US 3511404 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 12, 197.0 PEARSON 3,511,404
PARTITION ASSEMBLY FOR CARTON PACKING Filed July 18, 1968 INVENTOR.
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United States Patent 3,511,404 PARTITION ASSEMBLY FOR CARTON PACKING Reinhold A. Pearson, R. A. Pearson Company, E. 304 2nd Ave., Spokane, Wash. 99202 Filed July 18, 1968, Ser. No. 745,820
Int. Cl. B65d 25/02, 81/00, 5/48 U.S. Cl. 217--31 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A partition assembly for packing of cartons wherein separating partition walls are required between adjacent articles or containers in the carton, such as bottles or jars. The assembly comprises a continuous string of foldably joined partition units, each unit including interlocked walls pivotable relative to one another between a collapsed condition wherein the walls abut one another and an expanded condition wherein the walls form a perpendicular grid. Adjacent partition units are foldably joined so that they will pull one another to an expanded condition. Provision is made for longitudinal bending of the expanded assembly and for facilitating severance of adjacent units.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The basic partition unit disclosed herein is developed from conventional partition structures which include a plurality of partition wall members interlocked in a rectangular grid. Such partition walls are spaced center to center a distance adequate to provide effective separation between articles or containers such as glass bottles or jars. Under present practice, such partitions are constructed in single carton units, and are expanded and inserted into the carton prior to the carton being filled. This practice has in most instances necessitated the use of top loading equipment to fill the carton, requiring that the bottles, jars or other articles be dropped or lowered into the carton between the spaces defined by the partition walls. The danger of breakage during such loading operations has prohibited the use of mechanical loading equipment in industries where the article or material within a breakable container is particularly expensive.
The instant partition assembly is adapted for end-loading of cartons, since the article of containers and the partition units are integrated into a unit assembly prior to loading of the cartons. The articles or containers with the partition walls interspersed between them can be readily end-loaded, or a carton can be placed over the unit assembly. The end-loading of bottles with a partition unit between them is discussed in a U.S. patent to Norwood 2,961,811, which apparently places the individual partition unit over the bottles by an unspecified manner, probably manual efiort. Another patent along this line is the U.S. patent to Hickin 2,968,898 which discloses an apparatus for assembling partitions between bottles, the partitions being constructed as they are placed between the articles.
In the present structure, the collapsed partition units are foldably joined in an endless manner, permitting usage of conventional partition manufacturing techniques and minimizing the storage volume required prior to use of the partition. The joined partitions are capable of being expanded as they are pulled from a storage stack and the partition walls can then be placed between rows of articles or containers, the partition units being pulled along as an integral assembly by the very movement of the bottles between which the partition walls engage. The individual partition units are capable of being severed from one another after placement between articles or containers held separate by them.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The partition assembly basically comprises a plurality of collapsible partition units including interlocking walls intersecting one another along parallel lines at spaced intervals which correspond to the article spacing, the aligned corresponding walls of adjacent pairs of the partition units being foldably joined to one another to produce a continuous string of foldably joined partition units.
A first object of the invention is to provide a continuous partition assembly comprising foldably joined partition units which need not be handled individually as is presently the practice in packaging procedur s. The partition assembly is particularly adapted to continuous loading operation using mechanical equipment to place the partition units between articles or containers on a moving con veyor. It reverses normal practice today by permitting initial placement of the partition walls between the articles and subsequent separation of the partition units and articles to produce a package unit for loading of a carton.
Another object of the invention is to provide a partition assembly that is compatible with end-loading operations in the filling of cartons. By providing a partition assembly wherein the partition walls are placed between the articles prior to loading of a carton, a completed load unit is achieved which can be directly inserted through the ends of a tubular carton. This makes possible the cost savings inherent in end-loaded carton usage in industries where partitions are required and where top loading is not acceptable due to breakage and other mechanical difliculties.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of the partition assembly;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the assembly in FIG. 1, illustrating the flexibility of the foldably joined partition units;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation looking toward the area joining adjacent partition units; and
FIG. 4 is a line view illustrating the manner by which the partition units are pulled from a storage stack.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION The partition assembly described herein will be discussed with respect to the illustrations of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. These drawings illustrate the essential elements of the partition assembly. They show only a portion of the assembly, it being understood that it extends continuously in an endless line of similarly joined units. As additional .partitions must be supplied, they are initially foldably connected to the preceding unit by the use of tape or adhesive. Since subsequent partition units are each joined to one another in a similar fashion, the structural example shown by the three units illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is believed to be adequate to permit one to understand the total assembly.
The partition assembly actually comprises a series of individual partition units 10 foldably joined to one another by front and rear tabs 11 and 12. While the designation front and rear are arbitrary, they are used herein in relation to the direction of movement of the partition units 10 as they are pulled from the storage stack. The chosen direction of movement in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 is from left to right. It is indicated in FIG. 4 by the arrow A.
The tabs 11 and 12 of longitudinally adjacent partition units 10 are integrally joined to one another by two or more transversely spaced score lines 13 which provide upright vertical folding connections between them. The score lines 13 lie in a common plane and are transversely aligned across each unit 10. Tabs 11 and 12 are longitudinal extensions of the parallel spaced longitudinal partition walls 14 which are interlocked with transverse partition walls 15 to form partition units 10. Joined tabs 11, 12 must connect at least two of the walls 14 between adjacent units 10.
The walls 14 and 15 in each partition unit present a rectangular grid having open spaces adequate to permit the insertion of the desired articles for containers between them. The manner by which the partition walls 14 and are interlocked is subject to variance and any conventional type of interlocking design can be utilized in conjunction with the construction of the instant partition assembly. The partition units 10 are conventionally collapsible to a condition wherein the walls 14 and 15 rest against one another and are expandible to the rectangular condition shown in FIG. 1 Adjacent partition units 10 are foldably connected to one another in alternating opposite directions in an accordion manner along the longitudinal line of partition units, as can be seen in FIG. 4 which illustrates the partition units being pulled from a storage stack 16. The plane containing the lines of score lines 13 in each partition unit 10 are parallel to the transverse walls 15 of the unit.
The disclosed preferred form of the partition assembly also includes provision for limited bending movement in the planes of partition walls 14 along lines located between the respective adjacent partition units 10 to permit vertical movement of one partition unit in relation to the interconnected adjacent units. This bending provision is not essential to the partition assembly, but is desirable if the expanded units are to accommodate such bending relative to one another by any considerable angular amount. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, provision for bending is provided by the joint being a triple fold joint in which the tabs 11 and 12 are scored along V-shaped lines 17 that are symmetrical with the score line 13. Other oblique folds adjacent to one or both sides of score line 13 may be similarly used to accommodate limited bending movement. Lines 17 are scored from the surface of tabs 11 and 12 opposite to the scoring of score line 13. A bending force applied to the adjacent partition units will cause the score lines 13 and 17 to pivot relative to one another.
As shown, the length of the upright fold 13 is rather short in relation to the height of the partition walls 14, 15. It extends between the base of a V-shaped recess 18 formed at the upper edges of tabs 11 and 12, which leads toward fold 13 as its apex, and an upwardly open slot 20 leading upwardly from the lower edges of tabs 11, 12. The score lines 13 and 17 could extend the full height of tabs 11 and 12 with equal efiiciency so far as bending is concerned, but the shortened length of lines 13 is desirable to facilitate severing of the longitudinal partition walls.
In use, the partition units 10 are fed and expanded longitudinally from a stacked continuous supply and can be gradually placed over or between containers or articles which are either stationary or moving in prearranged longitudinal and transverse rows. The partition units are directly expanded as they are pulled longitudinally from the storage stack, the expansion being automatic due to the tensile force applied to the longitudinal partition walls 14. After placement between the articles or containers to be packed, the tabs 11, 12 between adjacent partition units 10 are severed vertically to complete a separate carton partition unit for packing purposes. The partition is then ready for insertion within a carton in the usual fashion, either in an empty condition or with the articles or containers located in the partition grid.
Various modifications might be made in the particular partition structure illustrated without deviating from the scope of this disclosure.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A partition assembly for separating a plurality of articles that number more than one carton load, comprising:
a plurality of collapsible and expandable partition units,
each unit including a plurality of pivotally interconnecting partition walls, the partition units in expanded grid configuration having parallel transverse partition walls and parallel longitudinal partition walls; and
joint means pivotally interconnecting two or more of the longitudinal partition walls of adjacent partition units at each end of the respective units for forming a continuous elongated partition assembly and for permitting the partition unit to be alternately folded in opposite directions in an accordian type collapsed manner, said joint means including web folds interconnecting longitudinal wall partitions along lines parallel to the pivotal interconnections between the transverse and longitudinal partition walls.
2. A partition assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein the length of each web fold is less than the height of the interconnected longitudinal partition walls to enable the web folds to be readily severed.
3. A partition assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein the joint means includes folds interconnecting two longitudinal partition walls of adjacent partition units and while both walls are in a vertical orientation are such as to permit one longitudinal partition wall to pivot both vertically and horizontally with respect to the other longitudinal partition wall.
4. A partition assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein the joint is a triple fold joint.
5. A partition assembly as defined in claim 4 wherein the triple fold joint includes a vertical web fold and two side web folds forming a V-shape symmetrically with the vertical web fold.
6. A partition assembly as defined in claim 5 wherein the length of the vertical fold is less than the height of the interconnected longitudinal partition walls.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,741,417 4/1956 Rossum 229-15 Re. 19,028 12/1923 Sugerman 229-29 2,158,971 5/1939 Stratton 206-56 3,152,744 8/1964 Vrana 22915 RAPHAEL H. SCHWARTZ, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.