Title:
Modular shaft trays
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shaft tray for receiving rod-shaped products includes a tray body comprising a rear wall, two substantially parallel and spaced-apart side walls and a bottom wall, arranged to define a receiving chamber for the products. Shaft walls running parallel to the side walls divide the receiving chamber into individual shafts. The shaft walls are mountable separately from the tray body and at least a region of the rear wall of the tray body includes receivers or fasteners to, respectively, receive or fasten the shaft walls to the tray body.



Inventors:
Budny, Piotr (Hamburg, DE)
Muller, Thomas (Hamburg, DE)
Horn, Matthias (Ahrensburg, DE)
Knabe, Michael (Geesthacht, DE)
Meier, Arnd (Beckdorf, DE)
Application Number:
12/076089
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/13/2008
Assignee:
Hauni Maschinenbau AG (Hamburg, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B81/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VENABLE LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A shaft tray for receiving rod-shaped products, including a tray body comprising a rear wall, two substantially parallel and spaced-apart side walls and a bottom wall arranged to define a receiving chamber for the products; and shaft walls running parallel to the side walls dividing the receiving chamber into individual shafts, wherein the shaft walls are mountable separately from the tray body and at least a region of the rear wall of the tray body includes receivers or fasteners to, respectively, receive or fasten the shaft walls to the tray body.

2. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein a region of the bottom wall of the tray body additionally includes at least one of receivers or fasteners to, respectively, receive or fasten the shaft walls to the tray body.

3. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein the shaft walls are of completely planar construction at least in an entire region which comes into contact with the products.

4. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the tray body or the shaft walls are comprised of plastic.

5. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the tray body or the shaft walls are made by injection moulding.

6. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein the fasteners attach the shaft walls to the tray body by one of screwing, gluing, riveting, welding, or insertion.

7. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein the shaft walls include mould-release bevels, the mould-release bevels being formed in regions of the shaft walls not intended for product contact.

8. The shaft tray according to claim 2, wherein the shaft walls include respective receivers or fasteners which correspond to the receivers or fasteners of the rear region of the rear wall of the tray body.

9. The shaft according to claim 1, wherein the tray body is constructed in one piece.

10. The shaft tray according to claim 8, wherein the receivers in the region of the rear wall of the tray body include vertically extending slots for passage of the shaft walls.

11. The shaft tray according to claim 10, wherein the receivers in the region of the bottom wall of the tray body include grooves to receive correspondingly shaped shaft walls in a form-locking relationship.

12. The shaft tray according to claim 11, wherein the shaft walls have, on a side facing towards the bottom wall of the tray body, flanges serving as receivers or fasteners which are constructed in one piece with the shaft walls and correspond to the grooves.

13. The shaft according to claim 11, wherein the shaft walls have, on a side facing towards the rear wall of the tray body, flange-like webs serving as receivers or fasteners as which are constructed in one piece with the shaft walls so that the shaft walls are prevented from completely slipping through the slots.

14. The shaft according to claim 13, wherein holes are provided in the region of the webs to receive corresponding fasteners arranged in a region of the rear wall of the tray body on a side facing away from the receiving chamber.

15. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein the receiver in the region of the rear wall of the tray body includes grooves to receive corresponding projections of the shaft walls, the grooves being formed on a side of the rear wall of the tray body facing towards the receiving chamber.

16. The shaft tray according to claim 15, wherein the shaft walls on a side facing towards the rear wall of the tray body include flange-like webs constructed in one piece with the shaft walls that the flange-like webs lie flush in the grooves.

17. The shaft tray according to flange-like webs include fasteners that correspond to fasteners in the region of the grooves.

18. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein the receivers in the region of the rear wall of the tray body include grooves to receive corresponding projections of the shaft walls, the grooves having undercut portions to receive the projections in form-locking relationship.

19. The shaft tray according to claim 18, wherein the grooves comprise T-slot, dovetail grooves.

20. The shaft tray according to claim 18, wherein the shaft walls have a side facing towards the rear wall of the tray body that includes flange-like webs constructed in one piece with the shaft walls so that the flange-like webs correspond to the grooves.

21. The shaft according claim 1, further comprising a transverse wall running parallel to the rear wall and transverse to the shaft walls joining at least shaft walls to form an insert element.

22. The shaft tray according to claim 21, wherein the insert element is constructed in one piece and is U-shaped, and further comprising flange-like webs arranged in a region of the transverse wall and constructed in one piece with the insert element so that the flange-like webs correspond to matching grooves in the rear wall of the tray body.

23. The shaft tray according to claim 22, wherein the rear wall of the tray body has vertically extending grooves which correspond to the webs of the insert element.

24. The shaft tray according to claim 1, wherein the tray body is comprises a plurality of pieces.

25. The shaft according to claim 24, wherein the rear wall of the tray body comprises a plurality of pieces.

26. The shaft according to claim 25, wherein the bottom wall of the tray body comprises a plurality of pieces.

27. The shaft tray according to claim 26, wherein individual rear wall pieces are joined with respective individual bottom wall pieces to form L-shaped wall segments.

28. The shaft tray according to claim 27, wherein the shaft walls extend between the wall segments.

29. The shaft tray according to claim 1, further including narrow grooves arranged in a region of the rear wall and the bottom wall of the tray body for making a plug-in connection with correspondingly shaped shaft walls.

30. The shaft tray according to claim 29, wherein the shaft walls have sides facing towards the grooves that include latch elements.

31. The shaft tray according to claim 1, further including grooves in the region of the rear wall and the bottom wall of the tray body that are sufficiently wide to accommodate a glue connection with correspondingly shaped shaft walls.

32. The shaft tray according to claim 31, wherein the shaft walls include planar webs sides facing towards the grooves.

33. The shaft tray according to claim 4, wherein the plastic comprises one of polystyrene (PS) or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS).

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the priority of German Patent Application No. 10 2007 013 548.5, filed on Mar. 17, 2007, the subject matter of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention concerns a shaft tray for receiving rod-shaped products, including a tray body formed by a rear wall, two substantially parallel and spaced-apart side walls and a bottom wall, forming a receiving chamber for the products, the receiving chamber being divided into individual shafts by shaft walls running parallel to the side walls.

Such shaft trays are used in particular in the tobacco-processing industry in the processing of rod-shaped products. Cigarettes, filter rods or the like are kept in receptacles, the so-called trays, in particular for transport and for storage. In the process the receptacles can be designed as standard trays with a single receiving chamber for all products, or as shaft trays in which the products lie in several shafts separate from each other. For further processing of the stored products, they are discharged to subsequent apparatuses such as e.g. packing machines or the like or funneled into an existing mass flow.

With respect to the logistical processes, that is, in particular with respect to filling and emptying the trays/shaft trays, there are certain requirements in relation to the design of the tray body and shaft walls. Thus it is necessary, for example for a trouble-free filling and/or emptying operation, for the mutually opposed side walls in the whole cross-section of the receiving chamber or the mutually adjacent shaft walls in the whole cross-section of the shaft formed as a result to run generally parallel to each other, to prevent the turning of products, the so-called non-aligned filter rods. To put it another way, the receiving chamber or the individual shafts should have a generally square or rectangular cross-section. Trays with a single continuous receiving chamber which are usually made by injection moulding for the sake of easier handling and in particular for economic reasons are known. These trays which are usually designed in one piece meet the above requirement in spite of the mould-release bevels which are necessary with injection moulding, as the bevels are negligibly small compared with the size of the tray body or the receiving chamber. This is different in the manufacture of shaft trays by injection moulding. As already mentioned, the surfaces which are in contact with the products and are called the working surfaces below, are parallel and spaced apart within the shafts, namely run parallel to each other with the mutually facing or adjacent shaft walls. In the manufacture of shaft trays by injection moulding with the shaft walls arranged inside the receiving chamber, however, considerable problems arise because the shaft walls must for example taper from the rear wall into the region of the open front wall, to form the mould-release bevels. This means that the cross-section varies within a shaft. However, this effect is undesirable for a trouble-free and continuous filling and emptying operation. Also, the manufacture of one-piece shaft trays by injection moulding would require an elaborate design of the corresponding tool with complex temperature behaviour, which greatly increases the manufacturing costs and is therefore uneconomical.

From German utility model 1 915 446 is known a shaft tray which is composed of a rear wall, two side walls and several shaft walls. The side walls and the shaft walls are designed in one piece with the rear wall. A bottom wall is constructed separately and can be moved back and forth for opening and closing shafts by openings formed in the side walls and shaft walls. A base body of this kind in one piece consisting of rear wall, side walls and shaft walls cannot however be made economically for the reasons stated above.

From GB 694,334 is known a tray which is designed as a chamber or shaft tray. The base body is composed of a bottom wall and two side walls which extend upright from the bottom wall and are curved at the free end. To form the chambers or shafts, L-shaped partitions are provided, which are fixed in the region of the bottom plate. These trays however have the drawback that they ensure only inadequate guiding and securing of the products within the shafts. In particular due to the attachment of the partitions to the bottom wall, the partitions are guided only inadequately, which leads to parallelism between the partitions not being achieved. Furthermore, such a tray can be made in larger numbers only uneconomically.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore the object of the present invention to propose a simple shaft tray which is economical to manufacture in larger numbers.

This object is achieved by a shaft tray of the kind mentioned hereinbefore by the fact that the shaft walls are designed so that they can be mounted separately from the tray body, receiving means and/or fastening means for receiving and/or fastening the shaft walls to the tray body being formed at least in the region of the rear wall of the tray body. The modular design of the shaft tray allows manufacture both of the tray body and of the shaft walls by injection moulding. Each component part, in particular the shaft walls as well, can be made with parallel spaced-apart effective surfaces, because the necessary mould-release bevels can be laid in regions which do not affect the parallelism of the side walls and shaft walls to each other. Furthermore, the receiving and/or fastening means in the region of the rear wall of the tray body stabilise the shaft tray, which also contributes to the effective surfaces running parallel to each other during the filling or emptying operation as well.

An appropriate development of the invention provides that the receiving means in the region of the rear wall of the tray body includes vertically extending slots for passage of the shaft walls. Firstly this has the advantage that the tray body itself is in one piece. Secondly, the assembly of such shaft trays is particularly easy.

Preferably the shaft walls have, on their side facing towards the rear wall of the tray body, flange-like webs which are constructed in one piece with the shaft walls in such a way that the shaft walls are prevented from completely slipping through the slots. The webs serve on the one hand as a stop for simplifying assembly and on the other hand allow easy and secure fastening in the region of the rear wall of the tray body.

An advantageous embodiment is characterised in that the receiving means in the region of the rear wall of the tray body includes grooves for receiving corresponding projections of the shaft walls, the grooves being formed on the side of the rear wall of the tray body facing towards the receiving chamber. As a result, easy mounting of the shaft trays from the front is possible.

Advantageously, the receiving means in the region of the rear wall of the tray body includes grooves for receiving corresponding projections of the shaft walls, the grooves having undercut portions for form-locking reception of the projections. This design likewise ensures easy assembly. Furthermore, a secure and stable connection is ensured by the form-locking connection.

A preferred development is distinguished in that at least two shaft walls are joined together by a transverse wall running parallel to the rear wall of the tray body, to form an insert element with two or more walls. Due to this development the number of parts can be reduced, simplifying assembly. A further advantage lies in that the shaft walls have a high rigidity due to the transverse wall, which ensures parallelism of the effective surfaces of the shaft walls.

A further preferred embodiment is distinguished in that the tray body is constructed in several pieces. As a result, the individual parts/components are each made smaller, which allows smaller tools for manufacture and therefore incurs lower costs.

Advantageously, individual rear wall sections and individual bottom wall sections are constructed in one piece to form L-shaped wall segments. As a result the number of shafts is variable, as more or fewer wall segments can be joined together due to the modular design.

A preferred development of this embodiment provides that the shaft walls are located between the wall segments. Thus in a particularly simple manner the width of the shaft trays can be varied by altering the wall thickness of the shaft walls.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further appropriate and/or advantageous features and developments follow from the subsidiary claims and the description. Particularly preferred embodiments are described in more detail with the aid of the attached drawings. The drawings show:

FIG. 1 a perspective view of a first embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft walls slidable through the rear wall of the tray body, obliquely from the front,

FIG. 2 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 1, obliquely from the top rear,

FIG. 3 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 1, obliquely from the bottom rear,

FIG. 4 a perspective view of a further embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft walls that can be inserted in grooves from the front,

FIG. 5 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 4, obliquely from the top rear,

FIG. 6 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 4, obliquely from the bottom rear,

FIG. 7 a perspective view of a further embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft walls that can be inserted in grooves from above,

FIG. 8 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 7, obliquely from the top rear,

FIG. 9 a perspective view of a further embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft-wall double segments,

FIG. 10 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 9, obliquely from the top rear,

FIG. 11 a perspective view of another form of a modular shaft tray with a multi-piece tray body,

FIG. 12 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 11, obliquely from the top rear,

FIG. 13 a perspective view of the shaft tray according to FIG. 11, obliquely from the bottom rear,

FIG. 14 a schematic view of another embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft walls that can be inserted from the front,

FIG. 15 a schematic view of another embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft walls that can be clicked in, and

FIG. 16 a schematic view of another embodiment of a modular shaft tray with shaft walls for planar connection to the tray body.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The shaft trays shown are used for storing and transporting rod-shaped products of the tobacco-processing industry, in particular for receiving cigarettes, filter rods or the like.

All of the FIGS. 1 to 16 show shaft trays 10 which, to form a tray body 11, have a rear wall 12, two side walls 13 and 14 and a bottom wall 15. The side walls 13, 14 are arranged substantially parallel and spaced apart (may in certain circumstances have mould-release bevels not shown in the figures) and laterally define a receiving chamber 16 defined by the tray body 11. The bottom wall 15 defines the receiving chamber 16 at the bottom. Usually the shaft trays 10 are open at the front and at the top. Of course, front walls and cover elements may be provided as well. The tray body 11 can be in one piece or several pieces, as described in more detail below. The receiving chamber 16 itself is divisible. Preferably, several shaft walls 17 are releasably or rigidly connected to the tray body 11 for division of the receiving chamber 16 into several shafts 18. The shaft walls 17 run parallel to and at a distance from each other or from the side walls 13, 14.

The shaft walls 17 are made separately from the tray body 11 as component parts and accordingly can be mounted on the tray body 11 separately and subsequently. For this purpose, in the region of the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 are formed receiving means 19 and/or fastening means 20 for receiving and/or fastening the shaft walls 17 to the tray body 11. In addition, receiving means 19 and/or fastening means 20 for receiving and/or fastening the shaft walls 17 to the tray body 11 can also be formed in the bottom wall 15 of the tray body 11. The design and fitting of the receiving means 19 and fastening means 20 are detailed below. With the receiving and/or fastening of the shaft walls 17 at least in the region of the rear wall 15, a stable arrangement of the shaft tray 10 is achieved in spite of the modular design. Due to the fact that the shaft walls 17 can be connected to the tray body 11 preferably over their whole length, that is, from top to bottom, parallelism of the shaft walls 17 to each other and in relation to the side walls 13, 14 can be ensured.

The shaft walls 17 in the mounted state are of completely planar construction at least in their lateral working surfaces facing towards each other or the side walls 13, 14. The surfaces which are in contact with the products are referred to as the effective surfaces. In other words, the regions of the shaft walls 17 which form the shaft-like receiving chamber 16 are of planar and parallel construction, so that rectangular or square cross-sections are formed over the full height and depth of the shafts 18.

Preferably the shaft trays 10 or, to be more precise, the tray body 11 and the shaft walls 17 are made of plastic. Particularly preferably, the materials are polystyrene (PS) or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS). Of course other plastics or other materials such as e.g. aluminium can also be used to make the shaft trays 10. For the method of manufacturing the shaft trays 10, that is, at least the tray bodies 11 and the shaft walls 17, injection moulding is particularly suitable. Accordingly, the component parts of the shaft tray 10, and in particular also the shaft walls 17, have the so-called mould-release bevels or casting bevels. However, the mould-release bevels are formed in regions of the shaft walls 17 which have no contact with the products. This means that the mould-release bevels are formed in regions of the shaft walls 17, for example in the region of receiving means 21 and/or fastening means 22 of the shaft walls 17, which lie outside the receiving chamber 16. In addition to the preferred injection moulding method, naturally other common manufacturing methods can be employed as well.

The receiving means 19 and 21 in the region of the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 or in the region of the shaft walls 17, and the fastening means 20 and 22 in the region of the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 or in the region of the shaft walls 17, can be constructed separately or in one piece with the rear wall 12 or shaft walls 17. Preferably the receiving means 19, 21 and the fastening means 20, 22 are formed integrally with the rear wall 12 or the shaft walls 17 or formed in them. The shaft walls 17 can be attached to the tray body 11 in different ways. For the choice of common connections by way of example, screwing, gluing, riveting, welding, insertion or the like may be mentioned. Also, several of the above or comparable connection techniques may be combined.

As already mentioned above, some of the embodiments described below have a one-piece tray body 11. With the shaft tray 10 shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the tray body 11 is constructed as a one-piece injection moulding in the manner described above. The receiving means 19 in the region of the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 includes vertically extending slots 23 which are constructed and designed for passage of the shaft walls 17 from the rear. The slots 23 extend nearly over the full height of the rear wall 12 from top to bottom. The width of the slots 23 is slightly larger than the thickness of the shaft walls 17 to be received. Furthermore, the receiving means 19 in the region of the bottom wall 15 of the tray body 11 includes grooves 24. The grooves 24 can be simple recesses free from undercut portions. However, grooves 24 which are designed for receiving the corresponding shaft walls 17 in form-locking relationship are preferred. Such grooves 24 can be e.g. T-slots or dovetail slots. The T-shaped grooves 24 shown in the embodiment are open on the side facing towards the rear wall 12, in such a way that the shaft walls 17 can be inserted through the rear wall 12 from the rear.

The shaft walls 17 corresponding to the tray body 11 according to FIGS. 1 to 3 have T-shaped flanges 25 as receiving means 21 or fastening means 22 on the side facing towards the bottom wall 15. The flanges 25 are constructed in one piece with the shaft wall 17 and correspond to the grooves 24 in the bottom wall 15. The receiving means 21 and fastening means 22 further comprise, on the side facing towards the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11, flange-like webs 26 which are also constructed in one piece with the shaft wall 17. The webs 26 run transversely to the actual shaft wall 17, so that they prevent the shaft walls 17 from completely slipping through the slots 23. The mould-release bevels which are necessary for the injection moulding process can be formed in the region of the flanges 25 and/or webs 26, but cannot be seen explicitly in the figures. In the region of the webs 26 are formed, as fastening means 22, holes 27 which serve to receive corresponding bolts 28 or the like which are formed as fastening means 20 integrally on the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 on the side facing away from the receiving chamber 16. The bolts 28 can be welded or riveted in the holes 27. Naturally, glued connections or other connecting techniques as well as other designs of the fastening means 20, 22 are possible too. Optionally, the slots 23 can be sealed by suitable sealing means (not shown).

The shaft tray 10 shown in FIGS. 4 to 6 is basically constructed the same as the shaft tray 10 shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, on account of which the same reference numbers are used for identical parts. The differences lie however in the design of the receiving means 19 and 21 as well as the fastening means 20, 22. The shaft walls 17 and the tray body 11 are designed for assembly from the front. With this embodiment, the receiving means 19 of the tray body 11 in the region of the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 comprises grooves 29 for receiving corresponding projections on the shaft walls 17. The grooves 29 are formed on the side of the rear wall 12 facing towards the receiving chamber 16 and extend almost over the full height of the rear wall 12 from top to bottom. The grooves 29 are formed as rectangular recesses. Any other shape of the grooves 29 which is free from undercut portions can however be chosen likewise. The bottom wall 15 has a completely smooth surface.

The shaft walls 17 have projections which are designed as receiving means 21 corresponding to the grooves 29 and which are for example constructed as flange-like webs 30. The webs 30 are constructed in one piece with the shaft walls 17 and run transversely to the actual shaft wall 17, so that the shaft walls 17 in the region of the receiving means 21 are T-shaped. The webs 30 fit flush in the grooves 29, so that the rear wall 12 has a smooth surface between the shaft walls 17 on the side facing towards the receiving chamber 16. The fastening means 20, 22 are e.g. bolts 31 on the webs 30 or holes 32 or the like in the region of the grooves 29. With this embodiment too, the fastening means 20, 22 can be designed in any other known way.

A further embodiment constructed basically on the same fundamental principle can be seen in FIGS. 7 and 8 in which again the same reference numbers are used for identical parts. However, the shaft walls 17 and the tray body 11 are designed for assembly from above. To put it another way, the shaft walls 17 can be inserted in the rear wall 12 from above. For this purpose, in the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 on the side facing towards the receiving chamber 16 are formed grooves 33 running through continuously from top to bottom as receiving means 19. The grooves 33 serve to receive corresponding projections of the shaft walls 17. The grooves 33 have undercut portions for receiving the projections in form-locking relationship, so that assembly/dismounting in a direction other than the one provided by form locking is impossible. For instance, the groove 33 can be designed as a T-slot (as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8), as a dovetail slot or in some other common way. Due to the form-locking connection between tray body 11 and shaft walls 17, the receiving means 19, 21, that is, the grooves 33 in the rear wall 12 and flange-like webs 34 as projections on the shaft wall 17, simultaneously also serve as fastening means 20 or 22.

A further embodiment of the shaft tray 10 is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, which substantially corresponds to the basic principle of the above embodiments, but differs in the design of the shaft walls 17. In this embodiment several shaft walls 17, preferably two shaft walls 17, are combined into an insert element 35. Two parallel and spaced-apart shaft walls 17 are joined together by a transverse wall 36 to form the U-shaped insert element 35. The insert element 35 itself forms shaft 18, but also forms shafts 18 with adjacent insert elements 35. Integration of the insert elements 35 in or on the tray body 11 can take place in all the manners described previously or otherwise. The example shown is the construction in which the receiving means 19 in the region of the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 are vertically extending grooves 37 which run from top to bottom in the rear wall 12 and are constructed and designed to receive corresponding projections of the shaft walls 17. The projections are flange-like webs 38 which are constructed in one piece with the shaft walls 17. The bottom wall 15 has a completely smooth surface. The insert elements 35 can be inserted in the rear wall 12 from above separately. In this case the receiving means 19, 21 simultaneously act as fastening means 20, 22. In other embodiments the insert elements 35 can also be inserted in the rear wall 12 from above and be glued to it. As in the other embodiments described above, different connecting techniques which are not explicitly described can be used. Also, more than two shaft walls 17 can be assembled into a one-piece insert element 35.

An embodiment of the shaft tray 10 shown in FIGS. 11 to 13 has a multi-piece tray body 11. Both the rear wall 12 of the tray body 11 and the bottom wall 15 of the tray body 11 are constructed in several pieces. In this case individual rear wall sections and individual bottom wall sections are each joined together in one piece to form wall segments 39. The wall segments 39 are L-shaped. Several of the wall segments 39 as well as the separately formed side walls 13, 14 form, together with the shaft walls 17 which are of completely planar construction, the shaft tray 10. Starting from the side wall 13, the mounted shaft tray 10 is alternately formed by a wall segment 39, a shaft wall 17, a wall segment 39, a shaft wall 17 etc. as far as the second side wall 14. The shaft walls 17 in this case extend between the wall segments 39, so that the thickness of the shaft walls 17 defines the distance between two wall segments 39 and ultimately, together with the number of wall segments 39, the width of the shaft tray 10. In the embodiment shown, the shaft walls 17 therefore separate two adjacent wall segments 39 from each other completely. The component parts, that is, the side walls 13, 14, the wall segments 39 and the shaft walls 17, can in turn be joined together by screwing, by gluing, by riveting, by welding or otherwise.

FIGS. 14 to 16 show further embodiments of modular shaft trays 10 which are all constructed on the basic principle described above and in particular can be made by injection moulding as well. Identical parts are again given the same reference numbers in the embodiments described below. FIG. 14 shows a shaft tray 10 in which the shaft walls 17 can be inserted from the front via a groove 40 formed in the bottom wall 15. For this purpose the shaft walls 17 have corresponding flange-like webs 41 on their side facing towards the bottom wall 15. By means of the groove 40 and the webs 41, a form-locking connection can be made. In the region of the rear wall 12 are also formed grooves 42 which are designed as narrow channels for receiving the shaft wall 17. The shaft walls 17 which are of identical construction within a shaft tray 10 have an opening 43 in a region close to the bottom wall 15. Corresponding openings 44, 45 are provided in the side walls 13, 14 to allow detection means (not shown) to ascertain the presence of products and/or the level in the shaft tray 10.

In the embodiment according to FIG. 15, the shaft walls 17 have, on their sides facing towards the rear wall 12 and the bottom wall 15 of the tray body 11, latch elements 46 or the like which can be brought into engagement with correspondingly formed grooves 47 in the bottom wall 15 and grooves 48 in the rear wall 12. In the process, assembly by insertion of the shaft walls 17 from the front takes place. The same applies to the embodiment shown in FIG. 16. Instead of the latch elements 46, the shaft walls 17 in the last-mentioned embodiment have planar, plate-like webs 49, 50 which correspond to suitably shaped grooves 51 in the bottom wall 15 and grooves 52 in the rear wall 12. The webs 49, 50 are constructed in one piece with the shaft walls 17 and are particularly suitable for a glued connection.