Title:
Packaging Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a packaging device for transporting and/or storing items that can be disposed in the inside space thereof, comprising an outer shell (1) with at least one sturdy bottom wall (2) for arranging the items to be transported and/or stored. The invention further comprises walls surrounding the items (20) at least partially, wherein some of the further walls (3, 5, 6) are flexible walls (3, 6) and provided with an additional shell (10), reinforcing the inside surfaces of the outer shell at least partially in the state of the packaging device in which it is prepared for transport and/or storage, and thus substantially shaping it. The additional shell (10) is inflatable and is used for securely surrounding the items disposed in the inside space of the packaging device.



Inventors:
Schindler, Martin (Munich, DE)
Application Number:
12/445966
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Assignee:
SWISSPAL AG (Baar, CH)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/472, 220/732
International Classes:
B65D81/05; B65D25/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080171304DENTAL IMPLANT KIT AND METHOD OF USING SAMEJuly, 2008Mcginnis et al.
20090000976Bitumen Packaging and MethodJanuary, 2009Thorat et al.
20040251151PIG bagDecember, 2004William Jr.
20030056866Easily embroiderable golf club covers and accessory bagsMarch, 2003James Jr.
20030136694Disposable toothbrush coverJuly, 2003Fitzgibbons
20080237079METHOD FOR WRAPPING A LONG OR ROUND PART, FOR EXAMPLE A STEEL PARTOctober, 2008Bohl
20090127157PILL BOTTLEMay, 2009Costa et al.



Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hooker & Habib, P.C. (Camp Hill, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A packaging device for transport and/or storage of stackable objects in its interior, wherein said packing device possesses an outer wall with at least one rigid bottom for the arrangement of the objects to be transported and/or stored and has, at least in part, additional wall sections having inner surfaces which encompass the said objects, as well as an inflatable auxiliary shell, which serves, by enveloping for the positional affixing of the arranged objects in the interior of the packaging device, therein characterized, in that the additional wall sections are, to a certain extent, predominately flat, flexible wall sections and in that the auxiliary shell is so constructed, that it reinforces the inner surface of the outer additional wall sections, at least in part, in retaining a predetermined condition of the packaging device as specified for transport and/or for storage and said auxiliary shell essentially contributes to the shape of the final packaging device.

2. 2.-20. (canceled)

21. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that an additional top can be solid, which top in the transport or storage state of the packaging device lies oppositely remote from the bottom.

22. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that that the additional wall sections consist of a flexible material.

23. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that at least one of the additional wall sections of the outer wall is at least partially releasable from the other additional wall sections whereby the interior of the packaging device is made accessible.

24. A packaging device in accord with claim 23, therein characterized, in that the at least partially releasable wall section possesses quick closing elements which holdingly unite with complementary receiving elements on an adjacent additional wall section.

25. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the intersections of the additional wall sections are reinforced with strengthening elements.

26. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell at the least, is a separate entity from the outer wall.

27. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell is dimensioned in such a manner, that in its inflated state, the auxiliary shell represents the shape of the interior of the outer wall and positionally affixes the objects which have been placed within the interior for transport and/or storage.

28. A packaging device in accord with claim 1 therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell in its inflated state is of a height which is at least equal to that of the outer wall when the packaging device is in condition for transport and/or storage.

29. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell in its inflated state has a length at least equal to the inside perimeter of the outer wall.

30. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell is a tubular foil encasement having different wall thicknesses.

31. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell is a tubular foil chamber having inner and outer surfaces, the inner surface of which is greater in thickness than that of the outer surface.

32. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell consists of individual air chambers that define an interior for receiving objects for transport and/or storage.

33. A packaging device in accord with claim 32, therein characterized in that the air chambers have volumes of different sizes.

34. A packaging device in accord with claim 33, therein characterized in that, the air chambers are subdivided by cross ties.

35. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell comprises fasteners to enable securement of the auxiliary shell against the outer wall.

36. A packaging device in accord with claim 1, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell possesses a connector extending outside of the outer wall whereby the auxiliary shell can be inflated or deflated from the outside of the packaging device through said connector.

37. A packaging device in accord with claim 23, therein characterized, in that the auxiliary shell is so arranged within the outer wall that upon the at least partial release of the at least one additional wall section, a section of the auxiliary shell which lies therebehind, is openable for further access into the interior of the packing device.

38. A packaging device in accord with claim 24, therein characterized, in that quick closure elements are so located, that a refolded, collapsed packaging device can be secured thereby.

39. A method of transporting or storing objects in a packaging device of the type having a rigid bottom, an outer wall defining an interior of the device and comprising flexible wall portions, and an auxiliary inflatable shell, the method comprising the steps of: opening the outer wall of the packing device; placing the shell in the interior of the device and, if required, attaching the auxiliary shell against an inner surface of the outer wall, the shell at least partially surrounding an interior volume of the packing device; placing objects to be transported through the opening and placing the objects upon the rigid bottom and within the said interior volume; loosely draping the flexible wall portions over the shell and the objects; inflating the auxiliary shell until the outer wall has assumed a proper shape for transport and/or storage and the objects on the bottom are affixed in position in the packaging device by the pressure exerted by the inflated auxiliary shell against the objects.

Description:

The present invention concerns a packaging device for the transport and/or the storage of stackable objects within its interior, in accord with the concept of claim 1. A typical packaging device has been disclosed by DE 41 23 558 C1.

Besides the transport and storage of unattached, single objects, shipping and inventory operations include objects mounted on skids or pallets. In these instances, important elements are rigid bottoms, upon which are placed the objects (also to be understood hereafter as “object”) to be positionally affixed and stacked for transport. Especially in the case of predetermined standard dimensioning, such bottomed pallets are known as “Europallets”. Objects arranged upon a Europallet generally lack protection from impinging lateral or downward forces. The result of this is that the so shipped objects must have separate, individual packaging. Known protective measures for transport includes cartons or wood framings, which are provided with rigid side and top reinforcements to protect the shipped goods. Likewise, it is possible that a Europallet can have rollers on the bottom and be made of open, lattice-like wood framing. Such moveable enclosures can be known as mobile cages, often provided with top openings.

Frequently objects are shipped from one location to another and their only protection is that they are first mounted on and affixed within the Europallet, but are then tightly clamped against other skidded loads, heavy boxboard cartons and the like, which serve as sidewalls and so protect the objects during the time of shipping from external damaging action.

If, after the insertion of the objects to be shipped and the sidewalls of the pallet close, voids form within the packaging, then the so created empty space can be packed with Styropor-fillers (expandable polystyrene) or equivalent space-occupying substances. The shipped objects are so protected in a manner disclosed in EP 0 317 130 B1, WO 94/18091, DE 42 00 557 C1 or DE 90 01 604 U1. Many of these above described packaging devices do not possess a solid bottom, but can show at least one principle of transport of objects on pallets through long distances. Packaging devices of this type, unfortunately, have the disadvantage that the sidewall structure surrounding the shipped object is rigid.

The above described packaging devices have, in common, the disadvantage, that they are built up from a substantial bottom and the connected side walls surrounding the shipped objects are also rigid. Following the delivery of the shipped objects, if the packaging devices made in this manner are to be returned in empty form, their stiff construction in truck, ship or airplane causes empty space which serves no useful purpose other than their own transport. For this reason, handling and manipulation of such packaging devices in empty return transport brings about a very expensive cost which has no positive results.

DE 20 2005 00885-U1 discloses a self supported, inflatable textile container, into which are sewed air compartments or air bags. This textile container is intended to carry bulk material. So that the container can maintain itself in an upright position, inflatable air pads or a sealed tubing system of rubber or the like has been sewn to the fabric of the container. The walls of textile containers of this description are universally flexible and on this account are not optimal for the carrying or storage of stackable objects on plattens.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,587,794-A made known a collapsible packaging device, wherein two end walls and possibly an upper wall are supplied with integrated air cushions. GB 23 11 512 describes air cushions on a bottom of a packaging device, which made the enclosure adaptable as a laptop carrier. DE 40 34 038 A1 discloses a packaging device, wherein the surfaces thereof consist of fabric and in its corners it possess inflatable looped reinforcement elements, which strengthen the enclosure structure. EP 11 38 613 A1 discloses a packaging device, in which inner walls can be inflated.

The Purpose of the Invention

The purpose of the present invention is to make available a packaging device for transport and/or storage of stackable objects contained within its interior space, which device possesses a rugged bottom to support the arrangement of the objects. This purpose is further extended to avoid the above stated disadvantages.

This purpose is achieved by a generic packaging device having the characterized features of claim 1.

The Invented Packaging Device

As a component of the invented packaging device, an inflatable, auxiliary shell can be either an integral part of an outside wall or be a separate element of the device. That is to say, the auxiliary shell is an inflatable encapsulation within the outer wall. In accord with the invention, this auxiliary shell performs its inner function by contacting the shipped objects, which are stacked on the rigid bottom. This auxiliary shell determines, first, the shape of the outer wall, which provides protection in transport or storage. Secondly, the auxiliary shell positionally affixes the shipped objects arranged on the bottom inside the outer wall. In accord with the invention every technical possibility is exercised to assure that the inflation is completed as desired. In other words, an inflation of the auxiliary shell need not be limited to injecting compressed air or other gases, but can also include input of a liquid or solid medium.

The flexible wall sections, which have been attached to the invented bottom—advantageously attached in Europallet style—take on their final shape only when they are subjected to the expansion of the inflating auxiliary shell. That is to say, the shape of the flexible outer wall can adapt to any internally applied force. Particularly appropriate for the flexible outer wall sections would be a fabric material or especially a flexible plastic substance. Other materials of equivalent characteristics can also be employed.

The invented packaging device possesses an upper, arrangement for opening. This is necessary, since the invented auxiliary shell, in combination with the outer flexible wall, defines the final, overall, shape of the packaging device. An upper opening for the invented packaging device is especially advantageous. In combination therewith, sections of the outer wall run along the edge of the solid bottom and are firmly attached thereto possibly by stapling.

As a general rule of operation, it is well to avoid accumulating a residuum of packing materials in the invented packaging device. Such waste material would reduce the ability of the packaging device to be recycled through many shipments.

A gain in advantage can be achieved, if by means of affixing the objects in the interior of the invented packaging device, the formerly widely used, individual packaging of the objects to be shipped can be reduced or completely abandoned.

Advantageously, one of the wall sections of the outer wall of the invented packaging device can be made releasable from one or more of the immediately adjoining wall sections. In this way, the interior volume of the device is made accessible for loading and/or unloading shipped objects on or off the substantial bottom. To improve this advantage, quick closure elements have been attached to the said releasable wall section. These quick closure elements lock into complementary receivers, which are secured on the non-releasable adjoining wall sections. The rapid closure elements assure quick accessibility.

The flexible wall sections of the outer wall are particularly advantageous in their reinforced vertically running edges and/or in supporting diagonal strips therebetween. Such reinforcements, when subjected to the inflation of the auxiliary shell, act to shape the outer wall into a predetermined shape, which is possibly cubical, so that the auxiliary shell need not unconditionally regulate, or may only partially determine, the final shape of the invented packaging device.

As has already been mentioned above, it is possible that the invented auxiliary shell can be, first, a component of the inner surface of the outer wall, and second, may be a separate component. If the auxiliary shell is a separate entity, then it would be advantageous if it is sized to be greater in extent than the inner dimensions of the outer wall. If it is so dimensioned, then the inner volume of the outer wall would be necessarily completely occupied by an inflated auxiliary shell and would then assume a proper outward shape. Simultaneously, the inflated auxiliary shell takes over the positional securement of the objects within the packaging device. Obviously, additionally added, known securement means are allowable on the bottom or on other immovable wall sections, by means of which further positional securement of the objects to be shipped or stored becomes available.

The auxiliary shell can advantageously be a conventional film tube, shaped in accord with need. Such a film tube can easily be made, so that it would be adaptable to one-time applications. In the case of a particularly favorable version the film tube, which comprises the auxiliary shell, can have a varied wall thickness

The pressure generated in the film tube during inflation distributes itself equally toward the outer wall. However, if a film tube is provided with different wall thicknesses, then, inventively, a first force can be brought against the inner surface of the outer wall and a different force can be applied against the loaded objects and both forces can be optionally predetermined. The meaning of this is that, because of an installation of the film tube having a thicker wall directed against the inner surface of the outer wall, and a thinner wall directed against the objects being transported, the movement by the film tube toward the said objects is relatively large. Nevertheless, in this placement, the positional fixation of the objects in transport is still carried out. The reason for this is, that the walls of the film tube expand more in the direction of the shipped objects than in the direction of the inside surface of the outer wall.

In the case of another favorable version of the auxiliary shell, a film tube is provided, wherein the inner wall of said tube which is proximal to the shipped objects is greater in thickness than is its wall which confronts the inner surface of the outer wall. Accordingly, upon inflation, the film tube expands in greater measure toward the objects than it expands outward and thus the objects to be shipped are more strongly affixed in place.

An advantageous version of an auxiliary shell, wherein it is equipped with a multiplicity of air cells, is that upon inflation thereof, the expanding shape of the outer wall of the packaging device can be regulated. Particularly well designed air cells, wherein successive cells have greater and lesser predetermined volumes and/or are provided with cross-ties therebetween, which additionally improve the working space of the final packaging device.

If, as has been mentioned above, the auxiliary shell is not an integral part of the outer wall, but alternately, is separate therefrom, then the auxiliary shell advantageously possesses quick fasteners, preferably on its wall facing the outer wall of the packaging device. These fasteners allow the auxiliary shell to be secured to the inner surface of the outer wall. After inflation, this fastening contributes to the fact that the internal shape of the auxiliary shell influences the shape of the outer wall, which accordingly leads to the final shaping of the entire packaging device.

In detail, the arrangement of this said fastening means for securing the auxiliary shell to the inside surface of the outer wall simplifies the handling of the invented packaging device for the respective operator. The operator is no longer required to be concerned about a problem of achieving an optimized arrangement of the auxiliary shell in relation to the outer wall.

In regard to the inflation of the auxiliary shell within the outer wall, in accord with the invention, the said shell possesses an inlet/outlet connection. This connection is so provided as a part of the auxiliary shell, that when the packaging is in its final stages, it is readily accessible from the outside. That is, the connector extends itself to the outside of the now enclosed packaging device. Accordingly, to inflate the auxiliary shell, an operator can easily join the said connector to a source of the desired inflating medium, for example, air.

As has already been indicated, it is possible to open one wall section of the loaded packaging device. The auxiliary shell in the interior of the outer wall, then contacts only the non-openable outer wall sections. This arrangement allows the openable wall section of the packaging device to have improved accessibility in reaching the therein placed objects to be shipped. The outer wall, however, can be so designed, that it—in the case of a separate auxiliary shell—can have its opening coinciding with the opening in the auxiliary shell. The auxiliary shell, for the purpose of the removal of the loaded objects from the interior of the packaging device, can be deactivated by release of air by penetration. Alternately, the auxiliary shell can be provided with a means by which it can be deflated after the transport has been completed.

As another advantage, a particularly favorable design of the packaging device places on the outer wall quick closure elements with their complementary receivers. Proximal to these said quick closure elements/receivers, the advantageous design offers a duplicate set of such closures. These duplicate closure elements/receivers serve such a purpose, that in a case of an individual transport of an empty packaging device, these duplicate closures, are so provided with interlocks, that the packaging device cannot unfold itself. Space is thereby saved for the return shipment of empty packaging devices.

The invention also concerns the use of a packaging device for both the transport or the storage of objects.

AMPLIFIED DESCRIPTION WITH AID OF DRAWINGS

Examples of versions of the invention are described in greater detail in the following with the aid of drawings. There is shown in:

FIG. 1 a perspective view of the invented packaging device in its open state,

FIG. 2 a perspective view of an invented, separate auxiliary shell,

FIG. 3 in perspective, an alternate version of the invented auxiliary shell,

FIG. 4 in perspective, another version of the invented auxiliary shell,

FIG. 5 in perspective view, a totally opened, outer walled, packaging device with packed objects arranged for transport and/or storage,

FIG. 6 a perspective view of an invented packaging device in the open state,

FIG. 7 a perspective view of an invented packaging device in the closed state, and in

FIG. 8 a perspective view of a collapsed, invented packaging device prepared for empty shipment.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the invented outer wall 1. This outer wall is comprised of a solid bottom 2, for which a pallet serves, with specified dimensions. At each of the three edges of the solid bottom 2 are firmly attached three flexible wall sections 3, running in a vertical direction. These wall sections 3 advantageously consist, for example, of a plastic or a fabric material. The three flexible wall sections 3 possess mutually, two vertical edges 4, which, in the final packaging device, assume a cubic shape of predetermined dimensions. The vertical edges 4 can be reinforced by wire cables and/or fabric bands. Such reinforcement enables the invented packaging device to retain its required shape under shipping conditions. Alternatively, or additionally, it is possible that the edges 4, or the corners of the outer wall 1 be diagonally reinforced and interconnectedly strengthened with wire cables and/or fabric bands.

In the version shown in FIG. 1, a solid top 5, described as upper wall 5, is attached to the upper edges of the flexible wall sections 3. This top 5, serves as an upper space limit for an invented packaging device. In a manner similar to the bottom 2, this top 5 is securely bound to the top edges of three, flexible wall sections 3. Such a bonding between a solid top and a flexible wall section can be carried out in many ways. Some of these ways could be, for example, stitching, adhering, stapling or the like. Further discussion of this connection need not be made here.

In the packaging device version shown in FIG. 1, an additional flexible wall section 6 is firmly secured on an edge of the described solid top 5. This flexible wall possesses on its edges, three quick closures 7. These are respectively matched with three complementary receivers 8 on the outside of the adjacent flexible walls, whereby the closures can be brought into, and released from, fully lock-in connections. Additionally it is possible that on the edges of the wall sections overlapping flaps are present in order to bind the walls or to reinforce an already installed corner connection. By means of this combination of quick closures 7 and receivers 8 the additional flexible wall section 6 can be opened or closed and thereby interior space is made easily accessible within the outer wall 1. As already mentioned, in the case of this special version of the invention a solid top 5 is provided. This top 5, in the case of additional (not shown) versions of the invention, can be eliminated to allow the interior of the outer wall 1 to become directly accessible from above. In this not shown version, the front flap type opening 6 obviously becomes unnecessary. Similarly, an invented packaging device can be made, which is open at the top and has four side wall sections, one of which, however, remains closable/releasable.

In FIG. 2, a version of an invented auxiliary shell 10 is shown. In the case of this auxiliary shell 10, the construction concerns a type of tubular foil encasement, which as shown in FIG. 2, consists of four wall sections 11, which are hinged together. The outside dimensions of these wall sections are of such a nature, that they at least correspond to the inner dimensioning of the outside wall 1. Advantageously, the wall sections 11 of the auxiliary shell 10 are bound together by means of cross-ties 12. This binding is such that it brings the auxiliary shell 10 into dimensioning which corresponds to the predetermined size of the interior of the outer wall 1. At one end of the auxiliary shell 10 is a connection 13, which carries out the functions of a feed/release tube. By means of this connection 13, for example, the auxiliary shell 10 can be inflated with, for instance, compressed air. Obviously, an inflated auxiliary shell 10 can be deflated by the same device.

The auxiliary shell 10 additionally possesses fasteners 14. These fasteners 14 are located on those sides of the enclosing auxiliary shell wall 11 which, after the placement of the auxiliary shell 10 therein, are to be secured onto the inside surface of the surrounding outer wall 1. From FIG. 2 one can infer, that the most forward shell wall 11 has no fastening means 14. Accordingly, this said forward wall 11 can be swung away (or back) so that the interior of the auxiliary shell is accessible for loading or unloading. This last mentioned wall 11, which is free of fasteners 14, is equipped on its front vertical edge with quick closure elements 17. These quick closing elements 17 correspond, for example, to the quick closing elements 7 already described and explained as quick closing elements 7 in the description relative to FIG. 1. Obviously, these closure means lock into complementary receivers when the above described outwardly swingable wall 11 closes. Likewise, it is possible that the quick closure elements 17 can also consist of adhesively coated flaps.

At this point of the description, the reader should be aware, that the vertical length in the drawn presentation of the auxiliary shell 10 in FIG. 2 can be greater in extent than the vertical length of the corresponding outer wall 1. The inflation of the auxiliary shell 10, following its insertion in the outer wall 1, can lead to a situation, wherein the entire auxiliary shell 10 in its upper area, presses against the upper wall 1. When this occurs, the flexible sections 3 of the outer wall 1 stiffen and are drawn into a desired external shape. Additionally, because of the obstruction furnished by the top 5, the auxiliary shell 10 in the interior of the outer wall 1 is forced downward, which displacement reinforces the positioning of the loaded objects to be shipped.

FIGS. 3 and 4 demonstrate another version of corresponding auxiliary shells 10′ and 10″. These figures indicate that the auxiliary shells 10′, 10″, in the illustrated case, consist of a multiplicity of air compartments, namely 18′ and 18″ and 18′″.

In FIG. 3 these air compartments are presented in two different sizes, whereby the smaller air compartments 18″ would form corner areas as well as edge zones after they were installed against the outer wall 1. Especially to be noted in FIG. 3, are the larger volume air compartments 18′, wherein their expansion upon inflation is such that it extends itself toward the inner surface of the outer wall 1 while simultaneously, a different expansion thereof (i.e., not the same) takes place in a direction away from this inner surface and toward the interior. This said expansion difference is caused when the large compartment 18′ is installed, in that the surface area of the air compartment 18′, which is to contact the inner surface of the outer wall 1 is provided with an increased wall thickness. Correspondingly, the oppositely directed surface area of the air compartment 18′, which is oriented toward the interior, would have a thinner wall thickness. Upon the inflation of the air compartment 18′, as seen in FIG. 3, then, due to the said thinner wall thickness, that surface area of the air compartment 18′ expands to the extent, that it clamps the shipped objects in the interior and affixes them in a desired position. Likewise, a surface of a respective air compartment facing the interior can be greater in area (hence thinner) than its surface facing the outer wall 1. In this case the inflating air compartment bulges away from the outer wall 1.

In any case, inflated individual air compartments 18′, 18″, 18′″, define the shape of the outer wall 1 as seen in the examples of FIGS. 3 and 4. Consequently, the outer wall 1 assumes for itself, such outer shapes as may be dictated by the inflated auxiliary shell 10′ and 10″.

FIG. 5 shows the outer wall 1 in its fully opened state. Schematically, with wavy lines, the auxiliary shell 10 is indicated as being placed within the inner surface of the outer wall 1. Similarly, the flexible wall section 3 is shown. As has already been mentioned it is possible that the auxiliary shell 10 can, in some instances, be an integral component of the corresponding outer wall 1. Additionally, the bottom 2 is made evident and the top 5, or possibly another firm topping could be shown, padded in accord with need. In FIG. 5, the objects 20 to be transported or to be stored, are shown arranged on the pallet type bottom 2. In accord with the shape of the assembled objects, first, the flexible wall section 3 which is attached to the bottom 2, second, the solid top 5, and third, the flexible wall section 6, which is attached to the top 5, are wrapped about the said arrangement of objects 20. If the auxiliary shell 10, in this opened condition of FIG. 5 is not yet already integrally attached to the inner surface of the outer wall 1, the possibility exists, with this opened layout of FIG. 5, that the auxiliary shell 10, corresponding to the shapes as seen in FIGS. 2 to 4, is caused to encapsulate the stacked objects 20. Thereafter, the wall sections 3, and top 5 encase the auxiliary shell 10 and the objects 20.

In accord with the above, the appearance of the objects 20, which are now inside the packaging, is shown in perspective in FIG. 6. To assure clarity of the presentation, however, the flexible front wall 6, hinged at its top, is thrown back over the top 5. The now exposed front section 11 of the auxiliary shell 10 is swung out to the side. This arrangement of the drawing is to clarify the accessibility of the invented packaging device. The so opened front section 11 of the auxiliary shell 10 can then be closed and made secure by locking-in the quick closure elements 17. Subsequently, the flexible wall section 6, as seen in FIG. 6, is brought down and likewise made tight. The packaging device, with these closures, is now ready to take on the appearance as is shown in FIG. 7.

In this now closed state of the packaging device, the auxiliary shell 10 therewithin is inflated by means of the externally protruding air connection 13. The outer wall 1, which up to now has been draped over the objects 20 to be shipped, forms itself into the desired cubical shape as seen in FIG. 7 by means of the force of the inflation of the interior auxiliary shell 10, 10′, 10″.

If the objects 20 are to be removed at the point of destination, the first operation of the receiver would be to open the packaging device by unlatching and throwing back the top hinged outer section 6 of the outer wall 1. If the design is such, that the auxiliary shell is integrally a component of the outer wall 1, then the inflating medium can simply be released through its connection. If, conversely, in the case of a separate auxiliary shell 10, 10′, 10″, which has been inflated to a size to match the contours of the objects 20, then, instead of a releasing of the inflating medium, the release can be effected by simply making penetrating openings in the auxiliary shell unit 10. 10′, 10″ whereby the therein contained medium finds an easy outlet. If this be done, then for future use of the auxiliary shell, a new auxiliary shell 10, 10′, 10″ must be provided and installed in the above described manner.

After the auxiliary shell 10 has been deflated, the outer wall 1, including the deflated shell 10, and following a outlay of the packaging device in accord with FIG. 5, the spread-out wall sections can be folded together. This fold-up, which may be termed a “ready to return condition” is shown in FIG. 8. FIG. 8 shows that the quick fastening elements can serve the purpose of holding together the non-hinged wall sections. It is obvious, that the optimal, space saving arrangement of the outer wall 1, as shown in FIG. 8, offer an essential advantage of the invented packaging device for empty shipment. The packaging device in the folded state as seen in FIG. 8 is hardly greater in extent than the solid bottom 2 with the thereupon secured upper walls 5. The economic, environmentally technological, and manipulative advantages, indicate an enormous improvement over the present state of the technology.