US 3744707 A
A cardboard blank which is readily erected into a tray-like base having a closure or top panel. Construction contemplates the folding of a pair of opposite side panels into elevated positions relative to a bottom panel, followed by folding of opposite end panels into interconnected relation with the side panels, and then use of the closure or top panel to lock all panels in place. During folding movement of the panels, stacking tabs are projected out of the bottom panel into depending relation therewith and are insertable into slots of a top panel of a supporting container to minimize any shifting in a stacked arrangement of the containers.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Ross [111 3,744,707 [451 July 10, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 191,426
[56 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,929,144 10/1933 Kearney 229/30 3,507,441 4/1970 Wilcox et al 229/35 1,101,479 6/1914 Van Osdel 229/D1G. 11 2,135,140 11/1938 Magers 229/35 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 265,489 I 2/1927 Great Britain 229/14 C Primary Examiner-Samuel B. Rothberg Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus Attorney-Bauer & Amer 57 ABSTRACT A cardboard blank which is readily erected into a traylike base having a closure or top panel. Construction contemplates the folding of a pair of opposite side panels into elevated positions relative to a bottom panel, followed by folding of opposite end panels into interconnected relation with the side panels, and then use of the closure or top panel to lock all panels in place. During folding movement of the panels, stacking tabs are projected out of the bottom panel into depending relation therewith and are insertable into slots of a top panel of a supporting container to minimize any shifting in a stacked arrangement of the containers.
6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PMENIEUJUL 1 0191s 3 v 744 7 O 7 SHEEI 1 If 2 66 84 84 68 FIG! 52 90 as as 90 86 90 INVENTOR Q DONALD R. ROSS F167 m 34$ 5% M ATTORNEYS PAIENIE JUL 1 0 ma samaor z FIG.6
INVENTOR DONALD R. ROSS M I M ATTORNEYS CARDBOARD TRAY CONTAINER The present invention relates generally to an improvedcontainerfabricated of a cardboard blank, and more particularly to improvements for such a container which contribute to the stacking thereof, and to both the ease of its construction and the rigidity thereof.
Containers that are fabricated of cardboard blanks are ordinarily designed to facilitate their construction or assembly into three-dimensional container configurations. However, the same ease with whichassembly is achieved is not desirable for disassembly since this might result in the various interconnected container panels coming apart during shipment or other use of the container. There is also a need, heretofore not satisfied, for a container that can be readily stacked or placed in a superposed relation with similar constructed containers with minimum shifting.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide animproved tray-like container, fabricated of cardboard, overcoming the foregoing and other short comingsof thepriorart. Specifically, it is an object to provide a container particularly suitable forshipping or transporting products, such as produce or the like, wherein the container, in its erected or constructed condition, is adapted to interconnect with like containers when in stacked relation.
A container demonstrating objects and advantages of the present invention has two main parts, a tray-like base fabricated from a cardboardblank, and a closure or top panel which snaps into place when in supported position on the base. Among its significant features is the feature of the top panel being supported slightly below the plane of the peripheral edges of the side walls of the containersoas to enable said peripheral edges to serve as araised lip minimizing shifting in a superposed or stacked arrangement of the containers. To
thissame end, during folding movement of the panels f into their erect positions, stacking tabs are projected out of the container bottom panel into depending relation therewith and are insertable into slots of a top panel of a supporting container to actually interconnect adjacent containers.
The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention, will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the closure or top panel of the tray-like container hereof;
FIG. 2 is also a plan view but of the tray-like base of the container;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are perspective views illustrating the manner of erecting the tray-like base, FIG. 3 illustrating how the side panels of the base are folded into an elevated position relative to the bottom panel and FIG. 4 illustrating how the end panels are then folded into interconnected relation with the side panels;
FIG. 6 is a partial side elevational view, onanenlarged scale, illustrating structural details of the depending stacking tabs and cooperating slots;
FIG. 7 is'a partial perspective view illustrating in detail how an end panel folds into locking relation with an elevated side panel; and
FIG. 8 is an enlarged elevational view illustrating how the closure or toppanel of the container forms a connecting relationship'with the side panels, the positions of movement of the cooperating connecting structure being illustrated in full line and phantom line perspective.
Reference is now made to the drawings, and inparticula'r to FIGS. 1 and 2 respectively showing a top or closure panel 10 of a container hereof and a die cut blank 12 which is erected into a tray-like base 14 (see FIG. 4) which forms the other part of the container. Thus, the container hereof, generally designated 16 in FIG. 5, consists of two parts, the previously notedtraylike base 14 with walls bounding an interior storage compartment 18 and the previously noted closure or top panel 10 which closes the opening into the compartment l8.
Among the significant features of the container 16 are depending stacking tabs, individually and collectively designated 20, which are an integral part of the walls which form the base 14 and which, in practice, project through strategically located slots 22 in the top panel 10 of a supporting container 16 so that the adjacent containers 16 of a superposed arrangement are interconnected with each other. This interconnected arrangement, shown in detail in FIG. '6, minimizes shiftingof the individual containers 16 during shipment, as
2, 3, 4 and 7 which illustrate the preferred construction for the tray-like base 14. In its form as a blank 12, the base includes a centrally located bottom panel 24 delineated on all four sides by four fold lines 26, 28, 30 and 32. Beyond the oppositefold lines 26 and 30 bottom panel 24 is bounded by end panels 34 and 36, whereas side panels 38 and 40 respectively bound the bottom panel 24 along the fold lines 28 and 32.
At two strategic locations, namely 42 and 44, along the fold lines 28 and 32, each of the side panels38and 40 have portions extending beyond the fold lines inwardly of the bottom panel 24, these extensions constituting the previously noted stacking tabs 20 which are an integral part of the side panels 38, 40. In like fashion, but only at a single location, as at 46, a somewhat wider portion or section of each of the end panels 34, 36 extends respectively beyond the fold lines 26 and 30 and provides the correspondingly larger stacking tabs 20. Thus, the folding of each of the side walls of the base, namely the side panels 38 and 40 and also the and panels 34, 36, about their corresponding fold lines into elevated positions relative to the bottom panel 24 auto matically results in the stacking tabs 20 being projected out of the plane of the bottom panel 24 into a depending relationship therewith, all as is clearly shown, for example, in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. To this end, the blank 12 is appropriately die cut at each of thelocations 42, 44, and 46 coincident with each of the three sides of each tab 20 so that each tab is movable out of the. plane of the bottom panel 24. r
Each of the side panels 38 and 40 are identically constructed so that, for brevitys sake, the description of side panel 40 will suffice. This side panel includes at each of it opposite side edges a connecting slot 48 bounded by a bottom edge 50, of a prescribed dimension, and two slightly curved side edges 52 and 54. Adapated to cooperate with the slot 48 in forming a connection for an adjacent pair of side and end panels is male connecting structure in the form of a connecting tab 56, each end panel 36 and 34 having one such tab 56 at each of its opposite sides. It is significant that each tab 56 is sized so that at its connection with its panel, as for example at location 58 for end panel 36, the tab is equal in size to said prescribed dimension of the bottom edge 50 of a connecting slot 48. However, immediately beyond the location 58, each tab 56 is of an increased size so as to form holding structures 60. Thus, as clearly illustrated in FIG. 7, erection of the base 14 contemplates the folding of the side panels 38, 40 into raised positions relative to the bottom panel 24 followed by the raising of the side panels 34 and 36 into position. Specifically, folding movement 62 of end panel 34 results in tab 56 moving into connecting relation within its cooperating slot 48. This connecting relation consists of the holding structures 60 occupying an advantageous position behind the sides 52, 56 of each slot 48 and, in these strategic loctaions, being effective in preventing unfolding movement 64 of the side panels. During folding movement 62, it is contemplated that the curved edges of each of the slot sides 52 and 56 will be somewhat crushed to the extent that these edges bound an opening which is smaller in extent than the tab width 58 and thus provide a friction fit which holds the end panel 34 in its raised position. This friction fit, however, is not relied onto maintain the end panels 34 and 36 in their raised position since the normal abuse to which a container 16 hereof is expected to be subjected to during shipment would in all likelihood dislodge the end panels 34, 36 from their positions between the side panels 38 and 40.
The present invention contemplates that an effective connection between the closure or top panel with the upper peripheral edges of the end panels 34 and 36 will serve to hold these end panels in their erect positions in which these panels, in turn, hold the side panels 38 and 40 in their erect or raised positions. Naturally, to take full advantage of the use of the top panel 10, this panel is also provided with connecting structure which interconnects with each of the side panels 38 and 40 to thus contribute increased structural stability to the base 14.
Referring specifically to FIGS. 1, 4 and 8, the top panel 10 has along its opposite sides 66 and 68, which respectively cooperate with the end panels 34 and 36, a centrally located, comparatively large, laterally extending tab 70 appropriately provided with end holding structures 72. Each tab 70 in practice cooperates with a correspondingly sized slot 72 provided in each of the upper peripheral edges of each end panel 34 and 36 (see, in particular, FIG. 4). Each slot 74 has opposite side edges 76 which extend inwardly over the slot bottom edge 78.
As is best illustrated in FIG. 8, when the side and end panels are in their engaged position, each of these panels has a slight angular orientation. Thus, each of the sides 76 of the slot 74 have a corresponding orientation, all as is clearly illustrated in FIG. 8. However, the movement-of the top panel 10 into its position closing the opening into the internal volume 18 of the base 14 is essentially along a vertical path 80. During movement 80, an inclined surface 82 of each holding structure 72 effectively cams each overhanging slot side edge 76 inwardly of the container permitting the top 10 to be moved into supporting contact with the slot bottom edge 78. After this occurs the slot side 76 snaps back into a holding position above the inclined surface 82. In this manner, the top panel 10, and more particularly each connecting tab thereof, forms an effective connection when laterally projected through each panel slot 74 since the holding structures 72 on each of the tabs 70 is advantageously located in a holding position behind the slot sides 76 of the end panels 34, 36. During removal of the top panel 10 from its supported position within the opening bounded by the side panels 38, 40 and end panels 34, 36, this movement is somewhat resisted by the binding of the slot sides 76 with the surfaces 82. Thus, while removal of panel 10 is, of course, possible, this removal is somewhat resisted and therefore is not likely to occur inadvertently. In this manner, panel 10 is effective in holding the end panels 34, 36 in their erect positions, and the end panels 34, 36 are, in turn, effective in holding the side panels 38 and 40 in their erect positions, all to the end of providing an effective container construction 16.
Although as has been indicated, the side panels 38 and 40 are effectively held in their erect positions by the end panels 34 and 36, the top panel 10 is also advantageously provided with additional laterally extending tabs, individually and collectively designated 84, which are adapted in practice to project through cooperating slots 86 in the side panels 38, 40 and, to this extent, contribute to the structural stability of the traylike base 14.
As is clearly shown in FIG. 6, in'a superposed stacked arrangement of the containers 16 the projection of the tabs 20 through accommodating slots 22 in the top pan els 10 minimize any shifting of the containers. Even without such depending tabs 20, however, the construction of the container 16 is one which effectively contributes to the ability to stack these containers. Specifically, to the extent that the top panels 10 assume a supported position which is actually within the interior volume 18 of the base 14, that is below the actual upper edges 88 of the sides of the base 14, there is an upper marginal portion 90 formed about each supporting container 16 which extends beyond the bottom panel 24 of an adjacent superposed container 16. This surrounding marginal portion or lip 90 is effective, in an obvious way, in minimizing shifting movement in a stacked arrangement of the containers 16.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure, and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
What is claimed is l. A cardboard container comprising a tray-like base fabricated from a flat cardboard body delineated into a centrally located bottom panel bounded by four wall panels, each said wall panel being folded along a fold line into an elevated position relative to said bottom panel and including at least one stacking tab formed integral thereon extending beyond said fold line inwardly of said bottom panel movable simultaneously with said wall panel incident to said folding movement thereof into a depending relationship with said bottom panel, said wall panels having cooperating connecting tabs and slots along confronting side edges effective to interconnect with each other so as to maintain said elevated position of said wall panels, and a closure panel for said container having a supported position on said interconnected elevated wall panels closing a top opening of said tray-like base bounded by said wall panels, said closure panel having slots to accommodate said depending stacking tabs of a superposed cardboard container, whereby the containers are interconnected with each other when in stacked relation.
2. A cardboard container as defined in claim 1 wherein said wall panels are angularly oriented in said interconnected relation with each other.
3. A cardboard container as defined in claim 1 wherein said wall panels are comprised of two opposing end panels and two opposing side panels, and wherein said side edges of said side panels have said connecting slots therein and said side edges of said end panels have said connecting tabs thereon.
4. A cardboard container as defined in claim 3 wherein said connecting tabs are adapted to be projected into said connecting slots incident to movement of said end panels into elevated relation adjacent said side panels.
5. A cardboard container as defined in claim 4 wherein said peripheral edges of said end and side panels and of said closure panel have cooperating connecting tabs and slots.
6. A cardboard container comprising a tray-like base fabricated from a flat cardboard body delineated into a centrally located bottom panel bounded by two opposing side panels and two opposing end panels, each said side panel having a connecting slot formed in a side edge thereof and folded along a fold line into an elevated position relative to said bottom panel, each said end panel having a connecting tab formed on opposite side edges thereof and folded along a fold line into an elevated position between said elevated side panels such that said connecting tabs thereon are each projected in connecting relation into a cooperating one of said connecting slots on said side panels, said peripheral edges of said end and side panels bounding a top opening of said tray-like base and having spaced slots formed thereabout, at least one stacking tab formed integral on each of said end and side panels and extending beyond said fold line inwardly of said bottom panel and movable simultaneously with said end and side panels incident to said folding movement thereof into a depending relationship with said bottom panel, and a closure pane] having a supported position on said interconnected side and end panels within said top opening, said closure panel having laterally extending connecting tabs thereon adapted to be projected in connecting relation through said slots in said peripheral edges of said end and side panels so as to maintain said elevated position of said end and side panels, said closure panel I having slots to accommodate said depending stacking tabs of a superposed cardboard container, whereby the containers are interconnected with each other when in stacked relation.