US 20100078349 A1
A display tray formed as a substantially flat body is folded along score lines to form a rigid tray body. The flat body is formed with parallel score lines which define the adjoining edges of a support panel, a floor, and a containment wall. The flat body is formed into a tray by folding along the score lines.
1. A display tray having a support panel extending in a substantially vertical first plane, a floor panel extending in a plane substantially normal to said first plane; and a containment wall panel extending in a plane spaced from and substantially parallel with said first plane; said display tray formed by bending portions of a unitary substantially planar body with respect to other portions thereof; said unitary planar body comprising:
(a) a substantially flat body having first and second opposed faces;
(b) a first score line on said first face defining joined edges of said floor panel and said containment wall panel; and
(c) a second score line on said second face defining joined edges of said floor panel and said support panel; wherein
(i) a portion of said substantially planar body is bent in a first direction about said second score line to form a support panel extending in a substantially vertical first plane and a floor panel extending in a plane substantially normal to first plane; and
(ii) a portion of said substantially planar body is bent in a second direction about said first score line to form a containment wall panel extending from said floor panel in a plane spaced from and substantially parallel with said substantially vertical first plane.
2. A display tray as defined in
3. A display tray as defined in
4. A display tray as defined in
5. A display tray as defined in
6. A display tray as defined in
7. A display tray as defined in
8. A display tray as defined in
9. A display tray as defined in
10. The method of forming a display tray comprising the steps of:
(a) forming a substantially flat body having a front face and a back face which includes a support panel portion, a floor panel portion, and a containment wall portion;
(b) forming a first score line on said front face to define the adjoining edges of said floor panel and said containment wall panel;
(c) forming a second score line on said second face to define the adjoining edges of said floor panel and said support panel;
(d) folding said flat body about said first and second score lines to form a display tray having a vertically extending support panel, a horizontally extending floor, and a vertically extending containment wall horizontally spaced from said support panel.
11. The method set forth in
This invention relates to display structures for holding and displaying merchandise products and product containers such as candy bars, bottles, cans and the like. More particularly, it relates to display trays adapted for mounting on one face of a substantially vertical wall to support and display products on or through the wall and to methods of making such display structures.
Retail businesses commonly display products for sale in trays, shelves or the like mounted on vertical walls such as windows and walls of refrigerated vaults or the like which have a transparent door or wall panel. Because a passing customer is more likely to select and purchase products displayed where they can be readily seen and recognized, the retailer desires to maximize visibility of products on display and also to maximize utilization of display space and space within the refrigerated area. Display shelves typically used for this purpose are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,984,693 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,433.
Many products are packaged in containers such as bottles, cans and the like. In order to advantageously display such products, they must be arranged so that the product or package is readily visible and easily recognizable. To maximize use of visible space on a supporting wall or transparent panel, the display shelf must permit unobstructed view of the displayed product, selectively position the product units adjacent the supporting panel, and preferably display advertising or the like related to the displayed products. Since display space is usually limited, the display tray should be adapted for easy installation and removal; should be adapted to support and display the maximum amount of product in the space available; and should permit easy removal and replacement of displayed product.
Typically, display trays or shelves are formed as unitary molded units which are mounted on the supporting wall with suction cups or the like secured to the tray. Such molded products are usually made of plastics and the like and are generally sturdy lightweight structures. However, the molded units are usually bulky and not nestable for shipping. Accordingly, transport of the finished product to the use site can be cumbersome and expensive. Furthermore, such bulky products can be cumbersome and awkward to store when not in use.
In accordance with the present invention, display tray structures are formed and shipped to the end user as a substantially flat unitary molded piece. Since the molded piece is flat, multiple units may be densely stacked, stored and shipped in relatively small packages. The flat units are thus easily handled and stored. Each unitary molded piece is pre-cut and scored to permit the flat unit to be quickly and easily folded into a sturdy display tray on site without use of any tools, fasteners, glues or the like and the assembled unit is immediately ready for use. Since the display unit is formed as a substantially flat piece, the cost of production tooling is substantially reduced. Since the unit is delivered to the use site as a flat unit, shipping, handling and storage costs are substantially reduced. Other features and advantages of the invention will become more readily understood from the following detailed description taken in connection with the appended claims and attached drawing in which:
The above-described drawing is incorporated into and forms part of the specification to illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Throughout the drawing like reference numerals designate corresponding elements. The figures are not to scale but are intended to disclose the inventive concepts by illustration. This drawing, together with the description herein, serves to explain the principles of the invention and is only for the purpose of illustrating preferred and alternative examples of how the invention can be made and used.
It will be recognized that the principles of the invention may be utilized and embodied in many and various forms. In order to demonstrate these principles, the invention is described herein by reference to specific preferred embodiments. The invention, however, is not limited to the forms illustrated and described. Furthermore, the invention is not limited to use in connection with any particular arrangement of support panels, floors or containment walls but may find utility in various other applications involving support and display of various items.
For purposes of this disclosure the terms “shelf” and “tray” are used interchangeably to mean any structure having a floor on which products or packages containing products may be placed or suspended from for display. Such apparatus may be formed of any suitable material and may have walls extending upwardly or downwardly to form cavities in which goods may be supported and displayed. Accordingly, the tray may define one or more cavities above the floor or the floor may support one or more cavities which depend downwardly from the floor. Similarly, the floor and/or walls of the tray may have perforations, slots and/or hooks and the like from which goods may be suspended. Accordingly, the terms “shelf” and “tray” are used generally to describe any structure on, in or from which goods may be placed or suspended for display.
For perspective and consistency in describing the display structure illustrated, the portion of the tray unit which is closest the wall or panel on which it is supported is described as the front and the portion most remote from the supporting wall or panel is described as the back or rear. Similarly, spatial orientation and relative terms such as “upwardly,” “downwardly,” “rearwardly,” “horizontally,” “above,” “below,” “upper,” “lower” and the like are used in reference to the position of the tray when the tray is mounted on a supporting wall for use.
In the embodiment illustrated, the display structure comprises a substantially flat unitary piece with oppositely disposed faces 100, 200 as illustrated in
As illustrated in
In order to provide edge flanges 20 a, 20 b which extend upwardly from floor 21 in the final assembly, separation cuts 17 divide the end edges of floor 21 from the edge flanges 20 a, 20 b and separation cuts 17 a, 17 b divide the edge flanges 20 a, 20 b from the portions of the flat piece which will form end walls 18 a, 18 b.
A score line 11 is formed in the front face 100 parallel with and spaced from score line 10 to define the adjoining edges of floor 21 and the portion of the flat piece which will form the containment wall 25. Another score line 12 is formed in the front face 100 parallel with and spaced from score line 11 to define the adjoining edges of the top of containment wall 25 and alignment spacer 26.
Parallel score lines 13 and 14 are formed in the front face 100 connecting the ends of parallel score lines 11 and 12. Score lines 13 and 14 define the lateral ends of containment wall 25 and also define the adjoining edges of end walls 18 a, 18 b with containment wall 25.
Parallel score lines 15, 16 are formed in the back face 200 of the flat piece. Score line 15 is spaced outwardly from score line 13 so that score lines 13 and 15 define the end edges of end wall 18 a. Similarly, score line 16 is spaced outwardly from score line 14 so that score lines 14 and 16 define the end edges of end wall 18 b. Score line 15 also defines the adjoining edges of end wall 18 a and attachment flange 19 a. Similarly, score line 16 defines the adjoining edges of end wall 18 b and attachment flange 19 b.
In the preferred embodiment illustrated a slot 36 is formed in each attachment flange 19 a, 19 b which is adapted to mate with a post or boss 37 extending from the back faces of edge flanges 20 a, 20 b (see
In the preferred embodiment illustrated parallel notches 30 are formed in the extreme lateral edges of support panel 20 to define a tongue 31 adapted to mate with an appropriate mounting device such as a suction cup or the like. Similarly, notches 32 are formed in the lateral edges of edge flanges 20 a and 20 b to define tongues 33. In the preferred embodiment, however, the thickness of tongues 33 is reduced to approximately one-half (½) the thickness of end flanges 20 a, 20 b by forming an indentation 29 (see
The flat piece illustrated in
As illustrated in
To complete formation of the tray the containment wall portion is folded in the direction of front face 100 along score line 11 as indicated by fold arrow 201. When the folds along score lines 10 and 11 are each 90° in opposite directions (see
When the respective components of the flat piece are folded and positioned as described above, the attachment flanges 19 a, 19 b are positioned parallel with and adjacent support flanges 20 a, 20 b, respectively (see
In the assembled condition, tongues 33 are aligned with and positioned adjacent tongues 35. Since tongues 33 and 35 are each only one-half (½) the thickness of the flat piece and are positioned with the front face of tongue 35 adjacent the back face of tongue 33, the combined thickness of tongues 33 and 35 is approximately equal to the thickness of the remainder of the flat piece. Thus mounting devices such as suction cups (not shown) or other mounting systems may be secured to tongues 33, 35 and/or in notches 32 to aid in securing the tray in the folded condition and adjacent a wall, window or the like. Similarly, mounting devices (not shown) may be secured in notches 30 and/or tongues 31 to assist in mounting the tray in a position for use.
It will be appreciated that the flat piece may be formed by any suitable manufacturing process such as molding, stamping, machining or the like and may be constructed of any suitable material such as plastic, paper, metal or the like. Likewise, the score lines and separation cuts may be formed by any process compatible with the material of construction and method of manufacture.
In the preferred embodiment, the flat piece is formed by injection molding polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or similar thermoplastic polymer. PET is preferred because it is relatively inexpensive and easily molded.
The score lines 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 may be formed in the injection molding tool or individually cut. Where a thermoplastic polymer such as PET is used, the score lines may be cut to a depth of ⅔ or more of the thickness of the flat piece. The scores are preferably formed so that the sides of the cut are flat and form a 90° trough with the sides intersecting the surfaces 100, 200 at an angle of 45°. Accordingly, when the adjoining parts are folded 90°, the sides of the trough mate to form a 90° bend and the uncut portion below the score line forms a hinge holding the adjoining portions together.
If desired, an alignment spacer 26 shaped to space individual containers or products positioned vertically on floor 21 may be formed by appropriately shaping the upper edge of the flat piece and forming a score line 12 parallel with and spaced from score line 11. The alignment spacer 26 may be positioned to extend horizontally inwardly over the floor 21 by simply folding the alignment spacer 26 inwardly toward the front face 11 along score line 12. If desired, score line 12 (or any of the other score lines) may be enhanced by perforations 23 or the like.
In the embodiment illustrated, mounting slots 30 are formed at the outer edges of flanges 20 a, 20 b. If desired (and to permit more secure mounting of the tray) slots may be formed in the lower edge of support panel 20 and arranged so that the entrance of each slot is at the lower edge of support panel 20. It will be appreciated that various other combinations and arrangements of slots, holes and the like may be used to mount the display shelf adjacent a transparent wall.
In the embodiment illustrated, holes 22 are formed in the containment wall 20 and depressions 24 are formed in the floor 21. These holes 22 and depressions 24 may be of any desired shape and size to aid in removal of products from the tray, to aid in positioning products in the tray, or merely for ornamentation.
As illustrated in
It will be apparent from the foregoing that the principles of the invention may be used to form display trays which support products such as bottles, cans and the like on a vertically supporting wall. The shape and size of the tray, as well as the materials of construction may be varied as desired to accommodate a wide variety of products.
It is to be understood that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the invention have been set forth in the foregoing description together with details of the structure and function of the invention, this disclosure is to be considered illustrative only. Various changes and modifications may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size, arrangement and combination of parts, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.