US 20050218151 A1
The invention includes a method of packaging paper products (such as facial tissue) in a dispenser. A clip of paper product is folded. The folded clip has a central region and a pair of opposing peripheral regions separated from one another by the central region. The peripheral regions of the folded clip are pressed toward one another to compress the peripheral regions. After the peripheral regions are compressed, the folded clip is transferred into the dispenser.
33. A method of packaging a folded clip, comprising pressing opposing regions of the folded clip toward one another prior to inserting the clip into a package.
34. The method of
35. The method of
36. The method of
37. The method of
38. The method of
39. The method of
40. The method of
41. The method of
42. The method of
43. The method of
44. The method of
45. A method of packaging a folded clip, comprising:
supporting the folded clip with a ski, wherein the ski comprises a notch extending laterally into an edge of the ski; and
inserting the folded clip into a package.
46. The method of
47. The method of
48. The method of
49. The method of
50. The method of
51. The method of
52. The method of
53. The method of
54. A method of packaging a folded clip of a plurality of articles, comprising pressing opposing regions of the folded clip toward one another prior to inserting the clip into a package, the package being configured to dispense the articles substantially singly.
The invention pertains to methods of packaging paper products, and in particular applications pertains to methods of packaging facial tissue in a dispenser.
A method of packaging paper products, such as facial tissue, which has gained acceptance in the marketplace is to fold a stack of paper product sheets about a central axis and then provide the sheets within a boutique-type box. The box has a perforation extending therethrough to the central region of the folded sheets, and such allows a consumer to withdraw the sheets from the box. The packaging can have an advantage in that the box of folded paper product can have a smaller footprint that would a box of non-folded paper product. Also, in many cases consumers associate a box of folded paper product with a premium line of product, rather than with lower-tier product. Examples of facial tissue products marketed in boutique-type boxes are ALBERTSON'S™ “WHISPER SOFT IMAGES”™; HYVEE™ “SOFT ESSENTIALS TREASURES”™; and KLEENEX™ “ULTRA SOFT DOUX”™.
The box having the folded tissue therein is a dispenser. Ideally, the tissue will be dispensed one-at-a-time through the perforation which extends into the box. However, it is frequently found that the first several sheets do not dispense smoothly in a one-at-a-time manner. Instead the sheets bind within the box and either tear as they are being pulled from the box, or come out as a clump of four or five tissues. Since the tissues within a boutique-type dispenser are associated with premium product, there can be heightened consumer dissatisfaction with the poor dispensing of the first few sheets than would occur with packaging not associated with premium product.
The problem of having the first few sheets dispensed poorly from a boutique-type dispenser has existed for years, and to date there has not been a satisfactory solution to the problem. A recent study by Potlatch Corporation has shown that there are times when at least sixty percent of the boutique-type dispensers produced for a line of premium paper product will fail to appropriately dispense the first sheet of product, and there can even be times when eighty percent or more of the packages fail to appropriately dispense the first sheet of tissue product.
The ski 14 has an edge 16, and opposing lateral surfaces 18 extending upwardly from the edge. The clip 10 comprises a central region 20 proximate the edge 16 of ski 14. Clip 10 further comprises peripheral regions 22 and 24 on opposing sides of central region 20, with the peripheral regions extending along lateral edges 18 of ski 14 in the shown folded configuration of the clip.
Clip 10 would be folded about ski 14 utilizing an apparatus (not shown) which forces peripheral regions 22 and 24 upwardly relative to central region 20 of the clip.
The ski 14 of
In one aspect, the invention encompasses a method of packaging paper products in a dispenser. A clip comprising a stacked plurality of paper products is provided. Also, a ski is provided. The ski comprises a first surface extending longitudinally along the first direction, and has a pair of second surfaces extending transversely from the first surface. The clip is folded around the ski. The folded clip has a central region along the first surface of the ski, and has a pair of opposing peripheral regions separated from one another by the central region. The folded clip is slid off from the ski and subsequently the peripheral regions of the folded clip are pressed toward one another to compress the peripheral regions. After the peripheral regions are compressed, the folded clip is transferred into the dispenser. The peripheral regions can be subjected to at least about 1 pound per square inch gauge (psig) of pressure during the pressing.
In further aspects, the invention encompasses methods of packaging facial tissue.
Preferred embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the following accompanying drawings.
One aspect of the invention is a recognition that a reason the first few sheets of tissues are difficult to remove from a boutique-type box can be that the first few sheets are tightly pushed against the interior sides of the boutique-type box, and accordingly friction makes it difficult to withdraw the first few sheets. Once the first few sheets have been removed, the remaining sheets can be more easily withdrawn because the pressure between the remaining sheets of the clip and the interior sidewall of the box decreases as sheets are removed and the bulk of the remaining clip is thereby reduced.
Various methods have been investigated for reducing the overall bulk of a folded clip within a boutique-type box in an effort to reduce the friction of the outermost sheets of the clip relative to an interior surface of the box. Among such methods are to increase the dimensions of the box, or decrease the number of sheets in a clip. Neither method is considered satisfactory. If the dimensions of the box are increased, then the footprint of the box will increase which means that less boxes can be included on the same amount of shelf space as are presently being provided. Also, an increase in the dimensions of a boutique-type box would create complications in the transport and distribution of the boxes. A reduction in the total number of sheets contained within a box can create problems with consumer perception of the quality of the package. Specifically, each box of tissue is generally prominently labeled with the number of sheets in the box. Consumers would likely be dissatisfied if the number of sheets in boxes of premium tissue were suddenly reduced, even if such translated into better dispensing of the first of the remaining sheets from the box.
Clip 10 comprises a central region 120 and comprises a pair of opposing peripheral regions 122 separated from one another by the central region. In the shown aspect of the invention, clip 10 is folded approximately in half. Accordingly, peripheral regions 122 correspond to folded regions separated from one another by the fold and each comprising about one-half of the total clip.
Compression unit 52 comprises a pair of plates 130 which press against the peripheral regions 122 of clip 10. A compressive force applied to plates 130 is illustrated diagrammatically by arrows 132 and 134. The force against the plates can be generated utilizing, for example, one or more of electric, hydraulic or pneumatic power sources.
Preferably, peripheral regions 122 are subjected to at least about 1 pound per square inch gauge (psig) of pressure during the compression of the peripheral regions with plates 130. In particular applications, the pressure can be at least about 5 psig, and least about 10 psig, and at least about 15 psig. In some applications, the pressure can be greater than or equal to about 15 psig, and less than or equal to about 400 psig.
It is found that if too much pressure is applied, desirable qualities of the individual sheets can be compromised, and even lost. Also, it is found that if too little pressure is applied, the bulk of the peripheral regions of the clip is not sufficiently reduced to avoid the problems associated with withdrawal of the first few sheets of the clips that were discussed above with reference to the prior art. It can be desired to apply from at least about 10 psig of pressure to less than or equal to about 100 psig of pressure to peripheral regions 122, and even more desired to apply from at least about 20 psig of pressure to less than or equal to about 80 psig of pressure to peripheral regions 122. In exemplary applications, about 50 psig of pressure is applied to peripheral regions 122, and in other applications about 80 psig of pressure is applied to peripheral regions 122.
The pressure at peripheral regions 122 can be applied for a time of less than or equal to about 10 seconds (such as a time of from about 1 second to about 10 seconds, or a time of less than or equal to about 5 seconds), and can be applied at typical operating temperatures utilized in paper production factories, such as, for example, temperature of from greater than 0° C. to less than or equal to about 40° C.
After the compression described with reference to
Although the clip is typically slid off from the ski prior to the compression of the peripheral regions of the clip, the ski shape can still influence physical properties of the compressed clip. It is found that it can be advantageous to utilize a narrow ski, rather than a wide ski, in various methods of the present invention. However, a problem which can occur when a narrow ski is utilized is that the clip can rotate relative to the ski so that the clip is skewed in its ultimate orientation within a package. Such is illustrated in
It is desired to increase the number of packages having the desired configuration of
Notch 228 can assist in retaining clip 104 in a particular orientation relative to ski 220. Specifically, notch 228 provides additional surfaces for retaining clip 104 as the clip is slid off from ski 220 and into a package. Accordingly, notch 228 can assist in reproducibly and consistently orienting clips of stacked tissue in a desired configuration within a dispenser. Such can enable the desired
Ski 302 can have an edge width of less than or equal to about one inch, less than or equal to about 3/4 inch, and in particular applications can have a width of less than or equal to about one-half inch.
The edge 308 of ski 302 is illustrated as being curved upwardly between lateral surfaces 310 to form a cavity 320. Cavity 320 can have a depth of about 1/8 inch. Corners 322 are formed where edge 308 joins surfaces 310, and such corners can aid in retaining and orienting a clip folded around the lower portion of ski 302.
Ski 302 has a ramped portion 330 of the lower surface, which can extend at, for example, about a 9° angle relative to the non-ramped portion of the lower surface. The ramped portion can aid in releasing a folded clip from the ski.
In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural and methodical features. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown and described, since the means herein disclosed comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.