slide 1

Back to the List of the Granted Patents                                      Click here to download KE000272 PDF

(11) Patent Number: KE 272
(45)Date of grant:
(12) PATENT
(51) Int.C1.: B65D 1/24
(21) Application Number: KE/P/ 1998/ 000255
(22)Filing Date:  06/11/1998
(31)Priority Number: 97/10112
(32) Date: 10/11/1997
(33) Country: SOUTH AFRICA
(73) Owner(s): NAMPAK PRODUCTS LIMITED of, 114 DENNIS ROAD, ATHOLL
GARDENS, SANDTON, GAUTENG, South Africa
(72) Inventor(s): IAN EARNEST Mc BEAN and MICHEAL DOUGLAS WYTHE
(74)Agent/address for correspondence: Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, P.O. Box 30333-00100, Nairobi
 (54) Title: A CRATE.
(57) Abstract: The invention relates to a novel crate with specific characteristics, including
primary socket and seat -definitions, for bearing on a rim of the closure of a bottle in a subjacen crate.
                      THIS INVENTION relates to a crate. More particularly, the invention relates to a bottle crate.
                      According to the invention, there is provided a bottle crate which
includes
     a floor portion;
     a wall portion bounding, and extending upwardly from the floor portion to define a cavity;
     a primary socket defining means arranged in the cavity for subdividing the cavity into a plurality of   primary sockets, in each of which a bottle is removably receivable;
     a seat defining member arranged in at least certain of the primary sockets for defining a seat on which a bottom of the bottle is receivable;
     a plurality of secondary socket defining means arranged on the floor portion for opening out into a bottom surface of the floor portion, each secondary socket being shaped and dimensioned to accommodate a closure of a bottle. therein; and
     a bearing means forming part of each secondary socket defining means for bearing about a rim of the closure of a bottle in the subjacent crate for effecting rim loading on the closure of the bottle in the subjacent crate.
                      Preferably, the floor portion is substantially flat, i.e. without having protrusions projecting beyond a bottom surface of the floor portion, for facilitating movement of the crate along a conveying means.
                     Still further, and preferably, a seat defining means is arranged in each primary socket of the crate.
                     Those primary sockets arranged about a boundary of the cavity may be partially formed by the wall portion of the crate. Then, the crate may have a plurality of spaced support elements projecting upwardly from the floor portion. Each support element may be in the form of a pillar. Additional pillars may be arranged at spaced intervals on the wall portion of the crate.
                     Opposed, aligned pillars may be interconnected by webs to define the primary sockets.
                     Each seat defining means may be in the form of a raised boss arranged on the floor portion of the crate. The boss may also serve to define the secondary sockets. Hence, the boss may have a raised annular portion projecting into each primary socket which defines the seat for the bottom of the bottle.
                     The secondary socket defining means may be in the form of an inner, cylindrical portion arranged within, and concentrically with, the annular portion.
                     The cylindrical portion may define the bearing means. The bearing means may be in the form of a lip which projects radially inwardly at an operatively inner, or upper, end of the inner annular portion.
                     At least a lower surface of a free end of each lip may be rounded to inhibit scuffing of printing on the closure of the bottle received in the secondary socket. Preferably, the crate is dimensioned so that when a plurality of crates are stacked on a pallet, the bottles in the topmost crate can be protected by inverting the crates of the invention and placing them over the tops of the bottles such that each lip of the inverted crate rests on the closure of one of the associated topmost bottles. Thus, preferably, an operatively upper surface of the free end of each lip is also rounded to inhibit scuffing of the closure upon which it rests, in use.
                     It will be appreciated that, to facilitate nesting of empty crates, the pillars may be at least partially hollow. Further, those pillars arranged on the wall portion of the crate may be stepped along their length so that a lower edge of the wall portion of the upper crate, i.e. that part of the wall at the junction with the floor portion seats on the steps of the pillars of a subjacent crate so that the walls of the nested crates are co-planar.
                     The invention is now described by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.

                      In the drawings,
   Figure 1 shows a three dimensional, top view of a bottle crate, in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention;
   Figure 2 shows a three dimensional, bottom view of the crate of Figure 1;
   Figure 3 shows a plan view of the crate of Figure 1;
   Figure 4 shows a partially sectioned side view of the crate of Figure 1;
   Figure 5 shows an end view of the crate of Figure 1;
   Figure 6 shows an end view of two of the crates of Figure 1, nested;
   Figure 7 shows a three dimensional, top view of a bottle crate, in accordance with a second   embodiment of the invention;
   Figure 8 shows a three dimensional, bottom view of the crate of Figure 7;
   Figure 9 shows a plan view of the crate of Figure 7;
   Figure 10 shows a partially sectioned side view of the crate of Figure 7;
   Figure 11 shows an end view of the crate of Figure 7;
   Figure 12 shows an end view of two of the crates of Figure 7, nested;
   Figure 13 shows a schematic, sectional representation of a mounting of the crate on a bottle in a subjacent crate; and
   Figure 14 shows a schematic sectional side representation of the mounting of an inverted crate on a bottle in a subjacent crate.
                      Referring firstly to Figures 1 to 6 of the drawings, a bottle crate, in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, is illustrated and is designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The crate 10 is intended for use in the packing and transportation of 500 ml, PET cold drink bottles.
                      The crate 10 comprises a floor portion or floor 14 which is substantially flat, i.e. without protrusions protruding downwardly there from, for facilitating movement of the crate 10 along a conveyor (not shown). A wall portion 12 bounds and extends upwardly from the floor portion 14. The wall portion 12 comprises a pair of opposed end walls 16 and a pair of opposed side walls 18.
                      A centrally located recess 20 is defined in the bottom of each end wall for facilitating lifting and carrying of the crate 10. Similarly, and for the same purpose, a centrally located recess 22 is defined in the bottom of each side wall 18. As illustrated more clearly in Figure 2 of the drawings, these recesses 20, 22 extend into the floor portion 14 to serve as handles for maneuvering the crate 10.
                     Centrally located, cylindrical pillars 24 extend upwardly from the floor 14. In addition, semi-spherical end pillars and side pillars extend upwardly from each end wall 16 and each side wall 18. In addition, a quarter-spherical pillar 28 extends upwardly from each corner 30 formed between a junction between the
                      A web 32 extends between opposed, aligned central pillars 24 or between a central pillar 24 and an aligned, opposed side or end pillar 26, as the case may be. Thus, the pillars 24, 26, end walls 16, side walls 18 and webs 32 define a plurality of primary sockets 34 in each of which a bottle is receivable. In the case of the crate illustrated in Figures 1 to 6 of the drawings, twelve such primary sockets 34 are defined.
                       As illustrated most clearly in Figure 4 of the drawings, a seat-defining means in the form of a boss 36 is centrally located in each primary socket 34, extending upwardly from the floor 14 of the crate 10. An upper surface 38 of the boss 36 forms a seat or platform on which a petalloid base (not shown) of a bottle is received.
                      The boss 36 has an outer annular portion 40, the upper surface of which defines the seat 38. An inner cylindrical portion 42 is arranged concentrically within the outer annular portion 40. The cylindrical portion 42 defines a secondary socket 44 having an entrance opening 46 which opens out into the floor 14 of the crate 10. The secondary socket 44 is shaped and dimensioned to accommodate a closure 48 (Figure 13) of a bottle 50 snugly therein. To facilitate the insertion of the closure 48 into the socket 44, the entrance opening 46 is defined by an angled wall portion 52 of the boss 36.
drawings, the lip 54 bears on a rim 56 of the closure 48 to effect rim loading on the closures 48 of the bottles 50 in a subjacent crate. To inhibit scuffing of printing on the closure 56, a free end 58 of the lip 54 is rounded to reduce the "footprint" of the lip 54 on the closure 48.
                      Also, as illustrated schematically in Figure 14 of the drawings, it is envisaged that, to protect bottles in a topmost layer in a stack of the crates 10, empty crates 10 will be inverted and placed on the closures 48 of the bottles 50 in the topmost crates. When the crates are inverted, the lips 54 of the inverted crates 10 also rest on the rims 56 of the closures 48 of the bottles in the topmost crates 10, as illustrated schematically in Figure 14 of the drawings. In so doing, the bottles in the topmost crates 10 are protected by the inverted crates 10.
                     To inhibit radially flexing of the cylindrical portion 42, strengthening gussets 60 extend between the cylindrical portion 42 and an inner surface 62 of the annular portion 40 of the boss 36.
                     To impart rigidity to the crate 10 and to enhance its load carrying capacity, the central pillars 24 and the side and end pillars 26 have strengthening ribs 64.
                     The end and side pillars 26 and the corner pillars 28 are stepped at stacked, the empty crates 10 nest with bottoms of the end walls 16 and side walls 18 of an upper crate 10 seating snugly on the steps 66 of a subjacent crate 10 so that the end walls 16 and side walls 18 of the nested crates 10 are substantially co-planar thereby inhibiting the formation of discontinuities which could result in snagging of the nested, empty crates 10 on objects.
                      Referring now to Figures 7 to 12 of the drawings, a bottle crate 10, in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention is illustrated. With reference to Figures 1 to 6, like reference numerals refer to like parts, unless otherwise specified.
                      This embodiment of the crate is intended for use in the packing and transportation of 2 litre PET cold drink bottles. Thus, only six primary sockets 34 are defined in the crate 10. Apart from that, the construction of the crate is substantially as described above with reference to Figures 1 to 6 of the drawings.
                      In use, as described above, when crates 10 are packed with bottles 50, and packed crates are stacked, the crates 10 in an upper layer rest on the closures 48 of the bottles 50 in a subjacent of crates 10 to effect closure loading of the bottles 50 in the subjacent crates 10. However, due to the arrangement of the lips 54, the load is only applied to the rims 56 of the closures 48 of the bottles 50. Further, due to the shape 58 of the free end of each lip 54, scuffing of
                       In addition, as described above, to protect the bottles 50 in the topmost layer, empty crates are inverted and placed over the closures 48 of the bottles 50 in the topmost layer of crates. The tips of the pillars 24, 26 and 28 of the inverted crates 10 bear against the tips of the corresponding pillars 24, 26 and 28 of the topmost layer of crates 10 so that the pillars 24, 26 and 28 serve as load-bearing structures.
                      Hence, it is an advantage of the invention that a bottle crate 10 is provided which effects rim loading on closures 48 of bottles 50 in packed crates 10. Further, an additional advantage is provided due to the dimension of the crate 10 which enables empty crates to be inverted and placed on bottles in the topmost layer of crates to protect such bottles.
THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1.    A bottle crate which includes
       a base-defining portion;
       a wall portion bounding, and extending upwardly from, the base-defining portion to define a cavity;
       a primary socket-defining means arranged in the cavity for sub-dividing the cavity into a plurality of primary sockets in each of which at least a part of a bottle is removable receivable;
       a seat-defining member arranged in at least certain of the primary sockets, each seat-defining member defining a seat on which a bottom of the bottle is receivable;
        a secondary socket-defining means arranged between each-seat-defining member and the base-defining portion, each secondary socket-defining means defining a secondary socket which opens out into a bottom region of the base-defining portion, each secondary socket being shaped and dimensioned to accommodate a closure of a bottle therein; and
        a bearing means forming part of each secondary socket-defining means for bearing on a rim of the closure of a bottle in a subjacent crate, in use, for effecting rim loading on the closure of the bottle in the subjacent crate, each secondary socket having a cylindrical portion for surrounding and embracing said closure of the bottle in the subjacent crate, and a flared entrance opening into the cylindrical portion.
2.    The crate as claimed in Claim 1 in which each primary socket has a seat-defining member arranged therein, each seat-defining member having a secondary socket-defining means associated therewith.
3.    The crate as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2 in which the primary socket-defining means is partly constituted by the wall portion partially to define those primary sockets arranged about a periphery of the crate.
4.    The crate as claimed in Claim 3 in which the primary socket-defining means further includes a plurality of spaced support elements projecting upwardly from the base-defining portion with additional support elements arranged at a spaced intervals along the wall portion, the primary socket-defining means further including webs extending between opposed, aligned support elements.
5.    The crate as claimed in Claim 4 in which each seat-defining member includes a platform extending parallel to the base-defining portion, the support elements protruding through the platforms.
6.    The crate as claimed in Claim 5 in which a recess is defined in each platform.
7.    The crate as claimed in Claim 6 in which each secondary socket-defining means includes a boss arranged in register with the recess of its associated seat-defining member.
8.    The crate as claimed in Claim 7 in which each boss has a cylindrical portion having an opening in the base-defining portion.
9.    The crate as claimed in Claim 8 in which the bearing means is arranged at an end of each cylindrical portion opposite the opening.
10.    The crate as claimed in Claim 9 in which the bearing means is in the form of a radially inwardly projecting lip.
11.    The crate as claimed in Claim 10 in which at least an operatively lower surface of a free end of each lip is radiused to inhibit scuffing of printing on the closure of the bottle received in the secondary socket, in use.
12.    The crate as claimed in Claim 11 in which an operatively upper surface of the free end of each lip is also radiused.
13.    The crate as claimed in any one of Claims 4 to 12 inclusive, in which each support element includes a pillar, the pillars being hollow to facilitate stacking of empty crates, in use.
14.    The crate as claimed in Claim 13 in which each of those pillars arranged along the wall portion is stepped along its length so that, in use, a lower edge of the wall portion of an upper crate seats on the steps of the pillars of a subjacent crate so that the wall portions of the nested crates are substantially co-planar.
15.    A bottle crate as claimed in Claim 1 substantially as described herein with reference to at least one of the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.
DATED this 17th day of July
Metal Box South Africa Ltd.
WATERMARK PATENT & TRADEMARK ATTORNEYS 290 BURWOOD ROAD
HAWTHORN VICTORIA 3122
AUSTRALIA
RCS/MBP/MBL

Newsletter

Join our newsletter for CIPIT news through subscriptions!

SEND

Social Media

    

Contact Us

TEL : (254) 703 034 612