Title:
Combi-container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combi-container formed of containers which are combined in such a manner that smaller-sized containers are embraced inside larger-sized containers. Tracks are provided on an upper surface of a bottom plate of each container except for innermost container, and a wheel mechanism is provided at the bottom of each container except for outmost container. Each wheel mechanism has a wheel capable of rolling on the tracks. Each container of the combi-container can be used individually or can it be used by being embraced into other larger-sized containers. The combi-containers can also be assembled so that two combi-containers form an assembled container with dimension being in accordance with the ISO668 standard.



Inventors:
Liu, Bo (Yangzhou, CN)
Cheng, Xinmang (Yangzhou, CN)
Wu, Ni (Yangzhou, CN)
Application Number:
11/584104
Publication Date:
05/24/2007
Filing Date:
10/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GORDON, STEPHEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC - WASHINGTON, DC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A combi-container comprising: a plurality of containers which are combined in such a manner that a smaller-sized container of the plurality of containers is embraced inside a larger-sized container of the plurality of containers; at least two tracks on an upper surface of a bottom plate of each container except for an innermost container when the plurality of containers is combined; and a wheel mechanism at the bottom of each container except for an outmost container when the plurality of containers is combined, each wheel mechanism including a wheel capable of rolling on at least one of said tracks.

2. The combi-container according to claim 1, wherein each of said containers includes at least two bottom corner fittings having a bottom surface, and wherein said wheel mechanism is a turnover wheel mechanism, said wheel mechanism capable of moving from a first position in which said wheel is supported on said track to a second position in which the lowest point of said wheel is higher than the bottom surface of said bottom corner fittings of the container to which the wheel mechanism is coupled, and said wheel mechanism being capable of moving from said second position to said first position.

3. The combi-container according to claim 2, wherein said wheel mechanism includes a wheel holding plate, said wheel mechanism being coupled to the bottom of the container with said wheel holding plate in such a manner that said wheel holding plate is able to turn said wheel between said first and second positions and said wheel is freely rotatable and supported by said wheel holding plate.

4. The combi-container according to claim 3, wherein said wheel mechanism further includes a positioning pin on said wheel holding plate for maintaining the wheel holding plate at said second position.

5. The combi-container according to claim 3, wherein said container having said wheel mechanism further includes a positioning member on a bottom side rail of the container for maintaining said wheel holding plate at said first position.

6. The combi-container according to claim 1, wherein at least two connecting members are provided on the outside of the outmost container to connect the outside of the outmost container to another combi-container.

7. The combi-container according to claim 6, wherein the connecting members connect the outside of the outmost container to the outside of the outmost container of said another combi-container in a back-to-back manner.

8. The combi-container according to claim 7, wherein each container includes at least two corner fittings and wherein said connecting members connect adjacent corner fittings of the two connected combi-containers.

9. The combi-container according to claim 7, wherein an assembled container formed of combi-containers connected in the back-to-back manner is in accordance with international standard on the dimension requirement of container.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon and claims priority to Chinese Patent Application No. 200520077309.7, filed Nov. 7, 2005, which application is hereby expressly incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a container for transportation, in particular a combi-container.

2. Discussion

The dry goods containers in prior art, manufactured in accordance with the existing international standard of ISO668, are internationally used transportation equipment. Although its technology has been much matured, there are shortcomings in the process of real operation. Firstly, due to large volume and heavy weight, the transportation cost for an empty container is relatively high. Especially for freightage of goods having smaller tonnage or smaller volume or requiring individual loading, the volume utilization ratio of the international standard container is greatly reduced, which also causes large waste in transportation cost. Secondly, since the bottom plates of the existing containers are designed to be flat, if smaller-sized containers are to be put into larger-sized containers, the only method is to push the smaller-sized container into the larger-sized container, which would easily cause damage to the container body due to friction between containers during the installation process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of said shortcomings existing in prior art, an object of the present invention is to provide a combi-container, in which smaller-sized containers can be easily embraced into larger-sized containers with simple combination operation, thereby preventing the containers from being damaged due to friction between containers during the combination process.

In order to achieve the object, the present invention provides a combi-container comprising a plurality of containers which are combined in such a manner that smaller-sized containers are embraced inside a larger-sized container. Tracks are provided on an upper surface of a bottom plate of the containers, except for innermost container, and wheel mechanisms are provided at bottom of the containers, except for outmost container. Each wheel mechanism has a wheel capable of rolling on the tracks.

In the combi-container the wheel mechanism may be a turnover wheel mechanism, which is able to turn upwardly from a first position in which the wheel is supported on the track to a second position in which lowest point of the wheel is higher than bottom surface of bottom corner members of the container with the turnover wheel mechanism, and is able to turn back downwardly from the second position to the first position.

In the combi-container the turnover wheel mechanism may have a wheel holding plate which is connected to the bottom of the container in such a manner that the wheel holding plate is able to turn up and down, and the wheel is freely rotatable and supported by the wheel holding plate.

In the combi-container a positioning pin for maintaining the wheel holding plate at the second position may be provided on the wheel holding plate.

In the combi-container a positioning member for maintaining the wheel holding plate at the first position may be provided on a bottom side rail of the bottom of the container.

In the combi-container connecting members may be provided on the outside of the outmost container to connect the outside of the outmost container to the outmost container of another combi-container.

In the combi-container the connecting members may connect the outside of the outmost container to the outside of the outmost container of another combi-container in a back-to-back manner. The back-to-back manner means that the front end walls of two combi-containers face each other and the doors are opposite to the front end walls.

In the combi-container the connecting members may connect adjacent corner fittings of two combi-containers.

In the combi-container an assembled container formed of combi-containers connected in the back-to-back manner is in approximate accordance with international standard on the dimension requirement of container.

When conveying goods by using the combi-container according to present invention, it can be done by directly using a combi-container or embracing the combi-container with goods into a standard container, or connecting the outside of combi-containers via a connecting member to form an assembled container with 40 ft length from two combi-containers with such length combination as 24 ft+16 ft or 25 ft+15 ft or 26 ft+14 ft. The connection can be done through commonly used connecting members or through welding. When conveying empty containers, as for 24′+16′ series of combi-containers, the 22 ft container can be embraced inside the 23 ft container, which is then embraced inside the 24 ft container; accordingly the 14 ft combi-container can be embraced into 15 ft container, which is then embraced inside the 16 ft container. As for 26′+14′ series of combi-containers, the 24 ft container can be embraced inside the 25 ft container, which is then embraced inside the 26 ft container; accordingly the 12 ft container can be embraced into the 13 ft container, which is then embraced inside the 14 ft container. And the smallest container in the combi-container can be still normally used for loading goods. Accordingly, the combi-container allows full use of the internal space of each container to utmost degree and at the same time reduces the cost of transportation to utmost degree.

In order to avoid the friction between larger-sized containers and smaller-sized containers during the combination process, tracks are provided on an upper surface of a bottom plate of the containers except for innermost container, and wheel mechanisms are provided at bottom of the containers except for outmost container. Therefore, when smaller-sized containers are embraced within larger-sized containers, the damage of the container bodies due to the friction therebetween during the combination process can be effectively prevented by means of wheels and tracks, and its combination operation is convenient and reliable.

The turnover wheel mechanism according to the present invention composed of a wheel, a wheel shaft, a wheel holding plate, a rotating shaft, a bushing and a bushing connecting member, is connected at the end of the bottom side rail of the container. A positioning member is provided on the end of the bottom side rail and a positioning pin is provided on the wheel holding plate. When an inner container is embraced into an outer container, the wheel of the turnover wheel mechanism turns downwardly onto the track (i.e. the first position) and is positioned by the positioning member; and when the inner container is used as a single container for conveying, the wheel of the turnover wheel mechanism can be turned upwardly by about 90° and is positioned by the positioning pin such that the lowest point of the wheel is higher than the bottom surface of the bottom corner fittings of the container (i.e. the second position), so as to make it easy for stacking and positioning containers.

The structure of the combi-container is simple and reasonable, and easy to manufacture. Furthermore, its cost is low and space use ratio is high. And it is convenient to transport and advantageous to effectively control transportation cost. Each container of the combi-containers can be used separately or can be used in combination with other containers of the combi-containers; and alternatively, two combi-containers can be assembled through connecting members to form an assembled container in accordance with the dimension requirement of ISO668. So, the combi-container possesses good prospect of application promotion.

Further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, claims, and drawings. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given here below, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an exemplary outermost container showing a front end structure having a front end frame and a front end wall;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of an exemplary outermost container showing a door structure having a door frame and two doors;

FIG. 3 is a side view of an exemplary outermost container showing a side wall structure having a side wall, a top side rail, a bottom side rail and two sets of corner structures;

FIG. 4 is a top view of an exemplary outermost container, wherein a part of a roof structure is omitted for clarity purposes to show a bottom plate of a bottom structure;

FIG. 5A is a front view of a combi-container showing the relationship of the assembled containers and the interaction of the wheels and tracks according to the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a side view of the combi-container showing the relationship of the assembled containers and the interaction of the wheels and tracks according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a side view of a turnover wheel mechanism of the combi-container showing the wheel mechanism in a first position and in phantom lines the wheel mechanism in a second position;

FIG. 7 is a front view for showing the turnover wheel mechanism of the combi-container according to the present invention and the relationship between the turnover wheel mechanism and the bottom of a container;

FIG. 8A is a partly cutaway top view for showing position of the turnover wheel mechanism relative to the bottom of a container;

FIG. 8B is a partly cutaway side view for showing position of the turnover wheel mechanism with respect to the bottom of the outermost container;

FIG. 9 is a top view of the track to be mounted on an upper surface of the bottom plate of a container; and

FIG. 10 is a view for showing a combination of two sets of combi-containers according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The combi-container according to present invention is formed by combining several single containers of different dimensions, some with tracks 10 installed on an upper surface of a bottom plate 6e thereof and some with wheel mechanisms 20 mounted on the bottom of the container (FIG. 8A). For the purposes of easily describing and understanding, the term of “combi-container” refers to a container formed by several single containers in such a manner that smaller containers are embraced or are capable of being easily and efficiently embraced in a larger container. The term “assembled container” refers to a container formed by connecting the combi-containers through connecting members. The term of “single container” or “container” refers to an individual container to be combined.

FIGS. 1-4 show the external structure of a single container 100. FIG. 1 shows a front view of a front end structure of the single container 100, including a front end frame and a front end wall. FIG. 2 shows a rear view of a door end structure of the single container 100 including a door end frame and two doors. FIG. 3 shows a side view of a side wall structure of the single container 100 including a side wall, a top side rail, a bottom side rail and two sets of corner structures. FIG. 4 shows a top view of a part of the roof structure and a bottom plate of a bottom structure of single container 100, wherein the other part of the roof structure is omitted for clarity purpose. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the single container 100 mainly comprises the front end structure, the door end structure, the side wall structure, the roof structure and the bottom structure.

As shown in FIG. 1, the front end structure of the single container 100 comprises the front end frame 1 and the front end wall 6a, wherein the front end frame comprises two sets of corner structure respectively composed of vertical corner posts 1a, top corner fittings 2a located at the top of each corner post 1a and bottom corner fittings 3a located at the bottom of each corner post 1a. A top end rail 4a connects the top corner fittings 2a of the two sets of corner structure, and a bottom end rail 5a connects the bottom corner fittings 3a of the two sets of corner structure. The front end wall is a sealing board 6a, which is connected to the inside of the front end frame 1.

As shown in FIG. 2, the door end structure 4 comprises the door end frame 2 and the doors 6, wherein the door end frame comprises two sets of corner structure respectively formed by vertical corner posts 1b, top corner fittings 2b located at the top of each corner post 1b and bottom corner fittings 3b located at the bottom of each corner post 1b. A door header 4b connects the top corner fittings 2b of the two sets of corner structure, and a door sill 5b connects the bottom corner fittings 3b of the two sets of corner structure. The door 6 is a board member 6b which can open and close and is located inside the door frame 2.

As shown in FIG. 3, the side wall structure of the single container 100 comprises a corner post 1a, top corner fitting 2a and bottom corner fitting 3a of the front end structure illustrated in FIG. 1. The side wall structure further includes a corner post 1b, a top corner fitting 2b and a bottom corner fitting 3b of the door end structure as illustrated in FIG. 2. A top side rail 22 connects the top corner fitting 2a and the top corner fitting 2b, and a bottom side rail 33 connects the bottom corner fitting 3a and the bottom corner fitting 3b. A sealing board 6c connects the top side rail 22, the bottom side rail 33 and the corner structure. The bottom side rail 33, top side rail 22, and corner posts 1a and 1b combine to form a side frame 8.

As shown in FIGS. 4, 8A, 8B, the roof structure of the single container comprises the top corner fittings 2a and the top end rail 4a of the front end structure as shown in FIG. 1, the top corner fittings 2b and the door header 4b of the door end structure as shown in FIG. 2, the top side rails 22 of the side wall structures as shown in FIG. 3; and one set of roof panels 6d connecting two top side rails 22, the top end rail 4a, the door header 4b and the top corner fittings 2a, 2b. As shown in FIGS. 1-4 and 8A, the bottom structure of the single container comprises the bottom corner fittings 3a of the front end structure (shown in FIG. 1) and the bottom corner fittings 3b of the door end structure (shown in FIG. 2); the bottom end rail 5a of the front end structure (shown in FIG. 1) and the door sill 5b of the door end structure (the bottom end rail 5a and the door sill 5b hereinafter are referred to as “two bottom end lateral rails”) (shown in FIG. 2); the bottom side rails 33 of the side wall structure (shown in FIG. 3); a bottom plate 6e (shown in FIG. 7) connecting two bottom side rails 33, two bottom end lateral rails (i.e. “the bottom end rail 5a and the door sill 5b” hereinabove) and bottom corner fittings 3a, 3b; and several cross members 44 which are connected in between two parallel bottom side rails 33. In order to achieve easy conveying, forklift pockets 5 may also be provided in the bottom structure of the single container. In the present invention, according to individual dimension of the single container, the corner fittings can adopt sizes in accordance with ISO1161 standard or other sizes, e.g. a size being smaller than that of the standard corner fitting.

It is known that the bottom plate 6e of the existing container is higher than the lowest surface of the two bottom end lateral rails (i.e. the bottom end rail 5a and the doorsill 5b) and the bottom corner fittings 3a, 3b, and a longitudinal distance exits in between the bottom end lateral rails and adjacent cross members, so that a concave space is formed within the bottom structure (as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B). The present invention fully utilizes this concave space existed in the bottom structure of existing containers, in such a manner that a wheel mechanism 20 is installed in the concave space, and tracks 10 are installed on the upper surfaces of the bottom plates of corresponding larger containers, so as to easily push smaller sized containers into the larger sized containers. Accordingly, the combination operation can be easily done and it also prevents the container bodies from being damaged due to the friction between containers during the combination process.

The combi-container 100 according to present invention will be described below with reference to FIGS. 5A-8B.

FIG. 5A is a front view of the combi-container according to the present invention with wheel mechanisms installed on smaller containers and tracks installed in larger containers; FIG. 5B is a side view of the combi-container according to the present invention with wheel mechanisms installed on smaller containers and tracks installed in larger containers. As shown in FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B, the combi-container according to the present invention comprises containers with different sizes arranged in an order of smaller size to larger size in such a manner that with the smallest-sized container being embraced inside larger-sized container; except for the innermost container, tracks 10 are provided on upper surfaces of the bottom plates of other containers; and expect for the outmost container, wheel mechanisms 20 having wheels 9 capable of rolling on the tracks, are provided at the bottom of other containers (preferably at the four corners of the container bottom).

In the combi-container according to the present invention, preferably, the wheel mechanism 20 is constructed to be a turnover wheel mechanism. FIG. 6 shows a side view of the turnover wheel mechanism in its first position (in real line) and a second position (in dash-dot line). FIG. 7 is a front view for showing connection between the turnover wheel mechanism and the bottom of the single container according to the present invention.

In particular, the turnover wheel mechanism may adopt the structure shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, bushing connecting member 16 is mounted below the bottom of the container at a distance to the bottom side rail 33, and a pair of bushings 14 are correspondingly mounted on the bottom side rail 33 and the bushing connecting member 16, wherein the bushing connecting member is preferably welded in between the bottom corner fitting 3a/3b and a first cross member 44 adjacent to the bottom end lateral rail 5a and the door sill 5b. Meanwhile, a rotating shaft 13 is mounted through one end of a pair of wheel holding plate 12, and two ends of the rotating shaft 13 are supported by the bushing 14, so that the wheel holding plate 12 rotates around the rotating shaft. A wheel shaft 11 of the wheel 9 is mounted through the other end of a pair of the wheel holding plate 12, so as to allow the wheel 9 to move up and down with rotation of the wheel holding plate 12 around the rotating shaft 13. As shown from FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, the turnover wheel mechanism is located in a space enclosed by the bottom side rail 33, the bottom end lateral rail 5a and the door sill 5b, the bushing connecting member 16 and the first cross member 44 adjacent to the bottom end lateral rail 5a and the door sill 5b.

In short, the turnover wheel mechanism comprises the wheel holding plate 12 which is connected to the bottom side rail 33 at the bottom of the container in such a manner that the wheel holding plate is able to turn up and down, and the wheel 9 which is freely rotatable and supported by the wheel holding plate 12, so that the turnover wheel mechanism is able to turn upwardly from a first position in which the wheel 9 is supported on the track 10 to a second position in which lowest point of the wheel 9 is higher than bottom surface of the bottom corner fitting 3a/3b of the container with the wheel mechanism and is able to turn back downwardly from the second position to the first position.

Besides, a positioning member 17 (FIG. 6) for maintaining the wheel holding plate 12 at the first position is provided on the bottom side rail 33 of the bottom of the container (preferably at the end of the bottom side rail). When inner containers are to be contained in larger containers, the wheel 9 of the turnover wheel mechanism turns down onto the track and is held by the positioning member 17.

A positioning pin 15 (FIG. 6) for maintaining the wheel holding plate 12 at the second position is provided on the wheel holding plate 12. When inner containers are used as single containers for conveying, the wheel holding plates 12 at the four corners are rotated upwardly by about 90°, and is then held by the positioning pin 15, so that the lowest point of the wheel 9 is higher than the bottom surface of the bottom corner fitting 3a/3b so as to stack and fix the container.

The turnover wheel mechanism can be provided at the four corners of the bottom of the container. FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B show the turnover wheel mechanism 20 mounted at one corner of the bottom of the container, wherein FIG. 8A is a partly cutaway top view for showing position of the turnover wheel mechanism relative to the bottom of the container, and FIG. 8B is a partly cutaway bottom view for showing position of the turnover wheel mechanism relative to the bottom of the container.

FIG. 9 is a top view of the track 10 installed on the upper surface of the bottom plate 6e of the combi-container according to the present invention. The track comprises a first track 101 and a second track 102 which extend parallel with other along the longitudinal direction of the container. Furthermore, several reinforcement members 103 can be connected between the first track 101 and the second track 102 so as to ensure the parallelism between the two tracks.

In order to prevent smaller containers embraced in larger containers from sliding back and forth during the process of transportation, many methods (not shown herein) can be adopted in practice, e.g. mounting stoppers in some suitable positions on the track, installing baffles in between front/rear corner posts inside the container, binding the corner fittings of the container to the binding sticks of the container.

FIG. 10 is a view for showing a combination of two sets of combi-containers according to the present invention. In order to facilitate the connection between several sets of combi-containers, connecting members (not shown here) for connecting different two combi-containers in a back-to-back manner can be provided on front end of the outmost single container of combi-containers. the connection between the containers can be achieved by normally used connecting members or by means of welding. The connecting members are preferably to connect the adjacent corner fittings of the two sets of combi-containers. Therefore, the combi-containers according to the present invention can also be assembled to form an assembled container with dimensions in accordance with ISO668 standard.

Given below are several specific examples of the combi-container and assembly of the combi-containers.

1. Implementation of 24′+16′ series of combi-containers. Containers with length of 14 ft, 15 ft and 16 ft forms a first combi-containers, containers with length of 22 ft, 23 ft and 24 ft forms a second combi-containers, wherein wheel mechanisms are mounted on the four corners of the bottom of containers except for containers with length 24 ft and 16 ft, and tracks 10 are installed on the upper surface of the bottom plates inside containers except for containers with length 22 ft and 14 ft. The first combi-containers and the second combi-containers are connected by the connecting members to form an assembled container with length of 40 ft, width of 8 ft, height of 9 ft 6 inch as shown in FIG. 9. Attached Table 1 shows main technical parameters of 24′+16 ′ series of combi-containers.

2. Implementation of 25′+15′ series of combi-containers. Containers with length of 13 ft, 14 ft and 15 ft forms a third combi-containers, containers with length of 23 ft, 24 ft and 25 ft forms a fourth combi-containers, wherein wheel mechanisms are mounted on the four corners of the bottom of containers except for containers with length 25 ft and 15 ft, and tracks 10 are installed on the upper surface of the bottom plates inside containers except for containers with length 23 ft and 13 ft. The third combi-containers and the fourth combi-containers are connected by the connecting members to form an assembled container with length of 40 ft, width of 8 ft, and height of 9 ft 6 inch. Attached Table 2 shows main technical parameters of 25′+15′ series of combi-containers.

3. Implementation of 26′+14′ series of combi-containers. Containers with length of 12 ft, 13 ft and 14 ft forms a fifth combi-containers, containers with length of 24 ft, 25 ft and 26 ft forms a sixth combi-containers, wherein wheel mechanisms are mounted on the four corners of the bottom of containers except for containers with length 26 ft and 14 ft, and tracks 10 are installed on the upper surface of the bottom plates inside containers except for containers with length 24 ft and 12 ft. The fifth combi-containers and the sixth combi-containers are connected by the connecting members to form an assembled container with length of 40 ft, width of 8 ft, and height of 9 ft 6 inch. Attached Table 3 shows main technical parameters of 26′+14′ series of combi-containers.

Since the connecting members used to connect two combi-containers require occupying certain space, the data of the technical parameters in the following attached Tables are neither precise nor limiting. These data can be varied according to different length of connecting members.

TABLE 1
Main technical parameters of 24′ + 16′ series of combi-containers
ContainerExternal Dimension (mm)Door Opening Dimension
Type(length * width * height)(mm) (width * height)
16′4839 * 2438 * 28962340 * 2585
15′4572 * 2200 * 25002102 * 2189
14′4267 * 1960 * 21101864 * 1799
24′7277 * 2438 * 28962340 * 2585
23′7010 * 2200 * 25002102 * 2189
22′6706 * 1960 * 21001864 * 1799

TABLE 2
Main technical parameters of 25′ + 15′ series of combi-containers
ContainerExternal Dimension (mm)Door Opening Dimension
Type(length * width * height)(mm) (width * height)
15′4594 * 2438 * 28962340 * 2585
14′4429 * 2200 * 25002102 * 2189
13′3924 * 1960 * 21101864 * 1799
25′7582 * 2438 * 28962340 * 2585
24′7277 * 2200 * 25002102 * 2189
23′7010 * 1960 * 21001864 * 1799

TABLE 3
Main technical parameters of 26′ + 14′ series of combi-containers
ContainerExternal Dimension (mm)Door Opening Dimension
Type(length * width * height)(mm) (width * height)
14′4029 * 2438 * 28962340 * 2585
13′3924 * 2200 * 25002102 * 2189
12′3619 * 1960 * 21101864 * 1799
26′7887 * 2438 * 28962340 * 2585
25′7582 * 2200 * 25002102 * 2189
24′7227 * 1960 * 21001864 * 1799

The foregoing discussion discloses and describes an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. One skilled in the art will readily recognize from such discussion, and from the accompanying drawings and claims that various changes, modifications and variations can be made therein without departing from the true spirit and fair scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.