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Publication numberUS20080023535 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/735,371
Publication dateJan 31, 2008
Filing dateApr 13, 2007
Priority dateApr 13, 2006
Publication number11735371, 735371, US 2008/0023535 A1, US 2008/023535 A1, US 20080023535 A1, US 20080023535A1, US 2008023535 A1, US 2008023535A1, US-A1-20080023535, US-A1-2008023535, US2008/0023535A1, US2008/023535A1, US20080023535 A1, US20080023535A1, US2008023535 A1, US2008023535A1
InventorsJohn Holley, Jr.
Original AssigneeHolley Jr John M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carton with article dispenser formed in a composite wall
US 20080023535 A1
Abstract
A carton (200) includes a composite wall (108/152) with an article dispenser (140/174) formed in the composite wall (108/152). The article dispenser (140/174) includes a pair of composite tear flaps (F1/F2) that are separable from the composite wall (108/152). The composite tear flaps (F1/F2) are defined by frangible lines in the layers of the composite wall. The frangible lines in the layers are strategically misaligned at least in part so as to be arranged to cooperate to facilitate separation of the composite tear flaps from the composite wall and to prevent inadvertent operation of the article dispenser.
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Claims(16)
1. A carton, comprising:
a composite wall, defined at least in part by an outer panel and an inner panel;
a pair of composite tear flaps that are each formed in said composite wall and separable from said composite wall to form an article dispenser; and
a first inner frangible line formed in said inner panel and a first outer frangible line formed in said outer panel that are cooperatively aligned at least in part to at least partially define each of said pair of composite tear flaps;
wherein at least a medial segment of said first outer frangible line is horizontally spaced apart from a medial segment of said first inner frangible line to prevent inadvertent separation of said composite tear flaps from said composite wall.
2. The carton of claim 1, further comprising a second inner frangible line formed in said inner panel and a second outer frangible line formed in said outer panel that are cooperatively aligned at least in part;
wherein said second inner frangible line intersects said first inner frangible line to at least partially define a corner of each of said pair of composite tear flaps, and said medial segment of said first outer frangible line defines a tab formed from said outer panel such that said tab overlies both said corners.
3. A carton, comprising:
a composite wall, including an outer panel and an inner panel;
an article dispenser formed in said composite wall, said article dispenser comprising a pair of composite tear flaps that are separable from said composite wall, said composite tear flaps including a pair of outer tear flaps that are separable from said outer panel and a pair of inner tear flaps that are separable from said inner panel;
wherein said outer tear flaps are defined at least in part by an outer transverse frangible line having a distal end that intersects an outer longitudinal frangible line at a first intersection point; and
wherein said inner tear flaps are defined at least in part by an inner transverse frangible line having a distal end that intersects an inner longitudinal frangible line at a second intersection point, said inner transverse frangible line being at least partially substantially aligned with said outer transverse frangible line and said inner longitudinal frangible line being at least partially substantially aligned with said outer longitudinal frangible line to facilitate separating said composite tear flaps from said composite wall, said first and second intersection points being spaced apart from one another.
4. The carton of claim 3, wherein said outer longitudinal frangible line comprises an outer longitudinal medial segment along which said first intersection point is disposed;
wherein said outer longitudinal medial segment is substantially nonlinear so as to define a push tab.
5. The carton of claim 4, wherein said outer longitudinal medial segment is horizontally spaced apart at least in part from an inner longitudinal medial segment of said first inner longitudinal frangible line.
6. The carton of claim 5, wherein said inner longitudinal frangible line includes a pair of inner longitudinal distal segments on each side of said inner longitudinal medial segment;
wherein said outer longitudinal frangible line includes a pair of outer longitudinal distal segments on each side of said outer longitudinal medial segment; and
wherein said inner longitudinal distal segments are substantially overlappingly aligned with respective ones of said outer longitudinal distal segments.
7. The carton of claim 3, wherein an inner transverse medial segment of said inner transverse frangible line is substantially aligned with said outer transverse frangible line.
8. The carton of claim 4, wherein said tab overlies an inner distal transverse segment of said inner transverse frangible line and an inner longitudinal medial segment of said inner longitudinal frangible line.
9. The carton of claim 6, wherein said outer longitudinal distal segments are generally perpendicular to said outer transverse frangible line; and
wherein said inner longitudinal frangible line is generally perpendicular to said inner transverse frangible line.
10. The carton of claim 3, wherein adjacent corners of said inner tear flaps are defined by the intersection of said inner transverse frangible line and said inner longitudinal frangible line.
11. The carton of claim 10, wherein fold lines extend between said inner transverse frangible line and said inner longitudinal frangible line to facilitate folding said corners of said inner tear flaps.
12. The carton of claim 3, wherein said pair of outer tear flaps is further defined at least in part by a second outer longitudinal frangible line that is intersected at a third intersection point by a second distal end of said outer transverse frangible line;
wherein said pair of inner tear flaps is further defined at least in part by a second inner longitudinal frangible line that is intersected at a fourth intersection point by a second distal end of said inner transverse frangible line, said second inner longitudinal frangible line being at least partially substantially aligned with said second outer longitudinal frangible line to facilitate separating said composite tear flaps from said composite wall, said third and fourth intersection points being spaced apart from one another.
13. The carton of claim 1, wherein said composite wall is formed from a unitary blank that includes said inner panel and said outer panel.
14. The carton of claim 1, wherein said composite wall is formed from separate blanks that each include one of said inner panel and said outer panel.
15. The carton of claim 3, wherein said composite wall is formed from a unitary blank that includes said inner panel and said outer panel.
16. The carton of claim 3, wherein said composite wall is formed from separate blanks that each include one of said inner panel and said outer panel.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/744,824, filed Apr. 13, 2006, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to cartons, and particularly, to a carton having an article dispenser formed in a composite wall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cartons with composite walls have improved structural strength that is useful for packaging heavy articles. These cartons can include an article dispenser disposed in the composite wall where frangible lines that are defined in one layer of the carton directly overlie and are aligned with frangible lines in the reinforcing layer of the carton. The overlying and aligned frangible lines facilitate operating the article dispenser in the composite wall.

However, the overlying and aligned frangible lines of the article dispenser may be inadvertently or prematurely broken, for example, as the handles of the carton are engaged by a user. Specifically, a user may apply a force with his or her thumb to the composite wall of the carton when engaging a handle of the carton that is disposed in an adjacent wall of the carton and thereby inadvertently operate the article dispenser. For example, a user may apply a force with a thumb to gain a stronger grip such that the user is able to carry the carton with one hand. What is needed is a carton with a article dispenser that does not inadvertently break upon application of such an outside force.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The various embodiments of the present invention overcome the shortcomings of the prior art by providing a carton with a reinforced or composite wall that includes a article dispenser which can be readily operated to open the carton, but resists inadvertent operation in normal use. The composite carton wall includes first and second layers. In certain embodiments, one of the layers is provided by an insert. The layers of the composite carton wall each include frangible lines which correspond to one another and which define the article dispenser. Specifically, when the first layer is secured to the second layer, certain of the corresponding segments of the frangible lines generally overlie and align, while certain other corresponding segments of the frangible lines are spaced apart from one another or are strategically misaligned, so as to cooperate without directly overlyingly aligning. This strategic misalignment is employed in varying degrees particularly in areas where the frangible lines in each layer intersect or otherwise in areas where an outside force is typically applied during normal use.

In an exemplary embodiment, a carton includes a composite wall that is defined at least in part by an outer panel and an inner panel. An article dispenser is formed in the composite wall. The article dispenser includes a pair of composite tear flaps that are separable from the composite wall. The composite tear flaps include a pair of outer tear flaps that are separable from the outer panel and a pair of inner tear flaps that are separable from the inner panel. The pair of outer tear flaps is defined at least in part by an outer transverse frangible line that has a distal end that intersects an outer longitudinal frangible line at a first intersection point. Similarly, the pair of inner tear flaps is defined at least in part by an inner transverse frangible line that has a distal end that intersects an inner longitudinal frangible line at a second intersection point. The inner transverse frangible line is at least partially substantially overlyingly aligned with the outer transverse frangible line and the inner longitudinal frangible line is at least partially substantially overlyingly aligned with the outer longitudinal frangible line to facilitate separating the composite tear flaps from the composite wall. The first and second intersection points are spaced apart from one another to prevent inadvertent operation of the composite article dispenser in the areas surrounding the intersection points.

In the exemplary embodiment, each of the inner and outer longitudinal frangible lines includes longitudinal medial segments and longitudinal distal segments. The outer longitudinal frangible line includes an outer longitudinal medial segment along which the outer transverse frangible line intersects the outer longitudinal frangible line at the first intersection point. The outer longitudinal medial segment is substantially nonlinear so as to define a push tab. Further, the outer longitudinal medial segment is spaced apart from an inner longitudinal medial segment of the first inner longitudinal frangible line.

Each of the inner and outer longitudinal frangible lines includes a pair of longitudinal distal segments on each end of its respective inner and outer longitudinal medial segment. The inner longitudinal distal segments are substantially overlyingly aligned with respective ones of the outer longitudinal distal segments to facilitate separation of the composite tear flaps therealong. However, in certain embodiments, the respective inner and outer longitudinal distal segments are parallel to one another but are slightly offset from one another to prevent inadvertent operation of the composite article dispenser. In the exemplary embodiment, the outer longitudinal distal segments are substantially perpendicular to the outer transverse frangible line and the inner longitudinal frangible line is substantially perpendicular to the inner transverse frangible line.

The inner transverse frangible line includes an inner transverse medial segment that is substantially overlyingly aligned with the outer transverse frangible line to facilitate separation of the composite tear flaps therealong. The inner transverse frangible line also includes an inner transverse distal segment that is overlapped by the tab. The tab also overlaps the inner longitudinal medial segment.

The intersection of the inner transverse frangible line and the inner longitudinal frangible line defines adjacent corners of the inner tear flaps. In the exemplary embodiment, fold lines extend between the inner transverse frangible line and the inner longitudinal frangible line to facilitate folding the corners of the inner tear flaps.

In certain embodiments, the pair of outer tear flaps is further defined at least in part by a second outer longitudinal frangible line that is intersected at a third intersection point by a second distal end of the outer transverse frangible line. Further, the pair of inner tear flaps is further defined at least in part by a second inner longitudinal frangible line that is intersected at a fourth intersection point by a second distal end of the inner transverse frangible line. The second inner longitudinal frangible line is at least partially substantially overlyingly aligned with the second outer longitudinal frangible line to facilitate separating the composite tear flaps from the composite wall. The third and fourth intersection points are spaced apart from one another to prevent the composite article dispenser from being inadvertently operated.

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 various aspects of 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 an exemplary embodiment of both a blank for forming a carton and a blank for forming an insert, according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the carton blank and the insert blank of FIG. 1, the insert blank being operatively positioned with respect to the carton blank.

FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of an area of the operatively positioned carton blank and insert blank of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a carton formed from the carton blank and the insert blank of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the carton of FIG. 4 showing a first step in operating the article dispenser.

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the carton of FIG. 4 showing a second step in operating the article dispenser.

FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of the carton of FIG. 4 showing a third step in operating the article dispenser.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the carton of FIG. 4 showing a fourth step in operating the article dispenser.

FIG. 9 is a plan view of an alternative exemplary embodiment of a blank for forming a carton with a composite wall, according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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 illustrations, specimens, models, or patterns. 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.

With regard to the drawings, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout the several views, the drawings illustrate an exemplary embodiment of a carton that is particularly useful for enclosing and carrying relatively heavy articles such as large glass bottles. The carton includes a composite wall formed from a plurality of layers. One of the layers can be provided by an insert or other reinforcing panel. The composite wall includes an article dispenser that is defined by frangible lines that are formed in the layers of the composite wall. Certain segments of the frangible lines disposed in the layers of the composite wall overlyingly align with one another to facilitate operation of the article dispenser and certain segments are strategically misaligned or spaced apart from one another such that the article dispenser is not inadvertently operated.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an embodiment of a carton blank 100 and an insert blank 150, according to the present invention. Each of the blanks 100, 150 is preferably a single sheet of suitable substrate. It should be understood that, as used herein, the term suitable substrate includes all manner of foldable sheet material such as paperboard, corrugated board, cardboard, plastic, combinations thereof, and the like.

In the exemplary embodiment, the carton blank 100 is a unitary blank that is used to form a carton, although it should be recognized that two or more blanks may be employed, for example, to provide the carton formed by the unitary carton blank 100. Further, in the exemplary embodiment, the insert blank 150 is initially separate from the carton blank 100. However, in alternative embodiments, the insert blank 150 can be attached or integral to the carton blank 100.

In the exemplary embodiment, the blanks 100, 150 are designed to form a carton for packaging an exemplary arrangement of exemplary articles. It is envisaged that each of the blanks can be sized to form a carton for packaging other articles and/or for packaging different arrangements of articles.

As used herein, the term fold line refers to all manner of lines that define the hinge features of the blank, facilitate folding portions of the blank with respect to one another, or otherwise indicate optimal folding locations for the blank. A fold line is typically a scored line, an embossed line, or a debossed line.

As used herein, the terms frangible line, tear line, and severance line refer to all manner of lines that facilitate separating portions of the substrate from one another or that indicate optimal separation locations. For example, severance lines may be weakened lines, cut lines, or slits.

It should be understood that frangible lines, tear lines, severance lines, and fold lines can each include elements that are formed in the substrate of the blank including perforations, a line of perforations, a line of short slits, a line of half-cuts, a single half-cut, a cut line, an interrupted cut line, slits, scores, combinations thereof, and the like. The elements can be dimensioned and arranged to provide the desired functionality. For example, a line of perforations can be dimensioned or designed with various degrees of weakness so as to define a fold line and/or a frangible line. The line of perforations can be designed to facilitate folding and resist breaking, to facilitate folding and facilitate breaking with more effort, or to facilitate breaking with little effort.

Referring to FIG. 1, the carton blank 100 includes a plurality of primary panels for forming the walls of a tubular structure of a carton 200 shown in FIG. 4. The primary panels of the carton blank 100 are aligned along a longitudinal axis of the blank 100 and include a bottom panel 104, a first side panel 106, an outer top panel 108, and a second side panel 110. The primary panels 104, 106, 108, 110 are hingedly connected one to the next along transverse fold lines. Specifically, the bottom panel 104 is hingedly connected to the first side panel 106 along a fold line 114, the first side panel 106 is hingedly connected to the outer top panel 108 along a fold line 116, and the outer top panel 108 is hingedly connected to the second side panel 110 along a fold line 118.

In the exemplary embodiment, the blank 100 includes an edge flap 102 that facilitates securing the endmost primary panels 104, 110 to one another. The edge flap 102 is hingedly connected to the bottom panel 104 along a fold line 112.

End flaps are hingedly connected to opposite ends of each of the primary panels 104, 106, 108, 110 along longitudinal fold lines. The end flaps can be folded and secured to form end closure structures at respective open ends of the tubular structure of the carton 200 and thereby define the end walls of the carton 200.

The blank 100 is substantially symmetric such that the end flaps that are hingedly connected to the opposite ends of each primary panel are substantially similar. Accordingly, the end closure structures of the carton 200 are substantially identical and like references have been used with a suffix “a” or “b” affixed to distinguish one end of the carton 200 from the other. Thus, the description of an element or group of elements having a suffix “a” is suitable for a like-numbered element or group of elements having a suffix “b”. In certain instances, for clarity, only one of the like referenced elements may be described unless a description of the other or both of the like referenced elements is useful for teaching purposes.

A bottom end flap 120 a is hingedly connected to the bottom panel 104 along a fold line 130 a, a first side end flap 122 a is hingedly connected to the first side panel 106 along a fold line 132 a, an outer top end flap 124 a is hingedly connected to the outer top panel 108 along a fold line 134 a, and a second side end flap 126 a is hingedly connected to the second side panel 110 along a fold line 136 a.

The blank 100 further includes an outer article dispenser 140 and means for tear initiation 142. The outer article dispenser 140 includes multiple frangible lines that are arranged to define tear flaps that facilitate access to articles B (shown in FIG. 8) in the carton 200. The illustrated path of each of the frangible lines and the illustrated arrangement of the frangible lines of the outer article dispenser 140 are for purposes of teaching and are not limiting. In the exemplary embodiment, the frangible lines of the outer article dispenser 140 are arranged to generally form an “H”, thereby defining two outer tear flaps F1. Specifically, the outer article dispenser 140 includes an outer transverse frangible line 144 and a pair of outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b. Each of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b is substantially parallel to the other and the outer transverse frangible line 144 is substantially perpendicular to each of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b. The outer transverse frangible line 144 extends between the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b such that the distal ends of the outer transverse frangible line 144 intersect respective ones of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b at points P1.

The outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b each include an inwardly curved outer longitudinal medial segment C1 such that the corners of the outer tear flaps F1 are beveled or rounded. Further, the curved outer longitudinal medial segments C1 define tabs T that project toward each other. The outer transverse frangible line 144 intersects the outer longitudinal medial segments C1 of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b such that the points P1 are located along the length of the outer longitudinal medial segments C1. Outer longitudinal distal segments C2 of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b are disposed on both sides of the outer longitudinal medial segments C1. In the exemplary embodiment, respective outer longitudinal distal segments C2 are collinear or coaxial and each of the points P1 is spaced apart from the line or axis that is defined by adjacent collinear ones of the outer longitudinal distal segments C2 by a distance D1.

In the exemplary embodiment, tear initiation means 142 is an aperture that interrupts the outer transverse frangible line 144 and is substantially centered on the outer top panel 108. In alternative embodiments, tear initiation means can include a push tab, a slit, a detachable portion, combinations thereof, and the like.

The outer top end flap 124 a includes a handle aperture N1 and a handle edge flap N2, which is hingedly connected along the edge of the handle aperture N1, that partially define a handle structure H of the carton 200. Here, the handle aperture N1 illustrated has a sinuous shape, believed to be comfortable to the user, but all handle aperture shapes are contemplated and included in the scope of the claims. Further, the side end panels 122 a, 126 a include cutouts N3 such that, when each end closure of the carton 200 is formed, at least the weight bearing portion of the handle aperture N1 is reinforced. Handle flaps 123 a are hingedly connected to each of the side end panels 122 a, 126 a along fold lines 125 a. The handle flaps 123 a are further defined by cut lines 127 a which separate the handle flaps 123 a from the outer top end flap 124 a and apertures S. The handle flaps 123 a are foldable to additionally reinforce the weight bearing portion of the handle aperture N1. It should be noted that, once the end closures of the carton 200 are formed, the handle aperture N1 in the outer top end flap 124 a, cutouts N3 in the side end panels 122 a, 126 a, handle flaps 123 a, and inner top end flaps 154 a of the insert blank 150 combine to form a 4-ply reinforced handle structure H.

Continuing with reference to FIG. 1, an embodiment of an insert blank 150 is shown according to the present invention. The illustrated insert blank 150 includes elements for forming, together with the carton blank 100, the carton 200. The insert blank 150 includes an inner top panel 152 and a pair of inner top end flaps 154 a, 154 b. Similar to the carton blank 100 described herein, the illustrated insert blank 150 is substantially symmetric and the opposite ends thereof are substantially identical. Accordingly, substantially identical elements are designated “a” or “b” and the present description will generally only be of the elements designated “a.”

The inner top end flap 154 a is hingedly connected to the inner top panel 152 along fold lines 172 a, which are interrupted by fold apertures 170 a. The fold apertures 170 a and the fold lines 172 a facilitate folding the inner top end flap 154 a with respect to the inner top panel 152 when the insert blank 150 is operatively positioned with respect to and secured to the carton blank 100 to form a composite blank for forming the carton 200. The fold apertures 170 a reduce the amount of material at a fold location of the composite blank. Multiple fold lines 172 a increase the ease of folding the composite blank.

The insert blank 150 further includes an inner article dispenser 174 that is defined by an arrangement of frangible lines. In the exemplary embodiment, the frangible lines are arranged to generally form an “H” thereby defining two inner tear flaps F2. Specifically, the inner article dispenser 174 includes an inner transverse frangible line 178 and a pair of inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b. Each of the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b is substantially parallel to the other and the inner transverse frangible line 178 is substantially perpendicular to each of the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b. The inner transverse frangible line 178 extends between the longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b such that the distal ends of the inner transverse frangible line 178 intersect respective ones of the longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b at points P2.

Adjacent to the points P2, the inner transverse frangible line 178 and the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b define corners 190 of the inner tear flaps F2. Fold lines 182 extend between one of points P3, each of which is located on the inner transverse frangible line 178, and one of points P4, each of which is located on each of the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b, to additionally define each of the corners 190. Referring to FIG. 1, each of the points P3 is spaced apart from a respective one of the points P2 in the transverse direction by a distance D2 and each of the points P4 is spaced apart from a respective one of the points P2 in the longitudinal direction by a distance D3. Each of the segments of the transverse frangible line 178 that extend between one of the points P2 and an adjacent one of the points P3 can be weakened to a relatively lesser degree or can otherwise be a different type of frangible line so as to require a greater force to break than the rest of the inner transverse frangible line 178.

As used herein, the phrases “overlyingly aligned” and “overlappingly aligned” are used to describe frangible lines or segments of frangible lines that are disposed in overlapping layers of a composite wall. Generally described, a frangible line in one layer of the composite wall is overlyingly aligned with a frangible line in an overlapping layer of the composite wall where the frangible lines or relevant sections thereof lie in substantially the same vertical plane relative to a horizontal plane defined by the composite wall and extend along substantially the same length so as to directly overlie or overlap one another. However, to promote relatively more controlled and selective separation along frangible lines or segments thereof in layers of a composite wall, certain of the frangible lines are overlyingly aligned such that the frangible lines or relevant sections thereof lie in vertical planes that are at least slightly offset from one another and generally substantially parallel to one another. Thus, overlyingly aligned and overlappingly aligned frangible lines are “cooperatively aligned” to enable separation of adjacent sheet material when and in the manner desired.

It should be understood that overlyingly aligned and overlappingly aligned frangible lines are different from frangible lines or relevant sections thereof that are described as strategically misaligned. Overlyingly and overlappingly aligned frangible lines can generally be broken as a force vertical force is applied to an area near the frangible lines. However, frangible lines that are strategically misaligned are generally not broken as a vertical force is applied to an area near the frangible lines.

The inner article dispenser 174 is designed to cooperate with the outer article dispenser 140 when the carton blank 100 is operatively positioned with respect to the insert blank 150. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the insert blank 150 is operatively positioned with respect to the carton blank 100 such that the inner article dispenser 174 is positioned with respect to the outer article dispenser 140. Thus, segments of the outer transverse frangible line 144 overlyingly align with segments of the inner transverse frangible line 178 and segments of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b overlyingly align with segments of the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b. Specifically, the outer transverse frangible line 144 is overlyingly aligned with an inner transverse medial segment C3 of the inner transverse frangible line 178. In the exemplary embodiment, the outer transverse frangible line 144 and the inner transverse frangible line 178 are slightly offset from one another to prevent these segments from inadvertently breaking or otherwise merely so that each of the frangible lines is visible. The inner transverse medial segment C3 is defined between the projection of the points P1 onto the inner transverse frangible line 178 (best shown in FIG. 3). Since the ends of the inner transverse frangible line 178 extend beyond of the ends of the outer transverse frangible line 144, inner transverse distal segments C4 of the inner transverse frangible line 178 are not overlyingly aligned with the outer transverse frangible line 144. The inner transverse distal segments C4 are defined between each point P2 and the projection of a respective one of the points P1 onto the inner transverse frangible line 178.

Similarly, segments of the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b overlyingly align with segments of the outer longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 146 b. Each of the inner longitudinal frangible lines 180 a, 180 b includes an inner longitudinal medial segment C5 and inner longitudinal distal segments C6 disposed on both sides of the inner longitudinal medial segment C5. The inner longitudinal medial segment C5 is defined between points P5, which are defined where the inner longitudinal distal segments C6 cease to overlyingly align with outer longitudinal distal segments C2. In the exemplary embodiment, the inner and outer longitudinal distal segments C2, C6 are slightly offset from one another to prevent these segments from inadvertently breaking or otherwise merely so that each of the segments is visible. That is, the outer longitudinal distal segments C2 does not directly overlie the inner longitudinal distal segment C6.

The areas of each of the outer and inner top panels 108, 152 which generally surround the intersection points P1, P2 will be referred to herein as intersection areas A. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, when the outer and inner top panels 108, 152 are operatively positioned with respect to one another in an overlapping fashion, in the corresponding intersection areas A of the outer and inner top panels 108, 152, segments of the frangible lines of the inner article dispenser 174 are spaced apart from or are otherwise strategically substantially misaligned with segments of the frangible lines of the outer article dispenser 140. Referring to FIG. 3, it should be noted that, for clarity, only one of operatively positioned intersection areas A is described. The outer longitudinal medial segment C1 and the inner longitudinal segment C5 are spaced apart from one another or are otherwise misaligned to prevent these segments from inadvertently breaking. Accordingly, since the intersection points P1, P2 are disposed along the outer and inner longitudinal medial segments C1, C5, respectively, the intersection point P1 is spaced apart from the intersection point P2.

Importantly, the tab T at least partially overlaps or overlies the corner portions 190 when the outer and inner top panels 108, 152 are operatively positioned with respect to one another. Thus, the tab T at least partially overlaps the inner transverse distal segment C4 and the inner longitudinal medial segment C5. Also, the corners 190 are overlapped by the outer longitudinal medial segment C1. In the exemplary embodiment, the fold lines 182 are spaced apart from outer longitudinal medial segment C1 such that the tab T does not overlap the fold lines 182.

Erecting the carton 200 from the carton blank 100 and the insert blank 150 may be accomplished with the folding operations as described herein. The operations can be performed by automatic erecting machinery and/or manually. The method of performing the erecting process is not limited to the exemplary method described herein. Particularly, the order of the steps can be altered according to manufacturing requirements, steps may be added or omitted, and the means for securing components to one another may vary. The surfaces of sheet material may be secured together by means for securing including tape, staples, interlocking folds, VELCRO®, glue or other adhesives, combinations thereof, and the like.

With reference now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, an exemplary method of erecting the illustrated carton 200 is described. The insert blank 150 is operatively positioned with respect to the carton blank 100 as described above and secured thereto. In securing the outside surface of the inner top panel 152 to the inside surface of the outer top panel 108, a composite article dispenser 140/174 is formed such that composite tear flaps F1/F2 are defined by substantially aligned transverse frangible lines 144/178 and by substantially aligned longitudinal frangible lines 146 a/180 a, 146 b/180 b. Alternatively, the insert blank 150 may be attached to the top panel 108 at different times during an alternative method of erecting the carton.

The carton blank 100 can be folded and secured to form a collapsed tubular structure by folding the edge flap 102 along the fold line 112 such that the inside surface of the edge flap 102 is in flat face contact with the inside surface of the bottom panel 104, applying glue or other adhesive to the outside surface of the edge flap 102, and folding the carton blank 100 along the fold line 116 such that the inside surface of the second side panel 110 is in flat face contact with, and thereby secured to, the outside surface of the edge flap 102.

The tubular structure can thereafter be erected from the collapsed tubular structure such that the primary panels form the walls of the tubular structure. The bottom panel 104 forms a bottom wall 104, the first side panel 106 forms a first side wall 106, the outer and inner top panels 108, 152 form a composite top wall 108/152, and the second side panel 110 forms a second side wall 110. The tubular structure includes open ends through which articles can be loaded. It should be understood that the end flaps can be folded outwardly or otherwise so as not to obstruct articles as they are loaded through one or both of the open ends.

Once the tubular structure is loaded with articles, such as bottles B, the end panels at each open end of the tubular structure are folded and secured to form end closure structures. The end closure structures of the carton 200 are formed by folding the end flaps as described herein. The handle flaps 123 a are folded along the fold lines 125 a to be in flat face contact with the first and second side end flaps 122 a, 126 a. The first and second side end flaps 122 a, 126 a are folded inwardly toward to the open end of the tubular structure along fold lines 132 a, 136 a to be substantially coplanar with one another. Top and bottom end flaps 124 a, 120 a are then folded inwardly toward the open end of the tubular structure along fold lines 134 a, 130 a so as to be substantially coplanar with one another and so as to overlap the first and second side end flaps 122 a, 126 a and overlap one another. Glue or other adhesive is applied to the overlapping portions of the end flaps, which are thereby secured together such that the end flaps form the end closure structure 202. The fully erected carton 200 is shown in FIG. 4.

Referring to FIGS. 5-8, a non-limiting method of accessing the articles B in the loaded carton 200 or otherwise operating the composite article dispenser 140/174 is disclosed. Referring to FIG. 5, tear initiation means is engaged as a user inserts one or more fingers into the aperture 142/176 and pulls outwardly on one of the composite tear flaps F1/F2 to initiate a tear along the transverse frangible line 144/178. Referring to FIG. 6, the transverse frangible line 144/178 is broken and the tear continues to propagate along the longitudinal frangible lines 146 a/180 a, 146 b/180 b. At substantially the same time, the corner portions 190 pull away with the composite tear flap F1/F2 and are obstructed or contacted by a respective one of the tabs T. As the corner portions 190 are contacted by a respective tab T, the corner portions 190 fold along the fold line 182 such that the corner portions 190 cease to be obstructed by a respective one of the tabs T. Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the composite tear flap F1/F2 is completely detached from the composite top wall 108/152 to facilitate access to the articles B in the carton 200. The other tear flap F1/F2 can be similarly detached by pulling the tear flap F1/F2 to break the unbroken segments of the longitudinal frangible lines 146 a/180 a, 146 b/180 b.

As described above, certain corresponding segments of the frangible lines of the article dispensers 140, 174 are strategically misaligned or spaced apart from one another such that the composite article dispenser 140/174 of the assembled carton 200 is not inadvertently operated. For example, a user pressing down on the composite top wall 108/152, in the general vicinity of one or both intersection areas A, will not inadvertently operate the composite article dispenser 140/174 or break through the composite top wall 108/152. H is foreseeable that, as a user engages the handle structure H, the user's thumb presses down on one of the tabs T. Since the segments of the frangible lines of the outer and inner article dispensers 140, 174 are strategically misaligned in this area A, the user's thumb does not encounter an overlappingly or overlyingly aligned set of frangible line segments. Thus, in this area, the outer top panel 108 supports the frangible line segments in the inner top panel 152 and the frangible line segments in the outer top panel 108 are supported by the inner top panel 152.

Variations and modifications to the embodiment described above are envisaged. For example, substantial portions of the transverse frangible lines 144, 178 are described above as directly aligned, although it is contemplated that frangible lines 144, 178 may alternatively be at least slightly aligned. Similarly, alternative embodiments of the distal sections C2, C6 of the longitudinal frangible lines 146 a, 180 a may be directly aligned rather than at least slightly aligned. In any event, the outer longitudinal medial segment C1 is strategically misaligned with the inner longitudinal medial segment C5 and defines the tab T which protects the corners 190. All such variations, modifications, and combinations are included herein by the scope of this disclosure and the following claims.

Referring to FIG. 9, an alternative embodiment of a blank 900 is shown. The blank 900 includes certain of the elements of the blanks 100, 150, which are alternatively arranged. It should be noted that the blank 900 is a unitary blank for forming a carton (not shown) with a reinforced or composite wall. In general, elements of the blank 900 that are substantially similar to the elements of the blanks 100, 150 are referenced with similar numbers. However, to distinguish the blanks from one another, the reference numbers for elements of the blank 900 that are similar to elements of the blanks 100, 150 are determined by adding eight hundred to the numbers of the elements of the blanks 100, 150. Since these elements have been described in detail above, the description focuses on the arrangement of the blank 900 and an exemplary method of forming a carton from the blank 900.

The blank 900 includes primary panels, which form a tubular structure when the carton is partially erected. The primary panels are hingedly connected along transverse fold lines. Specifically, the primary panels include an inner top panel 952, a first side panel 910, a bottom panel 904, a second side panel 906, and an outer top panel 908. The inner top panel is hingedly connected to the first side panel along a fold line 918, the first side panel 910 is hingedly connected to the bottom panel 904 along a fold line 912, the bottom panel 904 is hingedly connected to the second side panel 906 along a fold line 914, and the second side panel 906 is hingedly connected to the outer top panel 908 along a fold line 916. Each of the inner and outer top panels 908, 952 include tear features 940, 974 which cooperate as described above.

The blank 900 is arranged to form a tubular structure by folding the blank 900 along the transverse fold lines such that the outside surface of the inner top panel 952 is in flat face contact with the inside surface of the outer top panel 908. The inner top panel 952 is secured to the outer top panel 908 as described above to form a composite tear feature 940/974.

It must be emphasized that 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.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8100320 *Feb 19, 2010Jan 24, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Cooler carton
US8356743 *Sep 16, 2011Jan 22, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with insert
US8387855 *Aug 30, 2010Mar 5, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with insert
US20110049228 *Aug 30, 2010Mar 3, 2011Brand Kirsten LCarton with insert
US20120067755 *Sep 16, 2011Mar 22, 2012Spivey Sr Raymond RCarton With Insert
US20130008940 *Feb 9, 2012Jan 10, 2013Meadwestvaco Packaging Systems, LlcPackaging
US20130119122 *Dec 12, 2012May 16, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton With Insert
EP2616356A2 *Sep 16, 2011Jul 24, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with insert
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/244
International ClassificationB65D17/28
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2571/00666, B65D71/36, B65D2571/00592, B65D2571/00728, B65D2571/00814, B65D2571/0045, B65D2571/00141, B65D2571/0066, B65D2571/00524
European ClassificationB65D71/36
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 11, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: MEADWESTVACO PACKAGING SYSTEMS, LLC, VIRGINIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HOLLEY, JOHN M., JR.;REEL/FRAME:019811/0547
Effective date: 20070910