Title:
Runner for a transport box, a pallet or the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Novel runners for a transport box, a pallet or the like are described which are provided with an arrangement allowing assembly of several similar or diametrically opposed runner elements into a runner.



Inventors:
Dubois, Jean-marc (Bremgarten, CH)
Emmenegger, Marc (Bremgarten, CH)
Schab, Boris (Wettingen, CH)
Application Number:
10/384152
Publication Date:
01/22/2004
Filing Date:
03/06/2003
Assignee:
GEORGE UTZ HOLDING AG (Bremgarten, CH)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/1.5, 220/636
International Classes:
B65D19/00; B65D19/18; (IPC1-7): B65D6/34
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SPECKMAN LAW GROUP PLLC (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A runner for a transport box, a pallet or the like, comprising several similar or diametrically opposed runner elements positioned in an arrangement that can be assembled into the runner.

2. A runner according to claim 1, wherein the runner elements comprise cams that are arranged transversally to the cams at end regions of the cams.

3. A runner according to claim 1, wherein the runner elements comprise hollow spaces.

4. A runner according to claim 3, wherein the hollow spaces of the runner elements have at least one arrangement selected from the group consisting of: trapezoid-shaped and arc-shaped arrangements.

5. A runner according to claim 1, wherein the runner elements comprise flat longitudinal ribs.

6. A runner according to claim 1, wherein the runner elements can be assembled at their end zones into a runner by means of connection pieces.

7. A runner according to claim 6, wherein at least one of the end zones of a runner element is beveled and forms a right angle with a respectively beveled end region of another runner element.

8. A runner according to claim 7, wherein the respective end zones are beveled in a step-like fashion.

9. A runner according to claim 2, wherein the cams comprise honeycomb-like reinforcements.

Description:

CLAIM FOR FOREIGN PRIORITY UNDER 37 U.S.C. § 119

[0001] This application claims foreign priority to Swiss Patent Application No. 2002 0388/02, filed Mar. 6, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates generally to a runner that can be assembled to a transport box, a pallet or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A stackable transport box of this kind is known for example from EP-A-0 876 963, in which a flap rotatable about a horizontal axle is provided in the side walls. The rotating flap is rotatably connected with an insert part which is fastened in a respective detent in the side wall. The floor of the transport box is provided in the corners and in the middle with vertical supporting pillars which are mounted on a four-cornered supporting frame. The supporting frame is of an integral design and comes with a massive configuration.

[0004] To ensure that the supporting frame is sufficiently stable from a mechanical viewpoint in order to reliably withstand loads of more than 1000 kg, it needs to be provided with a predetermined thickness and width. In the case of dimensions of the transport box of more than 1 meter by 1 meter, the production of such a supporting frame requires especially large matrixes. Moreover, the supporting frame needs to be welded together with the supporting pillars or to be glued with a synthetic-resin glue of high strength.

[0005] Another type of stackable transport box is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,431 which consists of a supporting frame of vertical supporting pillars and a honeycombed base plate. Side walls perforated with oblong holes are situated between the supporting pillars. The supporting pillars projecting below the base plates are mutually connected by means of three parallel runners which correspond to the length of the transport box. The two outermost runners are provided with a flat arrangement, whereas the middle runner is arch-shaped.

[0006] Although the longitudinal runners provided in this transport box ensure the required stability and handiness for this box, they can still lead to jamming of the transport box in conveying systems such as conveyor belts or the like. The production of the runners also require relatively large matrixes for the production of the same and the runners need to be welded together with the supporting pillars or glued together with an adhesive of high strength.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is based on the object of providing a runner for a transport box, a pallet or the like which is exceptionally stable, easy to produce and rapidly exchangeable.

[0008] This object is achieved by a runner assembled with several similar or diametrically opposed runner elements.

[0009] The invention leads to the major advantage that the runners consist of runner elements which can be assembled and are provided with a handy size, especially with respect to handling and mounting. When the runner elements are provided with a hollow arrangement, much weight can be saved and the required stability can still be maintained.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Further advantages of the invention arise from the dependent claims and the description below in which the invention is explained in more detail by reference to an embodiment shown in the schematic drawings, wherein:

[0011] FIG. 1 shows a stacking box with runners;

[0012] FIG. 2 shows a pallet with runners;

[0013] FIG. 3 shows runner elements for the stacking box in an exploded view from below, and

[0014] FIG. 4 shows the same runner elements of FIG. 3 in a perspective view from above.

[0015] The same reference numerals were used for the same elements in the figures and first-time explanations relate to all figures, unless stated expressly otherwise.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] FIG. 1 shows a stackable transport box 1 with a base plate 2, four side walls 3, 4, 5 and 6, and with supporting pillars 8 at the corners 9 and supporting pillars 10 in the middle between two corners 9. The inwardly hollow arranged supporting pillars 8 and 10 are mutually connected by means of runner elements 12. The assembled runner elements 12 form a closed rectangle. The transport 1 as illustrated here can be folded together, i.e. the walls 3, 4, 5 and 6 can be flipped together by means of hinges (not shown) along edges 14 and 15.

[0017] FIG. 2 shows a pallet 20 made of a rigid plastic material such a polypropylene (PP) or the like. Said pallet 20 is provided in the corner regions 21 with supporting pillars 22 which are arranged as tube elements and have the cross section of an oblong octagon. At the shorter sides 23 of the pallet 20, the same supporting pillars 24 are provided between the supporting pillars 22. Moreover, further supporting pillars 25 are provided between supporting pillars 22 and 24, which pillars 25 have an octagonal cross section. Runner elements 28 are now inserted into the hollow supporting pillars 22 along the longer sides 27, as in FIG. 1. The two runner elements 28a and 28b have an identical configuration, meaning that they are provided with a hollow cam 29 and a hollow cam 30 at the inner end, which cams correspond to the inside dimensions of the supporting pillars 22. Cam 30 corresponds to half the inside cross section of the supporting pillar 25, so that the inside cams 30 of the runner elements 28a and 28b jointly precisely fill the hollow supporting pillar 25. The runner elements 28a and 28b are removed from the mould in a hollow fashion themselves and are mutually coupled by means of a connecting piece (not shown herein). As is shown, the runner elements 28a and 28b have flat longitudinal ribs 31 which have a height of approximately 2 to 3 mm. Similarly arranged necks 32 with raster-shaped ribs 33 are inserted into the middle supporting pillars 24 and 25, which necks have the same height as the runner elements 28a and 28b. The base plate 35 of pallet 20 is also provided with raster-like ribs 36 for reinforcement purposes.

[0018] FIGS. 3 and 4 show the runner elements 12 of the transport box 1. They are arranged either as a short element 12a and a diametrically opposed short element 12b, or as a long element 12c and a diametrically opposed long element 12d. The runner elements 12 consist of an oblong hollow supporting part 40 and an inside cam 41 and an outside cam 42. As tubular pieces, the inside cams 41 and the outside cams 42 are provided with a hollow arrangement and are provided with a honeycomb-like reinforcement 44. The runner elements 12 are now mutually connected in the middle by means of connection pieces 43 which are inserted into the hollow spaces of the supporting parts 40. The two outside cams 42 of a short element 12a and a diametrically opposed long element 12d are also provided shaped in a diametrically opposed fashion and are provided with a notch-shaped separating wall 45a or 45d. These two separating walls 45a and 45d thus fit into each other, so that the two cams 42 fit into a hollow supporting pillar 8. The two inner cams 41 of a short element 12a and a diametrically opposed short element 12d are also provided with a diametrically opposed configuration and fit precisely into the hollow space of the middle supporting pillar 10. In this way a closed rectangular supporting frame can be formed. The cams 41 or 42 can be fastened to the supporting pillars 8 or 10 by means of screws (not shown), for which purpose respective bores 47 are provided in the cams 41 and 42 and in the supporting pillars 8 and 10. These runner elements 12a, 12b, 12c and 12d are also provided with longitudinal ribs 31. As is shown further, the hollow space of the supporting part 40 shows a trapezoid cross section. It can also be provided with an arc-shaped arrangement.

[0019] The runner elements 28 of pallet 20 are now arranged like the runner elements 12 of transport box 1.

[0020] In order to reinforce the runner elements 12 or 28, glass-fiber reinforced rods can be inserted which fit in a dimensionally accurate manner in the inside hollow space of the supporting parts 40. The rods can also be made of metal such as aluminum or steel. The mechanical stability of the runner elements 12 or 28 can thus be increased further. These rods can also be formed by the connection pieces 43 which then have approximately the same length as the runner elements 12 or 28. For the purpose of further stabilization, the hollow spaces of the supporting parts 40 can be subdivided into further hollow spaces by means of longitudinal ribs (not shown here in more detail).