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United States Patent Application 20170129642
Kind Code A1
McMillan; Sandra A. May 11, 2017

Box Support Device

Abstract

An apparatus and system are provided for supporting a box. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a first portion adapted to be associated with a first side of the box. The apparatus further includes a second portion having a second attachment device that is adapted to attach to a second side of the box. The apparatus further includes a hinge portion that is adapted to correspond to a corner associated with the first side and the second side of the box, and that adjoins the first portion and the second portion.


Inventors: McMillan; Sandra A.; (Washington, MI)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

McMillan; Sandra A.

Washington

MI

US
Family ID: 1000001953350
Appl. No.: 14/937050
Filed: November 10, 2015


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B65D 5/445 20130101
International Class: B65D 5/44 20060101 B65D005/44

Claims



1. An apparatus for supporting a box, comprising: a first portion adapted to be associated with a first side of the box; a second portion having an attachment device that is configured to attach to a second side of the box; and a hinge portion including a rigid hinge adapted to correspond to an outside of a corner associated with the first side and the second side of the box, and that adjoins the first portion and the second portion.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first portion includes an attachment device that is configured to attach to the first side of the box.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the first portion comprises a first body that couples to the attachment device of the first portion.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the attachment device of the first portion has a portion that extends from a top edge of the first body to a position that is a distance y from a bottom edge of the first body, where the distance y is not equal to zero.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the portion of the attachment device of the first portion provides a pressure against the first side of the box.

6. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the second portion comprises a second body that couples to the attachment device of the second portion.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the attachment device of the second portion has a portion that extends from a top edge of the second body to a position that is a distance z from a bottom edge of the second body, where the distance z is not equal to zero.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the portion of the attachment device of the second portion provides a pressure against the second side of the box.

9. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the attachment device of the first portion is a foldover clip.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the attachment device of the second portion is a foldover clip.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first portion and the second portion are arranged at an angle x, where the angle x is substantially ninety degrees.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rigid hinge allows the first portion and the second portion to bend at an intersection line such that the angle x is formed.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first portion includes a cutout section that exposes a portion of a box corner.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the attachment device of the second portion includes at least one of a pressure device, an adhesive device, a tack device, and a snap device.

15. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the second portion includes a cutout section that exposes a portion of the box corner.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the attachment device of the second portion includes a lip portion that supports stacking of an other box.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the attachment device of the first portion includes a lip portion that supports stacking the other box.

18. A system for providing support to a box, comprising: a first box support devices comprising: a first portion having a first attachment device that is adapted to attach to a first side of the box; a second portion having a second attachment device that is adapted to attach to a second side of the box; and a hinge portion including a rigid hinge adapted to correspond to an outside of a corner associated with the first side and the second side of the box, and that adjoins the first portion and the second portion; and a second box support device comprising: a first portion having a first attachment device that is configured to attach to a third side of the box; a second portion having a second attachment device that is configured to attach to a fourth side of the box; and a hinge portion including a rigid hinge adapted to correspond to an outside of a corner associated with the third side and the fourth side of the box, and that adjoins the first portion and the second portion.
Description



TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure generally relates to a support system for a box, and more particularly relates to one or more apparatuses for supporting corner portions of a box.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Boxes have long been used for packaging and storing of certain elements. For example, a variety of sized boxes may be used to store games, crafting supplies, tools, etc. The box may be made of cardboard or other materials. Over time, a box made of such material may break down. For example, one or more corner portions of the box may break down thus, compromising the overall support of the box.

[0003] Accordingly, it is desirable to provide systems for providing support to a box. It is further desirable for providing methods of manufacturing a device and system for providing support to a box. Furthermore, other desirable features and characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description of the invention and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and this background of the invention.

SUMMARY

[0004] An apparatus and system are provided for supporting a box. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a first portion that is adapted to be associated with a first side of the box. The apparatus further includes a second portion having a second attachment device that is adapted to attach to a second side of the box. The apparatus further includes a hinge portion that is adapted to correspond to a corner associated with the first side and the second side of the box, and that adjoins the first portion and the second portion.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The present disclosure will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figures, wherein like numerals denote like elements, and:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a box support device in accordance with various embodiments;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a top view of the box support device of FIG. 1 in accordance with various embodiments;

[0008] FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the box support device of FIG. 1 in accordance with various embodiments;

[0009] FIG. 4 is a back view of a first portion of the box support device of FIG. 1 in accordance with various embodiments;

[0010] FIG. 5 is a back view of a second portion of the box support device of FIG. 1 in accordance with various embodiments;

[0011] FIG. 6 is a front view of the first portion of the box support device, the front view opposing the back view of FIG. 4 in accordance with various embodiments;

[0012] FIG. 7 is a front view of the second portion of the box support device, the front view opposing the back view of FIG. 5 in accordance with various embodiments;

[0013] FIG. 8 is an exploded side perspective view of an attachment device of the first portion in accordance with various embodiments;

[0014] FIG. 9 is an exploded side perspective view of an attachment device of the second portion in accordance with various embodiments;

[0015] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the box support device of FIG. 1, wherein the box support device is attached to a corner portion of a box in accordance with various embodiments; and

[0016] FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrating a method of manufacturing a box support device in accordance with various embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] The following detailed description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the application and uses. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any expressed or implied theory presented in the preceding technical field, background, brief summary or the following detailed description.

[0018] With reference to FIGS. 1-9, a box support device 100 is shown in accordance with various embodiments. The box support device 100 may be used to provide support to a corner of a box in accordance with various embodiments. The box support device 100 generally includes a first portion 102 and a second portion 104. The first portion 102 generally includes a first body 105 coupled to an attachment device 106. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, the first body 105 includes an outer surface 107, and an inner surface 108 that is substantially opposite and substantially similar in shape to the outer surface 107. The shape of the surfaces 107, 108 can be substantially rectangular or can be another shape and is defined by a top edge 109, a bottom edge 110, an inner edge 112, an outer edge 114, and a cutout portion 116.

[0019] As shown in FIGS. 1, 6, and 8, the attachment device 106 is configured to attach the first portion 102 of the box support device 100 to a side of a box. For example, the attachment device 106 may include a foldover clip 117. The foldover clip 117 is coupled to the top edge 109 of the inner surface 108 of the first body 105. In such examples, the foldover clip 117 includes a first portion 118 and a second portion 120. The first portion 118 generally includes an outer surface 122, and an inner surface 124 that is substantially opposite and substantially similar in shape to the outer surface 122. In various embodiments, the first portion 118 extends along the top edge 109, from a position at or near the outer edge 114 to a position at or near the cutout portion 116. The first portion 118 extends transverse or substantially outwardly a distance `a` from the first body 105. The distance `a` corresponds to a general thickness of a box side and may vary in various embodiments. The outer surface 122 of the first portion 118 may be flat or planar, may be rounded, or may be a combination of flat or planar in part and rounded in part in various embodiments.

[0020] The second portion 120 of the foldover clip 117 extends substantially downwardly from the first portion 118 to a position 126 that is near but not at the bottom edge 110 of the first body 105. For example, the second portion 120 extends from the top edge 109 to a position 126 that is a distance `y` from the bottom edge 110, where the distance `y` is not equal to zero. The second portion 120 includes an end portion 123 that is rolled under or rolled inwards towards the inner surface 108. The second portion 120 extends substantially downwardly from the first portion 118 at an angle `b` from the inner surface 124 of the first portion 118. The value of the angle `b` corresponds to a general thickness of a box and may vary in various embodiments. In various embodiments, the value of the angle `b` may vary in use of the box support device 100 as the coupling between the first portion 118 and the second portion 120 can be adapted to provide for allowable springback.

[0021] As can be appreciated, the foldover clip 117 described herein is merely exemplary, as the first portion 102 of the box support device 100 may include other attachment devices 106 (not shown) in addition to or as an alternative to the foldover clip 106. For example, the attachment device 106 can be implemented as, but not limited to, other pressure devices, an adhesive device, a tack devices, a snap device, etc. and is not limited to the present examples.

[0022] Similarly, as shown in FIGS. 1, 5, and 7, the second portion 104 generally includes a second body 128 coupled to an attachment device 130. The second body 128 includes an outer surface 132, and an inner surface 134 that is substantially opposite and substantially similar in shape to the outer surface 132. The shape of the surfaces 132, 134 can be substantially rectangular or can be another shape and is defined by a top edge 136, a bottom edge 138, an inner edge 140, an outer edge 142, and a cutout portion 144.

[0023] In various embodiments, the attachment device 130 is configured to attach the second portion 104 of the box support device 100 to a side of a box. For example, the attachment device 130 may include a foldover clip 145. The foldover clip 145 is coupled to the top edge 136 of the inner surface 134 of the second body 128. In such examples, the foldover clip 145 includes a first portion 146 and a second portion 148. The first portion 146 generally includes an outer surface 150, and an inner surface 152 that is substantially opposite and substantially similar in shape to the outer surface 150. In various embodiments, the first portion 146 extends along the top edge 136, from a position at or near the outer edge 142 to a position at or near the cutout portion 144. The first portion 146 extends substantially outwardly or transverse a distance `c` from the second body 128. The distance `c` corresponds to a general thickness of a box side and may vary in various embodiments. The outer surface 150 of the first portion 146 may be flat or planar, may be rounded, or may be a combination of flat or planar in part and rounded in part in various embodiments.

[0024] The second portion 148 of the foldover clip 145 extends substantially downwardly from the first portion 146 to a position 154 that is near but not at the bottom edge 138 of the second body 128. For example, the second portion 148 extends from the top edge 136 to a position 154 that is a distance `z` from the bottom edge 138, where the distance `z` is not equal to zero. The second portion 148 includes an end portion 149 that is rolled under or rolled inwards towards the inner surface 134. The second portion 148 extends substantially downwardly from the first portion 146 at an angle `d` from the inner surface 152 of the first portion 146. The value of the angle `d` corresponds to a general thickness of a box and may vary in various embodiments. In various embodiments, the value of the angle `d` may vary in use of the box support device 100 as the coupling between the first portion 146 and the second portion 148 can be adapted to provide for allowable springback.

[0025] As can be appreciated, the foldover clip 145 described herein is merely exemplary, as the second portion 104 of the box support device 100 may include other attachment devices 130 in addition to or as an alternative to the foldover clip 145. For example, the attachment device 130 can be implemented as, but not limited to, other pressure devices, an adhesive device, a tack devices, a snap device, etc. and is not limited to the present examples.

[0026] In various embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, the inner edges 112, 140 of the first portion 102 and the second portion 104, respectively are adjoined at a hinge portion 160. The hinge portion 160 adjoins the first portion 102 and the second portion 104 such that the first portion 102 and the second portion 104 are substantially perpendicular or at an angle `x` that is approximately ninety degrees. In various embodiments, the hinge portion 160 includes a flexible hinge (e.g., a living hinge, or other flexible hinge) that allows the first portion 102 and the second portion 104 to bend at an intersection line such that the angle `x` is formed. For example, the first portion 102 and the second portion 104 can be preformed as a relatively flat or planar part and subsequently bent to the desired angle `x` via the flexible hinge, thus the hinge portion allows a larger amount of flexibility (e.g., within 90 degrees). In another example, the first portion 102 and the second portion 104 can be preformed according to the angle `x` and the hinge portion allows small amount of flexibility (e.g., within 20 degrees, or so) to accommodate variations in a box corner (e.g., when a box corner is not exactly 90 degrees, etc.) In various other embodiments, the hinge portion 160 is a rigid hinge that is preformed according to the angle `x`. As can be appreciated, the hinge portion 160 of the box support device 100 may include other hinge devices known in the art and is not limited to the present examples.

[0027] In operation, as shown in FIG. 10, the first portion 102 and the second portion 104 of the box support device 100 attach to a corner corresponding to a first side and a second side of a box 170. In the example shown, the hinge portion 160 corresponds to a box corner and the attachment devices 106 and 130 attach to the first side and the second side of the box 170. In particular, the foldover clips 117, 145 slide over top edges of the first side and the second side of the box 170. When in place, the first body 105 and the second body 128 and the second portions 120, 148 respectively provide pressure against the box sides to hold the box support device 100 in place. The cutout portions 116, 144 provide a window for the top corner of the box 170 to be exposed. The first portions 118, 146 provide a lip for stacking additional boxes on top of the box 170. The end portions 123, 149 prevent any conflict between a box support device 100 on a top of a box and a box support device 100 on a bottom of the box in a same corner when the top of the box 170 and the bottom of the box 170 are assembled.

[0028] In various embodiments, a box support system may be provided that includes at least two box support devices 100. The at least two box support devices 100 attach to at least two corners of the box 170. A first corner corresponds to first and second sides and a second corner corresponds to third and fourth sides. As can be appreciated, a box support system of the present disclosure can include more than two box support devices 100, for example, four box support devices 100, one for each corner of a box, or eight box support devices 100, one for each corner of the top and bottom of the boxes, and is not limited to the present examples.

[0029] With reference now to FIG. 11, a flowchart of a method 200 for manufacturing a box support device 100 is shown in accordance with exemplary embodiments. As can be appreciated in light of the disclosure, the order of operation within the method is not limited to the sequential execution as illustrated in FIG. 11, but may be performed in one or more varying orders as applicable and in accordance with the present disclosure.

[0030] As can be appreciated, the method of manufacture may vary depending on the materials used to manufacture the box support device 100. Materials such as, but not limited to, metals, synthetic polymers (such as plastics or nylon), or any combination thereof may be used to manufacture the box support device 100. As depicted in FIG. 11, the method may begin at 210, where part dimensions are provided for producing the box support device 100 as described above. At 220, the part is produced by way of a stamping process, an injection molding process, a 3D printing process, or other process depending on the material or materials used. In various embodiments, the box support device 100 is produced in the bent position. In which case, the method may end at 190. In various other embodiments, the part is produced substantially flat and at 200 the part is bent at the hinge portion. Thereafter, the method may end. As can be appreciated step 200 may be performed at the time manufacture, or later upon application to a box.

[0031] While at least one exemplary embodiment has been presented in the foregoing detailed description, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations exist. It should also be appreciated that the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments are only examples, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments. It should be understood that various changes can be made in the function and arrangement of elements without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims and the legal equivalents thereof.

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