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United States Patent Application 20190021178
Kind Code A1
Zumbek; Kevin M. January 17, 2019

Faux Column Intermediate Distribution Frame Enclosure

Abstract

A vertical column assembly including an intermediate distribution frame enclosure with an internal structure. The vertical column assembly also includes side panels, door assemblies, and a top cover assembly. The internal structure is hidden by the side panels, the door assemblies, and the top cover assembly. The vertical column assembly encases the network equipment installed within the internal structure.


Inventors: Zumbek; Kevin M.; (Chicago, IL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Panduit Corp.

Tinley Park

IL

US
Assignee: Panduit Corp.
Tinley Park
IL

Family ID: 1000003505663
Appl. No.: 16/028506
Filed: July 6, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62532479Jul 14, 2017

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: H05K 5/0004 20130101; H05K 5/0213 20130101; H05K 7/18 20130101; H05K 7/20736 20130101; H05K 5/0239 20130101; H05K 7/1488 20130101
International Class: H05K 5/00 20060101 H05K005/00; H05K 5/02 20060101 H05K005/02; H05K 7/14 20060101 H05K007/14; H05K 7/20 20060101 H05K007/20; H05K 7/18 20060101 H05K007/18

Claims



1. A vertical column assembly for supporting cabling and active network equipment, the vertical column assembly comprising: an intermediate distribution frame enclosure with an internal structure; side panels; door assemblies; and a top cover assembly; wherein the internal structure is hidden by the side panels, the door assemblies, and the top cover assembly.

2. The vertical column assembly of claim 1, wherein the internal structure includes a support frame assembly with mounting brackets attached at corners of the support frame assembly; wherein the side panels are attached to the mounting brackets.

3. The vertical column assembly of claim 2, wherein the door assemblies include door hinges secured to one of the mounting brackets and a main body with perforated vents to ventilate heat generated by the network equipment.

4. The vertical column assembly of claim 3, wherein the main body of the door assemblies include end braces, middle braces, and rubber bumpers for preventing over rotation of the door assemblies.

5. The vertical column assembly of claim 3, wherein the door assemblies further comprising an exhaust fan secured to the main body, the exhaust fan evacuates the hot air generated by the network equipment.

6. The vertical column assembly of claim 1, wherein the top cover assembly includes an entry hole for the cabling and a brushed pass through assembly positioned over the entry hole for blocking airflow around the cabling.

7. The vertical column assembly of claim 2, wherein the support frame assembly further comprising rack side weldments, vertical rails, horizontal rails, and tie brackets.

8. The vertical column assembly of claim 7, wherein the rack side weldments allow the vertical rails to translate forward and backward to allow adjustable positioning of the horizontal rails.

9. The vertical column assembly of claim 7, wherein the support frame assembly includes mount areas defined by the horizontal rails and the vertical rails for receiving the network equipment in a vertical orientation.

10. The vertical column assembly of claim 2, wherein the internal structure further comprising a vertical panel support extending a height of the internal structure and lower panel supports extending a width of the internal structure.

11. The vertical column assembly of claim 10, wherein the side panels are adhered to the top cover assembly, the vertical panel supports, the lower panel supports, and the support frame assembly with an adhesive foam tape for preventing audible vibration.

12. The vertical column assembly of claim 11, wherein the vertical panel supports and the lower panel supports provide rigidity to the side panels enabling the side panels to maintain their flat shape and to achieve sufficient strength.

13. The vertical column assembly of claim 1, further comprising at least one vertical extension for hiding a full length of the cabling.

14. The vertical column assembly of claim 13, wherein the at least one vertical extension has a hollow rectangular shell, an upper receiving area that extends a perimeter of the shell, and a lower projection that extends a perimeter of the shell.

15. The vertical column assembly of claim 14, wherein the lower projection is secured to the intermediate distribution frame enclosure.

16. An enclosure assembly for encasing network equipment installed in an intermediate distribution frame within an office workspace, the enclosure assembly comprising: an intermediate distribution frame enclosure with an internal structure having network equipment mounted therein; wherein the internal structure has at a least one mounting bracket positioned at a corner of the internal structure; at least one door assembly mounted to the at least one mounting bracket, wherein the at least one door assembly has a perforated vent to ventilate heat generated by the network equipment; side panels mounted to the internal structure; and a top cover assembly covering a top of the internal structure.

17. The enclosure assembly of claim 16, wherein the network equipment is mounted vertically in the internal structure, whereby the network equipment is enclosed for sound isolation.

18. The enclosure assembly of claim 16, wherein the door assembly having a main body and door hinges secured to one of the mounting brackets.

19. The enclosure assembly of claim 18, wherein the main body of the door assemblies including end braces, middle braces, and rubber bumpers for preventing over rotation of the door assemblies.

20. The enclosure assembly of claim 16, wherein the top cover assembly includes an entry hole for the cabling and a brushed pass through assembly positioned over the entry hole for blocking airflow around the cabling.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/532,479, filed Jul. 14, 2017, the subject matter of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to an enclosure, and more particularly, to an enclosure for encasing and securing rack mountable equipment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Large buildings typically employ a zone cabling layout for the Local Area Network (LAN). In this layout, end user devices are cabled through an Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF) before connecting to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF). An IDF can be an open rack installed in a local telecommunication closet or an enclosure that is hidden within a drop ceiling or under a raised floor. An IDF may encase active equipment, therefore the IDF is required to allow for sufficient ventilation.

[0004] Some office environments lack a raised floor and drop ceiling, or have a drop ceiling with limited space, or have limited floor space to accommodate a telecommunications closet. It may also be preferable to have networking equipment installed in a more accessible area other than the floor or ceiling. Current solutions exist for housing and connecting cabling and active networking equipment within the office area or workspace. The current solutions include free standing cabinets or wall mounted cabinets. The free-standing cabinet and wall mount cabinets are bulky, do not isolate unwanted noise, and do not integrate well with the aesthetics or architectural design of an office interior.

[0005] Many office environments hide electrical cabling, plumbing, or other building infrastructure components within faux vertical columns. These columns are typically constructed of drywall or wood and may not allow easy access to the components inside. The current faux vertical columns are not designed to house active networking equipment due to a lack of ventilation and an access door.

[0006] It would be desirable to provide an enclosure that supports zone LAN cabling and active networking equipment that has a smaller footprint and a more disguised appearance than current free-standing cabinets and wall mounts cabinets. It would be desirable to provide a faux vertical column with ventilation, locking access doors, sound isolation, and standard mounting rails to employ an enclosed IDF within an office workspace.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] A vertical column assembly including an intermediate distribution frame enclosure with an internal structure that supports cabling and active network equipment. The vertical column assembly includes side panels, door assemblies and a top cover assembly. The internal structure is hidden by the side panels, the door assemblies, and the top cover assembly.

[0008] An enclosure assembly that encases network equipment installed in an intermediate distribution frame within an office workspace. The enclosure assembly includes an intermediate distribution frame enclosure with an internal structure having network equipment mounted therein. The internal structure has at least one mounting bracket positioned at a corner of the internal structure. The enclosure assembly also includes at least one door assembly, side panels mounted to the internal structure, and a top cover assembly covering a top of the internal structure. The door assembly is mounted to the at least one mounting bracket. That door assembly includes a perforated vent to ventilate heat generate by the network equipment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a trimetric view of a faux column IDF enclosure and vertical extensions of the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the faux column IDF enclosure and vertical extensions of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 3 is a trimetric view of the faux column IDF enclosure of FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 4 is a partially exploded view of the faux column IDF enclosure of FIG. 3 with the side panels and doors removed.

[0013] FIG. 5 is a partially detailed view of the internal structure of FIG. 4.

[0014] FIG. 6 is a partially exploded view of the internal structure of FIG. 4.

[0015] FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the support frame assembly of FIG. 6.

[0016] FIG. 8 is a front view of the support frame assembly of FIG. 6.

[0017] FIG. 9 is a detailed view of the horizontal rail of the support frame assembly of FIG. 8.

[0018] FIG. 10 is a front view of the door assembly of the faux column IDF enclosure of FIG. 3.

[0019] FIG. 11 is a rear view of the door assembly of FIG. 10.

[0020] FIG. 12 is a top view of the top cover assembly of the faux column IDF enclosure of FIG. 3.

[0021] FIG. 13 is an exploded top view of the top cover assembly of FIG. 12.

[0022] FIG. 14 is a rear view of the enclosure of FIG. 3 with the door assembly in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] FIG. 1 illustrates a column 20 that includes a network cable bundle 30, vertical extensions 50, and a faux column IDF enclosure 100. FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the column. The network cable bundle 30 passes through the vertical extensions 50 before entering the top of the faux column IDF enclosure 100. The vertical extensions 50 hide the network cable bundle 30. The vertical extensions 50 are stackable and can be used in any non-limiting quantity, including none, as needed to extend to the ceiling and hide the full vertical length of the network cable bundle 30.

[0024] Each vertical extension 50 is a hollow rectangular shell 60 with an upper indentation or receiving area 62 and a lower projection 64 that extend the perimeter of the shell 60. The lowest projection 64 is secured to the faux column IDF enclosure 100 with bolts (not shown). The remainder of the column 20 is created by stacking one vertical extension 50 at a time, as needed. Threaded rods (not shown) secure the uppermost vertical extension 50 to the ceiling to provide stability to the column 20, as necessary.

[0025] The outer appearance of the vertical extensions 50 matches the faux column IDF enclosure 100 to provide a column 20 with continuous lines throughout the height of the column 20.

[0026] FIG. 3 illustrates the faux column IDF enclosure 100 with side panels 102, door assemblies 104 and a top cover assembly 106. The side panels 102, door assemblies 104, and vertical extensions 50 may be painted to match the aesthetics of the office interior. The side panels 102 do not present any lines, bends, or holes on the side surface of the faux column IDF enclosure 100 to contribute to a plain and flat appearance.

[0027] FIG. 4 illustrates the faux column IDF enclosure 100 with the side panels 102 and the door assemblies 104 being removed to illustrate the internal structure 108 of the faux column IDF enclosure 100. The internal structure 108 is hidden from view which contributes to the plain appearance of the faux column IDF enclosure 100. The internal structure 108 contains network equipment 200 that is mounted vertically. The network equipment 200 is completely enclosed by the side panels 102, the door assemblies 104, the top cover assembly 106, and the room floor to isolate the noise.

[0028] FIG. 5 is a detailed view of the bottom section of the internal structure 108 of FIG. 4. The internal structure 108 includes a support frame assembly 110 with left mounting brackets 112 and right mounting brackets 116 attached at the corners of the support frame assembly 110. The internal structure 108 also includes vertical panel supports 120 extending the height of the internal structure 108 and lower panel supports 122 extending the width of the internal structure 108. FIG. 6 illustrates the support frame assembly 110 with the left mounting bracket 112, the right mounting bracket 116, the vertical panel supports 120 and the lower panel supports 122 removed.

[0029] The side panels 102 are secured to the left and right mounting brackets 112, 116, respectively, with screws (not illustrated). The attachment points of the side panels 102 are hidden from view when the door assemblies 104 are in the closed position to contribute to a plain exterior appearance. The side panels 102 are also adhered to the top cover assembly 106, vertical panel supports 120, lower panel supports 122 and the support frame assembly 110 via adhesive foam tape to prevent audible vibration and eliminate the need for welding. Vertical panel supports 120 and lower panels supports 122 provide rigidity to the side panels 102 when adhered enabling the side panels 102 to maintain their flat shape and achieve sufficient strength without adding visible bends or other features that would compromise their plain appearance.

[0030] FIG. 7 illustrates an exploded view of the support frame assembly 110. The support frame assembly 110 includes rack side weldments 124, a left vertical rail 126, a right vertical rail 130, horizontal rails 134, and tie brackets 140. The support frame assembly 110 rests on the floor and is secured via bolts (not illustrated) through holes 142 in the tie brackets 140.

[0031] FIG. 8 illustrates the front of an assembled support frame assembly 110. The support frame assembly 110 includes a number of equipment mounting areas 144. FIG. 9 is a detailed view of one of the horizontal rails 134 of the support frame assembly 110 with a plurality of clearance holes or mounting holes 136 which are spaced per the vertical hole spacing standard of EIA-310. FIG. 9 also illustrates the left vertical rail 126 and the right vertical rail 130 with a plurality of threaded holes 128, 132, respectively, which are also spaced per the vertical hole spacing standard of EIA-310. The clearance holes 136 of the horizontal rail 134 align with the plurality of threaded holes 128, 132 in the left and right vertical rails 126, 130, respectively. Screws (not illustrated) attach the horizontal rails 134 to the left and right vertical rails 126, 130.

[0032] Each horizontal rail 134 includes a plurality of cage nut holes 138 which are also spaced per the vertical hole spacing standard of EIA-310. As a result, the left and right vertical rails 126, 130 support rack-mountable equipment 200 vertically, at a right angle to the intended, typical equipment mounting orientation. The vertical distance between the cage nut holes 138 and the clearance holes 136 allows multiple identical horizontal rails 134 to attach along the left vertical rail 126 and the right vertical rail 130 such that the vertical spacing of opposing cage nut holes 138 on adjacent horizontal rails 134 equals the EIA-310 rail to rail spacing standard (18.312 inches, center to center). The quantity of cage nut holes 138 allows for 6 rack mount units (RU) of capacity (per EIA-310) within each equipment mounting area 144, totaling 18 RU capacity for the faux column IDF enclosure 100.

[0033] The vertical orientation of network equipment 200 allows rack side weldments 124 to be spaced closer together horizontally than typical four-posts racks. The existing rack side weldments 124 allow left vertical rail 126 and right vertical rail 130 to translate forward and backward thus allowing the position of horizontal rails 134 to be adjusted by the end user by translating all connected rail components as a singular unit.

[0034] FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate the door assembly 104. The door assembly 104 includes a main body 150 with perforated vents 152, a door hinge 154, and keyed cam-latches 156. The inside of the main body 150 of the door includes end braces 158, middle braces 160, and rubber bumpers 162. The door hinge 154 attaches with screws to either left mounting bracket 112 or right mounting bracket 116 by rotating the door assembly 104 180 degrees to allow the main body 150 to swing open in the direction desired by the end user. The left mounting brackets 112 and the right mounting brackets 116 have slots 114, 118, respectively, that are engaged by keyed cam-latches 156 to hold the door assembly 104 in the closed position when mounted in either orientation. Rubber bumpers 162 contact support frame assembly 110 while door assembly 104 is in the closed positioned to prevent over rotation of the door hinge 154 while the door is closed and to prevent audible vibration.

[0035] FIGS. 12-13 illustrate the top cover assembly 106 of the faux column IDF enclosure 100. The top cover assembly 106 includes a top cover panel 170 and a brushed pass through assembly 174. The top cover panel 170 includes a centered entry hole 172. The entry hole 172 is designed to receive the brushed pass through assembly 174. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a cable bundle 30 passes through the brushed pass-through assembly 174 and through the entry hole 172 in the top cover panel 170 to enter the faux column IDF enclosure 100. The brushed pass through assembly 174 blocks air flow around the cable bundle 30 so air flow can only enter or exit the faux column IDF enclosure 100 through the perforated vents 152.

[0036] FIG. 14 illustrates the faux column IDF enclosure 100 with the rear door assembly 104 opened. An exhaust fan 164 is secured to the rear door main body 150 to evacuate the hot air generated by the network equipment 200 out of the faux column IDF enclosure 100 through the upper perforated vent 152. Cooler air enters the faux column IDF enclosure 100 through the perforated vents 152 on the front door assembly 104 and the remaining perforated vent 152 on the rear door assembly 104.

[0037] The vertical standing lockable faux column IDF enclosure of the present invention encases and secures rack-mountable networking equipment and network cabling while ventilating the heat generated by the equipment. The networking equipment is vertically mounted inside the faux column IDF enclosure to allow for a smaller overall width as compared to existing rack and cabinet products. The faux column IDF enclosure resembles a rectangular building column with a plain, flat, and rectangular appearance having minimal lines and features visible from the exterior.

[0038] Furthermore, while the particular preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the teaching of the invention. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only and not as limitation.

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