|Publication number||US20040079656 A1|
|Application number||US 10/468,621|
|Publication date||Apr 29, 2004|
|Filing date||Feb 18, 2002|
|Priority date||Feb 20, 2001|
|Also published as||WO2002067262A1, WO2002067262A8|
|Publication number||10468621, 468621, PCT/2002/103, PCT/NL/2/000103, PCT/NL/2/00103, PCT/NL/2002/000103, PCT/NL/2002/00103, PCT/NL2/000103, PCT/NL2/00103, PCT/NL2000103, PCT/NL200103, PCT/NL2002/000103, PCT/NL2002/00103, PCT/NL2002000103, PCT/NL200200103, US 2004/0079656 A1, US 2004/079656 A1, US 20040079656 A1, US 20040079656A1, US 2004079656 A1, US 2004079656A1, US-A1-20040079656, US-A1-2004079656, US2004/0079656A1, US2004/079656A1, US20040079656 A1, US20040079656A1, US2004079656 A1, US2004079656A1|
|Original Assignee||Hoogland Hendricus Antonius|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (5), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 This invention relates to a packaging device for substantially platelike data carriers. Such a data carrier is known from WO 97/20315.
 This known packaging device is box-shaped in closed condition and comprises a first and second cover part, pivotally interconnected for the 5 opening and closing thereof. Provided within the packaging device are fixing means for retaining the data carrier. Such a device is intended, for instance, for storing CDs, diskettes, minidisks, credit cards, DVDs or like substantially platelike data carriers.
 European patent application 0 420 350 discloses a packaging device comprising a somewhat box-shaped cover part having a bottom and upright walls, while the second cover part is in the form of a cover and can be pressed against the first cover part so as to close it. The first cover part comprises an inlay sheet which, adjacent a central area thereof, is provided with resilient fingers capable of engaging in a central opening of a CD so as to retain the CD in a position approximately parallel to a bottom surface. The first and second cover part and the inlay sheet are detachably interconnected. If in such a known packaging device more than one data carrier is to be locked, an intermediate tray is provided which is pivotable relative to the two cover parts, which intermediate tray is likewise provided, adjacent a central area thereof, with resilient fingers for engagement in a central opening of a CD. In closed condition, in this embodiment, the CDs are situated relative to each other in such a manner as to fully overlie each other. This means that in opened condition the different CDs are not directly visible, since at least one of the CDs is kept from view by at least one of the other CDs. A further disadvantage of this known packaging device, commonly referred to as jewel box, is that it is relatively fragile, in particular also due to the different parts.
 The object of the invention is a packaging device of the type described in the introductory part, which avoids the above-mentioned disadvantages of the known packaging devices while maintaining the advantages thereof To that end, a packaging device according to the invention is characterized by the features according to claim 1.
 In a packaging device according to the invention, the fixing means are so arranged that two or more data carriers can be positioned next to each other therein, displaced relative to each other such that the data carriers do not entirely overlap each other. This means that when the packaging device is open, the different CDs are all properly visible and moreover can be simply taken from the packaging device or be reinserted therein.
 It is preferred that in a packaging device according to the invention the two cover parts are mutually connected by a spine-like back part, with the fixing means being provided on the back part. Thus, a packaging device relatively simple in construction and having a pleasant appearance is obtained.
 In a further advantageous embodiment, a packaging device according to the invention is further characterized by the features according to claim 3.
 In such an embodiment, the advantage is achieved that the data carriers can be simply clamped by an edge portion thereof and can be fixed in this position to keep the data carriers in place within the packaging device. As a consequence, fixing the data carriers in an optionally present central opening is no longer necessary, although possible in certain cases. This means that a packaging device according to the invention can also be employed for data carriers that are not provided with such an opening. Thus, moreover, the advantages are achieved of a packaging device as known from WO 97/20315, in combination with the above-mentioned advantages.
 The fixing means are preferably rod-shaped, in particular cylinder-shaped or frustoconical, optionally hollow. As a consequence, fixing means are obtained of a relatively small volume, so that manufacturing times for these fixing members, in particular when use is made of injection molding technique, can be considerably shortened. Surprisingly, it has been found that such fixing means lead to the same or better positioning of the data carriers than the fixing means as used in the known packaging device. Without wishing to be bound to any theory, this seems to be the result of the fact that the data carrier is pressed between the fixing means, which are thereby pressed apart to some extent. Only there where the data carrier has been pressed between the fixing means over the largest distance will a clamping force arise. For this reason, thus designed fixing means are also applicable In the prior art, with the same advantages.
 It is preferred, in a packaging device according to the invention, that positioning means are provided for locking the data carriers in the fixing means at least when the packaging device is closed. These positioning means are preferably provided in at least one of the cover parts, for instance adjacent a longitudinal edge thereof, opposite the back part. Moreover, in a packaging device according to the invention, supporting means, preferably of different heights, can be provided for supporting the data carriers, at a point remote from the fixing means, when the packaging device is closed. As a result, a still better locking of the data carriers is obtained. The positioning means and supporting means then preferably abut against the longitudinal edge of the data carrier or against a portion of a surface of the data carrier that does not carry information, as, for instance, within a range of 0 to 0.5 or 1 cm starting from the outer longitudinal edge.
 The data carriers are preferably carried in the fixing means in such a manner as to extend at a relatively small distance from the back part, so that the fixing means can be small. In addition, approximately over the longitudinal direction of the back part, a stiffening ridge is provided for at least largely preventing bending and torsion of the back part.
 A packaging device according to the invention is preferably injection molded in one piece. The parts of a packaging device according to the invention, in particular cover parts, are preferably manufactured from transparent material, in particular polypropylene or a polypropylene-containing plastic. More particularly, it is preferred that a packaging device according to the invention is manufactured from polypropylene or a polypropylene-containing plastic, polymerized with metallocene. The transparency is then preferably chosen so as to be more than 95.5%, in particular more than 97%. The haze is therefore preferably less than 4.5%, more particularly less than 3%. Such a plastic is, for instance, manufactured by the firm of Targor (DE) under the name of Novolen M X 70270 or under the name of Metocene X 70270, and by the firm of Basell Polypropylen GmbH, Mainz, Del. Surprisingly, it has been found that the manufacture of packaging devices from this plastic leads to a particularly high transparency (low haze), with a particularly high impact resistance and elasticity, while moreover the possibility is maintained of co-injection molding hinges along with the cover parts and back parts, for the formation of living hinges. This renders this plastic suitable in particular for the manufacture of packaging devices for data carriers, such as those according to the invention and according to the prior art described earlier, but also for packaging devices for, for instance, audio or data cassettes, storage boxes and the like.
 The invention further relates to a method for manufacturing a package, characterized by the features according to claim 19.
 With such a method, in a particularly simple manner, an at least partly substantially completely transparent package can be obtained having high impact resistance and elasticity, which package is form-retaining and recyclable.
 Further advantageous embodiments of a packaging device and method according to the invention will be further elucidated with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 shows in perspective view a packaging device according to the invention, in open condition, having three CDs accommodated therein;
FIG. 2 schematically shows in perspective view a packaging device according to FIG. 1, in open condition, without CDs;
FIG. 3 shows in front view a packaging device according to FIGS. 1 and 2, in closed condition;
FIG. 4 schematically shows in perspective view a portion of an opened packaging device according to the invention, in an alternative embodiment;
FIG. 5 shows in front view a portion of a packaging device according to the invention, with integrated positioning means and supporting means;
FIG. 6 shows a portion of a packaging device with an alternative embodiment for positioning means and supporting means; and
FIG. 7 shows, in open condition, a portion of a packaging device according to the invention in a further alternative embodiment.
 In this description, the same or corresponding parts have the same or corresponding reference numerals. In the exemplary embodiments shown, in each case a packaging device 1 is shown, manufactured in one piece through injection molding, in particular from clear plastic such as polypropylene, more particularly a polypropylene polymerized with metocene as catalyst. Moving parts such as hinges have been integrally co-injection molded. It will be clear, however, that a packaging device 1 can also be built up in a different way, for instance in different parts such as known from EP 0 420 350, that is, comparably to a jewel box, in which case, however, fixing means as described hereinafter will be applied. Also, other materials can be applied, especially in the case of multipart boxes, such as, for instance, polystyrene, polycarbonate, ABS and the like. Suitability of materials and box structure will be immediately clear to those skilled in the art.
 In FIG. 1 a packaging device 1 according to the invention is shown, in open condition, having therein three substantially platelike data carriers 2, such as, for instance, compact disks (CD-i, CD-ROM, musical CD or the like). It is incidentally noted that in the same or a comparable manner, differently shaped, substantially platelike data carriers can be stored in such a packaging device, for instance having a substantially rectangular shape, such as chip cards, diskettes, minidisks, and the like.
 A packaging device I according to FIG. 1 comprises a first cover part 3, a back part 4 and a second cover part 5, interconnected adjacent the lower end through two integrated, co-injection molded hinges 6, such that the cover parts 3, 5 can be swung from the opened position shown in FIG. 1 to a closed position, with the cover parts 3, 5 abutting against each other, thereby locking the data carriers 2 between them.
 The first cover part 3 has a top surface 10A, a front edge 8 and two first sidewalls 9 connected thereto. The second cover part 5 has a top surface 10B, two upright second sidewalls 11 and a front edge 8A. In the closed position, the second sidewalls 11 abut against the first sidewalls 9, while the front edges 8, 8A abut against each other. The underside 12 of the back part 4 then forms the fourth wall of the packaging device 1 in closed position, so that it is closed off in an entirely watertight and dustproof manner. The fixing means 13 for the data carriers 2, which will be further clarified hereinafter, in this embodiment are included on back part 4 and hinge along with the back part. In the longitudinal direction L of the back part 4 extends a stiffening ridge 7, which largely prevents torsion and in particular bending of the back part 4.
 Arranged on the back part 4 are a series of fixing means 13A-D. The first fixing means 13A comprise a pair of rod- or pin-shaped projections 15 having, for instance, a slightly frustoconical shape. The projections 15 extend approximately perpendicularly to the back part 4, next to and parallel to each other, thereby enclosing a narrow slit-shaped space 16. The projections 15 are so arranged that the projection on the right in FIG. 2 is approximately immediately adjacent to the hinge 6B, while the adjacent left-hand projection is placed immediately next to the stiffening ridge 7. The second fixing means 13B comprise three projections 15, arranged in a row immediately next to each other, which row extends parallel to the above-mentioned projections 15 of the first fixing means 13A. In these fixing means 13B, between two adjacent projections 15, again a space 16 is 10 enclosed. The space 16 of the second fixing means 13B as shown on the right-hand side in FIG. 2 is in a line passing through the above-mentioned space 16 of the first fixing means 13A, which line is parallel to the longitudinal direction L of the back part 4, while the adjacent space 16 is immediately next to the above-mentioned stiffening ridge 7. The third fixing means 13C again comprise a row of three projections 15, identical to those of the second fixing means 13B though displaced over the width of a single projection, perpendicularly to the longitudinal direction L of the back part 4, away from the right-hand hinge 6B. The right-hand space 16 is in one line with the left-hand space 16 of the second fixing means 13B. The fourth fixing means 13D again comprise two projections 15, identical to those of the first fixing means 13A, but displaced over a distance of the width of two projections, in the direction of the left-hand hinge means 6A, such that the intervening enclosed space 16 is in one line with the left-hand space 16 of the third fixing means 13C. Therefore, the first and second fixing means 13A, B each comprise a pair of projections 15 with intervening space 16 for enclosing an edge portion 2V of a first data carrier 2A; the second and third fixing means 13B, C each comprise a pair of projections 15 with intervening space 16 for receiving a second, central data carrier 2B; and third and fourth fixing means 13C, D each comprise a pair of projections 15 with intervening space 16 for receiving an edge portion 2V of a third data carrier 2C. The data carriers 2A, 2B, 2C are each displaced relative to each other over a distance B, parallel to a longitudinal direction L of the back part 4, which distance B corresponds approximately to the distance between the pairs of projections 15 of the different fixing means 13A-D. It will be clear that in the same or a corresponding manner, other fixing means can be utilized, for instance as described in WO 97/20315, in which case pairs of fixing fingers can be arranged so as to be displaced relative to each other over a distance B. Further, it will be immediately clear that a packaging device 1 according to the invention can also be readily made suitable for different numbers of data carriers 2 through a corresponding adjustment of the number of fixing means 13. Thus, it will be possible, for instance, in the case of two data carriers 2, to omit one row of projections. In a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction L, the data carriers 2 have a relative distance approximately corresponding to the width of the projections 15. As appears clearly from FIG. 2, all projections 15 are situated at some distance from the hinge 6A situated on the left-hand side in FIG. 2. In the second cover part 5, lips 25 are provided which extend inwards from the longitudinal edges 11, approximately parallel to the top surface 10B, at a slight distance therefrom, for instance approximately the distance between the left-hand hinge 6A and the projections 15 most proximal thereto. Under the lips 25, for instance a booklet or other information can be inserted, belonging to one or more of the data carriers 2. Due to the distance between the projections 15 and the left-hand hinge 6A, the packaging device 1 can nonetheless be accurately closed.
 In the front edge 8 of the first cover part 3 a recess 17 is provided, and in the front edge 8A of the second cover part 5 a corresponding recess 17A is provided. With the packaging device in closed condition, fingers can be introduced into the cavity formed by these recesses 17, 17A for the purpose of readily opening the packaging device 1. Adjacent the front edge 8, next to the recess 17, four second projections 18 are provided, which extend approximately perpendicularly to the top surface 10A, at regularly spaced intervals, for instance a distance B corresponding to the distance B between the pairs of projections of the fixing means 13. The second projections 18 are so positioned that, when the packaging device 1 is closed, the two central projections 18A approximately abut against the intersection 19 (in the view of FIG. 3) of two adjacent data carriers 2B, 2C; 2A, 2B. The outermost two second projections 18B then likewise abut against the longitudinal edge of the data carriers, such that the respective data carriers 2A, 2B, 2C, with the packaging device 1 closed, are locked between the projections 15, the back part 4, at least the stiffening ridge 14, and in each case two second projections 18. The data carriers 2A, B, C are thereby properly positioned and retained, while in the opened condition of the packaging device 1 the data carriers 2A, B, C can be simply taken out by sliding them approximately parallel to their surface. Further, in the first cover part 3, three ridges 20A, 20B, 20C are provided, each arranged approximately between two adjacent second projections 18. The first ridge 20A has a relatively small height above the top surface 10A; the central, second ridge 20B has a slightly greater height; and the third ridge 20C has the greatest height. The heights of the respective ridges 20A, B, C have been selected such that, with the packaging device closed, the first data carrier 2A rests on the first ridge 20A, the second data carrier 2B rests on the second ridge 20B, and the third data carrier 2C rests on the third ridge 20C. As a result, the data carriers are optimally supported. On the side situated opposite the ridges 20, the data carriers are preferably locked by a booklet as described earlier (not shown), under the lips 25. The numbers of second projections 18 and ridges 20 can naturally be simply adjusted to the number of data carriers to be stored. The ridges 20 are preferably positioned such that the data carriers rest on them by an unwritten edge part 2V thereof. For that matter, through selection of relatively soft material, such as polypropylene, for the manufacture of the packaging device, damage to the data carriers is prevented still better.
 In FIG. 4, in perspective view, a portion of a packaging device according to the invention is shown, in an alternative embodiment. In this embodiment, the packaging device 1, of which the back part 4 along with parts of the first cover part 3 and the second cover part 5 are shown, is designed for receiving, for instance, two diskettes or minidisks or like data carriers having a substantially rectangular or square shape. In this embodiment, there are provided on the back part 4 four pairs of projections 15, which extend approximately perpendicularly to the plane of the back part 4, at a relative distance such that the data carriers 2 can be clamped between them. In this embodiment, two data carriers 2 are placed immediately next to each other, with the pairs of projections 15 arranged in a single row. As a consequence, the data carriers 2 are fully visible next to each other. It will be clear, incidentally, that by adjustment of the numbers of projections 15 next to each other, it is possible to place two or more rows of two or more data carriers in front of each other. Thus, for instance, next to the two central pairs of projections 15, on one or each side, a projection 15 can be additionally arranged, so that on one or both sides a data carrier 2 can be placed next to the data carriers 2 shown in FIG. 4, partly overlapping each of the data carriers 2 shown. If the outside dimensions of the packaging device so permit, naturally data carriers 2 as shown in FIG. 1 can be arranged next to each other in a similar manner.
 In FIG. 5 a front edge 8 of a first cover part 3 is shown, with recess 17, while the second projections 18 and the ridges 20 have been integrated into the front edge 8. The projections 18 are designed as somewhat wing-like wall parts which extend from the front edge 8 over the top surface 10A, such that in closed condition the data carriers 2A, 2B and 2C (indicated in broken lines) abut against them. The ridges 20 are likewise formed as wall parts 20 extending from the front edge 8 along the recess 17 and being somewhat U-shaped in top plan view, such that they approximately interconnect the projections 18 on either side thereof. The heights of the ridges 20 again correspond to those as shown in and described with reference to FIGS. 1-3. In this embodiment, the stability of the projections 18 and ridges 20 has been increased, while moreover better flow paths are obtained during manufacture.
 In FIG. 6, again a front edge 8 of a first cover part 3 is shown, comparable to the portion of the packaging device as shown in FIG. 5, with the front edge 8 along the recess 17 having been integrated still further with the positioning means 18 and the ridges 20. In this embodiment, the front edge 8 in the recess 17 comprises three curved parts 21, which link up with each other while forming transitions 18 at the positions where in FIG. 3 the projections 18A are positioned. Curved parts 21 situated on opposite sides of the central curved part 21 end in outer bends 18B, which are positioned approximately there where in FIG. 3 the outermost second projections 18B are positioned. Adjacent the middle of each curved wall part 21, there extends on the top surface 10A a ridge 20, whose height has again been adapted as shown in and described with reference to FIGS. 1-3, such that the respective data carriers 2A, 2B, 2C can rest on the respective ridges 20A, 20B, 20C, when the packaging device 1 is closed. With such an embodiment, still shorter manufacturing times can be obtained.
FIG. 7 shows in top plan view a central part of a packaging device 1 according to the invention in a further alternative embodiment, wherein on the back part 4 between the two cover parts 3, 5, again three data carriers 2A, 2B, 2C are arranged, which, however, include an angle a, in top plan view, with the longitudinal direction L of the back part 4. The data carriers. 2A, 2B, 2C stand parallel to each other, clamped between two pairs of projections 15. The angle a is then selected such that the data carriers in top plan view (as shown in FIG. 7) touch the hinges 6A, 6B. This means that when the packaging device 1 is being closed, the data carriers are automatically locked between the two cover parts 3, 5, so that they cannot move from between the projections 15. In a direction perpendicular to the back part 4, the data carriers 2 can again be locked by positioning means 18, for instance as described earlier. If desired, the angle α can naturally be adapted, such that when the packaging device 1 is closed, there is still space left against at least one cover part 3, 5, for instance for a booklet as described earlier.
 In the exemplary embodiments shown, always at least one, and preferably each, of the cover parts 3, 5 is provided with a relatively flat, smooth top surface 10A, 10B, while further the outer side of the packaging device 1, in particular the cover parts 3, 5 and the back part 4, are also of flat design. This provides the advantage that the packaging device can be provided particularly easily with a printing, in particular by the use of in-mold labeling techniques for providing labels on the outside of the package. Naturally, a packaging device 1 according to the invention can also be provided on the outside, in a manner known per se, with a transparent film which has been fixed only at the longitudinal edges 8, 8A, such that between the film and the cover parts 3 printed matter can be received. This may be advantageous in particular with opaque or low-transparency cases.
 A packaging device 1 according to the invention is preferably designed in plastic, such that at least the cover parts 3, 5 are substantially completely transparent. Preferably, they have a transparency greater than 93.5%, for instance 94% or 95%. This means that the haze is preferably less than 6.5%, more in particular less than 6% and 5%, respectively, measured with ASTM1003. It is then preferred that use has been made of at least polypropylene polymerized with metallocene as catalyst. It has been found that particularly suitable use can be made of a mixture of a polypropylene homopolymer polymerized with metallocene, such as Novolen MX 50081 and a polypropylene copolymer, in particular random copolymer such as Novolen 3348 SC. Both plastics mentioned are supplied by the firm of Targor, formerly BASF. Manufacturing methods for these individual homopolymers and copolymers are described in WO 99/11678, incorporated herein by reference. Surprisingly, it has been found that precisely by mixing the above-mentioned metocene homopolymer and copolymer, particularly suitable product properties are obtained, in particular a high impact resistance and elasticity, with particularly good transparency, in excess of 93%. Preferably, a mixture is then used, of 60%-85%, in particular about 75% of the metocene homopolymer such as Novolen X 50081, supplemented with the polypropylene copolymer, such as 3348 SC, with which a haze of less than 5% is attainable, i.e. a transparency of 95%. Surprisingly, it has been found that still better properties are obtained by the use of a mixture of about 80% polypropylene monomer and one or more alk-1-enes, selected from the group consisting of ethylene, 1-butene, 1-pentene, 1-hexene, 1-heptene, 1-octene, 1-nonene, 1-decene or 4-methyl-1-pentene or mixtures thereof, which mixture has been polymerized with metocene as catalyst. Preferably, a mixture is used having at least 85% or more of polypropylene monomer. Transparency can thereby be increased still further, for instance to 96% or more, in particular 97% or more (haze less than 4% and 3%, respectively). For additives and catalysts to be used in the further manufacture thereof, reference is made to WO 99/11678 and the publications mentioned therein, which are all understood to be incorporated herein, in particular as regards said method, additives and monomers used besides the polypropylene monomers. Such a particularly suitable plastic is designated by Targor as Novolen or Metocene X 70270, which plastic has not been made public yet. Surprisingly, these plastics, compared with the earlier-mentioned mixture of metocene monomer and copolymer, have been found to lead to a still higher transparency, while moreover the impact resistance and the modulus of elasticity thereof are found to be higher. Moreover, this manufacturing method has as an advantage that more easily more uniform product properties can be obtained. The plastics mentioned here have also been used with the same effect in packaging devices and storage boxes according to the prior art, in particular as described hereinbefore.
 The invention is not limited in any way to the exemplary embodiments represented in the present description and drawings. Many variations thereon are possible within the framework of the invention outlined by the claims.
 Thus, different numbers of fixing means can be provided for accommodating two or more substantially platelike data carriers in the packaging device. Also, one of the cover parts 3, 5, for instance along the respective front edge 8, 8A or a longitudinal edge 9, 11, can have a further back part connected to it, through a hinge, which back part can be provided with further fixing means for, for instance, a second series of platelike data carriers, a booklet or like means, which can be folded inwards, next to the data carriers 2 on the back part 4, prior to or during closure of the packaging device 1. Also, for instance on opposite sides of the first cover part 3, a back part 4 as discussed earlier can be provided, while on the side of each back part 4 remote from the first cover part 3, a portion of a second cover part 5 is provided, such that both above-mentioned parts of the second cover part 5 can jointly close over data carriers received in the two back parts 4. Naturally, all kinds of other positioning means and supporting means can be used, for instance loose elements, ridges, creases and the like, provided in one or both cover parts. Also, in particular for use with CDs, naturally, in one or both top surfaces of the cover parts conventional fixing means for CDs can be provided, for engagement in the central opening thereof. Then still more CDs can be received in the same package. A packaging device according to the invention can be designed, for instance, in standard dimensions in accordance with DVD boxes, slim boxes, video boxes, CD boxes or the like. The fixing means can also be designed as continuous edges between which the data carriers can be inserted.
 These and many similar variations are understood to fall within the scope of the invention as outlined by the claims.
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|U.S. Classification||206/307.1, G9B/33.014, 206/308.1|
|Dec 19, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FOUNTAIN TECHNOLOGIES B.V., NETHERLANDS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HOOGLAND, HENDRICUS ANTONIUS;REEL/FRAME:014804/0073
Effective date: 20030925