Title:
Packaging
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package for containing a bearing includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion includes a body and a recess formed in the body. The second portion includes a body and a hub formed in the body. A first projection can be provided on the body of the first portion and a second projection can be provided on the body of the second portion. The first projection and second projection can extend outwardly from the first portion and second portion, respectively. The recess is adapted to receive the hub to effectuate mating engagement of the first portion and the second portion. Furthermore, when the bearing is provided in the package, the first projection and second projection are received in the interior cavity of the bearing to constrain movement of the bearing in the package. A packaging insert impregnated or coated with a vapor corrosion inhibitor can be provided within the package to inhibit corrosion of the bearings.



Inventors:
Templeton, Garry (Suwanee, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/393609
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
03/30/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/58
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEPHENS III, JOSE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A package for containing a bearing, comprising: a first portion having a body and a recess formed in said body; a first projection provided on said body of said first portion, and extending into said recess; a second portion having a body and a hub formed in said body; and a second projection provided on said body of said second portion, and extending outwardly from said hub; wherein said recess is adapted to receive said hub to effectuate mating engagement of said first portion and said second portion, and, when the bearing is provided in the package, said first projection and said second projection are received in the interior cavity of the bearing.

2. A package according to claim 1, further comprising at least one indentation formed in said body of said first portion and at least one tab formed in said body of said second portion, wherein, when said hub is received within said recess, said at least one tab engages said at least one indentation to facilitate attachment of said first portion and said second portion.

3. A package according to claim 2, wherein said at least one indentation and said at least one tab are sized to provide an interference fit therebetween when said at least one tab engages said at least one indentation.

4. A package according to claim 1, wherein said body of said first portion includes a flange surrounding said recess, and said body of said second portion includes a flange surrounding said hub, said flanges, when said hub is received within said recess, interfacing with one another.

5. A package according to claim 4, further comprising an indentation provided on said flange of said first portion and a tab provided on said flange of said second portion, wherein, when said hub is received with said recess, said tab and said indentation are engaged with one another to facilitate attachment of said first portion and said second portion.

6. A package according to claim 4, wherein said flange of said first portion and said flange of said second portion are attached to one another to form a hinged connection between said first portion and said second portion.

7. A package according to claim 1, wherein said first projection and said second projection are sized such that the surfaces thereof contact one another when said first portion and said second portion are mated together.

8. A package according to claim 7, wherein, when the bearing is received in the package, said first projection and said second projection extend through the interior cavity of the bearing to constrain movement of the bearing within the package.

9. A package according to claim 7, wherein said first projection and said second projection have frusto-conical shapes, said frusto-conical shapes of said first projection and said second projection serving to accommodate various interior cavity sizes.

10. A package according to claim 1, further comprising a packaging insert provided on the interior of the bearing package, said packaging insert impregnated or coated with a vapor corrosion inhibitor to inhibit corrosion of the bearing.

11. A package according to claim 10, wherein said packaging insert conforms to the shape of said recess, and includes a scale for measuring the size of the bearing.

12. A package according to claim 1, wherein the package is transparent to facilitate observation of the bearing provided therein.

13. A package for containing a bearing, comprising: a first portion having a first projection formed thereon, said first projection extending outwardly from said first portion; a second portion having a second projection formed thereon, said first projection extending outwardly from said second portion; and a packaging insert provided within the package, said packaging insert impregnated or coated with a vapor corrosion inhibitor to inhibit corrosion of the bearing; wherein, when the bearing is enclosed in the package, said first projection and said second projection are received in the interior cavity of the bearing to constrain movement of the bearing within the package.

14. A package according to claim 13, wherein said first portion and said second portion are hingedly connected to one another to form a clamshell package.

15. A package according to claim 14, further comprising flanges provided on said first portion and said second portion, said flanges attached to one another to form a hinged connection between said first portion and said second portion.

16. A package according to claim 13, wherein a recess is formed in said first portion, and wherein a hub is formed in said second portion, said recess adapted to receive said hub to effectuate mating engagement of said first portion and said second portion.

17. A package according to claim 16, further comprising at least one indentation formed in said first portion and at least one tab formed in said second portion, wherein, when said first portion and said second portion are matingly engaged, said at least one indentation and said at least one tab are engaged with one another.

18. A package according to claim 17, wherein said at least one indentation and said at least one tab are sized to provide an interference fit therebetween when said at least one indentation and said at least one tab are engaged with one another.

19. A package according to claim 13, wherein the package is transparent to facilitate observation of the bearing provided therein.

20. A package for containing a bearing, comprising: a first portion having a recess; a second portion having a hub; and at least one projection selectively formed on said first portion and said second portion; wherein said recess is adapted to receive said hub, and, when the bearing is provided in the package, said at least one projection is received in the interior cavity of the bearing to constrain movement of the bearing within the package.

21. A package according to claim 20, wherein said hub is received in said recess to effectuate mating engagement of said first portion and said second portion.

22. A package according to claim 21, wherein said first portion includes at least one indentation and said second portion includes at least one tab, said at least one indentation and said at least one tab being engaged with one another when said first portion and said second portion are matingly engaged.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/702,752 filed on Jul. 27, 2005, and of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/736,482 filed on Nov. 14, 2005, which are hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is generally related to packaging for containing bearings. More particularly, the present invention is related to packaging for protecting bearings from damage. More specifically, the present invention is related to packaging configured to accommodate the dimensions of various differently sized bearings.

BACKGROUND

Previously, it has been necessary to use a multitude of differently sized folding cardboard cartons as packages for differently sized bearings. The desire for commonality limited the ultimate number of sizes of such cardboard cartons utilized. However, because of the large number of different bearings, the desire for commonality required the use of many ill-fitting cardboard cartons. The use of such ill-fitting packages also required the bearings to be wrapped in plastic bags. The plastic packages served as protection which the cardboard cartons could not provide, but required extensive labor. For example, line workers were required to wrap the bearings in the plastic bags, and, thereafter, pack the wrapped bearings in the cardboard cartons. As such, there is a need for packaging adapted to accommodate the desire for commonality, while simultaneously affording protection to the bearings without the need for extensive labor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In general, the present invention contemplates a package for containing a bearing including a first portion having a recess, a second portion having a hub, and at least one projection selectively formed on the first portion and the second portion, where the recess is adapted to receive the hub, and, when the bearing is provided in the package, the at least one projection is received in the interior cavity of the bearing to constrain movement of the bearing within the package.

The present invention further contemplates a package for containing a bearing including a first portion having a first projection formed thereon, the first projection extending outwardly from the first portion, a second portion having a second projection formed thereon, the first projection extending outwardly from the second portion, and a packaging insert provided within the package, the packaging insert impregnated or coated with a vapor corrosion inhibitor to inhibit corrosion of the bearing, where, when the bearing is enclosed in the package, the first projection and second projection are received in the interior cavity of the bearing to constrain movement of the bearing within the package.

The present invention still further contemplates a package for containing a bearing including a first portion having a body and a recess formed in the body, a first projection provided on the body of the first portion, and extending into the recess, a second portion having a body and a hub formed in the body, and a second projection provided on the body of the second portion, and extending outwardly from the hub, where the recess is adapted to receive the hub to effectuate mating engagement of the first portion and second portion, and, when the bearing is provided in the package, the first projection and second projection are received in the interior cavity of the bearing.

Further embodiments, variations, and enhancements are also described herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a top perspective view of a bearing package according to the present invention and a bearing, the bearing package having a first portion and a second portion which are not attached to one another, and the bearing being positioned between the first portion and second portion.

FIG. 1B is a bottom perspective view of the bearing package and bearing depicted in FIG. 1A.

FIG. 1C is a top plan view of the second portion of the bearing package depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bearing package according to the present invention having a first portion and a second portion which are attached to one another to form a clamshell package.

FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view of an assembly line where bearings can be inserted into the bearing packages depicted in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a packaging insert that can be provided within the bearing packages depicted in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the packaging insert depicted in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The bearing package according to the present invention is generally indicated by the numeral 10 in FIGS. 1A and 1B and by the numeral 50 in FIG. 2. As depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the bearing package 10 includes two (2) portions, a first portion 12 and a second portion 14, which are not attached to one another. Furthermore, as depicted in FIG. 2, the bearing package 50 includes two (2) portions, a first portion 52 and second portion 54, which are attached to one another. The bearing packages 10 and 50 are adapted to contain bearings (e.g. ball bearings) of various sizes generally represented by a bearing 16 depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B, and serve in protecting the bearing 16 from damage.

The bearing 16 includes an outer diameter OD, and has an interior cavity 17 having an interior diameter ID. The bearing packages 10 and 50 can be transparent and include measuring scales provided thereon, so that the interior diameter ID and outer diameter OD of the bearing 16 can be measured while still contained within the bearing packages 10 and 50 As such, the size of the bearing 16 can be measured without having to remove it from the bearing packages 10 and 50. Also, if the bearing packages 10 and 50 are transparent, the authenticity of the bearing 16 can be validated to provide security to the manufacturer of the bearing 16 and their customers that helps reduce and eliminate counterfeit bearings.

The first portions 12 and 52 and second portions 14 and 54 can be manufactured using thermoforming, injection molding, and/or blow molding processes. For example, if the first portions 12 and 52 and second portions 14 and 54 are manufactured using a thermoforming process, one or more flat sheets of plastic are initially preheated, and, thereafter, are contacted (using vacuum, pressure, and/or mechanical forces) with a mold whose shape it takes. As such, using the thermoforming process, the first portion 12 and second portion 14 can be formed from separate plastic sheets, or the first portion 52 and second portion 54 can be formed from a single plastic sheet. When applicable, the bearing packages 10 and 50 can be made from 100% post consumer recycled material, and, consequently, can be easily recycled again.

The use of the bearing packages 10 and 50 limits the need for the multitude of differently sized packages, eliminates the need to use plastic bags to wrap the bearings, and curtails the number of line workers needed to package the bearings. For example, as discussed below, the configuration of the bearing packages 10 and 50 requires only a limited number of sizes to serve a large number of different bearing sizes. As such, bearing manufacturers are required to stock only a relatively small number of sizes of the bearing packages 10 and 50. Moreover, the configuration of the bearing packages 10 and 50 also serves to inhibit excessive lateral movement of the bearings contained therein.

The first portion 12 and second portion 14 of the bearing package 10 are provided to mate with one another to enclose the bearing 16 therebetween. The first portion 12 is formed as the base, and the second portion 14 is formed as the lid of the bearing package 10. The first portion 12 includes a body 20 providing a recess 21. The recess 21 is formed in the body 20, and is defined by a base wall 22 and a perimeter sidewall 23 of the body 20. The recess 21 is sized to receive the bearing 16, and can have any number of shapes. For example, the perimeter sidewall 23 defining the recess 21 can have a variety of shapes. As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the perimeter sidewall 23 can be octagon-shaped with eight (8) segments. However, so long as the shape of the perimeter sidewall 23 accommodates the bearing 16, the perimeter sidewall 23 could also have fewer or more than eight (8) segments, and could also be annularly-shaped.

A projection 24 (FIGS. 1A and 1B) having a surface 25 which can be frusto-conically shaped can be provided in the center of the recess 21. The projection 24 is formed on the body 20, and extends outwardly from the base wall 22 into the recess 21. As shown in FIG. 1A, the projection 24 can be sized to extend at least partially through the recess 21. When received in the interior cavity 17, the projection 24 serves to constrain excessive movement of the bearing 16.

In addition, a flange 26 interconnected with the perimeter sidewall 23 is formed on the body 20 around the recess 21. The flange 26 can have a rectangular-shaped perimeter or a perimeter of any other shape. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the flange 26 has a square-shaped perimeter. The flange 26 is provided to interface with the second portion 14, and includes a plurality of indentations 27. As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, four (4) indentations 27 are provided, but, depending on the application, fewer or more indentations could be provided. The indentations 27 are provided to receive or otherwise matingly engage complimentary structures formed on the second portion 14.

The second portion 12 includes a body 30 providing a bulge or hub 31. The hub 31 is formed in the body 30, and is defined by a base wall 32 and a perimeter sidewall 33 of the body 30. The hub 31 is sized and shaped to fit within the recess 21 so that the first portion 12 and second portion 14 can be assembled around the bearing 16. That is, the recess 21 is adapted to receive the hub 31 to effectuate mating engagement of the first portion 12 and second portion 14. As such, the perimeter sidewall 33 is sized and shaped according to the perimeter sidewall 23, and therefore, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the hub 31 has an octagon-shaped perimeter sidewall 33.

A projection 34 (FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C) having a surface 35 which can be frusto-conically shaped can be provided in the center of the hub 31. The projection 34 is formed on the body 30, and extends outwardly from the base wall 32. As such, as depicted in FIG. 1B, the projection 34 extends outwardly from the hub 31. When received in the interior cavity 17, the projection 34, like the projection 24, can be sized to extend at least partially through the interior cavity 17. As such, when the bearing package 10 is assembled around the bearing 16, the projections 24 and 34 extend through the interior cavity 17, and serve to constrain excessive lateral movement of the bearing 16 in the bearing package 10.

As shown in FIG. 1C, a measuring scale S1 can be provided on the base wall 32. The measuring scale S1 would allow the outer diameter OD and/or interior diameter ID of the bearing 16 to be measured without having to open the bearing package 10.

The frusto-conical shape of the projections 24 and 34 allow the bearing package 10 to accommodate various sizes of bearings 16 having various interior diameters ID. For example, when initially received within the interior cavity 17, the projections 24 and 34 slide along interior cavity 17 until they are seated therein. Thereafter, the bearing 16 is constrained from movement by the interaction of the projections 24 and 34 with the interior cavity 17. If necessary, the projections 24 and 34 can be formed with lengths allowing the surfaces 25 and 35 to contact one another.

A flange 36 interconnected with the perimeter sidewall 33 is formed on the body 30 around the hub 31. The flange 36 can have a rectangular-shaped perimeter or a perimeter of any other shape. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C, the flange 36 has a square-shaped perimeter. The flange 36 is provided to interface with the flange 26 of the first portion 12, and includes a plurality of tabs 37. As shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C, four (4) tabs 37 are provided, but, depending on the application, fewer or more tabs can be provided. The tabs 37 are provided to matingly engage the indentations 27. The structures of the indentations 27 and tabs 37 compliment one another, and can be sized to provide for an interference fit therebetween. Moreover, if warranted, the location of the indentations 27 and tabs 37 on the flanges 26 and 36 could be reversed. Either way, however, engagement of the indentations 27 and tabs 37 serves in attaching the first portion 12 and second portion 14 together.

Like the first portion 12 and second portion 14 of the bearing package 10, the first portion 52 and second portion 54 of the package 50 are provided to mate with one another to enclose the bearing 16 therebetween. The first portion 52 is formed as the base, and the second portion 54 is formed as the lid of the bearing package 50. Furthermore, the first portion 52 and second portion 54 are hingedly interconnected to one another to provide a clamshell package.

The first portion 52 includes a body 60 providing a recess 61. The recess 61 is formed in the body 60, and is defined by a base wall 62 and a perimeter sidewall 63 of the body 60. The recess 61 is sized to receive the bearing 16, and can have any number of shapes. For example, the perimeter sidewall 63 defining the recess 61 can have a variety of shapes. As shown in FIG. 2, the perimeter sidewall 63 is octagon-shaped with eight (8) segments. However, so long as the shape of the perimeter sidewall 63 accommodates the bearing 16, the perimeter sidewall 63 can also have fewer or more than eight (8) segments, and could also be annularly-shaped.

A projection 64 having a surface 65 which can be frusto-conically shaped (FIG. 2) can be provided in the center of the recess 61. The projection 64 is formed on the body 60, and extends outwardly from the base wall 62 into the recess 61. As shown in FIG. 2, the projection 64 can be sized to extend at least partially through the recess 61. When received in the interior cavity 17, the projection 64 serves to constrain excessive movement of the bearing 16.

In addition, a flange 66 interconnected with the perimeter sidewall 63 is formed on the body 60 around the recess 61. The flange 66 can have a rectangular-shaped perimeter or a perimeter of any other shape. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the flange 66 has a square-shaped perimeter. The flange 66 is provided to interface with the second portion 64, and includes a plurality of indentations 67. Four (4) indentations 67 (one of which is not shown in FIG. 2) are provided on the flange 66, but, depending on the application, fewer or more indentations could be provided. The indentations 67 are provided to receive or otherwise matingly engage complimentary structures formed on the second portion 54. As discussed below, the flange 66 also serves in hingedly interconnecting the first portion 52 to the second portion 54.

The second portion 54 includes a body 70 providing a bulge or hub 71. The hub 71 is formed in the body 70, and is defined by a base wall 72 and a perimeter sidewall 73 of the body 70. The hub 71 is sized and shaped to fit within the recess 61 so that the first portion 52 and second portion 54 can be assembled around the bearing 16. That is, the recess 61 is adapted to receive the hub 71 to effectuate mating engagement between the first portion 52 and second portion 54. As such, the perimeter sidewall 73 is sized and shaped according to the perimeter sidewall 63, and therefore, as shown in FIG. 2, the hub 71 has an octagon-shaped perimeter sidewall 73.

A projection 74 having a surface 75 which can be frusto-conically shaped is provided in the center of the hub 71. The projection 74 is formed in the body 70, and extends outwardly from the base wall 72. When received in the interior cavity 17, the projection 74, like the projection 64, can be sized to extend at least partially through the interior cavity 17. As such, when the bearing package 50 is assembled around the bearing 16, the projections 64 and 74 extend through the interior cavity 17, and serve to constrain excessive lateral movement of the bearing 16 in the bearing package 50.

A measuring scale, like that depicted in FIG. 1C, could be provided on the base wall 72. The measuring scale would allow the outer diameter OD and/or interior diameter ID of the bearing 16 to be measured without having to open the bearing package 50.

The frusto-conical shape of the projections 64 and 74 allow the bearing package 50 to accommodate various sizes of bearings 16 having various interior diameters ID. For example, when initially received within the interior cavity 17, the projections 64 and 74 slide along interior cavity 17 until they are seated therein. Thereafter, the bearing 16 is constrained from movement by the interaction of the projections 64 and 74 with the interior cavity 17. If necessary, the projections 64 and 74 can be formed with lengths allowing the surfaces 65 and 75 to contact one another.

A flange 76 interconnected with the perimeter sidewall 73 is formed on the body 70 around the hub 71. The flange 76 can have a rectangular-shaped perimeter or a perimeter of any other shape. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the flange 76 has a square-shaped perimeter. The flange 76 is provided to interface with the flange 66 of the first portion 52, and includes a plurality of tabs 77. As shown in FIG. 2, four (4) tabs 77 are provided, but, depending on the application, fewer or more tabs can be provided. The tabs 77 are provided to matingly engage the indentations 67. The structures of the indentations 67 and tabs 77 compliment one another, and can be sized to provide for an interference fit therebetween. Moreover, if warranted, the location of the indentations 67 and tabs 77 could be reversed. Either way, however, engagement of the indentations 67 and tabs 77 serves in attaching the first portion 52 and second portion 54 together.

To provide for the clamshell configuration of the bearing package 50, the flanges 66 and 76 are hingedly interconnected. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, a hinged connection 80 is formed between the flanges 66 and 76. The hinged connection 80 allows the first portion 52 and second portion 54 to articulate relative to one another. As such, the first portion 52 and second portion 54 are capable of relative movement between a closed position and various open positions.

A packaging insert generally indicated by the numeral 100 in FIGS. 4 and 5 can be provided on the interior of the bearing packages 10 and 50 within the recesses 21 and 61, respectively. Surfaces of the packaging insert 100 can be adorned, for example, with indicia or graphics indicating the manufacturer of the bearing 16, the type of bearing 16, the dimensions of the bearing 16 (interior diameter, outer diameter, thickness, etc.), and other pertinent information regarding the bearing 16 ultimately enclosed within the bearing packages 10 and 50. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, a measuring scale S2 can be provided on the packaging insert 100. The measuring scale S2 would allow the outer diameter OD and/or interior diameter ID of the bearing 16 to be measured without having to open the bearing packages 10 and 50.

The indicia or graphics can be provided (through any number of printing procedures) on the packaging insert 100. Because the packing insert 100 is ultimately packaged within the bearing packages 10 and 50, the bearing package 10 must be opened to gain access to the packaging insert 100. As such, the indicia or graphics cannot be altered without first damaging the bearing packages 10 and 50. Consequently, use of the bearing packages 10 and 50 with the packaging insert 100 (with indicia or graphics printed thereon) provided inside the bearing packages 10 and 50 serves in maintaining the authenticity of the bearing 16.

In addition, the packaging insert 100 can be impregnated or coated with a vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI). For example, the VCI manufactured by Daubert Coatings under the trademark Nox-Rust® can be used to inhibit corrosion of the bearings 16. Use of the VCI helps to eliminate the need to use plastic bags to wrap the bearings 16 which previously have been used to inhibit corrosion.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the packaging insert 100 can be formed from a single piece of cardboard (or other thick paper materials) that is provided with a shape allowing it to conform to the recesses 21 and 61. Alternatively, the packaging insert 100 can be formed from plastic sheet having similar thicknesses to cardboard or other thick paper materials. To conform to the base walls 22 and 62 of the recesses 21 and 61, respectively, the packaging insert 100 includes a center portion 102 with an aperture 103 provided therethrough. To conform to the shape of the base walls 22 and 62, the center portion 102 can be shaped like an octagon or any other shape. The aperture 103 is circular, and is sized to allow the projections 24 and 64 to pass therethrough. As such, the center portion 102 is configured to interface with the base walls 22 and 62 of the recesses 21 and 61.

The packaging insert 100 also includes appendages 104 depending from the center portion 102. Depending on the shape of recesses 21 and 61, there can be various numbers of appendages 104. For example, because the perimeter sidewalls 23 and 63 are octagon-shaped with eight (8) segments, the packaging insert 100 includes eight (8) appendages 104 depending therefrom. The eight (8) appendages 104 are meant to be folded along fold-lines F into an upright position. Therefore, when the packaging insert 100 is provided within the recesses 21 or 61, and the center portion 102 is in contact with the base walls 22 and 62, respectively, each of eight (8) upright appendages 104 interface with one of the eight (8) segments of the perimeter sidewalls 23 and 64. In doing so, the packaging insert 100 conforms to the interiors of the recesses 21 and 61, and, because the bearing packages 10 and 50 can be transparent, the indicia provided on the surfaces of the packaging insert 100 can be seen on the exterior of the bearing packages 10 and 50.

After the packaging insert 100 and bearing 16 are provided in the package 10 and 50, glue (or some other securing means such as heat welding or RF (radio frequency) welding) can be used to further secure the first portion 12 to the second portion 14 and to secure the first portion 52 to the second portion 54. For example, glue can be provided on the indentations 27 and 66 and/or tabs 37 and 77. Furthermore glue can be provided between the surfaces 25 and 35 and between the surfaces 65 and 75, when the projections 24 and 34 and projections 64 and 74, respectively, are long enough to contact one another. As such, the first and second portions 12 and 14 and the first and second portions 52 and 54 can be secured around the bearing 16 using glue and/or the interference fit provided by the indentations 27 and 67 and tabs 37 and 77.

When assembling bearing package 10 and/or 50 around bearings 16, an exemplary assembly line generally indicated by the numeral 150 in FIG. 3 can be used. The assembly line 150 can include conveyers 152 enabling movement of the bearing 16 and bearing package 10 and/or 50 therealong between various assembly stages. The assembly line 150 can be automated, or can include operations performed by various line workers at the various stages.

For example, at stage 154, the various first portions 12 of the bearing package 10 and/or the bearing package 50 can be removed from denesters 155, and placed on the conveyers 152. Then, at stage 156, the bearings 16 and packaging inserts 100 can be inserted into the recesses 21 of the first portions 12 of the bearing package 10 and/or inserted into the recesses 61 of the first portions 52 of the bearing package 50. Thereafter, at stage 158, glue can be applied to the first portions 12 and/or first portions 52. The glue can be applied to the indentations 27 and 77 and surfaces 25 and 75 of the first portions 12 and 52, respectively. After application of the glue to the first portions 12 and/or first portions 52, the first portions 12 and second portions 14 (of the bearing package 10) and/or the first portions 52 and second portions 54 (of the bearing package 50) can be mated together at stage 160.

After mating engagement of the first portions 12 and second portions 14 (of the bearing package 10) and/or the first portions 52 and second portions 54 (of the bearing package 50), the bearing packages 10 and/or 50 containing the bearings 16 can be passed through a tunnel 161 at stage 162. The tunnel 161 includes lights emitting a concentration of UV (ultraviolet) light to expedite curing of the glue. After the glue has been cured at stage 162, the bearing packages 10 and/or 50 containing the bearings 16 are loaded onto pallets 163 at stage 164 for shipment to customers.

The use of the assembly line 150 and the bearing package 10 and/or 50 allows manufacturers to slash the overhead devoted to packaging the bearings 16 without losing productivity, or to dramatically increase their capacity at current staffing levels.

While in accordance with the Patent Statutes, only the best mode and exemplary embodiments have been presented and described in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto or thereby.