Title:
Protective supporting package and process for manufacturing such package
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective supporting a package of an object obtained from a rigid panel comprising a base provided with at least one beam-like structure composed of an alternated sequence of planar portions and folded portions made by folding the rigid panel along longitudinal folding lines.



Inventors:
Strona, Silvio (Biella, IT)
Application Number:
11/203302
Publication Date:
02/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/15/2005
Assignee:
CREACTIVE CONSULTING, S.P.A. (Affi (VR), IT)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/588, 206/521
International Classes:
B65D85/30; B65D81/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OBLON, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A protective supporting package of an object obtained from a rigid panel, comprising: a base provided with at least one beam-like structure including an alternating sequence of planar portions and folded portions made by folding said rigid panel along longitudinal folding lines.

2. A package according to claim 1, wherein said rigid panel is made of cardboard, corrugated cardboard or plastics.

3. A package according to claim 1, wherein said rigid panel comprises at least one side wall provided with at least one of said at least one beam-like structure made by folding said rigid panel along said longitudinal folding lines, transverse folding lines and oblique folding lines.

4. A package according to claim 1, wherein said object is bound to said base through at least one wrapping of a plastic film.

5. A package according to claim 1, wherein said base is provided with at least one non-linear retaining side edge of at least one wrapping of said plastic film.

6. A package according to claim 1, wherein said side wall is provided with at least one non-linear retaining side edge of at least one wrapping of said plastic film.

7. A package according to claim 1, further comprising at least one supporting plan inserted between said object and said base.

8. A package according to claim 7, wherein said supporting plan is provided with side seats adapted to house one of said at least beam-like structure of said side walls.

9. A package according to claim 1, wherein said package is inserted in a package box.

10. A process for manufacturing a package comprising: creating a rigid panel provided with longitudinal folding lines for making at least one beam-like structure in a base; forming said package by applying pushing forces to said base to create said at least one beam-like structure; and positioning said object on said base of said package.

11. A process according to claim 10, further comprising: providing said rigid panel with transverse folding lines and oblique folding lines for making at least one side wall provided with said at least one beam-like structure.

12. A process according to claim 10, further comprising: providing said rigid panel with non-linear retaining side edges of plastic film.

13. A process according to claim 10, further comprising: applying pushing forces to said base to create said side walls provided with at least one beam-like structure.

14. A process according to claim 10, further comprising: positioning a supporting plan on said base of said package.

15. A process according to claim 10, further comprising: binding said object on said base of said package with at least one wrapping of plastic film.

16. A process according to claim 10, further comprising: inserting said package into said package box.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the invention

The present invention refers to a protective supporting package and a process for manufacturing such package.

2. Discussion of the Background

Various solutions are known for protective package structures adapted to be inserted inside packaging boxes in order to protect the content from shocks, dust and other contaminants during stocking or handling. In particular, protective packages are known which are adapted to create an insulating and damping structure between the object to be protected and its containing box in such a way that, within acceptable limits, possible shocks on the walls of the box itself are not transferred, or are transferred to the object in its inside in a sufficiently attenuated way. These protective packages are generally realized using a folded cardboard sheet in order to create some fins which constitute the insulating and damping structure (for example, EP-A-1 165 376, DE-U-203 10 479, US-A-5 676 245).

These protective packages are also used for preventing uncontrolled movements of the object packed inside its containing box during handling. For example, wrappings of plastic films (made of PVC or PE) are used to bind the object to a base of the protective package, subsequently protecting it from dust, shocks or other agents that could jeopardize its integrity.

The above-described known protective packages assure however the suitable degree of protection of the contents, using cardboard sheets necessarily having a high quality, structure and thickness. These latter factors, obviously, negatively affect the manufacturing and use costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Consequently, an object of the present invention is to provide a protective supporting package having a beam-like structure able to confer a suitable protection to objects of various sizes during their stocking and/or handling, having a lower cost than the prior art ones.

Another object of the present invention is providing a process for manufacturing a protective supporting package provided with a beam-like structure effective to protect objects of various sizes and of inexpensive production cost.

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention, as will appear from the following description, are obtained with a protective supporting package as described herein.

Moreover, the above and other objects and advantages of the invention are obtained with a process for manufacturing a protective supporting package as described herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better described by some embodiments thereof, provided merely as a non-limiting example, with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a protective supporting package according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention showing folding lines thereof;

FIG. 3a shows a sectional view of the package according to an embodiment of the present invention along section line B-B of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3b shows a sectional view of the package according to an embodiment of the present invention along section line A-A of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows a top view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention inserted in a package box;

FIG. 5a shows a perspective view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention in one of its manufacturing steps;

FIG. 5b shows a perspective view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention in another one of its manufacturing steps;

FIG. 5c shows a perspective view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention in another one of its manufacturing steps;

FIG. 5d shows a perspective view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention in another one of its manufacturing steps; and

FIG. 5e shows a perspective view of the protective supporting package according to an embodiment of the present invention in another one of its manufacturing steps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A protective supporting package 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention may be adapted to be inserted inside package boxes 10 in such a way as to protect an object 13 contained within from vertical or horizontal shocks, dust and other contaminants during stocking and/or handling. Particularly, the package 1 is provided with at least a beam-like structure 3, formed by folding a rigid panel according to suitable folding lines, described below, adapted to create an insulating and damping structure between the object 13 to be protected and the box 10 in which it is inserted (shown, for example, in FIG. 5d).

Making particular reference to FIG. 1, it is possible to note that the protective supporting package 1 comprises therefore a substantially-rigid panel originally being in a planar form and adequately shaped and folded. As will be seen below in greater detail, in order to form at least a base 1a and possibly at least one side wall (in FIG. 1 two side walls 1b are shown, but it is clear that the package 1 could be provided with up to four side walls, one for each side of the base 1a besides possibly an upper cover (not shown)), the base 1a and/or the side walls 1b having at least one beam-like structure 3, described below, are obtained through a suitable folding of the rigid panel itself. In the Figures, an embodiment of the package 1 is shown as a non-limiting example, provided with two beam-like structures 3 on the base 1a and eventually with two side walls 1b, also provided with two beam-like structures 3, but it is clear that the number of beam-like structures 3 of the base 1a and of the side walls 1b can be different, depending on applications and sizes of the package box 10.

The rigid panel, which may be of rectangular or square shape depending on specific applications, can be of any substantially rigid material, but is able to be folded with relative easiness and is sufficiently flexible to provide a suitable protection in case of shocks, as for example cardboard, corrugated cardboard or plastics.

With reference to FIG. 2, a rigid panel 7 is shown provided with folding lines to make the package 1. Folding lines are also provided to make each beam-like structure 3 of the base 1a. The rigid panel is divided into a sequence of planar portions 7a and folding portions 7b by longitudinal folding lines 8a; as shown in FIG. 3a. To make each beam-like structure 3, the rigid panel 7 is divided into at least three planar portions 7a, interposed by at least two folding portions 7b separated by longitudinal folding lines 8a.

With reference to FIG. 3b, to make the beam-like structure 3, pushing forces are applied to the rigid panel 7 substantially parallel to the direction of arrows FS. Consequently, the planar portions 7a draw near and the folding portions 7b are folded up along the folding lines 8a in comparison to the adjoining planar portions 7a, substantially parallel to the directions of arrows FP. Each planar portion 7a is adjacent to folding portions 7b of the same beam-like structure 3. Planar portion 7a is moved in the direction of arrow FB to get a beam-like structure 3 as shown in FIG. 3b. Forces are applied until an angular value α, shown in FIG. 3b and suitable to the application of the package 1 and the sizes of the box 10 adapted to contain it, is obtained. Particularly, a common angular value α is 90°, but it is clear that packages 1 with beam-like structures 3 having different angles, greater or smaller than 90°, can also be made and effectively used.

Again with reference to FIG. 2, to create the side walls 1b of the package 1 from the same rigid panel 7 provided with at least a beam-like structure 3 joined to the structure of the base 1a, the same longitudinal folding lines 8a used for making the beam-like structures 3 of the base 1 are used, such lines extending on the portion of rigid panel 7 that become a side wall 1b. The rigid panel 7 is provided with transverse folding lines 8b orthogonal to the longitudinal folding lines 8a. The transverse folding lines 8b of the planar portions 7a are mutually joined by oblique folding lines 8c of the folding portions 7b and tilted by 45° in comparison to the longitudinal folding lines 8a as shown in FIG. 2. Therefore, applying to the base 1a a force in the direction of arrows FS as previously described, the side walls 1b are tilted according to arrow P of FIG. 5b due to the position of the transverse 8b and oblique 8c folding lines to move into a substantially orthogonal position with respect to the base 1a. As a result of the movement of base 1b, the folding portions 7b tilt in comparison with the planar portions 7a to form the beam-like structures 3 also on each side wall 1b. An extreme portion of each beam-like structure 3 of the side walls 1b is housed inside the similar beam-like structure 3 of the base 1a.

In order to prevent the packed object 13 from uncontrollably moving inside its package box 10 when handling, it is possible to use wrappings made of plastic films 15 (for example made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene (PE)) to preferably bind the object 13 to the base 1a of the package 1. This also provides a useful protection from shocks or other forces which could damage the packed object, above all when the object 13 is an electric or electronic component.

In order to increase the adherence of the plastic film 15 to the package 1 and to limit or to subsequently prevent possible movements of the object 13, it is advantageously possible to provide the base 1a and eventually the side walls 1b with at least a non-linear retaining side edge 17, having indented or preferably rounded shapes (as shown in the Figures, in which the base 1a of the package 1 is provided with two non-linear retaining side edges 17).

Therefore, when the object 13 is positioned inside the package 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention and eventually wound by one or more wrappings of plastic film 15, everything can be inserted inside a package box 10, as shown in FIG. 5e. Taking into account a following handling or stocking; FIG. 4 shows as an example a package 1 without side walls 1b inserted in a package box 10.

In order to provide a planar contact surface between the object 13 and the base 1a of the package 1, it is possible to provide at least one supporting plan 19, also preferably made of cardboard, corrugated cardboard or plastics, arranged between the object 13 and the base 1a. The at least one supporting plan 19 may be provided with side seats 21 adapted to house therein the beam-like structures 3 of the side walls 1b and guarantee a stable joint.

As previously described, the beam-like structure 3 of the package 1 provides, due to its own intrinsic geometric and shape characteristics, high protection against vertical shocks and, when there are side walls 1b, horizontal shocks. By using cardboard or other materials for making the rigid panel 7, as for example regenerated and/or non-fibrous paper (which is extremely inexpensive), an extremely inexpensive but very efficient and functional protective supporting package 1 may be made.

It is also clear that the package 1 can be simply and at any time made from the rigid panel 7 provided with the folding lines, allowing therefore a simple and optimal stocking of the rigid panels themselves and the rapid creation of the package 1 only when it is necessary to use it. Besides, it is clear that the package 1 not only is reusable but that after every use it may be reconverted to the rigid panel 7 for its optimum stocking in view of a next future use.

The present invention also refers to a process for manufacturing the package 1 according to the present invention; particularly such process includes:

creating a rigid panel 7 provided with longitudinal folding lines 8a for making at least one beam-like structure 3 in the base 1a and optionally of transverse 8b and oblique 8c folding lines for the creation of at least one side wall 1b optionally provided with a beam-like structure 3, and optionally creating non-linear retaining side edges 17 of the plastic film 15 on the rigid panel 7 (FIG. 5a);

forming the package 1 by applying pushing forces FS to the base 1a in order to create at least one beam-like structure 3 and optionally the side walls 1b also optionally provided with at least one beam-like structure 3 (FIG. 5b);

optionally placing a supporting plan 19 on the base 1a of the package 1 (FIG. 5c);

placing an object 13 on the base 1a of the package 1 and optionally binding it to the base 1a itself with at least one wrapping of a plastic film 15 (FIG. 5d); and

optionally inserting the package 1 in a package box 10 (FIG. 5c).

It is clear that the steps of the process according to the present invention can be simply and quickly manually performed by an operator; however, it is also clear that the same steps could be performed, for example in case in which huge volumes make it necessary, through automatic or semiautomatic packaging lines, substantially known in the art and adaptable to the manipulation of the inventive package 1.

Obviously, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.