|Publication number||US3432061 A|
|Publication date||Mar 11, 1969|
|Filing date||Jun 9, 1967|
|Priority date||Jun 9, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3432061 A, US 3432061A, US-A-3432061, US3432061 A, US3432061A|
|Inventors||Anderson Victor F|
|Original Assignee||Shell Oil Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (22), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
March 11, 1969 v. F. ANDERSON MODULAR DISPLAY BIN Sheet Filed June 9, 1967' F l G. l
INVENTORI VICTOR F. ANDERSON H-- IS AGENT F I G. 2
March 11, 1969 v. F. ANDERSON 3, 3 ,0
MODULAR D I S PLAY B IN Filed June 9, 1967 Sheet of 2 FIG. 3
VICTOR F. ANDERSON BY'. Q z u HIS AGENT United States Patent 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A modular container may be constructed from a single injection molded sheet of plastic material by molding integral hinges, tabs and slots. When the panels are folded into respective positions to form the sides and bottom of a generally cubical container, the abutting edges of the panels are secured together with tabs having barbs that are integrally formed on one of each cooperative set of abutting edges. The other edge of each cooperative set of abutting edges is provided with slots into which the barbed tabs are inserted. The width of a tab barb is slightly greater than the width of a cooperative slot so the barb may be inserted in the slot with slight deformation of either the barb or the slot or both.
This invention relates generally to retail merchandise display containers. More specifically, the invention relates to display containers having a minimum number of separate elements that may be dis-assembled and compactly stored when not in use.
Merchandise bins or containers are used in supermarkets, drug stores, hotels and motels to display quantities of small articles or magazines for sale. According to one design, such display bins are injection molded as a composite unit from a thermoplastic material in a shape that allows storage in nested stacks. By another design, a display bin is assembled from four or more separate panel sections that are secured together at their edges by fasteners.
Such prior art designs of display bins have many drawbacks including excessive bulk, expense, or a multiplicity of essential parts subject to loss or mutilation. It is there fore an object of this invention to provide a collapsible display bin that is inexpensively fabricated to form a single injection molded sheet having integral hinges, tabs and slots and requires only one other part, a reinforcing and mounting brace, for securing the assembled bin to a structural member. Another object of this invention is to provide a display bin that may be collapsed to the volume of a single panel thickness for stacking and storage.
The collapsible display bin of the present invention may comprise a T-shaped sheet of plastic material having fold integral hinges extending transversely across the bar and leg of the T to delineate side and bottom bin panels. (The fold integral hinges are merely strips molded in the sheet having a reduced thickness to allow ease of bending of the sheet along the line of the strip.) The bin may be formed with three or four side panels depending on whether an open front is desired for ease of access to flat lying articles such as magazines. To assemble the bin from the composite molded sheet, the panels are folded along the fold lines until the panel formed on the extremities of the T bar and leg are in abutting alignment. Tabs, which protrude beyond the lateral edges of the T leg, for example, are provided with barb elements on the outer edge thereof. These tabs are pressed into slots formed along the co-operatively abutting lateral edge of the T bar so that the barb of the tabs hook the opposite side of the sheet. A positive structural latch or fastening of the co-operative edges together is achieved thereby.
The assembled bin may be secured to a structural column or support member by fixing an angle brace to the outside of the base and back panels. No separate fasteners are required since channel guides are provided as integrally molded elements of one of back and base panels to receive one leg of the angle bracket. The other leg of the angle brace is merely pressed into clip means that are integrally molded on the outside of the back and base panels.
The angle brace, preferably being fabricated of metal such as steel or aluminum, is of suflicient structural strength to receive fasteners such as nails, screws or hooks to a structural support such as a free standing column or wall.
The invention will be further described with respect to the drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the assembled container;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the unassembled container molded sheet;
FIGURE 3 is a partial sectional view of the tab members taken across cut lines 3-3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view of the slots taken across cut lines 4-4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a partial sectional view of the bottom support leg of the angle brace in secure position with co-operative clip members taken across cut lines 5-5 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a partial sectional view of the back side support leg of the angle brace in secure position with cooperative guide members taken across cut lines 6-6 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 7 is a partial sectional view of a reduced thickness section of the integral hinge taken across cut lines 7-7 of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 8 is a partial sectional view of the reinforcing rib portion of the integral sheet bottom panel taken across cut lines 8-8 of FIGURE 2.
With respect to FIGURE 2 of the drawing, the disassembled container is shown as a single, integral molded sheet of plastic material 10. The sheet 10 is generally in the shape of a T and comprises four or five panel sections 11-15. The presence of panel 15 is optional depending on whether a front side panel is desired. If the bin is to be used for magazines or similar flat laying articles, convenience of access may dictate the omission of panel 15.
Panel 12 may constitute the bottom of the bin whereas panels 11, 13, 14 and 15 constitute sides when the T- shaped sheet member 10 is folded to an assembled unit as shown in FIGURE 1.
Between adjacent edges of respective panels are fold lines 1649. Fold line 17 between panels 11 and 13 is typical and is illustrated in enlarged cross-sectional detail in FIGURE 7.. It Will be seen from FIGURE 7 that the fold line 17 is a web of plastic material integral with the sheet 10 interconnecting adjacent edges 20 and 21 of panels 11 and 13 respectively. Fold line web 17 has a the sheet 10 interconnecting adjacent edges 20 and 21 of the sheet 10 thickness B. The width of fold line web 17 F may be approximately thirty percent of the sheet 10 thickness B. For purposes of illustration, however, the dimension F has been shown as greater than the sheet thickness B.
To reinforce the bottom panel 12, a channel section 22 may be upset in the plane thereof as shown in FIGURE 8. For a bottom panel 12 having 5 edges fabricated from 0.100 in. plastic sheet, the channel 22 may have a depth G of A and a width H of Y for example.
The lateral edges 23 and 24 of the leg portion of the T-shaped sheet 10 are provided with tab members 29 which project beyond the base line of the edges 23 and 24 in the same plane of the panels 12 and 15. Tab members 29 are integrally formed with the molded sheet 10 and are provided with barbed outer edges 30 as shown in FIGURE 3. The width D of the barb 30 may be approximately fifty percent greater than the thickness C of the sheet .10 whereas the projection length B of the barb as measured from the edge 23 base line to the barb flare should be equal to the sheet 10 thickness.
Edges 25 and 27 and 26 and 28 on the cross-bar of the T-shaped sheet 10 respective to panels 13 and 14 are provided with slots 31. As illustrated in detail at FIGURE 4, the width C of the slots 31 is greater than the thickness B of the sheet 10, thirty percent for example, but less than the thickness D of the barb 30. The length of each slot 31 may be equal to the length of the tabs 29 as measured parallel with the edge 23 base line.
On the side of panel sections 11 and 12 opposite from the side that constitutes the interior of the assembled bin when the sheet 10 is in the folded and assembled condition, means are provided to secure an angle brace 32 thereto. The angle brace 32 constitutes a structural reinforcement for the assembled bin and also serves as a means to secure the bin to a free standing column, or wall, not shown.
The means to secure the upright leg 33 of the brace 32 to the back side of panel 11 are a plurality of bracket members 35. With reference to FIGURE 6, the bracket members 35 are formed with a projecting leg 36 having one edge integral with the outer side of the panel 11 portion of sheet member 10. The other edge of projecting leg 36 is integral with one edge of the lateral leg 37 of bracket member 35. The bracket members 35 are arranged in oppositely facing pairs so as to form a channel 38 to receive upright leg 33 of angle brace 32 when positioned co-planar with the outer side of the panel 11 and moved axially therealong.
The means to secure the horizontal leg 34 of angle brace 32 to the outer side of bottom panel portion 12 are a plurality of oppositely facing clip members 39 as seen in FIGURES l and 5. Clip members 39 are integrally formed with the sheet member 10 and are provided with lateral projections 40 which seat in longitudinal grooves 41 formed in the lateral edges of brace leg 34. Preferably, horizontal brace leg 34 is of extruded cross-section as illustrated in FIGURE for greater structural strength and rigidity.
Angle brace 32 may be formed by securing, welding for example, one end of horizontal leg 34 to a side of upright leg 33. A portion 42 of upright leg 33 may be allowed to project beyond the juncture of horizontal leg 34 and provided with apertures 43, for example, to receive fastener means such as nails, screws or hooks to secure the bin addition assembly to a free standing column or wall.
As may be seen from FIGURE 2, a number of unassembled bins may be stored when not in use in a very compact, volumetrically efficient manner by stacking them as flat sheets.
When assembly of a bin is desired, a single sheet member is folded along fold hinge lines 16-19 to form the bottom and four sides of a bin. The tab members 29 along the edge 23 of bottom panel 12 are inserted in slots 31 along the edge 25 of panel 13. Similarly, tabs 29 along edge 24 of bottom panel 12 are inserted in slots 31 along edge 26 of panel 14 to form the bottom, back and two sides of an open ended bin when the cross-bar portion of the sheet 10 T-shaped comprising panels 11, 13 and .14 is folded along line 16 normal to the plane of the T-leg comprising panels 12 and and the panels 13 and 14 are folded along lines 17 and 18 to a position where edges 25 and 26 parallel edges 23 and 24 respectively.
If an open ended bin is desired OI the dispensing of flat laying articles such as magazines, the panel 15 is omitted in the fabrication of sheet 10 and the bin assembly is complete as described above.
If four sides are to be provided for the bin, panel 15 is folded along line 19 until edges 23 and 24 are parallel with edges 27 and 28 of panels 13 and 14 respectively. Tab members 29 are then inserted in slots 31 along said respective edges by plastically deforming one interior edge of slots 31, for example, to allow the passage of barb 30 beyond the outer plane of the respective panels. The flare of bar 30 bearing against the outer plane of said panels inhibits the retraction of said tabs, removal requiring considerably greater force than insertion.
To mount the assembled bin on a free standing column or wall, upright leg portion 33 of angle brace 32 is slidably inserted in the channel 38 between oppositely facing bracket members 35 along the outer side of back panel 11 until the horizontal leg 34 of brace 32 engages the lateral projections 40 of clips 39 on the outer side of bottom panel 12. By applying additional force against the horizontal leg 34, lateral projections 40 are plastically deformed until they align with the longitudinal grooves 41. The bin and brace assembly is then mounted on a column or wall by inserting nail, screw or hook fasteners, for example, through apertures 43 in the projecting portion 42 of upright leg 33.
As many of such bin assemblies may be mounted vertically on a wall or column as is desired.
Numerous modifications of the present invention may be envisioned by those of ordinary skill in the art such as providing a double flare on barbs 30 of tab members 29 or reversing the relationship of tabs 29 and slots 31 so as the tabs 29 will be on edges 25, 26, 27 and 29 and vice versa. It is also possible to form angle brace receiving channel 38 by providing a continuous web between opposite leg projections 36.
I claim as my invention:
1. A collapsible container comprising first, second, third and fourth panel portions, said portions being formed on a single integral plastic sheet member, said second panel portion having a first edge .adjacent a first edge of said first panel portion, said third panel portion having a first edge adjacent a second edge of said first panel portion, said fourth panel portion having a first edge adjacent a third edge of said first panel portion, the portion of said sheet member connecting said first edges of said second, third and fourth panel portions with said first, second and third edges of said first panel portion forming hinges between respectively adjacent edges, said second panel portion having second and third edges, said third panel portion having .a second edge, said fourth panel portion having a second edge, said second edge of said third panel portion and said second edge of said fourth panel portion being disposed with respect to said hinges whereby said third and fourth panel portion second edges form an abutting juncture with said second and third edges respectively of said second panel portion when said second, third and fourth panel portions are folded along said hinges toward the same side of the plane of said first panel portion and at a predetermined angle thereto, the abutting edges of said second and third panel portions and said second and fourth panel portions having releasable securing means therebetween, said securing means comprising tab members secured to one of the co-operative abutting edges and slot members in the other of said co-operative abutting edges, said tab members having barb means projecting laterally beyond the plane of said tab members, the width of said slot members being greater than the planar thickness of said tab members but less than the distance between extremities of said barb means as measured perpendicular to the plane of said tab member, and brace means releasably secured to said first and one of said other panel portions whereby said assembled container may be secured to a structural support member, said brace member comprising first and second strip members, one end of said second strip member being secured to said first strip member whereby the plane of said first strip member is adjacently parallel to the plane of said first panel portion when the plane of said second strip member is adjacently parallel with the plane of said other panel portion, one of said first and said other panel portions having bracket guide means projecting from the plane and on the outer side thereof, said bracket guide means receiving said first strip member when the plane thereof is aligned adjacently parallel with the outside plane of said panel portion and when said bracket is moved axially into slidable engagement between said guide means and said one panel portion, and the second of said first and said other panel portions having clip means projecting from the plane and on the outerside thereof, said clip means receiving said second strip member when said first strip member is slidably received by said guide means, said second strip member having channel means along the longitudinal edges thereof, said clip means engaging said channel means by plastic deformation when said second strip member is forced thereagainst.
2. Apparatus as described by claim 1 wherein said sheet member comprises a fifth panel portion, said fifth panel portion having a first edge adjacent a fourth edge of said second panel portion, said fifth panel portion first edge being hingeably secured to said second panel portion fourth edge, said fifth panel portion also having a second edge and a third edge, said third and fourth panel portions having third edges, said second and third edges of said fifth panel portion and said third edges of said third and fourth panel portions respectively disposed to form an abutting juncture when said second edges of said third and fourth panel portions are abuttingly joined with said second and third edges of said second panel portion and said fifth panel portion is folded along the hinge connection with said second panel portion toward the same side of the plane of said second panel portion as said first panel portion is folded, said abutting edges of said fifth and third panel portions and said fifth and fourth panel portions having said releasable securing means therebetween.
3. Apparatus as described by claim 1 wherein said sheet member is fabricated from thermoplastic material.
4. Apparatus as described by claim 1 wherein the hinge portions of said sheet member between respectively adjacent edges are of reduced thickness.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,224,822 12/1965 Kirby 220-31 X 3,236,410 2/1966 Swartz 220-62 FOREIGN PATENTS 963,839 7/1964 Great Britain. 541,753 6/ 1957 Canada.
JOSEPH R. LECLA'IR, Primary Examiner. I. R. GARRETT, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 220-18, 62; 229-16
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|U.S. Classification||220/7, 220/62, 220/481, 312/265.5, 229/117.23, 229/198.2|