US20080053854A1 - Systems and methods for packaging trays of plantlets - Google Patents

Systems and methods for packaging trays of plantlets Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080053854A1
US20080053854A1 US11513599 US51359906A US2008053854A1 US 20080053854 A1 US20080053854 A1 US 20080053854A1 US 11513599 US11513599 US 11513599 US 51359906 A US51359906 A US 51359906A US 2008053854 A1 US2008053854 A1 US 2008053854A1
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Prior art keywords
carton carrier
carton
carrier
walls
side wall
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
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US11513599
Inventor
Marc D.D. Moerkerken
Leo Eland
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Syngenta Participations AG
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Syngenta Participations AG
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    • 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
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/001Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper stackable
    • B65D5/0015Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper stackable the container being formed by folding up portions connected to a central panel
    • B65D5/003Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper stackable the container being formed by folding up portions connected to a central panel having ledges formed by extensions of the side walls
    • B65D5/0035Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper stackable the container being formed by folding up portions connected to a central panel having ledges formed by extensions of the side walls the ledges being located between side walls and doubled-over extensions
    • 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
    • B65D77/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks or bags
    • B65D77/04Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D77/0413Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another the inner and outer containers being rigid or semi-rigid and the outer container being of polygonal cross-section formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks, e.g. carton
    • B65D77/042Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another the inner and outer containers being rigid or semi-rigid and the outer container being of polygonal cross-section formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks, e.g. carton the inner container being of polygonal cross-section formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks, e.g. carton
    • 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
    • B65D85/50Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for living organisms, articles or materials sensitive to changes of environment or atmospheric conditions, e.g. land animals, birds, fish, water plants, non-aquatic plants, flower bulbs, cut flowers or foliage
    • B65D85/52Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for living organisms, articles or materials sensitive to changes of environment or atmospheric conditions, e.g. land animals, birds, fish, water plants, non-aquatic plants, flower bulbs, cut flowers or foliage for living plants; for growing bulbs
    • 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
    • B65D2577/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks, bags
    • B65D2577/04Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D2577/041Details of two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D2577/042Comprising several inner containers
    • B65D2577/045Comprising several inner containers stacked

Abstract

Packaging systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided for improving handling and shipment of plantlets. A carton carrier for transporting trays of plantlets may be provided. The carton carrier may include a bottom panel for receiving plantlet trays having first and second ends and first and second sides. The carton carrier may also include supporting side walls extending upwardly from the first and second sides of the bottom panel. The supporting side walls each define a support surface or shoulder at the top thereof. The carton carrier may also include end wall panels extending outwardly from the first and second ends of the bottom panel. The end wall panels may be configured to be foldable upwardly from the bottom panel to form end walls.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The subject matter described herein relates generally to systems, apparatuses, and methods for transporting plantlets. More particularly, the subject matter disclosed herein relates to the packaging of plantlets for transport employing carton carriers on which trays of plantlets may be placed.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Shipping of plantlets, such as small or fragile plants, seedlings, cuttings, or the like, that have yet to reach maturity has always posed certain challenges for growers, distributors, and retailers. Keeping the plants in a viable condition and protecting them from handling damage are primary concerns during shipping. Further, distributors need to be able to ship plantlets in bulk to help maximize efficiencies associated with delivery and handling to lower the cost associated with each plantlet.
  • Often, multiple trays of plantlets are stacked within a box container for bulk shipment of plantlets. The trays provide a holding area for soil to provide nutrients and water to each plantlet during shipment. To prevent the plantlets from being crushed or damaged by the stacking of the trays, the trays are often placed on stackable carton carriers that are insertable and stackable within the box container. While carton carriers may be made of many different materials, corrugated fiberboard carton carriers are typically used due to the fact that they are sturdy and inexpensive. Prefabricated corrugated fiberboard carton carriers that are reinforced on their bottoms and sides provide great durability. Such prefabricated carton carriers also greatly increase cost of the shipment of the plantlets due to their preassembly and bulk.
  • Unassembled flat sheets of corrugated fiberboard, typically referred to as blanks, may also be used to create cartons that are stackable within boxes for holding trays of plantlets. Blanks may be used that provide support on all sides and the bottom of the carton carriers when assembled. However, these blanks have complex folding instructions and are often complicated to assemble. The number of folds to be made and the specific order in which the folding of the blanks must occur to create these carton carriers greatly impede the packaging of plantlets within the fields and green houses where the plantlets are to be packed. Therefore, the cost of assembly greatly increases the shipment cost associated with the plantlets.
  • Simple blanks have been developed that can be formed into carton carriers having two walls which run parallel to each other. These carton carriers are easy to create from their corresponding blanks. The workers who load the plantlets can easily form a carton carrier by folding a first side and a second side of the blank to create the two parallel walls. In this manner, the carton carrier is formed by the parallel side walls having a bottom panel disposed between the side walls. The bottom panel provides a surface on which the tray of plantlets may rest. The side walls may also provide support for other carton carriers to be stacked above. By easily forming a carton carrier having two side walls, loading efficiencies can increase, thereby decreasing loading times and shipping cost associated with the plantlets.
  • While blanks used to form these two-sided carton carriers can increase loading efficiencies, other problems arise with these carton carriers when they are used to ship trays of plantlets. Due to the nature of the plantlets and plantlet trays to be shipped, these two-sided carton carriers tend to bend along the bottom panel of the carton carrier parallel to the side walls. This bending of the carton carriers leads to an increased chance of plant damage and the collapsing of stacks of carton carriers within the shipping box.
  • Also, the plantlet trays help to hold moisture within the soil in which the plantlets are placed to help sustain the plantlets. This moisture often evaporates within the box. The fiberboard of the carton carriers absorbs this moisture causing the carrier to lose strength. This is especially true on the bottom panel on which a plantlet tray rests. The weight of the plantlet tray causes the now moist bottom panel to sag. The sagging bends the carton carrier and the trays under its own weight, thereby increasing the chances of the sagging carton carrier to collapse and also causing the trays to bend inward which can lead to damage of the plantlets.
  • In light of the above, a need exists for improved handling of plantlet trays within transport boxes, particularly with regard to decreasing the likelihood of damage to the plantlets within the transport boxes, while not negatively effecting loading efficiencies of these boxes.
  • SUMMARY
  • In accordance with this disclosure, novel packaging systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided for improving handling and shipment of plantlets.
  • It is a principal purpose of the present disclosure therefore to provide novel packaging systems, apparatuses, and methods for transporting trays of plantlets, such as within carton carriers and plantlet transport boxes. This and other purposes as may become apparent from the present disclosure are achieved, at least in whole or in part, by the subject matter described herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A full and enabling disclosure of the present subject matter including the best mode thereof to one of ordinary skill of the art is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, including reference to the accompanying figures in which:
  • FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of a carton carrier according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 2 shows a schematic vertical cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the carton carrier of FIG. 1 along lines I-I;
  • FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a blank used to create a carton carrier according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 4 shows a schematic perspective view of the blank of FIG. 3 used to create a carton carrier according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the blank of FIG. 3 folded to form at least a portion of a carton carrier according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 6 shows a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of a carton carrier used in a packaging system according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a packaging system according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the packaging system according to FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of the packaging system according to FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 10A shows a perspective view of the packaging system according to FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 10B shows a perspective view of the packaging system according to FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 11 shows a schematic side elevation view of an embodiment of a carton carrier according to the present subject matter;
  • FIG. 12A shows a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of a packaging system according to the present subject matter; and
  • FIG. 12B shows a schematic perspective view of the packaging system according FIG. 12A.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Reference will now be made in detail to presently preferred embodiments of the present subject matter, one or more examples of which are shown in the Figures. Each example is provided to explain the subject matter and not as a limitation. In fact, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used in another embodiment to yield still yet another embodiment. It is intended that the present subject matter covers such modifications and variations.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a carton carrier, generally designated as 10, for use in transporting a tray, generally designated as 50, of plantlets. Carton carrier 10 has a bottom panel 12 on which tray 50 may reside. Carton carrier 10 includes end walls, generally designated as 20, on either end of carton carrier 10. Further, carton carrier 10 has supporting side walls, generally designated as 30, that extend upward from the sides of carton carrier 10. Supporting side walls 30 may permit the stacking of other carton carriers thereon. Each supporting side wall 30 may have an outer side panel 32, a top shelf panel 34 and an inner side wall panel 36. The top shelf panels 34 can create upper support surfaces, or shoulders, on which another carton carrier may be placed when the carton carriers are inserted into a transport box. Carton carrier 10 may be dimensioned such that tray 50 fits securely between supporting side walls 30 and end walls 20. For example, supporting side walls 30 and end walls 20 may abut against sides 52 and ends 54 of tray 50, respectively.
  • Carton carrier 10 may be made from any suitable material. For example, carton carrier 10 may be constructed from plastic, hardboard, fiberboard, or the like. For instance, carton carrier 10 can be made of a fiberboard, such as corrugated cardboard. Preferably, carton carrier 10 may be formed from the folding of a single blank as will be described below.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of carton carrier 10 shown in FIG. 1 along the lines I-I. Supporting side walls 30 may have a triangular cross-sectional shape, such as an inverted triangular cross-section. However, the supporting walls 30 may also have other cross-sectional shapes, for example, rectangular, trapezoidal, or the like. Outer side wall panels 32 form the outside of supporting side walls 30. Top shelf panels 34 forming upper support surfaces that can extend substantially parallel to bottom panel 12 of carton carrier 10 to provide a surface on which another carton carrier 10 may be placed, thereby permitting carton carriers 10 to be stackable.
  • Supporting side walls 30 have a height D1 that provides sufficient space D2 above tray 50, which is placed on bottom panel 12. This space D2 permits the plantlets that reside in tray 50 to extend upward without damage by another carton carrier 10 that may be placed upon upper support surfaces of supporting side walls 30. Thus, the space D2 between a top 56 of tray 50 may be great enough for the stalk or stem of the plantlets to stand upright in its natural posture without any unnecessary or harmful bending. Therefore, depending on the type of plantlet being transported, height D1 of the supporting side walls 30 and the space D2 above the tray 50 may vary.
  • By having an inverted triangular cross-sectional shape with inner side wall panel 36 and outer side wall panel 32 converging at bottom panel 12 of carton carrier 10, supporting side walls 30 also help to secure tray 50 within carton carrier 10 when carton carrier 10 is placed within a transport box. By having inner side wall panels 36 of supporting side walls 30 extending upwardly and inwardly at an acute angle α from the base 12 when carton carrier 10 is within a box, inner side wall panels 36 can help to keep tray 50 secured in carton carrier 10 by abutting sides 52 of tray 50 about top 56 of tray 50 at an angle to hold tray 50 in place. In this manner, carton carrier 10 may help to prevent a jostling of tray 50 during transport of the box in which carton carrier 10 is placed. By minimizing movement of tray 50 in a vertical direction, supporting side walls 30 help to prevent damage to the plantlets placed in tray 50.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a blank, generally designated as 60, that may be used to form a carton carrier 10. Blank 60 can be folded along its creases to form end walls 20 and supporting side walls 30 of a carton carrier 10 described above. Blank 60 may be made of material such as plastic, hardboard, fiberboard, or the like. For example, blank 60 may be formed out of cardboard. Such cardboard may be corrugated. The corrugations within the cardboard add strength to the different panels within blank 60 to create a sturdier carton carrier 10. Blank 60 includes bottom panel 12 formed between a first end crease 14, a second end crease 16, a first side wall crease 18 and a second side wall crease 19.
  • The first and second end creases 14 and 16 may define first and second ends of bottom panel 12. Further, first side wall crease 18 and second side wall crease 19 may define first and second sides, respectively, of bottom panel 12.
  • Blank 60 also includes end wall panels 22 on opposite sides of first end crease 14 and second end crease 16 from bottom panel 12. End wall panels 22 can be folded upward along first and second creases 14, 16 from bottom panel 12 to form end walls 20 of carton carrier 10. On the opposite sides of the first and second side wall creases 18, 19 from bottom panel 12, blank 60 includes outer side wall panels 32, top shelf panels 34 and inner side wall panels 36 used to form supporting side walls 30. Extending out from the sides of bottom panel 12, each outer side wall panel 32 follows the respective side wall creases 18, 19. Each of outer side wall panels 32 are followed by the respective top shelf panel 34 which is then followed by the respective inner side wall panel 36.
  • Each inner side wall panel 36 and top shelf panel 34 may be folded along supporting wall creases 38 as each outer side wall panel is folded along side wall creases 18, 19 to form supporting side wall 30. The inner side wall panels 36 may be secured on or about the bottom panel 12 in a variety of ways. For example, glue, glue strips, tape, staples, or the like may be used to hold inner side wall panels 36 to bottom panel 12.
  • Other mechanical means may also be used. For instance, on an outer edge 40 of inner side wall panel 36, one or more jags 42 may extend outward from blank 60. These jags 42 may fit into corresponding sleeves or slots 44 cut into blank 60 along each of the side wall creases 18, 19 when top shelf panels 34 and inner side wall panels 36 are folded inward along supporting wall creases 38 as outer side wall panels 32 are folded upward along side wall creases 18,19 to form support walls 30. Top shelf panel 34 may have finger apertures 46 cut into blank 60. These finger apertures 46 permit easy insertion and removal of carton carrier 10 from the transport box in which it will be placed and/or removed.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a blank 60 with tray 50 of plantlets placed on bottom panel 12. Tray 50 may be placed on bottom panel 12 and outer side wall panels 32 may be folded up along side wall creases 18, 19 in directions A1. Top shelf panel 34 may be folded around supporting wall creases 38 in directions A2, while inner side wall panel 36 may be folded over around supporting wall creases 38 in directions A3 to form supporting side walls 30. Once the outer side wall panels 32, top shelf panels 34, and inner side wall panels 36 are folded around and jags 42 are inserted into sleeves 44 (see FIG. 3), the supporting side walls 30 of carton carrier 10 are formed. Similarly, the supporting side walls 30 may be formed before tray 50 is placed on bottom panel 12.
  • If the blank is made from corrugated cardboard as shown in FIG. 4, ribs 62 may run perpendicular to side wall creases 18, 19 and supporting side walls 30, while running parallel to end creases 14, 16 and end walls 20. These ribs 62 within the corrugation can also help stabilize carton carrier 10. Also, blank 60 can be different sizes depending on the size of tray 50 which is to be used. Similarly, bottom panel 12 can be different widths and lengths and the panels, which form end walls and side walls may be different heights depending on the size of the tray and the size of the plantlets being transported.
  • As shown in FIG. 5, once outer side wall panels 32 are folded along side wall creases 18, 19, and top shelf panel 34 and inner side wall panel 36 are folded over along supporting wall creases 38 to form supporting side walls 30, end panel 22 can be folded up to form end walls 20 to finish forming carton carrier 10. However, with carton carrier 10 outside the box, the support walls 30 do not necessarily have to reside up against tray 50. Further, end walls 20 will not necessarily have to reside against ends 54 of tray 50 even when carton carrier 10 is outside the transport box in which it will be inserted.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a carton carrier 10 being placed into a transport box 70, once supporting side walls 30 are formed and tray 50 of plantlets are placed on bottom panel 12 of carton carrier 10. As can been seen from FIG. 6, end panels 22 which form end walls 20 now have to be folded into a standing position to fit into a transport box, generally designated as 70. Transport box 70 may have an interior 72 which is generally similar to the shape of the outer perimeter formed by supporting side walls 30 and end walls 20 of carton carrier 10 once carton carrier 10 is placed into transport box 70. End panels 22 do not have to be folded along first and second end creases 14, 16 (see FIG. 4) to form end walls 20 until carton carrier 10 is placed within transport box 70. As carton carrier 10 is lowered into the interior 72 in direction B, end walls 74 of transport box 70 fold end panels 22 in a direction C along first and second end creases 14, 16 to form end walls 20. Carton carrier 10 may be lowered into transport box 70 by using finger apertures 46 to lower carton carrier 10 into interior 72 of transport box 70. Once carton carrier 10 is lowered into transport box 70, transport box 70 may hold supporting side walls 30 and end walls 20 in an upright, or standing, position as shown in FIG. 1. At this point, carton carrier 10 is supported on four sides. End walls 20 help create a sturdier carton 10 by adding greater support in a direction perpendicular to supporting side walls 30 to prevent sagging of bottom panel 12.
  • FIG. 7 shows a carton carrier 10 being placed within a transport box 70. A tray 50 may be placed upon bottom panel 12 of carton carrier 10, and the panels that form supporting side walls 30 can be quickly folded to create the supporting side walls 30 in a timely manner. Top shelf panels 34 define finger apertures 46 therein to allow carton carrier 10 to be lowered into transport box 70. As carton carrier 10 is placed within transport box 70, end walls 74 of transport box 70 force end panels 22 upward to form end walls 20 of carton carrier 10. Carton carrier 10 is then pushed downward into transport box 70 to until it rests firmly against an upper support surface of another carton carrier or against the bottom of transport box 70.
  • FIG. 8 shows a carton 10 disposed within transport box 70. Carton carrier 10 has tray 50 disposed therein for carrying plantlets. Tray 50 resides on a bottom panel of the carton 10. Transport box 70 supports supporting side walls 30 and end walls 20 of carton carrier 10 in upright positions to provide the desired protection to the plantlets that may be disposed within tray 50. Side walls 76 of transport box 70 may help to support supporting side walls 30 of carton carrier 10 in an upright position and may push supporting side walls 30 against sides 52 of tray 50. End walls 74 of transport box 70 may help to support end walls 20 of carton carrier 10 in an upright position and may push end walls 20 against ends 54 of tray 50. Top shelf panels 34 provide upper support surfaces which allow for the stacking of a similar carton carrier within transport box 70 on top of upper support surfaces.
  • As stated above, height H (see FIG. 6) of transport box 70 may correspond to a height of a select number of carton carriers 10 that may fit within transport box 70. For example, as shown in FIG. 9, height H of box 70 may permit six carton carrier 10 to be stacked within interior 72 of box 70 with the last carton being flush with an outer edge 73 of the interior 72 of transport box 70. At this point, inner lids 78 and outer lids 79 may be closed onto the top carton carrier 10 to form a top wall of transport box 70. Since top carton carrier 10 is flush with outer edge 73 of interior 72 of transport box 70, this carton carrier 10 will also be flush with a top wall formed by inner lids 78 and outer lids 79 once these lids 78, 79 are folded into a closed position.
  • As shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B, inner lids 78 may be folded into a closed position with the outer lids 79 folded on top of the inner lids 78 and secured to form a top wall 80 of transport box 70. Similar inner and outer lids may be folded and secured in a closed position to form a bottom wall of transport box 70. The folding closed and securing of inner lids 78 and outer lids 79 further facilitate quick and easy shipment of the trays of plantlets. With the trays securely placed between the supporting side walls of the carton carrier and the carton carrier placed securely within transport box 70, movement of the trays within transport box 70 is minimized or prevented.
  • The inner and outer lids 78, 79 for both the top and the bottom of transport box 70 may have lengths and widths that permit full coverage of the opening of interior 72 of transport box 70 when each set of lids are folded into a closed position. For example, the edges 82 of inner lids 78 may abut against one another and the edges 84 of outer lids 79 may abut against one another. Alternatively, edges 82 of inner lids 78 may overlap one another when the inner lids 78 are folded in a closed position, while edges 84 of outer lids 79 may overlap one another when the inner lids 78 are folded in a closed position. By providing full coverage of the opening of interior 72 of transport box 70 with each set of lids 78, 79, the plantlets contained within transport box 70 are better insulated against outside temperatures. Also, with each carton carrier 10 (see FIG. 1) having end walls 20 and supporting walls 30, at least two layers of walls exist between the plantlets within the trays in carton carriers 10 and the outer environment surrounding transport box 70. Further, the strength in the width and length directions can be maximized.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of a carton carrier 10 having a tray 50 residing upon bottom panel 12 of carton carrier 10 as carton carrier 10 resides within a transport box. The weight of tray 50 creates a downward force F1 on the carton carrier 10. This created force F1 causes carton carrier 10 to want to bow inward in the directions E1 and E2 and thereby bend bottom panel 12 outward. By having end walls 20 folded upward and perpendicular to supporting side walls 30, end walls 20 counteract the tendency of carton carrier 10 to bow inward caused by force F1. End walls 20, which run perpendicular to supporting side walls 30, resist the bowing tendency by adding strength to carton carrier 10 in a width direction on either end of carton carrier 10. Even after carton carrier 10 is dampened through absorption of moisture from trays 50, end walls 20 still help to minimize any sagging of bottom panel 12 due to the added stability by end walls 20. In this manner, the sturdiness and stability of carton carrier 10 is greatly increased over carton carriers which have only two parallel side walls. At the same time, the amount of time needed to assemble cartons 10 is not increased, because no extra steps are needed to form end walls 20 within carton carrier 10. This is due to the fact that end walls 20 may be pushed into place by placement of carton carrier 10 within the transport box used to ship the plantlets to a desired location.
  • By having both end walls 20 and supporting side walls 30 within carton carrier 10, carton carrier 10 is made more stable and less likely to bend or collapse because end walls 20 and supporting side walls 30 add support in three different directions. As seen in FIG. 12A, supporting side walls 30 provide stability in a length direction Z with its inner side wall panel 36 and outer side wall panel 32 as well as top shelf panel 34. Further, these panels 32, 34, 36 of supporting side wall 30 also provide stability in carton carrier 10 in a height direction Y. Finally, by having end wall panels 22 that fold up to create end walls 20 of carton carrier 10, stability is created in a width direction X of carton carrier 10. By having added stability in carton carrier 10 in width direction X, height direction Y, and length direction Z, a more stable carton carrier is created for placement of a tray 50 thereon. The added stability by supporting side walls 30 and end walls 20 in the directions X, Y, and Z help to minimize sagging or bending of carton carrier 10 and thereby tray 50 which is placed thereon. Thus, damage to the plantlets within tray 50 due to the stability of carton carrier 10 can be minimized.
  • Transport box 70 with its end wall 74, side wall 76, inner lids 78 and outer lids 79 add stability in three directions as well. As shown in FIG. 12B, side walls 76 add stability in direction Y and direction Z. End walls 74 add stability in direction X and direction Y, while outer lids 79 add stability in direction Z and inner lids 78 add stability in direction X as shown in FIG. 12A.
  • Further, depending on the corrugation of the fiberboard used to create carton carrier 10, the ribs within the corrugation can also help stabilize carton carrier 10 in different directions. For example, the ribs of corrugation that run perpendicular to supporting side walls 30 may help to reinforce the stability of carton carrier 10 in both the height direction Y and the width direction X. Tray 50 placed within carton carrier 10 may also help to stabilize carton carrier 10 in both the width direction X and the length direction Z depending on the stability of tray 50. Similarly, transport box 70 may be made of a corrugated fiberboard such that the ribs of the corrugation help to reinforce the stability of transport box 70 for protection of the plantlets contained within the trays on carton carrier 10 within transport box 70. The ribs of the corrugation of the transport box 70 may reinforce transport box 70 in any or all of directions X, Y, and Z.
  • The packing systems and apparatuses disclosed above are designed to be efficient in loading and unloading of boxes, while creating greater strength in the box with minimal use of a carton. Such a system reduces the labor cost of packing and unloading of plantlets, thereby reducing the overall cost associated with the plantlets. The system is easy to understand and can increase efficiency of packing and shipping plantlets, even in high volume production environments including third world countries where education of the work force may be limited.
  • The embodiments of the present disclosure shown in the drawings and described above are exemplary of numerous embodiments that can be made within the scope of the appending claims. It is contemplated that the configurations for packaging trays of plantlets for transport can comprise numerous configurations other than those specifically disclosed. Thus, it is the applicant's intention that the scope of a patent issuing herefrom will only be limited by the scope of the appending claims.

Claims (39)

  1. 1. A packaging system for transporting plantlet trays, the system comprising:
    (a) a carton carrier comprising:
    (i) a bottom panel having first and second ends and first and second sides, the bottom panel being configured to receive plantlet trays,
    (ii) supporting side walls extending upwardly from the first and second sides of the bottom panel, the supporting side walls defining an upper support surfaces or shoulders, and
    (iii) end wall panels extending outwardly from the first and second ends of the bottom panel, the end wall panels configured to be foldable upwardly from the bottom panel to form end walls; and
    (b) a transport box having box side walls and box end walls, the transport box being configured to receive one or more carton carriers within an interior of the transport box such that the supporting walls and the end walls of each carton carrier inserted therein are supported by the box side walls and the box end walls.
  2. 2. The packaging system as in claim 1, wherein each supporting side wall of the carton carrier comprises an inner side wall panel, an outer side wall panel, and a top shelf panel.
  3. 3. The packaging system as in claim 2, wherein each supporting side wall of the carton carrier has a triangular cross-section.
  4. 4. The packaging system as in claim 3, wherein each top shelf panel of the carton carrier is disposed between the corresponding inner side wall panel and the corresponding outer side wall panel.
  5. 5. The packaging system as in claim 4, wherein the triangular cross-section of each supporting side wall comprises the top shelf panel forming the upper support surface of the respective supporting side wall and the corresponding inner side wall panel and corresponding outer side wall panel converging at a respective side of the bottom panel.
  6. 6. The packaging system as in claim 5, wherein sides of the plantlet tray abut the inner side wall panels of the carton carrier about a top surface of the tray.
  7. 7. The packaging system as in claim 2, wherein the carton carrier is formed from a blank.
  8. 8. The packaging system as in claim 2, wherein the supporting side walls of the carton carrier have a specific height to provide space for the plantlets disposed within the plantlet tray.
  9. 9. The packaging system as in claim 1, wherein the carton carrier is fiberboard.
  10. 10. The packaging system as in claim 9, wherein the fiberboard is a corrugated cardboard.
  11. 11. The packaging system as in claim 10, wherein ribs are defined by the corrugated cardboard and strengthen the carton carrier in at least one of a width direction or a height direction.
  12. 12. The packaging system as in claim 1, wherein the end walls of the carton carrier contact the supporting side walls when both the ends walls and the supporting side walls extend upright.
  13. 13. The packaging system as in claim 1, wherein the end walls of the carton carrier contact the ends of the tray of plantlets when the ends walls extend upright.
  14. 14. The packaging system as in claim 1, wherein the upper support surface of the supporting side walls of the carton carrier provides a stackable surface on which another carton carrier may be placed.
  15. 15. The packaging system as in claim 14, wherein multiple carton carriers are stackable within the transport box.
  16. 16. The packaging system as in claim 15, wherein the transport box has a height that permits multiple carton carriers to be stacked on top of one another within the transport box.
  17. 17. The packaging system as in claim 16, wherein the height of the transport box corresponds to a height of a specified number of carton carriers such that the upper support surface of the top carton carrier is flush with the top of the transport box once the transport box is closed.
  18. 18. The packaging system as in claim 1, wherein the transport box includes inner lids and outer lids that form at least one of a top wall or a bottom wall of the transport box when the inner and outer lids are in closed positions.
  19. 19. The packaging system as in claim 18, wherein the inner lids of the transport box comprise edges that abut one another when the inner lids are in a closed position and the outer lids comprise edges that abut one another when the outer lids are in a closed position.
  20. 20. A carton carrier for transporting trays of plantlets, the carton carrier comprising:
    (a) a bottom panel having first and second ends and first and second sides, the bottom panel being configured to receive plantlet trays,
    (b) supporting side walls extending upwardly from the first and second sides of the bottom panel, the supporting side walls defining an upper support surface or shoulder, and
    (c) end wall panels extending outwardly from the first and second ends of the bottom panel, the end wall panels configured to be foldable upwardly from the bottom panel to form end walls.
  21. 21. The carton carrier as in claim 20, wherein each supporting side wall of the carton carrier comprises an inner side wall panel, an outer side wall panel, and a top shelf panel.
  22. 22. The carton carrier as in claim 21, wherein each supporting side wall of the carton carrier has a triangular cross-section.
  23. 23. The carton carrier as in claim 22, wherein each top shelf panel of the carton carrier is disposed between the corresponding inner side wall panel and the corresponding outer side wall panel.
  24. 24. The carton carrier as in claim 23, wherein the triangular cross-section of each supporting side wall comprises the top shelf panel forming the upper support surface of the respective supporting side wall and the corresponding inner side wall panel and corresponding outer side wall panel converging at a respective side of the bottom panel.
  25. 25. The carton carrier as in claim 24, wherein sides of the plantlet tray abut the inner side wall panels of the carton carrier about a top surface of the tray.
  26. 26. The carton carrier as in claim 21, wherein the carton carrier is formed from a blank.
  27. 27. The carton carrier as in claim 21, wherein the supporting side walls of the carton carrier have a specific height to provide space for the plantlets disposed within the plantlet tray.
  28. 28. The carton carrier as in claim 20, wherein the carton carrier is fiberboard.
  29. 29. The carton carrier as in claim 28, wherein the fiberboard is a corrugated cardboard.
  30. 30. The carton carrier as in claim 29, wherein ribs are defined by the corrugated cardboard and strengthen the carton carrier in at least one of a width direction or a height direction.
  31. 31. The carton carrier as in claim 20, wherein the end walls of the carton carrier contact the supporting side walls when both the ends walls and the supporting side walls extend upright.
  32. 32. The carton carrier as in claim 20, wherein the end walls of the carton carrier contact the ends of the tray of plantlets when the ends walls extend upright.
  33. 33. The carton carrier as in claim 20, wherein the upper support surface of the supporting side walls of the carton carrier provides a stackable surface on which another carton carrier may be placed.
  34. 34. A method of preparing trays of plantlets for shipping, the method comprising:
    (a) placing a tray of plantlets on a bottom panel of a carton carrier;
    (b) folding the carton carrier along supporting wall creases to form supporting side walls along first and second sides of bottom panel;
    (c) folding the carton carrier along first and second end wall creases to form end walls about first and second ends of the bottom panel; and
    (d) placing the carton carrier in a box having box side walls and box end walls, such that the box side walls and box end walls support the supporting side walls and the end walls in an upright position.
  35. 35. The method as in claim 34, further comprising stacking multiple carton carriers atop one another within the transport box.
  36. 36. The method as in claim 35, wherein the supporting side walls define upper support surfaces or shoulders on which another carton carrier may rest.
  37. 37. The method as in claim 35, wherein the transport box securely holds a specified number of carton carriers.
  38. 38. The method as in claim 34, wherein the step of folding the carton carrier along first and second end wall creases to form end walls is performed by the step of placing the carton carrier in a transport box.
  39. 39. A method as in claim 34, wherein the supporting side walls have an inverted triangular cross-section.
US11513599 2006-08-31 2006-08-31 Systems and methods for packaging trays of plantlets Abandoned US20080053854A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
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Applications Claiming Priority (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11513599 US20080053854A1 (en) 2006-08-31 2006-08-31 Systems and methods for packaging trays of plantlets
EP20070115053 EP1894852B1 (en) 2006-08-31 2007-08-27 Carrier, packaging system and method for packaging trays of plantlets
DE200760008656 DE602007008656D1 (en) 2006-08-31 2007-08-27 Carrier, packing system and method for packaging trays of plantlets
ES07115053T ES2351766T3 (en) 2006-08-31 2007-08-27 Support system for packaging and method of packaging seedling trays.
DK07115053T DK1894852T3 (en) 2006-08-31 2007-08-27 Carrier, package system and method for packaging trays of plantlets
CN 200710147616 CN101134517B (en) 2006-08-31 2007-08-31 Systems and methods for packaging trays of plantlets
JP2007226045A JP4625061B2 (en) 2006-08-31 2007-08-31 System and method for packaging the seedling tray

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US20080053854A1 true true US20080053854A1 (en) 2008-03-06

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EP (1) EP1894852B1 (en)
JP (1) JP4625061B2 (en)
CN (1) CN101134517B (en)
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DK (1) DK1894852T3 (en)
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USD783421S1 (en) 2016-01-05 2017-04-11 Van Belle Nursery Inc. Seedling tray

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EP1894852B1 (en) 2010-08-25 grant
CN101134517A (en) 2008-03-05 application
DE602007008656D1 (en) 2010-10-07 grant
DK1894852T3 (en) 2010-12-13 grant
EP1894852A1 (en) 2008-03-05 application
JP4625061B2 (en) 2011-02-02 grant
JP2008056355A (en) 2008-03-13 application
CN101134517B (en) 2012-05-23 grant
ES2351766T3 (en) 2011-02-10 grant

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