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Publication numberUS20010035424 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/833,948
Publication dateNov 1, 2001
Filing dateApr 12, 2001
Priority dateApr 12, 2000
Publication number09833948, 833948, US 2001/0035424 A1, US 2001/035424 A1, US 20010035424 A1, US 20010035424A1, US 2001035424 A1, US 2001035424A1, US-A1-20010035424, US-A1-2001035424, US2001/0035424A1, US2001/035424A1, US20010035424 A1, US20010035424A1, US2001035424 A1, US2001035424A1
InventorsRobert Combe, David Jochem, Timmy Willett
Original AssigneeCombe Robert L., Jochem David J., Willett Timmy L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hinged container lid assembly
US 20010035424 A1
Abstract
A closure for an open mouth of a container is provided. The closure includes a rim and a lid frame configured to mate with the rim. The rim includes an opening and is adapted to be coupled to a top edge of the open mouth of the container. The closure further includes a connector having a cover portion coupled to the lid frame in order to form a lid and a hinge portion coupled to the rim. The lid frame is made of a first material and the connector is made of a second material. The connector is provided to support the lid for pivotable movement relative to the rim between a closed position wherein the lid closes the opening formed in the rim and an opened position wherein the lid lies away from the rim.
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Claims(29)
1. A closure for an open mouth of a container, the closure comprising
a rim adapted to be coupled to a top edge of a container at an open mouth of the container, the rim being formed to include an opening,
a lid frame configured to mate with the rim, and
a connector formed to include a cover portion coupled to the lid frame in order to form a lid and a hinge portion coupled to the rim and provided to support the lid for pivotable movement relative to the rim between a closed position wherein the lid closes the opening formed in the rim and an opened position wherein the lid lies away from the rim, the lid frame being made of a first material and the connector being made of a second material.
2. The closure of
claim 1
, wherein the first material is a plastics material and the second material is a plastic film substrate.
3. The closure of
claim 2
, wherein a thickness of the plastic film substrate is approximately 40-60 microns.
4. The closure of
claim 3
, wherein the plastic film substrate includes molecules forming a uni-directional pattern.
5. The closure of
claim 2
, wherein the lid frame includes a top portion and a rim portion coupled to the cover portion and wherein the plastic film substrate is coupled to a top surface of the top portion of the lid frame.
6. The closure of
claim 5
, wherein the closure further includes a latch coupled to the rim portion of the lid frame and wherein the latch is positioned to engage and lie below the outer wall of the rim when the lid is in the closed position to normally maintain the lid in the closed position.
7. The closure of
claim 5
, wherein the connector further includes another hinge portion coupled to the rim and integrally coupled to the cover portion of the connector.
8. The closure of
claim 2
, wherein the hinge portion includes a first portion coupled to the cover portion and the lid frame, a second portion coupled to the rim, and a linking portion coupled to and positioned to extend between the first portion and the second portion to provide a pivot point about which the lid pivots when moving relative to the rim between the closed positioned an the opened position.
9. The closure of
claim 2
, wherein the rim includes an inner wall, an outer wall spaced apart from the inner wall, and a top wall coupled to and positioned to extend between the inner wall and the outer wall and wherein the inner wall, outer wall, and top wall cooperate to form a channel adapted to receive a top edge of the container therein.
10. The closure of
claim 9
, wherein the inner wall of the rim includes a length equal to ⅛ of an inch.
11. The closure of
claim 9
, wherein the rim further includes a detent coupled to the outer wall of the rim adapted to be received within a notch of the container to secure the closure onto the container.
12. The closure of
claim 1
, wherein the first material is a plastics material and the second material is a paper material.
13. The closure of
claim 12
, wherein the lid frame forms a ring and the cover portion of the paper material is positioned to lie within the ring.
14. The closure of
claim 1
, wherein the hinge portion includes a first segment coupled to the lid frame, a second segment coupled to the rim, and a linking segment coupled to and positioned to lie between the first and second segments.
15. The closure of
claim 14
, wherein the linking segment includes a pivot point about which the lid pivots when moved between the opened position and the closed position.
16. The closure of
claim 1
, wherein the connector further includes another hinge portion coupled to the rim and integrally coupled to the cover portion of the connector.
17. A closure for an open mouth of a container, the closure comprising
a rim adapted to be coupled to a top edge of a container at an open mouth of the container, the rim being formed to include an opening,
a lid configured to mate with the rim to close the opening formed in the rim, and
a hinge portion made of a plastic film substrate and coupled to the rim and lid to support the lid for pivotable movement relative to the rim between a closed position wherein the lid closes the opening formed in the rim and an opened position wherein the lid lies away from the rim, the lid including a lid frame made of a plastics material and a cover portion made of the plastic film substrate and integrally coupled to the hinge portion.
18. The closure of
claim 17
, wherein the lid frame includes a top portion and a rim portion and the cover portion of the plastic film substrate is coupled to the top portion of the lid frame.
19. The closure of
claim 17
, wherein the hinge portion includes a frame-coupling segment coupled to the lid frame, a rim-coupling segment coupled to the rim, and a linking segment coupled to and positioned to extend between the frame-coupling segment and the rim-coupling segment.
20. The closure of
claim 19
, wherein the linking segment of the hinge portion includes a pivot point about which the lid pivots when moving between the closed position and the opened position.
21. The closure of
claim 18
wherein the lid frame includes a latch coupled to the rim portion of the lid frame and positioned to engage a bottom surface of the rim.
22. The closure of
claim 17
wherein a thickness of the plastic film substrate is approximately 40-60 microns.
23. A closure for an open mouth of a container, the closure comprising
a rim adapted to be coupled to a top edge of a container at an open mouth of the container, the rim being formed to include an opening,
a lid frame configured to mate with the rim, and
means for coupling the lid frame to the rim for pivotable movement of the lid frame relative to the rim, the closing means being made of a plastic film substrate.
24. The closure of
claim 23
, wherein the coupling means includes a cover portion coupled to the lid frame and a hinge portion integrally coupled to the cover portion and coupled to the rim.
25. The closure of
claim 24
, wherein the coupling means includes another hinge portion integrally coupled to the cover portion and coupled to the rim.
26. The closure of
claim 23
, wherein the lid frame is formed to include an opening and the closure further includes means for closing the opening.
27. The closure of
claim 26
, wherein the closing means and the coupling means includes a cover portion coupled to the lid frame and a hinge portion integrally coupled to the cover portion and coupled to the rim.
28. A method of coupling a lid frame to a rim adapted to be coupled to a container, the method comprising the steps of
providing a first mold cavity and a second mold cavity,
inserting a connector into the first and second mold cavities and a linking cavity interconnecting the first and second mold cavities, and
filling the first and second mold cavities with a plastics material to form a rim in the first mold cavity that is coupled to one portion of the connector and to form a lid frame in the second mold cavity that is coupled to another portion of the connector in order to form a closure for an open mouth of a container.
29. A method of installing a lid assembly on a container to cover a top opening formed in the container, the method comprising the steps of
providing a lid assembly and a container, the lid assembly being formed to include a rim, a lid frame, and a connector having a first portion coupled to the rim and a second portion coupled to the lid frame such that the second portion of the connector and the lid frame form a lid movable between an opened position and a closed position relative to the rim,
coupling a plastic membrane to the rim of the lid assembly when the lid is in the opened position to close a central opening formed in the rim,
moving the lid from the opened position to the closed position in order to couple the lid to the rim and trap the plastic membrane in an interior position between the rim and the lid, and
coupling the rim of the lid assembly to the container to cause the plastic membrane and the lid to cover a top opening formed in the container.
Description

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/196,871, filed Apr. 12, 2000 and to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/268,996, filed Feb. 15, 2001, both of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a hinged lid assembly for a container, and particularly to a hinged lid assembly that is molded in a die. More particularly, the present invention relates to a hinged lid assembly having a living hinge.

[0003] According to the present disclosure, a closure for an open mouth of a container is provided. The closure includes a rim, having an opening, adapted to be coupled to a top edge of the container at the open mouth of the container. The closure further includes a lid frame configured to mate with the rim and a connector coupled to the lid frame and the rim. The connector includes a cover portion coupled to the lid frame in order to form a lid and a hinge portion coupled to the rim. The hinge portion is provided to support the lid for pivotable movement relative to the rim between a closed position wherein the lid closes the opening formed in the rim and an opened position wherein the lid lies away from the rim. The lid frame of the closure is made of a first material and the connector is made of a second material.

[0004] In preferred embodiments, the lid frame and the rim of the closure are made from an injection molded plastics material and the connector is made from either a plastic film substrate or a paperboard insert. The connector includes two hinge portions each coupled to the cover portion of the connector and the rim of the closure. The rim of the closure and the lid frame of the closure are injection molded around the connector.

[0005] A method of installing a lid assembly on the container is provided by first coupling a plastic membrane to the rim of the closure when the lid is in the opened position to close the opening of the rim. Next, the lid is moved from the opened position to the closed position to trap the plastic membrane in an interior position between the rim and the lid. Finally, the rim is coupled to the container to cause the plastic membrane and the lid of the lid assembly to cover the top opening formed in the container.

[0006] Features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the invention as presently perceived.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The detailed description particularly refers to the accompanying figures in which:

[0008]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hinged lid assembly mounted on a top edge of a container and arranged to lie in an opened position and showing a living hinge connecting a rim coupled to the container to a lid configured to mate with the rim to close a top opening formed in the container;

[0009]FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1 showing the hinged lid assembly in the closed position where the lid of the assembly is coupled to the rim;

[0010]FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing the living hinge of the lid coupled to the rim and further showing a plastic film substrate of the lid coupled to a plastic lid frame of lid and formed to provide the living hinge;

[0011]FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

[0012]FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing the lid assembly of FIGS. 1 and 2 coupled to a “rolled” paper container;

[0013]FIG. 6 is a sectional view showing a latch of the lid frame of the lid coupled to the rim in order to keep the hinged lid assembly in the closed position;

[0014]FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic sectional view of a two-part mold for forming the lid frame and the rim of the hinged lid assembly;

[0015]FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 8 showing the mold in an opened position and showing insertion of the plastic film substrate between a lower mold portion and an upper mold portion of the mold prior to injecting a plastics material into the mold;

[0016]FIG. 9 is an enlarged view similar to FIG. 8 showing the placement of the plastic film substrate within a mold cavity of the now-closed mold;

[0017]FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 after a plastics material has been discharged into the mold cavity so as to mold the rim and the lid frame “around” the plastic film substrate to establish a plastic film living hinge coupling the rim to the lid frame;

[0018]FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an alternate hinged lid assembly mounted on the top edge of the container and arranged to lie in an opened position and showing an alternate living hinge connecting the rim coupled to the container to an alternate lid configured to mate with the rim to close the top opening of the container;

[0019]FIG. 12 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 11 showing the alternate hinged lid assembly in the closed position where the lid of the assembly is coupled to the rim;

[0020]FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 11 showing the living hinge of the lid coupled to the rim and further showing a paperboard insert of the lid coupled to a plastic lid frame of the alternate lid and formed to provide the living hinge;

[0021]FIG. 14 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 13 showing the lid assembly of FIGS. 11 and 12 coupled to the “rolled” paper container also shown in FIG. 5;

[0022]FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 12;

[0023]FIG. 16 is a sectional view taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 17 showing a latch of the lid frame of the lid coupled to the rim in order to keep the alternate hinged lid assembly in the closed position;

[0024]FIG. 17 is a top plan view of the alternate hinged lid assembly of FIG. 11 in the opened position and inverted from the orientation shown in FIG. 11 in order to show a topside of the lid;

[0025]FIG. 18 is a top plan view of the paperboard insert that is mounted in the lid frame to form the lid shown in FIG. 17 and configured to include a cover and a pair of hinges integrally coupled to the cover which are adapted to be coupled to the rim as shown, for example, in FIGS. 11-17 to link the lid frame to the rim to permit pivoting movement of the lid relative to the rim between opened and closed positions on the container;

[0026]FIG. 19 is a diagrammatic sectional view of an alternate two-part mold for forming the alternate lid frame and the alternate rim of the alternate hinged lid assembly;

[0027]FIG. 20 is a view similar to FIG. 19 showing the mold in an opened position and showing insertion of the paperboard insert of FIG. 18 into a lower mold portion of the mold prior to injecting a plastics material into the mold;

[0028]FIG. 21 is an enlarged view similar to FIG. 20 showing the placement of the paperboard insert in the now-closed mold; and

[0029]FIG. 22 is a view similar to FIG. 21 after a plastics material has been discharged into the mold cavity so as to mold the rim and the lid frame “around” the paperboard insert to establish a paperboard living hinge coupling the rim to the lid frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0030] A closure or hinged lid assembly 10 is adapted to be coupled to a container 12 having a top open mouth 14 as shown in FIG. 1. A rim 16 of assembly 10 is coupled to a top edge 17 of container 12, as shown in FIGS. 3-6. A connector or plastic film substrate 18, also shown in FIGS. 3-6 and in FIG. 8, mounts over a plastic lid frame 20, shown in FIG. 1, to form a lid 22 of hinged lid assembly 10 for closing open mouth 14 of container 12.

[0031] Assembly 10 includes two hinges 24, 26 which each include a portion of rim 16, a portion of lid frame 20, and a connecting portion of plastic film substrate 18. Hinges 24, 26 are formed during a molding process, as shown in FIGS. 7-10, when plastic film substrate 18 is coupled to rim 16 and lid frame 20.

[0032] Plastic film substrate 18 provides a “living hinge,” joining lid frame 20 to rim 16, that is established when lid frame 20 and rim 16 are molded out of a plastics material in a mold 50 containing plastic film substrate 18 during an injection molding process. Although plastic film substrate 18 is shown to include two hinges 24, 26, it is within the scope of this disclosure to include a plastic film substrate insert having one, three, or any number of hinges.

[0033] Container 12 may be made from a plastics material as shown in FIGS. 1-4 or a paper material as shown in FIG. 5 to form a rolled paper container 112. Hinged lid assembly 10 is formed to be coupled to either plastics container 12 or paper container 112.

[0034] Rim 16 of assembly 10 forms a ring and includes an inner wall 28, an outer wall 30 positioned to lie in spaced-apart relation to inner wall 28, and a top wall 32 coupled to and positioned to lie between inner wall 28 and outer wall 30. Inner wall 28, outer wall 30, and top wall 32 cooperate to form a channel 34 for receiving the top edge of container 12, as shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6. Rim 16 further includes a lower flange 35 coupled to outer wall 30. Lower flange 35 and a portion of outer wall 30 are coupled to hinge portions 42 of plastic film substrate 18 and are provided to maximize the surface area for the bonding between hinge portions 42 and rim 16, as will be described below.

[0035] Lid frame 20 includes a top portion 25, rim portion 27 coupled to top portion 25, and flange portion 29 coupled to rim portion 27 as shown in FIGS. 3-6. Flange portion 29 of lid frame 20 and lower flange 35 of rim 16 are positioned to lie adjacent each other when hinged lid assembly 10 is in the opened and closed positions.

[0036] A plastic seal 36 is provided and is coupled to top wall 32, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3-6. Plastic seal 36 is formed to extend over and to cover an opening 38 of rim 16. Plastic seal 36 includes a tab 39 for a user to grab in order to remove plastic seal 36 when the user is ready to use the product within container 12.

[0037] As mentioned above, plastic film substrate 18 is mounted on top of lid frame 20 to form lid 22. Plastic film substrate 18 is moisture resistant and is formed to include a cover portion 40 coupled to lid frame 20 and hinge portions 42 integrally coupled to cover portion 40 and coupled to hinges 24, 26 during the molding process described below. Hinge portions 42 each include a first segment 41 coupled to cover portion 40, a second segment 43 coupled to first segment 41, a linking segment 59 coupled to second segment 43, a third segment 45 coupled to linking segment 59, and a fourth segment 47 coupled to third segment 45. Hinge portions 42 and cover portion 40 are formed to couple with rim 16 and plastic lid frame 20 during a molding process described below. First segment 41 of each hinge portion 42 is coupled to rim portion 27 of lid frame 20 while second segment 43 of each hinge portion 42 is coupled to flange portion 29 of lid frame 20. First and second segments 41, 43 form a first portion or frame-coupling segment 44 of each hinge portion 42. First portion 44 is coupled to both cover portion 40 and lid frame 20 at one end and linking segment 59 at another end. Third segment 45 of each hinge portion 42 is coupled to lower flange 35 of rim 16 and fourth segment 47 of each hinge portion 42 is coupled to outer wall 30 of rim 16, as shown in FIGS. 3-6. Third and fourth segments 45, 47 form a second portion or rim-coupling segment 46 of each hinge portion 42. Second portion 46 is coupled to both rim 16 and linking segment 59. Linking segment 59 is not coupled to any portion of rim 16 or plastic lid frame 20.

[0038] In order to form hinged lid assembly 10, a mold 50 having an upper mold portion 52 and a lower mold portion 54, as shown in FIGS. 7-10, is used. Mold 50 moves between an opened position, shown in FIG. 8, and a closed position, shown in FIG. 7. In the opened position, upper and lower mold portions 52, 54 are spaced-apart from each other. In the closed position, upper and lower mold portions 52, 54 are positioned to lie adjacent each other.

[0039] When mold 50 is in the closed position, upper and lower mold portions 52, 54 cooperate to form a first mold cavity 56 for forming rim 16 therein and a second mold cavity 58 for forming lid frame 20 therein. A linking cavity 57 is also formed when mold 50 is in the closed position. Linking cavity 57 interconnects first and second mold cavities 56,58. As shown in FIG. 8, plastic film substrate 18 is placed between upper and lower mold portions 52, 54 so that when mold 50 is moved to the closed position, plastic film substrate 18 is positioned to lie mostly within second mold cavity 58. Specifically, cover portion 40 of plastic film substrate 18 is positioned to rest in second mold cavity 58 and first and second segments 41, 43 of hinge portions 42 are also positioned to lie within second mold cavity 58. Third and fourth segments 45, 47 of each hinge portion 42 are positioned to lie within first mold cavity 56, as shown in FIG. 9. Linking segment 59, which provides a pivot point 60, of plastic film substrate 18 is positioned to lie within linking cavity 57. Once plastic film substrate 18 is in place, upper and lower mold portions 52 are moved toward the closed position, as shown in FIG. 9.

[0040] A plastics material or any type of co-polymer is then injected into first and second mold cavities 56, 58 in order to form rim 16 and lid frame 20, respectively, as shown in FIG. 10. Rim 16 is coupled to third and fourth segments 45, 47 and lid frame 20 is coupled to first and second portions 41, 43 of hinge portions 42. Therefore, once the molding process is finished, lid frame 20 is molded “around” plastic film substrate 18 to position plastic film substrate on a top surface of lid frame 20. Pivot point 60 is formed, as shown in FIG. 10, between flange portion 29 of lid frame 20 and lower flange 35 of rim 16. Hinges 24, 26 thus form “living” hinges at pivot points 60 which link lid frame 20 to rim 16 in order to permit pivoting movement of lid 22 relative to rim 16 between an opened position shown, for example, in FIG. 1 and a closed position shown, for example, in FIG. 2 on container 12. Plastic lid frame 20 and rim 16 are injection-molded around a pre-printed plastic film substrate 18. Lid 22 is joined to plastic rim 16 by way of plastic film substrate 18 which also serves as a hinge mechanism.

[0041] After the molding process is completed, lid 22 is positioned to lie in an opened position. If desired, plastic heat seal or membrane 36 may then be coupled to rim 16 by the lid maker to close the opening 38 of rim 16. It is within the scope of the disclosure, however, to provide a hinged lid assembly without plastic seal 36. Once hinged lid assembly 10 is molded and plastic seal 36 has been added, if desired, lid 22 is moved to the closed position relative to rim 16. Once lid 22 is in the closed position, hinged lid assembly 10 can be shipped to a food processor so that lid assembly 10 can be coupled to container 12 by the food processor after container 12 has been filled with food such as ice cream, for example.

[0042] In use, rim 16 is placed on container 12 so that the top edge of container 12 is received within channel 34 of rim 16. Inner wall 28 of rim 16 is approximately ⅛ inch long and acts as an inside support to prevent lid assembly 10 from being unintentionally removed from container 12. A detent 66 is formed during the molding process in outer wall 30 of rim 16. In order to couple rim 16 to container 12, detent 66 is received within a notch 68 formed in container 12 to “snap” rim 16 of hinged lid assembly 10 onto container 12, as shown, for example, in FIGS. 3-4. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, rim 16 is coupled to container 12 and lid 22 is in the opened position. In order to close opening 38 of rim 16 and open mouth 14 of container 12, lid 22 may be moved to the closed position, shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. To move lid 22 to the closed position, hinges 24, 26 are folded at pivot point 60 in direction 62, as shown in FIG. 1. In the closed position, rim portion 27 of lid frame 20 is positioned to lie adjacent to outer wall 30 of rim 16. In other words, lid frame 20 is positioned to lie around rim 16. Top portion 25 of lid frame 20 and cover portion 40 of plastic film substrate 18 cooperate to close opening 38 of rim 16 and open mouth 14 of container 12.

[0043] A latch 64, as shown in FIG. 6, is coupled to a portion of lid frame 20 in order to maintain lid 22 in the closed position with respect to rim 16. Latch 64 is made of a plastics material and is molded to lid frame 20 during the molding process described above. When lid 22 is in the closed position, latch 64 catches on outer wall 30 and bottom surface 31 of rim 16 to prevent lid 22 from moving to the opened position without the assistance of the user.

[0044] Plastic film substrate 18 has a thickness, 61, of approximately 40-60 microns. It is within the scope of this disclosure, though, to include a plastic film substrate having any thickness. Further, the molecules of plastic film substrate 18 are formed to be uni-directional. Because plastic film substrate 18 is oriented, plastic film substrate 18 has a high degree of flexibility. Hinges 24, 26 of plastic film substrate 18 are therefore able to move easily, bend, fold, and deflect in many environments including frozen environments. Hinges 24, 26 are effective for use with containers 12 which hold ice cream, for example, or other products kept in a cold or frozen environment.

[0045] Plastic film substrate 18 is preferably made from any type of polypropylene, however, it is within the scope of this disclosure to make plastic film substrate 18 from other polymers such as polyethylene, for example. In preferred embodiments, plastic film substrate 18 is extruded prior to the injection molding of the plastics material into mold 50 to form rim 16 and lid frame 20 around substrate 18. It is within the scope of the disclosure, however, for plastic film substrate 18 to have been pre-printed by any process. The extrusion process of the present invention allows the material to flow at a lower rate which makes a tougher resin. Any advertisements or decorations desired are also pre-printed on plastic film substrate 18.

[0046] The method by which lid assembly 10 is installed onto container 12 in order to cover open mouth 14 of container 12 is described below. Lid assembly 10 is first molded as described above. Plastic seal or membrane 36 is then coupled to rim 16 of lid assembly 10 when lid 10 is in the opened position in order to close opening 38 of rim 16. For example, a heat-sealing operation is used to bond seal 36 to a top perimeter edge of rim 16 in a post-molding operation. Seal 36 can be polyester, foil, or any other suitable material. Once seal 36 has been coupled to rim 16, lid 22 is moved from the opened position to the closed position in order to couple lid 22 to rim 16. Plastic seal 36 is thus trapped in an interior position between rim 16 and lid 22 in order to form a lid package. Finally, rim 16 is coupled to container 12 to cause plastic seal 36 and lid 22 to cover open mouth 14 of container 12.

[0047] An alternate hinged lid assembly 110 is provided in the present invention and is shown in FIGS. 11-22. Assembly 110, like assembly 10, is adapted to be coupled to container 12, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. Alternate assembly 110 includes rim 16 and an alternate lid 122. A paperboard insert 118, shown in FIG. 18, mounts in an alternate plastic, ring-shaped lid frame 120, shown in FIG. 17, to form alternate lid 122 of hinged lid assembly 110 for closing open mouth 14 of container 12. Paperboard insert 118 includes two hinges or hinge portions 124, 126 which are coupled to rim 16 during a molding process, as shown in FIGS. 19-22, in order to couple lid 122 to rim 16. Not only does paperboard insert 118 form a closure portion of lid 122, it also provides a living hinge, similar to plastic film substrate 18 of assembly 10, joining lid 122 to rim 16. The living hinge is established when lid frame 120 and rim 16 are molded out of a plastics material in a mold containing paperboard insert 118 during an injection molding process similar to that described above with respect to assembly 10. Although paperboard insert 118 is shown to include two hinges 124, 126, it is within the scope of this disclosure to include a paperboard insert having one, three, or any number of hinges. Alternate hinged lid assembly 110 is also formed to be coupled to either plastics container 12 or paper container 112, as shown in FIG. 14.

[0048] As mentioned above, paperboard insert 118 mounts in lid frame 120 to form lid 122. Paperboard insert 118 may be poly-lined for moisture resistence and is formed to include a cover or cover portion 140 to mount in lid frame 120. Hinges 124, 126 are integrally coupled to a first edge 141 of cover 140, as shown in FIG. 18. Paperboard insert 118 further includes a pair of tabs 123 which are integrally coupled to an opposite second edge 143 of cover 140, as shown in FIG. 18. Tabs 123 are formed to couple with lid frame 120 during a molding process described below. Hinges 124, 126 are also formed to couple with rim 16 during the molding process.

[0049] Lid frame 120 includes a top wall 142 and a lower rim 144 coupled to top wall 142, as shown in FIGS. 12-15. Lid frame 120 is ring-shaped and forms an opening 146 for receiving cover 140 of paperboard insert 118 therein. Although lid frame 120 is ring-shaped, it is within the scope of this disclosure to include a lid frame 120 that is not ring-shaped. Score lines 148 are provided in order to bend hinges 124, 126 more easily during use, as will be described in more detail below. It is also within the scope of this disclosure to include paperboard insert 118 without score lines 148.

[0050] Alternate hinged lid assembly 110 is formed in much the same way as hinged lid assembly 10. A mold 150, similar to mold 50 and having an upper mold portion 152 and a lower mold portion 154, as shown in FIGS. 19-22, is used. Lower mold portion 154 includes a first mold cavity 156 for forming rim 16 therein and a second mold cavity 158 for forming lid frame 120 therein. As shown in FIG. 20, paperboard insert 118 is placed into second mold cavity 158. Cover 140 of paperboard insert 118 is positioned to rest in second mold cavity 158 and hinges 124, 126 are bent along score lines 148 so that a segment or portion 145 of each hinge 124, 126 is positioned to rest within first mold cavity 156 and another segment or portion 147 of each hinge 124, 125 is positioned to rest within second mold cavity 158. A linking segment or portion 149 is coupled to an positioned to extend between the two portions 145, 147, as shown, for example, in FIG. 18. Once paperboard insert 118 is in place, upper mold portion 152 is lowered down onto lower mold portion 154, as shown in FIG. 21. Upper mold portion 152 and lower mold portion 154 cooperate to form a rim cavity 160 and a lid frame cavity 162.

[0051] Plastics material is then injected into cavity 160 and cavity 162 in order to form rim 16 and lid frame 120, respectively, as shown in FIG. 22. Rim 16 is coupled to first portion 145 and lid frame 120 is coupled to second portion 147. Once the molding process is finished, lid frame 120 is molded “around” paperboard insert 118 and paperboard hinges 124, 126 are coupled to and positioned to lie between rim 16 and lid frame 120, as shown in FIGS. 17 and 22. Hinges 124, 126 are thus “living” hinges which link lid frame 120 to rim 16 in order to permit pivoting movement of lid 122 relative to rim 16 between an opened position shown, for example, in FIG. 11 and a closed position shown, for example, in FIG. 12 on container 12. Hinges 124, 126 include pivot point 60 about which lid 122 pivots relative to rim 16 in order to move lid 122 from the opened position to the closed position.

[0052] After the molding process is completed, lid 122 (like lid 22 of assembly 10) is positioned to lie in the opened position. If desired, plastic heat seal or membrane 36 may then be coupled to rim 16 by the lid maker. It is within the scope of the disclosure, however, to provide hinged lid assembly 110 without plastic seal 36. Once hinged lid assembly 110 is molded and plastic seal 36 has been added, if desired, lid 122 is moved to the closed position relative to rim 16. Once lid 122 is in the closed position, hinged lid assembly 10 can be shipped to a food processor so that lid assembly 110 can be coupled to container 12 by the food processor after container 12 has been filled with food.

[0053] Alternate assembly 110 also includes latch 64, as shown in FIG. 16. Latch 64 of assembly 110 operates in the same way as latch 64 of assembly 10, as shown in FIG. 6.

[0054] Hinges 124, 126, similar to hinges 24, 26, are able to move easily, bend, fold, and deflect in many environments including frozen environments because hinges 124, 126 are made from a paper-type material, such as paperboard insert 118. Paperboard hinges 124, 126 are effective for use with containers 12 which hold ice cream, for example, or other products kept in a cold or frozen environment.

[0055] The method by which lid assembly 110 is installed onto container 12 in order to cover open mouth 14 of container 12 is the same as that for assembly 10, as previously described above.

[0056] This method of installation allows a packaging plant or packer of a product such as ice cream, for example, to couple lid assembly 10 or 110 to container 12 after container 12 has been filled with product. The packaging plant, therefore, does not have to use extra equipment to add plastic seal or membrane 36 directly to container 12 after container 12 has been filled with product. Lid package, which includes lid assembly 10 and plastic seal 36, may be mounted directly onto container 12 immediately after container 12 has been filled with product.

[0057] Lid assemblies 10 and 110 are each a unitized assembly that makes it possible for the packer or processor to apply lid assembly 10 or 110 to a container using existing lidding equipment without the need to apply a membrane (like seal 36) to a rim during a post-filling operation on the container-filling line using auxiliary equipment.

[0058] Although this invention has been described in detail with reference to certain embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8011566 *Mar 12, 2008Sep 6, 2011Huhtamaki, Inc.Hinged lid for a food container with plastic lower ring
US8308008Dec 26, 2007Nov 13, 2012Abbott LaboratoriesContainer
US8469223Aug 3, 2009Jun 25, 2013Abbott LaboratoriesStrength container
US8485390 *Jul 7, 2008Jul 16, 2013J.L. Clark, Inc.Hinge ring for pivotally coupling a container lid to a container bottom
US8511499Apr 8, 2011Aug 20, 2013Abbott LaboratoriesContainer
US8627981Jun 5, 2009Jan 14, 2014Abbott LaboratoriesContainer
US8770423 *Nov 29, 2010Jul 8, 2014Bapco Closures Research Ltd.Container closure with measuring spoon
US8857645May 10, 2013Oct 14, 2014Abbott LaboratoriesContainer
US8875919 *May 2, 2011Nov 4, 2014Clariant Production (France) SasStopper for closing a dispensing opening of a container
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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/835, 220/847, 220/837
International ClassificationB29C45/14, B65D43/16
Cooperative ClassificationB29L2031/22, B65D43/169, B65D2251/105, B29C45/14336
European ClassificationB29C45/14F, B65D43/16C4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 5, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: BERRY PLASTICS CORPORATION, INDIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:COMBE, ROBERT L.;JOCHEM, DAVID J.;WILLETT, TIMMY L.;REEL/FRAME:011952/0447;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010411 TO 20010413
Jul 25, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: FLEET NATIONAL BANK, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:BERRY PLASTICS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:013101/0919
Effective date: 20020722
Apr 29, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: BERRY PLASTICS CORPORATION, INDIANA
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST AT REEL 013101 FRAME 0919;ASSIGNOR:DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS;REEL/FRAME:020866/0759
Effective date: 20060920