FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- THE PRIOR ART
The invention relates to the field of cosmetic product packaging, typically cases of facial care powders.
Generally speaking, cases typically include:
- a concave lid fitted with an inner mirror,
- a concave bottom, typically fitted with an inner frame or intermediate support for at least one trough intended to receive said cosmetic product,
- a hinge, constituting the connecting component between said lid and said bottom, allowing said lid to articulate and said case to open,
- a clasp or any means of fastening and unfastening said lid relative to said bottom, in such a way as to open and close said case, a clasp being typically of the push-button type. This clasp, located on the opposite side from the hinge of the case, is usually formed by the engagement of a clasp component of the lid with a clasp component of the bottom or of the inner frame integral with the bottom, so as to guarantee that the case will remain closed unless intentionally opened.
A great many case embodiments are known, embodiments which may focus on one or more of the constituent parts of the case, particularly on the clasp or on the case opening.
- PROBLEMS POSED
Thus, as regards patents in the name of the applicant, the following may be cited:
- the patent FR 2 661 080 which describes a make up case with a compact clasp,
- the patent FR 2 725 958 which relates to a case with combined assisted opening and closure,
- the patent FR 2 77 192 which describes a case with a swivel lid provided with an articulation with flexible lugs,
- the patent FR 2 755 352 which describes a case with assisted opening,
- patent FR 2 755 353 which describes a case with an unfastening and pre-opening push-button,
- and the patent 2 794 723 which describes a case with improved pre-opening.
On the one hand prior art cases generally include closure means formed by engagement of mechanical means, some integral with the lid, others integral with the bottom or with the inner frame, typically including a push button that allows a closure tab to be released by manual pressure.
These means generally include a resilient component which is compressed when the lid is closed and which relaxes during opening.
All these mechanical means involve both a high manufacturing cost, given the precision of the parts forming these means and the necessary absence of play, and a modification of the appearance of the cases, and particularly of their front part, which is the most visible.
On the other hand, as shown by the previously cited prior art, the diversity of means already used in the prior art is very great, each of these relatively specific means involving particular and therefore costly modifications to each case.
The applicant has therefore sought a general means which is applicable to a large number of cases without having to call back into question the design of each case in particular.
- DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Lastly, one other problem is to offer cases which can be distinguished from prior art cases by the “way they handle” or “the way they feel”, in other words by the tactile perception of the manual effort involved in opening the case.
According to the invention, the packaging intended for packaging cosmetic products, typically a case, includes a lid fitted with a first hinge portion, a concave bottom possibly including an inner frame integral with said bottom intended to form or to receive a trough containing said cosmetic product, said bottom or said inner frame being fitted with a second hinge portion, said first and second hinge portions engaging to form a hinge ensuring a relative rotation of said lid relative to said bottom along an axis of rotation, and a means of closing said lid relative to said bottom or said inner frame, and is characterised in that:
- a) said closure means includes an engagement of at least two magnets that face each other when said packaging is closed, so as to develop a force of attraction F between said magnets and a torque C between said lid and said bottom or said inner frame, a first magnet being anchored to said lid, a second magnet being anchored to said bottom or said inner frame, in such a way that said lid is attracted towards said bottom or said inner frame for an angle of opening α below a maximum angle of opening αL, beyond which there no longer appears to be a significant attraction between said lid and said bottom or said inner frame,
- b) said engagement is chosen in such a way that said maximum angle of opening αL is between 20° and 90°,
- c) said magnets are fully or partially concealed, so as to give packaging for which the closure means are invisible from view, at least when said lid is closed.
Typically, the packaging includes two magnets.
The means of the invention resolve the problems posed.
Indeed, these means allow all closure devices to be eliminated, in all their great diversity.
They allow cases to be offered for sale that are wholly changed in appearance, given the elimination of the conventional closure means positioned on the opposite side from the hinge. It is in particular possible to have a closure means that is wholly or partially concealed when the case is open, and typically wholly concealed when it is closed.
The means of the invention also radically alter the way it feels on opening the lid.
These means are not specific to a particular from of case and can therefore apply to any type of case, and more generally to any type of packaging that includes a lid articulated by means of a hinge.
As will be shown hereinafter, these means are both straightforward to implement, and therefore relatively cost-effective, and efficient.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
The maximum angle of opening αL was evaluated in the following way: a case being open—with α>αL—the bottom was placed under a plane support, with the hinge horizontal and the lid, free, in the vertical position, the slope of the support is gradually increased so as gradually to reduce the angle α until, for an angle of the support with the horizontal plane from equal to 90°−αL, the lid tilts abruptly being attracted by the bottom.
All the figures relate to the invention.
So as not to overburden the figures, and given the absence of any risk of confusion, the lid (2) and the bottom (3) have not been hachured, and the magnets (50, 51)—generally in cross-section—have been shown typically in the form of a rectangle in bold.
FIGS. 1 a to 1 c show bare cases (1)—with no accessories—in cross-section in a vertical median plane perpendicular to the axis of the hinge (10).
FIGS. 1 a and 1 b correspond to a type of case (1), the case being closed in FIG. 1 a and partially open in FIG. 1 b.
In the right-hand part of FIG. 1 a are shown two types of magnet profiles (50, 51) seen from behind, one S1 forming a cylindrical pin, the other S2, with S2>S1, forming a parallelepiped bar, of thickness E between 0.3 and 3 mm.
FIG. 1 c, similar to FIG. 1 a relates to another type of case (1).
FIGS. 2 a to 2 d are partial—enlarged—views of the right-hand part of the bottoms (3) of cases in FIGS. 1 a to 1 c which show, by way of example, some modes in which a magnet engages with the case, FIGS. 2 a to 2 d relating to the second magnet (51) anchored to the bottom (3) of the case (1).
FIG. 2 a shows the anchoring by insert-moulding of the second magnet (51) in the plastic material forming the bottom (3), the surface of said second magnet not being coated by plastic material and being typically flush with the corresponding surface of said bottom (3).
FIG. 2 b shows the anchoring by forcibly fitting said second magnet (51) into a channel or blind hole (31) formed in said bottom (3).
FIG. 2 c shows the anchoring by bonding of the second magnet (51) onto said bottom (3) by means of an adhesive layer (52).
FIG. 2 d shows the anchoring by using an insert (32), said second magnet being anchored to said insert (32), said insert (32) being assembled with said bottom (3), typically by being snapped on axially.
FIG. 2 e is a partial—enlarged—view of the right-hand part of the lid in FIGS. 1 a to 1 c, which shows the anchoring of said first magnet (50) to the first hinge portion (20) by insert-moulding, said first magnet being fully embedded in the plastic material forming said lid, a thickness Ep of plastic material forming an insert-moulding layer (24) coating the surface S of said first magnet, said thickness Ep, typically between 0.1 mm and 1 mm, being chosen to conceal said first magnet (50) from view.
FIG. 3 a is a view from behind of the cases according to FIG. 1 c.
FIG. 3 b shows four partial cross-section views, in the horizontal plane A-A in FIG. 3 a, of four variants of the magnets (50, 51) corresponding to different contact surfaces S1, S2, S3 and S3′, with S<S2<S3 and S3′ variable by variable coating of a second so-called “anchored” magnet (51) and a first so-called “mobile” magnet (51) more or less offset relative to the second magnet (51).
FIG. 3 c is a graph showing the variation in torque C, given the force of attraction F between magnets, as a function of the lid angle of opening α, in the example of three magnet variants with contact surfaces S1, S2 and S3 in FIG. 3 b.
An additional curve in dotted lines corresponds to the example—outside the invention—where the magnets are located in the place of the traditional closure means: with torque of identical magnets, the initial torque CI is higher, but the decrease in the torque C is then very rapid.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIGS. 4 a and 4 b are partial cross-sections corresponding to the right-hand part of FIGS. 1 a and 1 b for a type of case in which one of the magnets is carried by an inner frame integral with said bottom.
According to the invention, and as shown in all the figures, said engagement can be such that said first and second magnets (50) and (51) are located, on said lid (2) and on said bottom (3) or said inner frame (4) respectively, in such a way that said force F and said torque C is exerted at an average distance L from said axis of rotation (11) of between 3 and 30 mm, said average distance being taken at the distance separating the geometric centre or centre of gravity of the magnets (50, 51), and the axis of rotation (11) of the hinge (10).
Indeed, this makes it possible both to obtain a feel or a sensation on opening that is different from that obtained with prior art packaging or cases (1), and also different from what would be obtained if said magnets were placed elsewhere and typically in the place of the traditional clasp (see the curve in dotted lines in FIG. 3 c), and to fully or partially conceal these magnets (50) and (51).
Said average distance L may be between 5 and 20 mm.
Said average distance L may again be between 7 and 15 mm.
Said distance L has been shown in FIGS. 1 a, 1 c, 3 a and 4 a.
As shown in FIGS. 1 a, 1 c, 3 b and 4 a, said first and second magnets (50) and (51) may have a surface S that is facing, and typically in contact, when said packaging is closed, said magnets (50) and 51) and said surface S being chosen so as to have an initial opening torque CI, for α=0, typically between 0.0015 N.m and 0.3 N.m.
This surface S corresponds to the magnetic flux circulation surface. This is the contact or quasi contact surface, as in the example in FIG. 2 e where said first magnet (50) is coated with a thin layer of plastic insert-moulding material (24).
Typically, said first magnet (50) may be located in said fist hinge portion (20) or in a portion of said lid (2) juxtaposing said first hinge portion (20).
Likewise, said second magnet (51) may typically be located in said second hinge portion (30) or in a portion of said bottom (3) or of said inner frame (4) juxtaposing said second hinge portion (30).
Generally, and as a function particularly of the looked for initial closing torque CI, said surface S of the magnets (50, 51) may be between 5 and 30 mm2, and preferably between 10 and 20 mm2, the thickness E of the magnets (50, 51) being able to be between 0.3 mm and 3 mm.
As shown by way of examples in FIGS. 2 a to 2 e, said first and second magnets (50) and (51) may be anchored to said lid (2) and to said bottom (3) or said inner frame (4) respectively, typically by being fitted into a channel or blind hole (21, 31) formed in said lid (2), said bottom (3) or said inner frame (4), or by bonding of the magnets (50, 51), by means of an adhesive layer (2), onto said lid (2), said bottom (3) or said inner frame (4), possibly in said corresponding channel (21, 31), or possibly by insert-moulding, said first and second magnets (50, 51) being embedded in a moulded plastic material constituting said lid, said bottom or said inner frame, a layer of plastic material (53) of limited thickness Ep then coating said magnets (50, 51)—see FIG. 2 e.
This thickness Ep—typically of a few 1/10ths of a millimetre may be chosen to be fairly substantial so as to conceal said magnet (50, 51) and yet limited enough not to reduce the initial opening torque CI.
As shown in FIG. 1 c, said first and/or second magnet (50, 51) may be anchored to a support complementary to said lid, or to said bottom or said inner frame, said complementary support (34) forming a part cast in a single piece with said lid, said bottom or said inner frame.
In the example shown on FIG. 1 c, the additional support (34) forms part of the bottom (3) although crossing the horizontal plane (12) of opening of the case. This additional support has the dual advantage of increasing the distance L, and therefore the initial torque CI of constant force F, and of concealing to a large extent said first magnet (50) carried by the lid (2).
As shown in FIGS. 2 d and 2 e, said first and/or second magnet (50, 51) may be anchored to an insert (22, 32) or a part that can be anchored, typically by bonding or being snapped on, to said lid (2), to said bottom (3) or to said inner frame (4).
It can be seen in FIG. 2 e that the mirror (23) may be used as a means of fastening or locking said insert (22). Likewise, in FIG. 2 d, it should be noted that the insert (32) may be locked into a groove (34) formed in said bottom (3).
This type of anchoring means may be advantageous in so far as it is possible on the one hand to manufacture separately inserts (22, 32) fitted with magnets (50, 51), said inserts being of pre-set “standard” dimensions, and on the other hand, to manufacture components for packaging or cases (1), namely lids (2) or bottoms (3) or inner frames (4) that include a “standard” channel intended to engage with said inserts, in such a way as to ensure cost-effective rational production of any type of packaging or case.
- EMBODIMENT EXAMPLES
The invention applies to any type of packaging or case including a hinge and which requires a closure means, said closure means not necessarily being sealed given that, as in the case of cosmetic product cases, these cosmetic products are typically compressed powders.
- ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION
All the FIGS. 1 a to 1 c, 2 a to 2 e, 3 a and 3 b, 4 a and 4 b, constitute examples of embodiments of cases (1) or of components of cases (1) according to the invention.
The invention makes it possible to simplify the manufacture of packaging and cases (1) for cosmetic products in particular by simplifying the closure means (5). In particular, it offers the possibility of replacing the conventional closure means by a means that is both discrete, and virtually invisible, adaptable as a function of the needs or wishes of users, and potentially applicable to any type of case (1) or packaging.
In this way, the invention, which affects at one and the same time the economic aspect, the aesthetic aspect and the functional aspect of packaging and cases (1
), allows an advantageous renewal of the product offer, a renewal which is necessary and on-going in the packaging field, particularly in respect of cosmetic products, and in the field of cases in particular.
|LIST OF IDENTIFIERS |
| ||Case ||1 |
| ||Hinge ||10 |
| ||Axis of rotation ||11 |
| ||Horizontal plane of opening ||12 |
| ||Lid ||2 |
| ||First hinge portion ||20 |
| ||Channel for 50 ||21 |
| ||Insert ||22 |
| ||Mirror ||23 |
| ||Insert-moulding layer ||24 |
| ||Bottom ||3 |
| ||Second hinge portion ||30 |
| ||Channel for 51 ||31 |
| ||Insert ||32 |
| ||Complementary support ||33 |
| ||Inner frame ||4 |
| ||Means of closing 2 with 3 or 4 ||5 |
| ||First magnet which engages with 2 ||50 |
| ||Second magnet which engages with 3 or 4 ||51 |
| ||Adhesive layer ||52 |
| ||Layer of plastic material ||53 |
| || |