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Publication numberUS20060118606 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/295,692
Publication dateJun 8, 2006
Filing dateDec 5, 2005
Priority dateMar 26, 2003
Publication number11295692, 295692, US 2006/0118606 A1, US 2006/118606 A1, US 20060118606 A1, US 20060118606A1, US 2006118606 A1, US 2006118606A1, US-A1-20060118606, US-A1-2006118606, US2006/0118606A1, US2006/118606A1, US20060118606 A1, US20060118606A1, US2006118606 A1, US2006118606A1
InventorsJohn Holley, Aaron Bates, Jean-Michel Auclair
Original AssigneeHolley John M Jr, Aaron Bates, Jean-Michel Auclair
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carton with dispenser
US 20060118606 A1
Abstract
A package includes an article group of at least one row of cylindrical articles enclosed by a carton. The carton includes a plurality of walls and an article dispenser opening formed at the region of intersection of planes of the top wall, the opposed side walls and the end wall. A portion of the article dispenser opening is defined by an end wall severance line having all points disposed at elevations at a distance as measured from the plane of the top wall no greater than the diameter of the substantially cylindrical articles that lie in an upper row of the group. Another portion of the article dispenser opening is defined by side wall severance lines a portion of which is at a distance less than the diameter away from the base wall. No portion of either side wall severance line is oblique with respect to the top wall.
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Claims(5)
1. A package comprising:
an article group formed of at least one row of substantially cylindrical articles having a diameter and opposing ends disposed on sides thereof in a side-by-side parallel fashion; and
a carton enclosing said article group, the carton including:
a plurality of walls including a top wall, a base wall, a pair of opposed side walls connected to side edges of said top wall and side edges of said base wall, and an end wall interconnecting said opposed side walls; and
an article dispenser formed at a region of intersection of planes of said top wall, said opposed side walls and said end wall, said article dispenser comprising a detachable portion that is detachable to define an article dispenser opening;
wherein:
said article dispenser opening is defined at least in part by an end wall severance line extending across said end wall having all points thereof disposed at a distance as measured from the plane of said top wall that is no greater than the diameter of the substantially cylindrical articles;
said article dispenser opening is defined at least in part by a side wall severance line extending across a respective one of said opposed side walls from said plane of said top wall to said plane of said end wall;
all segments of said side wall severance line are substantially parallel to one of said top wall and said end wall and are disposed at a distance no greater than said diameter from said end wall; and
at least a segment of said side wall severance line is disposed at a distance no greater than said diameter from said base wall.
2. The package of claim 1, wherein a portion of said article dispenser opening is defined by a top wall severance line extending across said top wall proximate said region of intersection of planes of said top wall, said opposed side walls and said end wall.
3. The package of claim 1, further comprising tear initiation means.
4. The package of claim 1, further comprising a stopper wall for retaining articles in said carton, said stopper wall formed from said end wall and defined by detaching said detachable portion.
5. The package of claim 1, wherein said stopper wall comprises an upper edge defined by said end wall severance line.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/098,937, filed Apr. 4, 2005, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/397,646, filed Mar. 26, 2003, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,902,104, issued Jun. 7, 2005, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to cartons, and more particularly, to a carton for multiple articles having a dispenser for constrained removal of individual articles. In particular the invention relates to a carton having a dispenser for retaining and removing articles in the carton.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cartons for encasing multiple articles are useful for enabling consumers to obtain and transport a desired quantity of individual articles such as soft drinks or other beverages. When such a multiple-pack of articles is obtained, a consumer frequently desires to remove one article from the carton at a time. Thus, it can be appreciated that it would be desirable to have a carton with a dispenser that facilitates the removal of a single article from the carton at a time.

When the articles contained in the carton are cylindrical, and are disposed in the carton upon their sides, it is important that the articles be constrained such that the remaining articles do not roll out of the dispenser when one is removed. It is also important that the dispenser provides a condition where the articles are easily accessed. It is further often desirable when removing individual articles from a carton to be able to determine how many articles remain in the carton. Thus, it can be further appreciated that it would be desirable to have a carton with a dispenser that constrains remaining articles so that they do not undesirably roll from or otherwise exit the carton when one article is removed. It can also be appreciated that it would be desirable to have a carton with a dispenser that facilitates access to the articles. It can be further appreciated that it would be desirable to have a carton with a dispenser that facilitates determining the number of articles remaining in the carton as individual articles are removed.

A further problem associated with similar known cartons is that a user can have difficulty in grasping articles furthest from the dispenser. The present invention and its preferred embodiments seek to overcome or at least mitigate the problems of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the invention provides a carton comprising a plurality of walls including a top wall, a pair of opposed side walls connected to side edges of the top wall and an end wall interconnecting the side walls to provide a front wall of the carton. The carton further comprises an article dispenser at the one or both ends of the carton for dispensing articles from the carton. The dispenser includes an opening for exposing at least an upper and a lower endmost article for removal. The opening is provided by removal of a detachable portion of the carton formed from the top, side and end walls.

A second aspect of the invention provides a carton comprising a plurality of walls including a top wall, a pair of opposed side walls connected to side edges of the top wall and an end wall interconnecting the side walls defining an upper corner of the carton and an article dispenser for dispensing articles from the carton. The dispenser includes a detachable portion of the carton formed from the top, side and end walls. The detachable portion is detachably connected to the top, side and end walls to be detached from the carton to define an opening for exposing an endmost article for removal. The carton may further comprise tear initiation means for grasping and removing the detachable portion. The tear initiation means may be formed in one or more of the top or side walls to facilitate detaching the detachable portion.

In a preferred embodiment, the detachable connection of the detachable portion comprises a frangible line of joinder for defining an edge of the opening. The tear initiation arrangement may comprise a hinged flap inwardly displaceable to define a finger aperture. Optionally, an edge of the finger aperture is provided by the frangible line of joinder to enable a user to grasp an edge of the detachable portion.

A third aspect of the invention provides a package comprising an article group formed of at least one tier of cylindrical articles disposed on sides thereof in a side-by-side parallel fashion and a carton disposed around the group. The carton comprises a top wall, a pair of opposed side walls connected to side edges of the top wall and an end wall interconnecting the side walls defining an upper corner of the carton, and an article dispenser for dispensing articles from the carton. The dispenser includes a detachable portion of the carton formed from the top, side and end walls. The detachable portion is detachably connected to the top, side and end walls to be detached from the carton to define an opening for exposing an endmost article for removal. In this aspect, the carton further comprises tear initiation means for grasping the detachable portion. The tear initiation arrangement is formed in one or more of the top or side walls to facilitate detaching the detachable portion.

The article group may comprise two or more vertically arranged tiers of cylindrical articles. The articles in each tier are disposed on their sides in a side-by-side parallel fashion. The frangible line extending across either side wall is disposed at least partially across the opposite ends of an endmost article of the lowermost tier, so as to expose at least a portion of each of the opposite ends of the endmost article in the lowermost tier.

The articles can be removed from the article dispenser upon removal of the detachable portion, through an article dispenser opening. The article dispenser opening is defined at least in part by an end wall severance line extending across the end wall having all points thereof disposed at a distance as measured from the plane of the top wall that is no greater than the diameter of the substantially cylindrical articles. This configuration ensures that the endmost article in the uppermost row will not undesirably roll out of the carton upon removal of the detachable portion. In fact, the end wall severance line defines the upper edge of a stopper wall that retains articles in the carton. The stopper wall is formed from the end wall and defined by detaching the detachable portion. The article dispenser opening is further defined by a top wall severance line extending across the top wall proximate the region of intersection of planes of the top wall, the opposed side walls and the end wall.

The article dispenser opening is also defined at least in part by a side wall severance lines each extending across one of the opposed side walls, from the plane of the top wall to the plane of the end wall. Each side wall severance line includes several segments. All segments of the side wall severance line are substantially parallel to either the top wall or the end wall, i.e., no segments of the side wall severance line is oblique with respect to the top wall. The side wall severance line is disposed at a distance no greater than the diameter of an article from the end wall. At least one segment of the side wall severance line is disposed at a distance no greater than the diameter from the base wall. In this manner, each side wall severance line extends across a portion of an end of the endmost article on the lowermost tier, such that a portion of the end is exposed to allow the user to easily grasp and remove the endmost article on the lowermost tier upon removal of the detachable portion.

The foregoing has broadly outlined some of the aspects and features of the present invention, which should be construed to be merely illustrative of various potential applications of the invention. Other beneficial results can be obtained by applying the disclosed information in a different manner or by combining the disclosed embodiments. Accordingly, other aspects and a more comprehensive understanding of the invention may be obtained by referring to the detailed description of the exemplary embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a blank according to a first embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of a carton formed from the blank of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of a package including the carton of FIG. 2 enclosing an article group, the detachable portion of the carton having been removed.

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the package of FIG. 3, showing a user accessing the endmost article on the lowermost row of the exemplary carton.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a blank according to a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a carton formed from the blank of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of the package of FIG. 6, showing a user accessing the endmost article on the lowermost row of the exemplary carton.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a blank according to a third embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a partial perspective view of a carton formed from the blank of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a blank according to a fourth embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a partial perspective view of a carton formed from the blank of FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. It must be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various and alternative forms, and combinations thereof. As used herein, the word “exemplary” is used expansively to refer to embodiments that serve as an illustration, specimen, model or pattern. The figures are not necessarily to scale and some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. In other instances, well-known components, systems, materials or methods have not been described in detail in order to avoid obscuring the present invention. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.

Referring to the drawings, there are shown cartons each having a dispenser for dispensing articles contained within the carton and blanks for forming the cartons. The blanks and cartons are formed from paperboard or other foldable sheet material, for example plastics material or the like, to which features such as fold lines and severance lines have been added. The cartons are used to enclose one or more articles, for example cans or bottles, and to dispense the articles.

As viewed from the perspective of a side wall, the articles are arranged in a matrix configuration having one or more horizontally disposed tiered rows with one or more articles in each row. It is contemplated that the article group may include multiple tiers of articles, with each tier possibly but not necessarily being separated such as by a partition. Thus, the articles may also be arranged in several vertical columns. The embodiments shown in the figures include cartons configured to enclose beverage cans C in two rows with N cans in each row (a 2×N arrangement). For example, an exemplary carton may be a twelve pack, having a 2×6 arrangement.

In the illustrated embodiments a unitary blank is used to make a single carton, although it is envisaged that two or more blanks may be employed for example, to provide the dispenser, described in more detail below.

Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a blank 100 for forming a carton with a dispenser. The art side, or outside surface, of the blank 100 is shown. The blank 100 comprises a first side panel 102, a top panel 104, a second side panel 106, a base panel 108, and an edge flap 110 hingedly connected one to the next in a longitudinal direction along transverse fold lines 112, 114, 116 and 118, respectively.

Along each longitudinal edge, there are a series of end flaps for forming an end wall of the carton. In order to form the completed carton from the blank 100, a series of sequential folding and gluing operations are required and will be described. The folding and gluing operations can be performed in one or more straight-line machines, so that the tray is not required to be rotated or inverted to complete its construction. The folding process is not limited to that described below and can be altered according to particular manufacturing requirements. The carton (FIG. 2) is erected by securing edge flap 110 to base panel 108 to form a flat tubular structure. The flat tubular structure is expanded into an open ended tubular form. Articles, such as cans C, are loaded through one or both of the open ends of the carton and the end wall panels and flaps are secured to close the ends of the carton with end wall closures.

Each end wall may be substantially identical and therefore like references have been used, with the suffix “a” or “b”. Therefore, only one end wall will now be described in any great detail.

The front end wall (i.e., the end shown in FIG. 2) includes side end flap 120 b hingedly connected to first side panel 102 along fold line 122 b, top end flap 124 b hingedly connected to top panel 104 along fold line 126 b, side end flap 128 b hingedly connected to second side panel 106 along fold line 130 b, and bottom end flap 132 b hingedly connected the base panel 108 along fold line 134 b.

An article dispenser is formed in at least one end of the blank which, in this embodiment, is provided by the region of intersection of the side panels 102, 106, the end wall, and the top panel 104. Removal of a detachable portion of the carton, which approximates a trough T (FIGS. 2 and 3), defines an article dispenser opening O (best shown in FIG. 3). The endmost article C1 in the uppermost row may be removed along with the detachable portion T to dispense the first article from the carton 100 (as shown in FIG. 3).

Turning again to FIG. 1, the detachable portion T is formed from at least a portion of several panels, including side panel 102, side end flap 120 b, top panel 104, top end flap 124 b, side panel 106, and side end flap 128 b. A frangible line of joinder, more specifically severance line S, is shaped to define the detachable portion T and thus, the opening O (FIG. 3), as will be described in more detail. The severance line S is formed from continuously connected segments, including segment 144 extending across side end flap 120 b substantially perpendicularly to fold line 122 b, side wall severance line 136 extending partially across side panel 102, top wall severance line 138 extending across top panel 104 from fold line 112 to fold line 114, side wall severance line 140 extending partially across side panel 106, and segment 142 extending across side end flap 128 b substantially perpendicularly to fold line 130 b. Segments 136 and 140 follow a path defined by right angles such that no portion of these segments is oblique with respect to intersecting fold lines 122 b, 112, 114, or 130 b. At no point do the segments 136, 140 extend away from respective fold lines 120 b, 130 b more than the diameter D of one of the intended articles C1, C2 (the circumference of which is shown in broken lines). A portion of each segment 136, 140 is disposed at a distance less than D from the respective fold lines 118, 116. This disposition yields an opening O that exposes at least a portion of the end of the endmost article C2 in the lowermost row of the erected and loaded carton 100 to ease its removal from the carton 100 after the endmost article C1 in the uppermost row has been removed (as shown in FIG. 4). In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the end wall is traversed by severance line segments 142, 144 which define a stopper wall W (FIG. 3) upon removal of detachable portion T. The upper edge of the stopper wall W extends straight across the end wall, substantially parallel to the plane of the base wall, and is disposed at a distance from the base wall that is at least as great as the diameter D of the articles.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a blank for forming a carton (shown in FIGS. 6 and 7) according to a second embodiment of the invention, which further illustrates certain teachings thereof. This embodiment differs from the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4 in that the stopper wall W2 is vaulted at the center or otherwise convex with respect to the plane of the base wall to extend at least as far toward the top wall of the erected carton to provide retention for the articles remaining in the carton after the detachable portion T2 has been removed (FIG. 6), while providing at least as much visibility for the articles in the lower rows. The side wall severance lines 236, 240 are similarly disposed to provide access to the endmost article C2 in the lowermost row (FIG. 7).

The trough T is removed from the carton 100 by tearing severance line S. To ease detachment, there may further comprise tear-initiating means, as illustrated in FIGS. 8-11, and as will be described in greater detail below.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a blank for forming a carton (shown in FIG. 9) according to a third embodiment of the invention, which further illustrates certain teachings thereof. In addition to tear initiation means, this embodiment differs from the embodiment of FIGS. 5-7 in that the stopper wall W3 is concave with respect to the plane of the base wall. However, even the lowest point P, which may include an extended section, of the stopper wall W3 is disposed at a distance from the base wall that greater than the diameter D of the articles. Thus, the stopper wall W3 provides similar advantages as the previous embodiment, including retention and visibility for the articles remaining in the carton after the detachable portion T3 has been removed.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a blank for forming a carton (shown in FIG. 11) according to a fourth embodiment of the invention, which further illustrates certain teachings thereof. In addition to tear initiation means, this embodiment differs from the embodiment of FIGS. 5-7 by addition of tear initiation means. The tear initiation means adds advantages to the retention and visibility provided by stopper wall W4 by enlarging the opening O4 for the articles remaining in the carton after the detachable portion T4 has been removed. In the third and fourth embodiments, the detachable portions T3, T4 extend further onto the top panels 304, 404 along the length of severance line segments 346, 446, which terminate at severance line 350, 450. In use, the tear initiation means functions as follows, with respect to the fourth embodiment but equally applicable to the third. The user presses inwardly proximate to fold line 452 to encourage separation of the detachable portion T4 from the top panel 404. The push tab may partially separate from the carton along fold or severance line 448. Then the user grasps the extended portion of the detachable portion T4 and pulls detachable portion T4 toward the end wall, thereby separating it from the carton.

The above-described embodiments are merely exemplary illustrations of implementations set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the invention. Variations, modifications, and combinations may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the scope of the claims. All such variations, modifications, and combinations are included herein by the scope of this disclosure and the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7568612Apr 4, 2007Aug 4, 2009Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with dispenser
US7918384Jun 22, 2007Apr 5, 2011Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with dispenser
US8162206Jun 10, 2010Apr 24, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Paperboard carton with two new types of dispensers
US8955737Sep 24, 2007Feb 17, 2015The Coca-Cola CompanySplit carton
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/122, 229/242
International ClassificationB65D17/00, B65D5/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2571/0066, B65D2571/00728, B65D71/36, B65D2571/0058
European ClassificationB65D71/36
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 15, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: MEADWESTVACO PACKAGING SYSTEMS, LLC, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HOLLEY, JR., JOHN M;BATES, AARON;AUCLAIR, JEAN-MICHEL;REEL/FRAME:017174/0551;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060124 TO 20060131