(19)
(11)EP 3 687 013 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
29.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/31

(21)Application number: 20153047.4

(22)Date of filing:  22.01.2020
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H02G 3/04(2006.01)
H02G 3/06(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 22.01.2019 IT 201900000943

(71)Applicant: BTICINO S.P.A.
21100 Varese, (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • VANETTI, Stefano
    I-21010 MONTEGRINO VALTRAVAGLIA (Varese) (IT)
  • ANDOLFO, Claudio
    I-15066 GAVI (Alessandria) (IT)

(74)Representative: Deambrogi, Edgardo et al
Jacobacci & Partners S.p.A. Corso Emilia 8
10152 Torino
10152 Torino (IT)

  


(54)ARTICULATED JOINT FOR CABLE DUCTS


(57) A joint for a cable ducting is described comprising a first plate element (20) adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a first cable duct and a second plate element (22) adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a second cable duct facing said first duct along a predetermined ducting direction, wherein the first plate element (20) and the second plate element (22) are rotatably coupled to each other on parallel planes. The first plate element (20) comprises a through-hole (20f) and the second plate element (22) comprises a hole with protruding edge (22r) protruding from one face of the second plate element (22) in a direction orthogonal thereto, which is disposed through the through hole (20f) whereby it emerges with the free end (22s) on the opposite side and determines an axis of mutual rotation of the plate elements, the free end having a flange (22s') radially extended at least partially overlapping a through hole edge (20f) so as to hold the second plate element (22) transversely with respect to the first plate element (20) in a stable condition coupled thereto. A method for the fabrication of such a joint for a cable ducting comprises punching the first and second plate element (20; 22) from a continuous metal sheet (L), the punching of the through hole (20f) on a first plate element (20), the punching and forming of the hole with protruding edge (22r) having a radial extension smaller than the radial extension of the through hole (20f) on the second plate element (22), the coupling between the first and the second plate element (20, 22) disposing the hole with protruding edge (22r) of the second element (22) through the through hole (20f) of the first element (20) and the riveting of the hole with protruding edge (22r) at the free end (22s) to form a radially extended flange (22s') overlapping an edge of the through hole (20f).


Description


[0001] The present invention concerns in general cable ductings and more specifically a joint for a cable ducting according to the preamble of claim 1 and a method for making such a joint according to the preamble of claim 9.

[0002] In order to house and protect cables, in particular electrical cables, the use of cable carrying systems comprising a plurality of duct segments connected in series by head-to-head junctions is well known. Each cable duct segment comprises a bottom wall and a pair of side walls that extend perpendicular to the bottom wall in a manner whereby the duct has an essentially U-shaped cross-section that is adapted to contain bundles of electrical cables. The walls may be closed or perforated and, if necessary, a cover is provided to close the housing volume of the cable bundles. Although a ducting system is traditionally identified as a 'duct' if the cable housing volume is closed by a cover, while assuming the more appropriate name of 'tray' when it comes to an open cable carrying system, in the following text, the generic term 'duct' will for simplicity be adopted for both embodiments.

[0003] The duct segments generally extend along straight lines, except for those segments that serve as angular connectors and extend along curved lines. A ducting may also extend over a plane or several planes, in which case plane variations are obtained by connecting flat duct segments with inclined, downward or upward duct segments, seamlessly connected by means of path accessories or articulated joints to allow free vertical inclinations.

[0004] The assembly of two consecutive cable duct segments lying on incident planes is generally carried out by juxtaposition and subsequent connection of end portions of these segments, using articulated joints typically formed of plate, flat or square elements which are rotatably fixed to each other by a third pivot element.

[0005] A representation of a cable ducting section comprising two adjacent duct segments forming a plane variation, joined by means of known joints, is provided in Figure 1. In the figure, the duct segments are indicated at 10 and 12, respectively, and a convex plane variation or downward curve is shown. At J1 and J2 are indicated the articulated joints coupled to the respective side walls of duct segments 10 and 12. The figure shows an operating condition wherein a plurality of cables C are arranged in the duct housing space.

[0006] Figures 2a-2d show details of the articulated joint. The joint comprises a first plate element 20 adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a first cable duct and a second plate element 22 adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a second cable duct facing said first duct along a predetermined ducting direction. Figure 2a shows the first and second plate element 20, 22 separately in an exploded configuration. Both plate elements have a head portion 20', 22' with a rounded transverse edge 20b, 22b and a through hole 20f, 22f and a tail portion 20", 22" having means for fixing to a cable duct such as an elongated slot 20a, 22a for coupling the element to a side wall of a respective cable duct by removable fixing means such as bolts or the like.

[0007] Moreover, each plate element 20, 22 comprises a pair of tabs 20t, 22t extending from at least one part of opposite longitudinal edges 20e, 22e of the element and folded orthogonally to the surface of the element, these tabs being adapted to engage with a side wall or the bottom wall of the end portion of a respective duct segment 10, 12.

[0008] The through hole 20f, 22f is formed along a longitudinal center line axis of the first and second plate element 20, 22, respectively.

[0009] Through each through hole 20f, 22f is disposed a pin 24 or similar hinge element such as a rivet, for example, a blind rivet, having axial extension transverse to the housing space of the duct where the plurality of cables is arranged in the mounted condition. The rivet pin generally includes a collar 24' having radial extension greater than the radius of the through hole 20f, 22f, i.e. the collar has an extension greater than that of the through hole, whereby it prevents the pin from sliding axially through the through hole so long as to emerge in a first direction. The rivet pin includes downstream of the collar 24' a free end 24" which is deformable, for example, by riveting or by pulling a sacrificial dowel 24''', so as to form a radially extended flange overlapping an edge of said through hole and keeping the pin from sliding axially through the through hole so long as to come out in a second direction opposite to the first direction. This condition is well highlighted in Figure 2d.

[0010] By means of the pin 24 or a similar hinge element, the first plate element 20 and the second plate element 22 are coupled together rotatably on parallel planes.

[0011] However, disadvantageously, the pin 24 or similar hinge element emerges transversely with respect to the surfaces of the plate elements of the joint and, in particular, it emerges significantly into the cable housing space, as is clearly shown in Figure 2c, constituting an obstacle to the arrangement or sliding - where required - of the cables and an element that could cause damage thereto, for example by tearing the sheath, with problems of outages and safety. A further safety problem due to the presence of the pin concerns an operator who must intervene in the cable housing space and could be injured.

[0012] DE 20 2017 105244 and US 2005/029393 describe cable carrier chains with angular stops integrated in the articulated connections, wherein the articulated connections are formed by the penetration of a convex contour pin within a seat of which the contour defines a plurality of lobes or recesses that constitute seats for stopping the rotation of the pin. In no case does the pin have a radially extended flange at least partially overlapping an edge of the seat.

[0013] The object of the present invention is thus to provide a satisfactory solution to the problems described above, avoiding the drawbacks of the prior art. In particular, the object of the present invention is to create a joint for a cable ducting that does not constitute an obstacle to the cables housed in the duct or to an operator intervening in the duct and that does not endanger the integrity of the duct and the contents thereof or the safety of an operator.

[0014] A further object of the invention is to provide a joint for a cable ducting that is easy and economical to fabricate and easy to install.

[0015] According to the present invention these objects are achieved by means of a joint for a cable ducting having the features claimed in claim 1.

[0016] A further subject-matter of the invention is a method for the fabrication of a joint for a cable ducting according to claim 9.

[0017] Particular embodiments are the subject-matter of the dependent claims, the content of which is to be understood as an integral part of the present description.

[0018] In short, the present invention is based on the principle of making the hinge element of the joint integral with one of the two plate elements, so that the joint is made with the minimum number of parts, i.e. the two plate elements themselves. Furthermore, according to the invention, the hinge element of the joint is made as a formation protruding from only one face of the respective plate element with which it is obtained integrally, preferably in such a way that it emerges through the through hole of the other plate element from the opposite side of the second element for the minimum distance to be riveted to form a radially extended flange at least partially overlapping an edge of said through hole, so as to hold the plate elements transversely in a stable coupling condition.

[0019] Advantageously, a joint is obtained that has a surface without protuberance at the hinged element, which is intended to be facing the housing space of the duct, and a surface that has a minimum protuberance at the hinged element, which consists of the riveting flange, which is intended to face the outside of the duct.

[0020] Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will be described in greater detail in the following detailed description of an embodiment thereof, provided by way of non-limiting example, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of part of a cable ducting comprising two adjacent duct segments with plane variation joined by means of joints according to the known art;

Figures 2a-2d show a joint for cable ductings according to the known art, respectively in an exploded perspective view, in a perspective view from outside the cable ducting in an assembled condition, in a perspective view from inside the cable ducting in an assembled condition, and in a plan rear view in an assembled condition;

Figures 3a-3d show a joint for cable ductings according to the invention, respectively an exploded perspective view of a first joint element and a second joint element, a perspective view from outside the cable ducting of the joint in an assembled condition, a perspective view from inside the cable ducting of the joint in an assembled condition, and a plan rear view of the joint in an assembled condition;

Figures 4a-4c are respectively a perspective view of part of a cable ducting comprising two adjacent duct segments with plane variation joined by means of joints according to the invention, an enlarged perspective view at a convex plane variation (downward curve) of the ducting and an enlarged perspective view at a concave plane variation (upward curve) of the ducting; and

Figures 5a and 5b are respectively a plan view and a side view in cross-section according to the line Vb-Vb, representative of the working stations of a metal sheet for the fabrication of a joint according to the invention.



[0021] In Figures 3a-3d and 4a-4c, elements or components identical or functionally equivalent to those illustrated in Figure 1 and 2a-2d are indicated with the same references already used in the description of these preceding figures.

[0022] Figure 3a shows details of a first and a second element of the articulated joint of the invention. A first plate element adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a first cable duct is indicated at 20 and a second plate element adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a second cable duct facing said first duct along a predetermined ducting direction is indicated at 22. The first and second plate elements may be coupled together rotatably on parallel planes.

[0023] Both plate elements have a head portion 20', 22' with a rounded transverse edge 20b, 22b and a tail portion 20", 22" having means for fixing to a cable duct such as an elongated slot 20a, 22a for coupling the element to a side wall of a respective cable duct by removable fixing means such as bolts or the like. Adjacent to each slot 20a, 22a is a respective slit 32 provided for the possible engagement of a tab of an automatic connection joint to the walls of the duct.

[0024] Moreover, each plate element 20, 22 comprises in the tail portion 20" and 22" a pair of tabs 20t, 22t extending from at least one part of opposite longitudinal edges 20e, 22e of the element and folded orthogonally to the surface of the element, which are adapted to engage with a side wall or the bottom wall of the end portion of a respective duct segment 10, 12.

[0025] In the vicinity of the upper longitudinal edge 22e of the element 22 is obtained a zone 34, for example a rectangular area, for positioning or inscriptions of marks or similar indications.

[0026] The plate element 20 has at its head portion 20' a circular through hole 20f formed along a longitudinal center line axis X of the element. The plate element 22 has at its head portion 22' a joining hole with protruding edge 22r, which constitutes an integral raised formation, formed along a longitudinal center line axis X of the element and protruding from a face of the element 22p in a direction orthogonal thereto. In particular, the hole with protruding edge 22r defines a complete cylindrical formation, or a plurality of tooth formations arranged on a cylindrical envelope, which has (have) a radial extension lower than the radial extension of the through hole 20f and the free end edge 22s of which, opposite to the root of the formation on the head portion, protrudes at least partially in a direction orthogonal to the face 22p of the plate element 22.

[0027] At least one plate element 20 or 22, and preferably both, have a respective orientation hole 30 longitudinally aligned with the through hole 20f or the hole with protruding edge 22r. In an assembled condition of the duct, where the plate elements 20, 22 of the joint are arranged aligned horizontally or at an angle to each other to produce a convex plane variation (downward curve) or a concave plane variation (upward curve) of the ducting, each orientation hole 30 faces the face of the opposite plate element to allow an operator to place a marking, for example a graphic sign such as a point, on that face to identify a preset mutual angle. Alternatively, the face of the plate element facing the orientation hole has inscriptions representing a set of pre-determined angles of mutual rotation between the first plate element and the second plate element.

[0028] As is best shown in Figures 3b-3d in an assembled condition of the plate elements 20, 22, to form the joint, the joining hole with protruding edge 22r is arranged axially through the through hole 20f around an axis of mutual rotation of the elements 20 and 22, so that it emerges with the edge 22s opposite the first plate element 20, and the edge 22s is at least partially folded to form a radially extended flange 22s' at least partially overlapping the edge of the through hole 20f so as to hold the second plate element 22 adjacent to the first plate element 20 in a condition permanently coupled thereto, contrary to that which is described in DE 20 2017 105244 and US 2005/029393 wherein the pins of the articulated connections do not extend radially to overlap the edges of the respective seats and do not contribute to the transverse retention of the plates.

[0029] As may be seen in Figures 4a, 4b and 4c - which represent perspective views of part of a cable ducting comprising two adjacent duct segments with plane variation joined by means of joints according to the invention, including an enlarged perspective view at a convex plane variation (downward curve) of the ducting and an enlarged perspective view at a concave plane variation (upward curve) of the ducting - there are no elements protruding from the surface of the joint extending at least partially into the housing space for the cables C within the duct.

[0030] With reference to Figures 5a and 5b - which are respectively a plan view and a side view in cross-section according to the line Vb-Vb, representative of the working stations of a metal sheet for the fabrication of a joint according to the invention - a method for the fabrication of a joint for a cable ducting of the type mentioned above is described below.

[0031] The joint according to the invention is made by fabricating the first and second plate element 20, 22 in a facing position starting from a single sheet of metallic material L, of which the longitudinal center line axis is indicated at Y, conveyed continuously between successive cold metalworking stations along said Y axis, indicated in the figures at S1, ..., S9. Advantageously, this makes it possible to fabricate a plurality of joints in succession without having to feed different sheets to the stations S1-S9, and to carry out working in parallel at the different stations.

[0032] Figures 5a and 5b show the working stations S1-S9 side by side, according to an illustrative embodiment of an industrial production plant, wherein each station corresponds to a parallel working stage of a different joint. However, for ease of description, the working operations carried out at each station will be described as if they were referring to a single joint, in order to set out in clear, consequential terms the progress of the working of a joint according to the invention. However, it should be understood that the sequence of working described is not necessarily the only possible sequence, and alternative methods may be contemplated by changing the order of the working, for example by reversing the sequence of some working, if this is logically possible.

[0033] It is understood that the working method is conducted by means of cold working tools at each station, controlled to perform timed operations, synchronized with the feed of the sheet L, through a control station prepared to implement a predetermined working program.

[0034] In a first station S1 and in the following station S2, the first and second plate element 20, 22 are defined on the metal sheet, in a facing position, by means of a pair of first punching dies and blades P1. Specifically, in the first station S1 the punching dies P1 define respectively a first longitudinal edge 20e, 22e of the tail portions 20" and 22" of each plate element and a first tab 20t, 22t extending from a respective first longitudinal edge 20e, 22e. At the same time, in the first station S2 the punching dies P1 define respectively a second longitudinal edge 20e, 22e of the tail portions 20" and 22" of each joint element and a second tab 20t, 22t extending from the respective second longitudinal edge 20e, 22e.

[0035] Also in the first station S1, a pair of second punching dies and blades P2 punch the slots 20a, 22a in the tail portions 20" and 22" of each element of the joint, provided for fixing to the duct walls.

[0036] In the same station S1, in the head portions 20' and 22' of each element of the joint, at the longitudinal center line axis X, a pair of third punching dies and blades P3 will be used to punch a preparatory guide hole 20g for punching the through hole 20f and a preparatory guide hole 22g for punching the joining hole with protruding edge 22r, and at the same time a pair of fourth punching dies and blades P4 are used to punch the orientation holes 30 in a position longitudinally aligned with the guide holes 20g and 22g.

[0037] In the station S2, a pair of fifth punching dies and blades P5 are used to punch respective slits 32 in the tail portions 20" and 22" of each joint element, provided for the possible engagement of a tab of an automatic connection joint to the walls of the duct.

[0038] In the stations S2 and S3, a sixth punching die and blade P6 carries out an additional punching for the extension of the longitudinal edges 20e, 22e at the head portion 22' of the plate element 22.

[0039] In the station S3, a seventh punching die P7 punches the through hole 20f around the corresponding guide hole 20g, and at the same time an edge forming die P' forms the joining hole with protruding edge 22r by penetrating the guide hole 22g, so as to create a raised formation protruding in a direction orthogonal to the face of the second plate element 22.

[0040] In the station S3, the marking of the rectangular area 34 on the element 22 also takes place, for the subsequent inscription of markings.

[0041] In the station S4, the pairs of tabs 20t, 22t are folded for example downwards, orthogonally to the surface of the element.

[0042] In the station S5 and in the subsequent station S6, the transverse rounded edge 20b, 22b of the head portions 20', 22' of each plate element is defined by means of an eighth punching die and blade P8, the punching contour of which has concavities. The intervention of the die P8 causes the punching of the residual connection areas between the first and second facing elements, whereby is also determined the separation in the longitudinal direction (along the X axis) between the plate element 20 and the plate element 22 and the separation in the transverse direction (along the Y axis of the sheet) between the adjacent plate elements 22.

[0043] In the station S6, moving means M, for example a translation carriage, is also engaged within the fixing slot 22a and the second element 22 is translated with respect to the first element 20 to a partial overlapping position, which is represented in the next station S7, wherein the first and second plate element are coupled by means of the arrangement of the joining hole with protruding edge 22r of the second plate element 22 through the through hole 20f of the first plate element 20, whereby the joining hole with protruding edge 22r emerges with its free end on the side opposite to the second element 22.

[0044] In the station S7, the joining hole with protruding edge 22r is chamfered or riveted on the face of the plate element 20 by means of a chamfering die P" to form a radially extended flange 22s' overlapping the edge of the through hole 20f, whereby the second plate element 22 is held transversely with respect to the first plate element 20 in a condition permanently coupled thereto. In this station also the engagement of support means B within the fixing slot 20a takes place, whereby - as the support by the sheet L is missing - the newly formed joint is supported by support means B to be translated to the subsequent station S8.

[0045] In the station S8 and in the subsequent station S9 the residual connection bridge between the assembled joint and the semi-finished joint coming from the previous stations is punched by means of a ninth punching die and blade P9, so that the joint thereby fabricated is detached at the station S9, and may be taken by subsequent collection means (not shown) for any subsequent working, for example painting, hot-dip galvanizing, surface treatments to ensure corrosion protection.

[0046] If a joint is made according to the embodiment wherein the surface of at least one plate element facing the orientation hole of the plate element coupled thereto has inscriptions representative of a set of predetermined angles of mutual rotation between the first plate element and the second plate element, at one of the stations S1-S6, the marking may be provided on a surface of said at least one plate element of said inscriptions representative of a set of predetermined angles of mutual rotation.

[0047] Obviously, without prejudice to the principle of the invention, the embodiments and the details of implementation may be greatly modified with respect to those described and illustrated purely by way of non-limiting example, without thereby departing from the scope of protection of the invention as defined in the accompanying claims.


Claims

1. Joint (J1; J2) for a cable ducting including a first plate element (20) adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a first cable duct (12) and a second plate element (22) adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a second cable duct (10) facing said first duct (12) along a predetermined ducting direction, wherein said first plate element (20) and said second plate element (22) are rotatably coupled to each other on parallel planes, characterized in that said first plate element (20) comprises a through hole (20f) and said second plate element (22) comprises an integral raised formation (22r), protruding from a face (22p) of said second plate element in a direction orthogonal to said face (22p), said raised formation (22r) being disposed through said through hole (20f) so as to emerge with a free end (22s) from the opposite side and to determine an axis of mutual rotation of said plate elements (20, 22), said free end having a flange (22s') extending radially at least partially overlapping to an edge of said through hole (20f) so as to retain said second plate element (22) transversely with respect to said first plate element (20) in a condition firmly coupled thereto.
 
2. Joint according to claim 1, wherein said through hole (20f) is a circular hole forming a rotation hinge and said integral raised formation (22r) comprises a joining hole with protruding edge having a radial extension smaller than the radial extension of said through hole (20f) and an edge (22s) at least partially protruding in said direction orthogonal to the face (22p) of the second plate element (22), said at least partially protruding edge (22s) being at least partially folded to form said flange (22s') so as to hold the second plate element (22) adjacent to the first plate element (20).
 
3. Joint according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said through hole (20f) and said raised formation (22r) are formed along a longitudinal center line axis (X) of said first and second plate element (20; 22), respectively.
 
4. Joint according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one plate element (20; 22) has an orientation hole (30) longitudinally aligned with said through hole (20f) or with said raised formation (22r).
 
5. Joint according to claim 4, wherein the face of the other plate element facing said orientation hole (30) has markings representing a set of pre-determined angles of mutual rotation between said first plate element (20) and said second plate element (22).
 
6. Joint according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each plate element (20; 22) comprises a pair of tabs (20t; 22t) extending from at least one part of opposite longitudinal edges (20e; 22e) of the element and folded orthogonally to the surface of the element.
 
7. Joint according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each plate element (20; 22) defines a head portion (20'; 22') having said through hole (20f) or said integral raised formation (22r) and a tail portion (20"; 22") having fixing means (20a; 22a) to a cable duct (12; 10), and the head portion (20'; 22') has a rounded transverse edge (20b; 22b).
 
8. Joint according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each plate element (20; 22) comprises an elongated slot (20a; 22a) for fixing to a side wall of a respective cable duct (12; 10).
 
9. Method for the fabrication of a joint (J1; J2) for a cable ducting comprising a first plate element (20) adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a first cable duct (12) and a second plate element (22) adapted to be operatively coupled to an end portion of a second cable duct (10) facing said first duct (12) along a predetermined ducting direction, wherein said first plate element (20) and said second plate element (22) are rotatably coupled to each other on parallel planes, characterized in that it comprises the following operations:

- defining said first and second plate element (20; 22) on at least one metal sheet (L);

- in a head portion (20') of said first plate element (20) along a longitudinal center line axis (X) of said element, punching a through hole (20f);

- in a head portion (22') of said second plate element (22) along a longitudinal center line axis (X) of said element, molding of a raised formation (22r) integral with said at least one metal sheet (L) and protruding in a direction orthogonal to the face (22p) of said second plate element (22);

- coupling said first and said second plate element (20; 22) by arrangement of said raised formation (22r) of the second plate element (22) through said through hole (20f) of the first plate element (20) so as to emerge with a free end (22s) from the opposite side and determine an axis of mutual rotation of said elements; and

- riveting said raised formation (22r) at the free end (22s) to form a flange (22s') extending radially overlapping an edge of said through hole (20f) so as to retain said second element plate (22) transversely with respect to said first plate element (20) in a condition firmly coupled thereto.


 
10. The method according to claim 9, in which said molding of a raised formation (22r) comprises punching and forming a protruding edge in a joining hole having a radial extension smaller than the radial extension of the said through hole (20f), so as to form an edge (22s) at least partially protruding in a direction orthogonal to the face (22p) of the second plate element (22).
 
11. The method according to claim 10, wherein said punching of a through hole (20f) and said punching and forming of a joining hole with protruding edge (22r) are carried out simultaneously.
 
12. The method according to claim 9, wherein said first and second plate elements (20; 22) are defined on a single metal sheet (L), in facing positions.
 
13. The method according to claim 12, comprising punching residual connection areas between said first and second facing plate elements (20; 22), detaching said first and second plate elements (20; 22) and translating one of said first and second plate elements with respect to the other up to a superimposed position of alignment between said raised formation (22r) and said through hole (20f).
 
14. The method according to claim 13, comprising punching in each of said first and second plate element (20; 22) an elongated slot (20a; 22a) for fixing to a side wall of a respective cable duct (12; 10) and translating said at least one of said first and second plate element (20; 22) with respect to the other through moving means (M) temporarily engaged within said fixing slot (22a).
 
15. The method according to claim 10, comprising punching a guide hole for punching said through hole (20f) or a guide hole for punching said joining hole with protruding edge (22r) simultaneously with the punching of an orientation hole (30) longitudinally aligned with said through hole (20f) or with said joining hole with protruding edge (22r).
 
16. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising in each plate element (20; 22) the folding of a pair of tabs (20t; 22t) extending from at least a part of opposite longitudinal edges (20e; 22e) of the element, orthogonally to the surface of the element.
 
17. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising marking on a surface of at least one plate element (20; 22) inscriptions representing a set of predetermined angles of mutual rotation between said first plate element (20) and said second plate element (22).
 
18. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising in a head portion (20'; 22') of each plate element (20; 22) the punching of a rounded transverse edge (20b; 22b).
 
19. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising executing the claimed operations on a single sheet (L) conveyed between successive cold metalworking stations (S 1-S9) and the separation of an assembled joint comprising a first plate element (20) and a second plate element (22) rotatably coupled to each other on parallel planes by a semi-finished joint by cutting a residual connection bridge between said assembled joint and said semi-finished joint.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description