Title:
Boiler shipping apparatus and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for securing a combustion device to a support member includes a leg attached to the combustion device, the leg configured to rest against a member and to be fastened to the member by a fastener and an intermediate member placed in a hole in the leg, wherein the intermediate member is fastened to the support member by a fastener, and the leg is fastened to the support member via the intermediate member. A method for preparing a combustion appliance for shipping is provided. The method includes forming a leg for the combustion appliance, placing the leg on a shipping member, inserting an intermediate member into a hole in the leg and fastening the leg to the shipping member with a fastener extending through the intermediate member, wherein a portion of the leg is located between the intermediate member and the shipping member.



Inventors:
Moskwa, Kenneth R. (Valparaiso, IN, US)
Hoffmaster, Fred (LaPorte, IN, US)
Miller, Wayne (Michigan City, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/117520
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
04/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for securing a combustion device support to a member comprising: a leg attached to the combustion device the leg configured to rest against a member and be fastened to the support member by a fastener.

2. The system of claim 1, further comprising a hole in the leg configured to allow the fastener pass through the hole and connect to the support member.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the fastener is a nut and bolt.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the support member is part of a wooden pallet.

5. The system of claim 1, further comprising an intermediate member placed in a hole in the leg wherein the intermediate member is fastened to the support member by a fastener and the leg is fastened to the support member via the intermediate member.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the intermediate member has a U shaped cross section.

7. The system of claim 5, wherein the intermediate member is made of sheet metal.

8. The system of claim 5, further comprising slots in the intermediate member configured to permit the fastener to attach the intermediate member to the support member.

9. The system of claim 5, further comprising a second intermediate member located in a second leg and attached to a support member by a second fastener.

10. The system of claim 5, wherein the leg is cast iron and part of a flue section of a boiler.

11. A method of preparing a combustion appliance for shipping comprising: forming a leg for the combustion appliance; placing the leg on a shipping member; inserting an intermediate member into a hole in the leg; and fastening the leg to the shipping member with a fastener extending through the intermediate member wherein a portion of the leg is located between the intermediate member and the shipping member.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the fastener is inserted into a slot in the intermediate member.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the shipping member is a pallet.

14. The method of claim 11, further including casting the leg to have a large loop.

15. A system for securing a combustion device to a support member comprising: means for supporting the combustion device attached to the combustion device and configured to rest against a support member; and means for fastening the support member to the means for supporting the combustion device.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the support member is part of a wooden pallet.

17. The system of claim 15, further comprising an intermediate member placed in a hole in the supporting means wherein the intermediate member is fastened to the support member by the fastening means and the supporting means is fastened to the member via the intermediate member.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein the intermediate member has a U shaped cross section.

19. The system of claim 17, wherein the intermediate member is made of sheet metal.

20. The system of claim 17, further comprising slots in the intermediate member configured to permit the fastening means to attach the intermediate member to the support member.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a shipping system. More particularly, the present invention relates to a shipping system for shipping combustion appliances such as domestic boilers, including attaching the combustion appliance to part of a support.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Large appliances, particularly combustion appliances such as boilers, can be very heavy and at times awkward to ship. Often, these appliances, while heavy, may be equipped with delicate parts and need to be shipped in a strong container to avoid damage to certain aspects of the appliance. In addition, the containers may be stacked which further requires the containers to be strong.

Heavy appliances are commonly shipped in wood containers, but they must be secured within the container to avoid moving around and being damaged. The shipping containers may be made of other materials than wood, but still have the characteristics of being light enough to be cost-effective to be a shipping container and also strong enough to protect the apparatus contained within the container. The shipping container may include a support for the combustion device such as a wood pallet. The wood pallet may be part of the container itself, or secured within the containers. Other ways of shipping the combustion device can include mounting the combustion device to a pallet and not covering the combustion device with a container at all.

One problem associated with shipping appliances within shipping containers is attaching the appliance to the container. Shipping the appliance and container is generally a one-time event, therefore it is not particularly desirable to allocate substantial resources or to make an expensive feature of an appliance its shippable capability. In other words, the securing capability of the boiler or appliance should be one that is relatively low cost.

In addition to making features of the appliance its ability to attach to the shipping container of the appliance relatively inexpensive, it would also be desirable to make preparation of the appliance for shipping to be secure and easy. By making the preparation for shipping easy, what is meant is that the preparation can be done quickly and not require a large amount of resources such as workers or machines necessary to prepare the combustion appliance for shipping.

In addition to being simple to prepare for shipping, it would be useful if the shipping system were easy (i.e., quick and not require substance resources in manpower or machines) to remove from the shipping system once the combustion device had arrived at its desired destination.

Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a method and apparatus that permits the combustion appliance to be prepared for shipping in a secure, simple and inexpensive manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing needs are met, to a great extent, by the present invention, wherein in one aspect, an apparatus and method is provided and in some embodiments provide a system and method for easily preparing a combustion device for shipping in a relatively cost-effective manner.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a system for securing a combustion device to a support member is provided. The system includes a leg attached to the combustion device, the leg configured to rest against a member and to be fastened to the support member by a fastener.

In some embodiments of the invention, the system for securing a combustion device to a support member may also comprising a hole in the leg configured to allow the fastener pass through the hole and connect to the support member. Optionally the fastener is a nut and bolt. In some embodiments of the invention, the support member is part of a wooden pallet.

In some embodiments, the system further comprising an intermediate member placed in a hole in the leg wherein the intermediate member is fastened to the support member by a fastener and the leg is fastened to the support member via the intermediate member.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a system for securing a combustion device to a support member is provided. The system includes a leg attached to the combustion device, the leg configured to rest against a member and be fastened to the support member by a fastener, and an intermediate member placed in a hole in the leg wherein the intermediate member is fastened to the support member by a fastener and the leg is fastened to the support member via the intermediate member.

Optionally, the intermediate member is made of sheet metal. In some embodiments, the intermediate member has a U shaped cross section although other suitable cross sections may be used. The intermediate member may, in some embodiments have slots in the intermediate member configured to permit the fastener to attach the intermediate member to the support member. In some embodiments of the invention, a second intermediate member located in a second leg and attached to a support member by a second fastener. The leg may be cast iron and part of a flue section of a boiler.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method of preparing a combustion appliance for shipping is provided. The method includes forming a leg for the combustion appliance, placing the leg on a shipping member, inserting an intermediate member into a hole in the leg and fastening the leg to the shipping member with a fastener extending through the intermediate member wherein a portion of the leg is located between the intermediate member and the shipping member.

In some embodiments of the invention, the fastener is inserted into a slot in the intermediate member. The shipping member may be a pallet. The method may further including casting the leg to have a large loop.

In accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention, a system for securing a combustion device to a support member is provided. The system includes means for supporting the combustion device attached to the combustion device and configured to rest against a support member and means for fastening the support member to the means for supporting the combustion device.

Optionally, the support member may be part of a wooden pallet. In some embodiments of the invention, the system of claim may further comprise an intermediate member placed in a hole in the supporting means wherein the intermediate member is fastened to the support member by the fastening means and the supporting means is fastened to the member via the intermediate member. The system may optionally have the intermediate member have a U shaped cross section. Other suitable cross sections may also be used. In some embodiments of the invention, the system the intermediate member is made of sheet metal. Optionally, system may further comprising slots in the intermediate member configured to permit the fastening means to attach the intermediate member to the support member.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, certain embodiments of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof herein may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional embodiments of the invention that will be described below and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of embodiments in addition to those described and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating a combustion device attached to a wood pallet according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the combustion device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of a cast iron flue section that includes the appliance legs.

FIG. 4 is a front view of a flue section which also includes legs for the combustion device.

FIG. 5 is a top view of an intermediate member.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the intermediate member shown in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention will now be described with reference to the drawing figures, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout. An embodiment in accordance with the present invention provides a method and system for attaching a combustion device such as a boiler to a shipping container or platform. In many embodiments of the invention, the shipping platform is a wood pallet.

An embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. FIG. 1 shows a combustion apparatus 10 which in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 is a boiler 10. The boiler 10 has legs 12, 14. The legs 12, 14 are resting upon a support member which is in the illustrated embodiment a wood pallet 16.

The wood pallet 16 has top members which are wood planks 18. The wood planks 18 create a deck and may be referred to as a deck 18. The wood pallet 16 also includes support beams 20 which are located at right angles with respect to the deck 18. The legs 12, 14 are in direct contact with the deck 18.

In some embodiments of the invention, the wood pallet 16 is a standard wood pallet 16 used as a support platform. Bolts 22 connect the legs 12, 14 to the wood pallet 16. Nuts 24 are located on the bolts 22 to secure the bolts 22 to the wood pallet 16. The bolts 22 are located in holes 26 in the pallet 16. The bolts 22 also extend through clamp bars 28.

The clamp bars 28 may also be referred to as, in this application, an intermediate member 28. The clamp bar 28 is inserted into the large openings or holes 30 in the legs 12, 14. Thus, according to one embodiment of the invention, in order to secure the boiler 10 to the pallet 16, the clamp bars 28 are inserted into holes 30 located into the legs 12, 14. The clamp bars 28 are then attached to the wood pallet 16 via bolts 22 and nuts 24.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a side view of the boiler 10 and the pallet 16 is illustrated. A connecting rod 32 connects connecting ears 36 located on different flue sections illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the boiler 10. The connecting rod 32 connects the different flue sections together. The connecting rod 32 has a connecting nut 34 located on either end of the connecting rod 32. A side view of FIG. 2 also illustrates the decking 18 attached to the support beams 20 of the wood pallet 16. The bolts 22 are shown connected to nuts 24 located in the holes 26.

As mentioned, the boiler 10 may have several flue sections which permit the circulation of water around a combustion chamber and through channels with fins in order to allow the water circulating in the flue section to be heated. Combustion gases circulate through passageways to heat the water circulating through the flue sections 37.

Exemplary flue sections of a boiler 10 are illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The different flue sections 37 may not be identical but may have varying geometries according to the needs of a particular boiler 10. The exemplary flue section 37 shown in FIG. 3 is made of cast iron. Cast into the flue section 37 are the legs 12, 14. As shown, the legs 12, 14 also define holes 30, and the legs 12, 14 are therefore loop-shaped. The legs 12, 14 are strong enough to support the boiler 10. In some embodiments of the invention, a boiler has two left legs 14 and right legs 12. One left leg 14 is located on a front flue section (see FIG. 3). The other left leg 14 is located on the rear flue section (see FIG. 4). The front and rear right legs are also located on the front and rear flue sections 37, respectively (see FIGS. 3 and 4).

In some embodiments of the invention, the front and rear flue sections 37 may be separated by intermediate flue sections. In other embodiments, the front and rear flue sections 37 may be directly connected together.

In some embodiments of the invention, the clamp bar 28 passes through the holes 30 in the legs to attach the boiler 10 to the pallet 16 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. In other embodiments of the invention, the bottom part of the legs 12, 14 will have hole 39, which permit a fastener, such as a bolt, to directly attach the legs 12, 14 to a pallet 16. The thickness of the legs 12, 14 that define the holes 30 should be dimensioned so that the legs 12, 14 will not break when subjected to the weight of the boiler 10 and the force from the clamping device applied to the legs 12, 14 when the boiler 10 is shipped.

As mentioned above, in some embodiments of the invention, the flue sections 37 attach together. To attach the flue sections 37 together, the flue sections can be equipped with connecting ears 36. The connecting ears 36 can be equipped with holes 54 which allow the flue sections 37 to be connected together by fasteners such as a connecting shaft 32, as shown in FIG. 2. Alternatively, other fasteners may be used such as a bolt, a nut, in addition to the connecting shaft 32. In some embodiments of the invention, and as shown in FIG. 2, the connecting shaft 32 is a threaded shaft with nuts located on either end.

In some embodiments of the invention, the flue sections 37 are cast iron and comprise the heaviest part of the boiler, particularly when they are filled with water. When connected together, the flue sections 37 may provide a frame upon which the other boiler parts may attach. The flue sections 37 may have other attachment points to permit other boiler parts such as control features, the boiler jacket and other parts to connect to the flue sections 37.

FIG. 5 is a broken top view of the intermediate member, also referred to as the clamp bar 28. In some embodiments, the clamp bar 28 is slid in the holes 30 in the legs 12, 14. The clamp bar 28 is then fastened to the wood pallet 16 by the nuts 24 and bolts 22, as shown in FIG. 1. The clamp bar 28 has slots 38 located at each end of the clamp bar 28. These slots 38, provide a passageway through the clamp bar 28 for the fastener, such as a bolt 22, to extend through the clamp bar 28 and have the bolt head or washer urge against the clamp bar itself. The downward force of the tightened fastener 22 against the clamp bar 28 holds the clamp bar 28, and thus the legs 12, 14 and boiler 10 in place.

Some embodiments of the invention may include, instead of slots 38, simple holes in the clamp bar 28 for the fasteners 22 to extend through the clamp bar 28. However, the slot 38 permits the location of the bolts 22 to vary without requiring changes in the manufacturing of the clamp bar 28. However, slots offer an advantage over holes in that the slots can accommodate the bolts 22 to be in different positions in accordance with manufacturing tolerances easier than holes.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the clamp bar 28 and illustrates the U-shaped channel 40 and the channel walls 42 and 44 also illustrated in FIG. 5. The slot 38 is also illustrated in FIG. 6. The U-shaped channel generator provides structural strength to the clamp bar 28. Other embodiments of the invention, can include other cross-sectional shapes than U-shapes. In some embodiments of the invention, the cross-section shapes can be, L-shaped, rectangle, square, I-shaped or any other suitable shape.

In some embodiments of the invention, the clamp bar 28 is made of a stamped piece of sheet metal. In these embodiments, the U-shaped channel 40 is stamped into the clamp bar 28 and the channels 38 are stamped. In other embodiments of the invention, the clamp bar 28 may start out as a flat piece of sheet metal and have the raised walls 42, 44 bent into an upright position as shown in FIG. 6. In some embodiments of the invention, the clamp bar 28 may be extended.

Different ways of manufacturing the clamp bar may be done in accordance with the invention. One skilled in the art will understand equivalent ways to manufacture a clamp bar 28. In addition, the clamp bar 28 may be made of a variety of materials and not necessarily be limited to metal. One skilled in the art will know of a variety of materials that may be used in accordance with the invention.

The many features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed specification, and thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and variations will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation illustrated and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.