Patent application title: Corrugated Cardboard Packaging Crate, and Method and Apparatus for Making Such Crate
Jean Michaud (Antony, FR)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2504FI
Class name: Envelopes, wrappers, and paperboard boxes paperboard box compartmented
Publication date: 2011-10-27
Patent application number: 20110259946
The invention relates to a corrugated cardboard packaging crate (12) for
transporting a load (13), and to a method and to a device for making such
a crate. The crate comprises an open box, a lid 20, and a cardboard
wedging plate (1, 10) for maintaining the load into place. The wedging
plate comprises a central panel (2), two opposite first flaps (3, 4)
respectively connected to two corresponding peripheral edges (6) by
marking flutes having a height larger than that of the box and at least
two opposite tab-forming second flaps (9, 11) respectively connected to
the two other peripheral edges of said panel by marking flutes. The
wedging plate is force-inserted into the box, and the first and second
flaps interact by friction with the inner walls of the box, the free end
edges of the first flaps being horizontally force-folded and blocked by
the inner surface of the lid so that the load is blocked by compression
between the plate and the bottom.
1. A method for making a crate comprising an open box comprising: four
vertical walls; a horizontal bottom; a lid comprising flaps laid out to
be glued to the upper periphery of the box, and a wedging plate made of
cardboard designed to hold said load in position, and comprising a
central panel of a size slightly smaller than that of the horizontal
section of the box, said central panel comprising two first opposite
flaps, respectively connected to two corresponding peripheral edges by
marking grooves, and at least two second flaps respectively connected to
two other peripheral edges of said panel by marking grooves, wherein said
method comprises the following steps: the wedging plate is conveyed to
the pre-formed and pre-loaded box, the plate is force-inserted into the
box in contact with the load, the first flaps are pressed against the
internal face of the wall of the box at the upper periphery of the box,
the ends of the first flaps are force-folded inwards into the crate
horizontally at the level of said upper periphery, the edges of the lid
are glued, and this lid is pressed against the upper edges of the box in
crushing the end of the flaps, thus causing the load to be blocked by
compression between the plate and the bottom of the crate.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein each first flap is constituted by a rectangular piece with a height greater than 2/3 of the height of the box.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein each first flap has a width greater than or equal to 1/3 of the width of the box.
4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the central panel has two second tab-formed flaps per side.
5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the marking grooves are only fold-initiating lines, preserving great elastic resistance.
6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the thickness of the corrugated cardboard is of the order of 3 mm.
 The present invention pertains to a corrugated cardboard packaging
crate for transporting a load comprising an open box comprising four
vertical walls and a horizontal bottom, a lid comprising flaps glued to
the upper periphery of the box and a cardboard wedging plate designed to
keep the load in position.
 It also pertains to an apparatus for making such a crate.
 There already exist known packaging crates used to transport objects of different, random shapes especially in the context of mail-order sales.
 The objects, which are of types that differ in terms of both quantity and shape, entail difficulties as regards the blocking of these objects in the crate, which itself can only be of standardized dimension.
 Various embodiments of systems for blocking objects within the crate have thus been conceived.
 In particular, there are the known systems used to block objects by the insertion of thermoformed plastic films.
 Such devices nevertheless have drawbacks and especially require a complex thermoforming installation which entail to risks of damage to the products because of the use of heat.
 There also exists known systems using polystyrene chips and/or crumpled paper.
 Such systems are not efficient and require substantial manpower resources and generate large quantities of waste.
 The present invention is aimed at overcoming these drawbacks and finds major though non-exclusive application in the field of mail-order sales and more particularly mail-order sales of apparatuses and/or objects for medical use.
 It can be applied with particular efficiency to crating on a mass scale, for example involving more than 500 crates per day.
 The present invention therefore proposes a crate and a packaging apparatus that meet the needs of professional practice more efficiently, especially in that it enables the load to be blocked efficiently by means of a wedge which is not glued but adapts to all shapes of products to be wedged in the crate in ensuring complete securing.
 Since the wedge used is made of corrugated cardboard, it is a clean, non-pollutant recyclable, non-dirtying material which, depending on the typology of the products, whether heavy, light or strong, can differ in constitution and shape as regards both thickness and the number of its grooves (dual groove, shallow groove etc).
 With the design of the crate according to the invention and with the corresponding apparatus, the wedging operation is done automatically, thus considerably minimizing costs, the material of the wedge (corrugated cardboard) being moreover less costly than the material used in most other technologies such as those mentioned here above (involving the addition of blocking or wedging means such as such as shrink-wrapping for example).
 To this end, the present invention essentially proposes a corrugated cardboard packaging crate for transporting a load of a height corresponding to a first determined dimension h, said crate comprising an open box comprising four vertical walls of a height equal to a second determined dimension hc>h and a horizontal bottom and a lid comprising flaps laid out to be glued to the upper periphery of the box, characterized in that it comprises a wedging plate made of cardboard designed to hold said load in position, the wedging plate comprising a central panel of a dimension slightly smaller than that of the horizontal section of the box,
 and in that said central panel comprises two first opposite flaps, respectively connected to two corresponding peripheral edges by marking grooves, said first flaps having a height H greater than a third determined dimension hc-h (H>hc-h) and at least two opposite second tab-forming flaps respectively connected to two other peripheral edges of said panel by marking grooves,
 so that, when said wedging plate is force-inserted into the box, to be in contact with said load, the first and the second flaps interact by friction with the internal walls of the box,
 and in that the free end edges of the first flaps are force-folded horizontally and blocked by the inner face of the lid, so that when the crate is closed, the load is blocked by compression between the plate and the bottom.
 In other words, the invention makes it possible to obtain a packaging with a load in a crate as described here above, wherein the first flaps are arranged so as to have a height greater than the height of the walls when the panel of the plate is pressed against the load which has been preliminarily introduced into the box, and said wedging plate is force-inserted into the box, on one side to be in contact with said load and on the other side to be force-blocked by the internal face of the lid.
 In advantageous embodiments, the invention furthermore makes use of one and/or more of the following arrangements:  each first flap is constituted by a rectangular piece with a height greater than 2/3 of the height of the box;  each first flap has a width greater than or equal to 1/3 of the width of the box;  the crate has two second tab-shaped flaps per side;  the marking grooves are only fold-initiating lines, and preserve great elastic resistance.
 In other words, the marking grooves are simply pre-fold lines making it possible to help the cardboard to get folded at this place if force is exerted on the cardboard, unlike fold lines proper which are deeper;  the thickness of the corrugated cardboard is about 3 mm.
 The invention also proposes an apparatus for manufacturing a crate as described here above, characterized in that it comprises means for conveying the plate to a pre-formed and pre-loaded box, means for the force-insertion of the plate into the box and for internally pressing first flaps against the internal face of the wall of the corresponding box at the upper periphery of the box, means for force-folding the ends of the first flaps inwards into the crate horizontally, at said upper periphery, gluing and attaching means to glue the lid to the aperture of the box thus blocking the load between the plate and the bottom of the crate.
 The invention also proposes a method for making a crate of this kind as described here above, characterized in that it comprises the following steps:  the wedging plate is conveyed to the pre-formed and pre-loaded box,  the plate is force-inserted into the box,  the first flaps are pressed against the internal face of the wall of the box at the upper periphery of the box,  the ends of the first flaps are force-folded inwards into the crate horizontally at the level of said upper periphery,  the edges of the lid are glued, and  this lid is pressed against the upper edges of the box in crushing the end of the folds, thus causing the load to be blocked between the plate and the bottom of the crate.
 The invention will be understood more clearly from the following description of embodiments described here below non-exhaustively with reference to the figures.
 FIG. 1 is a plan view of a wedging plate used according to a first embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 2 is a plan view of a second embodiment of a wedging plate that can be used according to the invention.
 FIG. 3 is a partially exploded view of a crate according to the embodiment of the invention more particularly described herein.
 FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a crate according to one embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 5 is a lateral schematic view showing different stations of an apparatus according to the embodiment of the invention more particularly described herein.
 FIG. 1 shows a wedging plate 1 according to a first embodiment of the invention, made of corrugated cardboard with a thickness for example of 3 mm.
 It has a rectangular central panel 2 comprising two first rectangular flaps 3 connected to the respective peripheral edges 4 and 5 opposite the central panel 2 by marking grooves 6.
 The first flaps 3 have a height H devised so as to be greater than a determined height H0, H0 being for example equal to 1/3, 1/2 or 2/3 of the height of the box which shall be described here below.
 The central panel 2 furthermore comprises on each of its other two opposite edges 7 and 8, two identical, rectangular, small-sized, tab-forming flaps 9.
 In one advantageous embodiment, the peripheral sides 4 and 5 of the central panel have for example a width of 30 cm, for example 296 mm, while the peripheral edges 7 and 8 of said panel have a width of 450 mm, for example 446 mm.
 The first flaps have a height of the order of 160 mm, and a width of the order of 150 mm, the small flaps for their part being distributed evenly on either side of the peripheral edge 7 and 8, facing each other, in being at a distance of 50 mm from the edge while at the same time having a width of 20 mm and a height of 80 mm.
 This is a specific non-exhaustive embodiment, of more particular utility in the context of the relatively small-sized packages used for medical products and especially in dentistry products.
 FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of a wedging plate 10 according to the invention.
 Here below, the same reference numbers will be used to designate the same elements or similar elements.
 The plate 10 has a central panel 2 and first flaps 3 as described with reference to FIG. 1. On the contrary, it has only two lateral tabs 11 on these two opposite sides 7 and 8, said tabs extending on the essential part of the periphery, for example eight-tenths or six-tenths of the length of the corresponding peripheral edges 7 and 8.
 FIGS. 3 and 4 show a box and a crate according to the embodiment of the invention described more particularly herein.
 FIG. 4 in particular shows a sectional view of a packing crate 12 made of corrugated cardboard for transporting a load 13, said crate comprising an open box 14 comprising four vertical walls (see FIG. 3) 15, 16, 17 and 18 and a horizontal bottom 19.
 The crate 12 furthermore has a lid 20 known per se comprising a rectangular covering panel 21 and four lateral flaps 22 connected to the said lid panel 21 by fold lines 23.
 The crate 12 furthermore has the wedging plate 1 as described with reference to FIG. 1, its panel having a size slightly smaller than that of the horizontal section of the crate, for example smaller by 1 to 2 mm on each side.
 The wedging plate 1 is force-inserted (arrow 24) downwards so as to lean on and/or get pressed against the load 13 which has been pre-introduced into the box, so that, since the plate of the panel 2 thus has a size slightly smaller than that of the horizontal cross-section of the box, pressure and friction are applied by the tabs 9 and the first flaps 3 on the internal walls facing said box.
 This creates frictional forces on the peripheral edges of the wedging plate which will enable it to be kept in place rigidly and particularly efficiently.
 The plate 4 can and/or will furthermore get twisted, increasing said frictional forces at certain places, enabling improved blocking.
 The free end edges 25 and 26 of the first flaps 3 are furthermore force-folded between two support points represented by the arrow 27 internal to the box and the arrow 28 external to the box so as to be substantially horizontal right on the upper peripheral edges 29.
 This causes the cardboard of the first flaps 3 to get folded in a substantially random and uneven manner at 30 and 31, thus giving rise to additional resistance forces.
 To this end, the lid 21 effectively leans, by its internal face 32, on the poorly folded ends 25 and 26 of the first flaps, the flaps 22 of said lid for their part being fixed by gluing to the upper end of the external faces of the box in a manner known per se, for example after gluing by glue joint (for example hot melt gluing) of said peripheral edges and folding of said flaps of the lid by pressure from above.
 FIG. 5 shows gives a schematic view of an embodiment of the invention in a side view according to one embodiment of the invention.
 The crate 14 is brought for example on a conveyer belt or conveyor 33 known per se and is then filled with the load 13 through filling means 34 which depend on the type of load and which besides could if necessary be manual filling means.
 The conveyor 33 then brings the box 14 with its load 13 to a station 35 for positioning the plate.
 This plate is brought by means known per se (for example flip-flop means) 36 from a store 37 and is positioned appreciably above the aperture 38 of the box 14.
 Then, the wedging plate is brought down with force-inserting means 39 comprising a jack-based chuck 40 and control means (not shown) to control the position of the upper part of the load 13 so as to prevent the products from being crushed.
 More specifically, the chuck comprises for example four jacks driven independently according to an adjustable pressure, that the difference between the travel values of the jacks being possibly several centimeters to enable the plate to match the load.
 Given the marking grooves of the first flaps and second flaps, these flaps will get pre-folded to rub against the internal walls of the box.
 Means for pressurizing, for example by means of a jack 41 are provided along with counter-pressure means 42, for example at the same position as the one where the plate is put under pressure on the load.
 Then, force-folding means 43 are provided for the shaping, by means of an external press known per se, upper ends of the first flaps by an external press known per se, before making them exit by the top in leaving the crate with its pre-folded first flap ends. Then, the lid 21, which has been pre-glued in a manner known per se, for example by gluing means (not shown) such as a hot-melt gluing gun, is brought from a cutting store 40 to the crate.
 Finally, the step 45 (cf. FIG. 5) is performed. The laying of the lid 21 is finished by exerting the necessary pressure using jack type means known per se (cf. arrows 46, 47 and 48), possibly also after gluing (cf. two-way line 49) of the upper parts of the crate.
 It goes without saying and also follows from the above that the present invention is not restricted to the embodiments described more particularly herein. On the contrary, it encompasses all the variants and especially those in which the wedging plate is made out of a different cardboard material, for example of a weight smaller or greater than that of the crate.
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