US 2822096 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 4, 1958 N. .1. BURATOVICH 2,322,096
SPACING MEMBER FOR STACKING APPARATUS Filed June 25, 1955 INVENTOR HUEB/VER, BEEHLER,
WORREL a HER'Z/G A7-TORNEVS BY fZQ/%M NICK J. BURATOV/CH- 2,822,096 1C Patented Feb. 4, 1958 SPACING MEMBER FOR STACKING APPARATUS Nick J. Buratovich, Dinuba, Calif., assignor of fifty percent to Mike T. Buratovich, Dinuba, Calif.
Application June 23, 1955, Serial No. 517,426 7 Claims. (Cl. 21410.5)
The present invention relates to a stacking apparatus for a load assembly and more particularly to a combined pack of substantially uniform cartons and spacing blocks therefor.
The present invention relates generally to the subject matter disclosed in the United States Patent to Martin, No. 2,589,718, now assigned to the applicant. Although the spacer member disclosed in the Martin patent is a highly meritorious advance over prior art stacking devices, it has been found that certain modifications therein are desirable to enable its use with particular package units.
In general, boxes of produce to be transported or shipped are arranged in vertical stacks in a railway car, truck, or other confining structure. The stacks are arranged in tiers transversely of the car with the boxes in end-toend substantially horizontal alignment and in rows longitudinally of the car with the boxes in side-by-side substantially horizontal alignment. It is well known that load assemblies of fresh produce must additionally be arranged in spaced relation so as to permit adequate ventilation, enable effective refrigeration, and enable thorough fumigation of the load assembly. It is therefore necessary that spacing members utilized in a stacking apparatus be able to maintain the boxes in the load assembly in proper spaced relation as well as to prevent movement of the boxes during transit.
The stacking apparatus in the above designated patent has been excellently suited to the accomplishment of such purposes in association with wooden produce boxes having upwardly arched lids when packed, and transversely arranged upper and/or lower cleats or ledges all as described in said patent. However, because of a recent trend to the use of boxes constructed of paperboard, cardboard, fiberboard and other sheet material which boxes have substantially rigid marginal peripheral edges and somewhat compressible side walls which tend to flex inwardly of the boxes relative to the marginal edges thereof, there is a need for a spacer especially adapted for use with such boxes.
With the above considerations in mind and after considerable experimentation a spacing member, as described below, has been developed which can be used to maintain paperboard boxes, or the like which have no cleats, dependably in position in a load assembly during transit and also maintain proper spaced relation between the boxes and stacks of boxes to permit ventilation, refrigeration and fumigation.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide an improved spacing member for package units assembled into packs.
Another object is to maintain packs of paperboard and like boxes in interlocked spaced relation so as to permit adequate ventilation, effective refrigeration and thorough fumigation of produce in the boxes.
Another object is to provide a spacer for use with boxes of paperboard material and the like which cooperates with the tendency of the walls of such boxes to flex inwardly thereof in order to resist movement of such boxes from predetermined assembled position.
Another object is to provide a spacer member for use with paperboard and the like boxes which permits spaced support of the boxes in a load assembly on the marginal edges of the boxes.
Another object is to provide a spacer for a stacking apparatus which is adapted to be economically and conveniently returned to a shipper after reaching a predetermined destination.
Other objects are to provide a spacer member for a load assembly that is easy to employ, economical in construction, dependable in operation, suited to automatic machine tool formation, and which is highly effective for accomplishing its intended functions.
Other objects and advantages will become more fully apparent upon reference to the following description.
Referring to the drawing:
Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a portion of a load assembly incorporating the spacing member of the present invention and showing an end wall of a railway car, or other confining structure, in vertical section.
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation of a load assembly, such as shown in Fig. l, with the end wall again being shown in vertical section.
Fig. 3 is a somewhat enlarged side elevation of a spacer as provided by the present invention shown in association with four fragmentarily illustrated boxes with which it is employed to support the boxes in vertically spaced relation and corresponding boxes of adjacent stacks in horizontally spaced relation.
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view of the spacer and boxes shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a spacer as shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 6 is a perspective view of a half-spacer constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention.
Referring more particularly to the drawing:
A portion of a load assembly is generally indicated by the numeral 10 in Figs. 1 and 2. The load assembly is shown arranged adjacent to a side wall 11 of a railway car, or other confining structure. The load assembly includes a plurality of boxes 12 of substantially uniform size and shape and adapted to contain produce, such as oranges, peaches, grapes, lemons, grapefruit, or the like. The boxes are constructed of a substantially rigid, somewhat flexible material, such as paperboard, cardboard, pasteboard, fiberboard, or the like.
Each of the boxes has a pair of end walls 14, side walls 15 and a bottom wall 16. A lid or cover 17 having a peripheral down turned flange is fitted over the end and side walls and constitutes the top wall of the box. In addition, each box has upper and lower end edges 18 and 19, respectively, and upper and lower side edges 20 and 21, respectively, defining peripheral or marginal edges of the box wherein lies the greatest strength of the box due to the vertical disposition of the end Walls and the side walls and because of the angular relation thereof to the bottom wall and lid. As is well known, the bottom wall and lid are subject to a limited amount of inward flexing when a load is imposed thereon. Such flexing is least adjacent to the end walls and side walls and is progressively greater in spaced relation thereto, a phenomena of which the present invention takes advantage.
The boxes 12 are arranged in a plurality of substantially vertical stacks 25 and 26 and the stacks are arranged in a tier. The arrangement of each tier is such that the boxes are in end-to-end horizontal alignment throughout the tier. Further, although not shown, it is conventional in forming a complete load assembly to arrange the stacks in rows with the boxes in each row being in side-by-side horizontal alignment throughout the row. Within a railway car, for example, the tiers are preferably transversely of the car and the rows are preferably longitudinally 'of the car.
A spacer or spacing member 30, preferably constructed of an elongated, substantially rectangular block of wood or other rigid material, is shown in detail in Fig. 5. For convenience of description, the spacer is considered as having a predetermined horizontal longitudinal dimension or length, a predetermined horizontal transverse dimension or width, a predetermined vertical dimension, thickness or height, and a pair of opposite ends 31. The spacer provides intermediate or central upwardly and downwardly extended enlarged thickened projections or bosses 32 having a predetermined length and overall thickness. The projections are preferably truncated or trapezoidal in form so as to provide upwardly and downwardly convergent or beveled surfaces 33 at opposite ends thereof.
The spacer 30 has integral flange portions or ledges 36 oppositely and endwardly extended from the central projections 32 which are of a substantially common thickness less than the overall thickness of the projections. The flange portions provide top and bottom surfaces 37 and 38, respectively, adapted to lie in substantially horizontal planes when the spacer is similarly positioned.
The spacer 30 also includes a plurality of elongated preferably upwardly tapered corrugations, ribs, or teeth 40 upwardly and downwardly extended in pairs from the flange portions 36, disposed transversely of the spacer in substantially parallel relation to the central projections 32, and being of a length and thickness substantially less than the length and thickness of the central projections. The width of the corrugations is preferably the same as the maximum width of the spacer although such is not essential. As best shown in Fig. 3, the thickness of the ribs 40 is less than the maximum flexing of which the lids 17 and bottoms 16 are capable between the points of engagement of the ribs with said lids and bottoms and the ends 14- of their respective boxes so that the upper end edges 18 support the blocks and the lower end edges 19 are supported by the blocks.
It is noted that the corrugations 40 are provided adjacent to the ends 31 of the spacer 30 and that pairs of these corrugations are provided at each end on the top and bottom surfaces 37 and 38 of the flange portions 36. Alternatively, only a single or a multiplicity of corrugations may be provided on each of these surfaces and such a single corrugation may be positioned at the end of the spacer or in spaced relation both to the end of the spacer and to the central projections 32.
SECOND FORM OF SPACER A half-spacer 50 is shown in Fig. 6 and, in effect, is merely the spacer 30 shown in Figs. 1 to 5 bisected or divided transversely through the central projection 32. The half-spacer thus provides upwardly and downwardly extended projections 51 having upwardly and downwardly convergent bevels 52 and a flat end face 53.
The half-spacer 50 has a flange portion 55 endwardly extended from the projections 51 which is of a thickness substantially less than the projection and which provides top and bottom surfaces 56 and 57, respectively.
As before, corrugations 6% are upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portion 55, disposed transversely of the spacer, and being of a length and thickness substantially reduced from the length and thickness of the projections 51 as previously described for the ribs 40 with respect to the projections 80. Modifications of the corrugations 69 are intended to be included within the scope of the invention in the same manner as described in relation to the corrugations 40.
Operation The operation of this invention is believed to be readily apparent and is briefly summarized at this point.
Boxes 12 of produce, or the like, are arranged in a tier by initially placing a pair of boxes in a first or lowermost layer in a railway car or other confining structure, in endto-end spaced relation and with an endmost box in endwardly spaced relation to an adjacent wall 11 of such confining structure. It is to be recognized at this point that the invention is not limited to aligned end-to-end horizontal arrangement of the boxes but may also be employed when the boxes are in staggered relation or in sideto-side alignment.
A pair of spacers 30 are then positioned in straddling or bridging relation between the adjacent boxes 12 with the central projections 32 disposed between the boxes and with the flange portions 36 rested on adjacent upper end edges 18 of the boxes. The adjacent upper end edges of the boxes preferably contact the spacers at the junction between the central projections and the flange portions as will be apparent in Fig. 3. Further, the downwardly ex tended corrugations 40 engage or contact the top walls 17 of the boxes in spaced relation to the end edges and side edges thereof.
A half-spacer 50 is positioned on the endmost box 12 with the end face 53 thereof in abutment against the side wall 11, with the flange portion 55 rested on the upper end edge 18 of such box, and with the corrugations 60 in engagement with its top wall 17, in the manner above described with regard to the spacer 30.
Alternate adjacent ends of boxes 12 in a tier in a given layer of boxes employ pairs of spacers 30 positioned as above described and intermediate adjacent ends of boxes employ a single spacer, as best seen in Fig. 1. With boxes at each endward extremity of the tier, that is, adjacent to the confining wall, as 11, a half-spacer 50 is employed and, as will become apparent, a pair thereof in alternate layers. It is noted, however, that the described arrangement is conducive to an economical, light weight and dependable load assembly.
A second layer of boxes 12 in the tier includes a pair of boxes mounted in stacks 25 and 26 in overlying substantially vertical alignment on corresponding boxes in the lowermost layer of the tier. The boxes in the second layer are supported on the spacers 30 with adjacent lower end edges 19 thereof rested on the flange portions 36 adjacent to the intersection of such flange portions with the upwardly extended central projections 32, as seen in Fig. 3. In addition, the upwardly disposed corrugations 40 of the spacers contact the bottom walls 16 of the boxes thereabove in inwardly spaced relation to the lower end edges thereof. The endmost box in the second layer is supported on the half-spacer 50 in a manner now believed to be understood.
In this manner the spacers 30 are positioned with the central projections 32 interposed adjacent stacks 25 and 26 with the flange portions 36 oppositely extended between adjacent superposed pairs of boxes in the stacks, and with the corrugations 40 in engagement with the top and bottom walls 17 and 16 of the boxes at locations inwardly spaced from the edges of the boxes. The halfspacers 50 are positioned with the projections 51 interposed between an endmost stack 25 and an adjacent wall 11, with the flange portion 55 extended between adjacent superposed pairs of boxes, and with the corrugations engaging the walls of the boxes.
In this regard it is again noted that the walls, as 16 and 17, of the boxes 12 constructed of paperboard or the like have a tendency to flex, bend or sag inwardly of the boxes relative to the marginal edges, as 18, 19, 20 and 21, thereof either normally or under the application of pressure. In addition, it is recognized that the greatest strength of such boxes is in the marginal edges which are substantially rigid and resist binding, crushing, and the like, to a much greater degree. Advantage is taken of these structural characteristics of the boxes in the construction and use of the spacers 30 and 50 of the present invention. Thus, the corrugations 40 or 60 press against the top and bottom walls 17 and 16 of the boxes, and under weight of the load, tend to flex the top and bottom walls 17 and 16 of the boxes inwardly, if such has not previously occurred. Both the top and bottom walls are therefore given an inward or concave curvature relative to the marginal edges 18, 19, 20 and 21. The corrugations at all times tend to maintain a position transverse of the curvature of such flexing.
Any tendency for the spacers 30 or 50 to move out of a substantially parallel, end-to-end horizontally spaced relation, as shown in Fig. 1, is resisted by the corrugations 40 cooperating with the inwardly flexed top and bottom walls 17 and 16. The corrugations are maintained in substantially parallel relation to the end edges of the boxes under weight of a load since the inwardly flexed walls resist creeping or climbing of the corrugations both transversely toward side edges 20 or 21 as well as obliquely or directly toward end edges 18 or 19. The boxes are thus dependently interlocked against movement and in desired spaced relation.
The bottom walls and covers of the boxes do not bear the principal load where engaged by the corrugations but only enable control of load assembly spacing there through. The weight is principally sustained on the end walls by rested engagement of the blocks thereon.
The bevels 33, or 52, on the spacer 30, or half-spacer 50, assist in positioning the boxes 12 in proper position on the spacer as will be apparent. It is to be recognized that the corrugations may sometimes bite, sink or press slightly in partially embedded engagement in the walls 16 or 17 of the boxes depending on the relative sharpness of the corrugations, the strength of the box material and the weight of the packed produce bearing against the walls. If such occurs, the corrugations resist movement of the boxes to an even greater degree than when merely externally contacting the walls. It is to be understood, however, that the flange portions 36 and 57 act as depth control members to preclude objectionable sinking of the corrugations into a wall.
From the foregoing, it will be readily understood that a spacing member for a load stacking apparatus having highly useful characteristics has been provided. The spacing member is particularly adapted for use with boxes constructed of paperboard material, or the like, and advantage is taken of the characteristics of such boxes in carrying out the intended objectives of the invention inthe manner described. The present spacer is economical to make and use, dependable in performance and highly eflective for maintaining boxes in interlocked spaced relation in a load assembly in order to accommodate ventilation, refrigeration and fumigation of the load.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l. A spacing member for use with a plurality of boxes of substantially uniform shape having marginal edges and flexible top and bottom walls adapted to flex inwardly of their respective boxes relative to said edges, wherein the boxes are arranged invertical stacks of substantially uniform shape and the stacks are arranged with corresponding boxes in adjacent spaced horizontal alignment comprising an elongated block having opposite ends, centrally located upper and lower bosses interposed between adjacent stacks for horizontal spacing thereof, flange portions oppositely extended from the bosses having substantially common thicknesses less than the overall thickness of the bosses extended between adjacent superposed boxes for vertical spacing thereof, and ribs disposed transversely of the block upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portions for engagement with-adjacent bottom and top walls, respectively, of the boxes inadjacent spaced relation to the ends thereof, said ribs being of a thickness less than the maximum flexing of the top and bottom walls between the points of engagement of the ribs with said top and bottom walls and the adjacent ends of their respective boxes whereby the flange portions of the block are supported by the ends of the top walls of the boxes therebelow and support the ends of the bottom walls of the boxes thereabove.
2. A spacing member comprising an elongated substantially rectangular block having predetermined longitudinal, lateral and vertical dimensions, intermediate upwardly and downwardly extended portions of predetermined longitudinal and vertical dimensions, flange portions opposite longitudinally extended from the intermediate portions of predetermined vertical dimensions less than the combined vertical dimension of the intermediate portions, and corrugations individually upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portions in substantially parallel relation to the intermediate portions of predetermined longitudinal and vertical dimensions substantially less than the longitudinal and vertical dimensions, respectively, of the intermediate portions.
3. A half-spacer of the character described adapted to maintain superposed boxes arranged in a stack in vertically spaced relation and to maintain the stack in horizontally spaced relation to an adjacent wall, said boxes being constructed of substantially rigid somewhat flexible material having upper and lower marginal edges and top and bottom flexible walls tending to flex inwardly relative to the edges, comprising a substantially rectangular block adapted to be horizontally positioned between superposed boxes and endwardly extended therefrom, the block having upwardly and downwardly extended projections adapted to fit between the stack of boxes and the wall, a flange portion of a thickness less than the overall thickness of the projections extended from the projection between a pair of superposed boxes, and corrugations upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portion disposed transversely of the block and engaging the bottom and top walls, respectively, of an adjacent pair of superposed boxes in adjacent spaced relation to the ends of the boxes adjacent to the wall, said corrugations being of a thickness less than the maximum flexing of the top and bottom walls between their positions of engagement by the corrugations and the adjacent ends of the boxes whereby the flangeportion of the block is supported on the end of the top wall of the box therebelow and supports the end of the bottom wall of the box thereabove.
4. In combination with a plurality of vertical stacks of fiberboard boxes having flexible top and bottom walls and upper and lower rigid marginal edges, the stacks of boxes being arranged adjacent to each other with the marginal edges of boxes in adjacent stacks in opposed spaced relation, a substantially horizontally disposed spacing member comprising an elongated block having opposite ends, central upwardly and downwardly disposed thickened projections positioned between adjacent stacks, flange portions of a thickness less than the overall thickness of the projections endwardly extended from the projections and positioned between pairs of superposed boxes in adjacent stacks, and corrugations disposed transversely of the block upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portions of individual thicknesses substantially less than the individual thickness of each projection, the corrugations being in contact with an adjacent wall of a box at a position in spaced relation to the marginal edge of such box and being of a thickness less than the maximum permissible flexing of the walls of the box between the positions of engagement of the corrugations therewith and the adjacent rigid marginal edges so that the flange portions engage and are supported on marginal edges of the boxes therebelow and engage and support the marginal edges of the boxes thereabove.
5. The combinationo'f a plurality of vertical stacks of paperboard boxes of substantially uniform height having inwardly concave top and bottom relatively flexible walls and upper and lower relatively rigid marginal edges providing the maximum strength of the boxes, the stacks of boxes being arranged adjacent to each other with the marginal edges of boxes in adjacent stacks in opposed substantially parallel spaced relation, and a substantially horizontally disposed spacing member comprising a substantially rectangular elongated block having predetermined length, width and thickness, upper and lower enlarged projections of an overall thickness constituting the maximum thickness of the block and interposed between adjacent stacks of boxes, flange portions longitudinally extended in opposite directions from the projections to positions between pairs of superposed boxes in adjacent stacks and of thicknesses less than the overall thickness of the projections, the marginal edges of the boxes contacting the flange portions of the blocks adjacent to the projections, and a plurality of corrugations disposed transversely of the block upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portions of individual length and thickness substantially less than the length and thickness of an individual projection and in engagement with the bottom and top walls, respectively, of superposed pairs of boxes at positions spaced from the marginal edges thereof.
6. The combination of a plurality of substantially rectangular paperboard boxes of substantially uniform size and shape arranged in a plurality of vertically disposed stacks with the stacks arranged in a tier and with the boxes in such tier being in end-to-end horizontal spaced relation, each box having opposite upper and lower substantially stiff end edges and upwandly and downwardly disposed flexible walls adapted to bend inwardly of the box from the end edges, a plurality of horizontally positioned spacers adapted to hold the boxes in the stacks in predetermined vertically spaced relation and adjacent stacks in the tier in predetermined horizontally spaced relation comprising elongated rigid blocks having opposite ends, upper and lower central bosses located between adjacent stacks, flange portions of reduced thickness endwardly horizontally extended in opposite directions from the bosses, and upper and lower elongated ribs disposed transversely of the blocks in spaced relation to the ends and to the bosses thereof upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portions, the boxes having their lower end edges rested on the flange portions of the blocks adjacent to the upper bosses and their lower walls pressing against the upwardly extended ribs, and the blocks having their flange portions rested on the upper end edges of the boxes adjacent to the lower bosses of the blocks and their lower ribs pressing against the upper walls of the boxes.
7. The combination of a plurality of substantially rectangular cardboard boxes of substantially uniform sizes and shapes having upper and lower rigid continuous end and side edges and flexible top and bottom walls tending to flex inwardly of their respective boxes relative to the edges thereof, the boxes being arranged in a plurality of vertically disposed stacks with the stacks arranged in 8. tier and with the boxes in such tier being in end-to-end substantially parallel spaced relation, a plurality of substantially horizontally disposed spacer members adapted to maintain the boxes in the stacks in vertically spaced relation and to maintain adjacent stacks in the tier in horizontally spaced relation comprising elongated substantially rectangular rigid blocks having predetermined longitudinal, lateral and vertical dimensions, intermediate upwardly and downwardly extended thickened projections of predetermined longitudinal and vertical dimensions and interposed between adjacent stacks of boxes, the overall-vertical dimensions of the projections constituting the maximum thicknesses of the blocks, the blocks further having flange portions oppositely longitudinally extended from the projections of substantially common thicknesses less than the maximum thicknesses of the blocks and positioned between adjacent pairs of superposed boxes, and elongated corrugations upwardly and downwardly extended from the flange portions disposed transversely of the blocks in spaced relation to the projections of individual length and thickness substantially less than the length and thickness of individual projections, the corrugations engaging the adjacent walls of the boxes in substantially parallel spaced relation to the end edges of such boxes thereby to resist endward, lateral and twisting movement of the blocks relative to the boxes and to maintain such boxes in predetermined spaced interlocked relation the thickness of the corrugations being equal to the extent of flexing of the walls of the boxes between the positions of engagement of the corrugations therewith and the adjacent end edges of the boxes whereby the flange portions engage and are supported on the end edges of the boxes therebelow and engage and support the end edges of the boxes thereabove.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,589,718 Martin Mar. 18, 1952