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Publication numberUS3891086 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1975
Filing dateJun 17, 1974
Priority dateJun 17, 1974
Publication numberUS 3891086 A, US 3891086A, US-A-3891086, US3891086 A, US3891086A
InventorsIsaacs Jack L
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Composite package
US 3891086 A
Abstract
A composite package having top and base elements, posts extending between said top and base element, and being encased in a shrink-wrapped organic material sheet to form a shrink-wrapped package. Top and bottom cap elements are maintained over opposed top and bottom ends of the shrink-wrapped package by a band member forcibly encircling each cap element and extending into associated notches of the posts. The top cap element is of a configuration for forming a pocket for lifting and transporting the composite package.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Isaacs June 24, 1975 COMPOSITE PACKAGE [75] Inventor:

[73] Assignee: General Electric Company,

Louisville, Ky.

[22] Filed: June 17, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 479,795

Jack L. Isaacs, Louisville, Ky.

[52] US. Cl 206/320; 206/497; 229/23 C [51] Int. Cl... B65d 15/00; B65d 65/10; 865d 85/30 [58] Field of Search 206/320, 326, 386, 442,

206/497, 521; 229/14 C, 23 R, 23 A, 23 C, 47

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1958 Claus 206/386 12/1961 Sheldon. Jr. 206/386 X 5/1973 Brown 206/320 X 3/1974 Munroe 206/386 X 9/1974 Le Beau 206/497 X Primary Examiner-William I. Price Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman 57] ABSTRACT 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures COMPOSITE PACKAGE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the packaging of relatively heavy items, such as for example household refrigerators and the like, it is desirable to provide a composite package whereby the apparatus is protected yet can generally be viewed through the package. Further, it is desirable that the package be adapted for automatic packaging and efficient movement by forklift trucks and the like and be formed of individual components which nest for transporting to the container construction site.

Various containers, such as for example those of US. Pat. No. 2,972,440-Monroe and US Pat. No. 2,277,674-Belsinger, have been constructed but fail to provide all the above-mentioned desirable features for packaging relatively heavy apparatus SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A composite package has a base element; a top element; a plurality of posts; an organic material sheet encasing the base element, top element and posts and shrunk thereabout for forming a shrink-wrapped composite; a bottom cap; a top cap; and first and second securing means.

The base element has first and second flanges and a base for supporting an item to be packaged. The top element has first and second top flanges with the first flange having notches. The posts each have notches adjacent ends thereof and are positioned with one end contacting the base and the other end contacting a respective second top flange inwardly of the respective first top flange. The bottom cap has a base element and a peripheral bottom cap flange and is positioned over the lower portion of the shrink-wrapped composite. The bottom cap flange has notches associated with the post notches. First means extends into the notches of the posts and the bottom cap flange, encompasses the bottom cap flange, and urges the posts toward the shrink-wrapped composite. The top cap has a top capelement and a flange having an infolded portion extending toward the bottom cap between adjacent posts and forming a pocket opening in a direction toward the bottom cap. The flange has notches associated with the post notches. The second means extends into the notches of the posts, top element, and top cap flange, encompasses the flange of the top cap and urges the top cap flange toward the shrink-wrapped composite. The second means is positioned along an upper end portion of the pocket.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view in partial section of a refrigerator packaged in the composite package of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic sectional view in partial section of a portion of the composite package of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic sectional view in partial section of a portion of the composite package of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic top sectional view in partial section of a portion of the composite package of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In the embodiment of FIG. 1, an item, such as a household refrigerator 10, is resting upon and supported by a base element 12 of the composite package 11 of this invention.

The base element 12 is of dimensions larger than the bottom of the refrigerator 10 for accommodating the refrigerator within the boundaries of the base 14 of the base element 12. The base 14 is preferably of a concave configuration for providing strength to the base element l2 and reducing the area of contact of the base 14 with the surface supporting the composite package.

The base element 12 has a plurality of corner portions 16, 18, 20, (fourth corner portion not shown), common to and associated with corners of the refrigerator 10. A plurality of first base flanges 22, 24 are each associated with a respective corner portion and extend in a downward direction normal to the base 14. A plurality of second base flanges 26, 28 are each associated with a corner portion and extend in a direction outwardly from a respective first base flange 22, 24, thereby forming a shelf 25.

The first and second base flanges need only be associated with a respective corner portion of the base element 12. However, in order to provide greater strength and simple construction, a preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1 has first and second base flanges which are each continuous, peripheral flanges encompassing the base 14. The base can, however, be of other construction. For simplicity of description, the first and second base flanges will hereafter be described as peripheral flanges and will be designated by respective numerals 22 and 26.

A top element 30 is formed of first and second top peripheral flanges 32, 34. The first top flange 32 encompasses an area larger than the top of the refrigerator 10 or other item for nesting of the item therein. The first top flange 32 extends toward the underlying base 1 element 12 and the second top flange 34 overlies the refrigerator 10 and extends in a direction normal to the first top flange 32 and inwardly toward a respective opposed side of the top element 30.

The base element 12 and top element 30 can be formed of wood, paper, plastic, a metal such as aluminum, or other material to provide strength sufficient for packaging relatively heavy items. The top element 30 is of an open frame construction to reduce the weight of the resultant package and avoid waste.

The top element 30 has corner portions 36, 38, 40, and 42, each associated with a respective corner portion of the refrigerator 10 and the corners of the base element 12. A notch 46 extends through each corner portion 36, 38, 40, 42 of the first top flange 32 as hereafter more fully described.

A plurality of posts 48 are provided for connecting the base element 12 and top element 30 and supporting and protecting the package and the packaged item. Each of the posts are of generally a V configuration, associated with a respective corner portion of the base element 12 and top element 10, and are positioned over and extend along the length of a respective corner of the refrigerator 10.

Each of the posts 48 have upper and lower ends, are each positioned with the lower end in contact with the base, the upper end contacting the second top flange 34, and the upper end portion positioned inwardly of the first top flange 32. Each of the posts 48 have a corner portion with a notch 50 extending through the corner portion of the post adjacent the base element 12 and a notch 50' extending through the corner portion at the elevation of notch 46 of the first top flange 32.

In the assembled position, the refrigerator is positioned on the base 14 at a location spaced inwardly of the base element flanges 22, 26 and is aligned relative to the corner portions, the posts 48 are positioned on the first base flange 22 over the refrigerator corners, and the top element 30 is positioned over the upper ends of the posts.

In this position, the subassembled package is encased in an organic sheet material and the sheet material is shrunk to the subassembly. The organic sheet material can be, for example, low density polyethylene film having a thickness of about 4 mils which is shrunk to the subassembly by heat for forming a shrink-wrapped composite.

A bottom cap 54 has a base element 56 covering the bottom of the shrink-wrapped composite and a bottom cap flange 58 encompassing and extending about the periphery of the base element 12 in a direction toward the top element 30. The bottom cap 54 can be of a unitary construction and formed of paperboard, for example 275-pound corrugated paper-board, for providing a bottom cap 54 that is sturdy, easy to construct, and will withstand relatively severe abrasion and impact forces.

The bottom cap flange 58 extends to a higher elevation than notches 50 and has slits 60 formed adjacent the notches 50 in the assembled condition of the bottom cap 54 over the bottom end portion of the shrinkwrapped composite.

A top cap 62 has a cap top element 64 covering the top of the shrink-wrapped composite and a flange 66 preferably extending about the periphery of the top element 30.

Referring to FIG. 2, the flange 66 of the top cap 62 has at least one infolded flange portion 68 for forming a pocket 70. The infolded flange portion 68 extends between adjacent posts 48 and is of a Z configuration, thereby forming a pocket 70 which opens downwardly in a direction toward the bottom cap 54.

In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the flange portion 66 has first, second and third top cap flange portions 72, 74, 76. The third top cap flange portion 76 is immediately adjacent the organic sheet material 52 and has a width W greater than the width X of the first or second top cap flange portions 72, 74.

In order to provide a more sturdy construction, it is preferred that the first and second top cap flange portions 72, 74 are of a common width X and are positioned with the juncture 78 of the first and second top cap flange portions 72, 74 being in contact with the cap top-element 64 of the top cap 62.

The flange portions 68 having the formed pocket 70 can encompass the shrink-wrapped composite or be on only one or more sides thereof. If the flange portion 68 is not encompassing, the other portions 80 of the flange 66 (FIG. 1), if utilized, can be of a singular flange construction. The top cap 62 can be formed of a unitary construction and of a material as described above with reference to the bottom cap 54.

First and second means such as wires 82, 84, for example, each encompass the respective bottom element flange 58 and top cap flange 66 at the elevation of the respective notches 50, 60 and 50, 46, 60.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4, the wire 82 passes through the slit 60 (FIG. 4) of the bottom cap flange 58 and enters the notch 50 for assuring against slippage of the wire 82 along the posts 48.

Referring to FIG. 1, wire 84 is positioned along a lower end portion of the pocket adjacent the notch 46 and, as described above, passes through the slit 60 at the corners of the flange 66 and into notch 46 of the first top flange 32 and notch 50' of the posts 48.

In the installed position of the wires 82, 84, the posts 48 are urged into engagement with the refrigerator 10, base element 12, and top element 30, and the caps 54, 56 are releasably maintained with the shrink-wrapped composite.

In the assembled condition, upstanding fingers of a forklift truck, for example, can be inserted into the pocket 70 for lifting and transporting the composite package of this invention. The third top cap flange portion 76 will protect the refrigerator 10 from damage by the forklift fingers and the bottom and top caps 54, 62 will reduce damage to the refrigerator 10 from contacting adjacent, underlying, or overlying objects. Since shrink-wrapped organic material comprises less material than encompassing paperboard containers generally utilized for packaging refrigerators and other largesize articles, a savings of material will be utilized by the use of the composite package of this invention and the package will provide viewing of the packaged article and will be of a construction adapted for automatic packaging.

Other modifications and alterations of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing discussion, and it should be understood that this invention is not to be unduly limited thereto.

What is claimed is:

1. A composite package, comprising:

a base element having first and second flanges and a base supporting a packaged item;

a top element having first and second top flanges and first flanges having notches;

a plurality of posts each having notches adjacent ends thereof and being positioned with one end contacting the base and the other end contacting a respective second top flange inwardly of the respective first top flange;

an organic material sheet encasing the base element, top element and posts, being shrunk thereabout, and forming a shrink-wrapped composite;

a bottom cap having a base element and a peripheral bottom cap flange and being positioned over the lower portion of the shrink-wrapped composite, said bottom cap flange having notches associated with the post notches;

first means extending into the notches of the posts and the bottom cap flange encompassing the bottom cap flange, and urging the posts toward the shrink-wrapped composite;

a top cap having a cap-top element and a flange having an infolded portion extending toward the bottom cap between adjacent posts forming a pocket opening in a direction toward the bottom cap, said peripheral flange having notches associated with the post notches; and

second means extending into the notches of the posts, top element, and top cap flange encompassing the flange of the top cap and urging the top cap flange toward the shrink-wrapped composite, said second means being positioned along a lower end portion of said pocket.

2. A composite package, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the item packaged and shrink-wrapped composite package are of generally rectangular crosssectional configuration, the posts are of V crosssectional configuration, and are each positioned over and extending along the length of a corner of said item.

3. A composite package, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the top and bottom caps are each of a unitary paper-board construction.

4. A composite package, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the infolded portion of the top cap is of a Z cross-sectional configuration having first, second, and third top cap flange portions, said third top cap flange portion being immediately adjacent the organic material sheet and having a width greater than the width of each of said first and second top cap flange portions.

5. A composite package, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the first and second top cap flange portions are generally of a common width with the juncture of said first and second top cap flange portions being in contact with the cap top-element of the top cap.

6. A composite package, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the base of the base element is of a concave

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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/320, 229/122.3, 206/497
International ClassificationB65D57/00, B65D75/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D75/004, B65D57/00
European ClassificationB65D75/00B1, B65D57/00