Office furniture abstract
An improved, multifunction office furniture system having a novel
interlocking connecting mechanism which permits the easy assembly
of a variety of different structural components in a variety of
different configurations to form highly efficient work areas. The
system includes uniquely configured, vertical support columns to
which a number of different types of structural components can be
quickly and easily connected and provides a highly versatile work
station system which is very attractive, is easy to assembly, disassemble
and adjust, and yet, is structurally sound and durable in use. Because
of its novel construction, the system is capable of readily accommodating
changing work conditions in the users' facilities.
Office furniture claims
1. A desk system comprising: (a) a support assembly comprising
first and second interconnected hollow segments, each said segment
having a central axis, first and second opposing side walls, a front
wall connected to said first and second side walls via wall connecting
portions and a back wall connected to said first and second side
walls with the distal end of each tongue extending away from each
other and to form segments that are generally octagonal shaped in
cross section each of said front, back and side walls including:
(i) a central portion; (ii) first and second spaced-apart marginal
portions; and (iii) first and second grooves disposed between said
central portion and said marginal portions; (b) a first structural
panel connected to and extending from a selected one of said front,
back and side walls of said first segment, said structural panel
having a pair of spaced-apart tongues with the distal end of each
tongue extending away from each other and slidably receivable within
said first and second grooves provided in said selected wall; (c)
a first divider panel connected to and extending from a selected
one of said front, back and side walls of said second segment, said
first divider panel, having a pair of spaced-apart tongues slidably
receivable within said first and second grooves provided in the
said selected wall of said second segment; and (d) segment connector
means disposed interiorly of said support assembly for connecting
together said first and second segments.
2. A system as defined in claim 1 in which said segment connector
means comprises: (a) a first internally threaded cinch nut disposed
within said first segment; (b) a second internally threaded cinch
nut disposed within said second segment; and (c) a threaded rod
interconnected with and spanning said first and second cinch nuts.
3. A system as defined in claim 1 in which said connector means
comprises an elongated stiffener telescopically received within
said first and second hollow segments.
4. A system as defined in claim 1 in which said first structural
panel comprises: (a) a pair of spaced-apart end connector members
each having spaced-apart tongues slidably receivable within said
first and second grooves provided in a selected one of said front,
back and side walls; (b) a first structural beam connected to and
spanning said end connector members; and (c) a first spanner member
connected to and spanning said end connector members.
5. A system as defined in claim 1 further including a ground engaging
leg assembly removably connected to said first segment of said support
assembly, said leg assembly comprising: (a) a first side member
connected to a selected front, back and side walls of said first
segment, said first side member having a pair of spaced-apart tongues
slidably receivable with said first and second spaced apart grooves
provided in said selected front, back and side walls; and (b) a
second side member connected to a selected front, back and side
walls, said second member having a pair of spaced-apart tongues
slidably receivable within said first and second spaced-apart grooves
provided in said selected front, back and side walls.
6. A system as defined in claim 5 in which said leg assembly further
includes: (a) a first stabilizer member connected to and extending
from said first side member; and (b) a second stabilizer member
connected to and extending from said second side member.
7. A system as defined in claim 1 in which said first side member
has a plurality of vertically spaced slots formed therein and in
which said desk system further includes a bracket for supporting
a work surface, said bracket having a plurality of spaced-apart
tabs receivable within said vertically spaced slots.
Office furniture description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to office furniture. More
particularly, the invention concerns an improved, multifunction
office furniture system having a novel interlocking connecting mechanism
which permits the easy assembly of a variety of different structural
components in a variety of different configurations to form highly
efficient work areas.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
Office furniture systems that exhibit superior structural characteristics
and which exhibit flexibility and interchangeability among the parts
to create multi-purpose and multi-function work stations are in
wide demand for many institutional applications. Entities having
great need for such office systems include schools, hotels, business
offices, and various governmental entities. Particularly in demand
are flexible office systems that are easily altered to fit the work
environment and meet the work requirements.
While many types of office systems have been suggested in the past,
a typical drawback of such office systems is lack of flexibility
to fit the space allowed for the work environment requiring the
work environment to fit the office system. As a general rule, when
the prior art furniture designers have attempted to overcome this
limitation in prior art designs, such designs lack the structural
strength and flexibilty to meet the work requirements.
The prior art systems typically use a variety of different arrangements
to interconnect together desk tops, cabinets, files and other structural
components to form variously configured work stations. Exemplary
of a typical prior art adjustable desk system is that described
in U.S. Pat. No. 5544593 issued Canfield et. al. The Canfield
patent discloses a basic superstructure that permits various cantilever
supports to be connected thereto for supporting desk tops, pedestals
and the like so that the various components can be adjusted relative
to one another. The basic Canfield superstructure also permits back
to back mounting of cabinets, desk tops and like components to provide
separated work spaces.
Another prior art desk system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5038539
issued to Kelly et. al. This later patent describes a work space
management system for dividing an open work space into separate,
discrete work areas. The Kelly et al system includes a wall system
having a framework formed of rigid rectangular frames joined together
at their edges to form the defined work areas. The Kelly et al patent
also discloses various wire management components which are secured
to the frames for routing communication and power wiring.
A drawback of many of the prior art adjustable desk systems resides
in the fact that the systems are generally quite complex, are often
ergonomically unsound and, while often providing for adjustability
of some components, fail to provide the overall convenience and
flexibility required by modem computer intensive offices. In this
connection, the constantly changing technology and the rapid emergence
of computer networking systems have created an ever increasing demand
for easily adaptable office furniture. Additionally, because of
increases in repetitive stress injuries, there is a great demand
for systems of the aforementioned character which offer ergonomic
features that effectively guard against stress injury.
As will be discussed in detail in the paragraphs which follow,
the desk system of the present invention overcomes many of the drawbacks
of prior art systems by providing a system which is of a simple,
ergonomically sound design and yet has great versatility. The system
of the present invention is not only practical in use but provides
an extremely attractive, structurally sound, free-standing work-area
defining unit which is ideally suited for modem office complexes.
The system is easy to assemble and disassemble by relatively unskilled
workers and is uniquely designed to provide a safe and productive
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel office
system construction that is ideally suited for use in schools, hotels,
business offices, and governmental offices, and similar commercial
Another object of the present invention is to provide a flexible
construction for an office system that will permit the user to fit
the office system to the work environment rather than fitting the
work environment to the office system.
Another object of the invention is to provide a highly versatile
work station system which is very attractive, is easy to assemble,
disassemble and adjust, and yet, is structurally sound and durable
Another object of the invention is to provide a system of the character
described which is capable of readily accommodating changing work
conditions in the users facilities.
Another object of the invention is to provide a fully adjustable,
highly versatile work station system which includes a number of
ergonomic features which provide a safe and productive work environment.
Another object of the invention is to provide a desk system which
includes uniquely configured, vertical support columns to which
a number of different types of structural components can be quickly
and easily connected.
Another object of the invention is to provide a system of the character
described in the preceding paragraph which is specially designed
to eliminate under work surface obstacles.
Another object of the invention is to provide an adjustable desk
system that includes a novel cable management systems which enables
effective cable management within the structural components of the
apparatus so that the cables are well protected from damage and
yet are easily accessible so as to provide a wide range of electrical
and communication capabilities.
Another object of the invention is to provide a desk system of
the class described that is designed for ease and speed of installation
and is readily adjustable into various configurations using a number
of different types of readily interchangeable components.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a generally perspective view of one form of the desk
system of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a generally perspective, exploded view illustrating the
manner by which certain of the components, such as the divider panels
of the system, are releasably interconnected with one of the novel
vertical support columns of the apparatus.
FIG. 3 is a generally perspective, exploded view similar to FIG.
2 illustrating the manner by which the outwardly extending side
members of the leg assembly of the desk system are releasably interconnected
with one of the novel vertical support columns of the apparatus.
FIG. 4 is a generally perspective, exploded view similar to FIGS.
2 and 3 illustrating the manner of interconnection of the structural
panels of the system with one of the novel vertical support columns
of the apparatus.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of one of the novel vertical support
columns of the apparatus and a portion of one of the angularly extending
attachment brackets that can be engaged into incremental notches
formed in the corners of the support columns.
FIG. 6 is a generally perspective view of a closure shroud element
which is receivable within radially outwardly extending grooves
formed in each of the vertical support columns.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a stiffener element of the
character used to interconnect together two or more lengths of the
support columns of the invention.
FIG. 8 is a generally perspective, exploded view illustrating the
manner of interconnection of several of the different component
parts of the desk system with longitudinally spaced apart vertical
support columns of the character shown in FIGS. 2 through 5.
FIG. 9 is a generally perspective, exploded view illustrating the
manner of interconnection of the wing-like side members of the leg
assemblies and the floor engaging, stabilizing members of the leg
assembly with an elongated connector element that permits interconnection
of the leg assemblies with a selected one of the vertical support
columns of the invention.
FIG. 10 is a generally perspective, exploded view of one form of
the structural panel of the desk system.
FIG. 11 is a generally perspective, exploded view of one form of
the connector means of the invention which is used to interconnect
first and second lengths or segments of the vertical support columns.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view showing the wing-like
sides of the leg assembly interconnected with one of the vertical
support columns and also illustrating the column segment connector
means of the invention including the stiffener element shown in
FIG. 7 which is disposed internally of the vertical support column.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 8
one form of the desk system of the present invention is there illustrated.
As best seen in FIG. 1 one embodiment of the desk system comprises
four identical, individual work stations 12 which are interconnected
in a back-to-back relationship to provide a free standing array.
Each of the four work stations 12 includes a generally horizontally
extending first work surface 14 and a second elevated work surface
16. The back edges 14a and 14b and 16a and 16b of each of the work
surfaces 14 and 16 extend at right angles to one another and the
front edges of each of the work surfaces are curved in the manner
shown in FIG. 1 to permit ergonomically desirable access to the
work surfaces by one or two persons using the work station.
One end of work surface 14 is supported by a storage unit 18 which
includes a plurality of slidably mounted, stacked drawers 20. The
other, or right edge of work surface 14 as viewed in FIG. 1 is supported
by one of the novel leg assembly of the invention generally designated
in FIG. 1 the numeral 22. This novel leg support assembly 22 includes
a pair of outwardly extending, floor engaging stabilizer members
24 and a pair of wing-like side members 30 which are connected to
central support 27 in a manner presently to be discussed.
A key aspect of the desk system of the present invention is the
previously mentioned support member or column 27 which has the unique
cross-sectional configuration shown in FIGS. 2 through 5 of the
drawings. This novel support is used in several key locations in
the system configuration shown in FIG. 1. For example, the central
support column is used in the previously identified leg assembly
22 in a somewhat similar leg assembly 22a disposed at the left
end of the work station as viewed in FIG. 1 and in an intermediate
location where the leg assembly is designated as 22b. This highly
novel support column not only functions to support the work surfaces
of the system, but also functions to support plurality of laterally
extending and longitudinally extending structural panels 32 which
are disposed below the work surface 14. Additionally, the novel
support columns support a plurality of longitudinally and laterally
extending divider panels 34 which are disposed above the work surface.
Divider panels 34 function to separate the four back-to-back work
stations in the manner illustrated in FIG. 1.
The lower structural panels 32 which are of a unique construction
presently to be described, provide structural integrity to the array
and extend generally perpendicularly outwardly from the walls of
support columns 27 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4. For
example, several lateral structural panels extend from column 27
of leg assembly 22 while several longitudinal structural panels
extend from column 27 of leg assembly 22a (FIG. 1). Similarly, a
lateral divider panel extends from an upper column segment 27a of
leg assembly 22 while a longitudinal divider panel extends from
an upper column segment 27a of leg assembly 22a. At least one of
the longitudinally extending structural support panels, (designated
in FIG. 8 by the numeral 33), comprises a wire management control
panel. This novel wire support panel 33 includes a tray-like member
33a which functions to support and separate electrical cables and
the like which can be connected to conventional floor outlet 35
and then introduced into the interior of a selected one or more
of the support columns 27 and the structural panels 32a. The cables
can also be connected to a ceiling outlet and run downwardly through
stacked column segments.
Another novel feature of the desk system of the present invention
comprises the column segment connector means which functions to
connect together first and second lengths or segments of support
columns 27. For example, as shown in FIG. 8 the previously identified
lower support columns 27 can be interconnected with upper support
columns designated in FIG. 8 as 27a to conveniently extend the overall
height of the support column. For example, the novel segment connector
means, the details of which will presently be described, can be
used to securely interconnect lower segments 27 with upper segments
27a so that the upper segments 27a can rigidly support the longitudinally
extending divider panels 34 in the manner indicated in FIGS. 1 and
As also indicated in FIG. 8 certain of the wing-like, side members
30 can be provided with vertically spaced-apart slots 39 which are
adapted to receive outwardly extending cantilever type support members
40 which can, where desired, function to support outward extending,
auxiliary work surfaces such as the work surface identified in FIG.
8 by the numeral 42.
Turning next to FIGS. 2 through 5 the details of construction
of the important central support members or columns 27 and 27a of
the invention are there illustrated. As best seen in FIG. 5 the
columns are generally octagonal shaped in cross section with each
of the support members 27 having a central axis 46 first and second
opposing side walls 48 and 50 respectively. Front and back walls
52 and 54 are integrally formed with or otherwise connected to side
walls 48 and 50 by wall connecting portions in the manner best seen
in FIG. 3. Each of the front, back and side walls includes a central
portion 56 and first and second spaced-apart marginal portions 58.
Disposed between the central portions and the marginal portions
of each of the walls are first and second generally coplanar grooves
generally designated in the drawings by the numeral 60. Each of
the marginal portions 58 of each of the side walls 48 and 50 includes
a first edge 62. Similarly, each of the marginal portions 58 of
each of the front and back walls 54 and 52 includes a second edge
64 (FIG. 3). Disposed between-each of the edges 62 and 64 is a corner
groove 67 which extends generally radially outwardly from central
axis 46 of the support column. These radially outwardly extending
grooves 67 are closed by back walls which are provided with spaced-apart
slots 67a (FIG. 2). Slots 67a are adapted to receive engagement
fingers 150a of cantilevered supports 150 which are of the same
general character as those shown in FIG. 8 and can be used to support
auxiliary work surfaces such as shelves.
A unique feature of the desk system of the present invention resides
in the fact that each of the components which is interconnected
with the columns 27 includes a specially configured connector strip
which is provided with a pair of spaced-apart tongues that are slidably
receivable within grooves 60 provided in each of the support column
segments 27 and 27a. Grooves 60 are substantially coplanar and reside
within a plane generally parallel to the plane of central portions
56. This novel feature permits the various components of the desk
system to be quickly and easily interconnected with and removed
from the various spaced-apart support columns 27 which provide vertical
support to the components of the assembled array. More particularly,
as can best be seen by referring to FIG. 2 each of the divider
panels 34 includes a uniquely configured connector member 70 which
is provided with spaced-apart tongues 70a. As indicated in FIG.
2 tongues 70a are slidably receivable within selected grooves 60
provided in the support column 27a. As indicated in FIG. 2 connector
member 70 is, in turn, adapted to be interconnected along its length
with a selected divider panel 34 by any suitable means such as threaded
connector or the like. It is apparent that with this construction,
selected panels 34 can be quickly and easily removably interconnected
with any one of the support columns 27a to construct the arrays
shown in FIGS. 1 and 8.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 12 it is to be noted that
each of the wing-like side members 30 which form the previously
identified leg assemblies 22 22a and 22b include a specially configured
connector member 74 which includes spaced-apart, substantially coplanar
tongues 74a and 74b which are slidably receivable within substantially
coplanar grooves 60 provided in the support column 27 shown in FIG.
3. In this latter case, connector member 74 is also provided with
a pair of grooves 74c which slidably accept spaced-apart tongues
76 formed proximate the in-board ends of wing-like members 30. Connector
member 74 further includes a pair of substantially coplanar grooves
74d which are disposed proximate tongues 74a and 74b and are constructed
and arranged to receive marginal portions 58 of the side walls.
Turning to FIGS. 4 and 10 it can be seen that, in similar fashion,
each of the structural panels 32 and 33 of the invention include
novel end plates 80 each of which is provided with a pair of spaced-apart
tongues 80a which are slidably receivable within grooves 60 formed
in the side walls 48 and 50 of the various spaced-apart support
columns which are spanned by the structural support panels 32 in
the manner shown in FIG. 8. Once again, it is apparent that with
the novel construction of the structural panels as is shown in FIGS.
4 6 and 10 the panels can be readily interconnected with spaced-apart
support columns 27 in the manner shown in FIG. 8 to provide a high
degree of structural integrity to the desk system arrays shown in
FIGS. 1 and 8. It is also to be understood that the wire management
panels such as panel 33 also includes connector members 80 provided
at each end thereof which connector members are also slidably receivable
within grooves 60 provided in the spaced-apart support columns which
function to support the wire management panels.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 4 and 10 each of the structural
panels 32 can be seen to comprise, in addition to end connector
assemblies 80 first and second uniquely configured structural beams
84 and 86 which are connected to and span spaced-apart end connectors
80. Structural beams 84 and 86 are generally mushroom shaped in
cross-section so as to resist bending forces exerted on the members
and each includes laterally spaced-apart, tab-receiving openings
87a and 87b (FIG. 10). Openings 87a and 87b are adapted to closely
telescopically receive tab-like protuberances 80a and 80b formed
proximate the upper and lower ends of each connector member 80.
Connected proximate to each end of beams 84 are 86 are connector
blocks 88 each of which has spaced-apart screw receiving openings
88a which are sized to receive connector means shown here as a plurality
of thread forming metal screws 89 (FIG. 10). Thread forming metal
screws 89 extend through openings 91 formed in each of the end plates
80 and are threadably received within the screw receiving channels
88a formed in connector blocks 88. With the construction thus described,
when tabs 80a and 80b of end connectors 80 are inserted into openings
87a, and 87b, provided in each of the structural beams 84 the assemblage
thus formed can be securely drawn together and locked in position
relative to the end plates by threading the thread forming screws
89 into the screw receiving channels 88a provided in each of the
connector blocks 88. It is to be understood that rivets can also
be used as connectors to connect blocks 88 to end plates 80. After
the end connectors 80 have been securely interconnected with the
structural beams and the connector blocks, the assemblage thus formed
is covered by first and second side closure panels 96 and 98 so
as to enclose therebetween the spanner members and the connector
Also forming a part of each of the structural panels 32 are locking
means for locking the end connectors 80 in a fixed position relative
to the structural supports 27 from which they extend in the manner
shown in FIG. 8. These locking means are here provided in the form
of a spring loaded locking mechanism 100 which comprises a supporting
bracket 102 which is connected to connectors 80 and a spring biased
locking finger 104 which is carried by a bracket. Locking finger
104 is continuously biased outwardly through a slot 105 formed in
the connector body by biasing means, shown here as coil spring 106
(see also FIG. 4). With this construction, when the end plates 80
are assembled with a selected support column 27 locking finger
will snap into engagement with one of a plurality of slit like openings
109 formed in all four walls of the vertical support column segments
27 and 27a (FIGS. 2 and 8).
It is to be understood that the locking means of the invention
can also be disposed internally of leg assembly side members 30
and can function to position the side members relative to the support
columns 27 with which they are associated (see for example FIG.
Turning to FIG. 9 it can be seen that side members 30 are interconnected
with the previously identified elongated connector member 74 with
the locking means of the invention, or mechanisms 100 being interconnected
to the interface of connector 74. Receivable within the lower open
end of side member 30 is a connector block 112 which enables interconnection
of the stabilizer members 24 with side members 30 by means of threaded
connectors 114 which are threadably received within block 112. More
particularly, connector block 112 is telescopically received within
the lower open end of the side members 30 and is held in position
by fasteners 112a which extend through connector member 74 and function
to connect connector block 112 with connector member 74 and member
30. The assemblage thus formed is then connected with the stabilizer
member 24 in the manner previously described. Cavity 116 includes
a bottom wall which receives threaded connectors 114 so that when
the connectors are threadably interconnected with connector block
112 the assemblage made up of side member 30 and connector 74 will
be securely locked in position relative to stabilizer member 24
to form a stable, securely interconnected subassembly. In the leg
assemblage illustrated in FIG. 9 the side member 30 is provided
with a cable receiving opening 117 which permits convenient cable
routing into the wire management structural panels. Openings 117
can be closed by removable closure panels 117a. Similarly, the outboard
ends of members 30 and 30a can be closed by elongated closure strips
In the desk system construction illustrated in FIG. 1 upper side
members 30a are connected to lower side members 30 in the manner
there shown and function to provide structural stability to the
upper portions of the array. Providing further structural stability
are the divider panels 34 which are disposed proximate the right
and left ends of the array as viewed in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG.
9 side members 30a are interconnected with vertical support column
27a by means of an elongated connector member 74a which is of a
construction similar to that of connector 74. The upper open end
of side members 30a are preferably closed by a plastic closure cap
120 of the general configuration shown in FIG. 9.
When desired, floor engaging castors 122 can be connected to stabilizer
24 in the manner indicated in FIG. 9 (see also FIG. 1). When desired,
similar castors 122 can be connected directly to side members 30
in the manner shown in FIG. 1. In this latter instance, a connector
bracket 125 to which the castor is threadably connected is connected
to side members 30.
Turning next to FIGS. 11 and 12 the details of the construction
of the previously identified segment connector means of the invention
can there be seen. In the present form of the invention, the segment
connector means comprise a plurality of spaced-apart connector assemblies
126. Each of the side connector assemblies comprise a bearing plate
128 having corner portions which are cammingly received within internal
grooves 131 formed in supports 27 (FIG. 2). Each assembly also includes
a washer 130 a self-clinching nut 132 and a plate lock 134. A
first connector assemblage 126a is secured internally of support
columns 27 proximate the lower extremities thereof. And a second
threaded connector element assembly 126b is disposed within support
columns 27 proximate their upper extremities (FIG. 11). The assemblies
are held securely in position within the support columns by the
bearing plates 128 which, when rotated within columns 27 will cam
into grooves 131. The resiliently deformable, outwardly extending
wing-like tabs 134a formed on the plate locks 134 bite into the
interior walls of the support columns 27 and prevent the bearing
plates 128 from counter-rotating out of grooves 131 once the connector
assembly is in position. In similar fashion, a connector assembly
126c is disposed within the upper portion of the column segment
27a. Connector assembly 126c is similar in construction to assemblies
126a and 126b. However, the self-clinching nut 132 has been replaced
with an internally threaded coupling nut 132a which allows for further
extension of the support columns as may be necessary.
Also forming a part of the connector means of the invention is
a uniquely configured stiffener member 138 which is telescopically
received within the upper portion of support column 27 and within
the lower portion of support column 27a. The configuration of this
stiffener member, which is of the character shown in FIG. 7 provides
a substantial reinforcement against and tendency column segment
27a may have to bend relative to column segment 27. As best seen
in right-hand portion of FIG. 11 connector assemblies 126b and
126c are interconnected by an elongated, externally threaded tie
rod 140 which extends interiorly of stiffener member 138. Where
desired, a castor 139 can be connected to connector assembly 126a
in the manner shown in the lower right-hand portion of FIG. 11.
If desired, a tie rod 140 can be used to interconnect connector
assemblies 126a and 126b (see FIG. 12). To close the open upper
ends of support columns, plastic closure caps 142 such as are shown
in FIGS. 1 and 9 are used.
Turning once again to FIG. 5 it is to be noted radially outwardly
extending grooves 67 formed in each of the vertical support columns
27 and 27a is closed by a closure shroud 144 which is of the unique
configuration shown in FIG. 6. Each of the shrouds 144 is provided
with a longitudinally extending, generally arrow-shaped protuberance
144a which is receivable within a similarly shaped cavity 146 formed
at each corner of the support columns 27 and 27a (FIG. 5). Each
shroud 144 also has a yieldably deformable curved wall portion 144b
which functions to close each of the radially extending grooves
67 in the manner best seen in FIG. 5. With this novel construction,
cantilever supports, such as supports 150 (FIGS. 7 and 8), can be
inserted into a selected radially extending groove 67 by deforming
the shroud member 144 in the manner shown in the lower right-hand
portion of FIG. 7.
Having now described the invention in detail in accordance with
the requirements of the patent statutes, those skilled in this art
will have no difficulty in making changes and modifications in the
individual parts of their relative assembly in order to meet specific
requirements or conditions. Such changes and modifications may be
made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention,
as set forth in the following claims.