US20060032859A1 - Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops - Google Patents

Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060032859A1
US20060032859A1 US11/251,352 US25135205A US2006032859A1 US 20060032859 A1 US20060032859 A1 US 20060032859A1 US 25135205 A US25135205 A US 25135205A US 2006032859 A1 US2006032859 A1 US 2006032859A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
lids
container
produce container
basket body
produce
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/251,352
Inventor
Anthony Cadiente
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Sambrailo Packaging Inc
Original Assignee
Sambrailo Packaging Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US08/591,000 priority Critical patent/US5738890A/en
Priority to US09/060,453 priority patent/US6074676A/en
Priority to US59063100A priority
Priority to US10/017,893 priority patent/US7100788B2/en
Priority to US10/302,059 priority patent/US6962263B2/en
Priority to US11/139,275 priority patent/US20050218150A1/en
Application filed by Sambrailo Packaging Inc filed Critical Sambrailo Packaging Inc
Priority to US11/251,352 priority patent/US20060032859A1/en
Assigned to SAMBRAILO PACKAGING, INC. reassignment SAMBRAILO PACKAGING, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CADIENTE, ANTHONY
Priority claimed from NZ56585705A external-priority patent/NZ565857A/en
Publication of US20060032859A1 publication Critical patent/US20060032859A1/en
Priority claimed from US11/521,233 external-priority patent/US7703628B2/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D11/00Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of plastics material
    • B65D11/20Details of walls made of plastics material
    • B65D11/22Reinforcing for strengthening parts of members
    • B65D11/24Corrugations
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D43/00Lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D43/14Non-removable lids or covers
    • B65D43/16Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement
    • B65D43/162Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement the container, the lid and the hinge being made of one piece
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D43/00Lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D43/14Non-removable lids or covers
    • B65D43/16Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement
    • B65D43/163Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement the container and the lid being made separately
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D85/00Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D85/30Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure
    • B65D85/34Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure for fruit, e.g. apples, oranges or tomatoes
    • B65D85/345Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure for fruit, e.g. apples, oranges or tomatoes having a meshed or apertured closure to allow contents to breathe
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2205/00Venting means
    • B65D2205/02Venting holes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00018Overall construction of the lid
    • B65D2543/00064Shape of the outer periphery
    • B65D2543/00074Shape of the outer periphery curved
    • B65D2543/00101Shape of the outer periphery curved square-like or rectangular-like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00018Overall construction of the lid
    • B65D2543/00064Shape of the outer periphery
    • B65D2543/0012Shape of the outer periphery having straight sides, e.g. with curved corners
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00018Overall construction of the lid
    • B65D2543/00259Materials used
    • B65D2543/00296Plastic
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00342Central part of the lid
    • B65D2543/0037Flexible or deformable
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00481Contact between the container and the lid on the inside or the outside of the container
    • B65D2543/00537Contact between the container and the lid on the inside or the outside of the container on the outside, or a part turned to the outside of the mouth of the container
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00592Snapping means
    • B65D2543/00601Snapping means on the container
    • B65D2543/00611Profiles
    • B65D2543/0062Groove or hollow bead
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00444Contact between the container and the lid
    • B65D2543/00592Snapping means
    • B65D2543/00712Snapping means on the lid
    • B65D2543/00722Profiles
    • B65D2543/00731Groove or hollow bead

Abstract

A produce packaging container incorporates a basket body with an opening for inserting items inside the container and a pair of lids for covering the opening in the basket body. Each basket also includes latch elements for securing the lids in a closed configuration. A fastener is used as an extra level of security for sealing the container. The fastener can also be employed advantageously as a label. In some implementations the container is vented. Also, containers can include lids having lid-mounted latches to seal the container. Moreover, in some other implementations, the lids are configured in an overlapping manner with top mounted latches employed to engage the lids together in a closed configuration.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application Ser. No. 11/139,275, filed May 27, 2005 (entitled “Produce Packaging Container With Dual Hinged Resealable Tops”),
  • The aforementioned document is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application Ser. No. 10/017,893, filed Dec. 12, 2001 (entitled “Method And Apparatus For Packing And Bi-Directional Cooling Of Produce”) and which in turn is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/590,631, filed Jun. 8, 2000, which is a continuation of U.S. Pat. No. 6,074,676, issued on Jun. 13, 2000, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/591,000, filed Jan. 24, 1996 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 5,738,890 on Apr. 14, 1998, and claims priority from co-pending application Ser. No. 10/017,893, filed Dec. 12, 2001. Additionally, this application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application Ser. No. 10/302,059, filed Nov. 21, 2002 and entitled “Produce Packaging System Having Produce Containers With Double Arched Bottom Ventilation Channels”. This application claims priority to all of the above-referenced applications and patents and also incorporates the above documents by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to apparatus and methods for the improved packing, cooling, storage, and shipping of produce. More particularly, the present invention teaches produce containers with dual hinged tops to facilitate the reusability of such containers.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Many produce products are harvested and packed in the field into containers, which are ultimately purchased by the end consumer. Examples of such produce items include, but are not limited to, strawberries, raspberries, other berries, tomatoes, grapes, mushrooms, radishes and broccoli florets. Many of these produce can be packaged in the field in large quantities. Such large quantities are well suited to reuse by end users such as restaurateurs or home kitchen users. In order to effectuate efficient usage (and reusage) of the container, effective resealability of the containers is needed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In accordance with the principles of the present invention, produce packaging systems are disclosed. Implementations of the present invention include, without limitation, any of the enumerated embodiments below.
  • Embodiments of the invention include a resealable produce container having a basket body with an opening for inserting items inside the container and a pair of hinged lids for covering the opening in the basket body. Each basket also includes latch elements for securing the lids in a closed configuration. Additionally, fastener, such as an appliqué label, can be used to further seal the filled container in a closed configuration.
  • These and other aspects of the present invention are described in greater detail in the detailed description of the invention set forth herein below.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The following detailed description will be more readily understood in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1(a) is a schematic perspective view of an opened produce container embodiment according to the principles of the present invention.
  • FIG. 1(b) is a schematic cross-section view of a latch embodiment such as can be used on many container embodiments described herein, including the container depicted in FIG. 1(a).
  • FIGS. 2(a)-2(c) are various views of a container embodiment constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 2(d) is a schematic cross-section view of an elongate top latch embodiment such as can be employed on many container embodiments described herein, including the container depicted in FIGS. 2(a)-2(c).
  • FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) depict various side latch embodiments that can be used with various container embodiments of the invention.
  • FIGS. 4 and 5 depict schematically depict perspective views of various container embodiments constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 6(a) is a perspective view of a simplified container embodiment constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 6(b) depicts a label used in accordance with the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 7 schematically depicts a methodology and system for loading and sealing containers constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention.
  • It is to be understood that, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate like structural elements. Also, it is understood that the depictions in the Figures are figurative representations of selected embodiments of the inventions that facilitate understanding of the invention. Such figures are explanatory in nature and not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Moreover, the figures provided are illustrative and not necessarily drawn to scale.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention has been particularly shown and described with respect to certain embodiments and specific features thereof. The embodiments set forth herein below are to be taken as illustrative rather than limiting. It should be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes and modifications in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • Embodiments of the invention include dual lid produce containers. Particular embodiments include containers constructed with latches at the sides of the dual lids. Also, the lids can be constructed in an overlapping fashion. Additionally, the lids can have a top latching mechanism. In one example, the top latch element can comprise an elongate plug and socket mechanism that engage to secure the dual lids in place. Many other additional and alternate example embodiments are described herein.
  • Having reference to FIG. 1(a), a first embodiment of a produce container 1 of the present invention is shown. Produce basket 1 is a one-piece structure incorporating both basket body 10 and a dual hinged lid 11 a, 11 b. That portion of produce basket 1 joining basket body 10 and lid 11 is formed as a hinge. The basket body 10 further can include one or more concavities formed in the bottom portion of the basket body 10. These concavities can define ventilation channels under the container. The cooling induced by air flow under the container can be enhance by openings at the bottom of the container in the concavities.
  • In the depicted embodiment, the dual hinged lids 11 a, 11 b are arranged to be held in a closed configuration by latches 12 on either side of the lid. The depicted button latch configuration can, in other alternative embodiments, be comprised of any one of a number of latching devices known to those having ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, although the previously discussed latch configuration has been shown to be particularly effective, the principles of the present invention specifically contemplate alternative latching methodologies. These include, but are specifically not limited to, edge catches, snaps, hook-and-loop closures, and other closure methodologies well-known to those having ordinary skill in the art. Moreover, the term “latch” as used herein may further comprise alternative lid closure methodologies known to those having ordinary skill in the art including the use of elastic bands or adhesive tapes to perform this reusable latching function.
  • Reference to FIG. 1(b) depicts a close up cross-section view of a latch 12 (shown here in the dashed line circle) such as that shown in FIG. 1(a). In the depicted latch 12, a plug and socket type latch are shown. In the depicted example, the body 10 is shown with a socket A for receiving a lid (e.g., 11 a) mounted plug B. The lid is secured by engaging the plug B with the socket A to secure the lid. Of course, the plug B and socket A portions can be readily interchanged between the basket body and lid portions without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • While depicted embodiment is shown as a vacuum formed plastic structure, the principles of the present invention are equally applicable to alternative materials and manufacturing technologies. In the depicted embodiment, the basket can be formed of a PET material such as Copolyester 9921, available from Eastman Kodak. Alternative materials include, but are not limited to, various polymeric and monomeric plastics including, but not limited to, styrenes, polyethylenes (including HDPE and LPDE), polyesters, and polyurethanes; metals and foils thereof and combinations of the foregoing. Alternative manufacturing technologies include, but are again not limited to, thermocasting; casting, including die-casting; thermosetting; extrusion; sintering; lamination; the use of built-up structures and other processes well known to those of ordinary skill in the art.
  • FIGS. 2(a)-2(e) depict another embodiment. FIG. 1(a) depicts a side view of a container embodiment having a pair of hinged lids where one lid overlaps the other. In the depicted embodiment, a produce container 20 is constructed as a one-piece structure incorporating both basket body 22 and a dual hinged lid 21 a, 21 b. Again, the lids 21 a, 21 b are joined to the basket body 22 using a hinge 23. FIG. 2(a) shows a top lid 21 a that overlaps a lower lid 21 b to close the container 20. The dotted line depicts the portion of the lower lid 21 b overlapped by the upper lid 21 a). The upper lid 21 a can have a latch 24 at one or both side edges of the lid. The latch 24 can for example interlock with a mated latching portion of the side of the lower lid 21 a. Additionally, the lower lid can have a latching portion that interlocks with a mated portion of the basket body 22. Although not limited exclusively to such, certain preferred embodiments of the container include hinges 23 located at outer edges of the container (e.g., as depicted in FIG. 2(a) and others). As described above, many different implementations of such latches are known to those having ordinary skill in the art and can readily be used. A few helpful examples will be discussed later in this patent.
  • Reference to FIG. 2(b) shows another aspect of an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 2(b) is a top down view of an embodiment as shown in FIG. 2(a). The overlapping top lid 21 a is shown closed over lower lid 21 b. Also shown are the overlapped portion of the lower lid 21 b (as depicted here with dotted lines). The inventors point out that the top portions of the lids (21 a, 21 b) include a long top latch 25 (encircled by dashed line). Such top latches can be of many different types as discussed before. In the depicted embodiment, the latch 25 comprises an upper elongate latch portion 25 a that runs substantially parallel to the hinges 23 at the distal edge (far from the lid hinge) of the top lid 21 a. The portion 25 a interlocks with a mated latch portion 25 b (as depicted with dotted line) on the lower lid 21 b to form a stable latch that can be readily opened or closed as needed.
  • It is to be pointed out that the side latches 24 can be incorporated with the top latches 25. Alternative embodiments can employ the side latches 24 only or can employ the top latches 25 only. The inventors point out that although the top latch 25 is depicted here as a single elongate latching structure, it is contemplated that many latching features can be employed. For example, more than one set of elongate latches or many smaller latches (e.g., button latches) can be employed. The applicants prefer the elongate latches because it is believed that they provide a surprising degree of stability to the container when latched using such a latch. The depicted elongate latch configuration can, in other alternative embodiments, be comprised of any one of a number of latching devices known to those having ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, although the previously discussed latch configuration has been shown to be particularly effective, the principles of the present invention specifically contemplate alternative latching methodologies including, but not limited to those discussed above.
  • FIG. 2(c) further describes and shows an elongated top latch embodiment constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention. FIG. 2(c) depicts a container embodiment (such as shown in FIG. 2(b)) having the top open showing the elongate latching portions. In the depicted embodiment lower lid 21 b is closed first. The lower lid 21 b has a socket portion 25 b arranged so that when the lid is closed an open portion of the socket 25 b is facing upward. In such an arrangement, when the upper lid 21 a is closed the plug portion 25 a of the latch engages with the socket 25 b to form a closed latch when the lids are closed. It is noted that in this depicted embodiment the latch 25 has a major axis (parallel to the long direction of the latch) and a minor axis (parallel to the thin direction of the latch). In this view the hinge axis can also be seen. For clarity the hinge axis 26 is depicted by arrows and is defined is the axis about which the hinge turns. Accordingly, the elongate late is configures so that the major axis of the elongate latch extends in a direction substantially parallel to a hinge axis 26.
  • Reference to FIG. 2(d) shows a cross-section view of FIG. 2(b) illustrating the engagement of the elongate latch 25. Lower lid 21 b is closed with the open portion of the socket 25 b facing upward. Closing the upper lid 21 a engages the plug portion 25 a of the latch with the socket 25 b to close the latch. As explained above, the socket and plug can be readily interchanged between top lid and bottom lid without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) depicted a pairs of possible embodiments employed as side latches. FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) are both cross section views of a top down view of one side of a container showing the basket body, upper lid, lower lid, and various latching features. Referring now to FIG. 3(a), a basket body with a latching feature 31 (here a detent or socket) is engaged with a first mated latching feature 32 of the lower lid 33 when closed. Also, a second latching feature 34 of the lower lid 33 is engaged with a mated latching feature 35 of the upper lid 36 to secure the lids in place when the container is closed. In this embodiment, the first mated latching feature 32 of the lower lid 33 and the second latching feature 34 of the lower lid 33 are in substantially the same portion of the lower lid 33.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3(b), a basket body with a latching feature 31′ (here a detent or socket) is engaged with a first mated latching feature 32′ of the lower lid 33′ when closed. Also, a second latching feature 34′ of the lower lid 33′ is engaged with a mated latching feature 35′ of the upper lid 36′ to secure the lids in place when the container is closed. In this embodiment, the first mated latching feature 32′ of the lower lid 33′ and the second latching feature 34′ of the lower lid 33′ are offset relative to each other.
  • FIGS. 4 & 5 depict some other embodiments of dual lidded hinged produce containers in accordance with the principles of the invention. In FIG. 4 the container 40 includes a basket body 41 having a double axis arched bottom. A first arch orientation 42 enabling cooling airflow to pass under the container along one axis 43 and a second arch orientation 44 enabling cooling airflow to pass under the container along another axis 45. Such a configuration enables cooling airflow to pass under the container in at least two different directions (commonly transversely oriented directions). Additionally, the hinges 46 connecting the lids 47 with the basket body 10 each can include ventilation apertures 48 than enable a cooling flow to pass through the container 40. The inventors point out that in some embodiments it will be advantageous to have no ventilation apertures to enhance freshness of certain agricultural products. However, in some embodiments ample ventilation will be desired. As depicted here further ventilation can be supplied by adding side vents 49 which lie at the upper portion of the container. Such vents 49 can be in the lids 47 or at an upper portion of the basket body 41. Alternatively, as depicted in FIG. 4, the vents 49 can be formed at the interface between the lid and body of the container. The inventors point out that FIG. 4 depicts a “smooth walled” container which is substantially free of ribbing. Such containers can be valuable in holding and storing delicate fruits or vegetables that can be damaged by the presence of structural ribbing and the like.
  • FIG. 5 depicts another container 50 embodiment having a first arch orientation 52 in the basket body 51 enabling cooling airflow to pass under the container along one axis 53. Also, the walls parallel to the axis 53 can be flat bottomed 54. However, the bottom can include feet or other support structures 55 enabling cooling airflow to pass under the container along another axis 56. Such a configuration enables cooling airflow to pass under the container in at least two different directions. Additionally, the inventors point out that FIG. 5 depicts the presence of ribbing 57 that represents, generally, depressions or raised features in the container wall. Such ribbing can substantially improve the strength of containers and can provide a substantial advantage during shipping. The inventors contemplate that all embodiments can be constructed using either ribbed containers or smooth walled containers.
  • FIGS. 6(a) and 6(b) depict additional aspects of the invention. FIG. 6(a) depicts a perspective view of a closed container 60 constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention. The depicted container 60 is similar to the embodiment depicted, for example, in FIG. 2(c). In other word, the container has a pair of hinged lids configured so that one lid overlaps the other. In the depicted embodiment, a produce container 60 is constructed as a one-piece structure incorporating both basket body 22 and a dual hinged lid 21 a, 21 b. Again, the lids 21 a, 21 b are joined to the basket body 22 using a hinge 23. In the depicted embodiment, a vent 64 is included in the hinge 63. This vent 64 is of course optional. The top lid 21 a is depicted overlapping the lower lid 21 b thereby closing the container 60. The underlying lower lid 21 b is depicted in part by the dotted line to illustrate where it is covered by the top lid 21 a. Additionally, the top portions of the lids (21 a, 21 b) include a pair of long top latches 61 that extend along the long axis of the container 60. As previously discussed, the top latches 61 can be of many different types and configurations. In the depicted embodiment, the latch 61 runs substantially parallel to the hinges 23 in the overlapping region of the two lids. As shown previously in FIGS. 2(a)-2(d), the latch 61 interlocks the upper lid 21 a with the lower lid 21 b to form a stable latch that can be readily opened or closed as needed. Although depicted with two latches 61, the invention is not limited to such. As already described, single latch implementations can be used as well as embodiments having many latches. It is noted that in this particular implementation, the latch elements 61 are arranged with their elongate axes extending in a direction parallel to the hinge 23 axis. This not a required configuration, but is merely one possible implementation. Additionally, the inventors contemplate that any shape, orientation, or general configuration can be used for the latches.
  • The container 60, once latched can be further sealed using a supplemental fastener 63. The fastener 63 is commonly embodied by an appliqué having an adhesive on one surface. After the container 60 is closed and latched the fastener 63 can be applied as a secondary sealing mechanism to more securely close and secure the container 60 in the closed configuration. Typically, the fastener 63 is affixed to the closed lids 21 a, 21 b after the latch 61 is closed. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6(a) the fastener 63 covers the upper lid 21 a and extends onto the exposed portion of the lower lid 21 b. Typically, the adhesive of the fastener 63 adheres to both lids. The fastener 63 covers portions of both the upper lid 21 a (depicted in part by the dashed line to illustrate where it is covered by the fastener 63) and the lower lid 21 b. Also, the fastener 63 can cover the latches 61 (also, depicted here by dashed lines) for a more effective seal. It should be noted that the fastener can be affixed to the container 60 using methods other than adhesive. Heat sealing, photostatic attraction, and other methods of affixing known to those having ordinary skill in the art can be employed. A wide range of materials can also be employed. In certain implementations, a substantially transparent fastener 63 can be employed. Such a fastener is useful in agricultural implementations where it is helpful to be able to inspect produce sealed in a transparent container 60. Additionally, paper or other opaque materials can be used to form the fastener 63.
  • In a particularly advantageous implementation, the fastener 63 comprises a label. The label can take any form, but is typically used as an appliqué with an adhesive surface for affixing to a container. FIG. 6(b) depicts one such appliqué fastener 63. The fastener 63 can include a logo and/or other labeling information of an infinite variety.
  • The inventors point out that such fasteners can substantially increase food safety by providing a verifiable seal on each package. The fasteners 63 seal each package and provide a tamper proof seal that maintains the packages in a closed configuration and allows the end user to verify that the package has not been opened along the entire distribution chain. Additionally, the seal provides a customer with safety confidence when buying sealed containers. Additionally, the sealed containers prevent individuals from stealing portions of the contents. Thus, the seals provide a theft deterrent and device for monitoring theft from the containers.
  • The containers of this patent can be easily sealed using a variety of different techniques. FIG. 7 schematically depicts a simplified packing system 700 that can be employed to load and seal the containers of this patent. At a loading station 701 open containers 63 are loaded with a selected material. Typically, this will be an agricultural produce product such as strawberries, grapes, cherries, or other such product. A conveyor system or other such motive system moves the filled container 63 to closing stations 703 a and 703 b. Station 703 a closes the lower lid 21 b first and then Station 703 b closes the upper lid 21 a. Station 705 then engages the latch to secure the lid. Typically, this can be accomplished by applying a roller mechanism that rolls over the container to snap the latch components together. Then, the label is applied at Station 707. Lastly, the completed containers are packaged for shipping. Typically, loaded into shipping boxes. In some embodiments, many of these steps can be combined at a single station. For example, the components could be easily latched and the label applied at the same station. In another example, the upper and lower lids can be closed at the same station or in the same process. All of the foregoing operations can be accomplished manually or using machinery constructed to facilitate the above-referenced operations. Such machinery is capable of being constructed by those of ordinary skill in the art.
  • The applicants point out that embodiments having varying numbers and sizes of vents and latches are intended to fall within the scope of the present invention. Moreover, although present invention has been particularly shown and described with respect to certain preferred embodiments and features thereof, it should be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes and modifications in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the inventions as set forth in the appended claims. In particular, the many described features set forth here can be freely interchanged among container styles and implementations. Also, the use of alternative container forming technologies, container materials and specifications, container shapes and sizes to conform to differing produce requirements, and vent configurations are all contemplated by the principles of the present invention

Claims (21)

1. A produce container comprising:
a basket body with an opening for inserting items inside the container;
a pair of lids for covering the opening in the basket body, the lids being attached to the basket body by hinges;
a latch formed on the pair of lids for securing the lids in a closed configuration: and
a fastener that is affixed to a closed container to further secure the lids.
2. The produce container of claim 1 wherein the fastener element is a label affixed to the container.
3. The produce container of claim 1 wherein the fastener element is substantially transparent.
4. The produce container of claim 2 wherein the label is substantially transparent.
5. The produce container of claim 2 wherein the label is substantially opaque.
6. The produce container of claim 1 wherein the hinges include cooling vents formed therein.
7. The produce container of claim 6 wherein the cooling vents are formed between the basket body and the lids.
8. The produce container of claim 1 wherein each of the lids include mated latch elements that are engagable with each other to further secure the lids in a closed configuration.
9. The produce container of claim 8 wherein the engageable latch elements comprise sets of more than one pair of mated latch elements arranged to secure the lids in a closed configuration.
10. The produce container of claim 8 wherein the engageable latch elements comprise elongate latch elements that are engagable with each other to secure the lids in a closed configuration.
11. The produce container of claim 10 wherein a major axis of the elongate latch element extends in a direction substantially parallel to hinge axes for the lids.
12. The produce container of claim 1 wherein the pair of lids includes a lower lid and an upper lid arranged so that a portion of the upper lid overlaps a portion of the lower lid when the lids are closed.
13. The produce container of claim 12 wherein each of the lids include mated latch elements positioned in overlapping regions of the lids and that are configured to be engagable with each other to secure the lids in a closed configuration.
14. The produce container of claim 13 wherein the latch elements comprise elongate latch elements that are engagable with each other to secure the lids in a closed configuration.
15. The produce container of claim 14 wherein a major axis of the elongate latch element extends in a direction substantially parallel to hinge axes for the lids.
16. The produce container of claim 13 wherein the engageable latch elements comprise sets of more than one pair of mated latch elements arranged to secure the lids in a closed configuration.
17. The produce container of claim 1 wherein a bottom portion of the basket body includes a ventilation channel configured to facilitate an air flow underneath the container in a first direction.
18. The produce container of claim 17 wherein the bottom portion of the basket body includes a second ventilation channel configured to facilitate another air flow underneath the container in a second direction transverse to the first direction.
19. The produce container of claim 17 wherein the bottom portion of the basket body includes a set of raised feet that facilitate air flow underneath the container in a second direction transverse to the first direction.
20. The produce container of claim 1 wherein the basket body includes smooth sided walls.
21. The produce container of claim 1 wherein the basket body includes ribbed walls.
US11/251,352 1996-01-24 2005-10-13 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops Abandoned US20060032859A1 (en)

Priority Applications (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08/591,000 US5738890A (en) 1996-01-24 1996-01-24 Method and container for the improved packing and cooling of produce
US09/060,453 US6074676A (en) 1996-01-24 1998-04-14 Basket for the improved packing and cooling of produce
US59063100A true 2000-06-08 2000-06-08
US10/017,893 US7100788B2 (en) 1996-01-24 2001-12-12 Method and apparatus for packing and bi-directional cooling of produce
US10/302,059 US6962263B2 (en) 1996-01-24 2002-11-21 Produce packaging system having produce containers with double-arched ventilation channels
US11/139,275 US20050218150A1 (en) 1996-01-24 2005-05-27 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
US11/251,352 US20060032859A1 (en) 1996-01-24 2005-10-13 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops

Applications Claiming Priority (8)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/251,352 US20060032859A1 (en) 1996-01-24 2005-10-13 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
PCT/US2005/037782 WO2006130172A2 (en) 2005-05-27 2005-10-19 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
NZ56585705A NZ565857A (en) 2005-05-27 2005-10-19 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
EP20050814005 EP1917194A2 (en) 2005-05-27 2005-10-19 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
CA 2619616 CA2619616A1 (en) 2005-05-27 2005-10-19 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
AU2005332298A AU2005332298A1 (en) 2005-05-27 2005-10-19 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
TW095101069A TW200640754A (en) 2005-05-27 2006-01-11 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
US11/521,233 US7703628B2 (en) 1996-01-24 2006-09-13 Produce packaging system enabling improved drainage for hydrocooling

Related Parent Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/302,059 Continuation-In-Part US6962263B2 (en) 1996-01-24 2002-11-21 Produce packaging system having produce containers with double-arched ventilation channels
US11/139,275 Continuation-In-Part US20050218150A1 (en) 1996-01-24 2005-05-27 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/521,233 Continuation-In-Part US7703628B2 (en) 1996-01-24 2006-09-13 Produce packaging system enabling improved drainage for hydrocooling

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20060032859A1 true US20060032859A1 (en) 2006-02-16

Family

ID=37482100

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/251,352 Abandoned US20060032859A1 (en) 1996-01-24 2005-10-13 Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops

Country Status (6)

Country Link
US (1) US20060032859A1 (en)
EP (1) EP1917194A2 (en)
AU (1) AU2005332298A1 (en)
CA (1) CA2619616A1 (en)
TW (1) TW200640754A (en)
WO (1) WO2006130172A2 (en)

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US20050218150A1 (en) * 1996-01-24 2005-10-06 Sambrailo Packaging, Inc. Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
US20060278639A1 (en) * 1996-01-24 2006-12-14 Sambrailo Packaging, Inc. Method and apparatus for packing and bi-directional cooling of produce
US20100282752A1 (en) * 2009-05-11 2010-11-11 Multisteps Pty. Ltd. Produce container
US20130233874A1 (en) * 2012-02-21 2013-09-12 John Phillip Sundnes Container with multiple covers
WO2014105962A1 (en) * 2012-12-28 2014-07-03 Mercury Capital Management L.L.C. Distribution container with hinged half-lids and hinged lid-pockets
USD758203S1 (en) 2014-11-12 2016-06-07 Fmr Llc Container
JP2016210421A (en) * 2015-04-30 2016-12-15 岐阜プラスチック工業株式会社 Lidded transportation container
GB2553889A (en) * 2017-06-26 2018-03-21 Strata Products Ltd Storage unit

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US20050218150A1 (en) * 1996-01-24 2005-10-06 Sambrailo Packaging, Inc. Produce packaging container with dual hinged resealable tops
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JP2016210421A (en) * 2015-04-30 2016-12-15 岐阜プラスチック工業株式会社 Lidded transportation container
GB2553889A (en) * 2017-06-26 2018-03-21 Strata Products Ltd Storage unit
GB2553889B (en) * 2017-06-26 2018-11-14 Strata Products Ltd Storage unit

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
CA2619616A1 (en) 2006-12-07
AU2005332298A1 (en) 2006-12-07
TW200640754A (en) 2006-12-01
EP1917194A2 (en) 2008-05-07
WO2006130172A3 (en) 2007-10-25
WO2006130172A2 (en) 2006-12-07

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Legal Events

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AS Assignment

Owner name: SAMBRAILO PACKAGING, INC., CALIFORNIA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CADIENTE, ANTHONY;REEL/FRAME:017102/0874

Effective date: 20051007

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION