Title:
Foldable plastic box, assemblable, having 5 cavities, with or without folding upper covers, to contain agricultural products
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Box of 5 pieces or cavities made in plastic material, that comprises a base, greater and smaller walls, with or without upper covers, with hinged means that allow to lower the walls on the base in order to reduce the dimensions of the box and to adopt a storing position; and with press fit means of easy manipulation that allow to lock the walls permitting the box to adopt an using position, and to unlock the walls to lower them on the base. In addition the box to the present invention comprises rigid male/female means, that can be flattened, arranged in their upper corners of the greater walls, that allow to flatten the male protrusions in order to give an improved security in the process of stacking of pallets on finished product pallets, avoiding with it the risks of lateral failings of columns boxes and whole pallets. Besides, it provides more space in shelves in the market. Also, the box comprises greater and smaller walls slightly widened towards its corners that gives to it an improved resistance to support the diverse loads and stresses which are exerted to the box when it is being used, specially the ones generated in the stacking.



Inventors:
Sanzana, Cecil Marcel (Santiago, CL)
Sanchez, Edgar Antonio (Santiago, CL)
Carbonari, Alberto (Santiago, CL)
Application Number:
11/213945
Publication Date:
03/16/2006
Filing Date:
08/30/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HICKS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. Foldable, assemblable, stackable and re-usable box, to store, to transport and to exhibit agricultural products, such as diverse horticultural and fruit products, of the type conformed by five pieces or cavities among which one corresponds to the base, two to greater walls and two to the smaller walls, with or without folding upper covers, with hinged means which allow to lower the walls on the base in order to reduce to the dimensions of the box adopting a storing position, with locking and unlocking means of the walls to each other, with stacking means of male-female type arranged in the corners, with structural columns that give rigidity to the box, with arranged perforations that allow to observe and to ventilate the interior of the box, with or without clips for cards, with or without incorporated handles, characterized in that it comprises reinforced greater and smaller walls and with greater thickness in the columns located in the corners (widened in its corners) that give them greater resistance to support the diverse loads and stresses which are exerted to the box when it is being used, specially the ones generated in the stacking; simultaneously it comprises opening and closing press fit means of the box which involve an easy manipulation, which allow to assemble or disassemble the box easily; also it comprises rigid male/female means and simultaneously being able to become flatten that allow to flatten the protruding male elements to permit that the columns of stacking loaded boxes that get in contact with pallets, preventing unstable columns that may turn upside down causing damages to the content of the boxes; and in addition by its structure they are boxes that save space when they are placed in shelves in the market.

2. The box according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a base (1) that includes a perimetric structural rib (9), having a right trapezium cross-section, defined by an inclined inner side (9a) that connects with this base (1) and that, by an arc, in its top connects with a horizontal upper side (9b), which connects with a vertical outer side (9c) that finishes level with the surface of this base (1); said perimetric structural rib (9) has a little height in the smaller walls (3) of the box and a greater height in the greater walls (2), besides, it defines a lower perimetric channel (10), which includes concave connections in the vertexes coinciding with the convex lower rounded corners (11), that are arranged in the lower ends of the smaller walls (3).

3. The box according to claim 2, characterized in that the lower perimetric channel (10) located in the perimetric structural rib (9) of the base (1) includes a plurality of transversal ribs (12), that fill the height and width of this channel (10) in the ends of the articulated hinges (4) as much in the greater walls (2) as in the smaller ones (3), these ribs (12) include great rectangular grooves, forming L shaped ribs perpendicular to the base (1).

4. The box according to claim 2, characterized in that the perimetric structural rib (9) located in the base (1) includes upper male protrusions (6b) generally having a pyramidal trunk with a square base shape, arranged in the corners, which agree with the complementary groove or cavity (14). arranged in the lower ends of the greater walls (2) of the box, so that these protrusions (6b) and said grooves or cavities (14) connect with each other increasing the resistance to the load that is applied on the corners when the box is assembled and stressed by vertical compression forces.

5. The box according to claim 4, characterized in that the male protrusions with a square base (6b) arranged in the corners of the base (1) fit in a same vertical axis with the perimetric channel (10) of the base (1), where it is located a stacking female cavity (6a), which defines a system that serves to stack the boxes in a storing position, being these boxes perfectly assembled and secured.

6. The box according to claim 5, characterized in that the greater walls (2) include upper male pyramidal protrusions (6c) arranged in the corners, that fit in a same vertical axis with the perimetric channel (10) of the base (1), right where the female stacking (6a) cavities are located, which defines a system that serves to stack the assembled boxes in a using position; also, the upper male pyramidal protrusions (6c) of the last upper row of the pallet are flattened by the weight of a pallet that is placed on it, and thus protruding elements, that could make unstable the load placed on it, are eliminated.

7. The box according to claim 2, characterized in that the greater walls (2) are of smaller height compared with the smaller walls (3), so that when they are connected to the base (1) and in using position the greater walls (2) and the smaller walls (3) reach a same height.

8. The box according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a base (1) that includes a plurality of hexagonal perforations (8), generally extended, which are arranged at regular intervals and distributed by quadrants with its greater axes oriented towards the quadrant diagonally opposed or the center of the base (1).

9. The box according to claim 2, characterized in that in the perimetric structural rib (9) there are articulated hinges (4) along the perimeter of the base (1), when it is seen from the top, which have a male component and a female component; the female hinge (13) has a plurality of oblong rectangular perforations (13a) arranged in the inclined walls (9a), which prolong its central part in the upper walls (9b) where they define square shaped perforations (13b), inside each one of these perforations is included an “L” shaped partition (13c) that is connected to the lower edge of the rectangular perforation (13a) and to the outer edge of the square shaped perforation (13b), and which additionally includes lateral protrusions (13d) connected to said upper wall (9b), defining complementary concave profiles following a same arc of curvature with a concave channel (13e) included in the horizontal portion of this inner partition (13c), so that each one of these perforations can allow an inverted “T” type male hinge (37) to enter in it and to connect with it in a simple manner; this male hinge (37) is connected to the greater walls (2) and smaller walls (3) of the box and includes a “T” shaped perimetric rib (37a), an upper end (37b), a lower end (37c), and a “T” inner channel of smaller thickness (37d).

10. The box according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises greater walls (2) which are conformed in the upper and lower part by a “C” type longitudinal profile (15), opened towards the outside of the box, where the height of the upper “C” type profile (15b) is greater than the height of the lower one (15a), and both are distanced and simultaneously connected by semi cylindrical central columns (16) arranged vertically, which are also opened towards the outside of the box; these greater walls (2) have their corners conformed by structural columns (17) which are rectangular and composed by three vertically arranged bodies, with concave and convex shapes, two of which, that are contiguous and simultaneously opposite, have the shape of a “C” profile, and the third body, located in the edge, have the shape of a “L” in which the male locking means are located (5).

11. The box according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises smaller walls (3) which include a longitudinal lower “L” type profile (18), arranged horizontally level with the outer part the box, and a rectangular longitudinal upper “C” type profile (19), arranged horizontally and opened towards the outside the box, this last profile is equal in height than the longitudinal upper profile (15b) of the greater walls (2), and both profiles (18) and (19) are separated and simultaneously connected through vertically arranged semi cylindrical central columns (20), also opened towards the outside of the box; these smaller walls (3) have their corners conformed by structural columns (21) which are rectangular and composed by three vertically arranged bodies, with concave and convex shapes, two of which, that are contiguous and simultaneously opposite, have the shape of a “C” profile, and the third body, located in the edge, have the shape of a “L” because of a groove along the column that permits a perfect connection with the grater walls (2); in this last body rectangular cavities (24) are included which represent the “female” that receives the “male” locking mean (5) when the box is assembled.

12. The box according to claims 10 and 11, characterized in that the longitudinal upper profiles (15b) and (19), of the greater walls (2) and smaller walls (3), respectively, have the same height.

13. The box according to claim 10, characterized in that the lateral ribs, centred (17a), upper (15b), and lower (15a) of the greater walls (2) include a plurality of reinforcing inner transversal ribs (22).

14. The box according to claim 11, characterized in that the structural column corners (21) and the longitudinal “C” type profiles (19) of the smaller walls (3) include a plurality of reinforcing inner transversal ribs (22).

15. The box according to claims 10 and 11, characterized in that the structural column corners (17) of the greater walls (2) include in almost all their height an “L” shaped cross section lateral rim (23a), vertically arranged, level with the upper and outer profiles of the box, opened towards the nearest smaller wall (3), and connected with a “L” shaped complementary groove (23b), which is vertically arranged in the smaller walls (3), so that these rims (23a) and grooves (23b) conform reinforcement structures in the corners of the box when the greater walls (2) and the smaller walls (3) are in the use position (assembled box).

16. The box according to claim 15, characterized in that each “L” shaped lateral rim (23a) arranged in the greater walls (2) include a plurality of male locking means (5) arranged perpendicularly and projected towards the inside of the box, that penetrates in the rectangular cavity locking means (24) which are located in the respective complementary groove (23b) arranged in the smaller walls (3), permitting a greater resistance and structural closing in the corners of the box.

17. The box according to the claim 15, characterized in that each structural column (17) located in the corner of the greater walls (2) includes in the upper part a hexagonal upper perforation (25a) and a circular lower perforation (25b), both connected by a rectangular intermediate perforation (25c), within this upper perforation (25a) is included a hexagonal protrusion (26a) that protrudes towards the outside of the box and that is connected to a central pivot (26b), which is connected with a circular disc (26c) that protrudes inclined towards the outside of the box; the central pivot (26b) in its central part is connected to a transversal partition (26d) which is joined by its ends to two sides of the perimeter of the intermediate perforation (25c); this piece conforms a clip for an easy opening, assembling and folding of the box.

18. The box according to claim 17, characterized in that the smaller walls (3) include in the lateral profile of the structural column (21) located in the corner a cavity of three sides (27) to receive the clip for an easy opening, assembling and folding of the box, where fits perfectly well the hexagonal protrusion (26a), allowing to close and to lock easily the walls (2) and (3) securing them in an assembled position, and also they allow to unlock them easily, by exerting a slight pressure in said circular disc (26c), which unlocks the hexagonal protrusion (26a), it is uncoupled from the cavity of three sides (27), in order to allow that these walls (2) and (3) can be lowered to the storing position.

19. The box according to claim 10, characterized in that the profiles and columns (15a), (15b), (16) and (17) arranged in the greater walls (2) support a plurality of hexagonal perforations (28) that conform a homogenous arrangement in the greater walls (2), where this arrangement is level with the outer side of the box, except in the arrangement of the quadrants where the card clip (36) and (37) is located, in this case the arrangement of the greater walls (2) is located in an average depth.

20. The box according to claim 11, characterized in that the profiles and columns (19), (20) and (21) arranged in the smaller walls (3) also take step to a plurality of hexagonal perforations (28) that conform homogenous arrangement in the smaller walls (3), being this arrangement level with the outer profile of the box.

21. The box according to claims 19 and 20, characterized in that the perforations (28) of said arrangements are regular hexagons.

22. The box according to claims 19 and 20, characterized in that the perforations (28) of said arrangements are hexagons which do not have equidistant edges.

23. The box according to the claim 1, characterized in that it includes perforations that can adopt diverse sizes and shapes but always constituting geometric figures of 6 sides, such as hexagons.

24. The box according to claim 10, characterized in that the longitudinal upper “C” type profiles (15b) of the greater walls (2) include in their vertical side a plurality of extended hexagonal perforations (29), with its greater axis arranged horizontally, which conform a row of perforations separated a little distance between each other.

25. The box according to claim 11, characterized in that the longitudinal upper “C” type profiles (19) of the smaller walls (3) include in their vertical profile a plurality of extended hexagonal perforations (29) having their greater axis horizontally arranged, which conform a row of perforations separated a little distance between each other.

26. The box according to claim 10, characterized in that the longitudinal upper profiles (15b) of the greater walls (2) are slightly depressed of the internal side of the box in relation to the structural columns (17) located in the corners.

27. The box according to claims 2 and 10, characterized in that the structural columns (17) located in the corners of the greater walls (2) include in their upper profile a hollow male pyramidal protrusion (6c) opened towards the opposed wall, that fits in the same vertical axis with the perimetric channel (10) of the base (1), so that when stacking the boxes in the using position they are secured, since this pyramidal projection (6c) fits perfectly with the female stacking cavity (6a) that forms part of the perimetric channel (10) in the lower corner.

28. The box according to claim 27, characterized in that the hollow male pyramidal protrusion (6c) arranged in the greater walls (2) can be flattened in order to eliminate from the box protuberances when it is in the using position.

29. The box according to claim 20, characterized in that at least one of the arrangements with hexagonal perforations (28) arranged between the profiles and structural columns (19), (20) and (21) of the smaller walls (3) includes a panel for labels (34).

30. The box according to claim 19, characterized in that one of the quadrants of the arrangements with hexagonal perforations (28) of the greater walls (2) located near the corner of the box includes a pair of cross type perforations (35) with a central pivot (36) for securing cards, conforming a clip for cards.

31. The box according to claims 9 and 10, characterized in that the longitudinal lower profiles (15a) of the greater walls (2) include in their lower part a plurality of inverted “T” type male hinges (37) conformed by inverted “T” type perimetric protrusions (37a), with rectangular cross section having an upper (37b) and a lower (37c) convex ends and with an inner channel “T” of smaller thickness (37d) which fit in the female hinges (13) located in the perimetric structural rib (9) of the base (1), allowing to lower these greater walls (2) from a vertical position of use to another horizontal storing position.

32. The box according to claims 9 and 11, characterized in that the longitudinal lower “L” type profile (18) of the smaller walls (3) include in their lower part a plurality of inverted “T” type male hinges (37) conformed by inverted “T” type perimetric protrusions (37a), with rectangular cross section having an upper (37b) and a lower (37c) convex ends and with an inner channel “T” of smaller thickness (37d) which fit in the female hinges (13) located in the perimetric structural rib (9) of the base (1), allowing to lower these smaller walls (3) from a vertical position of use to another horizontal storing position.

33. The box according to claims 31 and 32, characterized in that the hinges (37) of the greater walls (2) and the smaller walls (3) are connected in the perforations (13a) and (13b) of the base (1) allowing to lower these smaller walls (3) on the base (1), and then these greater walls (2) on the smaller walls (3), in order to let the box to adopt a storing position.

34. The box according to claim 11, characterized in that the longitudinal upper “C” type profiles (19) of the smaller walls (3) include in the upper part, two equidistant female cavities for cover clips (30), composed by a semi-depressed zone (30a) and a centred rectangular perforation (30b); in which cavity fit tightly the male protrusions (31) of the cover clip which are composed by a trapezoidal protrusion (31a) and an additional lateral rib (31b) arranged in the covers (7).

35. The box according to clam 11, characterized in that the longitudinal upper profiles (19) of the smaller walls (3) include in their upper-inner edge, near the corners, a pair of rectangular flaps (32) for additional joining, which connect in an overlapped manner with a similar pair of flaps (33) for additional joining arranged in the covers (7).

36. The box according to claims 10 and 11, characterized in that it includes two flat rectangular upper covers (7) with two reduced vertexes (38) which are complementary with the structural columns that are slightly widened towards the corners of the box, each one of which is connected to the upper-outer edge of the longitudinal upper profiles (15b) of the greater walls (2) of the box by means of flexible thin membrane hinges (39), which are placed along the cover in an intermittent manner, so when the box is in closed position said covers (7) lean on these longitudinal upper profiles (15b) and simultaneously lean by means of flat rectangular prolongations (40) on the female cavities (30) located in the smaller walls (3) of the box.

37. The box according to claim 36, characterized in that each cover (7) covers all the length of the box and has a width equal to the height of the box formed by the base (1) and the greater wall (2); in addition, the covers do not cover the whole upper surface of the box.

38. The box according to claims 26 and 36, characterized in that the covers (7) have a suitable thickness in order to fit perfectly in the longitudinal slot that is generated in the surface of the longitudinal upper profiles (15b) of the greater walls (2), reason why when the covers (7) and the box are in the closed position said covers (7) reach a same height that the structural columns (17) located in the corners of the box.

39. The box according to claims 35, 36 and 38, characterized in that the covers (7) include in their ends complementary flaps (33) that are locked with the flaps (32) of the smaller walls (3) of the box in order to allow an additional securing for the locking and closing of the covers (7) when the box is assembled.

40. The box according to claim 36, characterized in that the covers (7) include a uniform channel without perforations (41) in 3 sides of their outer surface, adjacent to the lateral edges and longitudinal opposed to the flexible thin membrane hinge (39).

41. The box according to claim 36, characterized in that the covers (7) include a plurality of hexagonal perforations (42) that conform an homogenous arrangement that covers the adjacent surface to this uniform channel without perforations (41), and also covers up to a little distance from the flexible thin membrane hinges (39).

42. The box according to the claim 1, characterized in that it includes covers (7) with perforations that can have diverse sizes and shape, but always constituting geometric figures of 6 sides, such as hexagons.

43. The box according to claims 1 to 35, characterized in that the box is fabricated in plastic material or a similar material.

44. The box according to claims 36 to 42, characterized in that the cover (7) is fabricated with a plastic material or a similar material.

45. The box according to anyone of the previous claims, characterized in that it can become a box with covers and/or without covers, and it may have different dimensions, such as: 20″ length×16″ width×117.6 mm height; 600 mm length×400 mm width×117.6 mm height; 500 mm length×300 mm width×153 mm height.

46. The box according to anyone of claims 1 to 44, characterized in that it can become a box with covers and/or without covers, with different combinations in its dimensions according to requirement.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

At the present time re-usable boxes exist in the market, which are made in different types of plastic, to store and to transport diverse horticultural and fruit products, some of them are conformed by 5 pieces or cavities that include a base, two greater walls, and two smaller walls, which include hinged means destined for folding these walls outwardly or inwardly, in order to reduce the dimensions of the box in a storing position (disassembled position), which facilitates the transport and storage of these boxes when they are not being used, and which simultaneously include press fit means that allow to lock these walls in order to enable the boxes to be in a using position (assembled position).

Although some of these conventional boxes have hinged and press fit means resistant to the different loads which they may carry, as well as to the constant transport, the storage according to diverse environmental conditions and to the stacking of the boxes, these press fit means are difficult to manipulate, which require in some cases skilled labour to make this task in order to not damaging or deteriorating the boxes, not only for assembling the boxes in the using position, but also for folding (disassembling) them in the storing position, which consequently requires to the producers, distributors, sellers or users in general resources and means that must be specially destined for such effect; in some cases is even necessary to strike the walls of the box, in order to lock or unlock them, with the consequent increase of wearing and deterioration of the used boxes time and time again.

Also, most of the boxes, as much conventional of 5 pieces as of the type of a single piece (monoblock) usually are conformed by walls of homogenous thickness which have male/female rigid means in their upper and lower corners, which are used for the corresponding insertion during the stacking. Nevertheless, the male elements of these means in some cases are not strong enough to support vertical loads when pallets (trowels with finished product) are arranged one upon another which causes deformations, specially when these male elements protrude from the bottom. In addition, these boxes must resist, without experimenting deformations, the different horizontal stresses that take place during the habitual movement in the transporting of loaded and stacked boxes and must also resist perpendicular impacts to the walls of the box.

On the other hand, the protruding male elements can represent a problem or obstacle when some boxes are placed in shelves.

In order to solve the habitual disadvantages of the conventional boxes destined to store, to transport and to exhibit diverse agricultural products it has been invented a box of 5 pieces or cavities, which is made in plastic material and comprises a base, a greater and smaller walls, with or without upper covers, with hinged means that allow to lower or to fold the walls on the base in order to reduce the volume of the assembled box and to adopt a storing position, and with press fit means and a button or clip of easy manipulation which allows to lock and to join the walls enabling the box to be in the using position and also to unlock them in order to lower them on the base.

In addition, the box of the present invention comprises male/female rigid means arranged in the upper corners of the box, that can be uniformly flattened in their edges when a wooden pallet with load is placed upon the box, which avoids the risk of a possible falling of the pallet formed by a set of boxes that contains agricultural or other products.

Also the box comprises greater and smaller walls widened in their corners in order to make the box stronger when is stressed by diverse loads and stresses, specially the ones that occur during the stacking or during eventual impacts.

The propose box consists basically of the following main sectors:

  • A base.
  • Two greater walls.
  • Two smaller walls.
  • Hinges of two pieces.
  • Insertion system for an optimal stacking.
  • Rigid locking and joining system between walls.
  • Folding covers for protection of the content.
  • Closing clip to assemble the box and to fold it in a simple manner.
  • Trapezoidal clip to lock the folding covers with the smaller walls.
  • Hinges of one piece composed by a compact and intermittent thin membranes.
  • Panel for labels of different dimensions.
  • Clips for cards with technical specifications of the contained products.
    In addition, the proposed box allows:
  • Easy assembled and folded of the box without the use of nails, hooks or glues.
  • Because of the clip system which permits a simple opening and closing of the box of 5 cavities, it is generated a saving of time and movements inside the companies dedicated to the packing of agricultural products.
  • It has protection covers for protecting the product inside the box.
  • Easy manipulation of the load.
  • Saving space in storerooms when storing folded empty boxes.
  • Saving transporting.
  • Saving pre-cooling, because it permits a very quickly absorption of energy (reducing the temperature).
  • Use of 100% recyclable raw material.
  • It does not absorb humidity and it maintains its structure without changes.
  • Smaller condensation in cold storage chambers.
  • Excellent ventilation avoiding the formation of fungi and deterioration of the product contained in its interior.
  • Weight of the box optimized in comparison with substitute products.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The FIG. 1 represents a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

The FIG. 2 represents a perspective view of the FIG. 1 with the covers in an opened position.

The FIG. 3 represents a top view of the FIG. 1.

The FIG. 4-A represents a top view of the base.

The FIG. 4-B represents a bottom view of the base.

The FIG. 5 represents a right lateral view of the FIG. 1.

The FIG. 6 represents a back view of the FIG. 1.

The FIG. 7 represents a front view of the FIG. 1.

The FIG. 8 represents a cross section view through line A-A of the FIG. 5

The FIG. 9 represents a close up view of zone B of the FIG. 5.

The FIG. 10 represents a cross section view through line C-C of the FIG. 5

The FIG. 11 represents a cross section view through line D-D of the FIG. 5.

The FIG. 12 represents a cross section view through line E-E of the FIG. 5.

The FIG. 13 represents a close up view of zone F.

The FIG. 14 represents a close up view of zone G.

The FIG. 15 represents a perspective view of a corner of the assembled box, with a cover in the closed position.

The FIG. 16 represents a perspective view of a corner of the assembled box, with a cover in the opened position.

The FIG. 17-A represents a perspective view of a corner of the box, with a smaller wall in a folded position, with a greater wall in a vertical position, and with a cover in an opened position.

The FIG. 17-B represents close up view of the hinge.

The FIG. 17-C represents close up view of the hinge.

The FIG. 17-D represents a perspective view of a corner of an embodiment of the box without cover, with a smaller wall in folded position, and with a greater wall in vertical position.

The FIG. 18 represents a perspective view of a corner of the box, with a folded smaller wall, with a folded greater wall, and with a folded cover.

The FIG. 19 represents a top view of the base separated from a greater wall.

The FIG. 20 represents a cross section view of two folded and stacked boxes.

The FIG. 21 represents a cross section view of two assembled and stacked boxes.

SUMMARY OF NUMERICAL REFERENCES ASSOCIATED TO THE DRAWINGS

  • 1 base
  • 2 greater wall
  • 3 smaller Wall
  • 4 articulated hinge
  • 5 male locking means
  • 6a female stacking cavity
  • 6b male square base protrusion
  • 6c male pyramidal protrusion
  • 7 upper cover
  • 8 hexagonal perforation
  • 9 perimetric structural rib
  • 9a inner side of the perimetric structural rib
  • 9b upper side of the perimetric structural rib
  • 9c outer side of perimetric structural rib
  • 10 perimetric channel
  • 11 rounded corner (groove)
  • 12 transversal rib
  • 13 female hinge
  • 13a rectangular perforation of the female hinge
  • 13b square perforation of the female hinge
  • 13c L shaped partition of the female hinge
  • 13d lateral prolongation of the female hinge
  • 13e concave channel of the female hinge
  • 14 female stacking cavity
  • 15a longitudinal lower “C” type profile
  • 15b longitudinal upper “C” type profile
  • 16 semi cylindrical central column
  • 17 structural column corner
  • 18 longitudinal lower “L” type profile
  • 19 longitudinal upper “C” type profile
  • 20 semi cylindrical central column
  • 21 structural column corner
  • 22 perpendicular rib in columns and in “C” type structure
  • 23a L shaped lateral rim of the structural column corner
  • 23b L shaped complementary groove of the structural column corner
  • 24 female rectangular cavity locking mean
  • 25a hexagonal upper perforation of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 25b circular lower perforation of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 25c rectangular intermediate perforation of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 26a hexagonal protrusion of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 26b central pivot of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 26c circular disc of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 26d partition or transversal column of the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 27 three sides cavity to receive the simple opening and folding clip of the box
  • 28 hexagonal perforation
  • 29 extended hexagonal perforation
  • 30 cover clip female cavity
  • 30a semi depressed zone of the cover clip female cavity
  • 30b rectangular perforation of the cover clip female cavity
  • 31 cover clip male protrusion
  • 31a cover closing clip trapezoidal protrusion
  • 31b additional lateral rib of the cover closing clip trapezoidal protrusion
  • 32 Flap for additional locking
  • 33 Flap for additional locking
  • 34 Panel for label
  • 35 cross type perforation for central pivot for cards
  • 36 central pivot for securing cards
  • 37 inverted “T” type male hinge
  • 37a inverted “T” shaped perimetric rib
  • 37b upper end of the inverted “T” shaped perimetric rib
  • 37c lower end of the inverted “T” shaped perimetric rib
  • 37d “T” inner channel of smaller thickness of the inverted “T” shaped perimetric rib
  • 38 reduced vertex
  • 39 thin membrane or flexible hinge
  • 40 flat prolongation to cover closing clip
  • 41 uniform channel without perforations
  • 42 hexagonal perforation

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention consists basically of a box made in plastic material or in a similar raw material, foldable, easy to assemble, stackable and re-usable, to store, to transport and to exhibit agricultural products, such as diverse horticultural and fruit products, conformed by 5 pieces or cavities among which one corresponds to the base, two to greater walls and two to the smaller walls, with or without folding upper covers.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, according to the figures contained in this presentation, the proposed box comprises a base (1), grater walls (2), and smaller walls (3); which includes a plurality of articulated hinges (4), that connect this base (1) with these walls (2) and (3) and that allow to lower the smaller walls (3) on the base (1), and the greater walls (2) on the smaller walls (3), in a storing position or in the storage of empty boxes; it includes locking means of the male type (5) which are complementary with respective rectangular cavities associated to female locking means (24), which allow to lock to each other the walls (2) and (3), in a using position; and it includes stacking means of the male/female type that allow to secure the stacked boxes when they are assembled or folded (disassembled); also, this box may include optional upper covers (7), according to the requirement or final use that is intended for the package.

More particularly, the base (1) includes in all its surface, except in the central zone, a plurality of hexagonal perforations (8), generally extended, arranged at regular intervals, by quadrants, with its greater axes oriented towards the quadrant diagonally opposed.

Also, the base (1) includes perimetric structural rib (9) having a trapezial cross-section, defined by an inclined inner side (9a) that connects with this base (1) and that, by an arc, in its top connects with a horizontal upper side (9b), which connects with a vertical outer side (9c) that finishes level with the surface of this base (1), which has a little height in the smaller walls (3) and simultaneously has a greater height in the greater walls (2), in addition, this perimetric structural rib (9) forms a lower perimetric channel (10), and includes in the corners a convex completion that agrees with the rounded corners (11) arranged in the lower ends of the smaller walls (3), which allows an easy assembled and/or folded of the box.

On the other hand, the lower perimetric channel (10) includes a plurality of transversal ribs (12), that fill the height and width of this channel (10) in the ends of the articulated hinges (4), as much in the greater walls (2) as in the smaller ones (3); in addition, these ribs (12) include great rectangular grooves, forming L shaped ribs perpendicular to the base (1).

On the other hand, along the perimetric structural rib (9) there are several cavities that conform the female components (13) of the hinges (4), which are composed by a plurality of oblong rectangular perforations (13a) arranged in the inclined walls (9a), which prolong their central part in the upper walls (9b) where they define square shaped perforations (13b); inside each one of these perforations is included an “L” shaped partition (13c) that is connected to the lower edge of the rectangular perforation (13a) and to the upper outer edge of the square perforation (13b), and which additionally includes lateral prolongations (13d) connected to said upper wall (9b), defining complementary concave profiles following a same arc of curvature with a concave channel (13e) included in the horizontal portion of this lower “L” shaped partition (13c), so that each one of these female components (13) receives an inverted “T” type male component (37) of the hinges (4), which are connected to the walls (2) and (3) of the box.

Also, the perimetric structural rib (9) includes superficial male protrusions (6b) having a shape of a pyramidal trunk with a square base, arranged in the corners, which agree with complementary grooves or cavities (14) in the lower ends of the greater walls (2) so that these protrusions (6b) and said grooves or cavities (14) connect with each other permitting a greater stability and structural joining to the corners of the box when these are assembled.

In addition, these superficial male protrusions (6b) fit in a same vertical axis with the perimetric channel (10) of the base (1), so that when stacking the folded boxes these are secured in the “female” stacking cavity (6a), which is arranged in the lower corners of the base (1).

The greater walls (2) are smaller in height when compared with the smaller walls (3). This difference is compensated with the shape of the perimetric structural rib (9) of the base (1) which allows that the greater walls (2) as much as the smaller walls (3) reach a same height when the box is assembled in order to be used.

On the other hand, the greater walls (2) are conformed in the upper and lower part by a “C” type longitudinal profile opened towards the outside of the box, where the height of the upper “C” type profile (15b) is greater than the height of the lower one (15a), and both are distanced and simultaneously connected by semi cylindrical central columns (16) arranged vertically, also opened towards the outside of the box. These greater walls (2) have their corners conformed by structural columns (17) which are rectangular and composed by three vertically arranged bodies, with concave and convex shapes, two of which, that are contiguous and simultaneously opposite, have the shape of a “C” profile, and the third body, located in the edge, have the shape of a “L” in which the male locking means are located (5).

On the other hand, the smaller walls (3) include a longitudinal lower “L” type profile (18), arranged horizontally level with the outer part of the box, and a rectangular longitudinal upper “C” type profile (19), arranged horizontally and opened towards the outside the box, this last profile is equal in height than the longitudinal upper profile (15b) of the greater walls (2), and both profiles (18) and (19) are separated and simultaneously connected through vertically arranged semi cylindrical central columns (20), also opened towards the outside of the box. These smaller walls (3) have their corners conformed by structural columns (21) which are rectangular and composed by three vertically arranged bodies, with concave and convex shapes, two of which, that are contiguous and simultaneously opposite, have the shape of a “C” profile, and the third body, located in the edge, have the shape of a “L” because of a groove along the column that permits a perfect connection with the grater walls (2); in this last body rectangular cavities (24) are included which represent the “female” that receives the “male” locking mean (5) when the box is assembled.

All the structural column corners (17) and (21), and the longitudinal “C” type profiles (15) and (19) include a plurality of transversal or perpendicular inner ribs (22).

The structural column corners (17) of the greater walls (2) include in almost all their height an “L” shaped cross section lateral rim (23a), vertically arranged and having a smaller height than the height of the greater walls (2), opened towards the nearest smaller wall (3), and connected with it in all its height. Just where ends this “L” shaped cross section lateral rim (23a) and where the greater wall (2) connects with the smaller wall (3) takes place an “L” shaped complementary groove (23b) in the smaller wall (3), which is also “L” shaped.

In the structural column corners (17) of the greater walls (2) is, in the upper part, a simple opening and folding clip of the box, conformed by a hexagonal upper perforation (25a), a circular lower perforation (25b), both connected by a rectangular intermediate perforation (25c), within this upper perforation (25a) is included a hexagonal protrusion (26a) that protrudes towards the outside of the box and that is connected to a central pivot (26b), which is connected with a circular disc (26c) that protrudes inclined towards the outside of the box; the central pivot (26b) in its central part is connected to a transversal partition (26d) which is joined by its ends to the intermediate perforation (25c).

On the other hand, the smaller walls (3) include in the lateral profile of their corners conformed by structural columns (21) a three sides cavity (27) destined to receive the hexagonal protrusion (26a), so they allow to lock in a simple manner the walls (2) and (3) locking them in an assembled position, and also they allow to unlock them easily, by exerting a slight pressure in said circular disc (26c), which unlocks the respective hexagonal protrusion (26a), in order to allow said walls (2) and (3) to be lowered or folded in a storing position.

The space between the longitudinal profiles (15), (15a), (15b), (18), (19) of the greater walls (2) and smaller walls (3), the central columns and the structural columns (16), (17), (20) and (21) is conformed by a plurality of hexagonal perforations (28) that conforms an homogenous arrangement in the greater walls (2) and smaller walls (3), where this arrangement is level with the outer side of the box except in the arrangements of the quadrants where the card clip (perforation (35) and pivot (36)), in this case the arrangement of the greater walls (2) is located in an average depth.

These perforations (28) of said arrangements can be regular hexagons, or extended hexagons, i.e., having a greater width than height or vice versa.

The longitudinal upper profiles (15b) and (19) include in their surface a plurality of extended hexagonal perforations (29), with their greater axis arranged horizontally, which conform a row of perforations separated a little distance between each other.

The longitudinal upper “C” type profiles (19) of the smaller walls (3) in the upper part include, a pair of equidistant rectangular zones slightly depressed that are the closing clip female cavities (30) of the cover (7), each one of which includes a semi-depressed zone (30a) and a centred rectangular perforation (30b), in which tightly fit male protrusions (31) arranged in the covers (7). These male protrusions comprise a cover closing clip trapezoidal protrusion (31a) and an additional lateral rib of the cover closing clip trapezoidal protrusion (31b).

The longitudinal upper “C” type profiles (19) of the smaller walls (3) include in their upper-inner edge, near the corners, a pair of rectangular flaps (32) protruding towards inside the box, which connect with a similar pair of flaps (33), arranged in the covers (7), in an overlapped manner.

The longitudinal upper profiles (15b) of the greater walls (2) are slightly depressed in relation to the corner conformed by structural columns (17). This space is useful to receive the thickness of the cover (7) that leans in it when the box has been assembled.

The corners conformed by structural columns (17) of the greater walls (2) include in their upper profile a hollow pyramidal-trunk protrusion (6c) opened towards the opposed wall, that fits in a same vertical axis with the perimetric channel (10) of the base (1), so that when stacking the boxes in using position these are locked. The space or cavity where this hollow pyramidal-trunk enters (6c) is named female stacking cavity (6a). Also, these hollow pyramidal-trunk protrusions (6c) can be flattened in order to eliminate from the box protuberances when it is in the using position.

One of the smaller walls (3) of the box can be destined as a panel for labels (34).

In the greater walls (2) in the region located near the lower corner of the box is included a pair of cross type perforations (35) with a central pivot (36) conforming clips for placing the cards.

The longitudinal lower profiles (15a) and (18) are connected in their lower part to a plurality of inverted “T” shaped protrusions (37a) with a rectangular cross-section having a upper and (37b) and a lower end (37c) convex and with a channel in the form of an inner “T” (37d), that are fitted in the perforations (13a), (13b) that are part of the female hinge (13) located in the perimetric structural rib (9) of the base (1), allowing to lower the greater walls (2) and smaller walls (3), from a vertical position of use to another horizontal storing position in a very simple manner.

The two covers (7) are rectangular flat and include two complementary reduced vertexes (38) with the widened profiles arranged in the corners of the box.

Each cover (7) covers all the length of the box and has a width equal to the overall height of the same that is equal to the height of the greater wall (2) plus the height of the base (1).

The covers (7) are connected to the longitudinal upper profiles (15b) of the greater walls (2) of the box by means of thin membranes or flexible hinges (39), so that in a closed position, the covers (7) lean on these longitudinal upper “C” type profile (15b) and simultaneously they lean by means of flat rectangular protrusions (40) on the female cavity (30) located in the smaller walls (3). In these flat rectangular prolongations (40) a trapezial protrusion is included (31a) that acts as a locking clip of the covers (7) with the smaller walls (3). This trapezial protrusion (31a) comprises longitudinal lateral ribs (31b) and penetrates in the rectangular perforation (30b) located in the smaller walls (2) when it is wanted to close the cover in the assembled position of the box.

The covers (7) include in their ends the complementary flaps (33) that are locked with the flaps (32) of the smaller walls (3) of the box, in order to allow an additional reinforcement in the locking of the covers (7) when the box is assembled and covered.

The covers (7) include a perimetric channel of three sides (41) of uniform material without perforations in their outer surface adjacent to the lateral and longitudinal edges opposed to the flexible hinges composed by a thin membrane of material (39).

The covers (7) include a plurality of hexagonal perforations (42) that conform an homogenous arrangement that cover the surface that is surrounded by this perimetric channel of three sides (41) and up to a little distance from the flexible hinges (39).