ation in order to close the lid and in order to operate the latch device both hands would be needed. The lid must be pressed with one hand to compress the sealing gasket while the latch device is operated with another hand. It is difficult to cause a large force with an outreached hand. Therefore it would be desira ¬ ble to have an enclosure having a simple structured latch device which can be operated with only one hand and by exerting force only lightly. It would also be desirable to have an enclosure having a latch device which can provide a sufficiently large closing force of the lid with a simple structure without any need for a complicated mechanism including many movable parts . SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to an aspect, the present invention provides a plastic enclosure for enclosing industrial compo ¬ nents. The plastic enclosure comprises a case molded from plastics comprising a rear wall and four side walls delimiting an interior, a mouth opening enabling access to the interior, the side walls comprising a first side wall and a second side wall which is paral ¬ lel to the first side wall, and a sealing flange de ¬ fining an outer periphery of the mouth opening. The plastic enclosure further comprises a lid molded from plastics for covering the case, the lid being hinged at the side of the first side wall by one or more hinges to be movable between a closed position, where ¬ in the lid covers the mouth opening of the case, and an open position to permit access to the interior. The hinge is located near to the mouth opening. The lid has a groove arranged at the periphery of the lid to receive therein a resilient sealing gasket to co ¬ operate with the sealing flange when the lid is in the closed position. The plastic enclosure further com ¬ prises one or more a latch devices for locking the lid relative to the case in the closed position. The latch device comprises a grip means arranged to the lid and a rocker connected removably and pivotally with a piv ¬ ot axle relative to the second side wall to be turna- ble about a single axis between a locking position and a release position. The rocker comprises a hook por ¬ tion at one side of the pivot axle, which hook portion can grip the grip means, and a handle arm at the oppo ¬ site side of the pivot axle in relation to the hook portion. The handle arm is arranged to be manually op- erable for turning the rocker about the pivot axis be ¬ tween the locking and release positions. The grip means is a rigid lug molded to be monolithic with the lid. The lug comprises a through-hole to which the hook portion can grip. The lug is arranged, in the closed position of the lid, to extend over and at a distance from the second side wall to be substantially in parallel with the second side wall to limit an in ¬ termediate space between the second wall and the lug when the lid is in the closed position. The hook por- tion is arranged so that, in the release position of the rocker, it is turned inside the intermediate space away from the path of the lug and, in the locking po ¬ sition of the rocker, the hook portion is turned to protrude laterally outwards through the through-hole of the lug and to compress the sealing gasket by pressing the sealing flange against the sealing gasket to create a spring force against which the hook por ¬ tion holds the lug. The output force of the hook por ¬ tion exerted to the lug is amplified by a mechanical advantage provided by a lever effect of the rocker when being turned to the locking position by an input force exerted to the handle arm. In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the latch device comprises a first snap-fit joint to hold the rocker stationary in the locking position.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the latch device comprises a second snap-fit joint to hold the rocker stationary in the release position. In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the hook portion and the lug have a mutual contact point at a first radius from the pivot axis of the rocker. The handle arm has a second radius from the pivot axis of the rocker to an outmost point where the handle arm can be manually pressed by hand. The second radius is a multiple of the first radius in order to exert an output force by the hook portion on the lug. The out ¬ put force is a multiple of the input force exerted to the handle arm to win the spring force provided by the sealing gasket when moving the rocker from the release position to the locking position.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the ratio of the first radius to the second radius is in the range of 1:3 to 15, preferably 1:4.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the rocker is a molded monolithic one-piece element of plastics, the rocker comprising a pair of pins which form the pivot axle.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the case comprises a pair of mounting brackets for mounting the rocker. The mounting brackets are monolithic with the case. In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure each mount ¬ ing bracket comprises a seat to receive and to remova ¬ bly connect the pin of the rocker for pivotally sup ¬ porting the rocker.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the handle arm comprises a locking hole.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the mount- ing bracket comprises a retaining projection which protrudes along and at a distance from the second wall. In the locking position of the rocker the locking hole is located between the second wall and the retaining projection to receive a locking element. The locking element may be e.g. a locking pin or a shackle of a padlock.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the handle arm comprises one or more rigid clips to co-operate with one or more edges of the retaining projection to form the first snap-fit joint to hold the rocker in the locking position.

In one embodiment of the plastic enclosure the case comprises a prominent collar beside the mouth opening. The collar comprises a cutout which is disposed to re ¬ ceive the hook portion of the rocker therein. The collar has one or more edge portions near to the cutout. The rocker comprises one or more rigid clips arranged to co-operate with the one or more edge portions to form the second snap-fit joint to hold the rocker in the release position.

It is to be understood that the aspects and embodi- ments of the invention described above may be used in any combination with each other. Several of the as- pects and embodiments may be combined together to form a further embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to pro ¬ vide a further understanding of the invention and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the de ¬ scription help to explain the principles of the inven- tion. In the drawings:

Figure 1 is an axonometric view of the plastic enclo ¬ sure according to an embodiment of the invention, seen obliquely from above,

Figure 2 shows the enclosure of Figure 1 seen oblique ¬ ly from beneath,

Figure 3 shows the enclosure of Figure 1 with a lid in an open position,

Figure 4 shows the enclosure of Figure 4 with the lid being slightly opened and one of the rockers being de ¬ tached from the mounting brackets,

Figure 5 shows an enlarged detail A from Figure 4,

Figure 6 is a partial cross-section along line VI-VI from Figure 4, the rocker being turned to a release position,

Figure 7 is a partial cross-section along line VI-VI from Figure 4 showing the second snap-fit joint, Figure 8 is a cross-section view corresponding to Figure 6, the rocker being turned towards locking posi ¬ tion and the hook portion staring to grip the lug, Figure 9 a cross-section view corresponding to Figure 6, the rocker being turned to a locking position, Figure 10 is cross-section seen in the direction X-X from Figure 9, and

Figure 11 shows the rocker of the enclosure of Figure

1 seen from its backside.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings in general, Figures 1 - 11 show a plastic enclosure 1 for enclosing industrial components or equipment. Industrial components to be enclosed in the enclosure 1 may be e.g. electrical components, electronic components, and/or equipment that does not involve electricity, such as pneumatic equipment, hydraulic equipment, fiber optics equip ¬ ment, such as optic fiber splices, optic fiber con- nectors, optic fiber amplifiers etc. Referring to Figures 1-5 the enclosure comprises a case 2. The case

2 is an injection molded box made of thermoplastics. The case 2 comprises a rear wall 3 (see Figure 2) and four side walls delimiting an interior 4 (see Figure 3) . A mouth opening 5 enables access to the interior 4. The side walls comprise a first side wall 6 and a second side wall 7 which is substantially parallel to the first side wall 6. A sealing flange 8 defines an outer periphery of the mouth opening 5.

The enclosure 1 further comprises a lid 9 for covering the case 2. The lid 9 is injection molded from thermo ¬ plastics, preferably from the same thermoplastics ma ¬ terial as the thermoplastics material of the case 2. The lid 9 is hinged at the side of the first side wall 6 in this embodiment by two hinges 10 to be movable between a closed position shown in Figure 1, wherein the lid 9 covers the mouth opening 5 of the case 2, and an open position shown in Figure 3 to permit ac ¬ cess to the interior 4 of the case 2. The number of hinges 10 can be chosen depending on the size of the enclosure 1. The hinges 10 are located near to the mouth opening 5. As can be seen in Figure 3 and Figures 6-9, the lid 9 has a groove 11 arranged at the periphery of the lid 9 to receive therein a resilient sealing gasket 12. The sealing gasket 12 co-operates with the sealing flange 8 when the lid 9 is in the closed position (see Figure 9) . The sealing gasket 12 may be polyurethane which is extruded to the groove 11. The enclosure 1 further comprises two latch devices 13 for locking the lid 9 relative to the case 2 in the closed position which is shown in Figures 1, 2 and 9. The number of the latch devices can be chosen depend ¬ ing on the size of the enclosure 1. The latch device 13 comprises a grip means 14 which is arranged to the lid 9 and a rocker 15 which is removably and pivotally connected with a pivot axle 16 relative to the second side wall. The rocker 15 can be turned about a single axis x between a locking position I (see Figure 1, 2 and 9) and a release position II (see Figures 6 - 8) . The rocker 15 comprises a pair of pins 22 which form the pivot axle 16 (see Figures 5 and 11) .

The rocker 15 is an injection molded monolithic one- piece element of thermoplastics. The rocker may be of the same thermoplastics material as the case 2 and the lid 9. Suitable thermoplastic materials for the parts of the enclosure, case, lid and rocker, may be e.g. polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polyester. The rocker 15 comprises a hook portion 17 at one side of the pivot axle 16. The hook portion 17 is config ¬ ures to grip the grip means 14. The rocker 15 further comprises a handle arm 18 at the opposite side of the pivot axle 16 in relation to the hook portion 17. The handle arm 18 is arranged to be manually operable for turning the rocker 15 about the axis x between the locking position I and release position II. The grip means 14 is a rigid lug 14 molded to be mono ¬ lithic with the material of lid 9. The lug 14 compris ¬ es a through-hole 19 to which the hook portion 17 can grip. The lug 14 is arranged, in the closed position of the lid 9, to extend over and at a distance from the second side wall 7 of the case 2 to be substan ¬ tially in parallel with the second side wall 7 to de ¬ limit an intermediate space S (see Figure 8) between the second wall 7 and the lug 14 when the lid is in the closed position. The hook portion 17 is arranged so that, in the release position II of the rocker 15, it is turned inside the intermediate space S and away from the path of the lug 14. In the locking position I of the rocker 15, as seen in Figures 1 and 9, the hook portion 17 is turned to protrude laterally outwards through the through-hole 19 of the lug 14. In this locking position the sealing flange 8 of the lid 90 pressed against the sealing gasket 12 compresses the sealing gasket 12. The sealing gasket 12 creates a spring force against which the hook portion 17 holds the lug 14. In this locking position I the backside of the handle arm 18 is turned to be flush with with the second side wall 7 of the case 2.

Referring to Figure 8, the output force OF of the hook portion 17 exerted to the lug 14 is amplified by a me ¬ chanical advantage provided by a lever effect of the rocker 15 when being turned to the locking position by an input force IF created by hand of the operator and exerted to the handle arm 18. The hook portion 17 and the lug 14 have a mutual contact point at a first ra ¬ dius a from the pivot axis x of the rocker 15. The handle arm 18 has a second radius b from the pivot ax ¬ is x of the rocker to an outmost point where the han ¬ dle arm can be manually pressed by hand. The second radius b is a multiple of the first radius a in order to exert an output force by the hook portion on the lug which output force is a multiple of the input force IF exerted to the handle arm to win the spring force provided by the sealing gasket 12 when turning the rocker 15 from the release position II to the locking position I. the ratio a:b of the first radius a to the second radius b is in the range of 1:3 to 15, preferably 1:4.

Referring to the detail A shown in Figure 5, the case 2 comprises a pair of mounting brackets 23 for mount- ing of the rocker 15. The mounting brackets 23 are monolithic with the plastics material of the case 2. Each of the mounting brackets 23 comprises a seat 24 to receive and to removably connect the pin 22 of the rocker 15 for pivotally supporting the rocker 15. As can be seen in Figures, at least one of the pins 22 comprises a bevel 31. The bevel 31 assists in mounting of the pins 22 of the rocker 15 to the seats 24 of the mounting brackets 23. The handle arm 18 comprises a locking hole 25. The mounting bracket 23 comprises a retaining projection 26 which protrudes along and at a distance from the second side wall 7. In the locking position I of the rocker 15, as shown in Figure 10, the locking hole 25 is located between the second wall 7 and the retaining projection 26 to receive a locking element L, such as a locking pin or a shackle of a padlock, to prevent opening of the lid 9. As illustrated in Figures 10 and 11, the latch device 13 comprises a first snap-fit joint 20 to hold the rocker 15 stationary in the locking position I. The handle arm 18 comprises one or more rigid clips 27 to co-operate with one or more edges E of the retaining projection 26 to form the first snap-fit joint 20 to hold the rocker 15 in the locking position I.

As illustrated in Figure 7, the latch device 13 fur- ther comprises a second snap-fit joint 21 to hold the rocker 15 stationary in the release position II. The case 2 comprises a prominent collar 28 beside the mouth opening 5. The collar 28 comprises a cutout 29 (see also Figures 3 and 6) . The cutout 29 is disposed to receive the hook portion 17 of the rocker 15 there ¬ in. The collar 28 has one or more edge portions near to the cutout 28 limiting the cutout 29 laterally. As ca be seen in Figure 7, the rocker 15 comprises one or more rigid clips 30 arranged to co-operate with the one or more edge portions of the collar 28 to form the second snap-fit joint 21 to hold the rocker 15 in the release position II.

Although the invention has been the described in con- junction with a certain type of enclosure, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to any certain type of enclosure. While the present inven ¬ tions have been described in connection with a number of exemplary embodiments, and implementations, the present inventions are not so limited, but rather cov ¬ er various modifications, and equivalent arrangements, which fall within the purview of prospective claims.