US 20060283744 A1
A package for containers such as bottles or cans, folded from sheet material, comprising a bottom panel, a first and second side panel connected thereto via diametrically opposed first fold lines and a first and second upper flap, connected to the respective side panels via a second and third fold line, respectively, wherein the first upper flap is located on the second upper flap and at least two openings are provided in the first upper flap through which fingers can be inserted for lifting said package and the second upper flap extends at least between said openings, while, at the location of the second and third fold line over at least one part of the said second and third fold line at least two layers of sheet material are provided, on and/or on both sides of said second and third fold line such that an upper longitudinal edge of at least one of the containers abuts, during use, against the innermost of said two layers of sheet material.
1. A package for containers such as bottles or cans, folded from sheet material, comprising a bottom panel, a first and second side panel connected thereto via diametrically opposed first fold lines and a first and second upper flap, connected to the respective side panels via a second and third fold line, respectively, wherein the first upper flap is located on the second upper flap and at least two openings are provided in the first upper flap through which fingers can be inserted for lifting said package and the second upper flap extends at least between said openings, while, at the location of the second and third fold line over at least one part of the said second and third fold line at least two layers of sheet material are provided, on and/or on both sides of said second and third fold line such that an upper longitudinal edge of at least one of the containers abuts, during use, against the innermost of said two layers of sheet material.
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a bottom panel
a first and second side panel, connected to the bottom panel via first fold lines extending substantially parallel to each other;
a first and second upper flap, connected to the first and second side panel, respectively, via a second and third fold line, respectively, extending approximately parallel to the first fold line;
wherein in the first upper flap at least two openings are provided for allowing the passage of fingers, and the second upper surface has a width and form such that it can lie on or below the first upper surface, substantially between said two openings.
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each side panel on two opposite sides, via a sixth fold line extending approximately at right angles to the first fold lines, is connected to a closing flap, while two closing flaps, cooperating when the package is set-up, have a joint width which is at least equal to the corresponding width of the bottom panel;
on two opposite sides of the bottom panel, via a seventh fold line extending approximately at right angles to the first fold lines, a support closing flap is connected;
via a ninth fold line, each closing flap is connected to a corner flap, which corner flap is connected, via a tenth fold line, to a support closing flap, while each respective ninth and tenth fold line intersect in a corner of the bottom panel and, mutually, include an angle of less than 90 degrees, more in particular less than 60 degrees.
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26. An apparatus for setting up packages according to
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The invention relates to a package for containers such as bottles or cans. Such packages, in which rows of such containers are packaged, are usually indicated as multipack.
As a rule, for manufacturing multipack packages, a blank is folded from cardboard. The blank comprises, for instance, an upper surface, two side panels extending downwards from the upper surface and two bottom flaps, which bottom flaps are folded below, for instance, two rows of two (four-pack) or three (six-pack) bottles. With the aid of lips on a first bottom flap which are pressed into openings in the other bottom flap, the package is closed below the bottles. In the upper surface, two openings are provided with which the package can be engaged. Such a package is known from U.S. Pat. No. 3,815,320. A comparable package is known from U.S. Pat. No. 5,673,538, wherein, however, each of the bottles reaches by its neck through an opening in the upper surface.
These known packages have as a disadvantage that the bottom flaps are to be pressed under the bottles, while the lips are to be forced into the openings. As a result, such a package is relatively difficult to form and the feed-through rate is limited. Moreover, this package is open at the front and rear sides. These packages are manufactured from relatively heavy cardboard. For instance 380 gr/m2 for a six-pack of bottles of beer of 30 centilitres.
Comparable packages are known wherein the front and rear side are closed too, at least partly. However, to that end, the packages are to be rotated on the packaging line through an angle of approximately 90° as a result of which the length of the apparatus required thereto is considerably increased and, furthermore, the feed-through rate and, hence, the capacity of the apparatus is reduced. Moreover, these packages still have the other above-mentioned drawbacks of heavy cardboard and complicated manufacture.
Further, packages are known with which the containers are arranged on a bottom panel while two side panels are provided extending upwards from the bottom. On the upper side, one of the side panels is connected via a fold line to an upper flap, the other side panel to narrow glue flap. When forming the package, the containers are arranged on the bottom panel, whereupon first the side panels and then the upper flap are folded over the bottles. The upper flap is then glued onto the glue flap. In the upper flap, again, two openings are provided for engaging the package. With such a package, the front and rear side can be open or closed. With the open version, the package can be set up on a continuous packaging apparatus, with the closed version, the package will have to be rotated through 90° again before the front and rear sides can be closed.
For these packages too it holds that they are to be manufactured from relatively thick an heavy cardboard, as the packages in filled condition are lifted by the upper surface. When the packages are lifted as described hereinabove, the risk exists that the upper surface tears loose or tears partly.
Further, from U.S. Pat. No. 4,216,861, a package is known wherein a blank is folded to form a tube and is glued and, in that condition, is stored and transported. In a packaging machine, the pre-glued, tubular packages are set up whereupon the containers are slid into the tube. Then, with the aid of folding flaps, the front and rear sides of the package are closed. Such a package has as a drawback that it is formed in two steps, which is expensive and logistically complicated, that the pre-glued tubular packages take up relatively much space and that, moreover, an additional apparatus is to be provided for both pre-gluing and folding-in the packages and for setting up the packages before they can be filled. This is cumbersome. Furthermore, these packages too are manufactured from relatively heavy and thick cardboard.
The object of the invention is a package for containers as described in the opening paragraph, wherein the drawbacks mentioned of the above-described, known packages are avoided, at least partly.
In particular, the invention contemplates a package for containers for forming a multipack which is closed at the upper side and, consequently, has a substantially closed bottom panel, at least formed in one part, and which is not pre-glued but is formed and closed around the containers to be packaged from a substantially planar condition.
The invention further contemplates providing such a package which can be formed from relatively thin, light cardboard.
Furthermore, the invention contemplates providing a package of the type described which can be taken up in a simple manner with the aid of at least two openings or such provisions in an upper surface of the package.
At least a number of these objects are achieved with a package according to claim 1.
With a package according to be invention, at the upper side of the package, at least at the location of the transition between the side panels and the upper surface, at least a part of this transition is designed in at least two layers. Here, use is made of the surprising insight that precisely at that location, the greatest strength is required, at least protection against tearing of the fold lines when lifting the package filled with full containers such as bottles. In particular when choosing bottles with a crown cap or such sealing it has, surprisingly, appeared that it is precisely there that additional protection is required while the demands as to the strength of the material used for the package can be considerably reduced. For instance, thinner, lighter material can be used than is customary for a similar package.
Preferably, at the location of at least a middle part of the fold lines, viewed in a longitudinal direction of the package, a double layer of material is provided. Herein, double is understood to mean at least a joint thickness which is greater than the thickness of the material used for the package.
One of these layers can be provided, for instance, by inserting a strip of material but it is preferred that both layers are provided from the at least one blank from which the package is folded. To that end, a package according to the invention is preferably characterized by the features of claim 2.
In such a package, two support flaps are provided, on the free sides of two upper flaps. These support flaps are arranged above and below, respectively, the respective opposite side panels, at least extend below or above, respectively, the fold lines, so that when folding the package from the blank, the desired doubling of material, at least, increase of material thickness is obtained in one go. At least the support flap located on the outside is then fastened against the adjoining side panel, preferably by gluing. Preferably, the support flaps are connected to the respective upper surfaces via fourth and fifth fold lines, while, with the package in set-up condition, these fold lines lie approximately over the second and third fold lines, respectively.
Further, in a package according to the invention, preferably, closing flaps are provided with which the front and rear sides of the package can be closed at least partly but preferably virtually wholly. With this, a package is obtained which protects the containers particularly well, screens them where necessary from (day)light, while a relatively large surface is obtained on the outside on which printings such as advertisements can be provided while, as a result, the bearing capacity and form-retaining capacity of the package can be further improved. It is particularly advantageous when, on both sides of the bottom, a support closing flap is provided which is folded upwards as far as adjacent or against the containers, against which the closing flaps are or can be folded, on its outside or, optionally, between the containers and said support closing surface. It an alternative manner of folding, the closing flaps for that matter can also be folded between the respective side panels and the containers, while the support closing flaps extend approximately at right angles to the bottom panel, along the containers.
Preferably, the closing flaps are connected on both sides of the package via corner flaps to the relevant support closing flaps. Consequently, a blank is obtained which can be handled more easily. The fact is that the flaps will move less easily relative to each other and to the further parts of the blank. Moreover, with this, setting up the package is simplified in that when folding the closing flaps, the support closing flaps move along or vice versa. Furthermore, thus, the corners of the package are further reinforced.
Preferably, the closing flaps and corner flaps and/or the corner flaps and the support closing flaps are mutually connected when setting of the package, for instance by gluing. As a result, an even more solid package is obtained while, furthermore, the closing flaps and/or the support closing flaps are prevented from springing back.
In a further advantageous embodiment, on both sides of the upper side of the package, an upper closing flap is provided, with which a part of each of the ends of the package can be closed. These upper closing flaps can, for instance, be glued or fastened in a different manner to the closing flaps or other glue flaps connected to the side panels.
In a particularly advantageous embodiment, in or adjacent the upper side of the package, in the first upper flap, tear lines are provided extending from adjacent these openings in the upper flap in a direction of an adjoining longitudinal edge of the upper flap. As a result, simply and rapidly, a part of the upper side and, optionally, a side of the package can be opened for taking out the containers. If the ends are at least partly closed by the earlier described closing flaps and/or support closing flaps, the shape of the package remains substantially intact after breaking the tear lines and the containers, for example when empty, can be placed back to be discharged.
With a package according to the invention, in particular with the above described tear lines, preferably, the second upper surface is designed such that the second upper surface does substantially not extend above or below a tear tab which is formed by a part of the upper surface located between the tear lines on one side of an opening. As a result, this tear tab can be torn loose particularly simply while less material is required. By designing the second upper surface such that it extends substantially between these openings and, in an earlier described manner, is located with a support flap beyond the fold line with which the first upper surface is connected to the first side panel, the desired doubling of material is obtained in a simply manner and, moreover, a doubling of the material between the openings is effected so that the bearing capacity is further increased, without thicker material having to be used.
With a package according to the invention, preferably, thin cardboard is used. For a six-pack of glass bottles with a content of approximately 30-33 cc, preferably, a cardboard is used, in particular solid cardboard, optionally provided on at least one side with a coating, with a specific weight of less than 380 gr/m2. More in particular, according to the invention, cardboard is used with a specific weight of less than 320 gr/m2. It has appeared that for such a package, in particular if provided with the support flaps and/or at least partly closed ends, cardboard can be used with a specific weight of less than 250 gr/m2, for instance 225 gr/m2 or less. Even 180 gr/m2 is possible.
In a manner known per se, a package according to the invention can have an outer form which is adapted to the containers to be packaged therein. For instance, the upper parts of the side panels can slightly incline inwards, such that the bottom panel has a greater width than the upper surface.
The invention further relates to a blank for a package according to the invention, characterized by the features of claim 19.
In a particularly simple manner, such a blank can be manufactured and treated, for instance printed, stored, transported and processed to form a package according to the invention. As it is not pre-glued, this blank can be stored and transported and forming the package can be carried out on an apparatus while confining the desired number of containers.
The invention further relates to an apparatus for setting up packages according to the invention from a blank according to the invention. According to the invention, such an apparatus is characterized by the features of claim 24.
In the further subclaims, further advantageous embodiments of a package and blank according to the invention are described. In the drawing:
In this description, identical or corresponding parts have identical or corresponding reference numerals. The blanks as shown in
Via a sixth folding line 14, each side panel 4, 5 is connected to a closing flap 15, built up from a bottom closing flap 15A and a top closing flap 15B, for reasons to be mentioned further. Each bottom closing flap part 15A is connected, via the sixth fold line 14 to the side panel 4, which part of the sixth fold line 14, preferably, extends approximately at right angles to the first fold line 3. Via two seventh fold lines 16, which extend approximately at right angles to the first fold lines 3, the bottom panel 2 is connected to a substantially trapezoid-shaped support closing flap 17. On both sides of each support closing flap 17, via a ninth fold line 19, a corner flap 18 is connected to the adjoining bottom closing flap 15A and, via a tenth fold line 20, to the respective support closing flap 17. The ninth fold line 19 is approximately in alignment with the first fold line 3, the tenth fold line 20 includes an angle α therewith which deviates from 90° and, in the exemplary embodiment shown, is approximately 45°. Adjacent each corner 21 of the bottom panel 2, between the ninth fold line 19, the tenth fold line 20 and the corner flap 18, a recess 22 is provided which simplifies folding.
Between each bottom closing flap 15A and top closing flap 15B, a recess 23 is provided, bounded by a folding element 24 which is connected via two short eleventh fold lines 25 to the bottom closing flap 15A and the top closing flap 15B. Via an eighth fold line 26, each side panel 4, 5 is divided into a lower side panel 27 and an upper side panel 28, each upper side panel 28 being somewhat trapezoid-shaped, such that the eighth fold line 26 is longer than the second and third fold line 6, 8, respectively, and is bounded on both sides by an upper part of the sixth fold line 14.
In the exemplary embodiment shown, via a twelfth fold line 29, the first upper flap 7 is connected on two opposite sides to a somewhat trapezoid-shaped upper sidewall flap 30 which on the side remote from the twelfth fold line 29, is provided with a glue flap 31. The length between the twelfth fold line 29 and the adjoining glue flap 31 is preferably approximately equal to the length of the upper part of the sixth fold line 14 above the eighth fold line 26. In the upper flap 7, two openings 32 are provided. Through these openings 32, for instance two fingers, in particular a thumb and a finger can be inserted below the upper flap 7. The openings 32 can be punched out, but can also be covered by lips which, for instance, on the sides 33 facing each other, can be connected via fold lines to the upper flap. From each opening 32, two tear lines 34 extend into or adjacent a corner 35 of the upper flap 7, so that between the tear lines 34 and the opening 32 a tear tab 36 is formed. The purpose hereof will be explained further.
In this embodiment, in each upper sidewall flap 30, two tear lines 40 are provided, reaching from the corner 35 to the opposite longitudinal edge 41, optionally bridging a glue flap 31. Thus, a lengthening of the tear tab 36 is obtained on this upper sidewall flap 30. With each of the blanks 1 shown in
In the blank 1 according to
In the bottom 4, by way of example, four openings 73A, 73B are shown through which pillars of a pillar crate can reach. Here, the two middle openings 73 have a substantially square shape with sides 74 convex towards each other, while the two outer openings 73B are substantially triangular with, on the sides facing the other openings 73, two convex longitudinal edges 74. Longitudinal edges 74 of two adjoining pillars, at least openings through which they can reach, describe, each time, an imaginary circle K in the form of a container such as a bottle. As a result, a package according to the invention can simply be used in a known pillar crate. Preferably, then, a pillar crate is used in which at least a number of pillars is designed with a cross-section similar to the one of the openings 73B, optionally with the flat sides 74A facing each other, while confining a slit located therebetween, in which, during use, two adjoining longitudinal walls 17, 15A can be included. With such a crate, multipacks for different numbers of containers can be used in the same pillar crate. Preferably, all pillars are designed in this manner or preferably, provided with two earlier describes slits extending at right angles to each other. Also, the pillars can be designed to be low such that a package according to the invention can be placed on them within a crate.
In the exemplary embodiments shown, each time, the bottom panel 2 is closed, i.e. not built up from two or more panels. In each blank shown, one or both support flaps 11, 13 can be provided or be omitted. Optionally, the second upper flap 9 can be approximately similar to the first upper flap 7, for instance if both flaps are provided with perforations or the package can be opened in a different manner, for instance on a side or an end face.
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In this embodiment, the side panels 4, 5 are folded through an angle of 90° relative to the bottom panel 2 after a number of bottles 54, in the exemplary embodiment shown six, represented in broken lines in
The upper side panels 28 are slightly folded inwards, while the upper closing flap parts 15B are folded around a sixth fold line 14 to which position they are slightly pulled along by the closing elements 24. In this embodiment, the second upper flap 9 is folded downwards along the third fold line 8, while, as indicated, the second support flap 13 is folded against the inside of the first side panel 4. This can be glued, but this is not required. Thereupon, the first upper flap 7 is folded over the second upper flap 9, while, as indicated, the first support flap 11 is fastened, in particular glued, against the second side panel 5, in particular the upper side panel 28 thereof.
The upper shoulder flaps 30 are then folded downwards along the twelfth fold lines 29, against the upper parts 15B of the closing flaps 15, while the glue flap 32 is fastened, in particular glued, against the bottom closing flap parts 15A. With this, a completely closed package is obtained with a great bearing capacity, folded from relatively light cardboard.
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A package 50 according to the invention as shown in
A package as shown, in particular in
In the embodiment shown in
It will be clear that the embodiments of the blanks 1 according to
As a result of the configuration of, on the one side, the blank 1 and, on the other side, the apparatus 100, the apparatus 100 can be designed to be relatively short, while the packages can be set up and closed in a continuous line without being rotated about a vertical axis.
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, blanks and packages according to the invention can be adapted in a simple manner for different numbers of containers or other types of containers, for instance cans, and any combination can be made of different embodiments of panels, flaps, fold lines and the like as shown in the Figures and described in the description.
Naturally, a blank 1 according to the invention can also be formed from a different material, for instance plastic, and have a different weight, depending on the desired bearing capacity. A strip 58 can extend over the full length of the blank and for instance be glued, so that always the desired thickening of material is obtained, both between the openings and at the location of the center of the second and third fold lines.