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1. WO1991014626 - SYSTEME DE RECONFIGURATION DE CONTENEUR

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A nestable container that is formed as a product of a process that includes the steps of:
a) providing an open-top container that is formed from metal and that has upstanding, generally cylindrical side wall means including an uninterrupted band of metal sheet stock arranged in a ring-like band for defining a side wall that extends with substantially uniform diameter between spaced, opposed ends thereof, with the side wall including rim formation means defined adjacent one of the ends thereof for surrounding an upwardly facing opening that is of substantially the same diameter as is the uniform diameter of the side wall, and that has a circular bottom wall formed from metal sheet stock that is connected by a circumferentially extending seam to the other of the opposed ends for closing said other end and for cooperating with the side wall to form a generally cylindrical, open-top container having a length that extends along an imaginary axis that extends centrally through the container and coaxially with respect to the side wall means, with the container having a capability to receive and contain a quantity of fluid as by filling the open-top container to its rim formation; and,
b) reconfiguring the generally cylindrical, open-top container to provide a container that has 1) first side wall portions that are substantially unchanged in configuration in the immediate vicinity of the rim formation so as to render the upwardly facing opening unchanged in size and shape, 2) second side wall portions that are tapered along at least a majority of said length so as to effectively diminish the diameter of the reconfigured container as the side wall approaches the seam that connects the side wall to the bottom wall, 3) third side wall portions that extend between and provide a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the first and second side wall portions, 4) a plurality of tapered flute formations extending along the second side wall portions and being defined by a plurality of smoothly curved surface features that are introduced into the second side wall portions to give the second side wall portions a tapered, fluted configuration that narrows in diameter as it approaches the bottom wall, 5) with the flute formations extending across the seam that connects the second side wall portions to peripheral portions of the bottom wall, 6) with the bottom wall having a
substantially circular central portion thereof that is moved axially from the vicinity of the seam in a direction extending away from the rim formation so as to effectively elongate the container and to define a circular container bottom having an outer diameter that is smaller than is the diameter of the first side wall portions that are located in the immediate vicinity of the rim, 7) with such peripheral portions of the bottom wall as extend from the vicinity of the seam toward the central portion of the bottom wall serving to provide complexly configured transition surfaces that extend the flute formations downwardly from the vicinity of the seam and curve radially inwardly toward the central portion, 8) with a depending ring-like formation being provided to circumferentially surround the circular central portion and to establish a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the peripheral portions of the bottom wall and the central portion, 9) with the integrity of the seam being preserved 3A-such that the resulting reconfigured container retains its fluid-carrying capability.

2. The nestable container of Claim 1 wherein the depending ring-like formation that circumferentially surrounds the circular central portion of the bottom wall and connects the central portion with the peripheral portions of the bottom wall providing bottom surface means including a ring-like bottom surface that extends within a substantially horizontal plane for engaging a flat, horizontal support surface along at least a majority of the circumferential length of the ring-like bottom surface so as to support the nestable container in a stable manner atop the support surface.

3. The nestable container of Claim 2 wherein the depending ring-like formation is of channel-shape in that it defines a ring-like trough that opens upwardly into the interior of the nestable container for receiving a portion of such liquid as may be introduced into the container .

4. The nestable container of Claim 3 wherein the depending ring-like formation defines a tough that has a maximum radial width of about three-eights inch to about five-eights inch.

5. The nestable container of Claim 2 wherein the depending ring-like formation extends beneath the central portion of the bottom wall by a distance of about one-fourth inch to about one-half inch.

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6. The nestable container of Claim 2 wherein the substantially circular central portion of the bottom wall has at least a centrally located part thereof that is crowned upwardly so as to extend slightly into the interior of the container as compared with a surrounding peripheral part of the bottom wall.

7. The nestable container of Claim 6 wherein said peripheral part of the central portion of the bottom wall is of substantially annular shape and extends in a substantially horizontal plane.

8. The nestable container of Claim 7 wherein the upwardly crowned central part extends upwardly from the horizontal plane of the peripheral part and projects into the interior of the container for a maximum distance of between about one-eight inch and about one-quarter inch.

9. The nestable container of Claim 7 wherein the upwardly crowned central part of the central portion is defined by a substantially planar central segment of substantially circular configuration having an outer diameter that is spaced from the inner diameter of the annular peripheral part that surrounds the central segment, and a non-planar ring-like segment connects the central segment in a contiguous and uninterrupted manner to the peripheral part, with the plane of the central segment being spaced upwardly from the plane of the peripheral part.

10. The nestable container of Claim 1 wherein the flute formations are arranged so as to extend along S (P
the majority of the length of the side wall of the reconfigured container.

11. The nestable container of Claim 10 wherein the flute formations are of substantially identical configuration as compared one with another .

12. The nestable container of Claim 11 wherein the flute formations are provided at substantially equally spaced locations about the circumference of the side wall of the reconfigured container.

13. The nestable container of Claim 12 wherein there are an even number of the flute formations, and the flute formations are arranged about the circumference of the side wall in opposed pairs, with the flute formations of each of the opposed pairs being on opposite sides of the side wall.

14. The nestable container of Claim 13 wherein the flute formations are eight in number.

15. The nestable container of Claim 1 wherein the outer diameter of the bottom of the reconfigured container is about two-thirds of the diameter of the first side wall portions which are located in the immediate vicinity of the rim formation.

16. The nestable container of Claim 1 wherein the side and bottom of the reconfigured container are shaped so as to permit four of the reconfigured containers that are substantially identical one with another to be nested in an upwardly extending nest, with portions of Jt
three of the four containers extending into at least one of the underlying containers in the nest, and with the height of the nest of four containers not exceeding the equivalent height of two of said generally cylindrical open-top containers stacked one atop another.

17. The nestable container of Claim 1 additionally including substantially horizontal ring-like formation means provided in the third side wall portions for providing at least one radially outwardly extending ringlike bulge in said side wall that can be engaged by apparatus for supporting the nestable container.

18. The nestable container of Claim 17 wherein said horizontal ring-like formation means includes a pair of said ring-like bulges at vertically spaced locations in the third side wall portions of the side wall.

19. A nestable container that is formed as a product of a process that includes the steps of:
a) providing an open-top container that is formed from metal and that has upstanding, generally cylindrical side wall means including an uninterrupted band of metal sheet stock arranged in a ring-like band for defining a side wall that extends with substantially uniform diameter between spaced, opposed ends thereof, with the side wall including rim formation means defined adjacent one of the ends thereof for surrounding an upwardly facing opening that is of substantially the same diameter as is the uniform diameter of the side wall, and that has a circular bottom wall formed from metal sheet stock that is connected by a circumferentially extending seam to the other of the opposed ends for closing said other end and 2S
for cooperating with the side wall to form a generally cylindrical, open-top container having a length that extends along an imaginary axis that extends centrally through the container and coaxially with respect to the side wall means, with the container having a capability to receive and contain a quantity of fluid as by filling the open-top container to its rim formation; and,
b) reconfiguring the generally cylindrical, open-top container to provide a container that has 1) first side wall portions that are substantially unchanged in configuration in the immediate vicinity of the rim formation so as to render the upwardly facing opening unchanged in size and shape, 2) second side wall portions that are tapered along at least a majority of said length so as to effectively diminish the diameter of the reconfigured container as the side wall approaches the seam that connects the side wall to the bottom wall, 3) third side wall portions that extend between and provide a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the first and second side wall portions, 4) a plurality of tapered flute formations extending along the second side wall portions and being defined by a plurality of smoothly curved surface features that are introduced into the second side wall portions to give the second side wall portions a tapered, fluted configuration that narrows in diameter as it approaches the bottom wall, 5) with the flute formations extending across the seam that connects the second side wall portions to peripheral portions of the bottom wall, 6) with the bottom wall having a substantially circular central portion thereof that is moved axially from the vicinity of the seam in a direction extending away from the rim formation so as to effectively elongate the container and to define a circular container 3°i
bottom having an outer diameter that is smaller than is the diameter of the first side wall portions that are located in the immediate vicinity of the rim, 7) with such peripheral portions of the bottom wall as extend from the vicinity of the seam toward the central portion of the bottom wall serving to provide complexly configured transition surfaces that extend the flute formations downwardly from the vicinity of the seam and curve radially inwardly toward the central portion, 8) with formation means being provided for establishing an uninterrupted connection between the peripheral portions of the bottom wall and the central portion, 9) with the integrity of the seam being preserved such that the resulting reconfigured container retains its fluid-carrying capability, and 10) with the container additionally including ringlike formation means provided in the third side wall portions for providing at least one radially outwardly extending ring-like bulge in said side wall that can be engaged by apparatus for supporting the nestable container.

20. The nestable container of Claim 19 wherein said horizontal ring-like formation means includes a pair of said ring-like bulges at vertically spaced locations in the third side wall portions of the side wall.

21. The nestable container of Claim 20 wherein said formation means for establishing an uninterrupted connection between the peripheral portions of the bottom wall and the central portion of the bottom wall including a depending ring-like formation that circumferentially surrounds the circular central portion and connects in a contiguous and uninterrupted manner with the peripheral portions of the bottom wall and the central portion of the bottom wall.

22. The nestable container of Claim 21 wherein the depending ring-like formation that circumferentially surrounds the circular central portion of the bottom wall and connects the central portion with the peripheral portions of the bottom wall providing bottom surface means includes a ring-like bottom surface that extends within a substantially horizontal plane for engaging a flat, horizontal support surface along at least a majority of the length of the ring-like bottom surface so as to support the nestable container in a stable manner atop the support surface.

23. The nestable container of Claim 22 wherein the depending ring-like formation is of channel-shape in that it defines a ring-like trough that opens upwardly into the interior of the nestable container for receiving a portion of such liquid as may be introduced into the container .

24. The nestable container of Claim 23 wherein the depending ring-like formation defines a tough that has a maximum radial width of about three-eighths inch to about five-eights inch.

25. The nestable container of Claim 22 wherein the depending ring-like formation extends beneath the central portion of the bottom wall by a distance of about one-fourth inch to about one-half inch.

26. The nestable container of Claim 22 wherein the substantially circular central portion of the bottom wall has at least a centrally located part thereof that is crowned upwardly so as to extend slightly into the interior of the container as compared with a surrounding peripheral part of the bottom wall.

27. The nestable container of Claim 26 wherein said peripheral part of the central portion of the bottom wall is of substantially annular shape and extends in a substantially horizontal plane.

28. The nestable container of Claim 27 wherein the upwardly crowned central part extends upwardly from the horizontal plane of the peripheral part and projects into the interior of the container for a maximum distance of between about one-eight inch and about one-quarter inch.

29. The nestable container of Claim 27 wherein the upwardly crowned central part of the central portion is defined by a substantially .planar central segment of substantially circular configuration having an outer diameter that is spaced from the inner diameter of the annular peripheral part that surrounds the central segment, and a non-planar ring-like segment connects the central segment in a contiguous and uninterrupted manner to the peripheral part, with the plane of the central segment being spaced upwardly from the plane of the peripheral part.

30. The nestable container of Claim 21 wherein the flute formations are arranged so as to extend along

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the majority of the length of the side wall of the reconfigured container.

31. The nestable container of Claim 30 wherein the flute formations are of substantially identical configuration as compared one with another.

32. The nestable container of Claim 31 wherein the flute formations are provided at substantially equally spaced locations about the circumference of the side wall of the reconfigured container.

33. The nestable container of Claim 32 wherein there are an even number of the flute formations, and the flute formations are arranged about the circumference of the side wall in opposed pairs, with the flute formations of each of the opposed pairs being on opposite sides of the side wall.

34. The nestable container of Claim 33 wherein the flute formations are eight in number.

35. The nestable container of Claim 21 wherein the outer diameter of the bottom of the reconfigured container is about two-thirds of the diameter of the first side wall portions which are located in the immediate vicinity of the rim formation.

36. The nestable container of Claim 21 wherein the side and bottom of the reconfigured container are shaped so as to permit four of the reconfigured containers that are substantially identical one with another to be nested in an upwardly extending nest, with portions of three of the four containers extending into at least one of the underlying containers in the nest, and with the height of the nest of four containers not exceeding the equivalent height of two of said generally cylindrical open-top containers stacked one atop another.

37. A nestable, open-top container, comprising: a) side wall means including an uninterrupted, generally cylindrical, ring-like band of metal that extends about a central axis between an upper end region and a lower end region to define:
i) upper end formation means including a portion of the side wall means that defines a
rim formation that surrounds an upwardly facing, circular opening for introducing contents into
and for removing contents from the container,
with the upper end formation means also defining a first side wall portion that depends coaxially along the central axis from the rim formation
and is of substantially constant diameter;
ii) second side wall portions that define fluted, tapered wall means including a portion
of the side wall means that joins contiguously
with the upper end formation means and depends
along the central axis, with the fluted, tapered wall means having been formed as by reconfiguring the second side wall portions, with the fluted, tapered wall means having an upper end region being spaced downwardly from the rim formation and extending all the way to the lower end region of the side wall means;
b) bottom wall means including an uninterrupted piece of metal that has a central portion that defines a container bottom that extends transverse to and is intersected by the central axis at a location along the axis spaced beneath the fluted, tapered wall means, and that has peripheral portions that that join contiguously with the central portion for providing a smooth transition between the container bottom and the fluted, tapered wall means , with the bottom wall means having been formed during said reconfiguring of the side wall means as by starting with said piece of metal being generally circular and being circumferentially connected as by a seam to the bottom end region of the side wall means;
c) the fluted, tapered wall means have an upper end region thereof, a lower end region thereof, and extending contiguously from said upper end region to said lower end region, with the fluted, tapered wall means being configured to cooperate with the peripheral portions to provide the container with an upstanding side wall that is tapered along at least a majority of its length so as to effectively diminish the diameter of the container as the side wall approaches the container bottom, with the fluted, tapered wall means including a plurality of tapered flute formations that each extend substantially the full length therealong between said upper and lower end regions, with the flute formations being of substantially identical configuration as compared one with another , with the flute formations being provided at substantially equally spaced locations about the circumference of the container bottom, with there being an even number of the flute formations whereby the flute formations are arranged in opposed pairs so as to extend along opposite sides of the side wall, across the seam that is formed between the bottom end region of the side wall and the circumference of the peripheral portions, and with the integrity of the seam being preserved such that the resulting nestable container maintains a fluid-carrying capability; and,
d) at least a selected one of the side wall means and the bottom wall means being provided with ringlike formation means located near a selected one of said upper and lower end regions thereof, with the ring-like formation means defining an inwardly facing trough that opens into the interior of the container, and with the ring-like formation being engageable to at least assist in supporting the container.

38. The nestable container of Claim 37 wherein the ring-like formation means includes at least one radially outwardly extending bulge-like formation that extends circumferentially about the side wall means at a location near the upper end region of the fluted, tapered side wall means .

39. The nestable container of Claim 38 wherein the ring-like formation means includes a pair of vertically spaced bulge-like formations that extend circumferentially about the side wall means at a location above but near the upper end region of the fluted, tapered side wall means .

40. The nestable container of Claim 37 wherein the ring-like formation means includes a depending, bulgelike formation that is located near the lower end region of the fluted, tapered side wall means.

41. The nestable container of Claim 40 wherein the bulge-like formation forms a transition between and serves to provide a connection between curved peripheral portions of the bottom wall means and a substantially circular central portion of the bottom wall means, with the bulge-like formation circumferentially surrounding the circular central portion and extending downwardly therefrom to define ring-like bottom surface means that extends within a substantially horizontal plane for engaging a flat, horizontal support surface for supporting the nestable container in a stable manner atop the support surface.

42. The nestable container of Claim 40 wherein the depending bulge-like formation is of channel-shape in that it defines a ring-like trough that opens upwardly into the interior of the nestable container for receiving a portion of such liquid contents as may be introduced into the container.

43. The nestable container of Claim 41 wherein the substantially circular central portion of the bottom wall has at least a centrally located part thereof that is crowned upwardly so as to extend slightly into the interior of the container.

44. The nestable container of Claim 37 wherein the flute formations are of substantially identical configuration as compared one with another, and are provided at substantially equally spaced locations about the circumference of the side wall means.

45. The nestable container of Claim 44 wherein there are an even number of the flute formations, the flute formations are arranged about the circumference of the side wall in opposed pairs, with the flute formations of each of the opposed pairs being on opposite sides of the side wall, and the flute formations are eight in number.

46. The nestable container of Claim 37 wherein the side wall means, the bottom wall means, the fluted, tapered wall means, and the ring-like formation means are cooperatively configured so as to permit four of the reconfigured containers that are substantially identical one with another to be nested in an upwardly extending nest, with portions of three of the four containers extending into at least one of the underlying containers in the nest, and with the height of the nest of four containers not exceeding the equivalent height of two of said bands of metal that are utilized to form the side wall means.

47. The nestable container of Claim 46 wherein, when one of said reconfigured containers is nested within another, the ring-like formation of the one container is engageable with the rim formation of said another container.

48. A method of forming a nestable container, comprising the steps of:
a) providing an open-top container that is formed from metal and that has upstanding, generally cylindrical side wall means including an uninterrupted band of metal sheet stock arranged in a ring-like band for defining a side wall that extends with substantially uniform diameter between spaced, opposed ends thereof, with the side wall including rim formation means defined adjacent one of the ends thereof for surrounding an upwardly facing opening that is of substantially the same diameter as is the uniform diameter of the side wall, and that has a circular bottom wall formed from metal sheet stock that is connected by a circumferentially extending seam to the other of the opposed ends for closing said other end and to cooperate with the side wall to form a generally cylindrical, open-top container having a length that extends along an imaginary axis that extends centrally through the container coaxially with the side wall means, and having a capability to receive and contain a quantity of fluid as by filling the open-top container to its rim formation; and,
b) reconfiguring the generally cylindrical, open-top container to provide a container that has 1) first side wall portions that are substantially unchanged in configuration in the immediate vicinity of the rim formation so as to render the upwardly facing opening unchanged in size and shape, 2) second side wall portions that are tapered along at least a majority of said length so as to effectively diminish the diameter of the reconfigured container as the side wall approaches the seam that connects the side wall to the bottom wall, 3) third side wall portions that extend between and provide a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the first and second side wall portions, 4) a plurality of tapered flute formations extending along the second side wall portions and being defined by a plurality of smoothly curved surface features that are introduced into the second side wall portions to give the second side wall portions a tapered, fluted configuration that narrows in diameter as it approaches the bottom wall, 5) with the flute formations extending across the seam that connects the second side wall portions to peripheral portions of the bottom wall, 6) with the bottom wall having a substantially circular central portion thereof that is moved axially from the vicinity of the seam in a direction extending away from the rim formation so as to effectively elongate the container and to define a circular container bottom having an outer diameter that is smaller than is the diameter of the first side wall portions that are located in the immediate vicinity of the rim, 7) with such peripheral portions of the bottom wall as extend from the vicinity of the seam toward the central portion of the bottom wall serving to provide complexly configured transition surfaces that extend the flute formations downwardly from the vicinity of the seam and curve radially inwardly toward the central portion, 8) with a depending ring-like formation being provided to circumferentially surround the circular central portion and to establish a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the peripheral portions of the bottom wall and the central portion, 9) with the integrity of the seam being preserved such that the resulting reconfigured container retains its fluid-carrying capability.

49. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 48.

50. The method of Claim 48 wherein the step of reconfiguring the open-top container includes arranging the flute formations so as to extend along the majority of the length of the side of the reconfigured container.

51. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 50.

52. The method of Claim 50 wherein the step of reconfiguring the open-top container includes forming the SO
flute formations so that they have a substantially identical configuration as compared one with another .

53. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 52.

54. The method of Claim 52 wherein the step of reconfiguring the open-top container includes forming the flute formations so that they are provided at substantially equally spaced locations about the circumference of the side wall of the reconfigured container.

55. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 54.

56. The method of Claim 54 wherein the step of reconfiguring the open-top container includes forming the flute formations so that there are an even number of the flute formations , and the flute formations are arranged about the circumference of the side wall in opposed pairs, with the flute formations of each of the opposed pairs being on opposite sides of the side wall.

57. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 56.

58. The method of Claim 56 wherein the step of reconfiguring the open-top container includes forming the flute formations so that they are eight in number.

59. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 58.

I
60. A method for reconfiguring a generally cylindrical open-top container that is formed from metal and is of the type including a generally cylindrical side wall that defines a container of substantially uniform diameter extending between an open end of the container that is defined by one end region of the side wall, and a closed end that is defined by a generally circular bottom wall that is connected to an opposed end region of the side wall along a seam that extends substantially circumferentially about the bottom wall, to provide a container that is tapered so as to.diminish in diameter along the length of its side wall in a direction extending away from the open end, with a plurality of circumferentially spaced, inwardly tapering flute formations being provided along at least a majority of the length of the side wall and extending across the juncture of the side wall with the bottom wall, and with central portions of the bottom wall being moved axially away from the juncture in said direction so as to elongate and taper the container during reconfiguration and to render the reconfigured container nestable within portions of the open end region of another such container, comprising the steps of:
a) providing a generally cylindrical container of the type including a generally cylindrical side wall that defines a container of substantially uniform diameter extending between an open end of the container that is defined by one end region of the side wall, and a closed end that is defined by a generally circular bottom wall that is connected to an opposed end region of the side wall along a seam that extends;
b) providing a die having a generally cylindrical cavity with an open end for receiving the closed end region of the generally cylindrical container, with SSL
the die having a plurality of projections that taper inwardly for forming tapering flute formations along the side wall and extending onto the bottom wall of the container, and with the die permitting bottom wall portions of a container to be pressed downwardly to press-form a depending ring formation for supporting the container atop a surface;
c) providing a ram for inserting into the generally cylindrical container to engage central portions of the inside surface of the bottom wall to force the container into the die cavity, and to press-form said depend- ing ring formation in the material of the bottom wall; and,
d) reconfiguring the container by positioning the container for movement into the die cavity, and by forcing the ram into contact with the interior surface of central portions of the bottom wall to force the container into the die cavity to form a container that is tapered so as to diminish in diameter along the length of its side wall in a direction extending away from the open end, with a plural-ity of circumferentially spaced, inwardly tapering flute formations being provided along at least a majority of the length of the side wall and extending across the juncture of the side wall with the bottom wall, and with central portions of the bottom wall being moved axially away from the juncture in said direction so as to elongate and taper the container during reconfiguration and to render the reconfigured container nestable within portions of the open end region of another such container.

61. A nestable container formed in accordance with the method of Claim 60.


62. An apparatus for reconfiguring a generally cylindrical container of the type including a generally cylindrical side wall that defines a container of substantially uniform diameter extending between an open end of the container that is defined by one end region of the side wall, and a closed end that is defined by a generally circular bottom wall that is connected to an opposed end region of the side wall along a seam that extends substantially circumferentially about the bottom wall, to provide a container that is tapered so as to narrow in diameter along the length of its side wall with a plurality of circumferentially spaced, inwardly tapering ribs extending along at least a majority of the length of the side wall and extending across the juncture of the side wall with the bottom wall and extending to portions of the bottom wall so as to render the reconfigured container nestable within portions of the open end region of another such container, comprising:
a) die means having a generally cylindrical cavity with an open end for receiving the closed end region of the generally cylindrical container, having a plurality of projections that taper inwardly for forming tapering ribs in the side wall and bottom wall of the container, and having bottom means configured for providing reconfigured containers each with a depending ring-like support formation that surrounds a raised central region of the bottom wall of the reconfigured container;
b) ram means for inserting into the generally cylindrical container to engage portions of the inside surface of the bottom wall to force the container into the die cavity for reconfiguring the container by positioning the container for movement into the die cavity, and by forcing the ram into contact with interior surface portions of the bottom wall to force the container into the die cavity to form a container that is tapered so as to narrow in diameter along the length of its side wall with a plurality of circumferentially spaced, inwardly tapering ribs extending along at least a majority of the length of the side wall and extending across the juncture of the side wall with the bottom wall and extending to portions of the bottom wall so as to render the
reconfigured container nestable within portions of the open end region of another such container; and,
c) with the ram means being configured to cooperate with the die means for providing reconfigured containers each with a depending ring-like support formation that surrounds a raised central region of the bottom wall of the reconfigured container

63. The apparatus of Claim 62 additionally including retainer means for engaging the generally cylindrical side wall of the container in the vicinity of the open end region thereof to maintain dimensional and shape stability thereof during the reconfiguration process.

64. The apparatus of Claim 63 wherein the retainer means is connected to the ram and is movable relative thereto.

65. The apparatus of Claim 62 wherein the circumferentially spaced, inwardly tapering ribs are arranged in opposed pairs on opposite sides of the die, are substantially equally spaced about the interior of the die, and are of substantially identical configuration as compared one with another.

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66. The apparatus of Claim 62 additionally including means connected to the die for engaging a reconfigured container that has been formed within the die for removing the reconfigured container from the die.

67. A method of loading a maximum number of empty, open-top, metal containers, into a given space, wherein each of the containers has substantially the same generally cylindrical shape and size, comprising the steps of:
a) providing a plurality of open-top containers that each are formed from metal, and that each has upstanding, generally cylindrical side wall means including an uninterrupted band of metal sheet stock arranged in a ring-like band for defining a side wall that extends with substantially uniform diameter between spaced, opposed ends thereof, with the side wall including rim formation means defined adjacent one of the ends thereof for surrounding an upwardly facing opening that is of substantially the same diameter as is the uniform diameter of the side wall, and that has a circular bottom wall formed from metal sheet stock that is connected by a circumferentially extending seam to the other of the opposed ends for closing said other end and to cooperate with the side wall to form a generally cylindrical, open-top container having a length that extends along an imaginary axis that extends centrally through the container coaxially with the side wall means, and having a capability to receive and contain a quantity of fluid as by filling the open-top container to its rim formation;
b) reconfiguring the generally cylindrical, open-top containers to provide containers that each have 1) first side wall portions that are substantially S >
unchanged in configuration in the immediate vicinity of the rim formation so as to render the upwardly facing opening unchanged in size and shape, 2) second side wall portions that are tapered along at least a majority of said length so as to effectively diminish the diameter of the reconfigured container as the side wall approaches the seam that connects the side wall to the bottom wall, 3) third side wall portions that extend between and provide a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the first and second side wall portions, 4) a plurality of tapered flute formations extending along the second side wall portions and being defined by a plurality of smoothly curved surface features that are introduced into the second side wall portions to give the second side wall portions a tapered, fluted configuration that narrows in diameter as it approaches the bottom wall, 5) with the flute formations extending across the seam that connects the second side wall portions to peripheral portions of the bottom wall, 6) with the bottom wall having a
substantially circular central portion thereof that is moved axially from the vicinity of the seam in a direction extending away from the rim formation so as to effectively elongate the container and to define a circular container bottom having an outer diameter that is smaller than is the diameter of the first side wall portions that are located in the immediate vicinity of the rim, 7) with such peripheral portions of the bottom wall as extend from the vicinity of the seam toward the central portion of the bottom wall serving to provide complexly configured transition surfaces that extend the flute formations downwardly from the vicinity of the seam and curve radially inwardly toward the central portion, 8) with a depending ring-like formation being provided to circumferentially surround the circular central portion and to establish a contiguous and uninterrupted connection between the peripheral portions of the bottom wall and the central portion, 9) with the integrity of the seam being preserved such that the resulting reconfigured container retains its fluid-carrying capability; and,
c) nesting the reconfigured containers so as to extend portions of selected ones of the containers into adjacent containers to form at least one nest of the reconfigured containers, with as many of the reconfigured containers as possible being incorporated into the at least one nest, with a minimal number of such nests being formed so as to enable the containers to be loaded into the given space while minimizing the amount of space that is consumed by the empty, reconfigured containers, and with each such container that is nested within an adjacent surrounding container having its depending ring-like formation extending into engagement with the rim formation of the adjacent surrounding container so as to assure that containers nested one within another do not become wedged together.