|Publication number||US20060070906 A1|
|Application number||US 11/074,088|
|Publication date||Apr 6, 2006|
|Filing date||Mar 7, 2005|
|Priority date||Oct 4, 2004|
|Publication number||074088, 11074088, US 2006/0070906 A1, US 2006/070906 A1, US 20060070906 A1, US 20060070906A1, US 2006070906 A1, US 2006070906A1, US-A1-20060070906, US-A1-2006070906, US2006/0070906A1, US2006/070906A1, US20060070906 A1, US20060070906A1, US2006070906 A1, US2006070906A1|
|Inventors||Donald Verna, Richard Kruyer|
|Original Assignee||Pinckney Molded Plastics, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (9), Classifications (6), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/615,807 filed on Oct. 4, 2004, and provisional patent application Ser. No. (awaiting reporting from United States Patent Office) filed on Feb. 23, 2005, which are incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
This invention relates generally to containers and more particularly to bakery trays or baskets, which can be vertically stacked or nested.
Stackable and nestable tray-like containers are available in various sizes and designs. In general, these tray-like containers are most widely used in the bakery industry for transporting mass quantities of baked goods such as bread loaves and buns. Generally stacking and nesting containers are known in the art. Typically the trays can be stacked on top of each other and nested within each other. The prior art discloses a number of ways this can be accomplished, including stacking with and without an aligning means and nesting of trays when aligned relative with one another and when rotated 180° relative to one another. Such trays are desirable for their ability to stack when loaded for maximum packing and their ability to nest when empty for minimal use of storage space. A three position tray allows the trays to be positioned between a stacking and nesting position for the loading of goods with a lower height. The trays allow the use of a single tray design for differing product sizes, while efficiently utilizing available space.
Incorporated by reference U.S. Pat. No. 6,394,274.
The present invention is a three-way tray or container that provides at least three levels of stacking between vertically adjacent stacked trays. The tray includes a first wall, a second wall located opposite from the first wall, a first side wall, a second side wall located opposite from the first side wall, a bottom connectible between the four walls, and means for adjustably stacking vertically adjacent containers. The adjustably stacking means can include, a plurality of complementary extensions and grooves, a plurality of complementary protrusions and recesses, and at least one adjustment member.
The adjustably stacking means can comprise a first stacking level defined when vertically adjacent stacked trays are in an identical orientation with respect to one another and a plurality of protrusions of one tray are received by a plurality of grooves of another tray, a second stacking level defined when one tray is rotated one-hundred eighty degrees (180°) with respect to another vertically adjacent stacked tray, an at least one adjustment member of the one tray is in a disengaged position, and a plurality of extensions of the another tray are fully received by a plurality of recesses of the one tray, and a third stacking level intermediate with respect to the first stacking level and the second stacking level and defined when one tray is rotated one-hundred eighty degrees (180°) with respect to another vertically adjacent stacked tray, the at least one adjustment member of the one tray is in an engaged position, and the extensions of another tray are partially received by the recesses of the one tray to a depth limited by the at least one adjustment member.
The at least one adjustment member can be a pin receivable by a channel of at least one of the first side wall and the second side wall. The pin can include detent means for defining a plurality of stop positions relative to the channel.
Other applications of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art when the following description of the best mode contemplated for practicing the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
Referring to the drawings, a container or tray 10 is shown in
As best seen in
Referring again to
In a preferred configuration, the first wall 12 and the second wall 16 have lower heights relative to the first side wall 14 and the second side wall 18. The first wall 12 can include an angular step portion 26 proximate to each corner 28 with a lower ledge 30 therebetween. The second wall 16 can include an angular step portion 31 proximate to each of the corners 28. On an upper surface 32 of each of the angular portions 26, 31 of the first wall 12 and the second wall 16, respectively, and adjacent to the side walls 14, 18 is a first notch 34 and a first rail lip portion 36, which commences a non-continuous inner rail 38 for guidance along the side walls 14, 18 when stacking one tray 10 vertically adjacent to another tray 10. Adjacent to the first rail lips 36 and inboard from the side walls 14, 18 is a second notch 40. Each second notch 40 is sized to accommodate one of the side walls 14, 18 when one tray 10 is stacked vertically adjacent to and positioned rotated (90°) ninety degrees relative to another tray 10 for storage of the unloaded trays 10.
As discussed above, the first side wall 14 and the second side wall 18 are mirror images of each other. An upper continuous wall portion extends the entire length of the side walls 14, 18, herein referred to as the outer rail 42. A groove 44 extends between the inner rail 38 and the outer rail 42. The first wall 14 includes multiple extensions or feet 46. The feet 46 can have non-uniform spacing with respect to the length of the first side wall 14. The foot proximate to the first wall 12 is referred to as 46A, and the foot proximate to the second wall 16 is referred to as 46B. Each foot 46A, 46B is generally rectangular in shape and can include at least one angled corner or chamfer 47A, 47B. At the bottom of each foot 46A, 46B, there is a protrusion 48A, 48B respectively, where the protrusions 48A, 48B have a complementary shape and a complementary spacing with respect to the groove 44. The side walls 14, 18 each can include multiple recesses 50A, 50B. The recesses 50A, 50B can have a complementary shape to the feet 46A, 46B, respectively. The number of the recesses 50A, 50B and spacing of the recesses 50A, 50B along the first side wall 14 are complementary to the number and spacing of the feet 46A, 46B, respectively. The first side wall 14 can include at least one window or aperture 52 in order to allow at least one of gripping the tray 10 by an operator and viewing of items or merchandise contained in the tray 10. The aperture 52 can be generally rectangular in shape and can include rounded corners 54.
The first side wall 14 can include a channel 56 for receiving the pin 22, as can be seen in
As shown in
Referring again to
A second stacking level is shown where the tray 10D is in a reversed or 180° orientation with respect to the tray 10C where the second wall 16 of the tray 10D faces the same direction of the first wall 12 of the tray 10C, and the pin 22C of the tray 10C is in a first position where the detent member 82 is engaged with the detent aperture 84B. When in this stacking level, the feet 46 of the tray 10D are received in their entirety by the recesses 50 of the tray 10C. This results in a minimum distance between the bottoms 20 of the trays 10C, 10D relative to other stacking levels discussed herein.
A third stacking level is defined, as discussed above, when the tray 10C is in the reversed or 180° orientation relative to the tray 10B, and the pin 22B of tray 10B is in a second position where the detent member 82 is engaged with the detent aperture 84A. When the pin 22B is in the second position, it is moved relative to the channel such that the steps 70, 72 of the pin 22B of the tray 10B are in a corresponding location to the recesses 50 of the tray 10B. This limits the depth of the recesses 50 so that when the tray 10C is stacked vertically onto the tray 10B the feet 46 of the top tray 10C rest on the steps 72, 70 of the pin 22B and are only partially received by the recesses 50 of the tray 10B. This results in a middle or intermediate distance between the bottoms 20 of the trays 10B, 10C relative to the first stacking level and the second stacking level described above.
While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments but, on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims, which scope is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures as is permitted under the law.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7484621 *||Sep 9, 2005||Feb 3, 2009||Rehrig Pacific Company||Tray|
|US7686167||Dec 14, 2006||Mar 30, 2010||Orbis Canada Limited||Stackable container with front and rear windows, and method for using the same|
|US7784615||May 30, 2007||Aug 31, 2010||Orbis Canada Limited||Nestable and stackable container for the transport of heavy baked items|
|US8720687 *||Jul 1, 2009||May 13, 2014||Rehrig Pacific Company||Bakery tray|
|US8763809 *||Jan 27, 2012||Jul 1, 2014||Rehrig Pacific Company||Bakery tray|
|US20050183980 *||Jan 28, 2005||Aug 25, 2005||Fernandez Enrique C.||Stackable tray|
|US20120074022 *||Sep 23, 2011||Mar 29, 2012||Drader Manufacturing Industries Ltd.||Sliding engagement for a stacking delivery tray|
|US20120193260 *||Jan 27, 2012||Aug 2, 2012||Baltz Kyle L||Bakery tray|
|EP2154079A1 *||Jul 1, 2009||Feb 17, 2010||Rehrig Pacific Company||Bakery tray|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D21/041, B65D21/046|
|European Classification||B65D21/04B, B65D21/04D4|
|Apr 6, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: PINCKNEY MOLDED PLASTICS, INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VERNA, DONALD;KRUYER, RICHARD C.;REEL/FRAME:015865/0001
Effective date: 20050304
|Jun 18, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LASALLE BANK MIDWEST NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, MICHIGA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:PINCKNEY MOLDED PLASTICS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019440/0624
Effective date: 20070523