Title:
ADJUSTABLE PUSHER TRAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable pusher tray mountable on a top of a shelf for holding objects thereon. The tray includes a platform adapted to be mounted on the top of the shelf; and at least one pushing device adapted to be mounted on the platform for pushing the objects towards a front of the tray. Each pushing device has a longitudinal plate adapted to be mounted on the platform, a pusher tab slidably mounted on the longitudinal plate, and a coiled spring having one end mounted on the pusher tab and another end mounted on the longitudinal plate for biasing the pusher tab against the objects positioned between the pusher tab and the front of the tray.



Inventors:
Vardaro, Enzo (Montreal, CA)
Vardaro, Nicola (Montreal, CA)
Application Number:
11/773638
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
07/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H31/20
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lavery, De Billy, LLP (Montreal, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. An adjustable pusher tray mountable on a top of a shelf for holding objects thereon, the tray comprising: a platform adapted to be mounted on the top of the shelf; and at least one pushing device adapted to be mounted on the platform for pushing the objects towards a front of the tray; wherein each pushing device comprises a longitudinal plate adapted to be mounted on the platform, a pusher tab slidably mounted on the longitudinal plate, and a coiled spring having one end mounted on the pusher tab and another end mounted on the longitudinal plate for biasing the pusher tab against the objects positioned between the pusher tab and the front of the tray.

2. The tray according to claim 1, wherein the platform comprises a plurality of modular platform units adapted to be attached together, each modular platform unit having side protrusions engaging into corresponding slots of an adjacent modular platform unit.

3. The tray according to claim 2, wherein each modular platform unit comprises a series of parallel longitudinal slots, and wherein an underside of each longitudinal plate comprises protrusions for lockingly engaging into a corresponding set of the slots.

4. The tray according to claim 3, further comprising a plurality of divider units, each divider unit comprises protrusions for lockingly engaging into a corresponding set of the slots.

5. The tray according to claim 2, wherein each modular platform unit includes one or more frangible links located at predetermined distances for adjusting a width of the tray when each frangible link is severed.

6. The tray according to claim 1, wherein each longitudinal plate includes one or more frangible links located at predetermined distances for adjusting a width of the tray when each frangible link is severed.

7. The tray according to claim 4, wherein each divider unit includes one or more frangible links located at predetermined distances for adjusting a width of the tray when each frangible link is severed.

8. The tray according to claim 2, wherein each modular platform unit includes a magnet for retaining the tray onto the shelf.

9. An adjustable pusher tray mountable on a top of a shelf for holding objects thereon, the tray comprising: a platform adapted to be mounted on the top of the shelf; and at least one pushing device adapted to be mounted on the platform for pushing the objects towards a front of the tray; wherein the platform comprises a first plate and a second plate slidably mounted on the first plate for adjusting a width of the tray.

10. The tray according to claim 9, wherein each pushing device comprises a coiled spring mounted in spring receiving slots defined in the first and second plates.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a pusher tray.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A pusher tray is used for pushing objects positioned thereon towards the front of the pusher tray. Such trays are inclined with respect of the horizontal and use gravitational force to move forward objects on display when one such object is removed from the tray. However, such pusher trays are of a predetermined size and it is expensive to adapt these to different shelf sizes in stores. Also, by depending on gravitational force one needs to set a predetermined incline angle, which may not be suitable for different kinds of objects having different friction coefficients and different shapes.

There is therefore a need for an improved pusher tray, which may overcome the above and other deficiencies.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, there is provided an adjustable pusher tray mountable on a top of a shelf for holding objects thereon, the tray comprising: a platform adapted to be mounted on the top of the shelf; and at least one pushing device adapted to be mounted on the platform for pushing the objects towards a front of the tray; wherein each pushing device comprises a longitudinal plate adapted to be mounted on the platform, a pusher tab slidably mounted on the longitudinal plate, and a coiled spring having one end mounted on the pusher tab and another end mounted on the longitudinal plate for biasing the pusher tab against the objects positioned between the pusher tab and the front of the tray.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an adjustable pusher tray mountable on a top of a shelf for holding objects thereon, the tray comprising: a platform adapted to be mounted on the top of the shelf; and at least one pushing device adapted to be mounted on the platform for pushing the objects towards a front of the tray; wherein the platform comprises a first plate and a second plate slidably mounted on the first plate for adjusting a width of the tray.

The invention as well as its numerous advantages will be better understood by reading the following non-restrictive description of preferred embodiments made in reference to the appending drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a left front perspective view of an adjustable pusher tray, in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1B is an exploded left front perspective view of the tray in FIG. 1A.

FIG. 2A, is a lower side perspective view of a partial tray extended to maximum width, in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2B, is a lower side perspective view of a partial tray of lesser width than that shown in FIG. 2A, in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a raised right rear perspective view of a partial tray in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a right front perspective view of an adjustable pusher tray, in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an exploded right front perspective view of a modular portion of the tray in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a top view of a modular platform unit of the modular portion of the tray in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a lower side view of the modular platform unit in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a side section view along line A-A in FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a more detailed view of circle B in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a left perspective view of a pusher device of the modular portion of the tray in FIG. 5.

FIG. 11 is a right front perspective view of an adjustable pusher tray, in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a right front perspective view of a modular platform unit of the tray in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a right front perspective and exploded view of the modular platform unit in FIG. 12 and a divider unit of the tray in FIG. 11.

FIG. 14 is a right front perspective view of the modular platform unit of the tray in FIG. 12 with two divider units of the tray being installed.

FIG. 15 is a right front perspective and exploded view of the modular platform unit and divider units in FIG. 14 and a pusher device of the tray in FIG. 11.

FIG. 16 is a right front perspective view of the modular platform unit of the tray in FIG. 12 with two divider units and the pusher device in FIG. 15 being installed.

FIG. 17 is a right front perspective view of three modular units as in FIG. 16 being attached together.

FIG. 18 is a partial and perspective lower side view of two modular units as in FIG. 16 aligned to be attached together.

FIG. 19 is a right front perspective view of the three modular units in FIG. 17 with a price channel being inserted onto a front part of the tray.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, an adjustable pusher tray, generally referred to using the reference numeral 10, will now be described. The tray 10, which is illustratively adapted for placement onto a shelf S, is comprised of an upper plate 12 and a lower plate 14. The upper plate 12 comprises a series of spring receiving slots as in 16 moulded or otherwise formed therein. The upper plate 12 also comprises a plurality of pairs of opposed insert receiving protrusions as in 18 as well as a pair of opposing lower plate receiving protrusions 20, 22 moulded or otherwise formed at opposite ends of the upper plate 12 on a lower surface 24 thereof. Additionally, a rearward edge 26 of the upper plate 12 is bevelled (as can be well seen in FIG. 3).

Still referring to FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, the lower plate 14 comprises a series of spring receiving slots 28 moulded or otherwise formed therein which define a plurality of inserts as in 30. The lower plate 14 also comprises a raised backing plate 32 having a butted lower end 34. A series of springs as in 36 are also provided and retained within the spring receiving slots as in 16, 28 projecting above the upper surfaces of both the upper plate 12 and the lower plate 14. A series of merchandise retaining display plates 38 are arranged along the forward edge 40 of the upper plate 12. Additionally, an optional front display plate 42 is attached to the forward edge 40 of the upper plate 12, illustratively by means of a plurality of tongue like inserts 44 which are engaged by the forward ends of the insert receiving protrusions 18.

Still referring to FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, opposing side plates each comprising a forward side plate 46 and a rearward side plate 48 are additionally provided. An inside surface 50 of each forward side plate 46 further comprises a pair of opposing rearward side plate receiving protrusions 52 moulded or otherwise formed thereon.

Referring now to FIG. 2A in addition to FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, in order to assemble the tray 10, a front portion of each of the springs as in 36 is first placed in its corresponding slot as in 16 on the upper plate 12 and a rear portion of each of the springs as in 36 is placed in its corresponding slot as in 28 on the lower plate 14. A forward edge 54 of the lower plate 14 is then inserted under the rearward edge 26 of the upper plate 12 between the pair of opposing lower plate receiving protrusions 20, 22. Simultaneously, the plurality of inserts as in 30 are inserted into their corresponding pairs of opposed insert receiving protrusions as in 18, thereby retaining the springs 36 in their corresponding slots as in 16, 28.

Referring to FIG. 2B in addition to FIG. 2A, as will now be apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the art, the width W of the tray 10 can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the depth D to which the lower plate 14 is inserted under the upper plate 12, still while retaining the springs as in 36 within their positions. Also of note is that the pair of opposing lower plate receiving protrusions 20, 22 serve to hold the pairs of opposed insert receiving protrusions as in 18 clear of the upper surface of the shelf S, thereby allowing the springs 36 to be compressed freely by the widening and narrowing action of the upper plate 12 and the lower plate 14.

Referring now to FIG. 3, as discussed above, the opposing side plates each comprise a forward side plate 46 and a rearward side plate 48 with the front end 56 of the forward side plate 46 flush with the forward edge 40 of the upper plate 12 and the rear end 58 of the rearward side plate 48 abutting or flush against the raised backing plate 32 of the lower plate 14. As will now be apparent to a person of skill in the art, the rearward side plate 48 is inserted and able to slide between the pair of opposing rearward side plate receiving protrusions 52 on the inside surface 50 of the forward side plate 46, and as a result, the length L of each opposing side plate is adjustable with the width W of the tray 10.

Referring now back to FIG. 1B, each opposing forward side plate 46, is held proximate to the side of the upper plate 12 by a support plate 60 formed at right angles to the inside surface 50 of the forward side plate 46 which is inserted between the upper plate 12 and the shelf S. Illustratively, the weight of the upper plate 12 and lower plate 14 retains the support plate 60 to the shelf S. Additionally, the upper plate 12 is illustratively attached to the shelf S by a fastening means (for example a plurality of pins or the like, not shown, depending from the under side of the upper plate 12 which engages the upper surface of the shelf S) which prevents unwanted horizontal movement of the upper plate 12. Similarly, unwanted horizontal movement of the lower plate 14 is illustratively prevented by a wall or the like (not shown) proximate to the rear edge of the shelf S and against which the raised backing plate 32 of the lower plate 14 abuts as well the butted lower end 34 of the lower plate 14 which abuts the shelf S.

Referring back to FIG. 1A, items of merchandise (for example books, CD jewel cases or the like, all not shown) are inserted between the display plates 38 and the first coil 62 of each spring 36. The biasing forces generated by the spring as in 36 pressing against the raised backing plate 32 force the merchandise forward against the display plates 38. As a result, as merchandise is removed from the tray 10, the remaining merchandise is shifted forward.

An advantage of the pusher tray 10 is that it may be adjustable in width so as to expand or contract to accommodate different shelf sizes used in stores for example.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown an adjustable pusher tray 100, according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention. The tray 100 includes a platform 102 adapted to be mounted on the top of the shelf S, such as the one illustrated in FIG. 1B. The tray 100 also includes at least one pushing device 104 adapted to be mounted on the platform 102 for pushing the objects towards a front of the tray 100. The adjustable pusher tray 100 may be formed of several modular units that are assembled together as will be explained below.

Referring to FIG. 5, in addition to FIG. 4, each pushing device 104 includes a longitudinal plate 106 adapted to be mounted on the platform 102, a pusher tab 108 slidably mounted on the longitudinal plate 106, and a coiled spring 110 having one end mounted on the pusher tab 108 and another end 112 mounted on the longitudinal plate 106 for biasing the pusher tab 108 against the objects positioned between the pusher tab 108 and the front of the tray.

Preferably, the platform 102 includes a plurality of modular platform units 114 adapted to be attached together. Each modular platform unit 114 has side protrusion receiving slots 116 lockingly engaging with corresponding protrusions 118 of an adjacent modular platform unit 114, as best shown in FIG. 8.

Referring to FIGS. 6 to 10, each modular platform unit 114 includes a series of parallel longitudinal slots 120. Furthermore, an underside of the longitudinal plate 106 includes protrusions 122 for lockingly engaging into a corresponding set of the slots 120. The top of each modular platform 114 is provided with longitudinal protrusions 115 defining channels that facilitate the alignment of the protrusions 122 into the slots 120.

Referring back to FIGS. 4 and 5, the tray 100 may further include a plurality of divider units 124. Each divider unit 124 includes protrusions for lockingly engaging into a corresponding set of the slots 120 of the modular platform units 114.

Preferably, each modular platform unit 114 includes one or more frangible links 128 located at predetermined distances for adjusting a width of the tray 100 when each frangible link 128 is severed.

Preferably, each longitudinal plate 106 includes one or more frangible links 130 located at predetermined distances for adjusting a width of the tray 100 when each frangible link 130 is severed.

Preferably, each divider unit 124 includes one or more frangible links 132 located at predetermined distances for adjusting a width of the tray 100 when each frangible link 132 is severed.

Preferably, a magnet 134 positioned in a magnet holder 136 is attached under each modular platform unit 114. Thereby, if the shelf S is metallic, it may be easily attached thereto. Of course, other means for attaching the modular platform unit 114 to the top of the shelf S may be provided as those skilled in the art will understand.

Referring now to FIGS. 11 to 19, there are shown preferred sequential steps for assembling the pusher tray 100. The first step usually begins with providing a modular platform unit 114 as in FIG. 12. The second step is to provide at least one divider unit 124 having a series of protrusions 126 that are to be inserted into a corresponding set of longitudinal slots 120 of the modular platform unit 114, which are best shown in FIG. 18. The modular platform unit 114 may also be provided with a set of parallel longitudinal protrusions 115 which define channels where the divider unit 124 is inserted. The series of protrusions 126 of the divider unit 124 have ends being directed forward. Therefore, as protrusions 126 of the divider unit 124 are inserted in the slots 120, the divider unit 124 is pushed forward of the tray to ensure a locking thereof, as shown in FIG. 14. The next step is to mount the pusher device 104 onto the modular platform unit 114, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16. The longitudinal plate 106 of the pusher device 104 is provided with a series of protrusions 122 having ends being directed backwards. Therefore, once the protrusions 122 of the pusher device 104 are aligned and inserted in the slots 120 of the modular platform unit 114, the pusher device 104 is pushed backwards of the tray to ensure a locking thereof, as shown in FIG. 16. The same steps as above are repeated to provide several modular units as shown in FIG. 16. The modular units are then attached together by means of side protrusion receiving slots 116 and protrusions 118 as shown in FIG. 18 and explained above. In a next step as shown in FIG. 19, a price channel member 138 is inserted on a front portion of the tray 100. The channel member may bear price or other type of information related on the merchandise or objects positioned on the tray 100.

An advantage of the frangible links 128, 130 and 132 is that they allow to adjust the tray to a particular size of shelf size. Furthermore, the use of longitudinal slots 120 and protrusions 126 of the divider units 124 also allow a user to adjust the width of each row where objects or merchandise are positioned depending on their size. The protrusions 122 of the pusher device 104 also allow to re-position the pusher device 104 in another lateral or longitudinal position to adjust the tray 100 to the size of particular objects. Of course, persons skilled in the art will understand that the pusher device 104 may be permanently be mounted or integrated into the modular platform units 114, but this would diminish the adjustability of the tray 100.

Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of an illustrative embodiment thereof, this embodiment can be modified at will without departing from the spirit and nature of the subject invention.