Original Publication Date: 1993-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
People are self-trained experts in the mundane task of ripping open boxes. They have been doing this all of their lives. The anxiety of opening the boxes focuses one's attention on WHAT is in the box rather than HOW to unpack it.
self-trained experts in the mundane task of ripping
open boxes. They have been doing this all of their lives. The
anxiety of opening the boxes focuses one's attention on WHAT is in
the box rather than HOW to unpack it.
Herein lies an
innocent design oversight problem. If
packaging is unique in that it is "other than" a standard box, one
must analyze the stereotypic behavior of how people will interact
with the new design. This analysis becomes especially important when
the product is heavy or awkward and the unpacker can be injured by
lifting it. Unpack ing instructions will not be read unless
something outside of the unpackers' realm of experience grabs their
attention. Adding instruc tions to what appears to be an obvious
task, will not change the behav ior. How to eliminate the lifting
risk without forcing a change in behavior is the purpose of this
It is when a
new packaging design can innocently induce unsafe
behavior that one must eliminate the risk through better design.
In order to
understand the lifting risk which was eliminated, one
must understand the construction of the current boxes. The current
overpacks have a "mini-pallet" or "cap" underneath the shipment.
This cap holds foam-packing material which protects the
current production of the cap is such that when the end flaps of the
cap are folded up, they have interlocking tabs on the ends which give
the cap four vertical walls about 4" high and a bottom. The
resulting cap is similar to one half of a shirt or sweater box.
Foam-packing materials, which protect the product, are fitted into
the ends of the cap.
product is fitted into the foam padding, a
half-slotted container, sometimes referred to as a "skirt," is placed
over the top of the product so that the lower edge of the skirt
surrounds the walls of the cap. This skirt looks like a typical box
with four sides and four upper flaps, but no bottom. The cap, which
is now held captive by the skirt, becomes the package bottom.
Since the cap
and skirt are not attached to each other, the two
pieces can be separated. In order to secure the cap to the skirt,
two straps with hooks on the ends are used. One hook attaches to the
inner edge of the minor flap of the skirt, goes down the outside of
the skirt, under the cap, up the other side of the skirt and to the
inner edge of the opposite minor flap. The straps draw tight when
the minor flaps are closed. When the major flaps are folded over and
taped shut, the straps are tightly s...