(19)
(11)EP 1 970 315 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
05.01.2011 Bulletin 2011/01

(21)Application number: 06841759.1

(22)Date of filing:  26.12.2006
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B65D 6/26  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/ES2006/000707
(87)International publication number:
WO 2007/074194 (05.07.2007 Gazette  2007/27)

(54)

ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES

VERANKERUNGSVORRICHTUNG FÜR ZUSAMMENKLAPPBARE KISTEN

DISPOSITIF D'ANCRAGE POUR CAGEOTS PLIABLES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 27.12.2005 ES 200503207

(43)Date of publication of application:
17.09.2008 Bulletin 2008/38

(73)Proprietor: SP BERNER PLASTIC GROUP, S.L.
46960 Aldaia (Valencia) (ES)

(72)Inventor:
  • ESCARPA GIL, Julian
    E-46960 Aldaia (Valencia) (ES)

(74)Representative: Ungria Lopez, Javier et al
Avda. Ramón y Cajal, 78
28043 Madrid
28043 Madrid (ES)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 655 232
ES-B1- 2 212 893
US-B1- 6 290 081
WO-A-00/68099
US-A1- 2003 006 232
US-B1- 6 293 418
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    OBJECT OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention relates to a fastening device for folding crates, essentially of a plastic material and which possess a base, on whose edges the lateral walls are articulately coupled in such a way that two opposite lateral walls incorporate the fastening device which ensures the connection and assembly of the four lateral walls.

    [0002] So, starting from this premise, the objective of the invention is a fastening device that is simple and easy to use, but secure and very practical, which permits the simultaneous disengagement of the two fastening devices associated with the two opposite walls, at the same time as the box is handled holding it with the hands when they are introduced Into openings by way of handles which incorporate at least the lateral walls fitted with the fastening devices.

    PRIOR ART OF THE INVENTION



    [0003] Crates made of a plastic material are currently known, among which are to be found those containing folding lateral walls jointed at the edges of their base or bottom, in such a way that when the crates are not being used, those walls can be collapsed towards the interior in horizontal planes parallel to the bottom of the box.

    [0004] Moreover, the lateral walls possess means of fastening in their pairs of adjacent walls in order to secure the assembly of the crates during their use. When the crates are empty, those fastenings are released so that the lateral walls can be collapsed and thus reduce the volume to a minimum space, which is very practical during storage and transport of empty crates, for example.

    [0005] Belonging to this type of box is, for example, Spanish utility model application No. 200302439 (published as ES 1055832), and Spanish patent application No. 200201794 (published as ES 2212893) where fastenings are used which rise and fall vertically in order to achieve the assembly and release of the lateral walls in correspondence with adjacent edges of their lateral walls.

    [0006] There exist other crates where the fastenings are displaced horizontally in opposite directions, in one case towards the centre of the lateral walls in order to release the fastenings and towards the outside in order to secure the assembly of the box in the unfolded position so that it can then be filled with some product.

    [0007] In these cases, the fastenings are similar to the sliding latch of a conventional lock, in such a way that it has been demonstrated in practice that this type of horizontal fastening with displacements in opposite directions offers greater security than the former crates which use the fastening with vertical displacement (Spanish utility model application No. 200302439 (published as ES 1055832) and Spanish patent application No. 200201794 (published as ES 2212893)).

    [0008] Belonging to this type of fastening with horizontal displacement are, for example, documents US 6293418, CA 2309234, CA 2273556, US 3987945, US 5632392, ES 2169280, US 6772897.

    [0009] In some of these documents, for example invention patent US 56323992 and ES 2169280, each of the locks needs to be individually operated, which prevents them from being simultaneously operated with just one hand.

    [0010] However, invention patent US 6293418 does indeed provide for an embodiment in which the operating device and fastening elements are a single piece (figures 10 and 11), such that, when operating on a central zone 196a, an elastic deformation would take place pulling on some end sections and simultaneously releasing two end locks or fastenings.

    [0011] Spanish patent application No. 200201794 (published as ES 2212893), also possesses a single-piece device with pairs of end fastenings which are simultaneously displaced when the device is centrally operated by a single hand, though the fastenings are, however, vertical operation rather than horizontal as occurs with the majority of the cited crates and also in the invention that we are concerned with.

    [0012] Invention patent CA 2273556 (also published as US6290081), which accords with the preamble of claim 1, describes a collapsible container with a latch provided for interlocking adjacent panels and this latch has a slider which is slldable vertically and between latch-locking and latch-unlocking positions and the latch further has a catch to lock and unlock the panels.

    DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0013] With the aim of achieving the objectives and avoiding the drawbacks mentioned in the above sections, the invention proposes a fastening device for folding crates, according to claim 1, included among those that can be operated with a single hand with disengagement of pairs of locks, but based on fastenings which are horizontally operated by means of pairs of locks, rather than being vertically operated as occurs in Spanish patent application No. 200201794 (published as ES2212893), this being a fundamental difference.

    [0014] This type of box in general comprises a rectangular base whose edges are articulately coupled to two larger or side lateral walls and two lesser or end lateral walls, in such a way that in the unfolded or assembled position of the box, the adjacent edges of the lateral walls become engaged together by means of pairs of locks forming part of the fastening device in correspondence with each end, such that when a central control piece is displaced vertically in one direction by the hand, the locks release the engagement of the ends with respect to the sides so that the lateral walls can be collapsed and the box can thus be folded, with the locks recovering their initial position afterwards when we cease to act on the central piece.

    [0015] Starting from this premise, the fastening device is characterised in that it includes some spring elements which have a dual function.

    [0016] First of all, they associate the pairs of horizontal displacement locks with the central control piece, so that when the central control piece is displaced upwards, the pairs of locks are displaced and horizontally retracted in opposite directions towards the centre of the end walls, while when the central control piece is ceased to be acted upon the locks recover their initial rest position being displaced towards the outside thanks to the spring elements, this latter being the second function of the said springs.

    [0017] Each of the springs is in turn characterised in that it consists of a structure with two angular end bends, an upper one which connects with one end of the locks opposite to the engagement end and another lower bend which connects with the central control piece, in such a way that when the control piece is displaced upward, the elastic spring elements are deformed and accumulate elastic energy so that when we cease to act on the control pieces, they and the locks recover their initial rest position thanks to the elastic energy accumulated in those spring elements.

    [0018] Moreover, these spring elements comprise narrow bodies, though they could present any other structure and could even be independent elements or forming an integral body together with the control piece and the pairs of locks.

    [0019] Other characteristics of the invention are that both the central control pieces and the pairs of locks are guided in pairs of continuous ribs. Said ribs carry out two functions, to house respectively the central control pieces and the locks and to guide (convey) their movements.

    [0020] Furthermore, the invention preferably possesses, integrally to the central control pieces, some short frontal extensions with some end thickenings that are fitted in some complementary slots of the opposite sides or end walls and that serve for securing the linkage of the central control pieces and the other elements joined thereof to the respective sides or end walls.

    [0021] Moreover, the locks engage via their exterior end sections in complementary cavities established in the end edges of the side walls.

    [0022] Below, in order to facilitate a better understanding of this descriptive specification and forming an integral part thereof, some figures are attached in which, by way of illustration only and not limiting, the object of the invention has been represented.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



    [0023] 

    Figure 1.- Shows a perspective view of a part of the folding box that incorporates the fastening device, forming the object of the invention.

    Figure 2.- Represents a front view of the box, showing the fastening device of the invention in the engaged position.

    Figures 3 and 4- Represent views of a central control piece forming part of the fastening device.


    DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED MANNER OF EMBODIMENT



    [0024] Considering the numbering adopted in the figures, the fastening device for folding crates is defined on the basis of a central control piece 1 coupled in each of the end walls 2 of a box 3, at the same time as it is guided between two vertical ribs 4 integral with those end walls 2, so that the said central piece 1 can thus slide in the vertical direction.

    [0025] Arising from the ends of the central control piece 1 are two elastic spring elements 5 which are in turn joined to pairs of locks 6 aligned in the same horizontal direction and guided in other pairs of ribs 7, in such a way that the end sections of those locks 6 are the portions that fit into cavities 8 of the ends of the side walls 9 of the crates in the unfolded or assembled position of the said box 3.

    [0026] The central control piece 1 possesses certain short frontal extensions 10 with some thickenings 11 at the end which fit into complementary grooves 12 of the end walls 2 in order to secure the linkage of the central pieces 1 and other elements joined to them to the respective end wall 2.

    [0027] In a preferred embodiment, the central control piece 1, pairs of elastic springs 5, pairs of locks 6, extensions 10 and thickenings 11 all constitute elements of a single integral body.

    [0028] Basically, each elastic spring element 5 comprises two end portions 13 and 14 joined to the respective bolt 6 and central control piece 1, and an inclined central section 15 which forms an obtuse angle with respect to the said end portions 13 and 14.

    [0029] The lateral walls of the box 3, sides 9 and ends 2, are coupled in a jointed fashion to the edges of the base or bottom 16 of the box 3.

    [0030] With this arrangement described, when we displace the control piece 1 upwards, the spring elements 5 deform and accumulate elastic energy, and they pull the locks towards the centre of the end wall, thereby releasing the linkage with the lateral wall of the box, so that those walls can then be collapsed in order to fold the box.

    [0031] Afterwards, when we cease to act on the central control pieces 1, both they and the springs 5 and locks 6 recover their initial position due to the elastic energy of the springs 5.

    [0032] When it comes to carrying out the unfolding, first of all the side walls are opened out and then the end walls, in such a way that close to the fully unfolded position of the end walls the control piece 1 is acted upon displacing it upwards at the moment the opening out is completed, in order finally to release the control piece, with which the locks are introduced into the cavities on the end edges of the lateral walls, the box thus becoming fully assembled and unfolded.


    Claims

    1. ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES, said crates comprising a base or bottom (16) with two pairs of parallel edges and four folding walls (2,9) articulately coupled to the edges of the base, furthermore incorporating, in two opposite walls, vertically displaceable central control pieces (1) each, associated with a pair of horizontal operating locks (6) which, in one end position, fasten adjacent walls together via their adjacent edges, while in the other end position, that fastening is released in order to be able to collapse the four walls; characterised in that it includes elastic spring elements (5) which link the central control piece (1) with the pair of locks (6),
    said spring elements (5), in the rest position, maintaining the locks in the anchoring and locked position of said locks, while, for the release position of those same locks, when the control piece has been displaced upwards, the spring elements pull the locks towards the release position accumulating elastic energy which presses the locks towards the anchoring position, said locks (6) fitting into and being guided between pairs of horizontal ribs (7) integral with the respective opposite walls and the central control pieces (1) being guided and fitting between two vertical ribs (4) integral with the respective opposite side walls.
     
    2. ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES, according to claim 1, characterised in that the elastic spring elements (5) constitute a single integral body together with the respective central piece (1) and pair of locks (6).
     
    3. ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES, according to claim 1, characterised in that the elastic spring elements (5) comprise independent bodies joined via their end sections to the central piece (1) and pair of locks (6).
     
    4. ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES, according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that each elastic spring element (5) comprises two opposing end portions (13,14) joined respectively to the locks (6) and the central piece (1), and an inclined central section (15) which forms an obtuse angle with respect to the opposing end portions (13,14).
     
    5. ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES, according to claim 4, characterised in that the central section (15) and the end portions (13 and 14) of the elastic spring element (5) are joined in a curve.
     
    6. ANCHORING DEVICE FOR FOLDING CRATES, according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the central control pieces (1) have short frontal extensions (10) with end thickenings (11) that fit in complementary slots (12) integral with the respective opposite side walls (2).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verankerungsvorrichtung für Faltkisten, welche Faltkisten eine Basis oder einen Boden (16) mit zwei Paar parallelen Rändern und vier Faltwänden (2, 9) aufweisen, welche gelenkig mit den Rändern der Basis verbunden sind, weiters mit vertikal verschiebbaren zentralen Steuerelementen (1) in zwei gegenüberliegenden Wänden, welche Steuerelemente jeweils einem Paar horizontale Betätigungsriegel (6) zugeordnet sind, die in einer Endposition angrenzende Wände über deren angrenzende Ränder aneinander befestigen, während in der anderen Endposition diese Befestigung gelöst ist, um die vier Wände zusammenklappen zu können, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sie elastische Federelemente (5) aufweist, die das zentrale Steuerelement (1) mit dem Paar Riegel (6) verbinden, wobei die Federelemente (5) in der Ruheposition die Riegel in der Verankerungs- und Verriegelungsposition der Riegel halten, während die Federelemente für die Freigabeposition dieser Riegel bei nach oben verschobenem Steuerelement die Riegel in die Freigabeposition ziehen und dabei elastische Energie speichern, welche die Riegel in die Verankerungsposition drückt, wobei die Riegel (6) in Paare von horizontalen Rippen (7), die mit den entsprechenden gegenüberliegenden Wänden integral ausgebildet sind, passen und zwischen diesen Rippen geführt sind, und wobei die zentralen Steuerelemente (1) zwischen zwei vertikalen Rippen (4), die mit den entsprechenden gegenüberliegenden Seitenwänden integral ausgebildet sind, geführt sind und zwischen diese passen.
     
    2. Verankerungsvorrichtung für Faltkisten nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die elastischen Federelemente (5) zusammen mit dem entsprechenden zentralen Element (1) und dem entsprechenden Paar Riegel (6) einen einstückigen, integralen Körper bilden.
     
    3. Verankerungsvorrichtung für Faltkisten nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die elastischen Federelemente (5) unabhängige Körper aufweisen, die über ihre Endabschnitte mit dem zentralen Element (1) und dem Paar Riegel (6) verbunden sind.
     
    4. Verankerungsvorrichtung für Faltkisten nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jedes elastische Federelement (5) zwei gegenüberliegende Endabschnitte (13, 14), die mit den Riegeln (6) bzw. dem zentralen Element (1) verbunden sind, und einen geneigten zentralen Abschnitt (16) aufweist, der einen stumpfen Winkel mit den gegenüberliegenden Endabschnitten (13, 14) einschließt.
     
    5. Verankerungsvorrichtung für Faltkisten nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der zentrale Abschnitt (15) und die Endabschnitte (13 und 14) des elastischen Federelements (5) in einem Bogen miteinander verbunden sind.
     
    6. Verankerungsvorrichtung für Faltkisten nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die zentralen Steuerelemente (1) kurze vordere Verlängerungen (10) mit Endverdickungen (11) aufweisen, welche in komplementäre Schlitze (12) passen, die mit den entsprechenden gegenüberliegenden Seitenwänden (2) integral ausgebildet sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif d'ancrage pour caisses rabattables, lesdites caisses comprenant une base ou un fond (16) doté de deux paires d'arêtes parallèles et quatre parois rabattables (2, 9) reliées de façon articulée aux arêtes de la base,
    comprenant de plus dans deux parois opposées des pièces centrales de commande qui peuvent être déplacées verticalement, chacune étant associée à deux verrous (6) à actionnement horizontal, qui dans une position d'extrémité fixent ensemble les parois adjacentes par l'intermédiaire de leur bord adjacent, alors que dans l'autre position d'extrémité, cette fixation est libérée afin que les quatre parois puissent se rabattre, caractérisé en ce que
    les caisses comprennent des éléments élastiques (5) à ressort qui relient la pièce centrale (1) de commande aux deux verrous (6),
    en ce que dans la position de repos, lesdits éléments (5) de ressort maintiennent les verrous dans la position d'ancrage et de verrouillage desdits verrous, tandis que dans la position de désengagement de ces mêmes verrous, lorsque la pièce de commande a été déplacée vers le haut, les éléments de ressort tirent les verrous vers la position de désengagement en accumulant de l'énergie élastique, ce qui repousse les verrous vers la position d'ancrage,
    en ce que lesdits verrous (6) s'emboîtent et sont guidés entre des paires de nervures horizontales (7) formées d'un seul tenant avec les parois respectives opposées et
    en ce que les pièces centrales de commande (1) sont guidées et s'emboîtent entre les deux nervures verticales (4) formées d'un seul tenant avec les parois latérales opposées respectives.
     
    2. Dispositif d'ancrage pour caisses rabattables selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les éléments élastiques (5) à ressort constituent un corps unique formé d'un seul tenant avec la pièce centrale (1) respective et les deux verrous (6).
     
    3. Dispositif d'ancrage pour caisses rabattables selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les éléments élastiques (5) à ressort comprennent des corps indépendant reliés à la pièce centrale (1) et aux deux verrous (6) par l'intermédiaire de leur partie d'extrémité.
     
    4. Dispositif d'ancrage pour caisses rabattables selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que chaque élément élastique (5) à ressort comprend deux parties d'extrémité (13, 14) opposées reliées respectivement au verrou (6) et à la pièce centrale (1) et une partie centrale inclinée (15) qui forme un angle obtus avec les parties d'extrémité (13, 14) opposées.
     
    5. Dispositif d'ancrage pour caisses rabattables selon la revendication 4, caractérisé en ce que la partie centrale (15) et les parties d'extrémité (13 et 14) de l'élément élastique (5) à ressort sont reliés en courbe.
     
    6. Dispositif d'ancrage pour caisses rabattables selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que les pièces centrales de commande (1) présentent des extensions frontales courtes (10) présentant des épaississements (11) d'extrémité qui s'emboîtent dans des fentes complémentaires (12) formées d'un seul tenant avec les parois latérales opposées respectives (2).
     




    Drawing












    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description