US 3575311 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventors Gerard Etienne, Marie de Laminne de Bex,
Gotem, Belgium 1211 Appl. No. 775,715  Filed Nov. 14, 1968  Patented Apr. 20, 1971 [73} Assignee Nicolas Beck Geneva, Switzerland  Priority Nov. 17, 1967, Apr. 30, 1968  Belgium [31 706,668 and 714,482
 FRUIT CASE HAVING VENTILATION OPENINGS 4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 217/42  lint. Cl 365d 81/24, B65d 9/18, 865d 2 1/00  Field of Search 2l7/42,40, 15, 47; 229/23 (C (Stacking Digest), (Vent Digest); 220/97  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 767,613 8/1904 Walker 217/40UX 1,717,733 6/1929 Prati 217/42 2,360,360 10/1944 Miller 217/12A 2,868,405 1/1959 Zolyn 217/15 FOREIGN PATENTS 68,832 2/1958 France 229/23C 1,016,874 1/1966 Great Britain 229/23C Primary EXaminerRaphael H. Schwartz Attorneys-Ralph E. Bucknam, Jesse D. Reingold, Robert R. Strack and Henry A. Marzullo, Jr.
TRACT: A case to be assembled, to be used for products needing ventilation, particularly for fruits, comprises a bottom solid panel section; two pairs of opposite solid side panel sections; connection strip means extending between the bottom panel section and at least one pair of side panel sections and defining therebetween ventilation openings. A pair of battens is secured along the lateral edges of one pair of the side panels and means connect the other pair of side panel sections with said battens, after setting up the side panel, sections so as to define a housing with said battens disposed outwardly thereof. The battens project beyond the bottom in setup relation of the side panel sections to provide supports for the case, such battens stopping short from the upper edges of the side panel sections, with the height of the projection portion of said battens being greater than the distance separating the top thereof from the upper edges.
FRUIT CASE HAVING VENTILATION OPENINGS The present invention relates to a case to be assembled to be used for products needing ventilation, particularly for perishable foodstuffs, comprising side panels and a bottom, at least two of the side panels being hinged on the panel making up the bottom of the case and being provided along their edges at right angles to the plane of the bottom in the assembly position of the case with battens acting as stops for the outside faces of the two other side panels.
This type of case offers interesting advantages for packing particularly fruits and vegetables, as the case can be fabricated, stored and supplied in the flat condition to the point of picking, where it may be assembled by unskilled personnel.
Cases of this type known up to the present are however not suitable for the user for which is meant the present invention on account of the following reasons:
1) cases for fruits or similar products must ensure a ventilation of the products. Now the known cases of the said type are either made up from solid panels with a lid clamping two of the sidewalls against the battens of the two other sidewalls (French Patent 1,159,438) or their panels are made up from spaced laths, the edges of which damage the fruits (US. Pat. 1,287,506), which the farmers prevent by providing the case with a sheet of corrugated paper; this however burdens the cost of fabrication and moreover reduces considerably the ventilation of the fruits.
2) the cases in point should afford the possibility of being stacked, particularly for palletization; now the cases known up to the present of the type under consideration are fitted with .elements for holding the case in the assembled'position which are hardly in keeping with a stacking of such cases, either because the battens are shorter than the side panels, or because a hooping hinders the provision of members pennitting the stacking. 3) lastly, the cost price of the cases must be very low considering that the majority of industrially developed nations have passed regulations which make it mandatory on the farmers to supply their fruits in cases of low capacity, cases meant for transport as far as the retailer, which 'has spread the use of nonretumable empties.
Another type of cases does actually permit palletization, but
requires the mounting of internal posts for that purpose which damage the fruits, as well as the addition of assembly elements. I
The present invention has for its object to put forward a case meeting the three conditions set forth above.
For that purpose, in the case according to the invention, the zones connecting the panels and the bottom are provided with ventilation openings, the battens projecting beyond the edges of the panels hinged on the bottom in order to provide supports, the same battens stopping short for preference from the opposite edges of the panels, so as to provide with the upper zones of the panels seatings for the supports of a case to be stacked above.
According to a preferred form of embodiment of the invention, the articulation members of the side panels at the bottom comprise flexible strips determining inbetween the panels and the bottom the said ventilation openings.
According to an advantageous form of embodiment of the invention, the bottom is provided with at least one longitudinal beam for the purpose of limiting the dishing of the bottom and to provide, if need be, two additional points of support of the cases when stacked.
Other details and features of the invention will become apparent from the description give hereinafter, by way of nonlimiting examples, of several forms of embodiment of the invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein: FIG. II shows a plan view of a case according to the invention prior to being assembled.
FIG. 2 shows a perspective view, partially broken away, of two cases according to FIG. 1, stacked after assembly.
FIG. 3 shows an exploded view of an alternative form of embodiment of a detail of the cases in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 shows a plan view of an alternative form of embodiment of the means of assembly of cases according to the invention.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show plan views of an alternative form of embodiment of cases according to the invention.
In the different FIGS., the same numerical references refer to identical or equivalent elements.
The case shown in FIGS. 1-4 comprises a bottom 50 on each of the two parallel edges thereof are hinged, by means of flexible but strong strips 51, two solid side panels 52, 53 carried out, same as the bottom, for preference in agglomerated wood known by the trademark Unalit."
The length of the panels 52, 53 exceeds the length of the bottom edge 50 whereon the panels are hinged and'they are fringed by internal battens 54, portions of which project on the bottom side in order to provide supports 55 while the said battens 54 stop short from the opposite panel edge 56.
A longitudinal central beam 57 is fastened to the outside face of the bottom 50.
The two other side panels of the case comprise independent solid panes 58, 59 each of which is only provided with an opening 60 to be used as a handle. The height of the panels 58, 59 is of the same magnitude as that of the panels 52, 53 and they are carried out for preference in the same material.
On assembly it is sufficient to set the panels 52, 53 in vertical planes and to fasten, by clamping in several points designated by the reference 61, the independent panels 58, 59 to the battens 54.
The height of the supports 55 exceeds the distance determined by the strips 51, between the adjacent edges of the bottom 50 and of the panels 52, 53, so that the bottom 50 is depended from the panels 52, 53 and determines with the edges thereof ventilation openings 63. Ventilation openings 64 are likewise formed between the adjacent edges of the panels 58, 59 and of the bottom 50.
The top of battens 54 of a case 1 provides with the adjacent upper of the side panels 52, S8, 53, 59 seatings 65 for locking in the two axial directions of the case, for the supports 55 of a case I I stacked on the top thereof.
The panels 52, 53 are advantageously provided, close to the battens, with openings of small size. Such openings, which on the case being assembled are positioned inside the fruitreceiving space, provide an additional ventilation to that of the openings 63, 64 without risk of the fruits being damaged.
The case hereinbefore described offers a certain number of advantages: lthe battens 54, due to their extensions providing the supports 55 of the case, determine automatically the extent of the ventilation openings 63, 64;
2) these ventilation openings 63, 64 being provided close to the edges of the bottom 50 of the case, the battens 54 being positioned outside the container and the panels being solid, the case does not include any zones likely to damage the fruits; the same applies when the case is provided with additional ventilation openings 75;
3) the stiffness of the cases, when stacking them, is assured by the battens 54, which provide posts interlocking between one case and the other, the side panels and the bottom of each case having to support only the weight of the contents it is to receive, the possible distortion of the bottom being checked by the mounting of the longitudinal beam 57 which may act as an additional supporting member in the stacked position;
4) the mounting of the battens on the outside of the panels 58, 59, provides, when several cases are positioned side-byside in the lengthwise direction, ventilation chimneys.
According to the alternative form of embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the battens 5d project slightly upwards in 66 beyond the top edge of the side panels 52, 53 of the case; however, as from the top edge 67 which is parallel to the edge of the panel 58, 59 each batten is provided with a bevel cant 68 towards the panel 58, 59 while the bottom end 55 of the batten is provided with a complementary oblique face 68'. This form of embodiment is preferred for certain cases at least when the stacking of the cases is carried out jointly with palletization,
Le. when a given number of cases are placed on a board, itself supported on one or several pillars of cases, so that the pallet or board shall rest on the top of the battens of the top case and not on the top edge of the panels as would be the case for the form of embodiment shown in FIG. 2.
According to the form of embodiment shown in H0. 4, the battens 54 provided on the inside of the faces 52, 53 are of L- shaped cross section; the edges at right angles to the connecting edge with the bottom 50 of each of the panels 58, 59 carry an outside rib 69 of substantially square cross section and of such a size that this external rib 69 penetrates inside the cavity 70 provided by the bases 71 of the L-shaped sections of the ribs 54 and the panels 52. 53, This combination of the ribs 54, 69 enables the case to be locked in the assembled position without the use of tools and to take down the case after use for a possible return, in the flat condition, to the point of loading the cases. This form of embodiment supposes that the cases shall be delivered with the four panels 52, 53, and 58, 59 connected to the bottom 50.
The case shown in the FIGS. 5 and 6 is carried out from a rectangular blank 41 of sheet material, such as cardboard for example. This blank is cut out along two parallel lines 42 starting from the two small sides of the rectangle and is provided in addition with fold lines 43, 44 determining the bottom 45 of the case. Two side panels 46 are formed between the cuts 42 and the fold lines 44; battens 47 are fastened along the edges at right angles to those connected to the bottom 45, on such panels 46. The two other side panels 48 are formed by the fold lines 43 and 76, the latter being provided at a distance from the lines 44 substantially equal to the thickness of the battens 47. A beam 57 is fastened on the outside face of the bottom 45. When assembling the case, the comer zones 49 positioned beyond the fold lines 76 are folded back round the battens 47 against the panels 46 and fastened to the latter by means of clamps 71. The ventilation is assured by means of openings 72 fitted along the connecting lines between the side panels and the bottom 45 as well as in 77 close to the fold lines 76, if need be.
It will be understood that the invention is in no way limited to the form of embodiment described and that many changes may be introduced therein without departing from the scope of the present patent application.
1. A case to be assembled to be used for products needing ventilation, particularly for perishable foodstuffs, comprising side panels and a bottom panel, at least two of the side panels and said bottom panel being provided with hinge means to hingedly connect said two side panels to said bottom panels, said two side panels being provided along their edges at right angles to the plane of the bottom panel in the assembled position of the case with battens means securing said battens to said two side panels and acting as stops for the outside faces of two other side panels wherein the zones connecting the panels and the bottom are provided with ventilation openings and wherein the battens project beyond the edges of the panels hinged on the bottom panel in order to provide supports, said bottom panel being provided with at lest one longitudinal beam wherein the latter beam has a thickness at the most equal to the height of the supports measured between the bottom and the ground less the distance separating the top of the battens from the edges of the side panels abutting against the battens.
2. A case to be assembled, to be used for products needing ventilation, particularly for fruits, comprising a bottom solid panel section; two pairs of opposite solid side panel sections; connection strip means extending between said bottom panel section at least one pair of side panel sections and defining therebetween ventilation openings; a pair of battens secured along the lateral edges of one pair of said side panels; means to connect the other pair of side panel sections with said battens, after setting up the side panel, sections so as to define a housing with said battens disposed outwardly of the internal volume enclosed by the case and said battens projecting beyond the bottom in setup relation of the side panel sections to provide supports for the case, said battens stopping short from the upper edges of said side panel sections, with the height of the projection portion of said battens being greater than the distance separating the top thereof from said upper edges.
3. A case as claimed in claim 2 wherein a longitudinal beam is secured to said bottom section, the thickness of said beam being at the most equal to the height of the supports measured between the bottom section and the ground in setup relation of the case less the distance separating the top of the battens from the upper edges of said side panel sections.
4. A case as claimed in claim 2, wherein the top of the battens is provided with a bevel cant directed in the assembled condition of the case, toward the side panels resting on them, the bottom end of the battens being provided with a complementary bevel cant.