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Title:
STORAGE STRUCTURE FOR AN APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/132918
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A storage structure for an appliance, such as a refrigerator, is disclosed. The storage structure includes a metal frame coupled to the appliance, and in some cases welded to a door of the appliance. A storage bin is disposed within the metal frame and movable between an open and closed position. In some cases, a top wall of the metal frame may define the floor of a storage cavity disposed above the storage structure. The storage cavity may also include an upper retaining portion that is movably coupled to the appliance to adjust the size of the storage cavity.

Inventors:
BURKE, Julia B. (2000 North M-63, MD 3601Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022, US)
CHOW, Daniel (2000 North M-63, MD 3601Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022, US)
CLEMENTS, Daniel V. (2000 North M-63, MD 3601Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022, US)
SCHULZ, Mark W. (2000 North M-63, MD 3601Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022, US)
Application Number:
US2017/068710
Publication Date:
July 04, 2019
Filing Date:
December 28, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION (2000 North M-63, MD 3601Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022, US)
International Classes:
F25D23/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CALLAGHAN, Terry S. (Price Heneveld LLP, 695 Kenmoor S.E.,P.O. Box 256, Grand Rapids Michigan, 49501-2567, US)
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A refrigerator comprising:

a cabinet defining an internal cavity;

a door coupled to the cabinet and configured to provide selective access to the internal cavity; and

a structure for storing food items, wherein the structure is disposed on an interior surface of the door and comprises:

a metal frame;

a bin disposed within the metal frame, wherein the bin defines a compartment for storing the food items, and wherein the bin is movably coupled to the metal frame to selectively move between an open position and a closed position.

2. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the metal frame comprises:

a plurality of metal walls.

3. The refrigerator of claim 2, wherein a thickness of each of the metal walls is less than about 4 mm.

4. The refrigerator of claim 2, wherein:

a thickness of each of the metal walls is between about 2 mm and 3 mm.

5. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein a top wall of the metal frame defines a floor of a storage cavity, and wherein the storage cavity further comprises:

an upper retaining portion that is coupled to the interior surface of the door.

6. The refrigerator of claim 5, wherein:

the upper retaining portion of the storage cavity is free from contact with the floor.

IB

7. The refrigerator of claims 5 or 6, wherein:

the upper retaining portion of the storage cavity is movably coupled to the interior surface of the door.

8. The refrigerator of any one of claims 1-6, wherein:

the bin comprises a top opening for accessing the compartment; and

a bottom portion of the bin rotates about the metal frame to provide access to the top opening in the open position.

9. The refrigerator of claim 8, wherein the structure further comprises:

a push-push latch configured to move the bin between the open position and the closed position.

10. The refrigerator of claim 9, wherein:

the push-push latch is disposed between a bottom portion of the bin and a bottom wall of the metal frame.

11. A door for an appliance, wherein the appliance comprises a cabinet defining an internal cavity, and the door is operably coupled to the cabinet to selectively seal the internal cavity in a closed position and provide access to the internal cavity in an open position, the door comprising:

an interior surface configured to face the cabinet in a closed position and an exterior surface opposite the interior surface;

a structure for storing food items, wherein the structure is disposed on the interior surface of the door and comprises:

a metal frame;

a bin disposed within the metal frame, wherein the bin defines a compartment for storing food items, and wherein the bin is movably coupled to the metal frame to selectively move between an open position and a closed position.

12. The door of claim 11, wherein:

the metal frame comprises a top wall, a bottom wall, and a pair of side walls; and the metal frame is welded to the interior surface of the door.

13. The door of claim 12, wherein:

a thickness of the top wall, the bottom wall and each of the pair of side walls is less than about 4 mm.

14. The door of claim 12, wherein:

a thickness of the top wall, the bottom wall, and each of the pair of side walls is between about 2 mm and 3 mm.

15. The door of any of claims 12-14, wherein the top wall of the metal frame defines a floor of a storage cavity, and wherein the storage cavity further comprises:

an upper retaining portion that is movably coupled to the interior surface of the door to increase or decrease the size of the storage cavity.

16. The door of claim 15, wherein the storage cavity is a first storage cavity and the upper retaining portion is a first upper retaining portion, and the door further comprises a second storage cavity, the second storage cavity comprising:

a metal floor welded to the interior surface of the door; and

a second upper retaining portion that is movably coupled to the interior surface of the door to increase or decrease the size of the second storage cavity.

17. An appliance comprising:

a cabinet defining an internal cavity;

a door configured to provide selective access to the internal cavity; and a storage structure disposed on the door, comprising:

a frame coupled to the door, the frame having at least one wall with a thickness between about 2 mm and 3 mm; a bin defining a storage area disposed within the frame, wherein the bin is moveably coupled to the metal frame to selectively move between an open position and a closed position.

18. The appliance of claim 17, wherein:

a top portion of the bin tilts away from the frame to move into the open position.

19. The appliance of claim 17 or 18, wherein the storage structure further comprises: a push-push latch to release the bin from the closed position and to hold the bin in the closed position.

20. The appliance of any one of claims 17-19, wherein the frame comprises:

a plurality of metal walls, wherein the thickness of each of the metal walls is between about 2 mm and 3 mm.

Description:
STORAGE STRUCTURE FOR AN APPLIANCE

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present disclosure generally relates to thin-framed storage structures for an appliance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] According to one aspect, a refrigerator having metal-framed storage structure is disclosed. The refrigerator includes a cabinet defining an internal cavity, a door coupled to the cabinet and configured to provide selective access to the internal cavity, and a structure for storing food items disposed on an interior surface of the door. The structure includes a metal frame, and a bin disposed within the metal frame which defines a compartment for storing the food items. The bin is movably coupled to the metal frame to selectively move between an open position and a closed position.

[0003] In other aspects, a door for an appliance is disclosed. The door is configured for an appliance that includes a cabinet defining an internal cavity, whereby the door is operably coupled to the cabinet to selectively seal the internal cavity in a closed position and provide access to the internal cavity in an open position. The door includes an interior surface configured to face the cabinet when in a closed position, an exterior surface opposite the interior surface, and a structure for storing food items on the interior surface. The structure for storing food items includes a metal frame, a bin disposed within the metal frame defining a compartment for storing the food items, which is movably coupled to the metal frame and selectively movable between open and closed positions.

[0004] In still other aspects, an appliance that includes a cabinet defining an internal cavity, a door configured to provide selective access to the internal cavity, and a storage structure is disclosed. The storage structure includes a frame coupled to the door, and the frame has at least one wall with a thickness between about 2 mm and 3 mm.

Additionally, the storage structure includes a bin defining a storage area disposed within the frame. The bin is moveably coupled to the frame to selectively move between an open position and a closed position. [0005] These and other features, advantages, and objects of the present disclosure will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Further advantages and features according to the present disclosure will become clear from the following detailed description provided as a non-limiting example, with reference to the attached drawings in which:

[0007] FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a refrigerator incorporating a storage

structure, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a partial side perspective view of the refrigerator incorporating the

storage structure for the door, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 3 is another partial side perspective view of the refrigerator incorporating a storage structure for a door, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 4 is an exploded view of area IV in FIG. 3;

[0011] FIG. 5A is another partial side perspective view of a door of a refrigerator,

according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0012] FIG. 5B is an exploded view of area VB in FIG. 5A;

[0013] FIG. 5C is an exploded view of area VC in FIG. 5A;

[0014] FIG. 6 is another partial perspective view of a portion of a storage structure for a door of a refrigerator, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

[0015] FIG. 7 is another side perspective view of a door of a refrigerator incorporating a storage structure, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0016] The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] The present disclosure relates to storage structures for an appliance, such as for a refrigerator 10, as shown in the illustrated embodiment. According to aspects described herein, in some cases, a storage structure may include a thin-walled frame that encloses a storage structure or bin. The frame may be coupled to the appliance, and the storage bin may be movable with respect to the frame for accessing a bin cavity defined within.

In some cases, a top wall of the frame may define the floor of another storage structure or cavity disposed above the bin storage structure. According to some embodiments, the storage structures may be self-enclosed and disposed on an interior surface of an appliance door. Thus, the configuration of the storage structure, including the thin- walled frame, may reduce bulk and wasted space for a door structure, as well as provide a more streamlined appearance on an interior facing side of the door. In addition, as disclosed, the self-enclosed storage structure may provide improved temperature- and humidity-control within the storage structure, as well as the ability to minimize drafts within the storage structure. In addition to a self-enclosed storage structure,

embodiments described herein may also include one or more storage cavities configured with a thin floor and a separate upper retaining portion that is independent and movable with respect to the thin floor to adjust the capacity of the storage cavity.

[0018] Accordingly, the present illustrated embodiments reside primarily in

combinations of apparatus components related to a storage structure for a door of an appliance, such as refrigerator 10. The apparatus components have been represented, where appropriate, by conventional symbols in the drawings, showing only those specific details that are pertinent to understanding the embodiments of the present disclosure so as not to obscure the disclosure with details that will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of the description herein. In addition, like numerals in the description and drawings represent like elements. It should be further understood, however, that while a refrigerator has been described for purposes of illustration, aspects of the present disclosure apply to any type and style of appliance contemplated in the art, including but not limited to, freezers, beverage storage compartments, ovens, and microwaves.

[0019] FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary refrigerator 10, according to an illustrated

embodiment set forth herein. Refrigerator 10 includes an outer frame or cabinet 12 that defines or incorporates an internal cavity 14 for cooling food items. Cabinet 12 includes an interior surface 16 and an exterior surface (not shown). Cabinet 12 may further include one or more cavity storage structures 18 for storing food items. Cavity storage structures 18 may be configured in a variety of ways as would be contemplated in the art, and in some cases may include, but are not limited to, shelves, bins, drawers, and the like, for holding food items. In some cases, refrigerator 10 may also include a wall panel 22 disposed within internal cavity 14, serving to hide one or more refrigeration components and create a streamlined appearance. In the illustrated embodiment, refrigerator 10 is a built-in style refrigerator, streamlined to appear as a portion of a cabinet 24, however the present disclosure is not limited to a specific style of refrigerator or appliance.

[0020] Refrigerator 10 may also include a plurality of other components (not shown) for cooling internal cavity 14 or providing other functions for refrigerator 10, as would be readily contemplated in the art. Such components may include, but are not limited to, components that serve to cool internal cavity 14, such as evaporator coils, a compressor, condenser coils, air vents, an expansion device, and the like. Refrigerator 10 may also include other components such as systems and sensors, and other electrical and mechanical components for operation of refrigerator 10. These may include but are not limited to, water lines, thermostats, control circuitry, lights, and alarms.

[0021] Refrigerator 10 may also incorporate one or more doors 30 for accessing internal cavity 14. Door 30 may be operably coupled to cabinet 12 via a hinge assembly 26 to alternately seal, and provide access to, internal cavity 14. As illustrated, door 30 includes an interior facing side 32, facing internal cavity 14, and an exterior facing side (not shown). Door 30 may also include a gasket 36, on the interior facing side 32, to provide a temperature seal for internal cavity 14 when door 30 is in a closed position with respect to cabinet 12. In some cases, door 30 may include a door panel 34, disposed on an interior surface or inner liner 38 (FIG. 5), serving to hide one or more refrigerator components and create a streamlined appearance.

[0022] According to aspects described herein, door 30 may also incorporate one or more storage structures for holding food items on interior facing side 32. For example, door 30 may incorporate a self-enclosed storage structure 40, a storage cavity 70, a storage cavity 90 and a storage cavity 106, collectively, storage structures 110. In some cases, storage structure 40 may be provided as a self-enclosed crisper for storing fruits or vegetables in a temperature- or humidity-controlled environment. However, in other cases, storage structure 40 may be used for other purposes. As described in more detail below, in addition to providing a streamlined look, storage structures 110 may be configured to reduce bulk, reduce wasted space, and minimize drafts, among benefits described further herein.

[0023] It should be noted that refrigerator 10 and its various components are shown for purposes of example and illustration, and are not limiting features of the present disclosure. Those skilled in the art will understand that aspects of the present disclosure apply to other types of refrigerators or refrigerator configurations, such as a French-door style refrigerator, side-by-side refrigerator, or any other type of configuration

contemplated in the art. Additionally, refrigerator 10 may include more or fewer components, such as additional electrical or mechanical components, additional storage structures, including shelves, drawers, doors, and other types of refrigerator

compartment storage. Accordingly, it should be understood that refrigerator 10 and its described refrigerator components are only exemplary of the types of components that may be included in a refrigerator, and the absence or addition of other structures or refrigerator components does not affect the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize the many configurations of components and structures that may be employed in a refrigerator 10, and that aspects of the present disclosure are not limited to the embodiments described herein or as depicted in the figures.

[0024] As previously noted, refrigerator 10 may include one or more storage structures, including self-enclosed storage bins as well as open storage cavities. In some cases, the storage structures may be configured to include structural elements that are designed to take up less space, thereby maximizing storage space, as well as to provide a more streamlined appearance. For example, the structural elements may be configured to be thinner and less obtrusive, while still providing structural integrity. In some cases, multiple storage structures may share one or more structural walls, thereby reducing the number of structural elements required. In some embodiments, the storage structures may be comprised of materials that allow for the structures to include very thin walls, yet still provide enough strength, such as metals or strong plastic materials. In at least one embodiment, refrigerator 10 includes a self-enclosed storage structure, or storage structure 40, a storage cavity 70, a storage cavity 90, and a storage cavity 106, collectively storage structures 110, each incorporating a thin wall or frame. As may be seen in the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1, storage structures 110 may be positioned on an interior facing side 32 of door BO. In other cases, however, the storage structures disclosed herein may be positioned in other locations within a refrigerator such as within cabinet 12 of refrigerator 10.

[0025] Referring to FIGS. 2-4 of the illustrated embodiment, refrigerator 10 may include a self-enclosed storage structure 40. Storage structure 40 may be comprised of a thin, metal frame 42 that surrounds and encloses a storage bin 50. Metal frame 42 may include a top wall 44, a bottom wall 46, and a pair of side walls 48 that may be coupled to a surface of refrigerator 10, such as inner liner 38 of door 30, as described below. In other embodiments, metal frame 42 may include additional surfaces such as a back wall (not shown in the illustrated embodiment) or other enclosing features. Bin 50 may be partially or fully enclosed within metal frame 42 or otherwise coupled to metal frame 42 if not enclosed, such that when bin 50 is in a closed position, as shown in FIG. 2, a bin cavity 55 is closed off from access. Bin 50 may also include a bin handle 52 and a bin opening 54 for accessing bin cavity.

[0026] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, bin 50 may be coupled to metal frame 42 such that bin

50 may be moved, rotated, tilted, or otherwise repositioned with respect to metal frame 42 from a closed position, depicted in FIG. 2, to an open position, depicted in FIG. 3. In at least one embodiment, bin 50 may include a pin 56 disposed on side wall 48 that may be received in an aperture 58 or other groove disposed on metal frame 42. Accordingly, in the illustrated embodiment, pin 56 can rotate within aperture 58 to allow for bin 50 to be rotated with respect to metal frame 42. This rotation may cause bin opening 54 to tilt out from a closed position to an open position, or otherwise move away from metal frame 42, such that access to bin cavity 55 is possible. In other cases, however, bin 50 may be connected to metal frame 42 via other mechanical or electro-mechanical means, and those skilled in art will recognize that the present disclosure is not limited to a specific mechanical attachment.

[0027] Storage structure 40 may also include provisions that allow a user to open and close bin 50 in a hands-free manner. In some cases this may comprise a mechanical hands-free mechanism. In other cases, an electro-mechanical mechanism such as a capacitive or touch-switch may be employed. Referring to FIG. 4, in some cases, a latch mechanism 64 may be installed between bin 50 and metal frame 42. In at least one case, a latch mechanism 64 may comprise a push-to-open, push-to-close feature. Latch mechanism and may include a bin-side latch portion 60, installed on a surface of bin 50, and a frame-side latch mechanism 62, installed on a wall of metal frame 42. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, bin-side latch portion 60 may be installed on a bottom surface of bin 50 and frame-side latch mechanism 62 may be installed on a top surface of bottom wall 46 of metal frame 42. Accordingly, as would be readily understood by a skilled artisan, in operation, when bin handle 52 is pushed slightly inward, latch mechanism 64 may operate to either tilt bin 50 into an open position or secure bin 50 in a closed position. Thus, a user may lightly bump bin 50 in a hands-free manner, for example with a hip or elbow, to move bin 50 into an open position or closed position.

[0028] Latch mechanism 64 may be configured as would be contemplated by a skilled artisan. For example, as described, latch mechanism 64 may include a push-to-open, push-to-close mechanism, i.e. a push-push latch. In addition, in some cases, latch mechanism 64 may include other features that may be contemplated in the art, such as a dampening feature to provide a slow release to bin 50 as it moves into an open position. Those skilled in the art will understand the breadth of the various configurations for latch mechanism 64 that are possible and within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0029] According to aspects of the disclosure, storage structure 40 includes a thin-walled frame that uses minimal space within refrigerator 10. In some cases portions of storage structure 40 may be formed of metal, such as metal frame 42 of the illustrated embodiment. However, in other embodiments, one or more portions of storage structure 40 may be formed of other materials, such as a plastic material or glass, as would be contemplated by a skilled artisan. According to the illustrated embodiment, metal frame 42 may be formed from a sturdy, yet thin, sheet metal, having a thickness 66 (FIG. 5A and 5B), to create a thin and structurally sound cavity for bin 50. By providing a thin frame, storage structure 40 may fully enclose bin 50 and also serve as a floor 72 to storage cavity 70 located directly above it, as described in more detail below. In some cases, metal frame 42 may have a thickness 66 of less than about 4 mm. In at least one embodiment, thickness 66 of metal frame 42 is between about 2 mm and 3 mm. [0030] Metal frame 42 may be secured to refrigerator 10 in a variety of ways to minimize wasted space. According to some embodiments, metal frame 42 may be welded directly to an inner liner 38 of door 30. FIG. 5A depicts door 30 with various components removed for illustration. Specifically, in FIG. 5A, door 30 is shown with door panel 34, bin 50, and portions of storage cavity 70 and second storage cavity 90 removed. As depicted in FIG. 5A, one or more portions or walls of metal frame 42 may be attached directly to inner liner 38. In at least one case, inner liner 38 may comprise a steel liner, and one or more walls of metal frame 42 may be welded to inner liner 38. For example, in one case, side walls 48, may be welded to inner liner 38. In another embodiment, all four walls of metal frame 42 may be welded to inner liner 38, minimizing the draft of air between metal frame 42 and bin 50. In other cases, however, inner liner 38 could be comprised of another material such as a plastic material, and metal frame 42 may be connected via other means such as mechanical means or via a molded part, as would be contemplated by a skilled artisan.

[0031] In addition to storage structure 40, refrigerator 10 may also include other types of storage cavities configured according to aspects of the present disclosure. In the illustrated embodiment, refrigerator 10 includes an open storage cavity 70 disposed above storage structure 40. Storage cavity 70 may include a floor 72 formed from top wall 44 of metal frame 42, conserving usable space within refrigerator 10. Storage cavity 70 may further include an upper retaining portion 74 having a front retaining wall 76 and a pair of side retaining walls 78.

[0032] Upper retaining portion 74 may be formed separately and disposed

independently of floor 72 and metal frame 42. In other words, upper retaining portion 74 may be free from contact with floor 72. Thus, in some embodiments, a position of upper retaining portion 74 may be vertically adjustable with respect to floor 72. Referring to FIG. 7, in at least one case, upper retaining portion 74 may be movably coupled to inner liner 38 via one or more securement hooks 80, or other type of mechanical fastener contemplated in the art, such that upper retaining portion 74 may be adjusted higher or lower in a vertical direction 82 to increase or decrease the size of storage cavity 70. Inner liner 38 may further include one or more hook receiving elements (not shown), or other mechanical fastening element contemplated in the art, to receive the vertically adjustable upper retaining portion 74. Accordingly, in operation, when food items or other items to be stored require a taller storing cavity, such as depicted in FIG. 7, upper retaining portion 74 may be vertically adjusted in direction 82 with respect to floor 72 to accommodate the food item's height.

[0033] Aspects of the present disclosure also provide for a self-contained storage cavity, such as storage cavity 90 and storage cavity 106 depicted in FIG. 1, wherein components of the storage cavity are independent of other storage structure. Storage cavity 90 may be configured similarly to storage cavity 70, and may include a metal floor 92 and an upper retaining portion 94. Metal floor 92 may be configured similar to top wall 44 of metal frame 42 in that it may comprise a thin piece of metal secured to an interior facing side 32 of door 30, however, in at least one case, metal floor 92 is separated from other structures within refrigerator 10. Similar to metal frame 42, floor 92 may be comprised of a thin piece of sheet metal that may be welded or otherwise secured to an inner liner 38 of door 30. Again, in at least one embodiment, inner liner 38 comprises a steel material to accept a welded attachment. In other cases, however, floor 92 may be formed from other types of materials, such as plastic materials or glass materials, and may be attached by other attachment mechanisms contemplated in the art.

[0034] Upper retaining portion 94 may include a front retaining portion 96 and side

retaining walls 98. Similar to upper retaining portion 74 of storage cavity 70, upper retaining portion 94 may also be vertically adjustable in direction 104 to adjust the size of storage cavity 90 to accommodate food items of various sizes. Upper retaining portion 94 may also be secured to door 30 in a similar manner as upper retaining portion 94, i.e., utilizing a plurality of securement mechanisms 102, such as a hook receiving in a slot on inner liner 38.

[0035] Floor 92 may also be configured as a thin metal sheet having a thickness 99

(FIG. 5C), to maximize usable space within refrigerator 10 and provide a streamlined appearance, yet still allow for the required strength. According to some embodiments, floor 92 may have a thickness 99 of less than about 4 mm. In at least one embodiment, thickness 99 is between about 2 mm and 3 mm.

[0036] The streamlined configuration of floor 92 may allow for other components, such as lights, to be incorporated in a streamlined manner to maximize storage space. For example, referring to FIG. 6, a light strip 100 may be incorporated under storage cavity 90 to provide light on an interior facing side 32 of door 30. Light strip 100 may be configured as would be contemplated in the art, and in some cases may include a strip of light emitting diodes (LEDs) connected to control circuitry within refrigerator 10 for operation.

[0037] Refrigerator 10 may also incorporate other cavities or storage structures

according to aspects described herein. For example, referring to FIG. 1, storage cavity 106 may be incorporated on an interior facing side 32 of door 30 and may be configured similar to storage cavity 90 as described above.

[0038] Those with skill in the art will recognize that aspects of the present disclosure, including the illustrated embodiments discussed herein, are only exemplary of the apparatus and structures contemplated by the present disclosure. Further, it will be understood and appreciated that the absence or presence of additional structures and components do not obscure the inventive concepts described herein. Additionally, it will be further understood that construction of the described disclosure and other components is not limited to any specific material. Other exemplary embodiments of the disclosure disclosed herein may be formed from a wide variety of materials, unless described otherwise herein.

[0039] For purposes of description herein, the terms "upper," "lower," "right," "left,"

"rear," "front," "vertical," "horizontal," and derivatives thereof shall relate to the disclosure as oriented in FIG. 1. Unless stated otherwise, the term "front" shall refer to the surface of the element closer to an intended viewer of the display mirror, and the term "rear" shall refer to the surface of the element further from the intended viewer of the appliance. However, it is to be understood that the disclosure may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

[0040] The terms "including," "comprises," "comprising," or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus. An element proceeded by "comprises a . . . " does not, without more constraints, preclude the existence of additional identical elements in the process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises the element.

[0041] For purposes of this disclosure, the term "coupled" (in all of its forms, couple, coupling, coupled, etc.) generally means the joining of two components (electrical or mechanical) directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary in nature or movable in nature. Such joining may be achieved with the two components (electrical or mechanical) and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two components. Such joining may be permanent in nature or may be removable or releasable in nature unless otherwise stated.

[0042] It is also important to note that the construction and arrangement of the

elements of the disclosure as shown in the exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments of the present innovations have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements shown as multiple parts may be integrally formed, the operation of the interfaces may be reversed or otherwise varied, the length or width of the structures and/or members or connector or other elements of the system may be varied, the nature or number of adjustment positions provided between the elements may be varied. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the system may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, in any of a wide variety of colors, textures, and combinations. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present innovations. Other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions, and arrangement of the desired and other exemplary embodiments without departing from the spirit of the present innovations.

[0043] It will be understood that any described processes or steps within described

processes may be combined with other disclosed processes or steps to form structures within the scope of the present disclosure. The exemplary structures and processes disclosed herein are for illustrative purposes and are not to be construed as limiting.

[0044] It is also to be understood that variations and modifications can be made on the aforementioned structures and methods without departing from the concepts of the present disclosure, and further it is to be understood that such concepts are intended to be covered by the following claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.