US3266656A - Demountable shipping case - Google Patents

Demountable shipping case Download PDF

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US3266656A
US3266656A US33544564A US3266656A US 3266656 A US3266656 A US 3266656A US 33544564 A US33544564 A US 33544564A US 3266656 A US3266656 A US 3266656A
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case
base
cover
panel
channels
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Charles E Kridle
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Charles E Kridle
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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
    • B65D19/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D19/02Rigid pallets with side walls, e.g. box pallets
    • B65D19/06Rigid pallets with side walls, e.g. box pallets with bodies formed by uniting or interconnecting two or more components
    • B65D19/08Rigid pallets with side walls, e.g. box pallets with bodies formed by uniting or interconnecting two or more components made wholly or mainly of metal
    • B65D19/12Collapsible pallets
    • 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
    • B65D88/00Large containers
    • B65D88/52Large containers collapsible, i.e. with walls hinged together or detachably connected
    • B65D88/526Large containers collapsible, i.e. with walls hinged together or detachably connected with detachable side walls
    • B65D88/528Large containers collapsible, i.e. with walls hinged together or detachably connected with detachable side walls all side walls detached from each other to collapse 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
    • B65D9/00Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of wood or substitutes therefor
    • B65D9/12Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of wood or substitutes therefor collapsible, e.g. with all parts detachable
    • 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
    • B65D9/00Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of wood or substitutes therefor
    • B65D9/12Containers having bodies formed by interconnecting or uniting two or more rigid, or substantially rigid, components made wholly or mainly of wood or substitutes therefor collapsible, e.g. with all parts detachable
    • B65D9/22Fastening devices for holding collapsible containers in erected state, e.g. integral with container walls
    • B65D9/24Fastening devices for holding collapsible containers in erected state, e.g. integral with container walls separate from container walls
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
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    • B65D2519/00189Materials for the lid or cover
    • B65D2519/00199Metal
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • 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
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00009Materials
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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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00263Overall construction of the pallet
    • B65D2519/00273Overall construction of the pallet made of more than 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00283Overall construction of the load supporting surface
    • B65D2519/00288Overall construction of the load supporting surface 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00313Overall construction of the base surface
    • B65D2519/00328Overall construction of the base surface shape of the contact surface of the base
    • B65D2519/00333Overall construction of the base surface shape of the contact surface of the base contact surface having a stringer-like shape
    • 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00313Overall construction of the base surface
    • B65D2519/00328Overall construction of the base surface shape of the contact surface of the base
    • B65D2519/00338Overall construction of the base surface shape of the contact surface of the base contact surface having a discrete foot-like shape
    • 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00492Overall construction of the side walls
    • B65D2519/00497Overall construction of the side walls whereby at least one side wall is 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00547Connections
    • B65D2519/00577Connections structures connecting side walls, including corner posts, to each other
    • B65D2519/00582Connections structures connecting side walls, including corner posts, to each other structures intended to be disassembled, i.e. collapsible or dismountable
    • B65D2519/00606Connections structures connecting side walls, including corner posts, to each other structures intended to be disassembled, i.e. collapsible or dismountable side walls connected via corner posts
    • 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00547Connections
    • B65D2519/00636Connections structures connecting side walls to the pallet
    • B65D2519/00641Structures intended to be disassembled
    • 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
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00736Details
    • B65D2519/00935Details with special means for nesting or stacking
    • B65D2519/00955Details with special means for nesting or stacking stackable
    • B65D2519/0096Details with special means for nesting or stacking stackable when empty

Description

Aug. 16, 1966 c. E. KRIDLE 3,

DEMOUNTABLE SHIPPING CASE Filed Jan. 2, 1964 5 SheetsSheet 1 INVENTOR. BY CHARLES E KR/DLE fim m- ATTORNEY Aug. 16, 1966 c. E. KRiDLE 3,266,656

DEMOUNTABLE SHIPPING CASE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 F/GJZ 20 Filed Jan. 2, 1964 INVENTOR. CHARL E 5 E KP/DLE A TTO/P/VE V Aug. 16, 1966 c. E. KRIDLE 3,266,556

DEMOUNTABLE SHIPPING CASE Filed Jan. 2, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. CHARLES E. KR/DLE ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,266,656 DEMOUNTABLE SHIPPING CASE Charles E. Kridle, 1569 Beverly Place, Berkeley, Calif. Filed Jim. 2, 1964, set. No. 335,445 4 Qlaims. (Cl. 220-4) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.

This invention relates to a demountable shipping case.

Prior art demountable shipping cases are commonly characterized by one or more properties which limit their desirability as a practical and useful item of commerce. Some such containers are expensive to construct; some are complicated to assemble. From some it is easy to pilfer the contents without ready detection. Some have an undesirably high ratio of gross bulk to net usable volume when assembled. Some occupy considerable space when demounted and packed for shipping to a point of reuse.

An object of the present invention is to provide a demountable shipping case which is simple and inexpensive to make and to assemble and demoun t and which exhibits a highly favorable ratio of net usable volume to gross bulk when assembled for use.

Another object of this invention is to provide a demountable shipping case using a minimum number of different parts and hence presenting a minimal inventory problem.

Another object of the invention is to provide a demountable shipping case from which it is diflicult to pilfer Without detection and which can be demounted and packed for shipment in a volume relatively very small compared to the volume of the case in its expanded configuration.

A further object of the invention is to provide a demountable shipping case in palletized form which can be nested with replicas of itself, for shipment to a point of reuse, in demounted configuration in a minimum volume without the need for removing the feet of the pallet.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an article of manufacture which constitutes per se a nestable pallet and which also can constitute the base of a demountable shipping case.

The demountable shipping case of this invention comprises a base generally in the form of a pan or tray with an upstanding lip or flange around its periphery; side panels generally in the form of rectangular sheets of relatively thin material; joint posts or corner posts adapted to stand within and against the corners of the base and having grooves provided by channels or the like to receive and appreciably overlap the edges of two side panels which are adjacent each other to form at the post a joint between the two side panels; and a cover generally in the form of a pan or tray similar to the base pan, of a size sufliciently different from the base pan to interfit easily telescopically therewith, and adapted, when the posts are standing in the base to form the assembled shipping case, to fit over the upper ends of the posts so that these upper ends rest against the lip of the cover. The overlap of the edges of the side panels by the walls of the corner post grooves in which they fit holds the side panels against falling inward or outward of the case. The rims formed by the lips of the base and cover in turn hold the posts from falling outward and coact with the assembly of side panels and posts to prevent the posts from falling inward. Considering the interior dimensions of the base and cover and considering the dimensions of the parts of the corner posts to be interposed between the side panels and the lips of the base and cover, the side panel lengths are so chosen to 3,266,656 Patented August 16, 1966 provide enough of a gap between the side panels and the ad acent portions of the corner posts to facilitate easy assembly of the case. The overlap of the grooves of the corner posts over the edges of the side panels is made sufficient so that this gap never causes exposure of the contents of the case nor accidental disassembly of the case.

Thus it is seen that with this simple combination of elements the case is self-sustaining and needs at its joints no fastenings, such as screws, nails, adhesives, dovetails, tongues-and-grooves, or the like. From the foregoing it 1s clear that many types of corner posts can be used with this invention as long as they provide grooves to receive the side panels. However, a corner post which is simple to construct, of minimum bulk, weight and expense commensurate with required strength is obviously a preferred embodiment. A corner post which is difficult or expensive to construct or which weakens the structure is obviously less desirable. For example, a corner post requiring a tongue-and-groove connection with a side panel would not be a preferred embodiment to use, especially with thin plywood side panels which would be weakened thereby.

Although quadrilateral shipping cases are the most common, this invention comprehends also containers with more or less than four sides, and cylindrical containers wherein the side panels are curves and the corner posts form joints at the junction of the curved side panels.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description When considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a preferred embodiment of the shipping case of this invention including, for illustration, two varieties of corner posts, with the several parts exhibited in a configuration best to show their construction, not necessarily the usual sequence of assembly;

FIG. 2 is an axonometric view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 as it would appear assembled for shipment containing a load;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-section taken along the line 33 in FIG. 2 and showing side panels joined by a corner post;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-section taken along the line 44 in FIG. 2 showing the corner retaining the cor ner posts and hence the side panels in assembled configuration;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-section taken along the line 55 in FIG. 2 showing the base retaining corner posts and side panels in assembled position and showing a foot serving to render the case palletized;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 demounted and packed for shipment to a point of reuse with the cover partially broken away to show the storage of parts between the cover and base;

FIG. 7 is a cross-section taken along the line 77 in FIG. 6 showing the side panels and corner posts packed between the telescoped cover and base, with the pallet feet left in supporting position and with a fragment of a similar collapsed case shown in phantom line resting on this case to demonstrate stacking of such cases for shipment, demounted, to a point of reuse;

FIG. 8 is a bottom view of the base of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of articles of manufacture essentially identical with the base of the embodiment of FIG. 1 stacked as nested pallets for occupying minimum space;

FIG. 10 is an axonometric view of the base of the embodiment of FIG. 1 using runners instead of blocks as pallet feet;

FIG. 11 is a cross-section of a corner post similar to that of FIG. 3 but fabricated of sheet metal;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary cross-section of an alternative embodiment of the base of the case of FIG. 1 having a lip reinforced through the use of double thickness of sheet metal;

FIG. 13 is an elevation view partly in cross-section of a nested stack of demounted shipping cases similar to the case of FIG. 7 but having the cover small enough to telescope within the base; and

FIG. 14 is an enlarged view in cross-section of four corner posts interengaged for minimum volume for shipment with a demounted case.

A preferred embodiment of the shipping case of this invention will now be described.

Reference is now made to the drawings. The preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 is comprised of a base 2, cover or lid 4, side panels 6, and corner posts 8. The corner posts in a rectangular box are generally in the form of two channels, such as and 12, with the back of one channel, namely channel 10, adjacent to, or coincident with, and extending in the same direction as, the side of the other channel, as clearly seen in FIGS. 3 and 11, for example, and with the channels so oriented that the channel 10 faces outward from the side of the channel 12. The corner post can be formed in any convenient fashion. In FIG. 3 appears a corner post such as can be made by extrusion or by casting. In such a construction, the back of channel 10 appears as an integral part of a side of channel 12. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11, the corner post is formed out of sheet metal bent and folded and, if desired, welded as at 14 to provide added strength and assist in retaining the desired form.

If desired, there may be included a smooth end piece or flange 16, FIG. 1, on the corner post to facilitate pushing against the end of the corner post when assembling the box, although with proper construction this end cover is not necessary since the parts fit together easily without force.

The base of the case preferably is comprised of a pan or tray, typically of sheet metal, having a conventionally flat bottom 18 and lips or flanges 20 forming a rim on the base to receive and retain the side panels 6 and corner posts 8 when the case is assembled. If the base pan is fashioned from sheet metal, the upstanding lip extending generally around the periphery of the bottom can be made by simply notching out the corners of a flat sheet of metal and then bending the projecting tongues formed thereby away from the plane of the sheet until they create the desired lip. The corners of these flanges can be reinforced by welding or by overlapping of the metal if the proper shape or notch was used to provide the needed metal as is known in the art. If desired for reinforcement the aforementioned tongues can be made long enough to provide for a double-thick rim or flange and a double thickness of metal forming the angle between the bottom and the lip of the base as seen in embodiment of FIG. 12.

Conveniently, the base may have blocks 22, FIGS. 1 and 8, or runners 24, FIG. 10, forming feet so as to effectively make the base, when used separately, and the case when assembled with the base, a pallet convenient for maneuvering by means of a fork lift. The feet in the form of blocks or runners may be permanently attached to the pan or may be removably attached conveniently with screws 26, or the like, as seen in FIG. 7 or may be omitted entirely. The cover or lid 4 of the case is essentially a tray or pan similar to the pan or tray forming the principal part of the base, and having a generally plane or fiat, un-dished top 28 and lips or flanges 30. The cover is sufliciently different in size from the base to enable one of these two elements to telescope within the other, the fit being sufiiciently loose for easy relative displacement of the two. The relative depths of the flanges on the two members is sufficient to enable the outer member to encompass the inner member either to the full depth of the latters flanges, as in the case of an ordinary suit box used by stores for packing mens suits, or to only part of the depth of the latters flanges as is illustrated by the conventional shoe box used by stores for packing shoes. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the cover 4 is larger than the base 2 and therefore telescopes over the base 2 as seen in FIG. 7 when thecase is demounted and packed for shipment to a place of reuse. In this embodiment the depths of the flanges on the cover and base are essentially the same.

In assembling the box from its demounted condition in FIG. 7, the cover 4 is removed, exposing the side panels 6 and the corner posts 8. The box can be typically assembled in about a minute by following the succeeding simple procedure. The corner posts are all grasped in one hand with the corresponding end of each corner post uppermost as will be explained hereinafter. The four panels 6 are raised into an upright position still conveniently stacked together with the stack leaning against the workmans body to support the stack and thus with the outermost of the panels touching against the workman. The innermost panel is then swung to the right clockwise as though it were hinged at its edge to the remaining panels. It is swung into right angle juxtaposition with the outermost panel and held in this position by the workmans body. While so held, the contiguous edges of the outermost panel and the panel just rotated are fixed in position by simply slipping down simultaneously over both these panels a corner post. This sets up the first corner with two panels held in position by the corner post. The remaining two panels are swung counter-clockwise to the left until they assume a position at right angles to the original outermost panel. A second corner post is now slid down simultaneously over the adjacent edges of the outermost panel and the outer of the two panels now contiguous to it at its left edge. Finally, the remaining free panel is swung counter-clockwise as though it were hinged to the left panel, the workman in so doing moving around to the opposite side of the case, and the remaining two corner posts are slid down joining this last panel to its two neighbors.

A popular type of case is a square case in which the lengths of all the sides are equal although the depth of the sides may differ from their lengths. To avoid the need for making a choice of the proper panel in assembling such a square case, and thus to reduce the time for assembly and also incidentally simplify the inventory of parts, it is desirable in such a case to make all panel pieces 6 of the same size. Under such circumstances it is necessary in assembling the case to place the corner posts with the proper orientation so that panels of uniform size will be able to form any one of the four sides of a square box. The reason for this is apparent from a study of FIG. 3 or FIG. 11. In the corner shown in FIG. 3, for example, the side panel 6a has one of its edges 32 inserted n the shallow channel 10 while the panel 6!) has its adacent edge 34 inserted in the deep channel 12. In order for the panels to be all uniform, this requires that the edge at the other end of the panel 6a opposite edge 32 must be placed in the deep channel of a corner post and similarly the edge of the panel 612 at the other end of this panel from edge 34 must be placed in the shallow groove of a corner post. This means that the corner posts must be oriented so that the shallow channel of each post faces the deep channel of the corner post located at the opposite adjacent corner of the case. By the same token, the reverse is true: each deep channel of a corner post faces the shallow channel of the corner post located at the adjacent opposite corner. This means that all the corner posts must be oriented with their proper corresponding ends upward when the case is being assembled. To facilitate this orientation it is sometimes convenient to mark the upper end of each post with some identifying indicia.

In FIG. 1 the case is shown exploded for best illustration and therefore does not represent the assembly sequence immediately hereinbefore described. For example, the rightmost corner post in this view is shown as being slid down over the edge of only one side panel whereas, in the convenient assembly procedure just described, it would in fact be simultaneously slid down over the edge of the adjacent side panel, thus forming the comer joint. The exploded view is useful to show the proper orientation of corner posts with the deep channel of each post facing toward the shallow channel of a neighboring post. It should be noted that, in general, all the corner posts will be identical and with properly proportioned parts will fit together so easily with the side panels and base that no end flange 16 will be necessary to facilitate pushing the corner posts down. The rightmost corner post is shown with an end flange I6 merely to illustrate a variation in end post construction.

To retain the case in its assembled open configuration while receiving a load of material for shipment, it is convenient to place a lariat with a slip knot in a generally horizontal plane around the four sides, slipping the knot tight to hold the four sides erect. The case is then loaded fully with material which generally will be sufficiently tight to be exerting pressure outward against the side panels. When the loading is completed, the cover is placed on the case and then retains the corner posts and side panels against displacement so that the lariat is no longer necessary and can be removed. To complete the assembly for shipping, wires, straps or metal bands such as seen at 35 in FIG. 2 are fixed in position. The base now is securely fastened against accidental disassembly and is essentially proof against pilfering without detection. The lips or flanges 28', as seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5 retain the corner posts and side panels against displacement at the bottom. Similarly, the cover 4 as seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4 retains the corner posts and side panels against displacement at the top. Thus assemble-d, the case is stable and will retain a load without the need for any fastenings such as nails, screws, rivets, tonguesand-grooves, or bands such as 36 to hold the various parts together. However, the bands 36 do retain the parts against accidental disassembly and also give evidence by way of a cut or missing band 36 of any attempt at pilfering. By virtue of the feet, shown in FIGS. 2 and 5 as blocks 22, the case is easy to handle with a fork lift. The feet are sufficiently thick to enable the blades of a fork lift to get under the bottom of the pan 18; a thickness of /2 of an inch has been found sufficient, but a thickness of about an inch is preferable. The spacing between blocks is made sufficiently wider than the width of a fork lift blade to admit of easy access of the 'fork lit blades.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 7, the cover is shown as being larger than the base so that it telescopes over the base in the demounted packed condition seen in FIG. 7. When the case is assembled as in FIG. 2, the normal pressure of the load of material within the case urges the corner posts and panels outward against the restraining flanges or lips 2% of the base and corresponding lips or flanges 30 of the cover. The fact that the cover in this embodiment is larger than the base means that under the internal pressure of the load, the corner posts will find themselves further apart from one another at the top of the case under the cover than they do at the base. Since the side panels 6 are cut in the form of rectangles, this means that there will be a larger gap at the top of the case between the edge of each panel and the bottom of the groove of the channel in which it is inserted than is the gap at the base of the case between this edge of the panel and the bottom of the groove of the channel in which it is located. The flanges or sides of each channel are intentionally made sufficiently deep so that even with the varying size gap between the edge of each panel and the bottom of the groove of the channel in which the edge is located, there is at all places sufiicient overlap of the channel flanges against the side panels, that there is no visible gap between a channel and a corner post such as would expose any part of the contained load to view from the exterior of a covered case. In fact, the only place where the gap can be seen is looking down on the top of the corner posts with the cover 4 removed and with the end pieces 16 absent. Typically the shallow groove of a corner post may be about 1 inch deep and the deep groove about 1% inches deep.

The proportioning of the several parts of the case is intentionally made such that there is always a small gap between side panels and the bottom of the groove of each corner post, even at the lower end of each corner post. This gap is visible in FIG. 3 between edge 32 of panel 6a and the bottom of the groove of channel 10 in which is is located. It is also visible in FIG. 3 between the edge 34 of panel 612 and the bottom of the groove of channel 12 in which it is located. Similarly in FIG. 11 this gap is visible between the edges of panels 6 shown in phantom line and the bottoms of the respective grooves on the channels 10 and 12 in which they are located. This g-ap insures a loose enough fit of the parts to make it easy to assemble the case. Typically the gap may be about /8" at the bottom of the corner post and about at the top of the post.

After unloading the case of FIG. 2 at its destination, the demounting of it and collapsing of it into a compact configuration for shipment to a point of reuse is accomplished quite simply. The side panels 6 are laid flat in the pan of the base as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7. The corner posts 8 can, if desired, conveniently be interengaged as best seen in FIGS. 14 and 7 to form a compact unit which often can be stored within the collapsed case as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7. Of course, the configuration of FIG. 14 cannot be achieved with four corner posts using end pieces 16. With such a type of corner post only two can be interengaged. In a popular embodiment of this case the interior dimensions of the assembled case are 43" X 43" X 36". The side panels in such a case are 42 /2" x 36". Thus when these panels are laid down, there remains an unoccupied area of 4-3 x 7" for receiving such items as the corner posts. Additionally, if de sired to reduce the collapsed case to a minimum volume, the blocks 22 (or skids 24, as the case may be) can be removed by simply unscrewing the screws 26 and the feet and screws can also be stored in the collapsed box. If the box proportions do not admit of receiving the feet, these may be shipped separately. If it is desired to retain the collapsed box in its palletized form, the feet are left attached as seen in FIG. 7 and the collapsed cases can then be stacked for shipment to a point of reuse by slmply standing one on top of the other as suggested by the fragmentary phantom line representation in FIG. 7 of a second case standing on the solid line case.

To demonstrate the remarkable reduction in volume from expanded to collapsed configuration achieved by UhlS invention, reference is made to another popular typical model of this invention in the form of a case with pallet-forming feet. This case has interior dimensions of essentially 43 x 43 x 40". The lips on the sheet metal base pan and cover are 1%" deep. The plywood panels forming the sides are 42 /2" X 40" X 6'. The sheet metal corner posts are typically 1" X 1" X 40". When the side panels and corner posts are packed in the base pan and the cover telescoped over the base pan, the gross out side volume is reduced to about 43%" X 43%" x 1% from an outside gross volume in the assembled configuration of about 43%" x 43%" x 40 This represents a reduction in demounted to condition to slightly over 3% of the assembled volume.

In FIG. 9 there is shown a nested assembly of bases of cases such as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. These bases can be used per se as pallets and can readily be nested in a stack in compact configuration as shown in FIG. 9 for shipment to a place of reuse. This feature is accom plished by mounting the feet formed by blocks 22, or

runners 24, as they appear in the alternate embodiment of FIG. 10, so that they are set back from the edges of the pan or tray (as best seen in FIGS. 8 and 10). They are set back sufliciently so that the feet of one pallet will fit down within the pan or tray of the pallet below it as shown in FIG. 9. In order that the entire load of superimposed pallets does not rest on the lip or flange of any pallet beneath, the skids 24 or blocks 22 are made at least as thick as the depth of the lips or flanges 20 so that load is transmitted from them to the flat bottom 18 of the pallet on which they rest.

In FIG. 13 there is shown an embodiment of the shipping case of this invention especially useful for collapsing palletized cases to a compact configuration for reshipment, taking advantage of telescoping base and cover members. In this embodiment the base 38 is similar to the base 2 in FIG. 1 having blocks or runners 40 serving as feet and a tray or pan 42 having a plane or flat bottom piece 44 and lips or flanges 46. In this embodiment the member carrying the feet, in this case the base 38, is made larger than the other member, in this case the cover 48, so that the cover can be turned upside down as shown in FIG. 13 and telescoped or nested Within the member 38. This embodiment is particularly useful where the side panels are made of relatively thin material such as sheet metal, plastic or fiberglass and occupy relatively little space when laid flat as seen at 50. In order to facilitate stacking as shown in FIG. 13, the feet 40 in this construction must be set back from the edge of their respective trays or pans sufficiently so that they will fit within the smaller of the two pans, namely pan 48 as seen in the figure. The corner posts 52 are laid in the usual convenient manner between the skids. By proper sizing of the pans or trays 38 and 43 and proper spacing of the feet 40, the nesting as shown in FIG. 13 can be accomplished with very little room for sliding sideways and there will thus be created a stable stack of nested palletized cases ready for shipment in compact volume back to a point of reuse. By recessing the feet, whether blocks or skids, back from the edge of the base pan only enough to facilitate an easy fit of the feet within the lateral confines of the cover 48, the possibility of a leaning tower or staircase type of stack is avoided. The space between feet is, of course, always sufficient for ready entry of fork lift blades.

Various materials can be used in fabricating the present invention. Typically, the trays or pans may be of metal, conveniently sheet metal, but castings or dieformed if desired. Typically, the corner posts are metal, either sheet metal or castings or extrusions, and the side panels typically are Wood, preferably plywood. However, any or all of the parts can be made of plastic, fiberglass or similar materials. The side panels can also be made of metal if desired. Similarly, metal, plastic or fiberglass can be used for the blocks or skids serving as feet.

Although the illustrated embodiments show cases generally in the form of rectangular parallelepipeds, the principles of the invention can be embodied in containers of other shapes. For example, generally polygonal cases can be fabricated as taught by this invention. In the case of a hexagonal or octagonal container, for example, the channels on a corner post would not be at right angles to one another, but rather at the angle determined by the particular polygon. When the invention is embodied in a cylindrical drum, the panels, of metal for example, forming the walls of the drum, constituting, in effect, side panels, can conveniently be made of say two pieces of sheet metal, each being folded at each of its opposite edges which will adjoin another panel so as to form essentially an open hem. What is, in effect, a corner post for joining two such contiguous hems can then be simply a configuration having two open hems or channels facing generally toward each other and proportioned to simply slip down over the contiguous wall or side panels and lock them in position. The ends, constituting the base and cover, of such a drum-shaped case are simply cylindrical pans or trays which are preferably made to telescope for compact shipment in the manner of the embodiment of FIG. 7.

Throughout this application where mention is made of the top or bottom of a case or of elements extending upward or downward and the like, it is to be understood that these terms of reference are used only for convenience in explaining the construction and use of the invention. Actually the typical shipping case of the invention can he stood on any of its surfaces so that in effect any surface can be the top or the bottom.

There have previously been described various embodiments of the shipping case of this invention using, as the means for joining side panels together, corner posts of various preferred configurations. However, it should be noted that the inventive concept includes the idea of a demountable shipping case including a base in the form of a pan; a cover in the form of a pan telescopically fitting together with the base; side panels and means joining the side panels together at their adjacent edges with the openended container thus formed dimensioned to fit within the lateral confines of the base and cover; and the dimensions of the several parts being so proportioned that the cover and base telescoped together form a container which can contain the panels and the panel-joining means in a volume very small compared to the volume of the assembled case.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A demountable shipping case comprising a base generally in the form of a pan having a generally flat bottom and a lip extending upward from said flat bottom generally around the periphery thereof;

a cover in the form of a pan, generally similar to said base, having a flat top and a lip extending downward from said flat top generally around the periphery thereof, said cover being sufiiciently diiferent in size from said base to facilitate an easy telescopic fit between the two;

side panels, unconnected to said base normally both when said case is in assembled configuration and when said case is demounted; and

corner posts for insertion within the corners of said base and said cover, each having two channels, one of said channels oriented to receive the edge of a side panel and the other of said channels being oriented to receive the corresponding end of a side panel adjacent to said end of said first-mentioned panel when said case is assembled;

the length of each panel being sufiiciently shorter than the distance between the bottoms of the two corner-post channels receiving, respectively, the opposite ends of the panel, when the corner posts are retained within the corners of the base, that the panel slips easily into said two channels, the depth of the sides of both said channels being sufiicient to prevent any gap, which would expose to access from the exterior the contents of the case, at the corners between the side panels and the corner posts when the case is assembled with the cover in position;

said cover and said base retaining said case in assembled configuration without the need for fastenings between contiguous parts.

2. A demountable shipping case comprising a base including pan having a generally flat bottom and an upstanding lip extending generally around the periphery of the bottom;

a cover comprised of a pan having a generally flat top the adjoining end of a second of said side panels with a lip extending generally around the periphery to form a joint between said side panels; and thereof; a cover comprised of a pan having a generally flat top said cover and said base being so proportioned with a lip extending generally around the periphery relative to one another as to fit together telethereof, said cover being adapted to encompass the scopically; ends of said corner posts to retain said corner posts side panels, each essentially in the :form of a flat sheet, against displacement and being sufiiciently different unconnected to said base and to each other normally in size from the pan of said base as to be able to fit both when said case is in assembled configuration telescopically therewith. and when said case is demounted; 4. The demountable shipping case of claim 3 wherein means for joining the side panels together at their adthe parts are so proportioned that the cover and base telejacent edges to form an open-ended container, the scoped together contain the remaining parts in demonnted dimensions of said container being s ch as to fit container of gross volume about 3% of the gross volume within the lateral confines of said base pan and said f h case i bled configuration,

cover; all said parts being so proportioned that said cover References Cited by the Examiner and base telesooped together form a container which can contain the panels and panel-joining means in a UNITED ST ATES PATENTS volume very small compared to the volume of the 1,723,307 8/1929 p assembled case. 1,814,252 7/1931 Leary 108-53 3. A demountable shipping case comprising 2,888,221 5/ 1959 Connelly 108-56 a base including a pan having a generally flat bottom and an upstanding lip extending generally around the FOREIGN A ENTS rerlphery of the bottom; 115,138 5/1942 Australia. side panels, unconnected to sa1d base normally both 513,132 2/1921 Rama when said case is in assembled configuration and 831,307 8/1938 Franca w sa1d l gemountgdi b d 757,924 9/1956 Great Britain. corner posts a ap e to stan wt in sa1d ase retaine 554,255 1/1957 Italy by said lip against outward displacement, each of said corner posts being provided with a first groove to THERON E CONDON Primary Examiner. receive an end of one of said side panels and also being provided with a second groove to receive LOWRANCE, Assistant Examiner-

Claims (1)

1. A DEMOUNTABLE SHIPPING CASE COMPRISING A BASE GENERALLY IN THE FORM OF A PAN HAVING A GENERALLY FLAT BOTTOM AND A LIP EXTENDING UPWARD FROM SAID FLAT BOTTOM GENERALLY AROUND THE PERIPHERY THEREOF; A COVER IN THE FORM A PAN, GENERALLY SIMILAR TO SAID BASE, HAVING A FLAT TOP AND A LIP EXTENDING DOWNWARD FROM SAID FLAT TOP GENERALLY AROUND THE PERIPHERY THEREOF, SAID COVER BEING SUFFICIENTLY DIFFERENT IN SIZE FROM SAID BASE TO FACILITATE AN EASY TELESCOPIC FIT BETWEEN THE TWO; SIDE PANELS, UNCONNECTED TO SAID BASE NORMALLY BOTH WHEN SAID CASE IS IN ASSEMBLED CONFIGURATION AND WHEN SAID CASE IS DEMOUNTED; AND CORNER POSTS FOR INSERTION WITHIN THE CORNERS OF SAID BASE AND SAID COVER, EACH HAVING TWO CHANNELS, ONE OF SAID CHANNELS ORIENTED TO RECEIVE THE EDGE OF A SIDE PANEL AND THE OTHER OF SAID CHANNELS BEING ORIENTED TO RECEIVE THE CORRESPONDING END OF A SIDE PANEL ADJACENT TO SAID END OF SAID FIRST-MENTIONED PANEL WHEN SAID CASE IS ASSEMBLED; THE LENGTH OF EACH PANEL BEING SUFFICIENTLY SHORTER THAN THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE BOTTOMS OF THE TWO CORNER-POST CHANNELS RECEIVING, RESPECTIVELY, THE OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE PANEL, WHEN THE CORNER POSTS ARE RETAINED WITHIN THE CORNERS OF THE BASE, THAT THE PANEL SLIPS EASILY INTO SAID TWO CHANNELS, THE DEPTH OF THE SIDES OF BOTH SAID CHANNELS BEING SUFFICIENT TO PREVENT ANY GAP, WHICH WOULD EXPOSED TO ACCESS FROM THE EXTERIOR THE CONTENTS OF THE CASE, AT THE CORNERS BETWEEN THE SIDE PANELS AND THE CORNER POSTS WHEN THE CASE IS ASSEMBLED WITH THE COVER IN POSITION; SAID COVER AND SAID BASE RETAINING SAID CASE IN ASSEMBLED CONFIGURATION WITHOUT THE NEED FOR FASTENINGS BETWEEN CONTIGUOUS PARTS.
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