Title:
Disk package and disk packaging method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A set of disks sandwiched between first and second hard plates are stacked with a plurality of spacers interleaved therethrough. A disk transport pole is inserted through openings of the disks and the first and second hard plates. A packaging material is provided to cover at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate. First and second stoppers provided at both ends of the disk transport pole serves to hold and fasten the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate. At least one of the first and second stoppers is detachable.



Inventors:
Ozaki, Hiroshi (Odawara, JP)
Ose, Takayoshi (Odawara, JP)
Application Number:
11/255933
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
10/24/2005
Assignee:
FUJI PHOTO FILM CO., LTD.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/303, 206/307.1, 206/308.1, G9B/33.015, G9B/33.02
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUGHRUE MION, PLLC (2000 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, N.W. SUITE 900, WASHINGTON, DC, 20006, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disk package comprising: a disk transport pole having a first end and a second end, the first end having a first stopper; a first hard plate having an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be inserted therethrough from the second end; a second hard plate having an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be inserted therethrough from the second end; a set of disks each having a central opening allowing the disk transport pole to be inserted therethrough from the second end, the set of disks being stacked and sandwiched between the first hard plate and the second hard plate; a plurality of spacers each interleaved between the first hard plate and the set of disks, between adjacent disks, and between the set of disks and the second hard plate; a second stopper detachably attached to the second end of the disk transport pole, wherein the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate, with the plurality of spacers interleaved therebetween are held between the first stopper and the second stopper; and a packaging material that covers at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate.

2. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein a distance between the first stopper of the disk transport pole and the second stopper as attached is slightly shorter than a total height of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers interleaved therebetween as stacked.

3. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein two major surfaces of each of the first hard plate and the second hard plate have a shape identical with and dimensions equal to those of the disks; and wherein at least one of the first hard plate and the second hard plate is thicker than each disk.

4. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of spacers comprise a circular plate having an opening.

5. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the packaging material comprises a flexible plastic film.

6. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the packaging material comprises a cylindrical case having a predetermined rigidity.

7. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the set of disks comprise an optical disk recording medium.

8. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the set of disks comprise a magnetic disk recording medium.

9. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the disk transport pole comprises a columnar body having a first end and a second end, and the first stopper formed monolithically at the first end, the second end having an internal thread formed therein; and wherein the second stopper has an external thread formed thereon, the external thread being engageable with the internal thread of the second end of the columnar body of the disk transport pole.

10. A disk package according to claim 1, wherein the disk transport pole comprises a columnar body having a first end and a second end, and the first stopper formed monolithically at the first end; and wherein the openings of the first and second hard plate and the central openings of the disks have a shape substantially identical with and dimensions substantially equal to those in cross section of the columnar body.

11. A disk package comprising: a columnar disk transport pole having a first end and a second end; a first hard plate having an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be removably inserted therethrough; a second hard plate having an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be removably inserted therethrough; a set of disks each having a central opening allowing the disk transport pole to be removably inserted therethrough, the set of disks being stacked and sandwiched between the first hard plate and the second hard plate; a plurality of spacers each interleaved between adjacent disks; a first stopper attached to the first end of the disk transport pole, a second stopper attached to the second end of the disk transport pole, wherein the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate, with the plurality of spacers interleaved therebetween are held between the first stopper and the second stopper, and wherein the at least one of the first and second stoppers is detachable; and a packaging material that covers at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate.

12. A disk package according to claim 11, further comprising: a spacer for the first hard plate, provided between the first hard plate and the set of disks; and a spacer for the second hard plate, provided between the second hard plate and the set of disks.

13. A disk package according to claim 11, wherein two major surfaces of each of the first hard plate and the second hard plate have a shape identical with and dimensions equal to those of the disks; and wherein the first and second hard plates each have a thick portion in a position, on one of the two major surfaces opposite to the set of the disks, corresponding to a position where the plurality of spacers are aligned with each other.

14. A disk packaging method comprising: providing a first pole standing upright on a base and attaching a second pole to an end of the first pole to form a disk stacking pole; placing a first hard plate over the base of the disk stacking pole by inserting the disk stacking pole through an opening formed in the first hard plate; stacking a set of disks by inserting the disk stacking pole having the first hard plate placed over the base through an opening formed in each disk, while placing a plurality of spacers each between adjacent disks; placing a second hard plate over the set of disks stacked, by inserting the disk stacking pole through an opening formed in the second hard plate; covering with a packaging material at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate; removing the second pole from the first pole, and attaching a disk transport pole to the end of the first pole, wherein the disk transport pole has a first end and a second end, the first end having a first stopper, and the second end being detachably attachable to the end of the first pole; moving the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers placed therebetween from the first pole to the disk transport pole; removing the first pole from the disk transport pole; and attaching a second stopper to the second end of the disk transport pole to hold and fasten the first and second hard plate, the set of disks, and the plurality of spacers together, between the first stopper and the second stopper.

15. A disk packaging method according to claim 14, further comprising: prior to placing the first hard plate, placing an underplate smaller than the first hard plate over the base of the disk stacking pole by inserting the disk stacking pole through an opening formed in the underplate, to form a clearance between the base and the first hard plate.

16. A disk packaging method according to claim 14, further comprising: after placing the first hard plate and before stacking the set of disks, placing a spacer for the first plate over the first hard plate; and after stacking the set of disks and before placing the second hard plate, placing a spacer for the second plate over the set of disks stacked.

17. A disk packaging method according to claim 14, wherein the moving of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers placed therebetween comprises turning upside down the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers placed therebetween, together with the first pole and the disk transport pole.

18. A disk packaging method according to claim 14, wherein the attaching of the second stopper comprises screwing an external thread formed on the second stopper onto an internal thread formed in the second end of the disk transport pole, to compress the plurality of spacers.

19. A disk packaging method according to claim 14, wherein the covering with a packaging material comprises wrapping with a flexible plastic film.

20. A disk packaging method according to claim 14, wherein the covering with a packaging material comprises putting into a cylindrical case having a predetermined rigidity.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to packaging of a plurality of disks, and more particularly to a disk package and a disk packaging method, which offer improved handleability in transport and storage of disklike recording media of various kinds, such as optical disks and magnetic disks, by binding a plurality of stacked disks in compact packages.

Packaging of stacked disks in compact packages provides the convenience in handling the disks, for example when the disks manufactured in a factory are transported for shipment or stored in a warehouse. Typically, the disks are stacked and put in a dedicated cylindrical case (as disclosed in JP 2003-217182 A; see paragraph 0007, FIG. 1), or the disks are stacked and wrapped in stretch film around the peripheries of the stacked disks (as disclosed in JP 2000-289792 A; see paragraph 0017-0018, FIG. 4).

However, the packaging method of JP 2003-217182 A is disadvantageous in that a stack pole is employed as a stacking jig to stack the disks and thus an extra step of moving the stacked disks from the stack pole to a dedicated case is required in manufacture of disk packages; moreover, the dedicated case would be costly, and the resulting disk packages would adversely affect the transport efficiency.

The packaging method of JP 2000-289792 A may be relatively advantageous in that film is wrapped around the peripheries of stacked disks without removing the stack pole from the disk package (i.e., good use is made of the stack pole), and work efficiency is improved; however, the resulting disk packages disadvantageously would not be strong against axial loads applied from directions perpendicular to the major surfaces of the disks, and could be subject to interference of adjacent disks. Further, disks to be packaged may be of such a type as having a structure with no stack rib, in which case spacers have to be inserted between the disks during stacking of the disks so as to prevent the adjacent disks from rubbing against each other. This disadvantageously requires extra steps in manufacture of a disk package, such as insertion of a support column into a center hole of the stacked disks as a means of prevention of undesirable dislocation of the spacers.

Thus, it would be desirable to provide a disk package and disk packaging method, by which a number of stacked disks are transported in packages capable of bearing axial loads applied from directions perpendicular to the major surfaces of the disks, while a stacking jig for use in manufacture of disk packages can be utilized. With this in view, the present invention has been created.

Illustrative, non-limiting embodiments of the present invention overcome the above disadvantages and other disadvantages not described above. Also, the present invention is not required to overcome the disadvantages described above, and an illustrative, non-limiting embodiment of the present invention may not overcome any of the problems described above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an aspect of the present invention to provide a disk package including: a disk transport pole having a first end and a second end, which first end has a first stopper; a first hard plate; a second hard plate; a set of disks; a plurality of spacers; a second stopper; and a packaging material. The first hard plate has an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be inserted therethrough from the second end. The second hard plate has an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be inserted therethrough from the second end. The set of disks each has a central opening allowing the disk transport pole to be inserted therethrough from the second end, and the set of disks is stacked and sandwiched between the first hard plate and the second hard plate. The plurality of spacers are each interleaved between the first hard plate and the set of disks, between adjacent disks, and between the set of disks and the second hard plate. The second stopper is detachably attached to the second end of the disk transport pole. The first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate, with the plurality of spacers interleaved therebetween are held between the first stopper and the second stopper. The packaging material covers at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate.

In this construction, the first stopper, the first hard plate, the disks, the second hard plate and the second stopper may be arranged in this sequence from the first end to the second end of the disk transport pole. Thus, the set of disks stacked with the spacers interleaved therebetween can be held between the first hard plate and the second hard plate. Accordingly, even if loads are applied to the disks in the axial directions of the disk transport pole, such loads can be received by the first and second hard plates, and thus the potential for warp and deformation of the disks can be eliminated. The first and second hard plates may include plates with a rigidity higher than those of the disks.

In the disk package constructed as described above, a distance between the first stopper of the disk transport pole and the second stopper as attached may preferably but not necessarily be slightly shorter than a total height of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers interleaved therebetween as stacked. Two major surfaces of each of the first hard plate and the second hard plate may preferably but not necessarily have a shape identical with and dimensions equal to those of the disks. At least one of the first hard plate and the second hard plate may preferably but not necessarily be thicker than each disk. The plurality of spacers may preferably but not necessarily include a circular plate having an opening. The packaging material may preferably but not necessarily include a flexible plastic film, or a cylindrical case having a predetermined rigidity. The set of disks may include an optical disk recording medium or a magnetic disk recording medium.

The disk transport pole may preferably but not necessarily include a columnar body having a first end and a second end, with the first stopper formed monolithically at the first end. Moreover, preferably but not necessarily, the second end may have an internal thread formed therein, and the second stopper may have an external thread formed thereon, which external thread is engageable with the internal thread of the second end of the columnar body of the disk transport pole. Alternatively or additionally, the openings of the first and second hard plate and the central openings of the disks may have a shape substantially identical with and dimensions substantially equal to those in cross section of the columnar body.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a disk package including a columnar disk transport pole having a first end and a second end, a first hard plate, a second hard plate, a set of disks, a plurality of spacers, a first stopper, a second stopper and a packaging material. The first hard plate has an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be removably inserted therethrough. The second hard plate has an opening allowing the disk transport pole to be removably inserted therethrough. The set of disks each having a central opening allowing the disk transport pole to be removably inserted therethrough are stacked and sandwiched between the first hard plate and the second hard plate. The plurality of spacers are each interleaved between adjacent disks. The first stopper is attached to the first end of the disk transport pole, the second stopper is attached to the second end of the disk transport pole. The first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate, with the plurality of spacers interleaved therebetween are held between the first stopper and the second stopper. The at least one of the first and second stoppers is detachable. The packaging material covers at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate.

Preferably but not necessarily, the disk package of this construction may further include: a spacer for the first hard plate, provided between the first hard plate and the set of disks; and a spacer for the second hard plate, provided between the second hard plate and the set of disks. Similarly, two major surfaces of each of the first hard plate and the second hard plate may have a shape identical with and dimensions equal to those of the disks, and the first and second hard plates may each have a thick portion in a position, on one of the two major surfaces opposite to the set of the disks, corresponding to a position where the plurality of spacers are aligned with each other. In this construction, the thick portion may serve as an integrally formed spacer between the first hard plate and the set of disks or between the second hard plate and the set of disks.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a disk packaging method, which includes: providing a first pole standing upright on a base and attaching a second pole to an end of the first pole to form a disk stacking pole; placing a first hard plate over the base of the disk stacking pole by inserting the disk stacking pole through an opening formed in the first hard plate; stacking a set of disks by inserting the disk stacking pole having the first hard plate placed over the base through an opening formed in each disk, while placing a plurality of spacers each between adjacent disks; placing a second hard plate over the set of disks stacked, by inserting the disk stacking pole through an opening formed in the second hard plate; covering with a packaging material at least a portion around peripheries of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate; removing the second pole from the first pole, and attaching a disk transport pole to the end of the first pole, wherein the disk transport pole has a first end and a second end, the first end having a first stopper, and the second end being detachably attachable to the end of the first pole; moving the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers placed therebetween from the first pole to the disk transport pole; removing the first pole from the disk transport pole; and attaching a second stopper to the second end of the disk transport pole to hold and fasten the first and second hard plate, the set of disks, and the plurality of spacers together, between the first stopper and the second stopper.

In this process arrangement, the first hard plate, the disks and the second hard plate as stacked on the disk stacking pole can be moved to the disk transport pole, and these first hard plate, disks and second hard plate can be held and fastened between the first stopper and the second stopper. Accordingly, even if loads are applied to the disks in the axial directions of the disk transport pole, such loads can be received by the first and second hard plates, and thus the potential for warp and deformation of the disks can be eliminated.

Preferably but not necessarily, the disk packaging method as described above may further includes: prior to placing the first hard plate, placing an underplate smaller than the first hard plate over the base of the disk stacking pole by inserting the disk stacking pole through an opening formed in the underplate, to form a clearance between the base and the first hard plate. Alternatively, or additionally, the disk packaging method may further includes: after placing the first hard plate and before stacking the set of disks, placing a spacer for the first plate over the first hard plate; and after stacking the set of disks and before placing the second hard plate, placing a spacer for the second plate over the set of disks stacked. Alternatively and additionally, the moving of the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers placed therebetween may include turning upside down the first hard plate, the set of disks, and the second hard plate with the plurality of spacers placed therebetween, together with the first pole and the disk transport pole. Alternatively or additionally, the attaching of the second stopper may include screwing an external thread formed on the second stopper onto an internal thread formed in the second end of the disk transport pole, to compress the plurality of spacers. Alternatively or additionally, the covering with a packaging material may include wrapping with a flexible plastic film or putting into a cylindrical case having a predetermined rigidity.

According to the several aspects of the present invention as described above, a number of stacked disks can be transported in packages capable of bearing axial loads applied from directions perpendicular to the major surfaces of the disks, while a stacking jig for use in manufacture of disk packages can be utilized, so that work efficiency can be improved.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above aspects, other advantages and further features of the present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail illustrative, non-limiting embodiments thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a disk package according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of assembling a disk stacking pole;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of sequentially inserting a hard plate, disks and other components into the disk stacking pole;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of stacking the disks using the disk stacking pole;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of wrapping peripheries of the stacked disks;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of replacing a second pole with a disk transport pole;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of attaching the disk transport pole to a first pole;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of moving first and second hard plates, disks and other components as wrapped to the disk transport pole;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view for illustrating the steps of removing the disk transport pole from the first pole and attaching a second stopper instead, while the stacked components with the disk transport pole are turned upside down; and

FIG. 11 is a perspective view for illustrating the step of turning the disk package upside down.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

A detailed description will be given of exemplary embodiments of the present invention with reference made to the drawings where appropriate.

In one embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a disk package 1 includes a disk transport pole 10, a first hard plate 20, a set of disks 30, a second hard plate 40, a plurality of spacers 50, and a wrapping film (packaging material) 60.

The disk transport pole 10 includes a pole body 10A which is a long slender column made of metal or other materials. The pole body (columnar body) 10A has a first end and a second end, whereas monolithically formed at the first end (upper end in FIG. 2) is a substantially disklike first stopper 10B, and the second end (lower end in FIG. 2) has an internal thread 10D formed therein. A second stopper 10C is detachably attached to the second end of the pole body 10A with an external thread 10E formed on the second stopper 10C screwed in the internal thread 10D of the second end of the pole body 10A. As shown in FIG. 10, the length L of the disk transport pole 10 (as measured by a distance of the pole body 10A between the first stopper 10B and the second stopper 10C as attached) is slightly shorter than the total height of the first hard plate 20, the set of disks 30, the second hard plate 40 with the plurality of spacers 50 interleaved therebetween (see also FIG. 4) as stacked. Therefore, as will be described later in detail, when the second stopper 10C is screwed in and attached to the pole body 10A, the first hard plate 20, the set of disks 30, the second hard plate 40 with the plurality of spacers 50 interleaved therebetween are held vertically (i.e., in its axial directions) and fastened between the first stopper 10B and the second stopper 10C. As a result, the first hard plate 20, the set of disks 30, the second hard plate 40 with the plurality of spacers 50 interleaved therebetween are firmly fastened so that the plurality of spacers are compressed to some extent.

In this embodiment, the first hard plate 20 is a disklike member formed of a material having a sufficient rigidity, such as an aluminum alloy, and a steel material, and the first hard plate 20 is thicker than each disk 30 to thereby enhance the rigidity. In the center of the first hard plate 20 is formed a round opening, that is, an opening 20A, of which a diameter is substantially equal to an outer diameter (diameter in cross section) of the pole body 10A. Further, in this embodiment, an outer diameter of this disklike first hard plate 20 is substantially the same as that of each disk 30. The second hard plate 40 is provided in the present embodiment as having the same shape and dimensions as the first hard plate 20. The first and second hard plates 20, 40 are provided at both (top and bottom) sides of the resulting disk package 1 adjacent to the first and second ends of the pole body 10A and sandwich the set of stacked disks 30 from the top and bottom sides. Accordingly, the first and second hard plates 20, 40 serve to receive the loads, which would be applied in axial directions (as indicated by arrows F, F′ in FIG. 2) during transportation of the disk package 1, thereby preventing interference of adjacent disks 30.

Each disk 30 is, for example, configured as a recording medium such as an optical disk, and has a round opening 30A formed in the center of its major surfaces. The diameter of the opening 30A is substantially equal to the outer diameter (diameter in cross section) of the pole body 10A. The set of disks 30 are stacked with the plurality of spacers 50 interleaved therebetween with the pole body 10A inserted through the opening 30A.

The plurality of spacers 50, in this embodiment, include a circular plate having an opening 50A which is formed of a plastic material or the like. The diameter of the opening 50A is substantially equal to the outer diameter (diameter in cross section) of the pole body 10A. Further, in this embodiment, an outer diameter of these circular spacers 50 is one third to one fourth as large as that of each disk 30. Each spacer 50 is interleaved between the first hard plate 20 and the set of disks 30, between adjacent disks 30, and between the set of disks 30 and the second hard plate 40. Accordingly, the plurality of spacers 50 serve to prevent interference between the first hard plate 20 and the set of disks 30, between adjacent disks 30, and between the set of disks 30 and the second hard plate 40, during transportation of the disk package 1 or on other occasions.

The wrapping film 60 is made of a flexible plastic film, and is wrapped around peripheries of the first hard plate 20, the set of disks 30 and the second hard plate 40. Accordingly, the wrapping film 60 serves to prevent the disks 30 from being nicked during transportation of the disk package 1 or on other occasions.

Next a description will be given of a disk packaging method for packaging a plurality of disks 30 according to one exemplary embodiment.

First, as shown in FIG. 3, an underplate 72 shaped like an annular plate is placed on a disklike base 71 by inserting a first pole 73A standing upright on the base 71 through an opening formed in the underplate 72, and then an internal thread (not shown but similar to an internal thread 10D of disk transport pole 10; see FIG. 10) formed at a lower end (in FIG. 3) of a second pole 73B is screwed on an external thread 73C formed at an upper end (in FIG. 3) of the first pole 73A, with the result that a disk stacking pole 70 is assembled. Hereupon, the upper end of the first pole 73A is referred to simply as “an end of the first pole” in defining the present invention as claimed. The underplate 72 is provided to form a clearance between the base 71 and a first hard plate 20 that is next to be placed on the base 71, and this clearance is designed to allow fingers of an operator to come under the first hard plate 20 so as to facilitate handling of first and second hard plates 20, 40 and a set of disks 30 as stacked and wrapped when the operator is to lift them from the first pole 73A toward a disk transport pole 10 at a later stage that will be described below.

Next, as shown in FIG. 4, the disk stacking pole 70 is inserted into an opening 20A (see FIG. 2) of the first hard plate 20, openings 50A of the spacers 50, and openings 30A of the disks 30 in a predetermined sequence, from the upper end of the disk stacking pole 70. Eventually, as shown in FIG. 5, a set of disks 30 are stacked with the spacers 50 interleaved therebetween, on the disk stacking pole 70, and a second hard plate 20 is placed over the set of stacked disks 30 by inserting the disk stacking pole 70 through an opening 40A formed in the second hard plate 20.

Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 6, the peripheries of the first and second hard plates 20, 40, and the set of disks 30 are wrapped with a wrapping film 60.

Then, the second pole 73B is detached from the first pole 73A and removed from the disk stacking pole 70, as shown in FIG. 7, and a disk transport pole 10 is attached to the first pole 73A by screwing an internal thread 10D (see FIG. 2) formed in a lower end (second end) of the disk transport pole 10 onto an external thread 73C (see FIG. 7) of the first pole 73A, as shown in FIG. 8. Next, as shown in FIG. 9, the first and second hard plates 20, 40 and the set of disks 30 are lifted and moved from the first pole 73A to the disk transport pole 10. Then, as shown in FIG. 10, the disk package 1 is turned upside down, the first pole 73A is removed from the disk transport pole 10, and a second stopper 10C is attached to an upper end (second end) of the disk transport pole 10, whereby the first hard plate 20, the set of disks 30 and the second hard plate 40 with the plurality of spacers 50 interleaved therebetween are held in vertical (axial) directions and fastened between the first stopper 10B and the second stopper 10C. Finally, as shown in FIG. 11, the disk package 1 is turned upside down again and the process comes to an end.

According to the embodiments as described above, the first stopper 10B, the first hard plate 20, the set of disks 30, the second hard plate 40, and the second stopper 10C are arranged in this sequence from the first end to the second end of the disk transport pole 10, and thus a stack of disks 30 stacked with spacers 50 interleaved between adjacent disks 30 can be held from both sides between the first hard plate 20 and the second hard plate 40. This construction allows the first and second hard plates 20, 40 to receive the axial loads that would be applied to the disk package 1 in directions (indicated by arrows F, F′ of FIG. 2) of the axis of the disk transport pole 10, thus minimize the possibilities of warping and deforming the disks 30.

Therefore, according to the above-described embodiments, when a plurality of disks 30 are separated into sets each including a predetermined number of disks 30 and each set of disks 30 are stacked to form a package and transported in a disk package 1, thanks to the first and second hard plates 20, 40, the disk package 1 can bear axial loads applied from directions perpendicular to the major surfaces of the disks 30, while a stacking jig (base 71, disk stacking pole 70, etc.) used to manufacture the disk package 1 can be utilized, whereby the work efficiency can be improved.

It is contemplated that numerous modifications may be made to the exemplary embodiments of the invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the embodiments of the present invention as defined in the following claims.

For example, of the two stoppers 10B, 10C for the disk transport pole 10, the second stopper 10C alone is configured as a detachable member in the embodiments described above, but the present invention is not limited to these exemplary embodiments; the first stopper 10C may alternatively be detachably attached to the disk transport pole 10 rather than monolithically formed at the first end of the disk transport pole 10.

Notwithstanding the packaging material is exemplified by the wrapping film 60 in the above embodiments, the present invention is not limited thereto; rather, the packaging material may include a cylindrical case having a predetermined rigidity.

Moreover, the second hard plate 40 is described as a member having the same shape and dimensions as the first hard plate 20; however, the second hard plate 40 may be configured otherwise as long as the plate 40 can exert a desired rigidity that is sufficient to protect the disks 30 from the axial loads. The spacers 50 are provided not only between adjacent disks 30 but also between the first hard plate 20 and the set of disks 30 and between the set of disks 30 and the second hard plate 40 in the exemplary embodiments described above; the functions of spacers 50 provided between the first hard plate 20 and the set of disks 30 and between the set of disks 30 and the second hard plate 40 may be substituted for example by a specific setup of the first and second hard plates 20, 40 which each have a thick portion in a position, on one of the two major surfaces opposite to the set of the disks 30, corresponding to a position where the plurality of spacers 50 are aligned with each other. This makes it possible to omit one or two steps of placing a spacer, advantageously reducing the total number of steps for making the disk package. Although the first and second hard plates 20, 40 are adapted to be thicker than each disk 30 in view of a desired rigidity in the above-described embodiments, any thinner hard plates having sufficient rigidity may be adopted as at least one of the first and second hard plates 20, 40.