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Publication numberUS20060220501 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/098,139
Publication dateOct 5, 2006
Filing dateApr 4, 2005
Priority dateApr 4, 2005
Publication number098139, 11098139, US 2006/0220501 A1, US 2006/220501 A1, US 20060220501 A1, US 20060220501A1, US 2006220501 A1, US 2006220501A1, US-A1-20060220501, US-A1-2006220501, US2006/0220501A1, US2006/220501A1, US20060220501 A1, US20060220501A1, US2006220501 A1, US2006220501A1
InventorsJames Robertson
Original AssigneeRobertson James D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stacking modular display
US 20060220501 A1
Abstract
A display device has a plurality of stackable modular units. Each modular unit comprises a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions; and a boxy structure attached to the base panel. The boxy structure has top and bottom panels and side panels connected to the top and bottom panels. The top and side panels form a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive a base panel thereon to thereby stack one modular unit atop another modular unit.
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Claims(9)
1. A display device, comprising:
a plurality of stackable modular units, each said modular unit comprising:
a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed portions;
a boxy structure attached to said base panel, said boxy structure having top and bottom panels, and first and second side panels connected to said top and bottom panels providing a boxy structure with an open front, said top and side panels forming a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive a base panel thereon to thereby stack one modular unit atop another modular unit; and
a retaining member, disposed adjacent said open front inside said boxy structure, fastened to said side panels and extending laterally between side panels and said top and bottom panels.
2. A display device, as set forth in claim 1, including a plurality of reinforcing ribs attached to said side panels.
3. A display device, as set forth in claim 1, including a plurality of reinforcing ribs attached to said top panel.
4. (canceled)
5. A display device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said retaining member is positioned closer to said bottom panel than to said top panel inside said boxy structure.
6. A display device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said retaining member is parallel to said bottom panel.
7. A display device, comprising:
a plurality of stackable modular units, each said modular unit comprising:
a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions;
a boxy structure attached to said base panel, said boxy structure having top and bottom panels, and first and second side panels connected to said top and bottom panels providing a boxy structure with an open front and an open rear, said top and side panels forming a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive a base panel thereon to thereby stack one modular unit atop another modular unit;
a first retaining member, disposed adjacent said open front inside said boxy structure, fastened to said side panels and extending laterally between said side panels and said top and bottom panels; and
a second retaining member, disposed adjacent said open rear inside said boxy structure, fastened to said side panels and extending laterally between said top and bottom panels.
8. A display device, as set forth in claim 7, wherein said retaining members are parallel to said bottom panel.
9. A display device, comprising:
a first modular unit comprising a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions; a boxy structure attached to said base panel, said boxy structure having top and bottom panels, and side panels connected to said top and bottom panels and defining front and rear openings adjacent said curved opposed end portions of said base panel, said top and side panels forming a flat central surface and curved side portions; and a retaining member disposed adjacent said open front inside said boxy structure fastened to said side panels and extending laterally between said side panels and said top and bottom panels; and
a second modular unit comprising a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions; a boxy structure attached to said base panel, said boxy structure having top and bottom panels, and side panels connected to said top and bottom panels and defining front and rear openings adjacent said central portion of said base panel, said top and side panels forming a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive said base panel of said first modular unit thereon to thereby stack said second modular unit atop said first modular unit so that said front and rear openings of said first modular unit are angularly disposed ninety degrees from said front and rear openings of said second modular unit; and a retaining member disposed adjacent said open front inside said boxy structure fastened to said side panels and extending laterally between said side panels and said top and bottom panels.
Description
    TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention pertains to a modular device for displaying merchandise such as beverage containers.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Crates and pallets are widely used for stacking, storing, transporting and displaying merchandise such as beverage containers. Stacking beverage containers on a pallet or in crates allows substantial quantities of the beverage containers to be easily and economically stored or displayed. In some retail environments, particularly self-serve and warehouse facilities, merchandise is displayed while still on the pallet or in the crates for purchase by the crate or pallet. In supermarkets, convenience stores and the like, merchandise is purchase one or several items at a time that is less than a crate or pallet. In such situations it is desirable to stack merchandise while maintaining access for removal of one item at a time. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that it would be highly desirable to have a crate or modular device that allows displaying multiple tiers or beverage containers while allowing access for removal of one container at a time from any tier.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    The present invention is directed to overcoming one or more of the problems set forth above. Briefly summarized, according to one aspect of the present invention, a display device comprises a plurality of stackable modular units. Each modular unit comprises a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions; and a boxy structure attached to the base panel. The boxy structure has top, bottom, and side panels connected to the top and bottom panels. The top and side panels form a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive a base panel thereon to thereby stack one modular unit atop another modular unit.
  • [0004]
    Reinforcing ribs are attached to the side panels and top panel. A retaining member is attached to the side panels and extends laterally between the top and bottom panels parallel to the bottom panel. The retaining member is positioned closer to the bottom panel than to the top panel.
  • [0005]
    Reinforcing the top and side panels with reinforcing ribs strengthens the units for stacking while minimizing the amount of material used. The retaining members prevent inadvertent removal of an item from the unit and prevents items from sliding off the unit.
  • [0006]
    According to another aspect of the invention a display device comprises first and second modular units. The first modular unit comprises a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions, and a boxy structure attached to the base panel. The boxy structure has top, bottom, and side panels connected with the side panels connected to the top and bottom panels and defining front and rear openings adjacent the curved opposed end portions of the base panel. The top and side panels form a flat central surface and curved side portions. The second modular unit comprises a base panel having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions, and a boxy structure attached to the base panel. The boxy structure has top, bottom, and side panels with the side panels connected to the top and bottom panels and defining front and rear openings adjacent the central portion of the base panel. The top and side panels form a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive the base panel of the first modular unit thereon to thereby stack the second modular unit atop the first modular unit so that the front and rear openings of the first modular unit are angularly disposed ninety degrees from the front and rear opening of the second modular unit.
  • [0007]
    Disposing the openings in the first and second units ninety degrees from one another allows articles to be view from all directions. Where viewing from only one or two directions is desired, a plurality of first units or a plurality of second units can be stacked.
  • [0008]
    These and other aspects, objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood and appreciated from a review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and appended claims, and by reference to the accompanying drawings
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic front view of a preferred embodiment of a stacking modular display according to the present invention.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is a left side view of the stacking modular display of FIG. 1.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the stacking modular display taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the stacking modular display of FIG. 1.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a stacking modular display similar to FIG. 4 but illustrating another preferred embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0014]
    Referring to FIGS. 1-4, a display 10 is formed of a number of individual modular units 12 stacked one atop another. Each modular unit 12 has a base panel 14 that has a planar central portion and curved opposed end portions. Attached to base panel 14 is a boxy structure having top and bottom panels 16, 18, and side panels 20, 22 connected to the top and bottom panels forming a four sided boxy structure with front and rear openings. As desired, one of the front and rear openings may be closed with a panel leaving only one opening for inserting and removing articles. The top and side panels 16, 20, 22 form a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive a base panel thereon to thereby stack one modular unit atop another modular unit.
  • [0015]
    The top and side panels may each include one or more reinforcing ribs 24. The ribs may be located on the exterior surfaces or on the interior surfaces. Bottom panel 18 is preferably void of ribs on its interior surface to prevent interference with articles disposed thereon. In addition to strengthening the material, which is preferably molded plastic, the ribs improve ventilation. Also, base 14 can contain ribs on its top surface that interlock with ribs on the exterior surface of bottom panel 18 to serve as a means of attaching the boxy structure to the base.
  • [0016]
    A retaining member, such as bar 26, is attached to side panels 20, 22 and extends laterally between the top and bottom panels 16, 18, preferably parallel to bottom panel 18. Retaining member 26 is positioned closer to bottom panel 18 than to top panel 16. The retaining member spans the distance between the side panels to prevent articles from sliding off the base panel or being removed unintentionally. Where there is a rear panel, only one retaining member positioned on the interior of the boxy structure adjacent the front opening is required. Where a rear panel is absent, then two retaining members are required, one adjacent the front opening and the other adjacent the rear opening.
  • [0017]
    It can now be appreciated that a modular display has been presented that has individual units that stack one atop the other. Increasing material thickness, density or number and position of reinforcing ribs will increase the number of units that can be stacked.
  • [0018]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, a display device 28 has a number of first modular units 30 and a number of second modular units 32. Each first modular unit 30 comprises a base panel 34 having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions, and a boxy structure attached to the base panel 34. The boxy structure has top and bottom panels 36, 38, and side panels 40, 42 connected to the top and bottom panels 36, 38. The boxy structure defines front and rear openings adjacent the curved opposed end portions of base panel 34. The top 36 and side panels 40, 42 form a flat central surface and curved side portions. The boxy structure sits on base panel 34 with the front and rear openings adjacent and above the curved end portions of base panel 34.
  • [0019]
    Each second modular unit 32 comprises a base panel 44 having a flat central portion and curved opposed end portions, and a boxy structure attached to the base panel 44. The boxy structure has top and bottom panels 46, 48, and side panels 50, 52 connected to the top and bottom panels 46, 48. The boxy structure defines front and rear openings adjacent the curved opposed end portions of base panel 44. The top 46 and side panels 50, 52 form a flat central surface and curved side portions. The boxy structure sits on base panel 44 with the front and rear openings adjacent and above the curved end portions of base panel 44. The top 46 and side panels 50, 52 form a flat central surface and curved side portions adapted to receive the base panel 34 of the first modular unit 30 thereon to thereby stack a second modular unit 32 atop a first modular unit 30. Similarly, a first modular unit can sit on a second modular unit. When so stacked, the front and rear openings of the first modular unit 30 are angularly disposed ninety degrees from the front and rear opening of the second modular unit 32.
  • [0020]
    A first retaining member, such as bar 54, is attached to side panels 40, 42 of the first module 30 and extends laterally between the top and bottom panels 36, 38, preferably parallel to bottom panel 38. Retaining member 54 is positioned closer to bottom panel 38 than to top panel 36. The retaining member spans the distance between the side panels to prevent articles from sliding off the base panel or being removed unintentionally. Where there is a rear panel, only one retaining member positioned on the interior of the boxy structure adjacent the front opening is required. Where a rear panel is absent, then two retaining members are required, one adjacent the front opening and the other adjacent the rear opening. Each second modular unit also has one or more retaining members 56, 58.
  • [0021]
    It can now be appreciated that a modular display has been presented that has a number of first units and a number of second units that alternately stack one atop the other so that openings are offset. When a second unit is stacked atop a first unit with its opening facing east, then the opening of the second unit faces north or south. Where the units have generally square boxy structures, then the first and second units are identical.
  • [0022]
    While the invention has been described with particular reference to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements of the preferred embodiments without departing from the invention. For example, The outer surfaces of the side panels can have product logo thereon formed by conventional means such as molding, embossing, imprinting or the like.
  • [0023]
    As is evident from the foregoing description, certain aspects of the invention are not limited to the particular details of the examples illustrated, and it is therefore contemplated that other modifications and applications will occur to those skilled in the art. For example, instead of having rounded corners where panels meet, corners could be square. Also, while plastic is preferred, other materials could be used. It is accordingly intended that the claims shall cover all such modifications and applications as do not depart from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
    ELEMENT LIST
    10 display
    12 individual modular units
    14 base panel
    16 top panel
    18 bottom panel
    20, 22 side panels
    24 reinforcing ribs
    26 retaining member
    28 display device
    30 first modular unit
    32 second modular unit
    34 base panel
    36 top panel
    38 bottom panel
    40, 42 side panels
    44 base panel
    46 top panel
    48 bottom panel
    50, 52 side panels
    54 first retaining member
    56, 58 retaining members
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3563624 *Jul 1, 1969Feb 16, 1971James Daniel SticeFamily entertainment center
US3606506 *Mar 5, 1969Sep 20, 1971Armstrong Cork CoModular units for furniture and cabinet construction
US3653734 *Jun 29, 1970Apr 4, 1972Armstrong Cork CoModular furniture
US3841519 *Mar 21, 1973Oct 15, 1974Stromberg PCrate
US4844566 *Aug 14, 1987Jul 4, 1989Cosco, Inc.Modular dressing table and demountable modules therefor
US4863222 *Mar 31, 1989Sep 5, 1989Gefitec S.A.Storage arrangement constituted by a stack of boxes
US5957558 *Jul 23, 1997Sep 28, 1999Quade; Robert C.Combination drawer/shelf storage unit
US6578937 *Oct 4, 2001Jun 17, 2003Fred ThomanStacking toolbox
US6991115 *Apr 11, 2003Jan 31, 2006Sunhing Millennium Ltd.Add-on storage device for CD and/or DVD cases
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8191910Apr 15, 2008Jun 5, 2012The Stanley Works Israel Ltd.Containers and container system
US20070203787 *Sep 8, 2006Aug 30, 2007Raphael Keller-GoRetail facility
US20090256454 *Apr 15, 2008Oct 15, 2009Zag Industries, Ltd.Containers and container system
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/107
International ClassificationA47B87/00, A47B77/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B87/0276
European ClassificationA47B87/02C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 4, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: DISPLAY INDUSTRIES, LLC, GEORGIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROBERTSON, JAMES DAVID;REEL/FRAME:016452/0895
Effective date: 20050329
Jun 29, 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: FCC, LLC D/B/A FIRST CAPITAL, GEORGIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:DISPLAY INDUSTRIES, LLC;REEL/FRAME:028467/0968
Effective date: 20120625
Sep 3, 2015ASAssignment
Owner name: BIG SHOULDERS CAPITAL, LLC, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF A SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FCC, LLC D/B/A FIRST CAPITAL;REEL/FRAME:036537/0820
Effective date: 20150811