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Publication numberUS20050139502 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/064,470
Publication dateJun 30, 2005
Filing dateFeb 23, 2005
Priority dateJul 11, 2001
Also published asCA2598557A1, WO2006091533A1
Publication number064470, 11064470, US 2005/0139502 A1, US 2005/139502 A1, US 20050139502 A1, US 20050139502A1, US 2005139502 A1, US 2005139502A1, US-A1-20050139502, US-A1-2005139502, US2005/0139502A1, US2005/139502A1, US20050139502 A1, US20050139502A1, US2005139502 A1, US2005139502A1
InventorsDale Andersen, Peter Fox
Original AssigneeDale Andersen, Fox Peter N.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Innovative shipping package
US 20050139502 A1
Abstract
A product container package assembly comprises a tray, a plurality of product containers positioned on a support surface of the tray, and an adhesive positioned between at least one of the product containers and the support surface. The tray having a support surface, front side, a back side, a left side and a right side. The tray has a back side wall, right side wall and a left side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface. The front side defines an opening between the right side wall, the left side wall and the support surface. The adhesive is positioned at least between the product container(s) immediately adjacent to the front side opening and the support surface.
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Claims(20)
1. A product container package assembly comprising:
a tray, the tray having a support surface, front side, a back side, a left side and a right side,
the back side being defined by a back side wall, the back side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface
the right side being defined by a right side wall, the right side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface,
the left side being defined by a left side wall, the left side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface,
the front side defining an opening between the right side wall, the left side wall and the support surface;
a plurality of product containers, the plurality of product containers positioned on the support surface of the tray, each of the product containers having top, bottom and side surfaces, the plurality of product containers being arranged on the support surface in a plurality of rows, every row having at least one product container whose side surface is engaged by at least one side wall of the tray, one row being immediately adjacent to the opening of the front side of the tray;
an adhesive, the adhesive positioned between the bottom surface of at least one product container of the one row immediately adjacent to the opening of the front side of the tray and the support surface.
2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the adhesive is a temporary bond self-releasing adhesive.
3. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the adhesive comprises a single strip of adhesive between the one row immediately adjacent to the opening of the front side of the tray and the support surface.
4. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the adhesive comprises at least one discrete area of adhesive which is positioned between only the bottom surface of the at least one product container of the one row immediately adjacent to the opening of the front side of the tray and the support surface.
5. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the adhesive is positioned between the support surface and the bottom surface of each and every product container.
6. The assembly of claim 5 wherein the adhesive comprises a plurality of discrete adhesive regions on the support surface, wherein each region corresponds to an area of at least a portion of the bottom surface of a single product container.
7. The assembly of claim 1 wherein each of the product containers have a tapered shape such that the bottom surface has an area less than that of the top.
8. The assembly of claim 1 further comprising a top pad, the top pad having an engagement surface in contact with the top surface of each of the product containers.
9. The assembly of claim 8 wherein the engagement surface of the top pad has an area less than that of the support surface of the tray.
10. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the back side wall, right side wall and left side wall each define a wall height, the wall height of at least a portion of the right side wall and the left side wall tapering from a first height to a second height, wherein the second height is less than the first height, the height of the back side wall being the second height.
11. The assembly of claim 1 further comprising an encapsulating film, the encapsulating film being at least partially disposed about the tray and the product containers.
12. The assembly of claim 11 wherein the film is at least partially constructed from at least one polymer material.
13. The assembly of claim 11 wherein the film is selected from at least one member of the group consisting of stretch-wrap, shrink-wrap and any combination thereof.
14. The assembly of claim 1 further comprising a shipping container, the tray and product containers being entirely contained within the shipping container.
15. The assembly of claim 14 wherein the shipping container is at least partially constructed of cardboard.
16. The assembly of claim 15 wherein the cardboard is corrugated.
17. The assembly of claim 1 comprising a plurality of trays.
18. A product container package assembly comprising:
a only a single tray, the tray having a support surface, front side, a back side, a left side and a right side,
the back side being defined by a back side wall, the back side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface
the right side being defined by a right side wall, the right side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface,
the left side being defined by a left side wall, the left side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface,
the front side defining an opening between the right side wall, the left side wall and the support surface;
a plurality of product containers, the plurality of product containers positioned on the support surface of the tray, each of the product containers having top, bottom and side surfaces, the plurality of product containers being arranged on the support surface in a plurality of rows, every row having at least one product container whose side surface is engaged by at least one side wall of the tray, one row being immediately adjacent to the opening of the front side of the tray;
a top pad, the top pad having an engagement surface in contact with the top surface of each of the product containers;
an encapsulating film, the encapsulating film at least partially disposed about the tray, the product containers and the top pad.
19. The assembly of claim 18 wherein each of the product containers have a tapered shape such that the bottom surface has an area less than that of the top.
20. A method of packaging product containers comprising:
providing a tray, the tray having a support surface, front side, a back side, a left side and a right side,
the back side being defined by a back side wall, the back side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface
the right side being defined by a right side wall, the right side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface,
the left side being defined by a left side wall, the left side wall extending in a substantially vertical direction from the support surface,
the front side defining an opening between the right side wall, the left side wall and the support surface;
applying a temporary bond self-removing adhesive onto the support surface; and
placing a plurality of product containers onto the support surface, each of the product containers having top, bottom and side surfaces, the plurality of product containers being arranged on the support surface in a plurality of rows, every row having at least one product container whose side surface is engaged by at least one side wall of the tray, one row being immediately adjacent to the opening of the front side of the tray, the adhesive being positioned between the support surface and at least one product container of the one row.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/668,646, filed Sep. 23, 2003, which is a continuation-in-part (CIP) of 10/388,100, filed Mar. 13, 2003 (now abandoned) which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/902,971, which was filed Jul. 11, 2001 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,588,594 the entire contents of each being incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Devices for packing and shipping products and/or containers of products are known. Such devices are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Often a package is designed to contain a number of different containers, such as several containers of a product, in a single package for delivery from one location to another, such as from a manufacturer to a wholesaler or retail seller. Sometimes the shipping package is also used to display the product once the shipping package is opened at the retail seller.

There remains a need for a cost effective low-bulk package which is capable of shipping a small number of containers, and which transitions to a display package and/or is capable of readily transferring the containers directly onto a display shelf, without a need for cutting or tearing of the cardboard or other fairly rigid material of the package, and provides full consumer view and access to the containers, yet also meets the strength, durability, palletizing, and general industry standards for shipping packages of like containers to market.

Without limiting the scope of the invention, a brief summary of various embodiments of the invention is set forth below. Additional details of the summarized embodiments of the invention and/or additional embodiments of the invention may be found in the Detailed Description of the Invention below.

A brief abstract of the technical disclosure in the specification is provided as.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, the invention is directed to a container package assembly which includes a plurality of trays for supporting containers thereon, a top pad which is placed over the containers and at least one layer of encapsulating film which at least partially covers the combination top pad, containers and trays. The package may be used for shipping and, optionally, for retail display.

In at least one embodiment of the invention, the container package assembly comprises two or more trays which are positioned horizontally adjacent to one another. A plurality of containers is disposed on each tray and a top pad extends atop the containers over at least a portion of each of the trays. The trays, containers and top pad are at least partially encapsulated by a polymeric packaging film such as shrink-wrap, stretch-wrap, plastic or other type of thin pliable membrane. The top pad provides stability to the individual containers positioned on the trays during distribution of the shipping package as well as maintaining stability of the entire package by structurally linking the two independent trays.

The top pad, in accordance with the invention, typically has a surface area equal to or less than the area of the tray positioned there under.

Typically, the trays comprise a fairly rigid horizontal support surface. Desirably, the trays may have one or more vertical sides or walls to help retain the containers on the horizontal support surface. These side walls function to retain the containers on the horizontal support surfaces during the packaging process, during distribution, and during the transfer of the display package to the retail shelf. The walls may be of uniform height, may be tapered, or may have other configurations.

In at least one embodiment a tray is provided with three side walls and one “open” side.

In some embodiments the product containers to be placed on the tray have a tapered shape such that the bottom of the product container that sits on the support surface of the tray has a smaller diameter than the top of the product container. Where such tapered product containers are present the vertical sides of the tray are constructed to arranged to engage at least a portion of the tapered sides of the product containers adjacent thereto. In some embodiments the length and/or width of the horizontal support surface is less than the effective length and/or width of the arranged tops of the product containers.

In some embodiments the assembly comprises a single tray.

In some embodiments the top pad and/or layer of encapsulating film are optional or not a required component of the assembly.

In some embodiments the assembly is encapsulated in a shipping material other than encapsulating film. For example, in at least one embodiment one or more trays and their associated containers, are placed within or encapsulated in a cardboard or corrugated cardboard box.

In at least one embodiment the tray is provided with an adhesive on its surface to at least temporarily engage one or more rows of the product containers positioned thereon. In some embodiments the adhesive is may be a permanent or temporary adhesive, such as a removable adhesive, time release adhesive, biodegradable adhesive and/or any combination thereof. In some embodiments all of the product containers on the tray are at least temporarily affixed to the tray. In some embodiments only some product containers are at least temporarily affixed to the tray.

In some embodiments the temporary adhesive is in the form of a line or strip of temporary adhesive which engages the row of products proximate to the open side of the tray. In some embodiments the temporary adhesive is placed in a series of individual distinct spots on the tray surface, with each point corresponding to the eventual position of a single product container.

Further aspects of the invention will become apparent form the detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

A detailed description of the invention is hereafter described with specific reference being made to the following drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 wherein the left and right side walls have a tapered height.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 wherein the assembly is shown with no top pad.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention wherein the assembly is provided with a single tray configuration.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 wherein the assembly is shown with no top pad.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 wherein the assembly is shown with no encapsulating film.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 wherein the assembly is shown with no top pad and no encapsulating film.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an embodiment shown in FIG. 7 wherein the product containers have a tapered vertical shape and wherein the tray is configured to have side walls that abut the product containers adjacent thereto.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 wherein the assembly is shown with encapsulating film but without a top pad.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 wherein the assembly is shown with a top pad and with encapsulating film.

FIG. 11 is an exploded view of an embodiment of the invention wherein the tray is provided with at least one strip of adhesive to engage the bottom one or more rows of product containers placed thereon.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 11 wherein the adhesive is provided in individual areas corresponding to the bottom of one or more individual product containers.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 12 wherein the tray is provided with an individual spot of adhesive to correspond to each and every product container.

FIGS. 14-17 is a series of perspective views of an embodiment of the invention which depicts a method of encapsulating one or more of the assemblies shown in FIG. 8 within a shipping container.

FIGS. 18-20 is a perspective view of an exemplary retail display wherein a method of transferring product containers from the assembly tray to the display is shown.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention may be embodied in many different forms, there are described in detail herein specific embodiments of the invention. This description is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiments illustrated.

For the purposes of this disclosure, unless otherwise indicated, identical reference numerals used in different figures refer to the same component.

An embodiment of the inventive container package assembly is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the container package assembly 10, comprises a pair of support members or trays 12. The edges of each tray 12 are defined by three side walls 14 and an open side 16. The trays 12 may be constructed of any substantially rigid material suitable for shipping and displaying containers 20. For example, the trays may be constructed from cardboard (corrugated or otherwise), press-board, chipboard, SBS board, wood, one or more paper product derivative, plastic, metal or other materials. Preferably, the trays are constructed from a light weight material that may be easily and inexpensively recycled or disposed of Trays 12 support a plurality of containers 20 as shown.

The containers 20 may be arranged on a tray 12 in any manner desired. For improved stability and strength, the containers are preferably arranged in a uniform pattern of rows and or columns. Such an arrangement has the added benefit of providing ready viewability and ease of access when the trays 12 of containers 20 are placed in a retail environment.

Once the containers 20 are placed on the trays 12 in a desired arrangement, a top pad 22 is placed on top of the containers 20. The top pad 22 may have a horizontal surface 24 having an area which extends at least partially over each of the trays 12. The horizontal surface 24 of the top pad 22 may be greater than, equal to, or less than the area of the combined trays 12 positioned there under. Typically, the top pad will have an area slightly less than the combined area of the trays over which the top pad extends. Once the top pad 22 is in place on top of the containers 20, the combined assembly of trays 12, containers 20, and top pad 22 may be in-whole or in-part encapsulated by a film 30.

The top pad 22 forms a supporting linkage between the trays 12. The top pad 22 may further act as a cutting surface once the package assembly 10 is received in a retail environment. The film 30 may be cut and opened, through application of a knife or other cutting means. The presence of the top pad 22 prevents the cutting means from contacting and damaging the containers 20 positioned there under. After the film 30 is cut and the assembly 10 opened, the top pad 22 may then be removed from the containers 20, and the two independent trays 12 may be used as shelf ready displays.

While the use of a top pad 22 is often desired to provide additional support and structural rigidity to assembly configurations, such as those depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, the use of a top pad on all assemblies 10 is not required. For example, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the package assembly 10 is not provided with a unitizing top pad, such as is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In embodiments such as that which is shown in FIG. 3 the nature and/or relationship of the particular types of product containers 20, the configuration and relationship of the trays 12 and/or the nature of the encapsulating wrap 30 may act to provide the desired strength and rigidity characteristics otherwise provided by the top pad.

In the various embodiments of the invention where the package 10 includes an encapsulating film 30, the film 30 may be any type of retaining film or material. For example the film 30 may be shrink-wrap, stretch wrap, plastic sheeting or netting, or any other type of retaining material. The film 30 may partially or entirely encapsulate the entire combination of trays 12, containers 20, and the optional top pad 22, such as is in the manner shown in FIGS. 1-3. The film 30 may be transparent, translucent or opaque; however, a transparent film may be more preferable for retail display purposes as it is desirable to allow wholesale or retail consumers to be able to view the containers 20 even when the film 30 is in place.

In the various embodiments shown and described herein each tray 12 comprises a horizontal support surface 40 upon which the containers 20 are placed along with the three side walls 14 and an open side 16. A three-walled tray provides improved stability while ensuring that the “front” or label information of the containers 20 is fully exposed for retail viewing.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 two of the side walls 14, such as right side wall 17 and left side wall 18 optionally taper from a greater height at the back wall 19 of the tray to a lesser height at the open front side 16 the tray. The extent of the taper may vary greatly. Alternatively, the side walls may also be of uniform height as shown in FIG. 2. In some embodiments the side walls 14 may have any of a variety of height configurations.

The inclusion of walls 14 on the trays 12, improves the stability of the package 10, by confining the containers 20 within the confines of the tray 12. The use of walls 14 may help retain the containers 20 on the trays 12 even when the film 30 is removed. As is discussed in greater detail below the height of the walls as well as their proximity to the product containers 20 also affects stability of the package 10.

In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-3 the package 10 is shown comprising at least two trays 12, in a side by side arrangement. In some embodiments however, it is desired to provide a package assembly having only a single tray 12, such as is shown in FIGS. 4-10.

As mentioned above, in multiple tray package assemblies, such as those depicted in FIGS. 1-2, the top pad 22 acts as a unitizing structure which provides reinforcing strength and rigidity to the assembly 10. The use of encapsulating film 30, also adds stability to the multiple tray assembly by securing the trays 12 and/or product containers 20 together in a single package, such as is illustrated by the embodiment shown in FIG. 3. In single tray assemblies however, such as are shown in FIGS. 4-10 the presence of only a single tray 12 within the assembly 10 reduces much of the need of extra reinforcing mechanisms such as the top pad and/or film, though such elements may still be utilized individually or in combination.

For example, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, a package assembly 10 is shown wherein the assembly is comprised of only a single tray 12, which supports a plurality of containers 20, and which further comprises a top pad 22 and encapsulating film 30. Though the assembly is provided with only a single tray 12, in many instances it may still be desirable to provide the assembly with additional support and/or strength, such as is provided by the use of a top pad 22 and/or encapsulating film 30. For example, where the product containers 20 are particularly large, heavy, and/or it is desirable to minimize or limit their potential movement (e.g. fragility, etc), the additional top pad 22, and/or encapsulating film 30 may be utilized to provide additional support to the assembly by minimize flexing of the tray 12 and unitizing the product containers 20 on both their bottom and top surfaces.

Depending on the nature of the product containers, the shipping conditions, display conditions, etc. it may be more cost effective to eliminate the top pad from the assembly 10 such as in the manner shown in FIG. 5. Alternatively, the top pad 22 may by provided to the assembly 10, but the encapsulating film left out, such as in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6. A package assembly 10, such as is shown in FIG. 7, may similarly be provided wherein both the top pad and film are avoided.

Reducing the components of the package assembly 10, by avoiding the use of a top pad and/or encapsulating film may naturally provide for a less stable shipping package. Such instability however may be offset in a number of ways. For example in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 7 the vertical side walls 14 of the tray 12 may be configured to abut or engage the sides 50 of the containers 20 which are adjacent thereto. In at least one embodiment the shape of one or both of the containers 20 and side walls 14 may be configured for complementary engagement (such as for example by scalloping the side walls 14 to provide gripping regions for the product containers 20, etc.). By providing a tray 12 with a size and shape such that position of the side walls 14 confine the support surface 40 of the tray 12 to closely match the dimensions of the space needed for the arrangement of product containers 20 thereon, the stability of the assembly 10 may be enhanced.

In some embodiments however the particular dimensions of the support surface 40 of the tray 12 is not as significant to pack stability as the relationship between the product containers 20 and the side walls 14. For example, as is shown in FIGS. 8-10, product containers may often time have a shape other that cylindrical. In the embodiments shown, the product containers 20 have a tapered or inverted frusto-conical shape wherein the area of an individual product container's base or bottom 52 is less than that of the product container's top portion 54.

With such tapered containers 20 the dimensions of the support surface of the tray 12 may be configured to substantially match the general length and width dimensions of the arranged of the container bases 52. However in such an embodiment the side walls 14 would necessarily be forced to angle outward from the support surface 40 in order to follow the angle defined by the sides 50 of the product containers 20. An alternative configuration is that which is shown in FIGS. 8-10 wherein the support surface 40 of the tray is somewhat larger in length and width than the general length and width dimensions of the arranged of the container bases 52 so that the side walls 14 maintain their substantially vertical orientation relative to the support surface 40. The side walls 14, are configured however to engage at least the sides 50 of each product container 20 adjacent thereto.

The engagement of the side walls 14 against the sides 50 of the tapered containers 20 may be made more secure by providing the package assembly 10 with encapsulating film 30 such as is shown in FIG. 9. A top pad 22 may also be utilized to provide the assembly 10 with increased stability as well, such as is shown in the embodiment of FIG. 10.

As discussed above the stability, strength, and other characteristics of the package assembly may be modified or enhanced through the use of particular tray configurations, product container configurations, the optional use of a top pad, encapsulating film, etc. Yet another way in which the stability of the package assembly may be improved is through the use of one or more adhesives between the tray and the product containers contained placed thereon.

Any type of adhesive may be used to secure product containers 20 to the support surface 40 of the tray 12. It is preferable however, particularly in applications wherein the product containers 20 will eventually be placed in a retail setting, that the adhesive be a temporary bond self-removing adhesive, a time release adhesive, a biodegradable adhesive, etc. Some examples of suitable adhesives are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,182,422, 6,499,596; as well as in U.S. Pub. App. No. 2003-0150760-A1 the entire contents of each of which are incorporated herein by reference. In at least one embodiment the adhesive is a temporary bond self-releasing adhesive with a viscosity of less than about 1800 centipoises. In some embodiments the temporary bond self-releasing adhesive has a viscosity of less than about 1500 centipoises.

In typical packaging systems, an adhesive is applied to the packaging substrate in one or more strips or “lines” which are positioned to correspond to each row or column of product containers so that all of the containers are adhesively engaged to the packaging substrate. While engagement of all of the containers to the substrate in this manner provides for a high degree of stability between the substrate and product, engagement of all the containers to the substrate is may not be necessary For example, in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 11, the unique three sided tray 12 provides a support surface 40 which is open on only one side 16. Because the walls 14 act to substantially contain the product containers 20 on the support surface 40 of the tray, a single strip or line 62 of adhesive 60 may be provide under only those product containers 20 immediately adjacent to the open side 16 of the tray 12 to adequately secure all of the containers 20 on the tray 12.

In at least one embodiment, an example of which is shown in FIG. 12 adhesive 60 is selectively applied to the tray 12 in individual areas or “spots” 64, rather than one or more “lines” such as described above. Each spot 64 is positioned on the support surface 40 to correspond to the eventual position of at least a portion of each container's base 52. Through the use of computer controlled adhesive applicators or “guns” (not shown) the spots of adhesive may be very precisely sized and arranged to minimize the amount of adhesive necessary to secure a product container 20 to the support surface 40. As shown in FIG. 12 a spot 64 of adhesive 60 is provided only to each of the product containers immediately adjacent to the open side 16 of the tray 12. If desired, all of the product containers 20 on a tray 12 may be provided with adhesive spots 64, such as is shown in FIG. 13.

In some embodiments of the invention, particularly those wherein the adhesive described above is utilized, a tray 12 and its associated product containers 20, may be readily placed within a box or other conventional shipping container 70 such as is shown in FIGS. 14-17. In at least one embodiment, wherein the product containers 20 are adhesively engaged to the tray 12, the combined tray 12 and it products 20 may be lifted (by the product containers 20 or by the tray 12) or otherwise mechanically placed into the shipping container 70. Depending on the manner in which the tray 12 and products 20 are eventually encapsulated within container 70 the use of an adhesive may be unnecessary or limited to only specific containers such as has been described above.

If desired the tray 12 and product containers 20 may be provided with a top pad and/or encapsulating film in the manner previously described.

As indicated the shipping container 70 may be any type of conventional shipping container, such for example a corrugated cardboard box, a wooden shipping container, etc. Any type of container may be utilized in the manner shown in FIGS. 14-17.

As illustrated in FIG. 15, multiple levels of trays 12 may be placed within the shipping container 70. While in the embodiment shown only two levels of trays and products are depicted, depending on the size and weight of the products 20 and the strength of the shipping container 70, additional levels may be contained within a given shipping container. In some embodiments, a shipping container 70 may be configured to contain multiple columns of trays and products as well.

As shown in FIG. 16 when the shipping container 70 has a sufficient quantity of trays and products 20 contained therein, the shipping container may be sealed in any conventional way for delivery. In some embodiments however, a top pad 22 may be provided on the top level of products 20 to protect the products from contact with implements such as for example a box cutter when the shipping container 70 is opened subsequent to delivery. In at least one embodiment the top pad 22 is provided with indicia 80 such as labeling and/or barcode information which identifies the product containers thereunder. In some embodiments a top pad may be provided between each level of product trays in the same shipping container in order to identify each level of product. Such use of top pads between levels is particularly useful if the products on different levels are themselves different.

As previously mentioned, the three-sided tray 12 described above is particularly suited to act as a display tray in a retail setting. It is recognized however, that in some retail settings it is preferable to place the product containers 20 directly onto a display shelf 90 such as is shown in FIGS. 18-20.

In such instances, the open side 16 of the three-sided tray 12 makes it particularly easy to unload product containers 20 directly from the tray 12 to the display shelf 90 with a minimum of effort. As is shown in FIGS. 18-20 by simply aligning the open side 16 of the tray 12 with the empty region 92 of the shelf 90 and then pushing the product containers 20 onto the shelf 90 a self can be readily and efficiently restocked. The now empty tray 12 may be discarded, recycled or reused.

In the various embodiments depicted herein, the assembly may be provided with any of a variety of containers, which may be varied in size, shape, number, and arrangement. Similarly, the support members, including the walls thereof and the top pad may likewise be provided in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The above disclosure is intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive. This description will suggest many variations and alternatives to one of ordinary skill in this art. All these alternatives and variations are intended to be included within the scope of the claims where the term “comprising” means “including, but not limited to”. Those familiar with the art may recognize other equivalents to the specific embodiments described herein which equivalents are also intended to be encompassed by the claims.

Further, the particular features presented in the dependent claims can be combined with each other in other manners within the scope of the invention such that the invention should be recognized as also specifically directed to other embodiments having any other possible combination of the features of the dependent claims. For instance, for purposes of claim publication, any dependent claim which follows should be taken as alternatively written in a multiple dependent form from all prior claims which possess all antecedents referenced in such dependent claim if such multiple dependent format is an accepted format within the jurisdiction (e.g. each claim depending directly from claim 1 should be alternatively taken as depending from all previous claims). In jurisdictions where multiple dependent claim formats are restricted, the following dependent claims should each be also taken as alternatively written in each singly dependent claim format which creates a dependency from a prior antecedent-possessing claim other than the specific claim listed in such dependent claim below.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7392905 *Apr 4, 2005Jul 1, 2008Delkor Systems Inc.Temporary bonded container package and method
US7467504Sep 22, 2006Dec 23, 2008Delkor Systems, Inc.Packaging system for split package assembly
US7942263Oct 16, 2008May 17, 2011The C.W. Zumbiel Co.Beverage container package and dispenser
US8127925May 17, 2011Mar 6, 2012The C.W. Zumbiel CompanyContainer package and dispenser
US20130140199 *Jan 8, 2013Jun 6, 2013Philip Morris Usa Inc.Adjacent article package for consumer products
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/427
International ClassificationB65D71/00, B65D71/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65D71/0085, B65D71/10
European ClassificationB65D71/00F, B65D71/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 18, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: DELKOR SYSTEMS, INC., MINNESOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ANDERSEN, DALE;FOX, PETER NELSON;REEL/FRAME:021257/0144
Effective date: 20071120