US 20050224378 A1
A device for packaging substantially plate-shaped information carriers such as CD's or DVD's, comprising at least a first and a second cover part, mutually connected by pivot means, while on at least the first cover part receiving means are arranged for receiving the information carrier in a position in which it extends approximately parallel to a closing surface of said cover part, which receiving means comprise first locking means and second locking means provided on at least said closing surface, the first locking means being connected to said closing surface in a substantially positionally fixed manner and extending, during use, along at least a part of an outer contour of an information carrier received in the locking means, said second locking means comprising at least one resilient projection, arranged such that, during use, with the information carrier received in the locking means, this extend at least partly against and/or over the outer contour of the information carrier and locks the information carrier in the receiving means together with the first locking means.
1. A device for packaging substantially plate-shaped information carriers such as CD's or DVD's, comprising at least a first and a second cover part, mutually connected by pivot means, while on at least the first cover part receiving means are arranged for receiving the information carrier in a position in which it extends approximately parallel to a closing surface of said cover part, which receiving means comprise first locking means and second locking means provided at least on said closing surface, the first locking means being connected to said closing surface in a substantially positionally fixed manner and extending, during use, along at least a part of an outer contour of an information carrier received in the receiving means, said second locking means comprising at least one resilient projection, arranged such that, during use, with the information carrier received in the locking means, this extends at least partly against and/or over the outer contour thereof and, together with the first locking means, locks the information carrier in the receiving means.
2. A device according to
3. A device according to
4. A device according to
5. A device according to
6. A device according to
7. A device according to
8. A device according to
9. A device according to
10. A device according to
11. A device according to
12. A device according to
13. A device according to
14. A device according to
15. A device according to
16. A device according to
17. A device according to
18. A device according to
19. A device according to
20. A device according to
The invention relates to a device for packaging plate-shaped information carriers such as CD's, DVD's and information cards.
As a rule, plate-shaped information carriers such as CD's and DVD's are packaged in cases of the Jewel-case type. The CD is then pressed down by a central opening over a rosette, built up from a number of resilient fingers which press against the inside of the central opening and on the upper side of the CD. The rosette is provided on an inlay which is inserted in a tray-shaped first cover part. A second cover part is hinged to the first cover part-such that it can be pivoted over the first cover part while enclosing the CD. In practice, such a package has proven to be vulnerable and, moreover, is expensive in manufacture and use, in particular in storage, as a result of the relatively large volume and use of material. A further drawback is that this package is to be assembled and that the rosette engages in the central opening, so that this can no longer be used for taking out CD's, which proves to be cumbersome, while, furthermore, undesired stresses can occur.
As a rule, DVD's are packaged in packages manufactured substantially through injection molding. A rosette as known from the Jewel-case type of package is then integrally injection molded in a first cover part, while, again, a second cover part is provided. The two cover parts are connected via living hinges to a back and can be closed against each other. For this package too it holds that it is relatively expensive in manufacture and use and that, furthermore, the same drawbacks occur as a result of the use of the rosette. Moreover, with this package, the closing surface of the cover part in which the rosette has been formed is not closed, so that pollution can occur and, furthermore, printing or labeling the package is not possible. That is why these packages are usually provided with a plastic sleeve underneath which a print such as a paper can be slid, covering this opening.
Further, a package of the Diamond box type is known, a package preferably injection molded in one-piece wherein two cover parts are connected to a back via pivot means. On the back, pairs of resilient fingers are included between which an information carrier such as a CD or information card can be clamped, whereupon the cover parts can be closed therearound. What is prevented with such a package is that a central opening in the information carrier is to be used and, thus, undesired stresses in the information carrier are prevented while the information carrier can be taken out and placed in a simple manner. Furthermore, this package is also suitable for information carriers without central opening. This package is entirely outwardly closed. A drawback of this known package can be that, in closed condition, it is relatively thick and requires relatively much material.
The invention contemplates a package for substantially plate-shaped information carriers, wherein at least a number of the drawbacks of the known devices are obviated.
In particular, an object of the invention is to provide a package which engages a longitudinal edge of an information carrier such that both information carriers with and without a central opening can be received therein.
A further object of the invention is to provide a package which is simple in manufacture and use and requires relatively little material.
An even further object of the invention is to provide a package which is relatively light, which can be manufactured in one piece and which, in closed condition, confines an information carrier in a position-retaining manner but, with the device in open condition, allows the information carrier to be taken out in a simple manner while the information carrier, with the package in opened condition, is retained.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a package for information carriers, wherein cover parts are provided which are relatively flexible with the package open, while the package in closed condition is relatively form-retaining.
In order to achieve at least a number of these and further objectives, a device according to the invention is characterized by the features of claim 1.
With a device according to the invention, an information carrier is laid on a closing surface of a cover part, in particular the first cover part, against or at a short distance from the first locking means, clamped by the second locking means. Preferably, both the first and second locking means engage the outer contour and/or the upper side of the information carrier facing away from the closing surface, so that it is securely retained against displacements approximately parallel to the closing surface as well as approximately at right angles thereto.
In a particularly advantageous embodiment, a device according to the invention is designed such that although the first and second locking means retain the information carrier when the first cover part is not deformed, they release the information carrier when this cover part is deformed, in particular when it is bent and/or twisted. The second locking means can then be designed as resilient projections engaging substantially against the outer contour of the information carrier and virtually not projecting above the upper side of the information carrier. The projections can then for instance be provided with a small closing edge engaging the upper side of the longitudinal edge of the information carrier if this is provided with a beveled outer contour as is customary with CD's, DVD's and information cards such as credit cards, chip cards and the like.
In a further advantageous embodiment, the closing surface of the second cover part can lie flatly on an information carrier received in the package when the package is closed, so that further locking is obtained. In an alternative advantageous embodiment, the second cover part and/or a back of the package connecting the cover parts is provided with at least one second projection or at least one third projection, respectively, which second and/or third projection provide further locking of the information carrier when the package is closed.
Preferably, a device according to the invention is manufactured with a method wherein the package is formed in a mold, preferably in one piece through injection molding. Preferably, at least one mold cavity is then used which can undergo a volume change or wherein the mold is not completely closed at the start of an injection molding cycle. Only when the volume of required material has been introduced into the mold cavity for the larger part or virtually completely, is the mold brought into the eventual position, at least it adopts the eventual form. Also, the mold cavity can then be gradually brought into the eventual form while it is being filled. Thereafter, with the injection molding device, preferably, hold pressure is applied. Usually, to that end, a hotrunner is used. Due to this technique, particularly small wall thicknesses can be achieved while applying hold pressure results in removal of undesired stresses in the product formed, so that deformations after taking out can be prevented, at least for the larger part. With such a method; closing surfaces of the cover parts can be obtained which have a limited wall thickness, smaller than with existing packages with comparable outer dimensions, which, moreover, still remain virtually flat. For instance, wall thicknesses of less than 0.9 mm can be achieved. Preferably, wall thicknesses between 0.3 to 0.6 mm are used. As, with regard to surface, the closing surfaces constitute the largest part of the package, a reduction of its wall thicknesses yields a considerable saving in the amount of material to be used, weight and volume. Surprisingly, it has appeared that in spite thereof a sturdy, well locking package can be obtained which can be manufactured from shockproof plastics such as PE, PP, PET or combinations thereof. Suitable plastics will be directly clear to the skilled person. It will, for that matter, be clear that also different, in particular greater wall thicknesses can be used, for instance the usual wall thicknesses of 1-1.2 mm.
In a particularly advantageous embodiment, a package for CD's or DVD's is then provided with a total thickness of between approximately 3 mm and approximately 4 mm, more in particular of between approximately 3 and 3.3 mm, as a result of which three packages arranged next to each other approximately have a thickness comparable to that of a standard Jewel case of approximately 10 mm thickness. In a different particularly advantageous embodiment, a package is provided having a total thickness of between 4.8 and 5.2 mm, so that two such packages approximately have the thickness of a standard Jewel case of approximately 10 mm.
A device according to the invention is preferably manufactured in one piece from plastic, through injection molding, while, preferably, an injection molding technique is used as described in the Dutch non-prepublished patent applications NL 1019235 and NL 1019320, incorporated herein by reference.
In a further advantageous embodiment, a device according to the invention is characterized in that the two cover parts are provided with upstanding edges and/or elevations such that, when the package is closed, the edge or edges of the one cover part abut against the inner side and/or outer side of the edge or edges of the other cover part. Preferably, the edges then abut against the inside of the closing surfaces such that, as a result, these are to some extent supported by them, at least are protected against bending too much. What is achieved with such an embodiment is that the cover parts themselves can be designed to be relatively flexible but that, with the package closed, still, a relatively rigid package is obtained. What is moreover achieved in this manner is that an information carrier cannot be taken from the package without this being opened in the customary manner.
In the further subclaims, repeated here, further advantageous embodiments are described. In clarification of the invention, advantageous embodiments of devices, in particular packages according to the invention, will be described as examples, with reference to the drawing. In the drawing:
FIGS. 22A-C schematically show, in three steps, taking an information carrier from a package according to
In this description, identical or corresponding parts have identical or corresponding reference numerals. Combinations of parts of the different exemplary embodiments shown and described are understood to fall within the framework of the invention as outlined by the claims. In this description, information carrier is at least understood to include any substantially flat carrier of electronically, optically or otherwise readable information, in particular CD, DVD, diskette, minidisk, SIM-card, memory card or memory stick, chipcard, magnetic card or other information cards.
The receiving means 12 comprise first locking means 17 in the form of a substantially closed ring 20 fixedly placed on the closing surface 18, which ring, at the inside, has a contour at least partially matching the outer contour of the information carrier 2. In the ring 20, second locking means 21 are included, in the example shown designed as two resilient projections 22 placed diametrically opposed to each other on a line approximately parallel to the hinges 10. These projections 22 have a substantially opposed spring direction relative to each other, outwardly away from each other, and are arranged such that an information carrier 2 can be pressed therebetween in the ring and the projections 22 can engage against the outer contour, on the upper side and/or, preferably, fittingly on a beveled edge of the outer contour 23 of the information carrier 2 as shown in
In the embodiment shown in
In the embodiment shown in
On the closing surface 26 of the second cover part 6, a third locking element in the form of a locking projection 34 is provided. This locking projection is placed close to the longitudinal edge 24, opposite the hinge means 10, such that, with the package closed, it abuts against the contour 23 of the information carrier and/or against the upper side of the information carrier, which upper side 35 faces away from the closing surface 18 of the first cover part. To that end, in the ring 20, recesses 36 are provided, located diametrically opposed to each other, on a line at right angles to the hinges 10. With the package 1 closed as shown in
On the back 8, adjacent the center, a fourth locking element in the form of a fourth projection 44 is provided, also having a stepped surface 45. Upon closure of the package 1, a first surface 48 thereof rests in the recess 36 adjacent the back 8 on the bottom thereof, on the ring 20, as shown in
With a package 1 according to
On the first cover part 4, again, receiving means 12 are provided in the form of a ring 20 with projections 22 as described hereinabove. Within the ring 20, on the closing surface 18, small protrusions 62 are provided on which an information carrier 2 (not shown) can rest, preferably by unrecorded surfaces. These protrusions can, for instance, be small spheres, surfaces, rings or the like. Again, the projections 22 are provided with nose parts 22A which can lie on a beveled or rounded contour 23 of an information carrier 2 for clamping it, at least retaining it without the projection 22 reaching undesirably far above the upper surface 35 of the information carrier 2. In the example shown, the upper side of the projection 22 is approximately level to the upper surface 35 of the information carrier 2.
On the side facing the second cover part 6, the first cover part 4 is provided with an upstanding ridge 64 which is beveled and extends above the side of the inwardly facing closing surface 18 of the first cover part 4. The upper free longitudinal edge of this ridge 64 determines the hinge 10, at least together with the edge of the second cover part 6 connected thereto. Upon closure of the package 1, the closing surface 26, optionally also provided with particularly small protrusions 62 as is the first cover part 4, will come to abut against the upper surface 35 of an information carrier 2 when this is received in the receiving means 12, for locking it. The longitudinal edge 24 will then fittingly and preferably clampingly abut against the outer side of the longitudinal edge 14, so that a good closure is obtained. Moreover, as a result, the package becomes relatively rigid, also because of the locked-in information carrier, while this is well protected from damage.
In the embodiment shown, with the package 1 closed, the second cover part 6 with an upstanding edge 26 is closed, in an earlier described ]manner, around the corners 19, at least the outer edge 14 of the first cover part 4, so that the package is closed and pivoting of the edge part 18X is prevented. To further improve the closure, in the second cover part 6, pins 90 are provided which fit into openings 92 in the two corners 19 on the first cover part 4, preferably somewhat clampingly. As one of the openings 92 is provided in the pivotable edge part 18X, this is even better secured against pivoting.
It is noted that in the same or comparable manner also different packages for information carriers such as CD's or DVD's can be designed having a pivotable edge part on which at least one projection or a different first and/or second locking element is included, as long as this can be pulled away from a contour of the information carrier, by relative pivoting and/or bending of the edge part relative to the further cover part with further receiving means for the information carrier. Here, for instance, use with packages according to the non-prepublished applications NL 1019501, NL 1019488, NL 1019923 and NL 1019924 can be considered, which are understood to be incorporated herein by reference.
With a package according to the invention, if the longitudinal edges 14, 24 fall over or along each other, the rigidity of the package is increased while, moreover, this becomes pilferproof. The fact is that an information carrier cannot be taken from the closed package without damaging the package, particularly not when, at the sides remote from the hinges, the cover parts are retained against each other with closing means known per se.
FIGS. 22 A-C show, in cross sectional side view along the line XXII-XXII in
It will be clear that also several arms 80 and/or several first projections 22 can be provided, while, moreover, the edge 20 can be omitted if the information carrier is also confined sideways by the or each arm 80 and/or the or each projection 22. The projections 22 and/or the arm 80 then serve as first and second locking means.
With a package according to the invention, if the longitudinal edges 14, 24 fall over or along each other, the rigidity of the closed package is increased while, moreover, it becomes pilferproof The fact is that an information carrier cannot be taken from the closed package without damage to the package, in particular not when the cover parts are retained at the sides remote from the hinges with closing means known per se.
Packages according to the invention can simply be manufactured in one piece from relatively little and inexpensive material which, furthermore, may have been recycled. On material, for instance up to more than 30% can be economized relative to the known packages, which is advantageous from the point of view of costs but also leads to less storage and transport costs, particularly so because the package can be relatively small.
In an advantageous embodiment, a package 1 according to the invention is formed from, in principle, transparent material. The first cover part 4 bearing the receiving means can then be made to be, for instance, entirely or partly unclear, at least opaque, for instance by designing the respective forming mold surface in an injection molding mold in which the package 1 is formed to be rough and/or by roughening the respective cover part. As a result, the information carrier 2 and the receiving means are hidden are from view at least for the larger part, and are better protected against undesired radiation. The second cover part 6 can then be completely or partly transparent by using a polished respective mold part, so that a booklet or other piece of printing which is locked-in with the information carrier remains visible at the outside of the package. In a particularly attractive and advantageous embodiment, the surface 18A, for instance, of the first cover-part 4 can be of transparent design within the edge 20 and the further first cover part 4 can be opaque, so that the information carrier is indeed visible from the outside through the first cover part but the locking means and/or their surroundings are not. This can, for that matter, also be used with all sorts of other one-piece, injection molded packages for information carriers. Then, for instance, use with packages according to the non-prepublished applications NL 1019501, NL 1019488, NL 1019923, NL 1019924, NL 1019235, NL 1019320 and the published patents NL 1001698 and EP-0886863 can be considered, which are understood to be incorporated herein by reference.
The invention is not limited in any manner to the exemplary embodiments represented in the description and the drawings. Many variations thereon are possible within the framework of the invention as outlined by the claims.
For instance, packages according to the invention can be of multipart design and be suitable for several information carriers, for instance by including receiving means as described hereinabove on both cover parts. Different embodiments can then be combined. Also, more than two cover parts can be provided in series, with one or more receiving means, which can be folded one over the other successively. More than two projections can also be provided as second locking means or only one, while a part of the ring is designed such that the information carrier can fall under it. Preferably, at least two fixed projections are used, such as the edge parts 20A, opposite one or more resilient elements 21, such that a CD can be moved under the or each edge part 20A by elastic deformation of the resilient elements 21. Optionally, the second locking means can even be dispensed with, when the third and/or fourth locking means and/or the second cover part are sufficient for retaining the information carrier in the package. The ring 20 with the projections 22 can also be provided instead of or, as well as along the outer contour of a central opening of the information carrier, while the ring as such can be omitted if the second locking means are designed such that they define the position of the information carrier substantially unequivocally on the respective cover part, for instance by placing three projections along the outer contour, sufficiently interspaced, for instance mutually including an angle of approximately 120 degrees. The locking elements can also be provided on a tray.
A package according to the invention can be printed in a simple manner or be provided with a print by, for instance, in-mold labeling. Instead of the locking projections, also, a ring provided on the second cover part can be used for further locking the information carrier.
These and many further variations are understood to fall within the framework of the invention as outlined by the claims.