Title:
STORING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a storing system and/or a display system for shelving objects with round or tapered top, the use of these articles as well as the production of such articles.



Inventors:
Bürger, Rolf Dieter Hans-jochen (Buxtehude, DE)
Application Number:
12/309129
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
07/02/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
UNILEVER PATENT GROUP (ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A storing system (S) for objects with round or tapered tops, characterized in that one half shell (C) with depression (D) is connected with a half shell (C′) with a depression (D′) by a ductile unit (A) whereas the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C) is shaped to receive the top of the object and the form of the depression (D′) in half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom of the object and the opening of the half shell (C) and the opening of the half shell (C′) have the same orientation, and the width of the half shell (C) and the width of the half shell (C′) are identical, wherein half shells C and C′ comprise either edges B, B′, B″ and B′″ arranged lengthwise or edges G and G′ arranged widthwise whereby in use when half shells C and C′ are folded in the direction of ductile unit A so that depressions D and D′ face away from each other, either edges B and B′ are able to mate with edges B″ and B′″ of an adjacent folded identical storing system S or edge G is able to mate with edge G′ of an adjacent folded identical storing system S; and wherein, when in use, a consumer can view only one object on each storing system S.

2. A storing system according to claim 1 wherein the half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom, which has a cylindrical, concave, round or tapered shape.

3. A storing system according to claim 1 wherein the half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom, which has a round or tapered shape.

4. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the half shell (C) is shaped to receive the top, which has a round or tapered shape.

5. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein two half shells have the same length.

6. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the two half shells are identical.

7. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the half shells (C) and (C′) comprise compartments (F) in the size of the object which needs to be stored.

8. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the half shell (C′) comprises compartments (F) in the size of the object which needs to be stored.

9. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the half shell (C′) covers 50% of the object to be stored.

10. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the ductile unit (A) has the same length as both half shells.

11. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the ductile unit (A) is made out of the same material as both half shells.

12. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the two half shells as well as the ductile unit (A) form one single unit.

13. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the ductile unit (A) is attached to length side of the half shells (C) and (C′).

14. A storing system according to claim 1, wherein the ductile unit (A) is attached to width side of the half shells (C) and (C′).

15. A storing system according to claim 1 comprising a lock system.

16. A storing system according to claim 1 comprising a lock system, which can be closed and opened easily and reversible.

17. A storing system according to claim 1 made out of various materials, which are used for conventional storage or display racks, such as polymeric materials.

18. Process of production of storing system according to claim 1 by vacuum forming (thermoforming) or thin-wall injection moulding.

19. Use of these storing systems according to claim 1 objects with round or tapered tops characterized in that the half shell (C) and the half shell (C′) are folded in direction of the ductile unit (A), so that the openings of both half shells are facing in opposite directions.

20. Use according to claim 19, wherein the embodiments of the present invention are folded and the objects are put into the half shell (C′) and then the next folded embodiment is put on top and again the object can be put in the empty half shell (C′).

Description:

The present invention relates to a storing system and/or a display system for shelving objects with a round or tapered top.

Under the term objects with a round or tapered top in the sense of this invention fall any kind of objects, which don't have a plateau on top, but a peak, dome or edge. Examples for such objects are cylindrical, spherical, egg-like, pyramidal, cone-shaped or three-cornered column-like objects, which don't have a plateau on top, but a peak, dome or edge. Under the term objects with a round or tapered top in the sense of this invention also fall any kind of cylindrical, spherical or egg-like objects, which are cut so that the bottom side is flat or touches the ground at least three touchpoints.

It is clear that some geometrical forms do not have a bottom and a top (like for example a sphere) or it cannot be detected what is the bottom or the top (like an ellipsoid) or that objects have also next to their round or tapered tops flat surfaces as well (like a cream container, where the basic geometrical form is a circular cylinder which has flat surfaces at footprint and top surface of cylinder and an arching surface at the cylinder barrel; if this cylinder-like and disk-like cream container is placed onto the arched surface, it has a round top, a round bottom and flat sides). For reason of simplicity in the sense of the present invention we define that the bottom of the object to be stored is the point or surface on which it is put.

For example, disk-like objects, like cream containers, are not easy to display in a shop, when the front side (top cover) of the object should be visible for a potential buyer. Other than cuboid shaped objects, which can be easily piled in a shelf without any kind of specially designed piling system, disk-like objects need a rack system.

For practical reasons such objects should be stored the same way as they will be displayed in the shop. Otherwise the staff has to reorganize the objects which is time consuming.

Nowadays the big department stores have a lot of products to display and therefore they are not willing to give more space than necessary to a single product. Because of the specific shapes of the objects with round or tapered top it is also quite difficult to pile such objects in a single row. Such a single row and multilayer arrangement is very unstable.

Therefore the goal of the present invention was to provide an embodiment, which allows to store and to display objects with round or tapered top in single row and multilayer arrangement. For the purpose of the present invention the only difference between storing and displaying (or storing system and display system) is the location where the system is used. When it is used in a showroom usually the term “displaying” is appropriate and when the system is used in a location where no potential customers have access the term “storing” is appropriate.

Furthermore that storing system should be easy to produce as well as easy to dispose when it is not needed anymore. That means also that when the system is disposed it should not need a lot of space.

The invention of the present European Patent Application relates to a storing system (S) for objects with round or tapered tops, characterized in that one half shell (C) with depression (D) is connected with a half shell (C′) with a depression (D′) by a ductile unit (A) whereas

the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C) is shaped to receive the top of the object and
the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom of the object and
the opening of the half shell (C) and the opening of the half shell (C′) have the same orientation, and
the width of the half shell (C) and the width of the half shell (C′) are identical.

The form of the depression (D) in half shell (C′) can be hollowed in any form. It can be for example cylindrical, concave, rectangular, round or tapered.

The form of the depression (D) in the half shell (C) is hollowed in a round or tapered shape.

A preferred embodiment of the present invention relates to a storing system (S), wherein the form of the depression(D) in half shell (C′) is shaped to receive round or tapered shapes.

It is preferred that the two half shells have the same length. Such an embodiment allows to store a maximal amount of objects with round or tapered tops. The objects which are to be stored can also have a round or tapered bottom. Such objects can be balls, cream containers, eggs, etc.

In a preferred embodiment, the half shell (C) and the half shell (C′) are identical.

The half shell (C) as well as the half shell (C′) preferably comprise at least one edge (B), (B′), (B″) and (B′″) which is arranged either lengthwise and/or at least one edge (G) and (G′), which is arranged widthwise. The dimension of these edges can vary. These edges are useful for a better stability of the folded embodiment of the present invention when it is piled. When the embodiments are folded and piled these edges serve as stands for the upper layer. There are embodiments wherein both types of edges are present, or embodiments wherein only the lengthwise arranged edges or the widthwise arranged edges are present. The width of such an edges (lengthwise and widthwise) can go from millimetres to centimetres depending how big the objects are which need to be stored.

The longitudinal edges B, B′, B″ and B′″ are part of the sidewall of the half shells whereas the widthwise arranged edges G and G′ are part of a front wall of the half shell

The invention of the present European Patent Application relates to a storing system (S) for objects with round or tapered tops, characterized in that one half shell (C) with depression (D) is connected with a half shell (C′) with a depression (D′) by a ductile unit (A) whereas

the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C) is shaped to receive the top of the object and
the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom of the object and
the opening of the half shell (C) and the opening of the half shell (C′) have the same orientation, and
wherein half shell (C) as well as the half shell (C′) preferably comprise at least one edge (B), (B′), (B″) and (B′″) which is arranged either lengthwise and/or at least one edge (G) and (G′), which is arranged widthwise, and
the width of the half shell (C) and the width of the half shell (C′) are identical.

The storage system (S) can be used for any kind of objects. The working principle of the embodiment of the present invention is not dependent on the size of objects to be stored.

The dimension of the embodiment of the present invention depends on the size of the objects, which need to be stored and/or displayed.

It can be used to store little objects with round or tapered tops like little round or spherical or triangle-shaped cheeses, cream containers, sweets containers, balls or eggs.

But it could also be used to store bigger objects with round or tapered tops, such as footballs or even tires.

The dimension is also depending on how many of these objects need to be stored in a row and where it will be stored (on a counter, on a shelf, in a huge warehouse, etc). For example the length of the embodiment can go from a few centimetres up to a few meters. In case that the embodiment of the present invention is used for cream containers the length is usually between 10 cm and 50 cm.

The half shells, wherein the objects are put, can also comprise kind of compartments in the size of the object which needs to be stored. Such embodiments are shown in the FIGS. 11 and 12. The function of these compartments lies therein that especially the objects in the top layer have a good stability in the sense that they do not fall forward or backwards. The presence or the absence of these compartments does not have an influence in the stability of the piling.

When the objects with a round or tapered top are cream containers then these compartments have the thickness of the cream container so when container are standing in the half shell they do not fall backwards or forwards, even if only one container is left in the top layer.

Therefore a further preferred embodiment of the present invention relates to a storing system (S) as disclosed above,

wherein the half shell (C′), comprises compartments (F) in the size of the object which needs to be stored.

All preferences already described above also apply for this embodiment.

The embodiment of the invention is used in that way that the half shell (C) and the half shell (C′) are folded in direction of the ductile unit (A), so that the openings of both half shells are facing in opposite directions. Then the objects with round or tapered top can be filled in the half which is on top. For the reason of simplicity we define that this half shell is (C′). That means that the embodiment of the present invention is folded in that way that the half shell (C′) is the upper half shell. Then the next so folded embodiment can be put on top of the objects with round or tapered top and be filled with the next layer of objects with round or tapered top. This procedure can be repeated many times. In that way these objects with round or tapered top can be piled up easily and safely.

Such a multilayered arrangement of objects with round or tapered top in single row is achieved by the embodiment of the present invention.

Therefore a further embodiment of the present invention relates to the use of the storing system (S) as described above, wherein the half shell (C) and the half shell (C′) are folded in direction of the ductile unit (A), so that the openings of both half shells are facing in opposite directions.

Then the objects with round or tapered top can be filled in the half which is on top.

To achieve the best stability of the single row and multilayer arrangement, the height of hollow space between two embodiments in the folded state must be at least as large as the object with round or tapered top, which needs to be stored. The height of hollow space could be larger, but because of economical reason (storage room, material cost) it is useful and preferred to create an embodiment, which allows to create the desired exact height of the hollow space.

Furthermore, it is preferred that the shape of the unit (consisting of half shell (C′) and half shell (C)) in which the object with the round or tapered top are put in has the same shape as the bottom of objects with round or tapered top. Preferably the bottom unit (half shell (C′)) covers 50% of the object to be stored.

In an even more preferred embodiment the top unit (half shell (C)) covers 50% of the object to be stored. It is clear that the half shell which covers the top of the object is not the one which is directly attached to the half shell (C′) which covers the bottom of the object.

Another advantage of the embodiment of the present invention is that it can be used like a conventional storage or display racks to store and display disk-like objects like cream containers in a double-row arrangement, when it is in its unfolded state.

A is the ductile unit (element) of the embodiment. Such a ductile unit (for example a hinge) is attached to both half shells.

The ductile unit can be any kind of element, which is able to be bent and allows the folding of the half shells towards each other.

Usually it has the same length as the both half shells. Usually it is made of one unit which is attached between the two half shells. It is obvious that the ductile element (A) must be attached to the two half shell in such a way that the two half shell can be folded so that the openings of the half shells face opposite direction. The width of the ductile element can vary and it depends on the material the ductile element is made of. Preferably the two half shells as well as the ductile elements are made out of the same material. Further preferred are embodiments wherein the two half shells as well as the ductile element form one single unit. That means that the ductile element is not assembled to the embodiment in a further step. But it is possible that the ductile element is shorter or longer than the two half shells. It also possible that in the case that the ductile element is shorter than the half shells that there are more than one of these elements.

Another embodiment of the present invention relates to an embodiment, wherein the ductile element is attached to the two half shells (C) and (C′) at their widths (FIG. 4b). All the preferences mentioned above apply also for that embodiment.

Therefore, a further embodiment of the present invention relates to a storing system (S) for objects with round or tapered tops, characterized in that one half shell (C) with depression (D) is connected with a half shell (C′) with a depression (D′) by a ductile unit (A) whereas

the ductile unit (A) is attached at the length side of the half shells (C) and (C′), and
the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C) is shaped to receive the top of the object and
the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom of the object and
the opening of the half shell (C) and the opening of the half shell (C′) have the same orientation, and
the width of the half shell (C) and the width of the half shell (C′) are identical.

Therefore, a further embodiment of the present invention relates to a storing system (S) for objects with round or tapered tops, characterized in that one half shell (C) with depression (D) is connected with a half shell (C′) with a depression (D′) by a ductile unit (A) whereas

the ductile unit (A) is attached at the width side of the half shells (C) and (C′), and

the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C) is shaped to receive the top of the object and

the form of the depression (D) in half shell (C′) is shaped to receive the bottom of the object and
the opening of the half shell (C) and the opening of the half shell (C′) have the same orientation, and
the width of the half shell (C) and the width of the half shell (C′) are identical.

It is also possible that the embodiment according to the present invention comprises a kind of lock system, which serves to fix the two half shells in the folded arrangement.

Such a lock system can be any kind of means which enables to fix the folded arrangement.

Preferably, such a lock system allows to be closed and to be opened easily and reversible.

The lock system can be a part of the embodiment in the unfolded state or it can be attached to the embodiment when it is in the folded state (such as a clip, clamp, etc.).

The function of such a lock system is to support the stability of the piled arrangement. Such further auxiliary for the stability is preferably used when the objects with round or tapered tops are not very heavy. In such a case it could happen—depending on the ductile element (A)—that folded state is not very stable and the embodiment tries to reach the unfolded state.

If a lock needs to be part of the embodiment usually the half shells have at the longitudinal side device which can be used either to attach the lock system or which is the lock system itself.

In the FIG. 5 and FIGS. 7a and b it can be seen that the part E and E′ can be used to fixed by a external lock system.

In FIG. 8, FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 it can be seen that if the lock is part of the embodiment E and E′ must be formed in a way that they form a lock system.

FIG. 8 show that either part E or E′ form a clip which covers and locks the folded embodiment.

The lock system in FIG. 8 is formed by the ends E and E′ (FIG. 1), where end E′ is forming a tongue-like extension, preferred at the middle section of the edge opposite to the ductile element A, while end E is formed by bending the end partly or fully, forming a fold. The tongue-like element E′ slips into the fold E and locks the embodiment. It can be opened again by squeezing the side wall of the concave-shaped body so that the tongue slips out of the fold. The embodiment can then be un-folded and piled into a stack of further un-folded embodiments to reduce garbage volume, which is as already mentioned a good advantage.

When the embodiment of the present invention is folded like shown in FIG. 2, the element which is folded over the other one is fixed with a closing mechanism to prevent opening in-use.

The lock system, which can be seen in FIG. 8. is new. Therefore a further embodiment of the present invention relates to a lock system comprising, is forming a tongue-like extension (E′) and a fold (E) and locks the embodiment.

The embodiment according to present invention can be made out of various materials.

Preferred are materials, which are used for conventional storage or display racks, such as polymeric materials (such as polystyrenes, polyethylenes, polyproyplenes, etc)

Such materials, in case they are directly used in a display of a department store should be a light material so that the racks can be placed anywhere in the shelves.

The embodiment of the present invention can have any look. The material from which the embodiments are made from can be transparent, translucent or opaque (non-transparent). It can have any colour or pattern.

In case that the rack is used for displaying and selling products in a department store the material is preferred to be transparent so that the costumer can see the product easily and as well as the staff of the shop can see the number of product remaining in the display.

The production of the embodiment of the present invention can be done according to known processes. The preferred used process should be able to produce thin-wall embodiments, because of economical reasons. Such methods can be vacuum forming (thermoforming) or thin-wall injection moulding.

Therefore a further embodiment of the present invention is the process of production of storing systems (S) as described above by using the vacuum forming (thermoforming) method or thin-wall injection moulding methods.

Optionally the half shells C and C′ may comprise a storing system S as described hereinabove wherein half shells C and C′ comprise either edges B, B′, B″ and B′″ arranged lengthwise or edges G and G′ arranged widthwise whereby in use when half shells C and C′ are folded in the direction of ductile unit A so that depressions D and D′ face away from each other, either edges B and B′ are able to mate with edges B″ and B′″ of an adjacent folded identical storing system S or edge G is able to mate with edge G′ of an adjacent folded storing system S and wherein the storing systems is in use, a consumer can view only one object (the one closest to them) on each storing systems.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1.: shows a cross section of an embodiment according to the present invention. The embodiment is in the unfolded state. This embodiment (when folded) is used to store disk-like objects in a multilayer one row arrangement.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

FIG. 1a.: shows a front view of an embodiment according to the present invention. The embodiment is in the unfolded state. This embodiment (when folded) is used to store disk-like objects in a multilayer one row arrangement.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • G and G′ are the segments (edges arranged widthwise) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

FIG. 2.: shows a cross section of an embodiment according to the present invention. The embodiment is in the unfolded state. This embodiment (when folded) is used to store object with a round top and a flat bottom in a multilayer and single row arrangement.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

FIG. 3.: shows a cross section of an embodiment according to the present invention. The embodiment is in the unfolded state. This embodiment (when folded) is used to store object with a round top and a round bottom in a multilayer and single row arrangement.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

FIG. 4.: shows the top view of an embodiment according to the present invention. The embodiment is in the unfolded state.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

FIG. 4a.: shows the top view of an embodiment according to the present invention. The embodiment is in the unfolded state.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • G and G′ are the segments (edges arranged widthwise) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

FIG. 4b.: shows the top view of an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein the ductile unit (A) is attached to the widths of the half shell (C) and (C′). The embodiment is in the unfolded state.

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B and B′ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment: and
    • G and G′ are the segments (edges arranged widthwise).

FIG. 5a.: shows the cross section of two folded and piled embodiments according to the present invention filled with the objects, wherein

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.
    • Stored are disk-like objects.

FIG. 5b: shows the same embodiments as FIG. 5.a but without the objects

FIG. 5c: shows a front view of an embodiment wherein a frontwall serves as widthwise arranged edge (G). A is the ductile unit, E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

    • Depending on the material of the storage system only the objects of the top lever can be seen partially.

FIG. 6.: shows the longitudinal section of folded and piled embodiments according to the present invention. Stored are disk-like objects. The first layer of the object is fully covered and can not be seen (depending on the material of the embodiment). The second layer of the objects is only covered partially.

FIGS. 7a and b: show the cross section of two folded and piled embodiments according to the present invention, wherein

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells; and
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment.

Stored are objects with a round top and a flat bottom. FIG. 7 a shows the empty one and 7b shows the one with the objects in it. The unfolded embodiment is the one of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8: shows the cross section of a folded embodiment according to the present invention comprising a lock system, which is integrated into the end pieces E and E′, as an additional feature.

FIG. 9: shows a close-up of the lock system as used in the embodiment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10: shows a different lock system. The end piece E has a bulge I with a lace H. It can be pushed into a similar bulge I′ with a lace H′, showing slightly wider dimensions, if the resistance forces the recesses are offering, are overcome. The openings are facing into the same direction, when the embodiment is in the folded state. The laces are recesses, and the bulge G is locked mechanically in the bulge I′. It can be opened by tearing bulge I out of bulge I′, overcoming the resistance forces the recesses are offering, so opening and closing can be done reversibly. Several shapes for bulges and laces are state of the art for clamshell and folding blister packaging and therefore not described in more detail in this application.

FIG. 11: shows the top view of an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein

    • A is the ductile unit;
    • B, B′, B″ and B′″ are the segments (edges arranged longitudinal) of each half shell on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state;
    • C and C′ are the half shells (the lengths of the arrows stands for the width of the half shells);
    • D and D′ are the shape of the depressions of the half shells;
    • E and E′ are the end pieces of the half shells, which can be used to fix the folded embodiment: and
    • all the F's are the compartments.

FIG. 12: shows the longitudinal section of an embodiment according to the present invention comprising several compartments in the half shell C′. The compartments F at the boundaries of the embodiment may form walls, a front wall and back wall, with plateaus G and G′. If they are at same height as the segments B-B′″, they are forming additional segments G and G′, on which the embodiments are piled onto each other in the folded state.





 
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