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Publication numberUS20060237341 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/379,653
Publication dateOct 26, 2006
Filing dateApr 21, 2006
Priority dateApr 22, 2005
Publication number11379653, 379653, US 2006/0237341 A1, US 2006/237341 A1, US 20060237341 A1, US 20060237341A1, US 2006237341 A1, US 2006237341A1, US-A1-20060237341, US-A1-2006237341, US2006/0237341A1, US2006/237341A1, US20060237341 A1, US20060237341A1, US2006237341 A1, US2006237341A1
InventorsClinton McDade
Original AssigneeSchaefer Systems International, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stacking container
US 20060237341 A1
Abstract
A stackable container capable of being cross-stacked with other containers. The stackable container includes a plurality of sidewalls, a bottom wall, and an open top. The bottom wall is connected to respective top and bottom edges of the sidewalls. The top edges have alternating raised and lowered sections and the bottom edges have complementary alternating raised and lowered sections for securing the container in a stacked configuration with a second container, such that the bottom wall does not protrude into the interior of the second container.
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Claims(16)
1. A stackable container, comprising a plurality of sidewalls having respective top and bottom edges, a bottom wall connected to the bottom edges of the sidewalls, and a top opening defined by the top edges, wherein at least one of the top edges has alternating raised and lowered sections and at least one of the bottom edges has complementary alternating raised and lowered sections for securing the container in a stacked configuration with a second container, such that the bottom wall does not protrude into the interior of the second container.
2. The stackable container according to claim 1, wherein the top edge further includes an outwardly-projecting rim.
3. The stackable container according to claim 2, wherein the raised and lowered sections of the top edge are defined by the rim.
4. The stackable container according to claim 1, wherein the bottom edge further includes an outwardly-projecting rib.
5. The stackable container according to claim 4, wherein the raised and lowered sections of the bottom edge are defined by the rib.
6. A stackable container according to claim 1, wherein the raised sections and lowered sections are spaced for allowing containers of various sizes to be cross-stacked.
7. A stackable container according to claim 1, wherein the container has four sidewalls disposed in a rectangular relationship, and two of the opposed sidewalls each include two spaced-apart raised sections, the raised sections being positioned near the corners of the container.
8. A stackable container according to claim 1, wherein the bottom wall includes at least one bottom recess extending into the interior of the container for receiving the raised sections of the top edge of another container.
9. A stackable container, comprising:
(a) a plurality of sidewalls having respective top and bottom edges, a bottom wall connected to the sidewalls, and a top opening defined by the top edges; and
(b) an outwardly-protruding rib disposed on the bottom edges and an outwardly-protruding rim disposed on the top edges for supporting a second container, wherein at least a portion of the rib and rim each have a plurality of complementary alternating raised and lowered sections for securing the container in a stacked configuration with the second container, such that the bottom wall does not protrude into the interior of the second container.
10. A stackable container according to claim 9, wherein the raised sections and lowered sections are spaced for allowing containers of various sizes to be cross-stacked.
11. A stackable container according to claim 9, wherein the container has four sidewalls disposed in a rectangular relationship, and two of the opposed sidewalls each include two spaced-apart raised sections, the raised sections being positioned near the corners of the container.
12. A stackable container according to claim 9, wherein the bottom wall includes two bottom recesses extending into the interior of the container for receiving the raised sections of the top edge of another container.
13. A stackable container, comprising a plurality of sidewalls having respective top and bottom edges, a bottom wall connected to the sidewalls, and a top opening defined by the top edges, wherein at least one of the top edges has a plurality of projections and at least one of the bottom edges has complementary recesses for securing the container in a stacked configuration with a second container.
14. The stackable container according to claim 13 further comprising a plurality of corner posts.
15. The stackable container according to claim 14, wherein the recesses are disposed within the corner posts.
16. A stackable container according to claim 14, wherein the bottom wall includes at least one bottom recess extending into the interior of the container for allowing smaller containers to be stacked with the container.
Description

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/674,148 filed on Apr. 22, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD AND BACKGROUND

This invention relates to a container, and more particularly, to a container capable of being cross-stacked with other containers.

Stackable containers are well known in the art. It is common for stackable containers to incorporate a raised bottom for engaging and stacking with other containers. Typically, the raised bottom is formed by an outwardly-projecting structure molded onto the bottom of the container which is sized to fit within the opening of another container to provide secure engagement between the containers. The projecting bottom structure may also allow containers of varying sizes to be cross-stacked. Cross-stacking refers to the stacking of various size containers within a family of containers on one another. That is, a large container can be stacked on top of several smaller containers or vice versa. While the molded structure provides a stacking engagement between containers, it also protrudes into the top of the container below, reducing the interior volume of the container. Additionally, the projecting structure may cause the container to stick or hang-up on wheel-type conveyor systems.

Accordingly, there is a need for a stacking container having a flat bottom.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a container that can be

It is another object of the invention to provide a container that can be cross-stacked with containers of different sizes.

It is another object of the invention to provide a container that does not protrude into the interior of another container when they are stacked together.

It is another object of the invention to provide a container that can be cross-stacked with other containers without incurring any interior volume penalties.

It is another object of the invention to provide a container that has a flat bottom.

These and other objects of the present invention are achieved in the preferred embodiments disclosed below by providing a stackable container. The stackable container includes a plurality of sidewalls having respective top and bottom edges, a bottom wall connected to the bottom edges of the sidewalls, and a top opening defined by the top edges. The top edges have alternating raised and lowered sections and the bottom edges have complementary alternating raised and lowered sections for securing the container in a stacked configuration with a second container, such that the bottom wall does not protrude into the interior of the second container.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the top edges further include an outwardly-projecting rim.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the raised and lowered sections of the top edge are defined by the rim.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the bottom edges further include an outwardly-projecting rib.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the raised and lowered sections of the bottom edge are defined by the rib.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the raised sections and lowered sections are spaced for allowing containers of various sizes to be cross-stacked.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the container has four sidewalls disposed in a rectangular relationship, two of the opposed sidewalls each includes two spaced-apart raised sections, each of the respective raised sections is positioned near the corners of the container.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the bottom wall includes at least one raised surface projecting into the interior of the container for allowing smaller containers to be stacked with the container.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a stackable container includes a plurality of sidewalls having respective top and bottom edges, a bottom wall connected to the sidewalls, and a top opening defined by the top edges; and an outwardly-protruding rib disposed on the bottom edges and an outwardly-protruding rim disposed on the top edges for supporting a second container. The rib and rim each have a plurality of complementary alternating raised and lowered sections for securing the container in a stacked configuration with the second container, such that the bottom wall does not protrude into the interior of the second container.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a stackable container includes a plurality of sidewalls having respective top and bottom edges, a bottom wall connected to the sidewalls, and a top opening defined by the top edges. The top edges have a plurality of projections and the bottom edges have complementary recesses for securing the container in a stacked configuration with a second container.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the stackable container further includes a plurality of corner posts.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the recesses are disposed within the corner posts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Some of the objects of the invention have been set forth above. Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the invention proceeds when taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a exploded view of a container according to an embodiment of the invention stacked with two smaller containers;

FIG. 2 shows a top plan view of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A shows a bottom plan view of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a top plan view of one of the two smaller containers of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A shows a bottom plan view of one of the two smaller containers of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a container according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4A shows a bottom perspective view of the container of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a container according to a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a first variation of the container of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of a second variation of the container of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of a third variation of the container of FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of a container according to a fourth embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9A shows a bottom perspective view of the container of FIG. 9;

FIG. 10 shows a perspective view of a first variation of the container of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 10A shows a bottom perspective view of the container of FIG. 10.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT AND BEST MODE

Referring now specifically to the drawings, an exemplary container according to an embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 2A and shown generally at reference numeral 10. The container 10 includes a bottom wall 11 and integrally-molded sidewalls 12A-12D joined to the bottom wall 11 along respective bottom edges of the sidewalls 12A-12D. The bottom wall 11 includes two molded-in bottom recesses 20A and 20B. The recesses 20A and 20B may be separated, as shown, of different sizes, or connected to form a groove across the bottom wall 11 of the container 10. A lower perimeter 13 is defined by the bottom edges of the sidewalls 12A-12D. An upper perimeter 15 is defined by a top edge of the container 10. The container 10 is made of a material suitable for supporting containers in a stacked configuration and for providing a long life cycle. In the illustrated example, the container 10 is made of a polyethylene plastic.

The lower perimeter 13 includes a plurality of alternating raised and lowered sections. The raised sections form recesses 16A-16H. As illustrated, the lower perimeter 13 may include an outwardly-projecting rib 14, the raised and lowered sections being defined thereby.

The upper perimeter 15 also includes a plurality of alternating raised and lowered sections. The raised sections form projections 18A-18H. As illustrated, the upper perimeter 15 may include an outwardly-projecting rim 17, the raised and lowered sections being defined thereby.

The recesses 16A-16H and projections 18A-18H are spaced in a complimentary relation to one another to allow stacking with similar containers of the same size as container 10 and also with similar containers of smaller size, as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The rib 14 and rim 17 may be of any suitable width for supporting another container in a cross-stacked configuration. For example, the width can be substantially equivalent to the thickness of the sidewalls 12A-12D of container 10 or greater than the sidewalls 12A-12D, as shown in FIG. 1.

The orientation of the sidewalls 12A-12D with respect to the bottom wall 11 prevents the container 10 from nesting within an identical container (not shown), allowing the containers to be stacked without a loss of interior volume, and providing a stack height equal to the height of the sidewalls 12A-12D. In other words, the bottom wall 11 does not protrude into the other container.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 3A, a container 30 is substantially similar to container 10. Container 30 includes a bottom wall 31, sidewalls 32A-32D, rib 34, rim 37, recesses 36A-36F, and projections 38A-38F. Container 30 is one-half the size of container 10.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, container 10 may be cross-stacked with the smaller, similar container 30 and with another container 30′ identical to container 30 by positioning the recesses 16A-16H of container 10 in alignment with the projections 38A-38D on rim 37 of container 30 and identical projections 38A′, 38D′-38F′ on rim 37′ of another container 30′. The projections 38E and 38F of container 30 and projections 38B′ and 38C′ of container 30′ are positioned for being received in the bottom recesses 20A and 20B in the bottom wall 11. The engagement of the projections and recesses of the containers 10, 30, and 30′ secures them in a stacked configuration.

As illustrated, the projections 38B, 38C, 38E, and 38F of container 30, and 38B′, 38C′, 38E′, and 38F′ of container 30′ are positioned at or near the corners of the containers 30 and 30′. The positioning of these projections in this manner allows the bottom recesses 20A and 20B to be positioned for minimal intrusion into the container 10 while providing secure cross-stacking of multiple containers 10, 30, and 30′. This same principle may be applied to the projections 18A, 18B, 18E, and 18F of the container 10 to allow it to efficiently cross-stack with larger containers.

FIGS. 4 and 4A illustrate a container 100 according to a second embodiment of the invention. The container 100 includes a bottom wall 111 and integrally-molded sidewalls 112A-112D joined to the bottom wall 111 along respective bottom edges of the sidewalls 112A-112D. A lower perimeter 113 is defined by the bottom edges of the sidewalls 112A-112D. The lower perimeter 113 includes a plurality of alternating raised and lowered sections which form projections 116A and 116B. As illustrated, the lower perimeter 113 may include an outwardly-projecting rib 114, the raised and lowered sections being defined thereby. An upper perimeter 115 is defined by a top edge of the container 100. The upper perimeter 115 includes a plurality of alternating raised and lowered sections which form recesses 118A and 118B. As illustrated, the upper perimeter 115 may include an outwardly-projecting rim 117, the raised and lowered sections being defined thereby.

The projections 116A, 116B and recesses 118A, 118B are positioned in complimentary relation to one another to allow stacking with similar containers as well as larger and smaller containers, as described above with respect to container 10. However, unlike container 10, the projections 116A and 116B are positioned on the lower perimeter 113 and project downwardly therefrom, and the recesses 118A and 118B are positioned on the upper perimeter 115 and project downwardly therefrom. This is the reverse of container 10 which has recesses 16A-16H projecting upwardly from the lower perimeter 13 and projections 18A-18H projecting upwardly from the upper perimeter 15.

A third embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 5-8. As illustrated in FIG. 5, a container 200 includes a bottom wall 211 and integrally-molded sidewalls 212A-212D joined to the bottom wall 211 along respective bottom edges of the sidewalls 212A-212D. A lower perimeter 213 is defined by the bottom edges of the sidewalls 112A-112D. The lower perimeter 213 includes a plurality of alternating raised and lowered sections which form projections 216 positioned on opposing sidewalls 212A and 212C. As illustrated, the lower perimeter 213 may include an outwardly-projecting rib 214, the raised and lowered sections being defined thereby. An upper perimeter 215 is defined by a top edge of the container 200. The upper perimeter 215 includes a plurality of alternating raised and lowered sections which form projections 218 positioned on opposing sidewalls 212A and 212C. As illustrated, the upper perimeter 215 may include an outwardly-projecting rim 217, the raised and lowered sections being defined thereby.

The rim 217 also includes a pair of projections 219A and 219B positioned on opposing sidewalls 212B and 212D. The projections 219A and 219B are level with projections 218 and allow a flat bottom surface of another container to rest thereupon, eliminating the need for projections on the interior side of the bottom wall as used in container 10 of FIG. 1.

The projections 216 and 218 are disposed in a staggered relationship to one another to allow stacking with similar containers as well as larger and smaller containers.

The rib 214 and rim 217 may be of any suitable width for supporting another container in a cross-stacked configuration. For example, the width can be substantially equivalent to the thickness of the sidewalls 212A-212D of container 10 or greater than that of the sidewalls 212A-212D, as shown in FIG. 5.

The orientation of the sidewalls 212A-212D with respect to the bottom wall 211 prevents the container 200 from nesting within an identical container (not shown), allowing the containers to be stacked without a loss of interior volume, and providing a stack height equal to the height of the sidewalls 212A-212D.

As shown in FIG. 6, a container 300 is substantially similar to container 200 except container 300 has a length greater than that of container 200. Container 300 includes a bottom wall 311, sidewalls 312A-312D, rib 314, rim 317, projections 316, and projections 318.

A container 400, as shown in FIG. 7, has the same width and length as container 200, but has a greater height. Container 400 includes a bottom wall 411, sidewalls 412A-412D, rib 414, rim 417, projections 416, and projections 418. Container 400 also has extra reinforcing ribs around the sidewalls 412A-412D.

FIG. 8 shows a container 500 substantially similar to container 400 except container 500 has a length greater than that of container 400. Container 500 includes a bottom wall 511, sidewalls 512A-512D, rib 514, rim 517, projections 516, projections 518, and reinforcing ribs.

As illustrated in FIGS. 5-8, the dimensions of the containers 200, 300, 400, and 500 may be varied to accommodate a user's needs. In order for the different sized containers to cross-stack properly, the containers should have bottom areas or “footprints” that are all even divisions of a pallet size. For example, one common pallet size is 122 cm (48 inches) wide by 114 cm (45 inches) long. As illustrated, the container 200 of FIG. 5 is 61 cm (24 inches) wide by 56 cm (22 inches) long and the container 300 of FIG. 7 is 61 cm (24 inches) wide by 112 cm (44 inches) long. Thus, the container 300 could stack on top of two containers 200. The same would be true of containers 10 and 30, as illustrated in FIG. 1, and containers 100, 400, and 500.

The height of the containers may also be sized to allow various containers to stack with each other and still maintain a level top which would allow a palletized load to have a top cap. For example, as illustrated, container 200 has a height of 18.5 cm (7.25 inches) and container 400 has a height of 34.75 cm (13.68 inches). Taking into account the stack overlap between two containers 200, the overall height of the two containers 200 would be equal to the height of container 400.

A fourth embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 9, 9A, 10, and 10A. As illustrated, a container 600 includes a bottom wall 611 and integrally-molded sidewalls 612A-612D joined to the bottom wall 611 along respective bottom edges of the sidewalls 612A-612D. A lower perimeter 613 is defined by the bottom edges of the sidewalls 612A-612D. The lower perimeter 613 includes a plurality of recesses 616A-616F, as shown in FIG. 9A. As illustrated, the lower perimeter 613 may include an outwardly-projecting rib 614, the recesses 616A-616F being defined thereby. An upper perimeter 615 is defined by a top edge of the container 600. The upper perimeter 615 includes a plurality of projections 618. As illustrated, the upper perimeter 615 may include an outwardly-projecting rim 617, the projections 618 being defined thereby.

The recesses 616A, 616C, 616D, and 616F are formed in the lower ends of the corner posts 621 of the container 600. The recesses 616B and 616E are positioned in the center of sidewalls 612B and 612D.

As illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 10A, the bottom wall 711 of container 700 includes two molded-in bottom recesses 720A and 720B which allow the container 700 to stack with two containers 600 in a manner similar to containers 10 and 30 illustrated in FIG. 1. Like the recesses 20A and 20B, recesses 720A and 720B may be separated, as shown, of different sizes, or connected to form a groove across the bottom wall 711 of the container 700.

A cross-stacking container is described above. Various details of the invention may be changed without departing from its scope. Furthermore, the foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the invention and the best mode for practicing the invention are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not for the purpose of limitation, the invention being identified in the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20120305434 *Jun 6, 2012Dec 6, 2012Ipl, Inc.Poultry crate
US20130062241 *Nov 8, 2012Mar 14, 2013Obeikan Mdf Espana, S.L.Stackable container
WO2008071813A1 *Nov 30, 2007Jun 19, 2008Sist S Y Procesos De EmbalajeDismountable box
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/509
International ClassificationB65D21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/0212, B65D21/0235
European ClassificationB65D21/02E3, B65D21/02H