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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TRAY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/035018
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Device for carrying food products, wherein the device has a first segment (2) and a second segment (3), wherein the first segment is formed to carry a plate (4) and wherein the second segment is situated adjacently of the first segment and comprises a pair of upright edges (5) which lie at an acute angle relative to each other, so that objects of different dimensions can be clamped between the pair of upright edges.

Inventors:
WILLEM, Theo (Gladiolenstraat 33, 3510 Kermt, 3510, BE)
BOONEN, Frederic Maria Jan (Gorsem-Dorp 167, 3803 Sint-Truiden, BE)
Application Number:
IB2018/056152
Publication Date:
February 21, 2019
Filing Date:
August 16, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BOUNCER BVBA (Gorsem-dorp 167, 3803 Sint-Truiden, 3803, BE)
International Classes:
A47G21/08; A47G23/06; B26B29/06; B26D1/02; B26D3/30; B26D7/22
Foreign References:
US20090021058A12009-01-22
US2550154A1951-04-24
US20140131364A12014-05-15
DE3904636C11990-04-26
CA2284336A12001-03-29
DE29511094U11995-09-21
EP2371245A12011-10-05
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIPPAERTS, Yannick Thomas Sidon (Bezuidenhoutseweg 57, 2594 AC Den Haag, 2594 AC, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Device for carrying food products, wherein the device has a first segment and a second segment, wherein the first segment is formed to carry a plate and wherein the second segment is situated adjacently of the first segment and comprises a pair of upright edges which lie at an acute angle relative to each other, so that objects of different dimensions can be clamped between the pair of upright edges.

2. Device according to claim 1 , wherein the pair of upright edges lie at an angle greater than 10 degrees and smaller than 45 degrees relative to each other.

3. Device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein each edge of the pair of upright edges has a length greater than 3 centimetres, preferably greater than 5 centimetres, and has a length smaller than 30 centimetres, preferably smaller than 20 centimetres.

4. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the second segment comprises at least two pairs of upright edges so that a plurality of objects can be clamped simultaneously in the device.

5. Device according to claim 4, wherein different pairs of upright edges have different relative dimensions so that objects of different sizes can be clamped between different pairs of upright edges.

6. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the device is embodied as a tray.

7. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the plate is a predetermined plate and wherein the first segment has an indentation with a shape configured to enclose the plate so that the plate can be fixed relative to the device.

8. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the pair of upright edges is formed by side walls of an opening in the second segment.

9. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the edges of the pair of upright edges have a height greater than 1 centimetre, preferably greater than 2 centimetres.

10. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the device comprises the plate and wherein the plate has a peripheral edge which is interrupted at the position of a central axis.

1 1 . Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the device further comprises a slot in which a blade is placed with the cutting surface in a longitudinal direction and directed toward the opening of the slot so that an object which is moved through the slot is cut by the blade.

12. Device according to any one of the foregoing claims, wherein an underside of the device and wherein the upright edges are provided with an anti-slip surface.

Description:
Tray

The invention relates to a device for carrying food products, wherein the device has a first segment and a second segment, wherein the first segment is formed to carry a plate and wherein the second segment is situated adjacently of the first segment.

When the food products are carried from location A to location B a tray (also referred to as serving tray) is often used for this purpose. When food products are presented to a person use is also often made of a tray. In care institutions such as hospitals and old people's homes these trays often have a rectangular form and are configured to carry a plate on one side of the rectangle. The tray is further configured to carry other food products, such as beverages, sauces, herbs and/or aids such as cutlery, glass, cup and so on, in addition to the plate. The device is often optimized here for transporting and/or presenting the food products and aids on the device in stable manner.

A drawback of the known device for carrying food products is that the functionality of the device is substantially limited to transporting and presenting the food products.

It is an object of the invention to make the device more multifunctional.

The device according to the invention is for this purpose characterized in that the second segment comprises a pair of upright edges which lie at an acute angle to each other, so that objects of different dimensions can be clamped between the pair of upright edges.

The invention is based on the insight that traditional devices for carrying food products are not adapted, or are not adapted effectively, to people with one functional arm. When people with only one functional arm have to handle the food products on the device, traditional devices for carrying food products have been found unsuitable. The device is more particularly insufficiently configured to hold food products, carriers thereof or other aids which are necessary for processing food products. The device according to the invention is suitable for transporting, presenting and handling food products, and is thereby more multifunctional.

The device according to the invention is provided on one side with a plate carrier. On the other side the device according to the invention has a pair of upright edges at an acute angle relative to each other. The upright edges, provided in the second segment and placed at an acute angle to each other, provide a surprising solution for people with only one functional arm. Because the upright edges have an acute angle relative to each other, the distance between the upright edges will vary continuously depending on the position between the upright edges. This allows objects of different dimensions to be clamped between the upright edges. In practice it will be possible to first clamp an object between the edges of the pair of upright edges, and then use the object, with only one functional arm.

A jam container can for instance first be clamped between the upright edges with one arm.

Once the container is clamped, the container can be opened by removing the lid or the cover from the container with the one functional arm, while the container itself is clamped between the upright edges. The jam can then be scooped from the container using for instance a knife or spoon while the container is being held between the upright edges. After the container has been used, it can also be removed again using the only one functional arm, so that another object can be used in similar manner.

This example clarifies a frequent problem for people with only one functional arm. This description also clearly shows that the solution of the invention for people with only one functional arm enables operations which are otherwise not possible. The pair of upright edges, which lie at an acute angle to each other, allow an object to be easily clamped between the upright edges. Not only does this substantially predetermine the position in the horizontal plane, it also provides resistance to an upward and/or downward movement of the object. This allows smooth further manipulation of the object without having to hold on to the object itself. This in contrast to for instance a device and a plate and/or a bowl having corresponding shapes. Such corresponding shapes would be able to determine a position of the plate and/or bowl in the horizontal plane, but will rarely stop an upward force. Such devices with plates and/or bowls with corresponding dimensions will in any case be unsuitable for clamping objects of different dimensions. The upright edges according to the invention allow jam containers, containers with spreadable products, butter dishes, sauce containers and other types of object of different dimensions and shapes to be clamped so that further manipulation by a person with only one functional arm is possible.

The edges of the pair of upright edges preferably lie at an angle greater than 10° and smaller than 45° relative to each other. Tests have shown that, depending on the anti-slip properties of the upright edges, objects can easily be clamped and undamped between upright edges placed at an angle greater than 10° and smaller than 45°. When the upright edges are provided with a layer having a high friction coefficient, this being a good anti-slip layer, a greater angle, for instance between 30 and 45 degrees, can be opted for. When a smoother material, this typically being a less good anti-slip layer, is chosen for forming the upright edges, the angle is preferably smaller, for instance between 25 and 10 degrees.

Each edge of a pair of upright edges preferably has a length greater than 3 cm, preferably greater than 5 cm, and a length smaller than 30 cm, preferably smaller than 20 cm. Tests have shown that when the edges are shorter than 3 cm, the edges are insufficiently suitable for clamping different objects. When the edges are greater than 30 cm it becomes difficult to provide the edges in a device which is user-friendly. Edges having a length of about 15 cm ± 5cm are deemed optimal for clamping objects of different dimensions therebetween and for being provided in the device.

The second segment preferably comprises at least two pairs of upright edges so that a plurality of objects can be clamped simultaneously in the device. Enabling a plurality of objects to be clamped in the device simultaneously further increases the functionality and user-friendliness of the device.

The device is preferably embodied as a tray. In the context of this description a tray is defined as a predominantly flat, stiff, plate-like structure, preferably having a substantially rectangular shape. Alternatively, the tray can have a substantially round shape, wherein one half of the round shape is configured as first segment and the second half of the round shape is configured as second segment. In order to make optimal use of the available surface area the plate will have to have an adapted shape when the tray is round, so as to sufficiently cover the first segment. A half moon-shaped plate can thus be provided. When the tray is rectangular, a round plate can be provided without appreciable loss of efficiency. Alternatively, a rectangular plate can then be provided which fills the first segment well. A substantially flat, plate-like structure can be manufactured, transported and manipulated in simple manner. Its stiffness allows the plate-like structure to function as a carrier.

The plate is preferably predetermined and the first segment is preferably provided with an indentation having a shape configured to enclose the plate so that the plate can be fixed relative to the device. Fixing the plate relative to the device allows a user with one functional arm to manipulate objects on the plate more easily, because the fixation enables the plate to counter forces exerted by the user. This for instance makes it possible to spread something on a slice of bread, wherein a sliding movement in the horizontal plane is typically performed over the slice of bread lying on the plate. By fixing the plate, the plate will in such a situation not slide relative to the device.

The pair of upright edges is preferably formed by side walls of an opening in the second segment. Particularly when the device has a considerable thickness at the position of the second segment, for instance a thickness greater than 1 centimetre, more preferably a thickness greater than 2 cm, openings can be provided in the second segment, preferably wholly through the second segment, this opening forming the pair of upright edges at the position of its edges. An opening has further been found easy to clean, this further increasing the hygiene of the device. This also further increases the convenience of use of the device.

The edges of the pair of upright edges preferably have a height greater than 1 cm, preferably greater than 2 cm. Providing the upright edges with such a height enables objects to be clamped optimally between the upright edges.

The device preferably comprises a plate. The plate has a peripheral edge which is interrupted at the position of the central axis. Interrupting the peripheral edge at the position of the central axis makes it possible to position food products against the edge relative to the interruption and thus cut them by pulling a knife through the interruption, while the food products are pressed against the edge. This allows people with only one functional arm to cut food products

independently.

The combination of elements of the device allows something to be spread on a slice of bread on the plate, and then allows the bread to be cut, as described above. For the cutting, the slice of bread is positioned against the upright edge of the plate, with the central axis running through its centre, such that the knife can be moved over the central axis, through the interruption of the upright edge, and the bread is thereby cut.

The device further preferably comprises a slot in which a blade is placed with the cutting surface in the longitudinal direction and directed toward the opening of the slot so that an object which is moved through the slot is cut by a blade. Providing such a cutting device on the device according to the invention in fixed manner once again allows a person with only one functional arm to open different types of packagings by moving the packaging through the slot.

The underside of the device and the upright edges are preferably provided with an anti-slip surface. The anti-slip surface prevents the device from sliding relative to a table or other base when a user with one functional arm is manipulating objects on the device. The anti-slip layer at the position of the upright edges increases the grip of the upright edges on the objects which are clamped between the upright edges.

The invention will now be further described on the basis of an exemplary embodiment shown in the drawing.

In the drawing:

figure 1 shows a device according to a preferred embodiment;

figure 2 shows a device of figure 1 wherein plate and tray are detached from each other; figure 3 shows a detail view of a cutting device which forms a preferred part of the device according to the invention;

figure 4 shows a top view of the upright edges in a preferred embodiment of the device; and

figure 5 shows a further view of a tray and a cutting device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

The same or similar elements are designated in the drawing with the same reference numerals.

Figure I shows a device 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. Device 1 is embodied as a substantially rectangular tray with plate, wherein a right-hand side of the tray forms the first segment 2 and the left-hand side of the tray forms a second segment 3. First segment 2 is configured to carry a plate 4. Second segment 3 comprises a plurality of pairs of upright edges. Figure 1 shows three pairs of upright edges which are designated with reference numerals 5a, 5b and 5c. In the embodiment of figure 1 the upright edges 5 are formed by providing openings 7 in the body of tray 1. In order to optimize the height of upright edges 5 tray 1 takes a thicker form at the position of second segment 3 than at the position of first segment 2. Openings 7 are formed all the way through tray 1. Upright edges 5 could alternatively be formed as walls or fins which are added on top of the surface of second segment 2. The advantage of the openings of the embodiment of figure 1 is the improved ease of cleaning. In the shown embodiment the openings are formed with rounded corners, which further increase the ease of cleaning.

Figure 2 shows the device 1 of figure 1, wherein plate 4 is shown at a distance from device 1 . In the embodiment of figures 1 and 2 device 1 and plate 4 are shaped such that they form a functional whole. Plate 4 can thus be deemed a part of device 1, wherein first segment 2 and second segment 3 can together be deemed a tray, while plate 4 can function separately of and/or together with the tray. First segment 2 is provided with an indentation 6 having a shape corresponding to the shape of the bottom of plate 4. This allows plate 4 to be placed in the indentation 6 of first segment 2 so that plate 4 is unable to slide appreciably relative to first segment 2.

Figure 2 further shows that plate 4 has a peripheral edge 8. Peripheral edge 8 is preferably interrupted at the position of a central axis 9 lying in the horizontal plane. The interruption is designated in figure 2 with reference numeral 10. Interruption 10 allows for cutting with a knife along the central axis 9 of the plate without the peripheral edge impeding the movement of the knife. The peripheral edge will however further obstruct food products lying on the plate when the knife moves in the direction of the peripheral edge, so that the food products do not slide off the plate. This feature, in combination with the plate 4 which can be placed in indentation 6 whereby sliding of plate 4 relative to the tray is prevented, allows a person to still be able to cut food products comfortably with only one functional arm.

Figure 3 shows an optional cutting device 1 1 which can provided on or at device 1. In the embodiment of figure 3 cutting device 1 1 is provided on an edge of second segment 3 of the tray. Cutting device 1 1 comprises a slot 12 in which a blade 13 is placed in the longitudinal direction of the slot. The blade is here placed in slot 12 such that the slot is narrowed in the longitudinal direction. This has the result that when a packaging is moved through slot 12, this packaging will be cut open by blade 13. This allows the person with only one functional arm to cut various objects and packagings. An elongate bag containing sugar or salt can thus for instance be moved through the slot so that the bag is cut open.

Cutting device 1 1 is preferably mounted removably on device 1. This can be done by means of a conical clamping connection in which device 1 has an opening 20 which corresponds to a protrusion 21 on cutting device 1 1 . The removable connection allows cutting device 1 1 to be replaced, for instance when blade 13 is dull or broken. The connection between device 1 and cutting device 1 1 is further preferably symmetrical so that the cutting device can be connected to device 1 in two angular positions, differing 180 degrees from each other. This allows a user to determine the cutting direction by placing the cutting device on device 1 with slot 12 directed forward or with slot 12 directed rearward. By removing cutting device 1 1 from device 1 , cutting device 1 1 and device 1 can each be cleaned more effectively.

At the position of cutting device 1 1 device 1 is provided on its underside with a recess 19 having at least the size of cutting device 1 1 so that device 1 is stackable, even when cutting device 1 1 is mounted. The stackability further increases the convenience of use of device 1.

Blade 13 is preferably countersunk in slot 12 such that blade 13 is shielded from the surrounding area by slot 12. This reduces the chance of a user of device 1 sustaining an undesired injury from blade 13.

Figure 4 illustrates the operation of the pair of upright edges 5 of the second segment 3. The figure shows two pairs of upright edges, designated respectively with reference numeral 5a and 5b. The upright edges 5a and 5b are formed as walls of openings 7, in accordance with the embodiments of figures 1 and 2. Each pair of upright edges 5a, 5b has a first upright edge 14 and a second upright edge 15. First upright edge 14 is placed at a distance from and at an angle to the second upright edge 15. The angle of the first pair of upright edges is designated in figure 4 with a and the angle between the second pair of upright edges is designated in figure 4 with reference symbol β. Angles a and β need not necessarily be equal. Angles a and β are acute angles. To enable clamping of different types of object, with different dimensions and shapes, upright edges are preferably not positioned identically relative to each other. Figure 4 thus shows an embodiment in which the first pair of upright edges 5a is placed considerably closer together than the second pair of upright edges 5b. It is hereby possible to place and clamp objects between the first pair of upright edges 5a which are smaller than objects which can be placed and clamped between the second pair of upright edges 5b. The first object 16 is smaller than the second object 17. In embodiments of the invention it would be possible that the second object 17 could be clamped between the second pair of upright edges 5b but is too large to be placed between the first pair of upright edges 5a. The skilled person will appreciate that when an object 16, 17 is placed between upright edges 5, the object can be moved in a clamping direction 18 so as to clamp the object between the upright edges.

The underside of the tray with first segment 2 and second segment 3 is preferably provided with an anti-slip layer. The underside of plate 4 is preferably also provided with an anti-slip layer. Upright edges 5 are preferably also provided with an anti-slip layer. An anti-slip layer is a layer which increases the friction coefficient. This increases the convenience of use of the device.

The device is preferably one whole formed with rounded corners. The rounded corners are preferably corners with a radius of curvature greater than 0.5 cm, preferably greater than 1 cm. Rounded corners facilitate cleaning of the device. A good ease of cleaning is an advantage since device 1 is mainly intended for carrying food products.

The skilled person will appreciate on the basis of the above description that the invention can be embodied in different ways and on the basis of different principles. The invention is not limited to the above described embodiments. The above described embodiments and the figures are purely illustrative and serve only to increase understanding of the invention. The invention will not therefore be limited to the embodiments described herein, but is defined in the claims.