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Publication numberUS20020104776 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/775,560
Publication dateAug 8, 2002
Filing dateFeb 5, 2001
Priority dateFeb 5, 2001
Publication number09775560, 775560, US 2002/0104776 A1, US 2002/104776 A1, US 20020104776 A1, US 20020104776A1, US 2002104776 A1, US 2002104776A1, US-A1-20020104776, US-A1-2002104776, US2002/0104776A1, US2002/104776A1, US20020104776 A1, US20020104776A1, US2002104776 A1, US2002104776A1
InventorsJames Foster
Original AssigneeFoster James F.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging insert for protecting articles and the like
US 20020104776 A1
Abstract
A packaging system for retaining an article therein is provided. The packaging system comprises a first flat sheet member foldable into a first container portion and a second flat sheet member foldable into a second container portion. The second container portion is moveable to a position adjacent the first container portion. The packaging system further comprises a first open area within the first container portion and a second open area within the second container portion. A retention mechanism releasably retains the article within the first container portion wherein the first open area and the second open area substantially surround the article.
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Claims(17)
What is claimed is:
1. A packaging system for retaining an article therein, the packaging system comprising:
a first flat sheet member foldable into a first container portion;
a second flat sheet member foldable into a second container portion, the second container portion moveable to a position adjacent the first container portion;
a first open area within the first container portion;
a second open area within the second container portion; and
retention means for releasably retaining the article within the first container portion;
wherein the first open area and the second open area substantially surround the article.
2. The packaging system of claim 1 and further comprising:
connecting means for initially releasably connecting the first flat sheet and the second flat sheet.
3. The packaging system of claim 2 wherein the connecting means is a score line.
4. The packaging system of claim 1 wherein the retention means is a stretchable film layer secured to the first sheet member and the second sheet member, the article being positionable between the stretchable film layer and the first sheet member.
5. The packaging system of claim 1 and further comprising:
a flange portion hingedly connected to the first sheet member, the flange portion movable against the article upon positioning the second container portion against the first container portion.
6. The packaging system of claim 5 wherein the flange portion supports the article within the first container portion.
7. The packaging system of claim 1 and further comprising a portion of the first sheet member and a portion of the second sheet member is positioned between the article and the second open area.
8. A packaging system for retaining an article therein, the packaging system comprising:
a flat sheet member having a plurality of panel members;
wherein the flat sheet member is foldable into a first container portion and a second container portion, the second container portion movable against the first container portion with the article being releasably secured within the first container portion.
9. The packaging system of claim 8 and further comprising means for releasably retaining the article within the first container portion.
10. The packaging system of claim 9 wherein the means are stretchable film layer secured to the flat sheet member, the article being positionable between the stretchable film layer and the flat sheet member.
11. The packaging system of claim 8 and further comprising:
a flange portion hingedly connected to the flat sheet member, the flange portion movable against the article upon positioning the second container portion against the first container portion.
12. The packaging system of claim 11 wherein the flange portion supports the article within the first container portion.
13. A method for retaining an article within a packaging system, the method comprising:
providing a flat sheet member;
releasably securing the article to the flat sheet member;
folding the sheet member into a first container portion and a second container portion, the article being secured within the first container portion; and
moving the second container portion to a position adjacent the first container portion.
14. The method of claim 13 and further comprising:
providing retention means for retaining the article within the first container portion.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the retention means is a stretchable film layer secured to the flat sheet member, the method further comprising positioning the article between the stretchable film layer and the flat sheet member.
16. The method of 13 and further comprising:
supporting the article within the first container portion.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein the article is supported by a flange portion hingedly connected to the flat sheet member, the flange portion movable against the article upon moving of the second container portion against the first container portion.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates generally to a packaging insert for protecting articles and the like. More specifically, it is concerned with a packaging insert having a sling type retention mechanism for retaining the articles within the packaging insert and a double protective cell surrounding the articles.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] When articles are shipped from one location to another, it is necessary to safely pack or crate the articles to inhibit damage to the articles during transport and storage. Protective packaging inserts are often used when an article to be packaged requires protection from physical shock, dust, dirt, and other contaminants. For example, when shipping articles which are relatively fragile, it is often desirable to package the articles inside a box to protect the articles from physical impacts to the box which can occur during loading, transit, and unloading. In addition, when shipping articles such as computer components, it is often desirable to protect those computer components from dust and dirt.

[0005] Additionally, in most cases, some additional structure is used to keep an object within a box from moving uncontrollably in the box and thus incurring damage. Such additional structures include paper or plastic dunnage, structured plastic foams, and foam filled cushions, among others.

[0006] Unfortunately, most of the packaging inserts or structures of the prior art do not adequately retain the article within the packaging insert and protect the article from physical impacts to the box in which the article is packaged. Furthermore, the complexity of assembling the packaging inserts and packaging the article within the packaging inserts of the prior art and the box increases the material costs and the time required to pack the articles thereby directly substantially increasing the cost for shipping the articles.

[0007] It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide a packaging insert for protecting articles and the like.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide a packaging insert having a sling type retention mechanism for retaining the articles within the packaging insert.

[0009] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a packaging insert having a double protective cell surrounding the articles for protecting the articles from physical impacts to the box in which the articles is packaged.

[0010] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a packaging insert which is easy to manufacture, easy to construct, and easy to disassemble.

[0011] Additional object, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description and drawings which follow, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

SUMMARY

[0012] To achieve the foregoing and other objects and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention as embodied and broadly described herein, the present invention is directed to a packaging insert for protecting articles and the like.

[0013] The present invention is a packaging system for retaining an article therein. The packaging system comprises a first flat sheet member foldable into a first container portion and a second flat sheet member foldable into a second container portion. The second container portion is moveable to a position adjacent the first container portion. The packaging system further comprises a first open area within the first container portion and a second open area within the second container portion. A retention mechanism releasably retains the article within the first container portion wherein the first open area and the second open area substantially surround the article.

[0014] The present invention further includes a packaging system for retaining an article therein. The packaging system comprises a flat sheet member having a plurality of panel members wherein the flat sheet member is foldable into a first container portion and a second container portion with the second container portion movable against the first container portion with the article being releasably secured within the first container portion.

[0015] The present invention further yet includes a method for retaining an article within a packaging system. The method comprises providing a flat sheet member, releasably securing the article to the flat sheet member, folding the sheet member into a first container portion and a second container portion with the article being secured within the first container portion, and moving the second container portion to a position adjacent the first container portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016]FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, with the packaging insert being constructed prior to insertion into a box;

[0017]FIG. 2 is another perspective view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, with the packaging insert being constructed prior to insertion into the box;

[0018]FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, with the packaging insert being inserted into the box;

[0019]FIG. 4 is a front view illustrating the constructed packaging insert for protecting articles and the like as illustrated in FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0020]FIG. 5 is a top view illustrating the constructed packaging insert for protecting articles and the like as illustrated in FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0021]FIG. 6 is a side view illustrating the constructed packaging insert for protecting articles and the like as illustrated in FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0022]FIG. 7 is a front view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, prior to insertion of the article and construction of the packaging insert;

[0023]FIG. 8 is a back view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like as illustrated in FIG. 7, constructed in accordance with the present invention, prior to insertion of the article and construction of the packaging insert;

[0024]FIG. 9 is a front view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, with the article being inserted and the packaging insert being partially constructed;

[0025]FIG. 10 is a side view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like as illustrated in FIG. 9, constructed in accordance with the present invention, with the article being inserted and the packaging insert being partially constructed;

[0026]FIG. 11 is a side view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, during an additional step of constructing the packaging insert;

[0027]FIG. 12 is a side view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, during an additional next step of constructing the packaging insert;

[0028]FIG. 13 is a sectional view illustrating the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, after complete construction of the packaging insert;

[0029]FIG. 14 is a perspective view illustrating multiple packaging inserts for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention, being inserted into the box;

[0030]FIG. 15 is a table illustrating various size and folding computations for the packaging insert for protecting articles and the like, constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

[0031]FIG. 16 is a side view illustrating a folding computation key diagram for the table of FIG. 15.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0032] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, the present invention is a packaging system, indicated generally at 10, for protecting articles 12 and the like within a box 14. The packaging system 10 of the present invention is designed to provide maximum speed and simplicity for manually packaging a variety of variously shaped articles 12 for shipping and display. Unlike conventional packaging systems that are specifically constructed for the shape and size of the article to be shipped, the packaging system 10 of the present invention is self conforming to a very wide variety of article shapes or sizes with no customization required or special handling of the packaging system 10 or the article 12 to be packaged (see FIG. 6).

[0033] As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, the packaging system 10 of the present invention is a flat sheet member 16 comprising a plurality of panels, namely, panel A, panel B, panel C, panel D, panel E, panel F, panel G, and panel H. Preferably, the flat sheet 16 is constructed from a single piece of dye cut corrugated cardboard. It should be noted, however, that while the flat sheet member 16 has been described as being constructed from a single piece of dye cut corrugated cardboard, it is within the scope of the present invention to construct the flat sheet member 16 from multiple pieces or panels and/or from other suitable materials including, but not limited to corrugated plastics, light composites, etc.

[0034] The flat sheet member 16 further includes a first fold line J between panel A and panel B, a second fold line K between panel B and panel C, a third fold line L between panel C and panel D, and a fourth fold line M between panel D and panel E. Additionally, the flat sheet member 16 includes a fifth fold line N formed in panel F, a sixth fold line O between panel F and panel G, a seventh fold line P formed in panel H, and an eighth fold line Q formed between panel G and panel H.

[0035] Furthermore, the flat sheet 16 includes a first score line R is formed between panels A and B and panel H, a second score line S is formed between panel C and panel G, and a third score line T formed between panels D and E and panel F.

[0036] The packaging system 10 of the present invention further includes a stretchable film layer 18 mounted substantially over panels C and G. The stretchable film layer 18 wraps around the flat sheet member 16 and is attached to the back side of the flat sheet member 16, as illustrated in FIG. 8, by means of an adhesive 32 including, but not limited to, glue, tape or heat seal. It is within the scope of the present invention to utilize any type of stretchable film layer 18 such as common warehouse grade stretchable wrap film layer having a thickness of approximately eight (8) mils or nine (9) mils or an expensive polyurethane cast and extruded film layer that could be beneficially utilized for its stretch recovery memory capability.

[0037] The construction of the packaging system 10 of the present invention will now be described. A person skilled in the art will understand and realize that while one particular construction embodiment will be described, other embodiments of construction of the packaging system 10 are within the scope of the present invention.

[0038] First, the article 12 to be packaged is inserted between the stretchable film layer 18 and the panel C of the flat sheet member 16. As illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 13, the stretchable film layer 18 substantially conforms to the size and the shape of the article 12 therein inserted. Next, as illustrated in FIGS. 7-10, the panel A is folded along the fold line J to substantially ninety (90°) degrees relative to the panel B and the panel B is folded along the fold line K to substantially ninety (90°) degrees relative to the panel C. Then, the panel E is folded along the fold line M to substantially ninety (90°) degrees relative to the panel D and the panel D is folded along the fold line L to substantially ninety (90°) degrees relative to the panel C. The panel A and the panel E include cooperating interlocking slots 28 for releasably connecting the panel A to the panel E thereby creating a first protective cell 20, as illustrated in FIG. 13, about the retained article 12.

[0039] After constructing the first protective cell 20, the packaging system 10 is then positioned to rest on the bottom edges I of the panels A, B, C, D, and E. Now in the opposite direction, or away from the stretchable film layer 18, as illustrated in FIGS. 7-10, the panel H is folded along the fold line N to substantially ninety (90°) degrees and the panel F is folded along the fold line O to substantially ninety (90°) degrees relative to the panel G. Next, in the opposite direction, or away from the stretchable film layer 18, the panel H is folded along the fold line P to substantially ninety (90°) degrees and panel H is folded along the fold line Q to substantially ninety (90°) degrees relative to the panel G. The panel F and the panel H include cooperating interlocking slots 30 for releasably connecting the panel F to the panel H thereby creating a second protective cell 22, as illustrated in FIG. 13, about the retained article 12.

[0040] As illustrated in FIGS. 11-13, the second protective cell 22 is then moved toward the first protective cell 20 until the panel G is positioned against the panel C. The packaging system 10 includes a self adjusting height flange 24 hingedly connected to the flat panel member 16 and movable against the retained article 12. The self adjusting height flange 24 provides strain relief for tall articles 12 by allowing the stretchable film layer 18 to urge or pull the self adjusting height flange 24 in a generally upward direction as the stretchable film layer 18 becomes tighter from the movement of the second protective cell 22 toward the first protective cell 24. Therefore, the self adjusting height flange 24 adjusts the pressure and article height to securely retain and protect the article 12 therein.

[0041] With the article 12 being retained and protected in the packaging system 10, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the packaging system 10 is inserted into the shipping box 14 with the article 12 well protected by the panels of the flat sheet member 16 and the air within the first protective cell 20 and the second protective cell 22. The front side of the article 12 has three panels of the flat sheet member 16 and the substantial air space of the first protective cell 20 between the article 12 and the outside and the back side of the article 12 has five panels of the flat sheet member 16 and the air space of the second protective cell 22.

[0042] If the outer box 14 receives a jarring impact, the panels of the flat sheet member 16 will flex and allow the protected articles 12 to move on the panels and not transfer the impact through to the article 12. To extract the article 12 from the packaging system 10, the packaging system 10 is merely removed from the outer box 14 and unfolded in the reverse order it was assembled. The packaging system 10 can then be re used if needed, even with a differently shaped article 12. Importantly, the article 12 will not be arbitrarily released from the packaging system 10 when the packaging system 10 it is removed from the box 14 because the article 12 remains captured inside the first protective cell 20.

[0043] Many variations are possible including containing a smaller article in a custom tray (not shown) before insertion into the packaging system 10 for static discharge protection. The correct minimum size for a packaging system 10 can be computed, as illustrated in FIGS. 15 and 16. As illustrated in FIG. 14, the packaging system 10 can also be put into master boxes because one packaging system 10 can be stacked next to or on top of another packaging system 10 still maintaining the integrity of the first protective cell 20 and the second protective cell 22.

[0044] The inventors of the present application believe that there is no conventional packaging system capable of protecting an article 12 as well as the packaging system 10 of the present invention with so little assembly effort or as cost effectively. The packaging system 10 uses a unique progressive leverage single folding flange 24 to secure the article 12 with a minimum amount of dexterity or training on the part of the user. The packaging system 10 uses the flexibility and stretch of the stretchable film layer 18 from which it is constructed, to “self adjust” for the article 18 being packaged.

[0045] Additionally, the packaging system 10 of the present invention uses a reverse mount wrap around application of the stretchable film layer 18 to achieve extreme reliability of the bond between the flat sheet member 16 substrate and the stretchable film layer 18. The reverse mount wrap around becomes an integral part of the self adjusting height flange 24 for odd or extra wide objects.

[0046] Furthermore, the packaging system 10 of the present invention provides protective air space on all sides of the packaged article 12 and not a rigid substrate that rests directly against the side of the external container or box. The sling configuration of the packaging system 10 allows the packaging materials to absorb shocks and not the packaged article 12. The packaging system 10 does not require expensive or exotic materials for construction while maintaining a professional high tech appearance.

[0047] The packaging system 10 of the present invention can be reused, even for a different sized article 12 than originally packaged. Because of the versatility of the packaging system 10, shippers need only maintain a very minimal packaging inventory and the packaging system 10 stores flat until use thereby saving very significant amounts of storage space and shipping and handling costs.

[0048] The packaging system 10 of the present invention further has several large flat areas 26 (see FIG. 1) that can be used for promotional displays integral to the packaging system 10. The packaging system 10 can be made to fit virtually any existing box size, which eliminates the cost of a transition from older less effective packaging systems.

[0049] The foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the subject invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description and for a better understanding of the invention. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed; and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The particular embodiments were chosen and described in some detail to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the relevant art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modification as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7878329 *Oct 12, 2006Feb 1, 2011Acorn Mobility Services Ltd.Shipping box system
US7992713 *Dec 28, 2010Aug 9, 2011Emc CorporationDisk drive package
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/594, 206/521, 206/583
International ClassificationB65D5/50
Cooperative ClassificationB65D5/5028
European ClassificationB65D5/50D