Title:
Support structure for packaging
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A support structure for packaging is provided for containing, storing and transporting electronic components like liquid crystal modules. The structure includes a bottom plate and first and second side plates provided at respective sides of the bottom plate. Side surfaces of the bottom plate constitute first inclined planes slanted at a first degree. End surfaces of the first and second side plates on the bottom plate side constitute second inclined planes slanted at a second degree. The first and second degrees are selected such that, when the first and second side plates are erected to cause the first and second inclined planes to closely contact with each other, the first and second side plates are prevented from being bent inwards more than 90 degrees.



Inventors:
Yoneda, Yoki (Osaka, JP)
Fujikawa, Hisashi (Matsusaka-shi, JP)
Application Number:
09/814830
Publication Date:
10/11/2001
Filing Date:
03/23/2001
Assignee:
YONEDA YOKI
FUJIKAWA HISASHI
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/454, 206/485
International Classes:
B65D85/30; B65D25/10; B65D81/113; B65D85/00; B65D85/48; (IPC1-7): B65D85/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (Falls Church, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A support structure for packaging, formed of synthetic resin, for containing an electronic component, comprising: a bottom plate supporting said electronic component from beneath; and a first side plate and a second side plate extending outwards from respective sides of said bottom plate and erected to form support members supporting said electronic component from sides, said bottom plate having end surfaces each forming a first inclined plane slanted at a first degree, said first and second side plates having end surfaces on said bottom plate side each forming a second inclined plane slanted at a second degree, and said first degree and said second degree being selected such that, when said first and second side plates are erected to cause said first inclined plane and said second inclined plane to closely contact with each other, said first and second side plates are prevented from being bent inwards more than 90 degrees.

2. A support structure for packaging, formed of synthetic resin, for containing an electronic component, comprising: a bottom plate supporting said electronic component from beneath; a first side plate and a second side plate extending outwards from respective sides of said bottom plate and erected to form support members supporting said electronic component from sides, said first side plate having an outer end surface forming a first inclined plane, and said second side plate having an outer end surface forming a second inclined plane; and a top plate covering said erected first and second side plates on top, said top plate having a third inclined plane for close contact with said first inclined plane and a fourth inclined plane for close contact with said second inclined plane, said first inclined plane and said third inclined plane being connected with each other by engagement of a pair of concave portion and convex portion provided separately at said first and third inclined planes, respectively, and said second inclined plane and said fourth inclined plane being connected with each other by engagement of a pair of concave portion and convex portion provided separately at said second and fourth inclined planes, respectively.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to support structures for packaging, and more particularly, to a packaging support structure for use in containing, storing and transporting electronic components like liquid crystal modules.

[0003] 2. Description of the Background Art

[0004] Japanese Patent Laying-Open Nos. 8-175582 and 9-226867 disclose conventional support frames for packaging formed with synthetic resin foaming sheets. In each case, a bottom plate and upright side plates surely held in a specific upright state are provided to form a support frame, or support structure for packaging. Items to be packaged are held in slit-shaped insert grooves that are formed at portions of the bottom plate and the side plates.

[0005] A support structure conventionally used for packaging primarily liquid crystal modules has been of the type provided with a bottom plate and side plates formed of synthetic resin foaming sheets, wherein the side plates extend from opposed side edges of the bottom plate via hinges, where they are folded and erected. At the bottom and side plates, convex portions for partition are provided along the hinge extending direction, with prescribed spacing therebetween to receive respective items to be packaged.

[0006] The support structure of this type, however, has a structural disadvantage that the side plates may be folded inwards more than 90 degrees. It exhibits insufficient strength and shock-absorbing property against falling of the package, and a large shock is delivered to the packaged items. Thus, it was inappropriate for use in packaging electronic components, such as liquid crystal modules, which would require shock-absorbing property and safety of especially high levels.

[0007] Another disadvantage of the conventional support structure for packaging is that it lacks a function to suppress lateral movement or sinking of a top plate against the side plates that closely contact the packaged items in a normal supporting state. Thus, at the falling of the package, the top plate and the side plates supporting the packaged items would separately work to absorb the shock, so that a large shock may locally be delivered to the packaged items.

[0008] In addition, especially when a small number of items are to be packaged, the structure lacks capability to securely hold them in fixed positions. Therefore, it was inappropriate for use as a packaging member for electronic components like liquid crystal modules, for which especially high-level shock-absorbing property and secure, fixed positioning would be required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention has been made to solve the above-described problems. An object of the present invention is to provide an improved support structure for packaging that is increased in strength without decreasing its shock-absorbing property, to ensure excellent shock-absorbing property and safety. This support structure contains items in a package and is capable of reducing a shock to be delivered to the packaged items at falling of the package.

[0010] Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved support structure for packaging that facilitates a packaging operation and allows countermeasures to be taken against dust generation therefrom.

[0011] According to an aspect of the present invention, a support structure for packaging, formed of synthetic resin, for containing an electronic component is provided. The support structure for packaging is provided with a bottom plate and side plates. The bottom plate supports the electronic component from beneath. The first and second side plates respectively extend outwards from opposed sides of the bottom plate, and are erected so that they work as supporting members supporting the electronic component from the sides. End surfaces of the bottom plate each constitute a first inclined plane that is slanted at a first degree. End surfaces of the first and second side plates on the bottom plate sides each constitute a second inclined plane that is slanted at a second degree. The first degree and the second degree are selected such that, when the first and second side plates are erected to cause the first and second inclined planes to contact with each other, the first and second side plates are prevented from being folded inwards more than 90 degrees.

[0012] According to another aspect of the present invention, a support structure for packaging, formed of synthetic resin, for containing an electronic component is provided. The support structure for packaging is provided with a bottom plate, side plates and a top plate. The bottom plate supports the electronic component from beneath. The first and second side plates extend outwards from respective sides of the bottom plate, and are erected to form support members supporting the electronic component from the sides. The first side plate has an outer end surface that constitutes a first inclined plane. The second side plate has an outer end surface that constitutes a second inclined plane. The top plate works as a lid when the first and second side plates are erected. The top plate has a third inclined plane that closely contacts the first inclined plane, and a fourth inclined plane that closely contacts the second inclined plane. The first and third inclined planes are provided with concave and convex portions, respectively, so that they are connected by engagement of the pair of concave and convex portions. The second and fourth inclined planes are provided with concave and convex portions, respectively, so that they are connected by engagement of the pair of concave and convex portions.

[0013] The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a support structure for packaging according to the present invention, which is shown in an unfolded state.

[0015] FIGS. 2A and 2B are cross sectional views of the support structure taken along the lines A-A and B-B, respectively, in FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the support structure taken along the line C-C in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the portion D in FIG. 2.

[0018] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the support structure for packaging of the present invention, which is shown in the unfolded state.

[0019] FIG. 6 illustrates how the support structure in FIG. 5 is folded.

[0020] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the support structure for packaging of the present invention, which is shown in a folded state.

[0021] FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C are a top plan view, a front cross sectional view and a side cross sectional view, respectively, of a top plate for use in the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the top plate.

[0023] FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the support structure for packaging of the present invention.

[0024] FIGS. 11A, 11B, 11C and 11D are cross sectional views of the support structure for packaging of the present invention, which are taken from the structure in its assembled state.

[0025] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a side sheet for use in the present invention.

[0026] FIGS. 13A, 13B and 13C are a top plan view, a front cross sectional view and a side cross sectional view, respectively, of the side sheet.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0027] The support structure for packaging according to a first embodiment of the present invention is formed of a solid or foaming sheet of synthetic resin, which may be polyolefin type resin including polystyrene type, polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalete, or any other synthetic resin having suitable rigidity and elasticity and a relatively strong force of restitution. This structure is provided with a stopper function at each end surface of the bottom plate that prevents a corresponding side plate, when folded and erected about a ruled line between itself and the bottom plate, from being bent inwards more than 90 degrees. The structure is configured, when assembled into a package form, to suppress delivery of a shock to packaged items at falling of the package. It ensures excellent shock-absorbing property and prevents falling off of the bottom.

[0028] The support structure for packaging according to a second embodiment of the present invention is provided with another stopper function, offered by concave portions formed on side plates, which contact packaged items in a normal supporting state, and convex portions formed on a top pate. This connects the top plate and the side plates closely together, hindering lateral movement or sinking of the top plate against the side plates. Accordingly, a shock at the falling of the package is prevented from being delivered to the packaged items.

[0029] The support structure for packaging according to these embodiments can be used for packaging electronic components like liquid crystal modules. Specifically, the side surfaces are erected, at 90 degrees, about the ruled lines between themselves and the bottom plate. The end surfaces of the bottom plate come to closely contact the corresponding end surfaces of the respective side plates, preventing bending of the side plates more than 90 degrees. In this state, the items to be packaged are inserted into slit-shaped insert grooves formed at portions of the side plates. Finally, the convex portions formed at the top plate are engaged with the concave portions formed at the side plates contacting the packaged items.

[0030] According to the support structure for packaging of the first embodiment, the end surfaces of the bottom plates closely contact the end surfaces of the side plates on the bottom plate sides. Thus, a strong structure is provided which prevents delivery of a shock to the packaged item at falling of the package. This structure exhibits excellent shock-absorbing property, and maintains sufficient receiving and supporting strength to endure repeated falling thereof, preventing delivery of excessive shocks to the packaged items.

[0031] According to the support structure for packaging of the second embodiment, concave portions are provided to the side plates that contact the packaged items in a normal supporting state of the structure, and convex portions are provided to the top plate, ensuring close engagement between the side and top plates. Accordingly, a shock at falling of the package can be absorbed evenly through the entire support structure, preventing local delivery of the shock to the packaged items.

EXAMPLES

[0032] Hereinafter, examples of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.

[0033] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an example of the support structure for packaging of the present invention, which is shown in an unfolded state.

[0034] The support structure for packaging is integrally formed of a solid sheet of synthetic resin, which may be polyolefin type resin including polystyrene type, polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalete, or any other synthetic resin having suitable rigidity and elasticity and a relatively strong force of restitution. FIGS. 2A and 2B are cross sectional views of the support structure, taken along the respective lines A-A and B-B in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the structure taken along the line C-C in FIG. 1. FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the encircled portion D in FIG. 2. FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the support structure for packaging.

[0035] Referring to FIGS. 1, 2A, 2B, 3, 4 and 5, the support structure for packaging is provided with a bottom plate 2, a first side plate 1 and a second side plate 1. Bottom plate 2 supports electronic components (not shown) from beneath. First side plate 1 and second side plate 1 extend outwards from the respective sides of bottom plate 2 and are folded inwards to become support members for supporting the electronic components from the sides. End surfaces 4 of bottom plate 2 each constitute a first inclined plane that is slanted at a first degree. Respective end surfaces 5, 5 of first and second side plates 1, 1 on the bottom plate side each constitute a second inclined plane that is slanted at a second degree.

[0036] The first degree and the second degree are selected such that, when first and second side plates 1, 1 are folded inwards to cause first inclined plane 4 and second inclined plane 5 to closely contact with each other, first and second side plates 1, 1 are prevented from being bent inwards more than 90 degrees.

[0037] Bottom plate 2 and the pair of side plates 1, 1 are provided with grooves 6 for receiving items to be packaged.

[0038] This support structure for packaging is assembled into a package form by folding side plates 1, 1 about respective ruled lines 3 between themselves and bottom plate 2 at 90 degrees, to cause end surfaces 5, 5 of side plates 1, 1 and end surfaces 4, 4 of bottom plate 2 to closely contact with each other. The items to be packaged are received and set in this package.

[0039] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the support structure for packaging, which is shown in the state where first and second side plates 1, 1 are now being folded inwards.

[0040] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the support structure for packaging in its folded state. According to the present invention, end surfaces 4, 4 of bottom plate 2 of the support structure closely contact respective end surfaces 5, 5 of first and second side plates 1, 1 on the bottom plate side. A space is created with bottom plate 2 and side plates 1, 1 against falling of the package, so that it becomes a strong structure capable of suppressing delivery of a shock to the packaged items. The structure exhibits excellent shock-absorbing property against falling of the package, and maintains sufficient receiving and supporting strength to endure repeated falling thereof.

[0041] In the state where side plates 1, 1 are erected at 90 degrees about respective ruled lines 3, the items to be packaged are inserted into slit-shaped insert grooves 6 formed on opposing side plates 1, 1. This ensures secure, fixed positioning of the packaged items, and improves workability thereof.

[0042] FIG. 8A is a top plan view of a top plate for use in the present invention. FIGS. 8B and 8C are cross sectional views thereof, taken along the lines B-B and A-A, respectively, in FIG. 8A. FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the top plate.

[0043] Referring to FIGS. 2A, 2B, 7, 8A, 8B and 8C, an outer end surface 5a of first side plate 1 constitutes a first inclined plane. An outer end surface 5b of second side plate 1 constitutes a second inclined plane. Top plate 9 is used, when first and second side plates 1, 1 are erected, to cover them from the top. Top plate 9 has a third inclined plane 9a that closely contacts first inclined plane 5a of first side plate 1, and a fourth inclined plane 9b that closely contacts second inclined plane 5b of second side plate 1.

[0044] Third and fourth inclined planes 9a and 9b are both provided with convex portions 8. First inclined plane 5a of first side plate 1 and second inclined plane 5b of second side plate 1 are both provided with concave portions 7.

[0045] Referring to FIG. 10, items to be packaged 11 are slid into grooves 6 and covered with top plate 9 from above. At this time, first inclined plane 5a and third inclined plane 9a are connected and fixed with each other as convex portion 8 and concave portion 7 engage with each other. Similarly, second inclined plane 5b and fourth inclined plane 9b are connected securely by engagement of convex portion 8 and concave portion 7.

[0046] According to the support structure for packaging of this example, top plate 9 is prevented from moving in a lateral direction with respect to side plates 1, 1. Top pate 9 is also prevented from sinking below the inclined planes of side plates 1, 1. Accordingly, top plate 9 and side plates 1, 1 are tightly connected, and securely held with each other.

[0047] FIGS. 11A and 11B are cross sectional views of the support structure for packaging in the assembled state, taken along the lines E-E and F-F in FIG. 10. FIG. 11C is a detailed view of the encircled portion D in FIG. 11A. FIG. 11D is an enlarged view of the encircled portion E in FIG. 11 A.

[0048] Referring to FIGS. 11A, 11B, 11C and 11D, the item to be packaged 11 is inserted and held in groove 6. Convex portions 8, 8 provided at respective ends of top plate 9 are engaged with concave portions 7, 7 provided at respective side plates 1, 1. First inclined planes 4, 4 at respective end surfaces of bottom plate 2 are closely contacted with second inclined planes 5, 5 provided at end surfaces of respective side plates 1, 1 on the bottom plate sides.

[0049] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a side sheet shown in FIG. 10. FIGS. 13A, 13B and 13C are a top plan view, a front cross sectional view and a side cross sectional view, respectively, of this side sheet.

[0050] According to the support structure for packaging of the present invention, the bottom plate and the upright side plates at its respective sides are readily positioned and held in a fixed relationship with each other, so that it is possible to easily and safely insert and remove items being packaged.

[0051] Further, as the bottom plate and the side plates are formed as one piece, the parts count is low. As the items being packaged can be stacked one on another, transport cost of the packaged items is advantageously decreased. A bulk ratio of packaging space can also be set small, so that the storage efficiency is improved.

[0052] Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it is clearly understood that the same is by way of illustration and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims.