US 3528558 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 15, 1970 P. v. WILLIAMS DISPLAYF RAK 2 Shets-Sheet 1 Fi1ed July 26, 1968 United States Patent O 3,528,558 DISPLAY RACK Paul V. Williams, 12345 S. Throop, Calumet Park, Ill. 60643 Filed July 26, 1968, Set. No. 747,873 Int. Cl. A47f 7/00, 3/14 U.S. Cl. 21149 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A display rack which is generally adapted for the storage and display of can goods in a manner alording gravity feed of the cans toward the easly accessible front portion of each shelf. In addition to the inclined supporting shelf structure, there is provided divider means for insertion between the aligned rows of cans in the carton, so as to prevent interference by adjoinng cans of gravity movement of succeeding cans in any row toward the front of the rack when the leading can is removed. There is also provided a base plate, which may be used in the placement of the cans on the shelf in an exposed condition without requiring the removal of the cans from the carton, and such base plate also provides a smooth surface for facilitating gravity feed of the cans toward the front of the display shelf.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various forrns of display racks have been provided heretofore for the display of can goeds, such as canned beverages, and some of these display racks provide fr movement of the cans to the forward portion of the rack by gravity when one or more of the leading cans is removed from the shelf. However, the previous display racks provided for gravity feed of the cans required individual placement of the cans in the rack. The procedure of unloding cans from a carton and placing them on the shelf is time consuming and costly. The present invention is particularly directed to a structural arrangement, and a method of handling cartons of canned goods, which eliminates the need for handling the individual cans in the carton.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A display comprising a shelf structure including means for removably supporting a tray in a forwardly and downwardly inclined position, a tray including aligned rows of cans and positioned on said tray supporting means, and divider means inserted in said tray on opposite sides of the inner rows of cans in order to maintain alignment of the cans in the direction of incline of said tray supporting means.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As seen particularly in FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment of the invention comprises generally a supporting base structure 10 and one or more carton supportng shelf 3,528,558 Patented Sept. 15 1970 or rack structures 12 rem0vably positoned on the base. Each shelf structure 12 is adapted to support a plurality of cartons 14 in vertically spaced relation to each other, with each of the cartons inclined downwardly toward the forward end of the display rack. Each display shelf 12 comprises a vertically extending rear plate 16, a front supporting frame 18 including a pair of vertically extending legs 20 spaced forwardly of the rear plate 16, and a shelf forming means interconnecting the rear plate with the supporting legs and preferably comprising a U-shaped w1re form 22 connected at the rear plate 16 and supported on the front supporting legs 20 by an underlying cross-bar 24. The bight portion 26 of the U-shaped member 22 is supported forwardly of the supporting legs 20 at a position below that of the connection of member 22 with the rear plate 16.
The normally closed, rectangular cardboard cartons containing canned goeds are slit 01 cut along the four sides of the carton, and one-half of the severed carton is removed to expose the cans. A base plate 28 (FIG. 5) is then placed on the exposed tops of the cans, the removed half of the carton is replaced in covering relation to the plate covered cans, and the entire carton is then inverted and the top half of the carton removed to provide the tray arrangement 14 seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. A divider 30 (FIG. 4) is then inserted between the intermediate rows of cans, and the carton is placed on a shelf 22 of the display rack 12 to present the appearance seen in FIG. 1. The leading can of each of the four rows in the carton is now accessible for easy removal, and the removal of one of such cans permits the succeeding cans in the row to move by gravty toward the forward end of the carton. In this manner, the easly accessible front end of the carton on the shelf remains filled until only four cans remain in the carton.
In the illustrated embodiment of the invention each of the individual racks or shelf structures 12 comprises a vertically extending rear plate 16 which is generally channel shaped in crosssection and presents two outwardly turned flanges 32 adapted to be secured to a wall or the rear portion 34 of a supporting stand structure 10, as by screws 36 or the like. The side walls 38 of the channel member 16 are provided with a plurality of pairs of horizontally aligned openings therein, which are adapted to receive inwardly bent end portions 40 of the U-shaped wire form 22. The forward or bight end portion 26 of the wire form is angularly bent with respect to its legs 42 to provide an upwardly extending stop for the cartons. The cross-red 24 supporting shelf member 22 on the front supporting legs 20 is preferably welded to mernber 22 and is journaled at its opposite ends in a pair of horizontally aligned openings provided in the supporting legs. Consequently, a supporting shelf or rack structure 12, including rear plate 16, U-shaped members 22, and front supporting frame 18, can be shipped in an essentially flat condition simply by swinging the entire front frame 18 downwardly about the pivot axes provided by the inturned ends 40 of the legs 42 of shelf members 22. In erecting the display rack 12 in position on a supporting base structure 10, the front frame 18 is then swung up- Wardly to a position such that the rear plate 16 and front supporting legs 20 rest on the base. Additional stability is provided for the mounted display rack through means of a laterally extending ear or lug 44 at the base of each of the legs 20. Each of these ears has an opening therethrough providing for the inserti0n of a screw 46, or the like, to fixedly secure the legs to the base.
As seen particularly in FIG. 5, the base plate 28 is preferably a steel stamping or the like, which presents a smooth surface or has its upper surface coated to provide a low friction surface. One end of the base plate 28 is turned upwardly and terminates in an angularly bent edge portion 48 providing means for placement of suitable brand name identification and/or price of the product on its forwardly facing surface. As seen in FIG. 4, the divider 30 is also preferably of stamped metal and includes a U-shaped portion providing two leg sections 50, 52 of a length adapted to extend lengthwise of a carton at positions along the inner side of the two outer rows of cans, and a center divider plate 54 of similar length is fixed, as by welding, to the base 56 of the divider in position for extension along the length of the carton between the two inner rows of cans. The divider 30 is important in that it maintain the alignment of each of the four rows of cans in the carton and prevents inter ference between cans in adjacent rows during the gravity feed of cans toward the front of the display rack. Although described with respect to a carton having four rows of cans, it will be apparent that the base plate 28 and divider 30 can be constructed to accommodate the handling of three rows of cans or any larger numbers of rows.
While the described tray and divider assembly 28, 30 is intended for general usage with all types of can-filled cartons, it is recognized that certain of the described results might also be achieved without the use of the metal base plate. The primary purpose of the base plate 28 is to enable handling of the can-filled carton as a unit, and to provide an essentially frictionless surface for the cans when displayed, so that they will readily gravitate toward the front end of the inclined carton 14 on the display rack 12. In the event that the interior top or bottom wall of the cardboard carton is highly calendared, or is wax or plastic coated, as indicated at 60 in FIG. 6, or otherwise treated to provide a smooth surface, the base plate 28 can be eliminated. In such instances, the carton is severed along its side and end walls, as previously described, with the cans resting on the coated or smooth wall surface 60. The divider 30 is then inserted between the interior rows of cans and the unit is ready for placement on the display rack 12. It is also recognized that some can goods, particularly beverages, are beng packaged in trays similar to that referred to above and formed by severing the side and end walls of the closed carton around its middle. When such trays are provided with a smooth inner bottom wal], the merchant need only to insert the partitions 30 between the inner rows of cans before placing the tray on an inclinedsupporting rack such as is seen in FIG. 1, in order to achieve gravity feed of cans to the front of the tray.
Although shown and described with repect to particular structure, it will be apparent that various modifications might be made without departing from the principles of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Means for use' with an open carton of cans which are arranged in a plurality of parallel rows within the carton and wherein said carton has been opened by severing the side walls of the carton along a path which is intermediate the opposite ends of the cans to separate the carton in two portions with the top portion being removed to expose the cans, said means providing for the handling of the carton as a unit in placing the can-filled carton on a shelf in an open condition and comprising, a metal base plate member having an area substantially coextensive with the area of a side of the carton which covers one end of the cans, and a row divider means supported on said base plate member and including, parallel strips extending at rght angles to and lengthwise of said base plate at equally spaced-apart positions intermediate the side edges of said base plate, whereby said base plate member is placed in covering relation to the open ends of the cans with the dividers positioned between adjoining rows of cans, the removed top porton of the carton is then placed in covering relation to said base plate and cans, and the entire assembly is then inverted and the carton portion then on top is rernoved to expose the ends of the cans and condition the filled carton for placement as a unit on a shelf.
2. Means as set forth in claim 1, including a display raak having a forwardly and downwardly inclined shelf receiving said assembly of said carton portion, base plate and dividers, whereby said cans al'e automatically fed by gravity to the lower, forward end of said carton as each can is removed from the front of the carton, While said divider means maintains alignment of the several rows of cans in the carton.
3. A display rack for open cartons of can goods comprising, a rear supporting frame and a front supporting frame disposed in vertically extending, spaced-apart relaton, a plurality of vertically spaced-apart, shelf means fixed to said rear and front frames in downwardly and forwardly inclined positions, a rectangular tray including a plurality of aligned rows of end supported cans supported on each of said shelf means, means forming a bottom surface for each tray and providing for gravityfed, sliding movernent of the cans supported therein, and divider means in each of said trays disposed on opposite sides of the inner rows of cans so as to maintain alignment of the cans in the direction of incline of said shelf means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1823396 9/1931 Goulet 211128 2,572,090 10/1951 Allen 21149 2,730,825 1/1956 Wilds 21149 X 2891677 6/ 1959 Rtchie 21149 3,126101 3/1964 Katterjohn 211133 3,165,206 1/1965 Taylor 211-126 3355,231 11/1967 Kegel 211-126 X JAMES A. LEPPINK, Primary Examiner U.S. C1. X.R. 211-126