Title:
Cardboard packing box for cartridge container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cardboard packing box for packing a cartridge container which has a case shell including two mating case shell halves identical in dimensions with each other and forming a plurality of compartments for receiving sets of a specified number of flat tape cartridge units therein, respectively, each mating case shell half having a pair of bottom fitting frames different in size so that one of the bottom fitting frames of one mating case shell half is fitted in another mating case shell half by insertion so as thereby to be able to couple the cartridge container to another, comprises a cardboard box identical in internal dimension with a horizontal projection of the case shell of the cartridge container; and a pair of cardboard backing pads each of which has a pair of openings in which the bottom fitting frames of each mating case shell halves are fitted respectively by insertion.



Inventors:
Imai, Fumihito (Odawara-shi, JP)
Application Number:
11/698893
Publication Date:
08/02/2007
Filing Date:
01/29/2007
Assignee:
FUJIFILM CORPORATION (TOKYO, JP)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/389, 206/521
International Classes:
B65D85/30; B65D81/02; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRANGE, SHARON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG & THOMPSON (745 SOUTH 23RD STREET, 2ND FLOOR, ARLINGTON, VA, 22202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cardboard packing box for storage of a cartridge container which has a case shell comprising two mating case shell halves identical in dimensions with each other and forming a plurality of compartments for receiving sets of a specified number of flat tape cartridge units therein, respectively, each said mating case shell half having at least one pair of bottom fitting flames different in size so that one of said bottom fitting flames of one of said two mating case shell halves is fitted in another of said two mating case shell halves by insertion so as thereby to be able to be coupled to another said cartridge container together, said cardboard packing box comprising: a cardboard box having internal dimensions substantially identical with a horizontal projection o said case shell of said cartridge container; and a pair of cardboard backing pads each of which is substantially identical in external dimension with said cardboard box and has a pair of openings which said bottom fitting frames of each said two mating case shell halves are fitted respectively by insertion.

2. A cardboard packing box as defined in claim 1, wherein each said cardboard backing pad has two or more pairs of said openings.

3. A cardboard packing box as defined in claim 1, wherein each said cardboard backing pad comprises a combination of at least two cardboards different in thickness.

4. A cardboard packing box as defined in claim 1, wherein each said cardboard backing pad has at least one fingerhold opening formed therein.

5. A cardboard packing box as defined in claim 1, wherein said cardboard box has a horizontal cross-sectional area of 300 mm×400 mm.

6. A cardboard packing box as defined in claim 5, wherein said cardboard backing pad is shaped so as to have a clearance between 0 and 20 mm with said cardboard box.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a packing box for a cartridge container in which flat cartridges with tape reels housed respectively therein and, more particularly, to a cardboard packing box for packing and carrying a cartridge container with tape cartridges are contained.

2. Description of Related Art

Typically, it is general in an ordinary distribution process to secure impact protection for a package of one-reel type electromagnetic tape cartridges by filling a cardboard packing box 5 with a substantial number of the tape cartridges 1 individually encased in cartridge cases 3, respectively, as shown in FIG. 6. An inconvenience encountered by the collective package is that the cardboard packing box 5 has to be opened in order to check its contents and/or the type of the tape cartridges 1 packaged therein. Further, if the cardboard packing box 5 is bedewed with water, the cardboard packing box 5 is damaged or broken at its worst.

Such being the case, there has been marketed a cartridge packing case 7 for collective packing of tape cartridges 1 such as shown in FIG. 7. Such the transparent plastic packing box 7 is known, for example, in the name of UTO-Ultrum L-pack (Trade name of TDK Co., Ltd.). This cartridge packing case 7, which may be named an individual packing type, has an interior space separated into a number of compartments 9 by separation rails 11 for individually receiving tape cartridges such as shown in FIG. 6. Accordingly, the tape cartridges are put in the cartridge packing case 7 one by one. In the case that a heavy number of the tape cartridges are packed, it can be hardly said that the cartridge packing cases 7 are handy. Further, because the compartments 9 are separated from one another so as to share isovolumetric capacities, a full weight load of packed tape cartridges concentrates on corners 13 and 15 of the cartridge packing case 7, so that the cartridge packing case 7 is poor in impact resistance and has only a low impact absorption capacity upon falling.

In these circumstances, the inventor of this application has developed a cartridge container which has high packing efficiency besides high impact resistance. Reference is made to FIGS. 8, 9A-9B and 10A-10B for the purpose of providing a brief description of the cartridge container 100 that will enhance an understanding of the and operation of the cardboard packing box of the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 8, 9A-9B and 10A-10B, the cartridge container 100 is used suitably for containing flat tape cartridges 21 with electromagnetic tape reels incorporated, respectively, therein. The tape cartridge 21 incorporates a tape reel (not shown) having a core axis extending in a direction of thickness of the tape cartridge 21 therein. The following description will be directed to a square tape cartridge by way of example and held true in a rectangular tape cartridge.

The cartridge container 100 comprises a case shell made up of two mating case shell halves, namely upper and lower mating case shell halves 23 and 25. These upper and lower mating case shell halves 23 and 25 are identical in structure and shape with each other. The upper and lower mating case shell halves 23 and 25 are detachably fitted together by engagement so as to be opened and closed. For this detachable fitting of the upper and lower mating case shell halves 23 and 25, there are formed a plurality of, for example four in this embodiment, compartments 27 for receiving four tape cartridge sets 29. The tape cartridge set 29 to be received in the compartment 27 comprises a predetermined number of, for example five in this embodiment, tape cartridges 21 arranged closely side by side in a direction of thickness in block As shown in FIG. 8, in order to protect tape egress/ingress slots of the tape cartridges 21 which are generally weak in mechanical structure against impact from the outside of the cartridge container 100, it is preferred to put the tape cartridge set 29 so as to position the tape egress/ingress slots on the side of a boundary between adjacent compartments 27 and faced upward. It is more preferred to put the cartridge sets 29 in the compartments 27 so that the tape egress/ingress slots of the cartridge sets 29 in adjacent compartments 27 are opposed one another. In this instance, the compartment 27 has a storage volumetric capacity which is approximately the same as the cubic measure of the five tape cartridges 21. Accordingly, the tape cartridges 21 are neatly arranged in the compartment 27 even if put in the compartment 27 in a careless way. This is because there is no parting strip for the tape cartridges 21 in the compartment 27. Since it is enabled to hold two or three tape cartridges 21 together by hand and put them into the compartment 27, the cartridge container 100 bring a marked improvement in tape cartridge packing operation as compared with the conventional cartridge container or box which needs to put tape cartridges 21 one by one.

As described above, according to the structure of the cartridge container 100, since the tape cartridges 21 are contained in lots of multiple units, the cartridge container 100 is possible to acquire an extra area uninvolved in storage in the case of the same storage area as the prior art cartridge container 7 including a flange which is adapted to receive the tape cartridges 21 individually. The extra area of the cartridge container 100 is utilized for what is called a crushable or impact absorption zone. The transverse flanges 35 of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 at the respective short sides have rectangular openings 33, respectively, used as carrying handgrips of the cartridge container 100. Therefore, the cartridge container 100 can not only be carried in a horizontal position by grasping the both handgrips 33 but also be carried in a vertical position by gripping either one of the opposite handgrips 33. If a carrier accidentally drops the cartridge container 100 while carrying it in a vertical position by one hand, the cartridge container 100 has a first hit against a floor at the far side flange 31. At this time, the far side flange 31, that performs as an impact absorption member, is deformed or crushed by the weight of the cartridge container 100 and its contents so as to absorb impact strength, thereby absorbing a direct shock against the tape cartridges 21.

In the general, the tape cartridge 21 has a weakness for impact in a direction of thickness or axis of the tape reel, because a roll of electromagnetic tape 21 does not always have even side surfaces but has irregularities at opposite sides thereof. The electromagnetic tape is not always wound on the tape reel with side edges of convolutions of the tape neatly flush with one another, so that a roll of the electromagnetic tape wound in the tape reel has irregularities at opposite sides. The irregularities possibly cause the electromagnetic tape to hit against the flanges of the tape reel at the side edges due to external force while winding the electromagnetic tape in the tape reel, resulting that the electromagnetic tape is crushed and/or broken back in a transverse direction at its side edges as being wound in the tape reel. The electromagnetic tape having crushed and broken irregularities brings down an adverse effect on smooth winding and unwinding, and besides causing defective record at its worst. In contrast, the container 100 having the crushable flanges 35 arranged at the short sides thereof has enhanced impact resistance in the lengthwise direction in which the tape cartridge 21 is mechanically weak.

As shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B, the cartridge container 100 has a number of side buffering ribs 35 rising outside from an external peripheral wall thereof. The side buffering rib 35 is formed so as to provide a side clearance space 35′ in an internal peripheral wall as shown in FIG. 10B. The side buffering ribs 35 function as cushioning means against external impact on the cartridge container 100. In addition, the cartridge container 100 has a corner buffering rib 37, like the side buffering rib 35, rising outside from an each corner of the external peripheral wall thereof and a corner clearance space 37′, like the side clearance space 35′, in an internal peripheral wall thereof. These side and corner buffering ribs 35 and 37 function as cushioning means against external impact on the cartridge container 100. In particular, the corner clearance space 37 receives a vertical edge of the tape cartridge 21 placed adjacently to the short side wall of the cartridge container 100, so as thereby to prevent the tape cartridge 21 being deformed or damaged at the edge when the tape cartridge 100 is dropped.

The mating case shell half 23, 25 has a case coupling structure comprising a top fitting rails 41 extending half around an opening thereof and a generally U-shaped top fitting groove 43 extending separately half around the opening as male and female fitting components, respectively. These male and female fitting components are formed on opposite sides of a longitudinal center line 47 of the mating case shell half 23, 25 and completely equal in overall length to each other. The top fitting rail 41 of one of mating case shell halves 23 and 25 is fitted in the top fitting groove 43 of the other by insertion so as thereby to couple the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 together. The cartridge container 100 provided by coupling the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 together though fitting between their tip fitting rails 41 and the top fitting grooves seals up the interior, i.e. the compartments 27, thereof, so that the tape cartridges 21 in the cartridge container 100 are protected from moisture, water, water splashes, dust and harmful substances. According to the cartridge container 100, the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 are compatible with each other, in other words, available even as a container body or as a cap. This brings about an advantage that it is only needed to provide a single mold for production of both mating case shell halves 23 and 25.

The mating case shell half 23, 25 is provided with partition walls 47 arranged in cruciform for defining the respective compartments 27. In order to protect the tape cartridges 21 from external impact the partition wall 47 has a shape and thickness such as described later so as to be easily deformable for absorption of external impact to the sets of tape cartridges 29 upon a drop of the cartridge container 100 even in a vertical or a horizontal position. That is, the cartridge container thus structured prevents sets of tape cartridges from having an effect of inertial impact on one another even when the respective sets of tape cartridges are individually affected by impact.

The cartridge container 100 with four cartridge sets 29 packed therein is boxed in a cardboard packing box (not shown) for carrying about. The cardboard packing box is dimensioned so as to snugly receive the cartridge container 100 therein. In order to take out the cartridge container 100 with ease, the flange 31 is cut off at opposite corners 49 at approximately 45 degrees so as to form triangular spaces between the cartridge container 100 and the cardboard packing box for easy access to the cartridge container 100 by fingers. This cut off corner 49 may be provided with a catch tab (not shown) so that the catch tabs at each cut off corners of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 overlap each other when the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 are coupled together. Accordingly, the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 can be easily uncoupled by pulling away the catch tabs from each other.

Further, the mating case shell half 23, 25 is provided with a lateral rim extending entirely along either one of the top fitting rail 41 and the top fitting groove 43 and bent toward the counterpart so as to cover the periphery of the mating case shell half 23, 25 of the other of the top fitting rail 41 and the top fitting groove 43 of the counterpart for improved dustproof and waterproof.

The mating case shell half 23, 25 also has a container coupling structure comprising two pairs of quadrilateral bottom fitting frames, namely a pair of larger quadrilateral fitting frames 53a and a pair of smaller quadrilateral bottom fitting frames 53b, formed as male and female fitting components, respectively, on an external bottom surface thereof The larger bottom fitting frame 53a defines an aperture into which the smaller bottom fitting frame 53b is snugly fitted by insertion. These bottom fitting frames 53a and 55a are located correspondingly to the respective compartments 27 and arranged on opposite sides of the longitudinal center line 45 (see FIG. 9B) of the mating case shell half 23, 25. The bottom fitting flames 53a and 55a are dimensioned so that the bottom fitting frames 55a of the mating case shell halve 23, 25 are fitted in the bottom fitting frames 53b of the mating case shell halve, 23, 25 of another cartridge container 100 by insertion. By means of the container coupling structure, a plurality of the cartridge containers 100 piled on top of another are prevented from striking relative slide and, in consequence, from tumbling down.

The mating case shell half 23, 25 is preferably made in the form of an integral product of a plastic resin such as those relatively easy in handling. Therefore, it is enabled to produce the mating case shell half 23, 25 provided with sufficient toughness for reliable protection of the tape cartridges 21 stored in the cartridge container 100 and appropriate impact absorbability and to be suitable for commercial and inexpensive production of the cartridge container 100. It is preferred to use any one of polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene and polystyrene for the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 by reason of easy availability of the material, easy and inexpensive vacuum molding of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25, and collection and reclamation of waste cartridge containers 100. It is further preferred to use translucent plastic resins by reason of visibility of the tape cartridges 21 put in the cartridge container 100 and easiness of keeping track of a contained state of the tape cartridges 21 in the cartridge container 100 hermetically closed.

In order to economically acquire required minimum structural strength of the respective compartments 27 of the cartridge container 100, and besides minimizing the cartridge container 100 in weight while satisfying required minimum structural strength of the cartridge container 100, it is possible to form the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 by stretching press of a plastic resin sheet having a thickness of 0.5 to 2.0 mm. In addition, the usage of such a thin plastic resin sheet results in allowing the cartridge container 100 to cause proper deformation due to external impact, so as thereby to secure most appropriate impact absorbability for the tape cartridges 21. In this instance, if the plastic resin sheet has a thickness less than 0.5 mm, the cartridge container 100 causes deformation too easily, so that it is incapable of bringing about an appropriate impact absorption effect. On the other hand, if the plastic resin sheet has a thickness greater than 2.0 mm, the cartridge container 100 encounters a difficulty in deformation which allows external impact to be directly transmitted to the tape cartridges 21 put therein. The cartridge container 100 whose thinnest part is confined in thickness to that range in the limits is provided with an optimized crushable or appropriate impact absorbable zone.

FIG. 11A-11D shows a cartridge packing procedure in the case of packing four sets of five tape cartridge units in a transparent cartridge container by way of example. In first step, an upper transparent mating case shell half 23 and a lower transparent mating case shell half 25 are set out as a container cap and a container body, respectively, as shown in FIG. 11A. On the other hand, four sets of five tape cartridge units (first and second sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2 are shown and the remaining two sets of five tape cartridge units are hidden behind the two sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2) are prepared. In second step, the respective sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2 are individually put in the compartments 27 of the lower case shell half 25 separately in position as shown in FIG. 11B. In the sane manner, the remaining two sets of five tape cartridge units are individually put in the compartments 27 of the lower case shell half 25 separately in position. Subsequently, in third step, the upper case shell half 23 is placed over the lower case shell half 25 as shown in FIG. 11C. Then, in forth step, the upper case shell half 23 is pushed down against the lower case shell half 25 so as to fit the top fitting rails 41 of the case shell halves 23 and 25 in the top fitting grooves 43 of them by insertion, respectively, thereby coupling the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 together as shown in FIG. 11D. In this procedure, a cartridge container 100 in which two sets of tape cartridges are received in the respective compartments is completed. The cartridges are seen through the transparent cartridge container for checking the type and the state of the contents.

FIG. 12A and 12B show, respectively, a cartridge container 1001 with four sets of five tape cartridge units (two sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2 and the remaining two sets of five tape cartridge units are hidden behind the two sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2) contained therein which is prepared in the procedure shown in FIGS. 11A-11D and a cartridge container stack comprising two units of the cartridge containers 100a by way of example. As shown, the cartridge container 100a is made up two mating case shell halves 23 and 25 coupled together through fitting between the top fitting rails of the case shell halves 23 and 25 in the top fitting grooves 43 of them by insertion. As was described previously, the mating case shell half 23, 25 has two frame-shaped bottom fitting flames 53a and two frame-shaped bottom fitting flames 53b as male and female fitting components, respectively, on an external bottom surface thereof (bottom fitting frames 53b of the upper mating case shell half 23 and bottom fitting frames 53a of the lower mating case shell half 25 are hidden behind bottom fitting frames 53b and 53a, respectively). When stacking another cartridge container 100b on the cartridge container 1001 as shown in FIG. 12B, the other cartridge container 100b is placed on the cartridge container 100b so as to bring the bottom fitting frames 53a and 53b of the lower mating case shell half 25 of the other cartridge container 100b into alignment with the bottom fitting frames 53b and 53a of the upper mating case shell half 23 of the other cartridge container 100a, respectively and then pushed down against the other cartridge container 100a so as to fit the bottom fitting frames 53a and 53b to the bottom fitting frames 53b and 53a, respectively, by insertion. In this way, the two cartridge containers 100a and 100b are firmly coupled together, so that the stack of two cartridge containers 1001 and 1002 is prevented from collapse with a bit of oscillations.

Incidentally, it is general in an ordinary distribution process to pack the cartridge container 100 in a cardboard packing box by a procedure such as shown in FIGS. 13A-10C. As shown in FIG. 13A, a cartridge container 100 and a cardboard packing box 200 with a cover 200a opened are prepared. The cardboard packing box 200 is designed to receive and hold the cartridge container 100 therein. Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 13B, the cartridge container 100 is put in the cardboard packing box 200 and, then, as shown in FIG. 13C, the cover 200a is closed.

The cardboard packing box 200 is ordinarily designed to keep its given structural strength in a horizontal position. In consequence, although the cardboard packing box 200 having the cartridge container 100 packed therein has no problem as long as placed horizontally on a floor or a flat table as shown in FIG. 14A. However, the trouble the cardboard packing box 200 having the cartridge container 100 packed therein encounters is that when dropped in a vertical position, the cartridge container 100 is significantly damaged at the flanges 31 themselves, portions of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 at corners of the case shell half 23 and G1 and roots G2 and distal ends G3 of the flanges 31.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to a cardboard packing box for packing a cartridge container with a plurality of tape cartridges contained which prevents a cartridge container from being damaged upon falling down.

The foregoing object of the present invention is accomplished by a cardboard packing box for storage of a cartridge container which has a case shell comprising two mating case shell halves identical in dimensions with each other and forming a plurality of compartments for receiving sets of a specified number of flat tape cartridge units therein respectively, each mating case shell half having at least one pair of bottom fitting flames different in size so that one of the bottom fitting frames of one of the two mating case shell halves is fitted in another of the two mating case shell halves by insertion so as thereby to be able to couple the cartridge container to another cartridge container together. The cardboard packing box comprises a cardboard box having internal dimensions substantially identical with a horizontal projection of the case shell of said cartridge container and a pair of cardboard backing pads each of which has an external dimension substantially identical with an internal dimension of said cardboard box and has a pair of openings in which the bottom fitting frames of each mating case shell half are fitted respectively by insertion. The cardboard backing pad may have two or more pairs of the openings correspondingly to the number of pairs of the bottom fitting flames of each mating case shell half. It is preferred for the cardboard backing pad to have at least one fingerhold opening formed therein. Further, it is preferred for the cardboard backing pad to comprise a combination of at least two cardboards different in thickness.

The cardboard box has an internal dimension of 300 mm×400 mm. In the case of the cardboard box having an internal dimension of 300 mm×400 mm, the cardboard backing pad may be shaped so as to have a clearance between 0 and 20 mm with said cardboard box.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other objects and features of the present invention will be clearly understood from the following detailed description when reading with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein same or similar parts or mechanisms are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the drawings and in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a cardboard packing box according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A(a) is a side view of a lower case shell half of a cartridge container for use with the cardboard packing box;

FIG. 2A(b) is a front view of the lower case shell half of the cartridge container for use with the cardboard packing box;

FIG. 2B(a) is a side view of the lower case shell half of the cartridge container to which a cardboard backing pad is attached;

FIG. 2A(b) is a front view of the lower case shell half of the cartridge container to which a cardboard backing pad is attached;

FIG. 2C is a front view of the lower case shell half of the cartridge container in which sets of five cartridge units are put;

FIG. 2D is a front view of the cartridge container before an upper case shell half is coupled to the lower case shell half;

FIG. 2E is a front view of the cartridge container before a cardboard backing pad is attached to the upper case shell half;

FIG. 3A is a front view of the cartridge container before packing;

FIG. 3B is a longitudinal-sectional view of a package of the cartridge container in the cardboard packing box;

FIG. 3B is a longitudinal-sectional view of a package of the cartridge container in the cardboard packing box;

FIG. 3C is an explanatory view for showing the package dropped vertically down;

FIGS. 4A to 4B are plane views of various cardboard backing pads;

FIG. 5A(a) to 5A(c) are plan views of various pallets standardized in different countries;

FIG. 5B(a) to 5B(c) are plan views of layouts of the packages placed on the pallets shown in FIGS. 5A(a) to 5A(c), respectively,

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a conventional cartridge case package;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a conventional cartridge container;

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of a cartridge container for use with the cardboard packing box shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9A is a plane view of a mating case shell half of the cartridge container;

FIG. 9B is a front view of the mating case shell half of the cartridge container;

FIG. 10A is a side view of the mating case shell half of the cartridge container;

FIG. 10B is a perspective view showing a part of the interior of the mating case shell half of the cartridge container;

FIGS. 11A to 11D are explanatory views for showing steps of completing a cartridge container with cartridges contained therein;

FIG. 12A is a front view of a completed cartridge container;

FIG. 12B is a front view of a stack of two cartridge containers;

FIGS. 13A to 13C are views for showing steps of packing a completed cartridge container in a conventional cardboard packing box;

FIG. 14A is an explanatory view showing the package placed on a floor; and

FIG. 14B is an explanatory view for showing the package dropped vertically down.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the accompanying drawings in detail, and in particular, to FIG. 1, there is show a packing box 300 comprising a cardboard box 310 and two cardboard backing pads 320 according to an embodiment of the present invention for use with the cartridge containers 100 each of which is made up of two mating case shell halves and has the male-female container coupling structures formed on bottom surfaces thereof (see FIGS. 8 to 10A-10B). The cardboard box 310 may be of conventional such as shown in FIG. 6. The cardboard backing pad 320 has two pairs of quadrilateral fitting apertures 320a and 320b different in size. The first pair of quadrilateral fitting apertures 320a are shaped so as to snugly fit on the larger bottom fitting frames 53a of the mating case shell half 23, 25, respectively, and the second pair of quadrilateral fitting apertures 320b are shaped so as to snugly fit on the bottom fitting frames 53b of the mating case shell half 23, 25, respectively. It is preferred to provide the cardboard backing pad 320 by the use of various types of commercially available cardboards in appropriate combination according to the height of the bottom fitting flames 53a of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 of the cartridge container 100. Specifically, standard cardboards commonly available for general packing boxes include types of A-flute having a thickness of 5 mm, B-flute having a thickness of 3 mm and W-flute having a thickness of 8 mm. In this instance, it is preferred for the cardboard backing pad 320 to employ these standard cardboards individually or in any combination.

FIGS. 2A(a) and 2A(b) to 2E show a procedure of attaching the cardboard backing pads 320 to the cartridge container 100 in use. At the outset, the mating case shell half 25 used as a container body is prepared as shown in FIGS. 1A(a) and 1A(b) (labels (a) and (b) indicate side and front views, respectively). The cardboard backing pads 320 is attached to the mating case shell half 25 by fitting the fitting frames 53a and 53b of the mating case shell half 25 into the fitting apertures 320a and 320b of the cardboard backing pad 320, respectively, by insertion as shown in FIGS. 2B(a) and 2B(b) (labels (a) and (b) indicate side and front views, respectively). Thereafter, as shown in FIG. 3, four sets of five tape cartridge units (first and second sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2 are shown and the remaining two sets of five tape cartridge units are hidden behind the two sets of five tape cartridge units C1 and C2) are put in the respective compartments 27 of the mating case shell half 25. The mating case shell half 23 used as a container cap is prepared in the subsequent step shown in FIG. 2D and coupled to the mating case shell half 25 through fitting between the top fitting rails 41 and the top fitting grooves 43 of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 by insertion. On the other hand, another cardboard backing pad 320 is prepared as shown in FIG. 2E and attached to the mating case shell half 25 by fitting the bottom fitting frames 53a and 53b of the mating case shell half 25 into the fitting apertures 320a and 320b of the cardboard backing pad 320, respectively, by insertion (see FIG. 3A). In this way, the cartridge container 100 with four sets of five tape cartridge units contained is brought to completion. It is of course that the cardboard backing pads 320 is attached to the mating case shell half 25 prior to coupling the mating case shell halves 23 and 25. In this way, then, the cartridge container 100 is placed ready for package. The cartridge container 100 with the cardboard backing pads 320 attached thereto is packed in the cardboard box 310 in an ordinary way.

The cartridge container 100 with the cardboard backing pads 320 attached thereto is placed ready for package as shown in FIG. 3A and then packed in the cardboard box 310 in an ordinary way as shown in FIG. 3B. Because the cardboard box 310 is designed and made to maintain its given structural strength in a horizontal position, there is no problem as long as it is put on a flat table or a flat floor. When the cartridge-contained cardboard box 310 is fallen in a vertical position against a floor and elsewhere, the impact applied to the package is absorbed or significantly absorbed not only by the flanges 31 of the mating case shell halves 23 and 25 of the cartridge container 100 but also by the cardboard backing pads 320, so that the impact applied to the package at a position G3 where the flanges 31 abut against the cardboard box 310 is down by half. In addition, although it is conceivable that the cartridge container 100 encounters heavy vertical waggle due to the acceleration of impact at bottom corners G1, the cartridge container 100 is prevented from waggling vertically by the cardboard backing pads 320. This protects the flanges 31 against crush or significant deformation at their roots G3. The cardboard backing pad 320 is tightly fitted in size to the horizontal cross section of the cardboard box 310, in other words, it has a shape identical with a horizontal cress-section of the cardboard box 310 which is the same horizontal projection as the mating case shell half 23, 25 of the cartridge container 100 and is, in rerum nature, received in the cardboard box 310 leaving no gap therebetween. However, in the case where it is desired to distribute external impact to both the cardboard backing pads 320 and the cartridge container 100 in order to disperse the impact, the cardboard backing pad 320 may be shaped so as to leave an appropriate clearance with the cardboard box 310.

The tight-fitting cardboard backing pad 320 encounters an inconvenience for handpicking. In order to eliminate this inconvenience, the cardboard backing pad 320 may be provided with one or more fingerhold openings as shown in FIGS. 4B-4D. Specifically, a cardboard backing pad 320A shown in FIG. 4B has a fingerhold cut K1 in the form of a triangular cut at one of four corners thereof. A cardboard backing pad 320B shown in FIG. 4C has a semi-circular fingerhold notch K2 at one of opposite short sides. A cardboard backing pad 320C shown in FIG. 4D has a fingerhold holes K3 in close vicinity to edges of opposite short sides, respectively. According to these cardboard backing pads 320A, 320B and 320C, it is easy to detach the cardboard backing pad from the cartridge container 100 by picking the top cardboard backing pad at the fingerhold with a finger or fingers and pulling it up. The cartridge container 100 with the top cardboard backing pad removed away is easily grasped by hands and unboxed.

FIGS. 5A(a) to 5A(c) show various pallets as used to loading or carrying a cargo in major countries such as, for example, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe. As was described previously, the cardboard box 310 preferably has substantially the same horizontal cress-section as the horizontal projection of the cartridge container 100. In light of the dimensional requirement, a study was made on preferred lengthwise and breadthwise dimensions of the cardboard box 310. As a result, the cardboard box 310 determined based on the notion that it is preferred to standardize the cardboard package boxes by a single unitary size. As is well known, the pallet varies in standard size depending upon countries. Specifically, the pallet 400 standardized in Japan is 1100×1100 mm as shown in FIG. 5A(a), the pallet 401 in U.S.A. 1219×1016 mm as shown in FIG. 5A(b) and the pallet 402 in Europe 1200×800 mm as shown in FIG. 5A(C). It was found that the optimum size of the cardboard package box, and hence the cartridge container 100 in horizontal projection, is 300×400 mm in order to set the cardboard package boxes on the pallets 400, 401 and 402 as many as possible with least void spaces.

FIGS. 5B(a) to 5B(c) show loading patterns of the cardboard boxes 310 of 300×400 mm on Japanese pallets 400, U.S. pallet 401 and European pallet 402, respectively. As shaded in FIGS. 5B(a), 5B(b) and 5B(c), Japanese pallet 400 can stow eight packing boxes 300 leaving a 200 mm-square redundant space in the center and two 100 mm-width redundant spaces along two sides, U.S. pallet 401 can stow nine cardboard packing boxes 300 leaving a 116 mm-width marginal redundant space along one side and a 19 mm-width marginal redundant space along another side, and European pallet 402 can stow eight cardboard packing boxes 300 leaving no redundant space. As seen in the above examples, the 300 mm×400 mm cardboard packing box can be carried efficiently in quantity by any major pallets. In order to meet the requirements for both dispersion of external impact and enhanced carrying efficiency of the 300×400 mm cardboard packing boxes 300, it is preferred for the cardboard backing pad 320 to have a clearance with the cardboard box less than 20 mm.

It is also to be understood that although the present invention has been described with regard to preferred embodiments thereof, various other embodiments and variants may occur to those skilled in the ark which are within the scope and spirit of the invention, and such other embodiments and variants are intended to be covered by the following claims.





 
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