Title:
Cushioning insert for packages
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved package insert, made from folded panelboard or cardboard, provides reduced risk of damage to various goods during shipping, while being inexpensive to manufacture.



Inventors:
Ragsdale, Randall W. (Moon Township, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/078895
Publication Date:
08/21/2003
Filing Date:
02/19/2002
Assignee:
Eaton Corporation (Cleveland, OH)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D5/50; B65D85/68; (IPC1-7): B65D81/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIDEI, DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cutler-Hammer Products (Technology and Quality Center 170 Industry Drive RIDC Park West, Pittsburgh, PA, 15275, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A cushioning insert for shipping containers, said cushioning insert comprising: a semirigid panel having a plurality of folds, said folds defining: a rectangular first end portion; a second end portion having two panel layers; an outside edge defined between said first end portion and said second end portion; and a central portion inwardly spaced from said outside edge.

2. The cushioning insert according to claim 1, wherein said insert is made from corrugated panelboard.

3. The cushioning insert according to claim 1, wherein said rectangular first end portion defines a cavity dimensioned and configured to receive additional cushioning material.

4. The cushioning insert according to claim 1, wherein said central portion, first end portion, and second end portion define a recess dimensioned and configured to receive additional cushioning material between said central portion and said outside edge.

5. A method of protecting contents of a package during shipping, the package having a pair of sides, said method comprising: providing a pair of semi-rigid panels; folding each of said semi-rigid panels to define: a rectangular first end portion; a second end portion having two panel layers; an outside edge defined between said first end portion and said second end portion; and a central portion inwardly spaced from said outside edge. and inserting each of said semi-rigid panels between one of said package's sides and said contents.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to packaging. More specifically, the invention relates to folded panel packaging inserts designed to provide cushioning to goods during shipment.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Electronic components being shipped from one location to another can potentially be damaged when components are stacked on top of each other, accidentally dropped, or otherwise roughly handled during transportation. Various forms of cushioning these components within their shipping containers have been proposed.

[0005] There is a need for a packaging insert providing superior strength to resist being crushed when packages are stacked or dropped, and that is less expensive to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention provides an improved packaging insert for providing cushioning for the packaged components. The insert is particularly useful for protecting electronic components during shipment, although not limited to such use.

[0007] A packaging insert of the present invention is made from inexpensive, semi-rigid material, for example, corrugated panelboard or cardboard. The panelboard is folded to provide a rectangular first end portion, an elongated central portion, and a second end portion. The second end portion and rectangular first end portion are dimensioned and configured to maintain a spaced relationship between the central portion and the side of the packaging container. Additionally, the rectangular first end portion is dimensioned and configured to provide a spaced relationship between the packaged contents and the side of the package.

[0008] A packaging insert of the present invention will typically be used in pairs, with one insert located on each end of a package. Additional filler material may optionally be used within the rectangular first end portion of the insert, or between the insert's central portion and the end of the container. Alternatively, additional goods may be packaged within the space between the main goods to be packaged and the side and/or ends of the container. The various folds within the insert provide strength, preventing the insert from being crushed if one package is stacked on top of another. Additionally, the gaps between the packages' containers and the sides and ends of the package resist damage to the package's contents if the package is dropped.

[0009] These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent through the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a top view of a cushioning insert according to the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a front view of a panelboard or cardboard section, showing the locations wherein it must be folded to form an insert of the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 3 is an exploded top isometric view of a package and the electronic components therein, illustrating the use of the inserts of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a top isometric view of a packaged electronic components utilizing a pair of cushioning inserts of the present invention to provide the necessary cushioning.

[0014] Like reference numbers denote like elements throughout the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] The present invention provides an improved packaging insert for providing cushioning for packaged components, such as electronic devices.

[0016] FIG. 1 illustrates a cushioning insert 10 according to the present invention. The cushioning insert 10 includes a first end portion 12, having a rectangular configuration. The illustrated example includes a first inside layer 14, an inner side 16, a base 18, an outer side 20, and a second inside layer 22. The first and second inside layers 14, 22, sides 16, 20, and base 18 define an end cavity 24, dimensioned and configured to receive additional cushioning material.

[0017] At the opposite end of the cushioning insert 10, a second end 26 is formed from an outside end 28, and an inside end 30. A central portion 32 extends between the first end portion 12 and second end portion 26. The tip 34 of the outside end layer 28 and outer side 20 of the first end portion 12 define an outside edge 35. The central portion 32 is inwardly spaced from the outer edge 35, thereby defining a central open area 36 between the outside end layer 28, central portion 32, and second inside layer 22 of the first end portion 12. The central open area 36, like the end cavity 24, is dimensioned and configured to receive additional cushioning material.

[0018] Referring to FIG. 2, a semi-rigid panel 38 from which a cushioning insert 10 may be made is illustrated. The semi rigid panel 38 may be any suitable semi rigid material, for example, corrugated panelboard. The semi rigid panel 38 is folded at the appropriate locations to form the cushioning insert 10. Specifically, folding the panel 38 at the fold location 40 brings the outside end layer 28 adjacent to the inside end layer 30. Folding the panel 38 at the location 42 defines the second end of the central portion 32, and positions the second end portion 26 substantially perpendicular to the central portion 32. Folding the panel 38 at the fold location 44 defines the first end of the central portion 32, and brings the first inside layer 14 of the first end portion 12 substantially perpendicular with the central portion 32. Folding the panel 38 at the fold location 46 brings the inner side 16 substantially perpendicular to the first inside layer 14. Folding the panel 38 at the fold location 48 brings the base 18 substantially perpendicular to the inner side 16. Folding the panel 38 at the fold location 50 brings the outer side 20 perpendicular to the base 18. Lastly, folding the panel 38 at the fold location 52 brings the second inside layer 22 perpendicular to the outer side 20, and substantially parallel and adjacent to the first inside layer 14.

[0019] A pair of cushioning inserts 10 will typically be utilized to protect electronic components within their packaging during shipment. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, a typical packaging arrangement is illustrated. An electronic component 54 will be packaged within a shipping box 56 having a first end 58, a second end 60, a first side 62, and a second side 64. A pair of cushioning inserts 10 will be utilized, with one cushioning insert 10 sitting between the electronic component 54 and first end 58, and the second cushioning insert 10 fitting between the electronic component 54 and second end 60. The central portion 32 of each cushioning insert 10 will be positioned between the electronic component 54 and ends 58, 60. The first end portion 12 of each cushioning insert 10 will be positioned between the electronic component 54 and the second side 64 of the box 56. The second end 26 of the cushioning inserts 10 will be positioned between the electronic component 54 and the first side 62 of the box 56. Additional electronic components 66, 68 may be positioned between the first end portions 12 of the cushioning inserts 10. Additional cushioning materials 70 may, if desired, be placed within the central open area 36, and additional cushioning material 72 may, if desired, be placed within the cavities 24.

[0020] When the electronic components 54, 66, and 68 are packaged in this manner, the components, particularly the component 54, are protected from impacts to the box 56 from the ends 58, 60, and from the second side 64. The components 54, 66, 68 are protected to a lesser degree from impacts on the first side 62 of the box 56. The folds 40-52 add rigidity to the cushioning inserts 10 in the direction or arrow A, thereby preventing the cushioning inserts 10 from being crushed when boxes 56 are stacked on top of each other.

[0021] While a specific embodiment of the invention has been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof.





 
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