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Publication numberUS20050133471 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/934,715
Publication dateJun 23, 2005
Filing dateSep 3, 2004
Priority dateDec 8, 1999
Publication number10934715, 934715, US 2005/0133471 A1, US 2005/133471 A1, US 20050133471 A1, US 20050133471A1, US 2005133471 A1, US 2005133471A1, US-A1-20050133471, US-A1-2005133471, US2005/0133471A1, US2005/133471A1, US20050133471 A1, US20050133471A1, US2005133471 A1, US2005133471A1
InventorsAnthony Squitieri
Original AssigneeSquitieri Anthony C.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Glide with product stops
US 20050133471 A1
Abstract
The present invention is a glide for holding products. The glide includes a base, a number of wall members and at least two product stops. The wall members are removably installed on the base and cooperate to define one or more channels. Each channel is dimensioned for accommodating a column of the products. The product stops are coupled to one of the wall members and the base at a forward extremity of each channel. A front edge of each wall includes a vertically-extending projection, engagable to a complementary channel of one of the product stops. When installed, the product stop has surfaces cooperating with the base to prevent removal of the installed walls unless the product stops are partially removed. Additionally, the product stops have portions extending from side surfaces of the walls to inhibit horizontal translation of products along and past the forward extremities of the channels. In a one-channel glide, the product stops include a right and a left product stop. In a multi-channel glide, the product stops include a right, a left and one or more intermediate product stops.
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Claims(8)
1. A retail display glide for holding a plurality of products, comprising:
a base having an upper surface for supporting the products and a bottom surface;
a plurality of wall members, removably installable on the base extending front-to-back so as to cooperate with the base to define one or more channels, each of the one or more channels dimensioned for accommodating an associated front-to-back column of the products; and
at least two product stops, at least one of the product stops coupled to one of the wall members and the base at a forward extremity of the one or more channels;
wherein:
a front edge of each wall member includes a vertically-extending projection, engagable via vertical translation to a complementary channel in a supporting portion of a corresponding one of the at least two product stops;
the at least two product stops, when installed to the base and to the installed wall members, has surfaces cooperating with the base to prevent removal of the installed wall members unless the product stops are at least partially removed via upward vertical translation; and
the at least two product stops, when installed to the base and to the installed wall members, have portions extending from side surfaces of the wall members to inhibit horizontal translation of the column of products along and past the forward extremities of the one or more channels.
2. The glide of claim 1, wherein the base and wall members define one channel and wherein the at least two product stops includes a right product stop and a left product stop.
3. A retail display glide for holding a plurality of products, comprising:
a base having an upper surface for supporting the products and a bottom surface;
a plurality of wall members, removably installable on the base extending front-to-back so as to cooperate with the base to define a plurality of channels, each channel dimensioned for accommodating an associated front-to-back column of the products; and
a plurality of product stops, at least one of the plurality of product coupled to one of the wall members and the base at a forward extremity of each channel; wherein:
a front edge of each wall member includes a vertically-extending projection, engagable via vertical translation to a complementary channel in a supporting portion of a corresponding one of the plurality of product stops;
the plurality of product stops, when installed to the base and to the installed wall members, has surfaces cooperating with the base to prevent removal of the installed wall members unless the product stops are at least partially removed via upward vertical translation; and
the plurality of product stops, when installed to the base and to the installed wall members, have portions extending from side surfaces of the wall members to inhibit horizontal translation of the column of products along and pass the forward extremities of the channels.
4. The glide of claim 3, wherein the plurality of product stops includes at least one of a right product stop, a left product stop and an intermediate product stop.
5. The glide of claim 3, wherein the plurality of product stops includes at least a right product stop, the right product stop comprising:
a base portion having a plurality of projections depending therefrom for engaging the base;
a vertical extending supporting portion having a vertical extending dovetail channel complementary to the front facing projection of a corresponding one of the wall members and a vertical and rearward extending portion that, when installed to the corresponding one of the wall members, flanks side surfaces of the wall member; and
a vertical and leftward extending stop portion, when installed to the corresponding one of the wall members, the vertical and leftward extending portion extends horizontally from a side surface of the wall member into a corresponding channel such that the extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the channel.
6. The glide of claim 5, wherein the projections from the base portion includes a forward directed barb, disposed along a lower extremity, for engaging the base.
7. The glide of claim 3, wherein the plurality of product stops includes a left product stop, and the left product stop comprising:
a base portion having a plurality of projections depending therefrom for engaging the base;
a vertical extending supporting portion having a vertical extending dovetail channel complementary to the front facing projection of a corresponding one of the wall members and a vertical and rearward extending portion that, when installed to the corresponding one of the wall members, flanks side surfaces of the wall member; and
a vertical and rightward extending stop portion, when installed to the corresponding one of the wall members, the vertical and rightward extending portion extends horizontally from a side surface of the wall member into a corresponding channel such that the extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the channel.
8. The glide of claim 3, wherein the plurality of product stops includes an intermediate product stop, and the intermediate product stop comprising:
a base portion having a plurality of projections depending therefrom for engaging the base;
a vertical extending supporting portion having a vertical extending dovetail channel complementary to the front facing projection of a corresponding one of the wall members and a vertical and rearward extending portion that, when installed to the corresponding one of the wall members, flanks side surfaces of the wall member;
a vertical and rightward extending portion; and
a vertical and leftward extending stop portion;
wherein when installed to the corresponding one of the wall members the rightward extending portion extends horizontally from a first side surface of the wall member into a first channel such that the rightward extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the first channel, and the leftward extending portion extends horizontally from a second side surface of the wall member into a second channel adjacent to the first channel such that the leftward extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the second channel.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application is a continuation-in-part and claims priority of International Patent Application No. PCT/U.S.00/33248, filed Dec. 8, 2000, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/149,357, that was filed Jun. 7, 2002, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/169,606, that was filed on Dec. 8, 1999 and 60/563,187, that was filed on Apr. 16, 2004. The disclosures of these patent documents are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to glides and, more particularly, to retail display glides for holding a number of product and/or product containers such as, for example, beverage and food containers, and consumer products such as batteries, film and the like.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are a wide variety of devices for storing, displaying, and dispensing products such as, for example, individual serving sizes of beverages and foods. A broad genus of such devices are known as glides. Such glides confine the products to discrete lanes (often designated rows or columns), typically arrayed extending front-to-back in a refrigerator, display case, or shelf unit. Many such glides are configured or mounted so that the glide base surface supporting the products inclines from front-to-back to allow a back-to-front gravity feed. Glides may also include a pusher mechanism that is located behind products to urge the products from back to front in a lane.

U.S. Design Pat. No. 275058 discloses a basic glide. The glide has a given footprint on the associated shelf or other support surface.

Glides have been provided that are reversibly or permanently alterable to accommodate an available shelf footprint. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,478,337 identifies a glide having front and rear portions that slidingly interfit to permit adjustment of the front-to-back length of the glide. U.S. Pat. No. 4,958,739 discloses a glide in which a rear portion is disjointably coupled to a front portion to permit size adjustment by the addition or removal thereof. U.S. Pat. No. 4,801,025 discloses a stackable glide system wherein outboard lanes may be severed from the glide to narrow it.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,904,256 discloses a system wherein individual lane-defining members may be secured side-by-side to form a composite glide. In addition to producing individual members of a single lane in width, the assignee of that patent is believed to make one-piece members that define multiple (e.g., three) lanes.

The aforementioned commonly assigned, copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/149,357 (hereinafter referred to as “the '357 application”) describes a glide system having a base and a number of wall members at least some of which are removably installable on the base. The wall members extend front-to-back so as to cooperate with the base to define a number of lanes or channels. Each channel is dimensioned for accommodating an associated front-to-back column of the products. Front members are installable to the base and to installed wall members to bound forward extremities of the channels. A first front member engages a first number of installed wall members to define a first width of channels and a second front member engages a second number of installed wall members to define a second width of channels that is substantially different from the first width.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,265,738 discloses a display glide wherein individual channel units are coupled in a side-by-side manner for holding adjacent columns of product packages. Each channel unit includes a divider wall and a pusher mechanism. The channel units are described as having a length that is adjustable to a width of a display shelf and widths that are selectively tailored to accommodate different sized (different width) packages. In one embodiment, the channel unit includes flexible side stops secured to a forward end of divider walls. The stops are described as small enough so as not to obscure legends on the products and sufficiently resistant to stop the forward motion of the product as it advances on the display under the urging of the pusher. The stops are also described as being sufficiently flexible to permit withdrawal of products by manual means, for example, so that a customer may pull products through the stops.

U.S. Patent Application, Publication No. 2003/0132178 A1, describes a depth and width adjustable display track unit with removable partitions. In one embodiment, the partitions include partitions whose front end terminate in a short, right angle stop for placement at a right-most channel, partitions whose front end terminate in a short, left angle stop for placement at a left-most channel and intermediate partitions whose front end terminate in a cathedral stop. These stops are described as serving as stabilizers to respective partitions and are said to cooperate at the front end of the channels to stop articles from sliding down the channel and off the display track.

The inventor has realized that one perceived disadvantage of conventional glides is that products tend to pass through partial stops formed at forward ends of channels unless the stops are of sufficient strength. Also, partitions of conventional glides can be more readily dislodged as customers pull products through the stops. Therefore, the inventor has realized that an improved glide is needed which has secure and stable partitions and stops located at forward ends of channels that stop products from sliding off the glide.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, in one aspect, the invention is directed to a glide apparatus for holding a number or group of products. The glide includes a base, at least two wall members and at least two product stops. The base has an upper surface for supporting the products and a bottom surface. The wall members are removably installed on the base and extend front-to-back so as to cooperate with the base to define one or more channels. Each of the channels is dimensioned for accommodating an associated front-to-back column of the products. The product stops are coupled to one of the wall members and the base at a forward extremity of each channel. A front edge of each wall member includes a vertically-extending projection, engagable via vertical translation to a complementary channel in a supporting portion of a corresponding one of the plurality of product stops. When installed to the base and a corresponding wall member, the product stops has surfaces cooperating with the base to prevent removal of the installed wall members unless the product stops are at least partially removed via rearward horizontal and upward vertical translation. Additionally, the product stops have portions extending from side surfaces of the wall members to inhibit horizontal translation of products along and past the forward extremities of the channels.

In one embodiment, wherein the glide includes one channel formed by two wall members and the base, the glide has product stops including a right product stop and a left product stop. The right product stop includes a base portion, a vertical supporting portion and a vertical and leftward extending stop portion. The base portion includes a plurality of projections depending therefrom for engaging the base. The vertical extending supporting portion includes a vertical extending dovetail channel complementary to the vertically-extending projection of a wall member and a rearward extending portion that, when installed to the wall member, flanks side surfaces of the wall member. The leftward extending stop portion, when installed to the wall member, extends horizontally from a side surface of the wall member into a corresponding channel such that the extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the channel.

Similarly, the left product stop includes a base portion, a vertical supporting portion and a vertical and rightward extending stop portion. The base portion includes a plurality of projections depending therefrom for engaging the base. The vertical extending supporting portion includes a vertical extending dovetail channel complementary to the vertically-extending projection of a wall member and a rearward extending portion that, when installed to the wall member, flanks side surfaces of the wall member. The rightward extending stop portion, when installed to one of the wall members, extends horizontally from a side surface of the wall member into a corresponding channel such that the extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the channel.

In one embodiment, wherein the glide includes two or more channels, the glide has at least one of the right product stop, at least one of the left product stop and an intermediate product stop. The intermediate product stop includes, as with the right and left product stops, a base portion and a supporting portion. Additionally, the intermediate portion includes a vertical and rightward extending portion and a vertical and leftward extending stop portion. When installed to one of the wall members, the rightward extending portion extends horizontally from a first side surface of the wall member into a first channel such that the rightward extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the first channel. At the same time, the leftward extending portion extends horizontally from a second side surface of the wall member into a second channel adjacent to the first channel such that the leftward extending portion impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the second channel.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the glide assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partially exploded view of the glide assembly of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 4A-4D depict a wall member of the glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 depicts a pusher of the glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 depicts a bull nose front member of the glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 depicts a right product stop of the glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 depicts a left product stop of the glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 depicts an intermediate product stop of the glide assembly, constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 depicts a right, left and intermediate wall members of a glide assembly, constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

In these figures, like structures are assigned like reference numerals, but may not be referenced in the description for all figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate an assembled glide 10, configured in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, including separately formed combination of a base 20, a plurality of divider or wall members 30 and a plurality of product stops, shown generally at 40. The base 20 and adjacent ones of the wall members 30 cooperate to form one or more channels, for example, two channels 50 and 52. Each of the channels 50 and 52 has a forward end 54 bound by at least one of the plurality of product stops 40. In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 2, the forward end 54 of the channel 50 is bound by the product stops 40 comprising a right product stop 42 and an intermediate product stop 44. Similarly, the forward end 54 of the channel 52 is bound by product stops 40 comprising the intermediate product stop 44 and a left product stop 46.

While not shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the plurality of channels 50 and 52 has a width and length for accommodating a front to back column of products (e.g., beverage and/or food containers, as well as consumer products such as film, batteries and the like). As is generally known in the art, in one embodiment, the base 20 and wall members 30 include features for adjusting the length and width of channels such as, for example, break away portions for shortening the length of the wall members and the length and/or width of the channels, and slots and projections for inserting accessory portions for adding to the length and/or width of the channels. Additionally, while the glide 10 is shown as including two channels 50 and 52, it should be appreciated that the base 20 and adjacent pairs of wall members 30 may cooperate to form any number of channels. For example, it should be appreciated that the glide 10 may include one channel formed by the base 20, two wall members 30, and the products stops 40 including the right product stop 42 and the left product stop 46. The glide 10 may also include three channels formed by the cooperation of the base 20 and four of the wall members 30. In the three-channel glide, a forward end of a first, right hand channel (right being determined from the prospective of a consumer facing a front of the glide 10 (FIG. 2)) is bound by the right product stop 42 and a rightward extending portion of a first intermediate product stop 44. A forward end of a second channel (moving from right to left across the glide) is bound by a leftward extending portion of the first intermediate product stop 44 and a rightward extending portion of a second intermediate stop 44. A forward end of a third channel is bound by a leftward extending portion of the second intermediate stop 44 and the left product stop 46.

In one embodiment, the glide 10 includes a plurality of pusher mechanisms 60. One pusher mechanism 60 being disposed in a corresponding one of the channels 50. As illustrated in the exploded assembly view of FIG. 3, the pusher mechanism 60 includes a pusher 62 (FIG. 5) and a carriage 64, as are generally known in the art. The carriage 64 includes a plurality of projections 66 extending down from a lower surface. The projections 66 are suitably sized for engaging slot-like apertures in the base 20 so that the carriage 64 can be coupled to the base 20. It should be appreciated however, that it is within the scope of the present invention to provide a glide without corresponding pusher mechanisms located within respective channels. In this regard, it is preferred to implement the glide with a back-to-front gravity feed of products.

The base 20 is substantially identical to a base described in the '357 application, and may include primary and auxiliary base components to allow the glide 10 to be adjusted to a width of a subject display areas such as, for example, a “cool” display area of a refrigerator, display case or the like, or a “warm” display area of a gondola display, shelf, counter or the like. In one embodiment, the base 20 includes an upper surface and a lower surface. The base 20 includes side walls, a plurality of front-to-back rails and a plurality of cross-members spanning between the sidewalls and combining with the sidewalls and rails to form a grid of slot-like ventilation/drainage apertures extending from the upper surface through to the lower surface as described in the '357 application.

In one embodiment, a bull nose front member 70 has a plurality of projections 72 (FIG. 6) for coupling the member 70 to the base 20. The bull nose front member 70 is formed as a single molded or extruded plastic piece such as, for example, a polycarbonate, styrene or the like, may be transparent, opaque, or employ a color scheme coordinated to the products displayed in the glide 10. Preferably, the bull nose front member 70 provides information such as, for example, product definition and notices, labeling, pricing, promotional graphics and the like. It should be appreciated that if fabricated using an extrusion process the bull nose front member 70 may not employ the plurality of projections 72. In such an embodiment, conventional means of coupling the bull nose front member 70 to the base 20 may be employed.

FIG. 4A is a side elevational view showing features of the wall members 30. Each wall member 30 includes a plurality of projections 32 extending down from a bottom surface of the wall 30. As described in the '357 application, the projections 32 are suitably sized for engaging the slot-like apertures and coupling the wall member to the base 20. In one embodiment, each wall member 30 includes an array of ventilation apertures 34 permitting airflow between the lanes 30. Advantageously, the wall members 30 are of a height sufficient to maintain the products within their respective channels 50. To achieve this, the height is advantageously sufficient so that a top edge of the wall member 30 is near or above a center of gravity of the products in the adjacent one or two channels 50. The wall members 30 may have an exemplary height of 5.0 inches (13 cm), which is advantageous for relatively tall products such as, for example, one liter plastic carbonated beverage bottles and thirty-two oz. (946 ml) glass juice bottles. This height facilitates a three row high array of one inch diameter ventilation apertures 34. For twelve oz. (355 ml) cans, a 3.5 inch (9 cm) high wall with two rows of such apertures 34 is a possibility. Each of the wall members 30 is advantageously molded as a single plastic piece of, for example, opaque or translucent polypropylene or the like. As shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the wall members 30 may have one or more stepping down area 30A and 30B. The step down areas 30A and 30B may be a material-saving compromise and/or facilitate access to products in the channel 50, for example, permitting easier loading and unloading of products in front and rear portions of the channels 50. It should also be appreciated that the wall members 30 may include break off areas 30C for shortening an overall length of the wall member to accommodate dimensions of a subject display area.

In accordance with the present invention, each of the wall members 30 includes a vertically-extending front facing dovetail projection 36 along a front edge 38. As described in detail below, the front facing dovetail projection 36 receives complementary dovetail channels on corresponding product stops 40. As illustrated in FIGS. 4A-4D, the dovetail projection 36 and a width of the wall member 30 (e.g., between side surfaces 33 and 35) include an I-beam feature 39 at the forward extremity of the wall member 30. As described in detail below, rearward extending portions 87, 109 and 97 of the product stops 42, 44 and 46 receive the I-beam feature 39 and forward portions of the side surfaces 33 and 35 of the wall members 30 providing integrity and strength to the ability of the combined product stops 40 and wall members 30 to inhibit translation of product beyond forward extremities of the channels 50.

FIG. 7 illustrates the right product stop 42. In one embodiment, the right product stop 42 is formed as a single molded plastic piece of, for example, transparent polycarbonate, styrene or the like. The right product stop 42 includes a base portion 82, a vertical extending supporting portion 84, and a vertical and leftward extending stop portion 86. The supporting portion 84 includes a vertical extending dovetail channel 88 complementary to the front facing projections 36 of the wall members 30 (FIG. 4A) and a vertical and rearward extending portion 87 that, when installed to one of the wall members 30, flanks the side surfaces 33 and 35 of the wall member 30. In one embodiment, the rearward extending portion 87 extends rearward about 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) from the supporting portion 84. The base portion 82 includes a plurality of projections 83 depending from the base portion 82. The projections 83 are suitably sized for engaging the slot-like apertures in the base 20. In one embodiment, at least one of the projections 83 includes a forward directed barb 85, along its lower extremity, for engaging the base 20. It should be appreciated that, when installed to a corresponding wall member 30, the right product stop 42 provides structural integrity to the wall member 30 and prevents the wall member 30 from being shifted horizontally rearward relative to the forward extremity of the base 20.

In accordance with the present invention, the vertical and leftward extending portion 86 of an installed right product stop 42 extends horizontally from the side surface 33 of a wall member 30 into a corresponding channel 50 (e.g., extends about 1.0 inch (2.54 cm) into the channel 50) such that the leftward extending portion 86 impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the channel 50 (e.g., via horizontal translation along the channel 50). Accordingly, at least a right forward extremity of the channel 50 is bound by the right product stop 42 when the stop 42 is installed to the wall member 30 and the base 20. The inventor has discovered that coupling the right product stop 42 to the base 20 and the wall member 30 provides a greater degree of stopping ability than conventional product stops. For example, the inventor has discovered that improved structural integrity is realized by coupling the leftward extending portion 86 to the base 20 and coupling the rearward extending portion 87 about side surfaces 33 and 35 of the wall members 30. This novel combination of the components is heretofore not employed in conventional glide systems.

FIG. 8 illustrates the left product stop 46. In one embodiment, the left product stop 46 is formed as a single molded plastic piece of, for example, transparent polycarbonate, styrene or the like. The left product stop 46 includes a base portion 92, a vertical extending supporting portion 94, and a vertical and rightward extending stop portion 96. The supporting portion 94 includes a vertical extending dovetail channel 98 complementary to the front facing projections 36 of the wall members 30 (FIG. 4A) and a vertical and rearward extending portion 97 that, when installed to one of the wall members 30, flanks the side surfaces 33 and 35 of the wall member 30. In one embodiment, the rearward extending portion 97 extends rearward about 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) from the supporting portion 94. The base portion 92 includes a plurality of projections 93 depending from the base portion 92. The projections 93 are suitably sized for engaging the slot-like apertures in the base 20. In one embodiment, at least one of the projections 93 includes a forward directed barb 95, along its lower extremity, for engaging the base 20. It should be appreciated that, when installed to a corresponding wall member 30, the left product stop 46 provides structural integrity to the wall member 30 and prevents the wall member 30 from being shifted horizontally rearward relative to a forward extremity of the base 20.

The vertical and rightward extending portion 96 of an installed left product stop 46 extends from the side surface 35 of the wall member 30 (e.g., extends about 1.0 inch (2.54 cm) into the channel 50) such that the rightward extending portion 96 impacts and inhibits product from passing freely down the channel 50 (e.g., via horizontal translation along the channel 50). Accordingly, at least a left forward extremity of the channel 50 is bound by the left product stop 46 when the stop 46 is installed to the wall member 30 and the base 20. As with the right product stop 42, the inventor has discovered that coupling the left product stop 46 to the base 20 and the wall member 30 provides a greater degree of stopping ability than conventional product stops.

FIG. 9 illustrates the intermediate product stop 44. In one embodiment, the intermediate product stop 44 is formed as a single molded plastic piece of, for example, transparent polycarbonate, styrene or the like. The intermediate product stop 44 includes a base portion 102, a vertical extending supporting portion 104, a vertical and rightward extending stop portion 106, a vertical and leftward extending stop portion 108 and a vertical and rearward extending portion 109. The supporting portion 104 includes a vertical extending dovetail channel 110 complementary to the front facing projections 36 of the wall members 30 (FIG. 4A) and a vertical and rearward extending portion 109 that, when installed to one of the wall members 30, flanks the side surfaces 33 and 35 of the wall member 30. The base portion 102 includes a plurality of projections 114 depending from the base portion 102. The projections 114 are suitably sized for engaging the slot-like apertures in the base 20. In one embodiment, at least one of the projections 114 includes a forward directed barb 116, along its lower extremity, for engaging the base 20. It should be appreciated that, when installed to a corresponding wall member 30, the intermediate product stop 44 provides structural integrity to the wall member 30 and prevents the wall member 30 from being shifted horizontally rearward relative to the forward extremity of the base 20.

The vertical rightward and leftward extending portions 106 and 108, respectively of an installed intermediate product stop 44 extend from side surfaces of a wall member 30 (e.g., each extends about 1.0 inch (2.54 cm) into the channels 50 and 52) such that the respective extending portions 106 and 108 impact and inhibit product from passing freely down respective channels 50 and 52 (e.g., via horizontal translation along the channels 50 and 52). Accordingly, at least a left forward extremity of a first channel 50 and a right forward extremity of an adjacent second channel 52 are bound by the intermediate product stop 44 when the stop 44 is installed to the wall member 30 and the base 20. As with the right and left product stops 42 and 46, the inventor has discovered that coupling the intermediate product stop 44 to the base 20 and the wall member 30 provides a greater degree of stopping ability than conventional product stops.

The inventor has discovered that in one embodiment wherein the channels retain round products and/or product containers, product traveling down the channels 50 and 52 may gain rotational momentum. When the product strikes the product stops 40 a radius of the product may tend to spread apart the product stops 40, which are positioned to inhibit the product from passing through the forward extremity 54 of the channels 50. Accordingly, the present invention provides product stops 42, 44 and 46 having rearward extending portions 87, 109 and 97, respectively. The rearward extending portions 87, 109 and 97 flank side surfaces 33 and 35 of corresponding wall members 30 to oppose the rotational force that may otherwise tend to spread the product stops 42, 44 and 46.

Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, to assemble the glide 10, the base 20 is first assembled. As described in the '357 Application, this may include assembly of a primary and one or more auxiliary base members. With the base prepared, the wall members 30 are installed to the base 20. To do this, a necessary number of wall members 30 (for the base's width and desired widths of each channel 50 and 52) are aligned at the appropriate width and lowered onto the base 20 via downward vertical translation so that the projections 32 of the wall members 30 pass into associated slots of the base 20. The wall members 30 are then slide forward so that an upper surface of the projections 32 rest against a lower surface of the base 20, as described in the '357 application. When this is completed, each of the wall members 30 is in its installed position.

With the wall members 30 installed, at least one of the product stops 40 may be installed to each of the wall members 30 (FIG. 3). Each of the product stops 40 are installed to the wall members 30 via downward vertical translation such that the dovetail channel 88, 98 and 110 of the product stops 42, 46 and 44 receive the dovetail projection 36 of the wall members 30 and the rearward extending portion 87, 97, and 109 of the product stops 42, 46 and 44 accept the I-beam 39 portion of each of the wall members 30. As the product stops 42, 46 and 44 are installed, the projections 83, 93 and 114 of the product stops 42, 46 and 44, respectively, pass into associated slots of the base 20. It should be appreciated that the product stops 40 provide structural integrity to the wall members 30 and prevent the wall members 30 from being shifted horizontally rearward relative to the forward extremity of the base 20. The rightward and leftward extending portions of the product stops 40 are suitably sized such that the product stops 40 extend (e.g., about 1.0 inch (2.54 cm)) from respective right and left side surfaces 33 and 35 of the wall members 30 to inhibit the free flow of products from front extremities of corresponding channels 50 and 52 (e.g., via horizontal translation along a channel 50).

In one embodiment, the glide 10 may be distributed as a kit. When distributed as a kit, the kit may include a primary base member and sufficient auxiliary base members (as described in the '357 application) to form a base of the maximum anticipated width. The kit would include a plurality of wall members and at least one product stop of each channel formed by the base and wall members, and preferably two product stops (or portion thereof with respect to the intermediate stop) for each channel. Optionally, the kit may include a bull nose front member for exhibiting product information.

One or more embodiments of the present invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, while illustrated with use of a pusher mechanism, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the present invention may similarly be implemented as a gravity-feed glide. Moreover, while described as separately formed components, it should be appreciated that in one embodiment of the present invention the wall members 30 and product stops 40 may be comprised of integrally molded components. For example, FIG. 10 depicts one embodiment of a left channel wall member 120, a right channel wall member 140 and an intermediate channel wall member 160. In a glide employing these integrally molded wall members, a one channel glide includes one of the right channel wall members 140 and one of the left channel wall members 120. A two channel glide includes one of the right channel wall members 140, one of the intermediate channel wall members 160 and one of the left channel wall members 120. Additionally intermediate channel wall members 160 may be affixed to the base to define additional channels for carry product.

In view of the foregoing, it should be appreciated that other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8016139 *Apr 3, 2009Sep 13, 2011Presence From Innovation, LlcGlide system with adjustable dividers and modular floor members
US8104630 *Jan 23, 2007Jan 31, 2012Display TechnologiesShelf divider
US8939421 *Mar 23, 2010Jan 27, 2015Process Retail Group, Inc.Glide floor for merchandising and display of retail products
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/59.2, 211/184
International ClassificationA47F1/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47F1/12
European ClassificationA47F1/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 6, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MECHTRONICS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:016947/0463
Effective date: 20050603
Aug 17, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: MECHTRONICS CORPORATION, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SQUITIERI, ANTHONY C.;REEL/FRAME:016894/0950
Effective date: 20050606