(19)
(11)EP 3 502 000 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 18211502.2

(22)Date of filing:  11.12.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B65D 5/50(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 20.12.2017 US 201715848192

(71)Applicant: International Paper Company
Memphis, TN 38197 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • MORRISON, Sean M.
    Lakeland, FL Florida 33810 (US)

(74)Representative: Kunz, Herbert 
Fish & Richardson P.C. Highlight Business Towers Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße 8
80807 München
80807 München (DE)

  


(54)CORNERPOST SUPPORT


(57) A packaging insert (8) formed from a one-piece blank (10) including a main body panel (24) having opposing first and second longitudinal edges and opposing first and second lateral edges. The folded blank further includes a pair of column panels (26, 28), each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, a second side panel, and an overlap tab connected to the lateral edges of the main body panel in series at first, second, third, and fourth lateral score lines. The front panel of each column panel is folded about a respective second lateral score line with the overlap tab overlapping and attached to the main body panel. Each column panel can be erected to form a rectangular column adjacent to each of the lateral edges of the main body panel.




Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The present invention relates to improvements in packaging inserts and, more particularly, to a packaging insert configured to provide a cornerpost support in a container such as a paperboard box.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0002] Products shipped within containers or boxes may require various forms of packing to retain the product in a desired position within the box. For example, during shipment of relatively heavy products, such as lawn mowers, changes in the orientation of the box or dropping of the box could cause damage to elements of the product. In the case of shipping walk-behind lawn mowers, particular areas of concern revolve around damage to wheels, height adjusters and handles. Known solutions have included individual packing elements that can be provided at the particular locations of concern to provide bracing and/or cushioning. However, such individual packing elements may be subject to deformation or fail to provide a sufficiently rigid structure for maintaining the product in position in the event that the box containing the product is subjected to rough handling during shipping.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0003] In accordance with an aspect of the invention, a packaging insert formed from a blank is provided. The packaging insert blank includes a main body panel and a pair of column panels connected to the main body panel along respective first lateral score lines. Each column panel includes a first side panel, a front panel, and a second side panel connected in series at respective second and third lateral score lines. The packaging insert comprises a central panel section defined by the main body panel, first and second rectangular columns defined by the column panels at opposing lateral sides of the central panel section. Each rectangular column includes a back wall formed by a portion of the main body panel, a first side wall defined by the first side panel folded generally perpendicular to the main body panel at the respective first lateral score line, a front wall defined by the front panel folded generally perpendicular to the first side wall at the respective second lateral score line, and a second side wall defined by the second side panel folded generally perpendicular to the front wall at the respective third lateral score line and connected to the main body panel.

[0004] The back wall of each rectangular column may be coplanar with the central panel section.

[0005] The blank may further include an overlap tab connected to each of the second side panels at respective fourth lateral score lines, and each overlap tab may be fastened to a location on the main body panel.

[0006] The central panel section may have a lateral dimension that is defined by a portion of the main body panel extending from the second side wall of the first rectangular column to the second side wall of the second rectangular column.

[0007] The main body panel may have a first longitudinal edge and an opposed second longitudinal edge defining a longitudinal dimension of the packaging insert, the front wall may have opposed first and second longitudinal edges extending parallel to the longitudinal edges of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of the front wall may be longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.

[0008] The second side wall of each rectangular column may have opposed first and second longitudinal edges, and the second longitudinal edge of the second side wall may be longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel and may be longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the front wall.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a blank for forming a one-piece packaging insert is provided. The blank for forming the one-piece packaging insert comprises a main body panel having a first longitudinal edge defining a first longitudinal edge of the blank and an opposing second longitudinal edge defining a second longitudinal edge of the blank, and opposing first and second lateral edges. A pair of column panels are connected to the main body panel along respective first lateral score lines, and each column panel defines structure for forming a rectangular column adjacent to the opposing first and second lateral edges of the main body panel. Each column panel includes a first side panel, a front panel, and a second side panel connected in series along respective second and third lateral score lines.

[0010] An overlap tab may be connected to each of the second side panels at respective fourth lateral score lines, and each overlap tab may define a lateral edge of the blank.

[0011] Each first side panel has a lateral dimension, from the first lateral score line to the second lateral score line, and the lateral dimension of the first side panel may be equal to a lateral dimension of the second side panel, from the third lateral score line to the fourth lateral score line.

[0012] Each front panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each front panel may be less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.

[0013] At least a portion of the first longitudinal edge of each front panel may be longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of each front panel may be longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.

[0014] At least a portion of each of the first and second longitudinal edges of each front panel may be longitudinally displaced from the respective first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel, and the longitudinally displaced portions of the first longitudinal edge of the front panels may define slots in the front panels.

[0015] Each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel may be less than the longitudinal dimension of the main body panel and may be greater than a longitudinal dimension of the front panel.

[0016] Each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel may be less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.

[0017] The first longitudinal edge of each second side panel may be longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of each second side panel may be longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.

[0018] In accordance with a further aspect of the invention, a folded blank for forming a packaging insert is provided. The folded blank comprises a one-piece blank including a main body panel having opposing first and second longitudinal edges and opposing first and second lateral edges. The folded blank further includes a pair of column panels, each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, a second side panel, and an overlap tab connected to the main body panel in series at first, second, third, and fourth lateral score lines. The front panel of each column panel is folded about a respective second lateral score line with the overlap tab overlapping and attached to the main body panel.

[0019] Each front panel may be positioned in overlapping relation with a respective first side panel and each second side panel may be positioned in overlapping relation with a portion of the main body panel.

[0020] Each overlap tab may be adhered to a manufacturer's joint strip defined on the main body panel.

[0021] Each front panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each front panel may be less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.

[0022] Each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel may be less than the longitudinal dimension of the main body panel and may be greater than the longitudinal dimension of the front panel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0023] While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the present invention, it is believed that the present invention will be better understood from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying Drawing Figures, in which like reference numerals identify like elements, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a blank for forming a packaging insert;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the blank of FIG. 1, folded and glued, to form a folded blank;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an erected packaging insert formed from the blank of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of an alternative configuration of a blank for forming a packaging insert;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a shipping box including packaging inserts formed from the blanks of FIGS. 1 and 4 located within the shipping box;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an alternative configuration of a blank for forming a packaging insert; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an erected packaging insert formed from the blank of FIG. 6.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0024] In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration, and not by way of limitation, specific preferred embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0025] The present description is directed to a packaging insert that can be provided as a cornerpost support in a container, such as a box, for retaining a product in position and additionally providing structural support to the container. The described packaging insert can be constructed on available container forming machinery, and can be formed from a blank that is processed either with processing machinery equipment designed for this purpose or by hand. For example, the blank may be processed in a single pass through flexo-folder-gluer machinery to produce a glued, folded blank that can subsequently be opened or erected for use in a packaging process. As may be understood from the following description, the packaging insert described herein can be used to facilitate packaging a product, wherein the packaging insert could be shipped to a user or customer in a folded configuration and quickly configured into an erected configuration for use in a process for packing a product in a container such as a shipping box.

[0026] Referring to FIG. 1, a die cut blank 10 is shown for illustrating one or more aspects of the packaging insert described herein. In a use of the blank 10 to form a packaging insert 8, see FIG. 3, the blank 10 may be die cut to the shape shown herein and may be formed of a paperboard material, such as a corrugated cardboard material including, without limitation, single wall, double wall and/or triple wall corrugated cardboard material. However, it may be understood that other materials and variations of the illustrated shape may be provided within the scope of the packaging insert described and claimed herein. The blank 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 is a planar piece of material in which an inner side 12 is shown facing out of the page and an outer side 14, see FIG. 3, is facing an opposite direction from the inner side 12.

[0027] As seen in FIG. 1, the blank 10 extends in a lateral direction L1 between first and second lateral edges, generally designated 16 and 18, respectively, and further extends in a longitudinal direction L2 between first and second longitudinal edges, generally designated 20 and 22, respectively. The blank 10 comprises a main body panel 24 having a first lateral edge 24a and an opposing second lateral edge 24b. The main body panel 24 further includes a first longitudinal edge 24c coinciding with the first longitudinal edge 20 of the blank 10, and an opposing second longitudinal edge 24d coinciding with the second longitudinal edge 22 of the blank 10.

[0028] In accordance with one aspect of the described embodiment, the first longitudinal edge 20 can comprise an upper edge of the insert 8 and the second longitudinal edge 22 can comprise a lower edge of the insert 8. However, it should be understood descriptions of particular orientations of the insert 8 are provided for convenience in the present description and are not intended as being limiting to the structure or use of the present invention.

[0029] A first column panel 26 is connected to the first lateral edge 24a of the main body panel 24 along a respective first lateral score line 261, and a second column panel 28 is connected to the second lateral edge 24b of the main body panel 24 along a respective first lateral score line 281. The first column panel 26 includes a first side panel 30a, a front panel 32a, a second side panel 34a, and an overlap tab 36a connected in series at a second lateral score line 262, a third lateral score line 263, and a fourth lateral score line 264, respectively. Similarly, the second column panel 28 includes a first side panel 30b, a front panel 32b, a second side panel 34b, and an overlap tab 36b connected in series at a second lateral score line 282, a third lateral score line 283, and a fourth lateral score line 284, respectively. The overlap tabs 36a, 36b define the lateral edges 16, 18 of the blank 10. The pair of column panels 26, 28 are configured to define structure for forming rectangular cornerposts or columns 40a, 40b adjacent to the opposing first and second lateral edges 24a, 24b of the main panel 24, see FIG. 3, as is described further below.

[0030] It may be noted that in the illustrated embodiment, the first lateral score lines 261, 281, the third lateral score lines 263, 283, and the fourth lateral score lines 264, 284 can each be formed as perforated and cut score lines that facilitate folding at these locations. Further, the second lateral score lines 262, 282 can be formed as machine scored lines that facilitate folding at these locations. It should further be understood that alternative score line configurations than those described herein can be provided at each of the fold locations between adjacent panels.

[0031] Referring to FIG. 1, each first side panel 30a, 30b has a lateral dimension di, from the first lateral score line 261, 281 to the respective second lateral score line 262, 282, and the lateral dimension d1 of the first side panel 30a, 30b is equal to a lateral dimension d2 of the second side panel 34a, 34b, from the third lateral score line 263, 283 to the respective fourth lateral score line 264, 284. The lateral dimension di, d2 of the first and second side panels 30a, 30b and 34a, 34b defines a front to rear, or depth, dimension of the rectangular columns 40a, 40b of the erected packaging insert 8, see FIG. 3.

[0032] As further seen in FIG. 1, each front panel 32a, 32b includes a respective first longitudinal edge 42a, 42b that is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge 24c of the main body panel 24. A second longitudinal edge 44a, 44b of each respective front panel 32a, 32b is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge 24d of the main body panel 24 to define a first lower cut-out area C1 between the respective first side panels 30a, 30b and second side panels 34a, 34b. Hence, each front panel 30a, 30b defines a longitudinally shortened panel wherein a longitudinal dimension d3 of each front panel 30a, 30b, extending from the first longitudinal edge 42a, 42b to the second longitudinal edge 44a, 44b, is less than a longitudinal dimension d0 of the main body panel 24 extending between the first and second longitudinal edges 24c, 24d of the main body panel 24.

[0033] Each second side panel 34a, 34b includes a respective first longitudinal edge 46a, 46b that is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge 24c of the main body panel 24. A second longitudinal edge 48a, 48b of each respective second side panel 34a, 34b is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge 24d of the main body panel 24 to define a second lower cut-out area C2 between respective front panels 32a, 32b and overlap tabs 36a, 36b. Hence, each second side panel 34a, 34b defines a longitudinally shortened panel wherein a longitudinal dimension d4 of each second side panel 34a, 34b, extending from the first longitudinal edge 46a, 46b to the second longitudinal edge 48a, 48b, is less than the longitudinal dimension d0 of the main body panel 24 and is greater than the longitudinal dimension d3 of the front panel 24.

[0034] Referring to FIG. 2, the blank 10 can be formed into a folded packaging insert 10' prior to shipping to a customer for use in a packaging operation and, as noted above, the formation of the folded packaging insert can be performed on a flexo-folder-gluer machine (not shown). The present embodiment is described with reference to forming attachment points as a manufacturer's joint using an adhesive fastening or attachment between panels. However, it may be understood that other or alternative forms of attachment may be provided, such as staples or tape, and/or may include a mechanical interlock between panels as is described further below.

[0035] In a folding operation for forming the folded packaging insert 10' from the blank 10, a manufacturer's joint strip S1 (FIG. 1), e.g., a strip of glue, may be formed extending longitudinally on the main panel 24 at two predetermined locations laterally spaced from the first lateral score lines 261, 281. In addition, or alternatively, a manufacturer's joint strip S2 (FIG. 1), e.g., a strip of glue, may be formed extending longitudinally along each of the overlap tabs 36, 36b. An outer section of each column panel 26, 28 including the front panel 32a, 32b, the second panel 34a, 34b, and the overlap tab 36a, 36b is pivoted or folded about a respective second lateral score line 262, 282 to position the overlap tabs 36a, 36b in overlapping relation attached to the main body panel 24 at the respective manufacturer's joint strips S1 and forming a pivot connection between the main body panel 24 and the second side panels 34a, 34b.

[0036] In the folded configuration of the blank 10, each front panel 32a, 32b is positioned in overlapping relation with a respective first side panel 30a, 30b and each second side panel 34a, 34b is positioned in overlapping relation with a portion of the main body panel 24 between the manufacturer's joint strip S1 and a respective first lateral score line 261, 281. The folded packaging insert 10' defines a central panel section 50 on the main body panel 24 extending laterally between the fourth lateral score lines 264, 284, and the portions of the column panels 26, 28 laterally outward from the fourth lateral score lines 264, 284 are configured to form the rectangular columns 40a, 40b on either side of the central panel section 50.

[0037] Referring further to FIG. 3, the folded packaging insert 10' is formed into an erected packaging insert 8 by pivoting the first side panels 30a, 30b about the first lateral score lines 261, 281 such that the first side panels 30a, 30b are folded to a position that is generally perpendicular to the main body panel 24 to define first side walls 30a', 30b' for the rectangular columns 40a, 40b. Simultaneously, with pivoting of the first side panels 30a, 30b, the second side panels 34a, 34b are pivoted about the fourth lateral score lines 264, 284 such that the second side panels 34a, 34b are folded to a position that is generally perpendicular to main body panel 24 to define second side walls 34a', 34b' for the rectangular columns 40a, 40b. Pivoting of the first side panels 30a, 30b and second side panels 36a, 36b additionally positions the front panels 32a, 32b in spaced relation and parallel to a portion of the main body panel 24 to define front walls 32a', 32b' oriented perpendicular to the first and second side walls 30a', 30b' and 34a', 34b'. Back walls 52a', 52b' for the rectangular columns 40a, 40b are coplanar with the central panel section 50 and are defined by portions of the main body panel 24 that are facing the front walls 32a', 32b'. The first side walls 30a', 30b' of the erected insert 8 define lateral outer sides of the insert 8. The erected packing insert 8 is configured to be positioned within a shipping box with the longitudinal direction L1, as defined for the blank 10, oriented vertically, as is described further below.

[0038] The lower insert edges defined by the second longitudinal edges 44a, 44b of the front panels 32a, 32b extend from the first side walls 30a', 30b' to the second side walls 34a', 34b', in a horizontal plane parallel to the longitudinal edges 24c, 24d of the main body panel 24. Further, the lower insert edges defined by the second longitudinal edges 48a, 48b of the second side panels 34a, 34b are vertically displaced from the lower insert edges defined by the second longitudinal edges 44a, 44b and extend from the front walls 32a', 32b' to the back walls 52a', 52b' in a horizontal plane that is parallel to the second longitudinal edges 44a, 44b.

[0039] FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative configuration for a blank 110 used to form the packaging insert in which front walls of the blank 110 are formed with slots, as is described in greater detail below. In the following description of FIG. 4, elements corresponding to similar elements of FIGS. 1-3 are labeled with the same reference numeral increased by 100.

[0040] As seen in FIG. 4, the blank 10 extends in a lateral direction L1 between first and second lateral edges, generally designated 116 and 118, respectively, and further extends in a longitudinal direction L2 between first and second longitudinal edges, generally designated 120 and 122, respectively. The blank 110 comprises a main body panel 124 having a first lateral edge 124a and an opposing second lateral edge 124b. The main body panel 124 further includes a first longitudinal edge 124c coinciding with the first longitudinal edge 120 of the blank 110, and an opposing second longitudinal edge 124d coinciding with the second longitudinal edge 122 of the blank 10.

[0041] A first column panel 126 is connected to the first lateral edge 124a of the main body panel 124 along a respective first lateral score line 1261, and a second column panel 128 is connected to the second lateral edge 124b of the main body panel 124 along a respective first lateral score line 1281. The first column panel 126 includes a first side panel 130a, a front panel 132a, a second side panel 134a, and an overlap tab 136a connected in series at a second lateral score line 1262, a third lateral score line 1263, and a fourth lateral score line 1264, respectively. Similarly, the second column panel 128 includes a first side panel 130b, a front panel 132b, a second side panel 134b, and an overlap tab 136b connected in series at a second lateral score line 1282, a third lateral score line 1283, and a fourth lateral score line 1284, respectively.

[0042] In addition, each of the front panels 132a, 132b includes a first longitudinal edge having a first portion 142a1, 142b1 that is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge 124c of the main body panel 124. The first longitudinal edge of each front panel 132a, 132b has a second portion 142a2, 142b2 that is longitudinally displaced from the first longitudinal edge 124c of the main body panel 124. Each of the second portions 142a2, 142b2 of the first longitudinal edges define respective front panel slots 154a, 154b. It may be noted that, although the front panel slots 154a, 154b illustrated in FIG. 4 extend from the third lateral score lines 1263, 1283 to approximately half the width of the front panels 132a, 132b, the lateral dimension, as well as the longitudinal dimension, of the front panel slots 154a, 154b may be greater or less than is shown herein.

[0043] As further seen in FIG. 4, each front panel 132a, 132b includes a respective second longitudinal edge 144a, 144b which is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge 124d of the main body panel 124 to define a first lower cut-out area C1 between the respective first side panels 130a, 130b and second side panels 134a, 134b.

[0044] Each second side panel 134a, 134b includes a respective second longitudinal edge 148a, 148b which is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge 124d of the main body panel 124 to define a second lower cut-out area C2 between respective front panels 132a, 132b and overlap tabs 136a, 136b.

[0045] The overlap tabs 136a, 136b define the lateral edges 116, 118 of the blank 110, and manufacturer's joint strips S1 and S2 can be formed on the main body panel 124 and overlap tabs 136a, 136b, respectively, wherein the overlap tabs 136a, 136b may be adhered to the main body panel 124 at the locations of the manufacturer's joint strips S1. The pair of column panels 126, 128 are configured to define structure for forming rectangular cornerposts or columns 140a, 140b adjacent to the opposing first and second lateral edges 124a, 124b of the main panel 124 to define an erected packaging insert 108 (see FIG. 5) in a manner similar to that described for the packaging insert 8 erected from the blank 10. In particular, the first side panels 130a, 130b, front panels 132a, 132b, and second side panels 134a, 134b can be positioned in an erected configuration to form first side walls 130a', 130b', front walls 132a', 132b', second side walls 134a', 134b', and back walls 152a', 152b' on the erected packaging insert 108.

[0046] Referring to FIG. 5, a box 60 for packaging a product, illustrated diagrammatically as a lawn mower P, is shown with the packaging insert 8 positioned as a front insert and the packaging insert 108 positioned as a rear insert. The front packaging insert 8 is located within the box 60 with the main panel body 24 extending the width of the box 60 adjacent to a first end wall 62 of the box 60, and with the first side walls 30a', 30b' of the rectangular columns 40a, 40b extending adjacent to respective side walls 66, 68 of the box 60. Similarly, the rear packaging insert 108 is located within the box 60 with the main panel body 124 extending the width of the box 60 adjacent to a second end wall 64 of the box 60, and with the first side walls 130a', 130b' of the rectangular columns 140a, 140b extending adjacent to respective side walls 68, 66 of the box 60.

[0047] The inserts 8, 108 can provide structural strength to the box 60 in a side-to-side direction between opposing side walls 66, 68. Further, the inserts 8, 108 are preferably formed with a longitudinal or vertical dimension, i.e., the main panel body longitudinal dimension do, that is equal to or approximately equal to the height dimension of the box 60, such that the rectangular columns 40a, 40b and 140a, 140b can provide structural reinforcement to the box 60 in the vertical direction. Also, the packaging inserts 8, 108 may be formed with a respective aperture 56, 156 that can align with respective apertures in the ends 62, 64 of the box 60 providing a hand hold for facilitating lifting of the box 60.

[0048] As can be further seen in FIG. 5, each of the cut-out areas C1 associated with the front panels 32a, 23b and 132a, 132b can accommodate a wheel P1 and an associated height adjuster for the mower P, wherein the second longitudinal edges 44a, 44b and 144a, 144b, defining lower front wall edges, can engage an upper surface of an adjacent wheel P1 to facilitate retention of the mower P in position. Similarly, the cut-out areas C2 associated with the second side panels 34a, 34b and 134a, 134b can accommodate a mower body portion P2, e.g., a mower deck, of the mower P adjacent to the wheels P1, wherein the second longitudinal edges 48a, 48b and 148a, 148b, defining lower second side wall edges, can engage an upper surface of the mower body portion P2 to facilitate retention of the mower P in position. Further, the slots 154a, 154b in the front walls 132a 132b of the rear packaging insert 108 can accommodate a portion of a handle P3 for the mower P to position and protect the handle P3. Hence, the packaging inserts 8, 108 can be configured to engage various elements of the product, such as the wheels, mower deck, and handle elements, to support and maintain positions of the elements relative to the box during shipping.

[0049] From the above description, it may be understood that the central panel sections 50, 150 can be dimensioned to form the packaging inserts 8, 108 extending the full width of the box 60, with the rectangular columns 40a, 40b and 140a, 140b positioned at the corners of the box 60. the rectangular columns 40a, 40b, 140a, 140b of the packaging inserts 8, 108 provide a four-sided column structure at each of the corners of the box 60 for securely positioning a product, such as the illustrated mower P, and for resisting forces applied to the box 60, including either forces external to the box 60 or forces applied by the enclosed product during shipping in varying orientations and in the event that the box 60 is dropped.

[0050] It may be noted that the packaging inserts 8, 108 could be configured to extend along the sides 66, 68 in a direction extending between the opposing ends 62, 64 of the box 60. In such an alternative configuration, the cut-out areas C1, C2 could be formed with a height designed to accommodate the height of the product feature located in the particular cut-out area C1, C2.

[0051] It should also be noted that the packaging inserts 8, 108 may be formed with the overlap tabs 36a, 36b and 136a, 136b folded in an opposite direction than is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5. Additionally, it may be understood that the overlap tabs 36a, 36b and 136a, 136b may be attached to the respective main body panels 24, 124 by fastening mechanisms other than those specifically mentioned herein including, without limitation, staples and tape.

[0052] Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, a further alternative feature for forming the packaging inserts is illustrated by an alternative blank 210 and associated erected packaging insert 208. In the following description, elements corresponding to similar elements of FIGS. 1-3 are labeled with the same reference numeral increased by 200.

[0053] As seen in FIG. 6, the blank 210 includes a main body portion 224. A first column panel 226 is connected to a first lateral edge 224a of the main body panel 224, and a second column panel 228 is connected to a second lateral edge 224b of the main body panel 224. The first column panel 226 includes a first side panel 230a, a front panel 232a, a second side panel 234a, and an overlap tab 236a connected in series in the same manner as described for the blank 10 with reference to FIG. 1. Similarly, the second column panel 228 includes a first side panel 230b, a front panel 232b, a second side panel 234b, and an overlap tab 236b connected in series in the same manner as described for the blank 10 with reference to FIG. 1.

[0054] The main body panel 224 includes a pair of upper locking tabs 270a, 270b located at a first longitudinal edge 220 of the blank 210, and includes a pair of lower locking tabs 272a, 272b located at a second longitudinal edge 222 of the blank 210. Each of the locking tabs 270a, 270b, 272a, 272b may be formed of pairs of perforated lines or slits extending in from the edges 220, 222 of the blank 210.

[0055] The overlap tabs 236a, 236b are each formed with a respective upper locking cut-out 274a, 274b located at the first longitudinal edge 220, and are each formed with a respective lower locking cut-out 276a, 276b located at the second longitudinal edge 222. The locking cut-outs 274a, 274b and 276a, 276b are dimensioned to receive the respective upper and lower locking tabs 270a, 270b and 272a, 272b.

[0056] In a process forming the blank 210 into the packaging insert 208, as seen in FIG. 7, the column panels 226, 228 are folded forward, folding the first side panels 230a, 230b to a position perpendicular to the main body portion 224, folding the front panels 232a, 232b to a position perpendicular to the respective first side panels 230a, 230b, and folding the second side panels 234a, 234b to a position perpendicular to the respective front panels 232a, 232b. The second side panels 234a, 234b are attached to the main body panel 224 to form the rectangular columns 240a, 240b, comprising pivoting the overlap tabs 236a, 236b toward the interior of the rectangular columns 240a, 240b and locating the locking cut-outs 274a, 274b, 276a, 276b adjacent to the respective locking tabs 270a, 270b, 272a, 272b. The locking tabs 270a, 270b, 272a, 272b are folded into the respective locking cut-outs 274a, 274b, 276a, 276b to form a mechanical interlock for retaining the overlap tabs 236a, 236b in attached overlapping relationship on the main body panel 224. The rectangular columns 240a, 240b of the packaging insert 208 are formed to include respective first side walls 230a', 230b', front walls 232a', 232b', second side walls 234a', 234b' and back walls 252a', 252b', wherein the overlap tabs 236a, 236b extend along a portion of the back walls 252a', 252b'.

[0057] FIG. 7 further shows an alternative position for the overlap tabs 236a, 236, as illustrated by dotted line elements 236a', 236b'. In particular, locking tabs 270a', 270b', 272a', 272b' can be located at alternative positions on the main body panel 224 that are laterally inward of the second side walls 234a', 234b'. The overlap tabs 236a', 236b' are folded relative to the second side walls 234a', 234b' in a direction opposite from the direction described above for attaching the overlap tabs 236a, 236b. The locking tabs 270a', 270b', 272a', 272b' can be folded into the respective locking cut-outs 274a', 274b', 276a', 276b' formed in the overlap tabs 234a', 234b' to define an attachment between the second side walls 234a', 234b' and the main body panel 224 via the overlap tabs 234a', 234b'.

[0058] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.

Embodiments



[0059] Although the present invention is defined in the attached claims, it should be understood that the present invention can also (alternatively) be defined in accordance with the following embodiments:
  1. 1. A packaging insert formed from a blank including a main body panel, a pair of column panels connected to the main body panel along respective first lateral score lines, each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, and a second side panel connected in series at respective second and third lateral score lines, the packaging insert comprising:

    a central panel section defined by the main body panel;

    first and second rectangular columns defined by the column panels at opposing lateral sides of the central panel section, each rectangular column including:

    a back wall formed by a portion of the main body panel;

    a first side wall defined by the first side panel folded generally perpendicular to the main body panel at the respective first lateral score line;

    a front wall defined by the front panel folded generally perpendicular to the first side wall at the respective second lateral score line; and

    a second side wall defined by the second side panel folded generally perpendicular to the front wall at the respective third lateral score line and connected to the main body panel.

  2. 2. The packaging insert as set forth in embodiment 1, wherein the back wall of each rectangular column is coplanar with the central panel section.
  3. 3. The packaging insert as set forth in embodiment 1, wherein the blank further includes an overlap tab connected to each of the second side panels at respective fourth lateral score lines, each overlap tab fastened to a location on the main body panel.
  4. 4. The packaging insert as set forth in embodiment 1, wherein the central panel section has a lateral dimension that is defined by a portion of the main body panel extending from the second side wall of the first rectangular column to the second side wall of the second rectangular column.
  5. 5. The packaging insert as set forth in embodiment 1, wherein the main body panel has a first longitudinal edge and an opposed second longitudinal edge defining a longitudinal dimension of the packaging insert, the front wall has opposed first and second longitudinal edges extending parallel to the longitudinal edges of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of the front wall is longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.
  6. 6. The packaging insert as set forth in embodiment 5, wherein the second side wall of each rectangular column has opposed first and second longitudinal edges, and the second longitudinal edge of the second side wall is longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel and is longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the front wall.
  7. 7. A blank for forming a one-piece packaging insert comprising:

    a main body panel having a first longitudinal edge defining a first longitudinal edge of the blank and an opposing second longitudinal edge defining a second longitudinal edge of the blank, and opposing first and second lateral edges;

    a pair of column panels connected to the main body panel along respective first lateral score lines, each column panel defining structure for forming a rectangular column adjacent to the opposing first and second lateral edges of the main body panel; and

    each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, and a second side panel connected in series along respective second and third lateral score lines.

  8. 8. The blank as set forth in embodiment 7, including an overlap tab connected to each of the second side panels at respective fourth lateral score lines, each overlap tab defining a lateral edge of the blank.
  9. 9. The blank as set forth in embodiment 8, wherein each first side panel has a lateral dimension, from the first lateral score line to the second lateral score line, and the lateral dimension of the first side panel is equal to a lateral dimension of the second side panel, from the third lateral score line to the fourth lateral score line.
  10. 10. The blank as set forth in embodiment 7, wherein each front panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each front panel is less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.
  11. 11. The blank as set forth in embodiment 10, wherein at least a portion of the first longitudinal edge of each front panel is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of each front panel is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.
  12. 12. The blank as set forth in embodiment 10, wherein at least a portion of each of the first and second longitudinal edges of each front panel is longitudinally displaced from the respective first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel, the longitudinally displaced portions of the first longitudinal edge of the front panels defining slots in the front panels.
  13. 13. The blank as set forth in embodiment 10, wherein each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel is less than the longitudinal dimension of the main body panel and is greater than a longitudinal dimension of the front panel.
  14. 14. The blank as set forth in embodiment 7, wherein each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel is less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.
  15. 15. The blank as set forth in embodiment 14, wherein the first longitudinal edge of each second side panel is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of each second side panel is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.
  16. 16. A folded blank for forming a packaging insert, the folded blank comprising:

    a one-piece blank including a main body panel having opposing first and second longitudinal edges and opposing first and second lateral edges;

    a pair of column panels, each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, a second side panel, and an overlap tab connected to the main body panel in series at first, second, third, and fourth lateral score lines; and

    the front panel of each column panel is folded about a respective second lateral score line with the overlap tab overlapping and attached to the main body panel.

  17. 17. The folded blank as set forth in embodiment 16, wherein each front panel is positioned in overlapping relation with a respective first side panel and each second side panel is positioned in overlapping relation with a portion of the main body panel.
  18. 18. The folded blank as set forth in embodiment 16, wherein each overlap tab is adhered to a manufacturer's joint strip defined on the main body panel.
  19. 19. The folded blank as set forth in embodiment 16, wherein each front panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each front panel is less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.
  20. 20. The folded blank as set forth in embodiment 19, wherein each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel is less than the longitudinal dimension of the main body panel and is greater than the longitudinal dimension of the front panel.



Claims

1. A packaging insert formed from a blank including a main body panel, a pair of column panels connected to the main body panel along respective first lateral score lines, each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, and a second side panel connected in series at respective second and third lateral score lines, the packaging insert comprising:

a central panel section defined by the main body panel;

first and second rectangular columns defined by the column panels at opposing lateral sides of the central panel section, each rectangular column including:

a back wall formed by a portion of the main body panel;

a first side wall defined by the first side panel folded generally perpendicular to the main body panel at the respective first lateral score line;

a front wall defined by the front panel folded generally perpendicular to the first side wall at the respective second lateral score line; and

a second side wall defined by the second side panel folded generally perpendicular to the front wall at the respective third lateral score line and connected to the main body panel.


 
2. The packaging insert as set forth in claim 1, wherein the back wall of each rectangular column is coplanar with the central panel section.
 
3. The packaging insert as set forth in claim 1, wherein the blank further includes an overlap tab connected to each of the second side panels at respective fourth lateral score lines, each overlap tab fastened to a location on the main body panel.
 
4. The packaging insert as set forth in claim 1, wherein the central panel section has a lateral dimension that is defined by a portion of the main body panel extending from the second side wall of the first rectangular column to the second side wall of the second rectangular column.
 
5. The packaging insert as set forth in claim 1, wherein the main body panel has a first longitudinal edge and an opposed second longitudinal edge defining a longitudinal dimension of the packaging insert, the front wall has opposed first and second longitudinal edges extending parallel to the longitudinal edges of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of the front wall is longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and/or preferably the second side wall of each rectangular column has opposed first and second longitudinal edges, and the second longitudinal edge of the second side wall is longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel and is longitudinally displaced from the second longitudinal edge of the front wall.
 
6. A blank for forming a one-piece packaging insert comprising:

a main body panel having a first longitudinal edge defining a first longitudinal edge of the blank and an opposing second longitudinal edge defining a second longitudinal edge of the blank, and opposing first and second lateral edges;

a pair of column panels connected to the main body panel along respective first lateral score lines, each column panel defining structure for forming a rectangular column adjacent to the opposing first and second lateral edges of the main body panel; and

each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, and a second side panel connected in series along respective second and third lateral score lines.


 
7. The blank as set forth in claim 6, including an overlap tab connected to each of the second side panels at respective fourth lateral score lines, each overlap tab defining a lateral edge of the blank, and/or preferably each first side panel has a lateral dimension, from the first lateral score line to the second lateral score line, and the lateral dimension of the first side panel is equal to a lateral dimension of the second side panel, from the third lateral score line to the fourth lateral score line.
 
8. The blank as set forth in claim 6, wherein each front panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each front panel is less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel, and/or preferably at least a portion of the first longitudinal edge of each front panel is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of each front panel is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and/or preferably at least a portion of each of the first and second longitudinal edges of each front panel is longitudinally displaced from the respective first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel, the longitudinally displaced portions of the first longitudinal edge of the front panels defining slots in the front panels, and/or preferably each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel is less than the longitudinal dimension of the main body panel and is greater than a longitudinal dimension of the front panel.
 
9. The blank as set forth in claim 6, wherein each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel is less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel, and/or preferably the first longitudinal edge of each second side panel is longitudinally aligned with the first longitudinal edge of the main body panel, and the second longitudinal edge of each second side panel is longitudinally displaced from alignment with the second longitudinal edge of the main body panel.
 
10. A folded blank for forming a packaging insert, the folded blank comprising:

a one-piece blank including a main body panel having opposing first and second longitudinal edges and opposing first and second lateral edges;

a pair of column panels, each column panel including a first side panel, a front panel, a second side panel, and an overlap tab connected to the main body panel in series at first, second, third, and fourth lateral score lines; and

the front panel of each column panel is folded about a respective second lateral score line with the overlap tab overlapping and attached to the main body panel.


 
11. The folded blank as set forth in claim 10, wherein each front panel is positioned in overlapping relation with a respective first side panel and each second side panel is positioned in overlapping relation with a portion of the main body panel.
 
12. The folded blank as set forth in claim 10, wherein each overlap tab is adhered to a manufacturer's joint strip defined on the main body panel.
 
13. The folded blank as set forth in claim 10, wherein each front panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each front panel is less than a longitudinal dimension of the main body panel extending between the first and second longitudinal edges of the main body panel.
 
14. The folded blank as set forth in claim 13, wherein each second side panel includes a longitudinal dimension extending from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge, and the longitudinal dimension of each second side panel is less than the longitudinal dimension of the main body panel and is greater than the longitudinal dimension of the front panel.
 




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