US 20050040057 A1
A device for packaging information carriers, provided with a first and a second cover part, mutually pivotally connected via hinge means and arranged for forming a substantially closed box, wherein at least one of the cover parts is provided, adjacent a side thereof, with an edge part fixedly connected therewith, on which edge part the hinge means are provided, which edge part preferably has a stiffness which is slightly higher than at least one cover part connected therewith and is at least partly hollow, and wherein at least one of the cover parts is provided with relatively slight elevations for supporting the information carrier spaced from wall parts of the cover parts, for protection of the information carrier.
1. A device for packaging information carriers, provided with a first and a second cover part, mutually pivotally connected via hinge means and arranged for forming a substantially closed box, wherein at least one of the cover parts is provided, adjacent a side thereof, with an edge part fixedly connected therewith, on which edge part the hinge means are provided, which edge part preferably has a stiffness which is slightly higher than at least one cover part connected therewith and is at least partly hollow, and wherein at least one of the cover parts is provided with relatively slight elevations for supporting the information carrier spaced from wall parts of the cover parts, for protection of the information carrier.
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19. A method for manufacturing a storage device for an information carrier, wherein a mold having at least one suitable mold cavity is brought into a first position such that the mold cavity has a greater volume than the mold cavity to be eventually formed, in which first position the mold cavity is filled with plastic, while the mold during the filling with plastic is energized, such that the mold cavity is gradually brought into a second position, such that it is brought into the desired shape while displacing the plastic.
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22. A method for packaging a plate-shaped information carrier in a device according to
23. A storage box for plate-shaped information carriers, in particular rectangular information carriers such as chips cards, SIM cards and the like, provided with two cover parts, mutually connected by at least one living hinge, while on or in at least one cover part at least two clamping edge parts are provided, located opposite each other and provided with undercuts, such that the information carrier can be slid substantially flat on the respective cover part, under the clamping edge parts and under the undercuts.
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The invention relates to a device for packaging information carriers. More in particular, the invention relates to a device for packaging plate-shaped information carriers.
EP 0 886 863 describes a storage device for plate-shaped information carriers such as CDs, credit cards, Sim-cards or the like, wherein on a substantially flat back, pairs of resilient clamping elements in the form of fingers are arranged. An information carrier can be clamped, by a longitudinal edge thereof, between the fingers. On opposite sides of the back, a cover part is provided, pivotally connected to the back, which can be closed around the fingers and the information carrier received therebetween to enclose it.
This storage device protects the information carrier well, but is relatively thick. Moreover, it requires relatively much material, which results in relatively long cycle times, high costs and much volume.
The invention contemplates a storage device for information carriers, in particular plate-shaped information carriers, which can protect an information carrier in a suitable manner.
The invention further contemplates such a storage device which is relatively thin, in closed condition.
The invention further contemplates a storage device of the subject kind, which can be manufactured simply and fast, with relatively low material usage.
The invention furthermore contemplates a storage device according to the introduction, which both in closed and in open form has a pleasant appearance and presents, and renders accessible, the information carrier in particular in the open form in an attractive manner. With a storage device according to the invention, the information carrier is preferably simply removable.
These and further objects are achieved according to the invention with a device according to claim 1.
In a device according to the invention, a particularly thin structure can be obtained, whilst a fitting space suitable for receiving the information carrier can be offered, and the package, in at least closed condition, has sufficient stiffness, to which stiffness, moreover, a packaged information carrier can make a contribution. The device according to the invention, when used for packaging CDs, can have, for instance, a thickness such that two or even three of such devices fit next to each other in the space conventionally occupied by a Jewel case-type CD package for a single CD, which conventionally has a thickness of about 10 mm. As a result, considerable advantages can be achieved in storage and transport, while moreover less plastic needs to be used and cycle times in the manufacture can be shortened. Moreover, a storage device according to the invention has a pleasant appearance, both in closed and in open condition.
By making the edge part at least partly hollow, the differences in wall thickness within the device can be limited to a minimum, which offers important advantages in terms of material and of manufacturing technique. Naturally, the edge part can also be partly or wholly filled, for instance by plastic foaming during production, or by filling it up subsequently.
The edge part is preferably slightly stiffer than the cover part connected therewith, at least with the device open. The information carrier can then, with the storage device closed, be locked between the cover parts and, with the device open, lie on one of the cover parts, in particular on the cover part which links up with the edge part or comprises it. The information carrier can then be simply taken from the storage device by, for instance, bending the relatively flexible part, in particular remote from the edge part, while the shape of the device, after release, is maintained. Moreover, as a result, particularly simply, closing means can be provided which, through slight deformation of one or both cover parts, can be opened and/or closed. A relatively stiff edge part moreover offers the advantage that during and directly after manufacture the cover parts can be held flat better and the package is dimensionally stable.
On one or both cover parts, preferably relatively low elevations are provided against which, or between which, the information carrier, with the package closed, is enclosed, such that the outer surfaces of the information carrier, in particular parts which have been recorded, at least parts thereof which are provided with information or are otherwise susceptible to scratches, dents and the like, are held in spaced relation from the cover parts. Thus, the elevations can be arranged, for instance, as studs or profiles, in particular at such positions that they rest only against parts of those surfaces that have not been recorded, at least have not been provided with information. Thus, for instance, if the package is to be used for CDs, studs or the like can be arranged such that the CD only has an outermost edge of, for instance, 1 to 2 mm, or parts thereof, resting on the studs and/or profiles. The CD can additionally, or alternatively, rest on studs or different kinds of profiles which extend under and/or around the central opening in the CD, for instance a somewhat circular elevation. The profiles, studs or like elevations preferably have a height of, for instance, a few tenths of millimeters.
In an advantageous embodiment, one cover part is provided with the edge part and the other cover part is provided with an element which is connected via the hinge means with the edge part and, with the package closed, at least partly covers the edge part. The advantage thus achieved is that the packaging device can be simply injection molded in open position, in particular in substantially flat condition, while, with the package closed, a package of still greater dimensional stability is obtained. Moreover, as a result, the package can be opened relatively simply and widely, and additional surface is obtained for, for instance, printing.
Alternatively, the second cover part can be connected to the edge part such that the cover part in closed condition leaves the edge part clear. Thus, the edge part remains outwardly visible in closed condition of the package as well.
Preferably, a device according to the invention is provided with a closure as described in claim 10.
Such a closure is particular advantageous because it provides for a proper lock, while the device is simple to open and the closing means, with the package closed, extend within the package.
In further elaboration, a device according to the invention is characterized by the features according to claim 12.
By making at least one cover part relatively flexible, at least the closing face thereof, the CD can be simply gripped by bending away a part of said closing face, while the edge part provides for sufficient stiffness.
It is further preferred that at least one of the cover parts, on the side facing inwards when the device is closed, is provided with retention means for engagement of an information carrier on a side edge thereof. Thus, the information carrier can be simply secured within the device against, for instance, displacement. The retention means can comprise, for instance, one relatively small undercut in at least one wall part, to secure the information carrier against displacement. In at least one of the cover parts, a recessed portion can be provided for receiving a further information carrier, in particular a card-shaped information carrier. One or both cover parts can be provided with printing, comprising at least information about the information carrier which has been or is to be received in the storage device, for instance through in-mold labeling.
The invention further relates to a method for manufacturing a storage device for an information carrier, characterized by the features according to claim 19.
By the use of such a method, relatively simple molds and light injection molding machines can suffice, while moreover a greater freedom regarding the materials to be used is obtained. In particular, the advantage thus achieved is that also plastics having a relatively low melt can be used, such as PET, PC, POM, low-melt PE, and the like. Further, the advantage thus achieved is that relatively low injection pressures can suffice.
It is then preferred that the mold cavity is brought into the desired shape while the last plastic is being pressed into the mold cavity. Thus, for instance, when bringing the mold cavity into the desired shape, still between 0% and 20% of the plastic needed can be introduced, for obtaining the desired filling pressure, it having been found that approximately 10% leads to particularly good results. However, it will be directly clear that adjustment of the proper amount of plastic still to be introduced can be determined by the skilled person, in particular on the basis of, for instance, the shape of the mold, the plastic used and the like.
In further elaboration, a method according to the invention is characterized by the features according to claim 21.
The use of a movable part, in particular a core, provides the advantage that the mold can be completely closed with a volume in the mold cavity that is greater than the volume of the desired product, that subsequently the plastic can be introduced into the mold cavity and eventually the desired pressure can be obtained by displacement of said movable part, thereby reducing the volume of the mold cavity. Here, relatively low pressures can suffice for keeping the mold closed and/or moving said at least one movable part.
The invention further relates to a method for packaging a plate-shaped information carrier, characterized by the features according to claim 22.
Such a method provides the advantage that the information carriers can be introduced into the package in a particularly simple manner.
The subclaims set forth further advantageous embodiments of a device and method according to the invention.
To clarify the invention, exemplary embodiments of devices and methods according to the invention will be elucidated with reference to the drawing. In the drawing:
In this description, the same or corresponding parts have the same or corresponding reference numerals.
In the embodiments shown, the devices have all been injection molded in one piece with integrated hinges (living hinges). The devices according to the invention can be injection molded in the traditional manner, but for this purpose it is also possible to apply a method according to the non-prepublished Dutch patent applications NL 1019235 and NL 1019320, incorporated herein by reference. Advantageously, a device according to the invention can be manufactured, for instance, from PE, PET, POM, PC or the like. In particular when using a method according to said patent applications, effectively, low-melt plastic, such as PET, can be used, while it can yet be made of translucent design. Moreover, such a device can be manufactured relatively cheap and made strong, having the desired stiffness and/or flexibility.
Devices according to the invention are suitable for packaging information carriers, in particular plate-shaped information carriers, such as CDs, CD-ROMs, CDi's, CDr and the like (further called “CD”), Sim-cards, credit cards, memory cards and the like. In the exemplary embodiments shown, the devices are suitable for substantially circular information carriers, such as the CDs mentioned. It will be immediately clear that such devices can also be rendered suitable for, for instance, rectangular information carriers as mentioned, by adaptation of, for instance, retention means, supporting and locking means, and the like.
The first cover part 4 comprises a substantially flat first closing face 16 on which, adjacent four corners thereof, elevations 18 are provided, having concave wall parts 20 facing towards the middle of the closing face 16. The four wall parts 20 jointly define the circumference of a circle C, represented in interrupted lines in
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The opening 24 can be designed such that the longitudinal edge is received therein so as to be freely movable, such that the cover part 4 with the information carrier can be pivoted. However, the opening 24 can also be made of clamping design, such that upon opening of the package, at least upon pivoting of the first cover part 4 relative to the edge part 2 the information carrier comes clear of the first cover part 4 and ends up standing upright on the edge part 2. This renders the CD still easier to grip. Between the elevations 18, on three sides, an opening 26 is left clear, into which a part of the longitudinal edge of the information carrier reaches, as indicated by the circle C and in which it is easy to grip if the information carrier, upon opening of the package, remains lying on the first cover part 4.
In the elevations 18, which are located on the side of the first cover part 4 remote from the hinges 8, 10, an opening 28 is provided, which form part of a closure as will be further explained hereinafter. Over a portion of the side of the closing face 16 remote from the hinges, a lip 30 has been formed, with which the cover part 4 can be simply gripped to open it.
The second cover part 6 comprises a second closing face 32 with an upstanding wall 34 extending along the three sides not connected with the hinge 10. Provided on the second closing face 32 are elevations 36, comparable to the elevations 22 on the first closing face 16. With these, when the package is closed, the information carrier 36 can be supported, preferably on unrecorded surfaces, to clamp it between the two closing faces and for keeping the further surface of the information carrier spaced from the second closing face 32. Adjacent the wall part 34A remote from the hinge 10, two lips 38 are provided, which upon closure of the package 1 can engage in the openings 28, preferably with a slightly clamped fit. Thus, the device can be simply kept closed. The second cover part 6 is provided with a lip 31, on the side opposite the side where the lip 30 on the first cover part 4 is provided. By pressing the two lips 30, 31 away from each other, when the package is closed, the package is simply opened.
A package 1 according to
In a mold, at least one mold cavity is provided, such that the edge part 2 is molded, for instance, in the upright position shown in
On the first closing part 16, again in four corners elevations 18 are provided in the form of relatively thin walls, with inwardly facing, concavely bent wall parts 20. Along each of said wall parts 20, a low edge 22 is provided on which the unrecorded longitudinal edge of a CD can rest. Openings 26 are provided between the elevations 18 for engagement of the information carrier. The wall parts 20 can clamp the information carrier to some extent, preferably with the aid of, for instance, slightly thickened portions 23 by which the information carrier can be clamped.
Between the side of the longitudinal wall 12 of the edge part 2 proximal to the elevations 18 and the adjacent walls 19 of the elevations 18, a space 34C is enclosed. The second cover part 6 is provided with an upstanding wall 34, which extends on four sides and is dimensioned and positioned such that, with the package closed, the longitudinal wall 34 encloses the elevations 18 with a proper fit and abuts against the first closing face 16. The wall part 34B located on the side of the hinge 8 then falls into the space 34C, preferably with a slightly clamped fit. Closing means as described earlier can be provided for further closure.
In this embodiment, between the longitudinal wall 34B and the hinge 8 an element 35 is provided, in particular a flat plate part which is parallel to the second closing face 32, which element 35 covers the edge part 2 when the package is closed. This element 35 can be made of slightly flexible design, at least more flexible than the edge part 2, so that opening the cover 6 is rendered possible in a simpler manner while slightly bending said element 35.
A device 1 according to
In this embodiment, the first cover part 4 is again made of somewhat trough-shaped design and provided with upstanding edge parts 19, comparable to those as shown in
On the first closing surface 16, again elevations 22 are arranged for supporting the information carrier spaced from the closing face 16, as well as the elevations 36 on the second closing face 32, whilst retention means are provided for retaining an information carrier in the trough-shaped part 37 of the first cover part 4. These retention means comprise, for instance, slightly resilient lips 40 arranged along the longitudinal edge of the information carrier and small projections 42 provided on the longitudinal wall 12A on the side proximal to the trough-shaped part 37. An information carrier (not shown) can, through a longitudinal edge thereof, be laid to some extent under said projection 42 and be pressed with a peripheral part located remote therefrom against the projections 42, whereby they deform to some extent for obtaining a desired clamping force. The information carrier can be simply taken out by pulling it from between the projections 40 and the projections 42, in particular by tilting to some extent. The projections 40 are arranged against a side of the information carrier opposite the small projections 42, viewed relative to a centerline of the information carrier parallel to the hinge 8.
In this embodiment, the hinge 8 is provided along the frontal-bottom side (in
In a device according to
In a device 1 according to the invention, at least one of the cover parts 4, 6, in particular that cover part in which the information carrier rests upon opening of the device, can be made of relatively flexible design, at least the closing face thereof. In particular, that closing face can be made of more flexible design than the edge part, so that after opening of the device said closing face can be deformed to some extent, for instance by bending away a corner thereof remote from the hinge. In particular at the openings 26 a relatively great flexibility can be obtained. Thus, in a particularly simple manner, the information carrier can be released without risk of damage. Such an embodiment is possible in particular in relatively flexible plastic, such as PE or PET.
A device according to the invention can be simply made of particularly thin design, for instance having a thickness approximately equal to the thickness of the closing faces, increased by the thickness of an information carrier to be stored therein and possibly the small elevations mentioned for keeping the information carrier spaced from the closing faces. Optionally, instead of providing the elevation, a part of the two closing faces can naturally be lowered on the side proximal to the information carrier during use, such that the information carrier is supported only on a longitudinal edge and the lowered portion of the two closing faces lies adjacent the recorded surfaces of the information carrier. Preferably, a device according to the invention is designed to have a thickness D which is smaller than about 3.5 mm, in particular about 3.2 mm, so that three such devices fit within the thickness of a conventional Jewel case. The other outside dimensions of a device according to the invention can simply correspond to those of a conventional Jewel case, so that devices according to the invention can be simply included in, for instance, logistic systems therefor. However, devices according to the invention can naturally have other dimensions as well, for instance approximately square.
A device 1 according to the invention is preferably provided with a printing on one or both cover parts, which printing can be provided in a particularly advantageous manner through in-mold labeling or like technique. Preferably, the printing is related directly to the information carrier to be stored in the device, for instance through associated product information and the like.
A device 1, in particular that shown in
The invention is not limited in any way to the exemplary embodiments shown in the description and the drawing. Many variations thereon are possible within the scope of the invention as outlined by the claims.
Thus, for instance, all possible combinations of parts of the devices as shown can be combined. Elevations on the closing faces for supporting the information carrier in spaced relation from said closing faces can be designed in any suitable manner, for instance as studs, ridges, ribs, profiles of a different kind, and the like, while, as mentioned, parts of the closing faces may be lowered to some extent. If desired, centrally on one or both closing faces, a provision can be included for engagement in the central opening of a CD. Other closures can be used, while, moreover, for instance, integrated sealing means can be provided for closing and sealing the device after it has been filled. To that end, for instance, lips 38 can be designed in such a manner that they can reach through the opposite cover part and can be secured thereto through heat treatment. Only after cutting away these ends of the lips can the device be opened, which will always be clear, so that the device is tamper-proof. In a device 1 according to the invention, the cavity 42 in an edge part 2 can also be filled up, for instance by foaming of the plastic during injection molding or by providing a filler therein. It is preferred, however, to keep the edge part hollow, enabling simpler manufacture. In a device 1 according to the invention, wall parts are preferably kept substantially equally thick, thereby achieving advantages in terms of production technique.
These and many comparable variations are understood to fall within the scope of the invention outlined by the claims.