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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SNAP BLOCK FOR POSITIONING POWER RAIL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/051533
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A snap block (6) to retain a power outlet rail (25) on a desk top (1) having a channel (3) extending therealong is disclosed. The snap block has a base (7) shaped to sit on the desk top, a pair of upwardly facing resilient protrusions (23) shaped to snap engage with a pair of rims (28) on the power rail (25) incorporating the power and/or data outlet(s). There is an aperture (12) in the snap block (6) through which a threaded fastener (14) passes. The fastener has a nut (17) threadably engaged therewith which is shaped to be slid along, and engaged with, the channel (3). Rotating the fastener (14) clamps the snap block base against the desk top.

Inventors:
GRAY JEREMY (AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/050778
Publication Date:
March 21, 2019
Filing Date:
July 27, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ASSEMBLY ELECTRONICS PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
A47B21/06; F16B2/20; H01R13/627; H02B1/048
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011146794A22011-11-24
Foreign References:
US5595494A1997-01-21
US20070257169A12007-11-08
US3325692A1967-06-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRASER OLD & SOHN (North Sydney, New South Wales 2060, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A snap block to retain a power outlet rail on a desk top having a channel

extending therealong, said snap block having a base shaped to sit on said desk top, a pair of upwardly facing resilient protrusions shaped to snap engage with a pair of rims on said power outlet rail, and an aperture through which a threaded fastener passes, said fastener having a nut threadably engaged therewith and said nut being shaped to be slid along, and engaged with, said channel, whereby rotating said fastener clamps said snap block base against said desk top.

2. The snap block as claimed in claim 1 wherein said nut has a threaded aperture engaged with said shank.

3. The snap block as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein said power outlet rail is formed from an aluminium extrusion which includes said rims.

4. The snap block as claimed in any one of claims 1-3 and having a rear foot flush with said base, said aperture passing through said foot.

5. In combination, a pair of snap blocks as claimed in any one of claims 1-4 and a power outlet rail.

6. A method of retaining a power outlet rail on a desk top, having a channel

extending therealong, using the snap block as defined in any one of claims 1-4, said method comprising the steps of:

in either order, positioning said snap block on said desk top with said base sitting on said desk top, and engaging said nut with said channel,

sliding said snap block into a position on said desk top corresponding to the desired final position of said power outlet,

rotating said fastener to clamp said snap block to said desk top, and

snap engaging the protrusions of said snap block with the recesses of said power outlet rail.

7. The method as claimed in claim 5 and using a pair of said snap blocks, each of said snap blocks being secured to said desk top and being spaced apart along said channel by a distance less than the length of said power rail.

Description:
SNAP BLOCK FOR POSITIONING POWER RAIL

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to office furniture and, in particular, to the location of power outlets on a desk surface.

Background Art

Modern office workers require access to electronic equipment and specifically computers. Accordingly, power outlets are required for this equipment. In addition, such power outlets normally include data and/or telephone lines so that Internet access, and the like, can be provided.

Traditionally, such power outlets have been fabricated as a power rail which normally incorporates an aluminium extrusion as a hollow body closed by two end caps. The power outlets, data outlets and/or telephone outlets are formed in the hollow body. Traditionally, the power rail was clamped to the desktop by means of a G-shaped clamp having a function similar to those clamps traditionally used to temporarily mount a kitchen appliance, such as a meat grinder, to a kitchen benchtop. A significant disadvantage of such G-clamps is that the clamping action is initiated by a threaded fastener which can only be accessed for turning by crawling underneath the desk.

As a consequence of this inconvenience, a G-clamp was developed which was upside down relative to the conventional G-clamp. Thus the new G-clamp had a threaded fastener which could be accessed from above the desk surface by means such as a screwdriver, Allen Key, or the like. However, this new G clamp was a complicated member and therefore expensive. As a consequence, despite its improved functional performance, the new G clamp did not achieve significant commercial success.

Genesis of the Invention

The genesis of the present invention is a desire to provide an inexpensive solution to the problems of positioning a power outlet, or power rail, on a desktop. Summary of the Invention

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a snap block to retain a power outlet rail on a desk top having a channel extending therealong, said snap block having a base shaped to sit on said desk top, a pair of upwardly facing resilient protrusions shaped to snap engage with a pair of rims on said power outlet rail, and an aperture through which a threaded fastener passes, said fastener having a nut threadably engaged therewith and said nut being shaped to be slid along, and engaged with, said channel, whereby rotating said fastener clamps said snap block base against said desk top.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is disclosed in combination, a pair of snap blocks as defined above and a power outlet rail

In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a method of retaining a power outlet rail on a desk top, having a channel extending therealong, using the snap block as defined in any one of claims 1-4, said method comprising the steps of:

in either order, positioning said snap block on said desk top with said base sitting on said desk top, and engaging said nut with said channel,

sliding said snap block into a position on said desk top corresponding to the desired final position of said power outlet,

rotating said fastener to clamp said snap block to said desk top, and

snap engaging the protrusions of said snap block with the recesses of said power outlet rail.

Preferably a pair of snap blocks are used and are positioned on the channel so as to be spaced apart by a distance less than the length of the power rail. Brief Description of the Drawings

A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a front perspective view of a power rail mounted above two clamps,

Fig. 2 is an exploded perspective view of one of the clamps,

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the clamp of Fig. 2,

Fig. 4 is rear perspective view of the power rail of Fig. 1,

Fig. 5 is a rear exploded view of the clamp of Fig. 3 positioned above extrusion,

Fig. 6 is a front exploded view of the clamp of Fig. 5,

Fig. 7 is a front perspective view of the clamp of Figs. 5 and 6 clamped to the extrusion, and

Fig. 8 is a schematic cross- sectional view showing the inter-engagement of the power rail and a clamp.

Detailed Description

As seen in Fig. 1, a power outlet rail 25 is supported at an inclined angle by a pair of snap blocks 6. The snap block 6 are best seen in Fig. 4 and are substantially hidden from the view of the person using the desk. The power rail 25 is secured to the snap blocks 6 which are in turn secured to the desk.

As seen in Figs. 5 - 7, a desktop 1 (indicated by broken lines) is provided with an extruded aluminium beam 2 which has a number of longitudinally extending channels 3. Each channel has a pair of opposed lips 4. Such a beam 2 is normally provided for the purposes of securing computer monitor support towers, and similar such equipment, to the desktop 1.

Sitting partially over the desktop 1 and partially over the channel 3 is a moulded plastics snap block 6 having a flat base 7, a rear wall 8 and a forwardly facing surface 9. Each snap blocks 6 has a pair of pads 10 (Figs. 2 and 3) which bear against the power rail 25. Projecting from the rear wall 8 is a foot 11 with an aperture 12 therein. Passing through the aperture 12 is fastener 14 (Figs. 5 and 6). Preferably the fastener 14 has a head 15 able to be driven by a Phillips head screw driver (not illustrated) or other similar conventional tool. The fastener 14 also has a threaded shank 16 which is able to be engaged with a captive nut 17.

The captive nut 17 is shaped so as to be receivable within the channel 3 and to be engageable with the lips 4. The captive nut 17 has a threaded aperture 19 which is threadedly engaged with the shank 16.

It will be apparent that manipulating the fastener 14 enables the captive nut 17 to be drawn upwardly so as to clamp against the lower edges of the lips 4 and thereby clamp the base 7 of the snap block 6 to the desktop 1 as seen in Fig. 7.

As seen in Figs. 3 and 7, the forwardly facing surface 9 of the snap block 6 is provided with a pair of upwardly facing resilient protrusions 23 which have opposed projections 24 (Fig. 8). The power rail 25 to be engaged with the snap blocks 6 has an aluminium extrusion 26 forming its external surfaces. As seen in Fig. 8, the extrusion 26 has a pair of opposed rims 28. The extrusion 26 also supports power outlet(s) 30 (Fig. 1) and associated equipment such as data and/or telephone outlets.

In order to secure the power rail 25 to the desktop 1, preferably two snap blocks 6 are positioned with the same orientation but spaced apart by a distance length less than the length of the power rail 25, and then clamped to the desktop 1. Thereafter, the upper one of the projections 24 can be engaged with a corresponding one of the rims 28 and the power rail 25 rotated clockwise as seen in Fig. 8 towards the snap blocks 6. This pushing action has the effect of driving the other rim 28 past the lower ramp- shaped projection 24 and thereby engaging the power rail 25 and the snap blocks 6.

If the power rail 25 needs to be repositioned, the fasteners 14 are loosened, the snap blocks 6 slid along the channel 3 into a new position, and the fasteners 14 then re- tightened. The foregoing describes only one embodiment of the present invention and modifications, obvious to those skilled in the office furniture arts, can be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The term "comprising" (and its grammatical variations) as used herein is used in the inclusive sense of "including" or "having" and not in the exclusive sense of

"consisting only of.