(19)
(11)EP 1 326 517 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
21.06.2006 Bulletin 2006/25

(21)Application number: 01925879.7

(22)Date of filing:  13.04.2001
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A47J 45/07  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/IT2001/000187
(87)International publication number:
WO 2002/030254 (18.04.2002 Gazette  2002/16)

(54)

COUPLING SYSTEM FOR REMOVABLE OR DETACHABLE HANDLES OF VARIOUS UTENSILS, IN PARTICULAR POTS, PANS AND THE LIKE

KUPPLUNGSSYSTEM FÜR EINEN ABNEHMBAREN HALTEGRIFF VON VERSCHIEDENEN GERÄTEN, INSBESONDERE TÖPFEN, PFANNEN UND DERGLEICHEN

SYSTEME D'ACCOUPLEMENT POUR POIGNEES DE PREHENSION AMOVIBLES OU DETACHABLES DESTINEES A DIVERS USTENSILES, TELS QUE DES CHAUDRONS ET CASSEROLES OU ANALOGUES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LI LU MC NL PT SE TR

(30)Priority: 13.10.2000 IT VR20000103

(43)Date of publication of application:
16.07.2003 Bulletin 2003/29

(73)Proprietor: Fiocco, Maria, Grazia
37020 Dolce' (IT)

(72)Inventor:
  • Fiocco, Maria, Grazia
    37020 Dolce' (IT)

(74)Representative: Petraz, Gilberto Luigi et al
GLP S.r.l. Piazzale Cavedalis 6/2
33100 Udine
33100 Udine (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A-00/21422
US-A- 3 431 006
FR-A- 1 501 026
US-A- 5 887 751
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present application proposes a coupling system for removable or detachable handles of various utensils, in particular pots, pans and containers in general for heating or cooking food.

    [0002] This is a new concept which makes it possible to attach removable type handles to pots, pans and the like, to satisfy practical requirements in the use of these containers, in other words first of all the interchangeability of the pieces with at least two advantageous consequences: the possibility of using the same handles for various pans and the possibility of storing the containers without their handles, in order to save space which is well-known to be at a premium in kitchens, for example if necessary to store the container in a refrigerator, or for cooking in the oven or during dishwashing.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0003] With respect to the know solutions, this system offers the substantial advantage of simplicity in the manufacture and use of the removable handles, with consequent simplification of the production processes.

    [0004] In the household articles sector, particularly as far as containers for cooking are concerned, the need exists to produce pots, pans or containers in general with certain contrivances that make them highly functional, at least from the point of view of safety during cooking and, no less important, of practicality in use.

    [0005] The need has recently arisen in this sector to produce removable or detachable handles, and a number of products have been presented on the market which foresee the possibility of using interchangeable handles, although, to date, the solutions developed are in some cases impractical and in others so complicated and costly as to make them unacceptable or in any case inadequate.

    [0006] In some cases, in fact, the interchangeable handles merely foresee the use of blocking systems by means of screws, while in other cases some firms have developed more advanced systems which foresee the possibility of attaching the handle to the edge of the pan by the use of gripper type systems, or by constructing a sliding coupling that moves away from or towards the body of the handle by means of levers which may be spring-operated.

    [0007] These are, nevertheless, solutions which in the first case are difficult to use, requiring the use of screws or bolts, while in the second case complex and costly mechanical parts have to be produced that must be adapted to the shape of the handle, with production costs that are often excessive.

    [0008] FR-A-1501026 for example, describes a detachable handle for cooking utensils comprising a handgrip in which is housed a flowing rod ending with a broadened part jutting out the handgrip and suited to joint a thin plate of the utensil to handle. Said handle comprises also a movable lever which is connected to the flowing rod to control the position of the broadened part in relation to the head of the handgrip and allowing in this way to fasten and release the thin plate of the utensil.

    [0009] Furthermore WO-A-00/21422 describes a removable coupling between a handle and a pan comprising a first member fixed to the pan and a second member fixed to the handle. The first member comprises a project bracket with a hole therein and the second member comprises a tongue to be inserted in the said hole to lie parallel with and beneath the bracket. A cam member is present in the second member and is rotatable towards a locking position to press with its first cam surface on the edge of said hole to scarf the bracket between the first cam surface and a facing projection of the second member.

    [0010] The document US-A-3431006 describes a detachable handle apparatus for connection with an object having an integral extension extending therefrom, said handle apparatus including a handle portion which is secured with respect to the extension by means of a clamping member pivotally connected with respect to the handle portion and adapted to be cammed into a locking engagement with the extension by means of a locking lever connected with respect to said handle portion for pivotal movement in a horizontal plane.

    DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0011] The aim of this invention is to provide a coupling system for removable or detachable handles for various utensils, in particular for pots, pans and containers in general, that can overcome the above-mentioned drawbacks, through the implementation of a new mechanical principle in this sector, i.e. an eccentric system.

    [0012] The immediate advantage of this new concept lies in the construction simplicity of the pieces and of their offer for sale at limited costs.

    [0013] Another advantage of this invention is that it lends itself to numerous variations and solutions that can be adapted to different types of pots and pans, of all the models and shapes on the market, in other words the traditional types commonly used in this sector.

    [0014] The aims and advantages indicated above are all achieved, according to this invention, by means of a coupling system for removable or detachable handles for various utensils, in particular pots, pans and containers in general for example of the type for heating or cooking food, according to independent claim 1.

    ILLUSTRATION OF DRAWINGS



    [0015] Additional features and details of the invention will be better understood from the description which follows, given as a non-binding example, referring to the attached drawings in which:

    figure 1 represents a cross section of the coupling system according to the invention in a preferred construction example in closing position, or of the coupling type for a vertical wall, in the version with a block, which may also be omitted;

    figure 2 shows the coupling device according to the invention in the opening position;

    figure 3 shows a first construction variation of the coupling device according to the invention, in which the edge of the pan is the horizontal type, and the eccentric coupling system causes vertical sliding with the block;

    figure 4 shows the coupling system according to the variation in figure 3 in the open position;

    figure 5 shows a second construction variation of the coupling device according to the invention with an eccentric pin type coupling which couples a gudgeon type element with recess without a block;

    figure 6 shows the variation of the preceding figure with a flat gudgeon without recess without a block;

    figure 7 shows a gripper element according to the invention in a version with a double gudgeon gripper unit without a block;

    figures 5a, 6a and 7a are views of the three preceding figures, but in this case equipped with a block;

    figure 8 is the cross-section view of a version of the coupling system in which the eccentric pin is coupled to a piston which moves towards and away from the edge of the pan;

    figures 9 and 10 show versions of the coupling system in which the eccentric pin has a vertical axis;

    figures 11 and 12 show a version in which the eccentric pin counters a spring striker element;

    figures 13 and 14 show versions which use, respectively, spring and eccentric pin safety means that use a protruding tooth or the like.


    DESCRIPTION OF SOME FORMS OF EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION



    [0016] With reference to the attached figures, 1 indicates the complete coupling element according to the invention, which according to a first preferred version comprises the following basic elements:
    • a support bracket 2 with a configuration designed to support or receive the handle 3 in various ways which can also be represented by any other gripping element designed for the same purpose;
    • a housing 4 cut into said bracket and designed to accommodate a pin 5 whose rotation shaft 6 is decentralised and supports an arm 7 that turns in an angular fashion;
    • a fixed striker element 8 integral with said bracket 2 and designed to form a housing in which the edge of the pan is inserted;
    • if necessary, a block 9 operated by the eccentric pin 5 and the arm 7, which allows rotation of said pin, said block being designed to allow gripping of the edge of the pan without any friction.


    [0017] In the example illustrated in the figure, the handle 3 is fixed to the bracket 2 by means of the usual screw type blocking means 10 or by other systems designed for the same purpose.

    [0018] As can be seen in figure 1, blocking of the handle on the vertical edge 11 of the pan is achieved by positioning the support bracket 2 over the edge of the pan while the arm 7 is in the completely raised position in order to obtain maximum opening between the block 9 and the fixed striker plate 8.

    [0019] It is now sufficient to lower the arm 7 so that the eccentric pin 5 turns and moves the block 9 forward towards the striker 8, so that the edge of the pan is blocked as in a vice.

    [0020] Figures 3 and 4 show a first variation in which the edge of the pan protrudes horizontally, meaning that the coupling system will also be the horizontal type. In this case, in fact, the horizontal edge 12 of the pan is gripped by the block 9, which in this case moves vertically rather than horizontally, while still being operated by the same eccentric pin 5.

    [0021] Figures 5, 6 and 7 show some possible variations of the coupling system according to this invention, bearing in mind that other coupling solutions are possible, all based on the use of an eccentric pin.

    [0022] Figure 5 represents a construction example in which the eccentric pin 5 operates without the use of the block 9, and in this case the blocking of the bracket 2 is achieved by means of a gudgeon 13, normally present on traditional pots and pans, thus offering the possibility of applying this system to existing pots and pans.

    [0023] While in figure 5 the gudgeon is the type with a recess, figure 6 shows a flat gudgeon without recess.

    [0024] Figure 7 shows a solution in which the handle 3 is fitted to the bracket 2 by means of a "universal" coupling system, to which most handles can be adapted.

    [0025] In this case, the bracket 2 comprises a coupling equipped with an inner gudgeon 14 which makes it possible to use the majority of handles normally produced and currently on the market, thus offering the possibility of adapting the universal coupling to the various styles and shapes of handles or handgrips, with the lines and designs characteristic to each manufacturer.

    [0026] The arm 7, which in the example illustrated is the tubular arched type, can also be produced in any other shape appropriate to the same purpose, and positioned in the upper or lower part of the handle, or with a central lever or the like.

    [0027] Figure 8 shows a coupling version in which the eccentric pin is coupled to a piston which moves towards and away from the edge of the pan.

    [0028] Figures 9 and 10 show coupling versions in which the eccentric pin has a vertical axis.

    [0029] Figures 11 and 12 show a version in which the eccentric pin operates by countering a spring striker element.

    [0030] Figures 13 and 14 show versions which use, respectively, spring and eccentric pin safety means which have a protruding tooth or the like.

    [0031] Finally, it should be borne in mind that:
    • the fixed striker element can be adjusted to adapt to various thicknesses and shapes of the pan edge or the item to be coupled;
    • the use of safety measures is foreseen, to prevent accidental uncoupling;
    • the positioning of the eccentric pin axis must be calculated so as to prevent return to the open position.


    [0032] Sector experts will be able to foresee further construction variations, for example in relation to the shape and size of the pan coupling part or to the shape of the handle coupling part, or also to the shape and size of the arm 7, obtaining solutions which, if based on the use of an eccentric fixing pin, can be considered as part of this invention, defined in the following claims.


    Claims

    1. A coupling system for removable or detachable handles (3) of various utensils, in particular pots, pans and containers in general for the heating or cooking of food, comprising:

    - a supporting bracket (2) suitable for supporting or receiving a handle (3) ;

    - a housing (4) cut into said bracket (2) and accommodating a pin (5) whose rotation axis (6), is eccentric;

    - a rotatably movable lever arm (7) operating said eccentric pin (5);

    - a fixed striker element (8) integral to said bracket (2) defining a hooking seat comprising housing in which the edge (11) of the pan, or a element which protrudes from it, e.g. a gudgeon, is inserted; wherein the operation of said lever (7) causes the movement of said eccentric pin element (5) from a first position where the handle is clamped to the edge of the pot or pan to a second position where the handle is released therefrom.


     
    2. A coupling system according to claim 1, characterised in that it further comprises a block (9) operated by said eccentric pin through arm, allowing rotation of the pin, said block being suitable for allowing the edge (11) of the pan, or a element which protrudes from it, e.g. a gudgeon (13) of the pan, being gripped.
     
    3. A coupling system according to claim 2 characterised in that the blocking of the handle on the vertical edge (11) of the pan is achieved by positioning the support bracket over the edge of the pan while the arm (7) is in the completely raised position in order to obtain maximum opening between the block (9) and the fixed striker plate.
     
    4. A coupling system according to anyone of the preceding claims, characterised in that said bracket (2) comprises a coupling equipped with an inner gudgeon (14).
     
    5. A coupling system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the fixed striker element (8) can be adjusted to adapt to various thicknesses and shapes of pan edges or the item to be coupled.
     
    6. A coupling system according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the positioning of the eccentric pin axis (6) is calculated in such a way as to present a return to the open position.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kupplungssystem für entfernbare oder abnehmbare Haltegriffe (3) von verschiedenen Geräten, insbesondere Töpfen, Pfannen und Behältern im Allgemeinen für das Erwärmen oder Kochen von Nahrung, mit:

    • einem zum Abstützen oder Aufnehmen eines Haltegriffs (3) geeigneten Stützbügel (2);

    • einem Gehäuse (4), welches in dem Bügel (2) ausgebildet ist und einen Stift (5) aufnimmt, dessen Drehachse (6) exzentrisch ist;

    • einem drehbaren bewegbaren Hebelarm (7), der den exzentrischen Stift (5) betätigt;

    • einem feststehenden Anschlagelement (8), welches mit dem Bügel (2) einstückig ausgebildet ist und ein Kupplungsgehäuse begrenzt, in welches der Rand (11) der Pfanne oder eines Elements, welches davon hervorsteht, beispielsweise ein Zapfen, eingesetzt ist; wobei die Betätigung des Hebels (7) die Bewegung des exzentrischen Stiftelements (5) aus einer ersten Stellung, bei der der Haltegriff am Rand des Topfes oder der Pfanne geklemmt ist, in eine zweite Stellung bewirkt, bei der der Haltegriff davon gelöst ist.


     
    2. Kupplungssystem nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es einen Block (9) umfasst, der von dem exzentrischen Stift über einen Arm, der eine Drehung des Stiftes ermöglicht, betätigt ist, wobei der Block derart ausgebildet ist, dass der Rand (11) der Pfanne oder ein Element, welches davon hervorsteht, beispielsweise ein Zapfen (13) der Pfanne, greifbar ist.
     
    3. Kupplungssystem nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Festlegen des Haltegriffs an dem vertikalen Rand (11) der Pfanne bewerkstelligt ist durch eine Anordnung des Stützbügels über dem Rand der Pfanne, während der Arm (7) sich in der vollständig angehobenen Stellung befindet zum Erreichen einer größten Öffnung zwischen dem Block (9) und der feststehenden Anschlagplatte.
     
    4. Kupplungssystem nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Bügel (2) eine Kupplung aufweist, welche mit einem innen liegenden Scharnierauge (14) ausgerüstet ist.
     
    5. Kupplungssystem nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das feststehende Anschlagelement (8) einstellbar ist zur Anpassung an verschiedene Dicken und Formen von Pfannenrändern oder des anzukuppelnden Gegenstands.
     
    6. Kupplungssystem nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Stellung der exzentrischen Stiftachse (6) derart ausgelegt ist, dass ein Rückdrehen in die offene Stellung verhindert ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système d'accouplement pour poignées de préhension amovibles ou détachables destinées à divers ustensiles, tels que des chaudrons, casseroles et contenants en général pour le chauffage ou la cuisson d'aliments, comprenant :

    - une console de support (2) adaptée pour supporter ou recevoir une poignée de préhension (3) ;

    - un logement (4) découpé dans ladite console (2) et recevant un axe (5) dont l'axe de rotation (6) est excentré ;

    - un arbre de levier mobile par rotation (7) qui commande ledit axe excentré (5) ;

    - un élément de frappe fixé (8) solidaire de ladite console (2) définissant un logement d'accouplement dans lequel le côté (11) de la casserole ou un élément en saillie de celui-ci, par exemple un goujon, est inséré ; dans lequel l'opération dudit levier (7) provoque le mouvement dudit élément d'axe excentré (5) depuis une première position où la poignée de préhension est bloquée sur le côté du chaudron ou de la casserole vers une deuxième position où la poignée de préhension en est libérée.


     
    2. Système d'accouplement selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend en outre un bloc (9) commandé par ledit axe excentré à travers un bras, autorisant la rotation de l'axe, ledit bloc étant adapté pour autoriser le côté (11) de la casserole, ou un élément en saillie de celui-ci, par exemple un goujon (13) de la casserole, d'être agrippé.
     
    3. Système d'accouplement selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que le blocage de la poignée de préhension sur le côté vertical de la casserole est réalisé par le positionnement de la console de support au-dessus du côté de la casserole alors que le bras (7) est dans une position complètement relevée afin d'obtenir une ouverture maximale entre le bloc (9) et la plaque de frappe fixée.
     
    4. Système d'accouplement selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que ladite console (2) comporte un accouplement équipé d'un goujon interne (14).
     
    5. Système d'accouplement selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que l'élément de frappe fixé (8) peut être ajusté pour s'adapter à différentes épaisseurs et formes de casseroles ou d'objet auquel s'accoupler.
     
    6. Système d'accouplement selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que le positionnement de l'axe (6) de l'axe excentré est calculé de manière à éviter le retour à la position d'ouverture.
     




    Drawing