US 3369658 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 20, 1968 I I H, HASSELMANN v 3,369,658
PORTABLE CONTAINER TRANSPORT UNIT Filed May 20, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Inventor AE/A/Z ,7, #45552 AMA/1v United States Patent 3,369,658 PORTABLE CONTAINER TRANSPORT UNIT Heinz Hasselmann, 101 Bergstrasse,
58 Hagen, Germany Filed May 20, 1966, Ser. No. 551,763 Claims priority, application Germany, May 22, 1965, H 56,115 11 Claims. (Cl. 206-65) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A construction of container which permits interengagement of a group of such containers in order to form a transportable unit includes a container which may be of rectangular or cylindrical configuration, for example, and which includes sides with projections and recesses formed in the walls of the container. The projections and recesses are oriented so that the containers may be arranged in horizontal groups with their sides abutting and with a projection of each abutting container of a container pair extending into a recess of the other container of the pair. In the preferred construction, the projections and recesses are formed both adjacent the tops and the bottoms of the containers so as to provide for a firm interengagement of the containers in order to prevent relative displacement both in horizontal and vertical directions when the containers are arranged in a group. After the containers are interengaged in a group, they are held in interengagement by an encircling band which is advantageously applied around the containers between the upper and lower projections at a location at which the projections will prevent the band from falling off upwardly or downwardly.
The containers are also advantageously constructed so that a projection forming a spout on the top of a lower container may be interengaged with a recess defined on the bottom of an upper container so that the horizontal groups may be stacked vertically and interlocked vertically. When horizontal groups are stacked vertically over another horizontal group or groups, the entire stacked arrangement is held in position by an additional encircling band extending across the tops and bottoms of the vertically stacked groups. The bands advantageously are made such that they include handles which project upwardly from each stack or the container tops are formed such that handles may be fitted to interenga-ge between at least two projecting spout portions of the containers in a group.
Summary of the invention This invention relates in general to container constructions and to an improved stacked container transport unit, and in particular to a new and useful container having means for interengaging the container with a similarly constructed container arranged at the same level and with further means for holding a plurality of such containers in a horizontal grouping which, in turn, may be arranged in a vertical stack.
At the present time, containers for liquid, for example, beer bottles or fruit juice containers, are usually transported and shipped within larger container boxes containing from about 12 to 30 such bottles or containers. Wine bottles are customarily shipped in larger boxes or crates or in paper cartons. This type of packing requires great expenditure and moreover results in breakage and wear. The weight of such boxes, which are provided for shipping the individual containers or bottles, is relatively great and renders the portability more difiicult. The return or back shipment of such empty containers or bottles with the boxes is also a nuisance and expensive. If the boxes or outside containers are to be destroyed or discarded after a one-time use in order to avoid re-shipping, then, of course, the packing cost in relation to the total cost becomes even higher so that the cost for the individual bottles becomes great.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a container construction which permits the grouping together of the individual containers or bottles into separate portable units which may be shipped in such state. In accordance with the invention, the containers are formed with interengaging or interfitting raised and recessed portionsformed on adjacent container side walls which interlock and hold the containers in an interengaged group with the containers being arranged preferably at the same level. The inventive arrangement also further includes an encircling band or strip which is placed laterally around the outer surfaces of the outermost containers of the grouped containers and which hold the containers in the horizontal grouping. The band is advantageously an elastically formed tensioning band and may advantageously include securing means such as adhesive located at strategic locations for securing the band directly to the grouped containers. The containers are advantageously formed so that the band engages the outer Wall of the containers between projections formed on the containers so that they may not slip off after applying. In the preferred form, the encircling bands include handle formations located at areas to permit easy transportation or lifting of the container group. In the preferred form, the containers or bottles are advantageously made of a synthetic material so that they are thin-Walled, light in weight, and inexpensive to manufacture.
In the preferred arrangement, the containers may be shipped without any external carrying box or container and they may advantageously be arranged in stacks formed by a plurality of horizontal groups of containers which are arranged one over the other in a vertical stack. The containers are secured in such vertical stacked position by the addition of a further encircling band which is advantageously applied centrally around the complete vertical stack.
By making the individual containers or bottles of a synthetic material such as polyvinylchloride, an extremely light overall weight of such units can be obtained.
As compared to corrugated board and paper containers, the plastic construction has the advantage that the unit will not be dependent upon the tear resistance of paper and, in addition, the encircling bands provide additional reinforcement and protection. The stacking and grouping arrangement is preferably such that the containers may be interengaged to form a block-like shipping unit. For this purpose, the individual containers are advantageously formed with a filling and pouring spout on the top thereof which interengages in a recess formation formed on the bottom of the next vertically adjacent container. In some instances, it may be preferable to provide a recess formation at the top of each container in which is formed the filling or pouring spout and to provide means for interengaging the end edges or marginal areas of vertically adjacent containers.
In order to facilitate the interengagement of the individual bottles or containers in a lateral direction, the containers are formed either with two opposing bottle sides or two adjacent bottle sides in an identical manner. By forming two adjacent bottle sides in a similar manner or an identical manner,-the bottles can be arranged in rows in a most convenient manner and thus can be combined to a unit consisting of bottles arranged in a grouping at the same height level. The interengaging raised portions which fit into similarly constructed depressions on the next adjacent container advantageously are of such dimension that they reinforce the bottle Wall inthe manner of ribs. The projections also advantageously form means for facilitating the alignment and retention of the encircling band which holds the containers in a group.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved container construction of generally blockshaped configuration having sides formed with interengageable complementary projections and recesses to facilitate the alignment and interengagement of a similar container in a horizontal grouping by the interengagement of such projections and recesses.
A further object of the invention is to provide a vertical container shipping block construction formed of a plurality of horizontal groups of intcrengaged containers each including an encircling band holding the containers in a horizontal group and wherein horizontal groups are stacked one above the other by the vertical interengagement of the containers and further including an encircling band holding a plurality of horizontal groups in a vertically stacked block formation.
A further object of the invention is to provide a container construction and container grouping which is simple in design, rugged in construction and economical to manufacture.
The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a horizontal grouping of containers constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the containers of FIG 1;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal grouping of containers having an encircling band and additional handle means;
FIG. 4 is a partial elevational view of a container having another embodiment of a handle;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a vertical stacking of two containers;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a vertical stacking of a horizontal group of containers in accordance with the invention.
Referring to the drawings in particular, the invention embodied therein as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a horizontal grouping of a plurality of containers or bottles 1 of hollow generally block-shaped configuration which have opposed pairs of lateral walls of uniform dimension which are provided selectively with either recesses 3 or projections 2. In the preferred arrangement, the projections 2 are formed on adjacent side and end walls and are arranged to extend across the top and the bottom of the container wall leaving an intermediate space 1a therebetween. The recesses 3 are formed of a size to receive the projections 2 and are arranged on the other two adjacent walls of the containers 1. As indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the containers may be arranged in horizontal groupings with projections 2 engaged in the recesses 3. In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, the projections 2 will lie on the exterior of the groupings along one edge and one side thereof and the recesses will lie along the opposite edge and opposite side. It should be appreciated, however, that only one projection need be formed on a single wall adjacent, for example, the top and a recess formed adjacent the bottom to facilitate interengagement of a container having a recess formed adjacent its top and a projection formed adjacent the bottom of the wall with which it will'be interengaged.
Instead of arranging the containers in a single horizontal grouping or a double horizontal grouping as indicated in FIG. 2, the containers may be arranged in the horizontal grouping indicated, for example, in FIG. 3. After they are so arranged, as encircling band 5, which may be, for example, an elastic adhesive band, is positioned around the exteriors of all the horizontally grouped containers and advantageously engages between projections 2 in the area 1a. The band which is placed around the groups of containers is advantageously secured to the containers by adhesive which is united with the surface of the container at selected locations. In many instances it will be sufficient if the band is only adhesively cemented at two overlapping end portions of the band. The band 5 undergrips the edges of the containers or bottles 1 at the location 7 as indicated in FIG. 3 so that they cannot slide 05 even if it is not adhesi-vely connected to the containers.
In the preferred form, the band 5 is provided with formations which provide handles or gripping elements 6 so that the whole grouping or unit may be lifted with two hands at opposite sides of the group, for example. In some other instances, additional securing handle formation elements 8 are secured over projections of intermediate containers at the location indicated in FIG. 3.
In FIG. 4, there is indicated another embodiment of a handle construction which may comprise a handle which engages around a neck portion or projection 10 of the spout of a container 1'.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the container 1 includes a top wall 112 with upwardly sloping sides terminating in a central spout formation 4. In the embodi ment of FIG. 5, the containers 1" include a bottom wall 13 having a recess 12 defined therein for accommodating the spout 4". The top walls 1b provide a bearing contact for a portion of sloping bottom walls 13 of the container 1". The weight of the container 1" is transmitted onto a marginal zone of the sloping top walls 11) which provides a rigid and strong support for the upper containers.
In the embodiment of FIG. 6, there is provided a container 1' which includes a top wall 112" having a recessed marginal edge which receives a downwardly projecting marginal edge of the bottom Wall 13 of the uppermost container. In this embodiment, the top wall 1b is provided with a central recessed area 15 having a central spout 14 defined therein which does not project above a central elevated portion of the top wall.
In FIG. 7, there is indicated a shipping bundle or transport unit generally designated 20 which is composed of three vertically stacked assembled horizontal units generally designated A, B and C. As indicated, each of the horizontal units of containers A, B and C includes 16 containers generally designated 1 which are arranged with their projecting portions 2 interengaged within recesses 3 in the manner indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The containers 1 of each unit A, B and C are held together by encircling band 5 as indicated in FIG. 3. The whole unit is assembled into block form by stacking the groups of containers B and C on top of the container group A and applying an additional encircling band 16. The bands 16 may also be of an elastic material and include adhesive on the inner side thereof which becomes adhered to se lected portions of the containers at selected locations. The complete unit 20 may be lifted or shipped or moved in any manner without disturbing the interengagement of the container 1.
In some instances, it is desirable to provide covers or protective caps 17 for the containers as indicated in FIG. 1. The cap is designed to fit directly over the spout portion 4 and the upper wall 112 of the container and it provides a protection against dust or contamination in addition to its protective feature.
While specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the inventive principles, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.
What is claimed:
1. A portable container transport unit comprising a plurality of horizontally arranged groups of interengaged abutting containers, said horizontally arranged groups being arranged in a vertical stack of abutting vertically interengaged horizontal groups, each horizontal group including a plurality of containers of tubular shape having two opposite pairs of integral side walls of substantially uniform dimensions with each pair of side walls having at least one projection defined in one of its walls and at least one recess formed in the other of its walls, said projection having interconnected rectilinear sides each extending outwardly for substantially the same dimension from its said side wall, said sides of said projection located inwardly from the edges of its said side wall, a face surface on said projection connecting the outer edges of said sides and combining therewith to provide said projection with a closed surface, said recess having interconnected rectilinear sides extending inwardly into said container substantially the same dimension from its said side wall as the sides of said projection extend from its said side wall, said sides of said recess located inwardly from the edges of its said side wall, a face surface in said recess connecting the inner edges of said sides and combining therewith to provide said recess with a closed surface, said projections on said containers arranged in closely fitting socket-like interengagement with the recesses on said adjacent containers within said horizontally arranged groups whereby said containers are secured within said groups against vertical and horizontal displacement, said containers in each of said horizontally arranged groups including a top wall and a bottom wall, said top wall having an upwardly projecting portion and a spout located in said portion, said bottom wall having an inwardly directed recess adapted to receive in closely fitting interengagement said upwardly projecting portion and spout of another said container disposed below and in alignment with said container, said horizontally arranged groups adapted to be arranged in a vertical stack with other horizontal groups with said containers in one said horizontally arranged group situated with said recesses in the bottom walls thereof superposed on and in interengagement with said upwardly projecting portions and spout of said containers in said lower horizontally arranged group, and said upwardly projecting portion and said spout in said top walls thereof interengaged with said recesses in the bottom walls of said upper horizontally arranged group, horizontally extending encircling bands surrounding and in tightly fitting engagement with the exterior surfaces of the exterior containers of each said horizontally arranged group, and vertically extending encircling bands surrounding and in tightly fitting engagement with the exterior surfaces of said vertically stacked horizontally arranged groups whereby said containers are combined into a single portable transport unit.
2. A portable container transport unit according to claim 1, wherein said containers include at least two adjacent side walls each having two projections thereon and at least two adjacent side walls each having two recesses thereon.
3. A portable container transport unit according to claim 2, wherein said projections on the exterior ones of said containers within one of said horizontally arranged groups prevent removal of said band.
4. A portable container transport unit, according to claim 3, wherein said band is adhesively secured to said containers.
5. A portable container transport unit according to claim 1, wherein said horizontal groups of containers are held together by an elastic encircling band having adhesive on the inner surface thereof adhesively securing said band to at least some of said containers.
6. A portable container transport unit, according to claim 1, wherein said horizontally encircling bands are provided with handles for carrying the groups of containers.
7. A portable container unit, according to claim 6, wherein said horizontally encircling bands are provided with a handle formation on each side of the interengaged horizontally arranged groups of said containers.
8. A portable container transport unit, according to claim 7, including at least one additional handle formation engaged between adjacent containers in said horizontally arranged group and extending upwardly therefrom for facilitating lifting of said group.
9. A portable container transport unit, according to claim 7, including a spout engaging handle member engaged around a projection on the spout of at least two of said containers and extending upwardly therefrom and having a hand gripping opening for facilitating lifting of said containers.
10. A portable container transport unit, according to claim 9, wherein said projections on said spouts are formed as ribs with roughened portions.
11. A portable container transport unit, according to claim 1, including a cap fitted over the top of said containers and covering said spout portion and the top wall of said container.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 888,611 5/1908 Heinze et al 22023.4 X 3,112,826 12/1963 Blum 206 3,164,252 1/1965 Hosbein 20665 3,200,943 8/1965 Waterbury 22023.6 X 3,214,056 10/1965 Box 22023.6 X 3,268,070 8/1966 Cunningham 20665 FOREIGN PATENTS 985,402 3/ 1965 Great Britain.
193,808 1/1965 Sweden.
MARTHA L. RICE, Primary Examiner. LOUIS G. MANCENE, Examiner.