Title:
PACKAGING FOR ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS, IN PARTICULAR FOR NOTEBOOKS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a packing for electronic components and devices and preferably for notebooks, characterized in that the packing includes at least two pivotally connected elements which can be swivelled between at least one first swivel position and at least one second swivel position, wherein in the second swivel position the elements have a smaller swivel angle with respect to each other than in the first swivel position, and wherein in the second swivel position the elements define a space for accommodating the component to be packed.



Inventors:
Friedrich, Hannes (Nuremberg, DE)
Application Number:
11/553838
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
10/27/2006
Assignee:
MANFRED JACOB KUNSTSTOFFTECHNIK GMBH (Wilhelmsdorf, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHU, KING M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCOY RUSSELL LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A packing for electronic components and devices wherein the packing includes at least two pivotally connected elements which are configured to be swivelled between at least one first swivel position and at least one second swivel position, wherein in the second swivel position the pivotally connected elements have a smaller swivel angle with respect to each other than in the first swivel position, and wherein in the second swivel position the pivotally connected elements define a space for accommodating the component to be packed.

2. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein one or more Pivotally connected elements have locking means which fix the elements relative to each other in the second swivel position.

3. The packing as claimed in claim 2, wherein the locking means comprise a projection and a recess, the projection and the recess being arranged at the pivotally connected elements such that in the second swivel position the projection is at least partly received in the recess.

4. The packing as claimed in claim 3, wherein the locking means is configured such that a dovetail connection exists between the pivotally connected elements.

5. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pivotally connected elements include a receiving portion and one, two or more than two edge portions which define the receiving portion on one, on two or on more than two sides.

6. The packing as claimed in claim 5, wherein one or more pivotally connected elements have locking means which fix the pivotally connected elements relative to each other in the second swivel position, and wherein the locking means are disposed in the receiving portion and/or in the edge portion.

7. The packing as claimed in claim 5, wherein the edge portions of the pivotally connected elements are configured such that in the second swivel position the edge portions lie on top of each other and that the receiving portions of the pivotally connected elements are configured such that in the second swivel position the receiving portions define a space for accommodating the component to be packed.

8. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein the elements have a receiving portion which includes bearing portions spaced from each other.

9. The packing as claimed in claim 8, wherein the bearing portions are spaced from each other in a direction of a swivel axis of the pivotally connected elements and/or in a direction vertical to the swivel axis of the elements.

10. The packing as claimed in claim 9, wherein webs or grooves extend between the bearing portions spaced in the direction of the swivel axis of the elements and accurate portions extend between the bearing portions spaced from each other in a direction vertical to the swivel axis of the elements.

11. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein the packing comprises three elements, two of which are arranged substantially parallel in the second swivel position and with one swivel axis each are connected with the third element.

12. The packing as claimed claim 1, wherein the pivotally connected elements of the packing are arranged such that in the second swivel position the pivotally connected elements define a space which is open on one side only.

13. The packing as claimed in claim 11, wherein a third element of the pivotally connected elements is configured such that in the second swivel position the third element has projections or bulges pointing to an outside with respect to the space for accommodating the component.

14. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein the packing includes a plurality of elements which are arranged such that a first element and a last element of the packing are arranged parallel to each other in the second swivel position.

15. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein one of the pivotally connected elements is formed by a plate-like component.

16. The packing as claimed in claim 15, wherein on one or more sides, the plate-like component is pivotally connected with one or more further elements of the packing.

17. The packing as claimed in claim 15, wherein the plate-like component includes a bearing surface as well as one or more edge portions which define the bearing surface and protrude beyond the same.

18. The packing as claimed in claim 17, wherein in the bearing surface protrusions are provided, which are outwardly protruding with respect to the same.

19. The packing as claimed in claim 17, wherein the plate-like component has a rectangular or square configuration, on two opposite sides of the component the edge portions are provided, which are raised with respect to the bearing surface, and on the two remaining sides of the plate-like component one or more further elements are pivotally mounted.

20. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein the packing is deep-drawing formed packing.

21. The packing as claimed in claim 1, wherein the packing comprises a plastically deformable material.

22. A method comprising: accommodating electronic components and devices, including notebooks, in a space with a packing, the packing comprising at least two pivotally connected elements which are configured to be swivelled between at least one first swivel position and at least one second swivel position, wherein in the second swivel position the pivotally connected elements have a smaller swivel angle with respect to each other than in the first swivel position, and wherein in the second swivel position the pivotally connected elements define the.

23. These method as claimed in claim 22, further comprising during assembly, resting the notebook on a plate-like component formed by one of the pivotally connected elements and subsequent to the assembly, another pivotally connected element is swivelled relative to the plate-like component.

Description:

The present invention relates to a packing for electronic components and devices and preferably for notebooks.

Such packings are known in a number of different embodiments. Currently used packings are made for instance of expanded polystyrene or plastics. They are rigid components, which are for instance pushed onto a notebook from both sides.

As the packings known from the prior art constitute substantially rigid components, the same correspondingly are not flexible, but are each only usable for a specific device. If they are deep-drawn plastic packings, another disadvantage consists in that the same must have a considerable drawing depth, in order to ensure a sufficient insertion depth of the component, for instance the notebook, to be accommodated. Accordingly, the process of manufacturing such packings turns out to be relatively complex.

It is the object of the present invention to develop a packing for electronic components and devices, and preferably for notebooks, such that the same offers a good protection of the accommodated components or devices against being damaged and can be manufactured relatively easily.

This object is solved by a packing with the features of claim 1. Accordingly, it is provided that the packing includes at least two pivotally connected elements, which can be swivelled between at least one first swivel position and at least one second swivel position, wherein in the second swivel position the elements have a smaller swivel angle with respect to each other than in the first swivel position, and wherein in the second swivel position the elements define a space for accommodating the component to be packed. Thus, the packing of the present invention is not based on rigid packing elements, but comprises pivotally connected elements, which are movable into different positions and in at least one position form a space for the component or device to be accommodated. The elements are folded or rolled about the component/device to be packed, which can possibly provide for an adaptability to differently dimensioned components/devices.

Preferably, it is provided that one or more elements have locking means which fix the elements in the second swivel position relative to each other. The locking elements can comprise a projection and a recess, the projection and the recess being arranged on the elements such that in the second swivel position the projection is at least partly received in the recess. It is conceivable, for instance, that the locking means is configured such that a dovetail connection is formed between the elements.

In a preferred aspect of the invention it is provided that the elements include a receiving portion and one, two or more than two edge portions which define the receiving portion on one, two or more than two sides. The edge portions thus form for instance a lateral boundary of the receiving portion and accordingly a lateral protection of the accommodated component or device against being damaged.

Another function of the edge portions can consist in receiving said locking means. In principle, however, it is likewise conceivable to alternatively or additionally arrange the locking means in the receiving portion.

In another aspect of the invention it is provided that the edge portions of the elements are configured such that in the second swivel position they lie on top of each other and that the receiving portions of the elements are configured such that in the second swivel position they define a space for accommodating the component to be packed.

The elements can have a receiving portion which includes bearing portions spaced from each other. In this case, it is provided that the accommodated component or device does not lie flat on the receiving portion, but only or substantially on the bearing portions.

The bearing portions can be spaced from each other in the direction of the swivel axis of the elements and/or in a direction vertical to the swivel axis of the elements. Between the bearing portions, webs, grooves or e.g. actuate portions can be provided. For instance, between the bearing portions spaced in the direction of the swivel axis, webs or grooves can extend, and between the bearing portions spaced from each other in a direction vertical to the swivel axis of the elements, actuate portions can extend, which preferably are curved to the outside, i.e. facing away from the receiving portion. A reverse arrangement also is conceivable. The actuate portions provide on the one hand a certain stabilization of the receiving portion and on the other hand a protection against forces acting on the receiving portion from the outside.

In a further aspect of the invention it is provided that the packing consists of three elements, two of which are arranged substantially parallel in the second swivel position and with one swivel axis each are connected with the third element.

In a preferred aspect of the invention it is provided that the elements of the packing are arranged such that in their second swivel position they define a space which is open on one side only. In this space, the accommodated component or device is located, which in accordance with this embodiment is surrounded by the packing of the invention on its upper and lower surfaces, on its two lateral surfaces and on its end face.

The third element can be configured such that in the second swivel position it includes projections or bulges pointing to the outside with respect to the space for accommodating the component. These projections or bulges on the one hand serve to stabilize the third element and on the other hand provide protection of the component or element against being damaged, as they are preferably deformed plastically like the further components of the packing, in case an external force is acting on the same.

The packing can include a plurality of elements which are arranged such that in the second swivel position the first element and the last element of the packing are arranged parallel to each other. Preferably, these two elements define a surface from which protrudes the component or device accommodated in the packing.

Particularly advantageously, one of the elements is formed by a plate-like component. On one or more sides, preferably on two opposite sides, the plate-like component can be pivotally connected with one or more further elements of the packing.

Preferably, it is provided that the plate-like component includes a bearing surface as well as one or more edge portions raised from the same, which define the bearing surface. For protection of the accommodated component or device it can be provided that the bearing surface includes projections protruding from the same to the outside.

The plate-like component can, for instance, have a rectangular or square configuration, raised edge portions being provided on two opposite sides of the component and one or more further elements being each pivotally mounted on the two other sides of the component.

Particularly advantageously, the packing is made of plastics. The packing can be made by deep-drawing. Due to the inventive configuration of the packing as compared to known packings, which for instance are pushed onto a notebook, a comparatively small drawing depth is required, which simplifies the manufacture accordingly.

Preferably, the packing is made of a plastically deformable material or includes such material. The material preferably is made such that in the case of an impact or under the influence of external forces it is deformed plastically and correspondingly protects the component by absorbing the impact energy.

The present invention furthermore relates to the use of a packing as claimed in any of claims 1 to 21 for accommodating electronic components or devices and preferably a notebook.

Particularly advantageously, the packing is used such that the electronic component or device or the notebook rests on the plate-like component of the packing, while assembly of the component or device is effected or the same is equipped. Upon termination of the assembly, the further elements pivotally mounted relative to the plate-like component are folded down or rolled up, so that the finished component or device possibly can be delivered or stored after further packing operations.

Further details and advantages of the invention will be explained in detail with reference to an embodiment illustrated in the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1: shows a perspective representation of the packing of the invention in a first embodiment in a first swivel position,

FIG. 2: shows a perspective representation of two packings as shown in FIG. 1 in a second swivel position with a notebook accommodated therein,

FIG. 3: shows a perspective representation of the packing as shown in FIG. 1 in a second swivel position,

FIG. 4: shows a perspective representation of the packing of the invention in a further embodiment in a second swivel position,

FIG. 5: shows a perspective representation of the packing as shown in FIG. 4 in the first swivel position, and

FIG. 6: shows a perspective representation of the packing as shown in FIG. 4 in a second swivel position with a notebook accommodated therein.

FIG. 1 shows the packing of the invention in a first embodiment. It consists of the three parts 10, 20, 30 pivotally mounted with respect to each other, which are integrally made by deep-drawing. At their edges extending in longitudinal direction of the elements, the elements 10 and 30 as well as 30 and 20 are connected with each other such that they can be swivelled against each other.

FIG. 1 shows the packing in a first swivel position and FIG. 3 in a second swivel position, FIG. 3 illustrating that in the second swivel position the angle included between the elements is smaller than in the first swivel position.

In the first swivel position shown in FIG. 1, the packing is open and in this position easily provides for insertion of a component or device. As soon as the same is located in the corresponding bearing portions, the element 20 is folded against the element 10, so that there is formed a space defined by the packing on five sides, which only includes one opening extending between the edges of the elements 10 and 20, on which no further elements are disposed.

To ensure that upon folding the elements 10, 20 remain in their folded position as shown in FIG. 3, locking means are provided in the form of the projections 12 and the recesses 23. The same are configured such that in the folded second swivel position as shown in FIG. 3 the projections 12 engage in the recesses 23 and fix the element 20 at the element 10. Preferably, the locking means have a dovetail configuration, which provides a particularly safe fixation.

The elements 10, 20 include receiving portions 14, 24 in which bearing portions 17, 27 are formed, which rest against the accommodated component or device. The bearing portions 17, 27 are spaced by means of webs 18, 28 in a direction parallel to the swivel axes, about which the parts 10, 30, 20 can be swivelled against each other. In the direction vertical thereto, actuate portions 19, 29 are disposed, which in particular serve to ensure a protection of the accommodated component against external influences.

In a lateral direction, the receiving portions 14, 24 are defined by edge portions 16, 26 on both sides. These edge portions 16, 26 include the above-mentioned locking means 12, 23.

In the second swivel position as shown in FIG. 3, the edge portions 16, 26 lie on top of each other, whereas the bearing portions 14, 24 define a space between them, which serves to accommodate the device or component.

In this embodiment, the edge portions 16, 26 not only have the function to enclose the locking means, but also provide protection of the bearing portion 14, 24 against forces acting from the side.

As can be taken from FIGS. 1 and 2, the elements 10, 20 are not directly pivotally connected with each other, but by means of the third element 30. The same has a swivel connection both with the element 10 and with the element 20. The element 30 has projections 32 pointing to the outside with respect to the receiving portion, which provide protection of the accommodated component against forces acting on the end face.

FIG. 2 shows a notebook 100 which is surrounded by inventive packings on two sides. Only a middle portion of the notebook 100 is kept free, on which there is a possibility for inscriptions and the like even after packing.

The packings in accordance with the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 3 have the advantage that the accommodated component 100 is protected by the packing on its upper and lower surfaces, on its end face and in both edge portions.

The packing of the invention is comparatively easy to manufacture, as it only requires a small drawing depth. Handling the packing also is particularly easy, as upon placing the component on one of the two bearing portions 14, 24, it is merely necessary to fold down the elements, in order to protect the component or device in this region.

As the projections 12 have a certain height, it is furthermore possible to accommodate components or devices with different thicknesses, without the possibility of locking by means of the projections 12 and the recesses 23 being lost.

FIGS. 4 to 6 show another embodiment of the present invention. The packing in accordance with this embodiment includes an element 50 in the form of a plate-like component, which in this embodiment is rectangular. On two opposite sides, the element 50 or the plate-like component has raised edge portions 56 extending parallel to each other, which laterally define the receiving portion 54 of the element 50. The receiving portion 54 is divided into a plurality of bearing portions 57 by means of grooves 58 extending parallel to the edge portions 56. From the bearing portions 57, projections or studs 59 extend, which extend to the outside with respect to the receiving portion 54, as can be taken from FIGS. 4 and 5. On the two sides of the plate-like component or element 50, on which the raised edge portions 56 are not provided, a plurality of elements 40 are disposed, which are pivotally mounted with respect to each other and with respect to the element 50. In the embodiment shown here, three elements 40 are provided. Each of these elements 40 includes a receiving portion 44, which is divided into a plurality of bearing portions 47 by means of grooves 48 which extend parallel to the grooves 58 of the element 50. As can furthermore be taken from FIGS. 4 and 5, each of the elements 40 includes a recess 43 as well as a projection 42, and in the second swivel position, a projection 42 of an element is received in a recess 43, 53 of the adjacent element 40 or 50. The projections 42 have a dovetail configuration, in order to ensure a particularly safe locking in the second swivel position. The elements 40 constitute strips, which in their two end portions have edge portions 46 which are raised with respect to the receiving surface 44 and provide a lateral protection of the component or device and additionally ensure a fixation of the component or device inside the packing.

Upon placing the notebook or component or device on the bearing surface 54 of the element 50, the elements 40 are folded or rolled about the edge portions of the device or component, so that the condition shown in FIGS. 4 and 6 is obtained.

In the second swivel position, the projections 42 of the elements 40 are located in the respectively adjacent recesses 43 or 53 of the elements 40 or of the plate-like element 50.

In the illustrated embodiment, the elements 40 have lateral surfaces which adjoin the bearing portion 44 and are inclined with respect to each other at an angle of about 60°. In this way it is achieved that when swivelling three such elements, the last element is turned by 180°, as is shown in FIGS. 4 and 6.

In principle, however, more than three elements or less than three elements are also conceivable.

The packings in accordance with the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 4 to 6 can be used particularly advantageously in a process of manufacturing an electronic component or device. It is conceivable that the device is mounted on the bearing surface 54 of the element 50, and upon completion the elements 40 are “rolled” up, until the position shown in FIG. 6 is reached. The device packed in this way can then be stored or be dispatched after a possible further packing.

The packing preferably consists of a plastically deformable material, which involves the advantage that a possible impact energy is absorbed by deformation of the packing, and in this way the device/component is protected. Materials such as polypropylene, impact-modified polypropylene and other materials come into consideration.

In a preferred aspect of the invention, the packing is configured such that in a first swivel position, i.e. in the open condition, it can be stacked empty.