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Title:
MULTI-TIER MODULAR STAGE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/052999
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A modular stage system and its components are disclosed. A pivotable locking plate (17) having apertures (18) is located on the opposite corners of the underside of floor components (5). Each corner of the floor component is provided with a downwardly directed boss (12) which engages with a corresponding upper end (15) of a tubular leg (14). The apertures (18) enable the legs of adjacent leg structures to be locked together thereby giving the stage rigidity and stability. Different plates lock different number of adjacent legs.

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JPH04360969PLATFORM
Inventors:
WELSH GREGORY BRENT (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2012/001224
Publication Date:
April 18, 2013
Filing Date:
October 11, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SEBEL FURNITURE LTD (AU)
International Classes:
E04H3/28; E04B5/43
Domestic Patent References:
WO1992001846A11992-02-06
WO1999006653A11999-02-11
Foreign References:
US5323563A1994-06-28
EP2305922A22011-04-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRASER OLD & SOHN (275 Alfred StreetNorth Sydney, NSW 2060, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A modular stage system for use in auditoria, halls and the like said system comprising a plurality of substantially planar floor components each supported by a leg structure having at least one leg an upper end of which engages with the underside of the corresponding floor component, wherein adjacent leg structures are interconnected by a locking device movable between a plurality of operating positions, each of said operating positions inter-engaging a different number of leg upper ends being two or more.

2. The system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said locking device comprises a plate having a plurality of apertures therein each of which is engageable with a leg upper end.

3. The system as claimed in claim 2 wherein said locking plate is pivoted from the underside of said floor component adjacent the location of engagement between said floor component and one of said leg upper ends.

4. The system as claimed in claim 3 wherein each said floor component has corners, and each said leg structure has a number of legs corresponding to the number of corners, and each said corner is a location of engagement between said floor component and a corresponding said leg upper end.

5. The system as claimed in claim 4 wherein said floor components are selected from the class consisting of rectangular, square and triangular components.

6. The system as claimed in claim 4 or 5 wherein each said floor component is rectangular and has two locking plates each pivoted adjacent opposite corners.

7. The system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said locking device can engage two leg upper ends.

8. The system as claimed in claim 7 wherein said locking device can engage two leg upper ends or four leg upper ends.

9. The system as claimed in claim 8 wherein said two leg upper ends can be in any one of two orientations.

10. The system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9 wherein the point of

engagement between each said leg upper end and the corresponding floor component comprises a hollow in said leg upper end and a protrusion on the underside of said floor component which mates with said hollow.

11. The system as claimed in claim 10 wherein said leg upper end is a hollow

12. The system as claimed in claim 10 or 11 wherein said protrusion is injection moulded from plastics material.

13. The system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12 wherein two or more of said leg structures are stackable one above the other to permit a multi-tier stage to be constructed.

14. A system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13 wherein at least one edge of said floor components is castellated.

15. A locking device for a modular stage having a plurality of substantially planar floor components each supported by a leg structure having at least one leg, the upper end of which engages with the underside of the corresponding floor component, said device comprising a plate having a plurality of apertures therein each sized to engage with a leg upper end and positioned to inter- engage a number of leg upper ends of adjacent leg structures, said number being two or more.

16. The locking device of claim 15 having six apertures.

17. The locking device of claim 15 or 16 and being pivotable from the underside of said floor component.

18. A method of locking adjacent substantially planar floor components of a modular stage system comprising a plurality of said floor components each supported by a leg structure having at least one leg, the upper end of which engages with the underside of the corresponding floor components, said method comprising the steps of:

placing at least some of said leg structures in their intended final positions to thereby form adjacent leg structures;

moving a locking device into a selected one of a plurality of operating positions each of which inter-engage a different number of leg upper ends being two or more;

with said locking device in said selected operating position engaging said device and said leg upper ends to lock said adjacent leg structures, and engaging said floor components with said locked adjacent leg structures.

Description:
MULTI-TIER MODULAR STAGE

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to stage systems such as those used in school halls, auditoria, and similar centres. Stages such as these are not permanent installed but are instead erected for special occasions such as speech days, prize giving ceremonies, drama performances, etc and then are dismantled afterwards so that the entire hall or auditorium can be utilized for other purposes. The stage system is normally modular being formed from a number of identical modules, and is also preferably able to be multi-level or multi-tiered so as to provide stages or platforms at different heights.

Background Art

Essentially such modular stages are elected from a series of planar, normally rectangular, floor components each of which is supported by a corresponding leg structure. All the components need to be adequately mechanically interconnected in order to provide a sufficiently rigid structure for the intended use.

A problem which arises in relation to such modular stage systems is that personnel in such establishments change over time and therefore there is no guarantee that the person or persons to whom the task of assembling the stage is assigned will have had an adequate, or indeed will have had any, previous training as to how the mechanical interconnection takes place.

Genesis of the Invention

The genesis of the present invention is therefore a desire to provide an interconnecting arrangement which enables more than adequate mechanical interconnection between the various components to be achieved easily and to some extent intuitively because of the nature of the interconnecting components. Summary of the Invention

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a modular stage system for use in auditoria, halls and the like said system comprising a plurality of substantially planar floor components each supported by a leg structure having at least one leg an upper end of which engages with the underside of the corresponding device movable between a plurality of operating positions, each of said operating positions inter-engaging a different number of leg upper ends being two or more.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a locking device for a modular stage having a plurality of substantially planar floor components each supported by a leg structure having at least one leg, the upper end of which engages with the underside of the corresponding floor component, said device comprising a plate having a plurality of apertures therein each sized to engage with a leg upper end and positioned to inter-engage a number of leg upper ends of adjacent leg structures, said number being two or more.

In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a method of locking adjacent substantially planar floor components of a modular stage system comprising a plurality of said floor components each supported by a leg structure having at least one leg, the upper end of which engages with the underside of the corresponding floor components, said method comprising the steps of:

placing at least some of said leg structures in their intended final positions to thereby form adjacent leg structures;

moving a locking device into a selected one of a plurality of operating positions each of which inter-engage a different number of leg upper ends being two or more;

with said locking device in said selected operating position engaging said device and said leg upper ends to lock said adjacent leg structures, and

engaging said floor components with said locked adjacent leg structure.

In accordance with a fourth aspect of the present invention there is also disclosed a substantially planar floor component for use in the abovementioned system.

In accordance with a fifth aspect of the present invention there is also disclosed a leg structure for use in the above system.

Brief Description of the Drawings

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described, with reference to the Fig. 1 is a schematic perspective view of an auditorium in which a multi-tier modular stage is erected at one end of the auditorium so as to be able to be viewed by an audience;

Fig. 2 is an inverted plan view of four of the floor components illustrated in Fig. 1 showing the locking plates of the preferred embodiment; "

Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line III - III of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a perspective view from the underside showing two abutting floor components being readied to be lowered onto the corresponding leg structures;

Fig. 5 is a perspective view similar to Fig. 4 but showing the floor components and the locking plate lowered onto the upper ends of the legs;

Fig. 6 is a perspective view, partly hi section, showing one corner of the floor components;

Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line VII - VII of Fig. 5; and Fig. 8 is a perspective view showing one leg structure being vertically positioned above another leg structure so as to increase the height of the

corresponding floor component (not illustrated in Fig. 8).

Detailed Description

As seen in Fig. 1 , a modular stage 1 has been erected at one end of an auditorium so as to enable the stage 1 to be viewed by an audience 2. The front vertical surface of the stage 1 is normally covered by means of a curtain 3, or similar, which has been omitted in part in Fig. 1 to display the leg structures 4 upon which each of the floor components 5 rests. The leg structures 4 can be arranged to be of different heights so as to produce a multi-tiered stage having a podium 6 and a tower 7.

Turning now to Fig. 2, four of the floor components 5A-5D are shown (in an invented view) assembled together to form a rectangular stage area which is supported by four of the leg structures 4A-4D. It will be seen from Figs. 2 and 3 in conjunction that each of the leg structures 4 consists of four legs 14 each of which has an upper end 15 which is an open hollow tube. Each leg structure 4 is preferably provided with four cross braces 10 which are each Welded between a pair of the legs 14 and which provide a convenient hanging rail for the curtain 3. The upper end 15 of each of the legs 14 engages with a corresponding cylindrical boss 12 which will be described An approximately hexagonal locking plate 17 has six spaced apart apertures 18, each of which is able to pass over the leg upper end 15, and is pivotally mounted at one of each pair of opposite corners of each of the floor components 5. It will be seen from Fig. 3 that a fastener 19 passes through the locking plate 17 and into the floor component 5, but does not clamp the locking plate 17. So the locking plate 17 is free to pivot about the fastener 19 as an axis.

As seen in Fig. 4, the apertures 18, which are conveniently designated 18A-18F respectively, are arranged so that with the locking plate 17 swung into the position illustrated in broken lines in Fig. 4, the apertures 18B and 18C are aligned with two of the cylindrical bosses 12 respectively. The cylindrical bosses 12 in Fig. 4 are aligned because the corresponding floor components 5 are abutted as illustrated in Fig. 4. With the plate 17 swung into the position illustrated in broken lines in Fig. 4, it is then possible for the two floor components illustrated in Fig. 4 to be lowered onto the upper ends 15 of the corresponding leg structures. Thus the cylindrical bosses 12 of Fig. 4 enter the upper ends 15 of the legs as illustrated in Fig. 5 so as to adopt the inter-engaged position illustrated in Fig. 3. It will be appreciated in this connection that the locking plate 17 of Figs. 4 and 5, because of the positioning of the apertures 18B and 18C, maintains the adjacent floor components 5 and leg structures 4 locked together and unable to move relative to each other. In addition, the weight of the floor components 5 and of any persons or furniture supported by the floor components 5, maintains this locking inter-engagement.

Turning now to Figs. 6 and 7, it will be seen that the floor component 5 is provided with an injection moulded peripheral bead 25 which is preferably fabricated utilizing the techniques disclosed in the present applicant's International Patent Application No. PCT/AU2010/000296 (published under WO 2010/118456) the contents of which are hereby incorporated into the present specification for all purposes. The peripheral bead 25 is preferably fabricated from polyurethane and, in addition to providing a tough hardwearing edge to each of the floor components 5, is expanded in each corner of the floor component so as to provide the cylindrical boss 12 and also an Preferably, as illustrated in Figs. 1, 2, 4, and 5, the bead 25 and the edges of the floor components 5 are provided with castellations 28 to provide a degree of intermeshing or interlocking between adjacent edge abutting floor components 5. This interlocking aspect assists in ensuring that each floor component 5 is correctly positioned relative to the adjacent floor components during assembly.

As seen in Fig. 8, each leg structure 4 has four cross-braces 10 and four legs 14 which each have a lower end 16 which receives a cylindrical tip 30 sized to slide into the hollow leg 14. The tip 30 is provided with a central collar 31 to limit the degree of insertion of the tip 30 within the lower end 16 of the legs 14. In addition, as indicated in Fig. 8, the tip 30 is also able to be received by the upper end 15 of a lower one of any pair of leg structures 4 so that in this manner the height of stacked leg structures 4 can be adjusted so as to produce the multi-tiering effect illustrated in Fig. 1.

Returning now to Fig. 2, it will be seen that there are four leg structures 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D which support four corresponding floor components 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D respectively. In addition, as each floor component 5 has two locking plates 17 located at opposite corners, so there are eight locking plates 17A-17H respectively illustrated in Fig. 2.

It will be seen that locking plate 17A has the upper end of four legs retained in apertures 18A, 18C, 18D and 18E whilst apertures 18B and 18F are empty. Thus it will be appreciated that locking plate 17A interconnects all four of the leg structures 4A-4D.

Locking plate 17B is swung away so as to be disengaged from any leg and so too are locking plates 17D and 17G. Locking plate 17C is swung into a position so as to engage apertures 18B and 18C with legs of leg structures 4D and 4A respectively. Locking plate 17F is similarly arranged. Locking plate 17E is pivoted into a position so as to retain legs from leg structures 4B and 4A in apertures 18E and 18F respectively. Locking plate 17H is similarly arranged. It will be apparent to those skilled in the furniture arts that the locking plate 17 provides a quick and easy means of inter-engaging the leg structures 4 and thereby together with the cylindrical bosses 12 providing an interlocking inter-engagement between the floor components 5 and leg structures 4 which provides great stability and rigidity to the entire stage 1. Furthermore, the locking plates 17 are easily swung into and out of position and the correct position is intuitively apparent because of the position of the apertures 18. As a consequence, the stage 1 can be erected by personnel who have not previously received any detailed training in stage erection procedures. The foregoing describes only one embodiment of the present invention and modifications, obvious to those skilled in the art, can be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, the floor components 5 instead of being square, as illustrated, can be triangular, for example in the shape of an equilateral triangle in which case the leg structures 4 are similarly triangular rather than square. Under these circumstances, a central locking plate such as locking plate 17A of Fig. 2 is provided with sufficient apertures to simultaneously lock six leg upper ends 15.

In addition, the underside of the floor components 5 can be provided with small spaced apart downwardly directed bosses which can directly contact the upper edge of the cross braces 10. In this way loads from the floor can be transmitted at locations other than the floor corners. This reduces the compliance (or "springiness") of the stage floor. 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 '.