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Publication numberUS20080073349 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/512,969
Publication dateMar 27, 2008
Filing dateAug 30, 2006
Priority dateAug 30, 2006
Also published asWO2008026096A1
Publication number11512969, 512969, US 2008/0073349 A1, US 2008/073349 A1, US 20080073349 A1, US 20080073349A1, US 2008073349 A1, US 2008073349A1, US-A1-20080073349, US-A1-2008073349, US2008/0073349A1, US2008/073349A1, US20080073349 A1, US20080073349A1, US2008073349 A1, US2008073349A1
InventorsMark R. Ellswood, Alan G. Shuman
Original AssigneeEllswood Mark R, Shuman Alan G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Easy-opening package with slide
US 20080073349 A1
Abstract
A package or container that includes a frame that defines an access aperture and an opening mechanism associated with a pliable sheet, which forms at least part of a cover for the access aperture. The opening mechanism includes a set of spaced-apart tabs that slideably engages with opposing edges or flanges of the frame. As a user moves the opening mechanism along the frame, the opening mechanism draws the pliable sheet over upon itself, and displaces the sheet relative to the aperture to either open or close the package.
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Claims(37)
1. A packaging article comprising: a rigid or semi-rigid frame defining an aperture with an edge flange; an opening mechanism having spaced-apart first and second tabs that are adapted to engage with either a track, a rail, a groove, a bead, or a keyway or said edge flange of said frame and adapted to slide along said edge flange; a first pliable sheet of material adapted to cover or enclose said aperture, attached to said frame with a fastening mechanism or adhesive, and having a part or end of said pliable sheet associated with said opening mechanism, such that when said opening mechanism is movable back and forth along said frame edge flange, said pliable sheet extends and retracts over said aperture of said frame.
2. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said edge flanges are rectilinear with respect to each other.
3. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said frame has substantially parallel edge flanges that oppose one another.
4. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said frame has sides or edges in either a V-shape, curved, arced, or elliptical conformation.
5. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said frame forms part of a rigid encasement.
6. The packaging article according to claim 1, further comprising a second pliable sheet or envelope of material opposing said first pliable sheet with said frame situated between said first and second pliable sheets or envelope.
7. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said opening mechanism includes a first and second platen situated between said first and second tabs.
8. The packaging article according to claim 5; wherein said first platen is adapted to engage against said second platen, securing said pliable sheet therein between.
9. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said opening mechanism has a slot adapted to receive and secure a part of said pliable sheet.
10. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said first and second tabs have either a substantially C-like-shape or L-like-shape configuration that engages with said frame edge.
11. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said spaced-apart first and second tabs are either joined together and move together, or are operated independently of each other.
12. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said spaced-apart first and second tabs each has a manual grip area.
13. The packaging article according to claim 12, wherein said first and second tabs have a number of raised ridges or ribs.
14. The packaging article according to claim 1, wherein said frame further comprises a track or guide for engaging said opening mechanism, and said guide includes a keyway, a recessed groove, or a raised bead that runs either continuously or discontinuously along said frame.
15. A package comprising: a container; a frame defining an opening of said container, said frame having opposing rectilinear, substantially parallel sides; and an opening mechanism that engages slideably with said substantially parallel sides, and said opening mechanism has an associated pliable sheet of material that covers said opening in said frame.
16. The package according to claim 15, wherein said pliable sheet of material is associated with said opening mechanism, such that when said opening mechanism is movable back and forth along said frame, said pliable sheet opens and closes said container.
17. The package according to claim 15, wherein said pliable sheet forms a seal against at least part of said frame.
18. The package according to claim 15, wherein said frame has a guide for engaging with said opening mechanism.
19. The package according to claim 15, wherein said guide includes a keyway, a recessed groove or a raised bead that runs along said frame.
20. The package according to claim 15, wherein said opening mechanism is manually operable.
21. The package according to claim 15, wherein said container is formed of either a rigid, semi-rigid, or flexible material.
22. The package according to claim 15, wherein said frame and container are made as a unitary piece.
23. The package according to claim 15, wherein said container is a thermoformed piece.
24. The package according to claim 15, wherein said frame has an overhanging flange that partially covers an edge of said pliable sheet.
25. An article of manufacture or product contained within a package, the package comprising: a container; a frame defining an opening, said frame having opposing sides; and an opening mechanism that engages slideably with said opposing sides, and said opening mechanism has an associated pliable sheet of material that covers said opening in said frame.
26. A container comprising a receptacle part and a lid part, said receptacle part having a cavity for receiving stored contents in said container, said receptacle part and lid part include respective opposing portions adapted to slideably engage with one another corresponding portions to permit relative slideable movement of said lid and receptacle parts between open and closed positions, and a displaceable flap forming a cover over an aperture in said lid part, and which displaces with said slideable movement.
27. The container according to claim 26, wherein said opposing portions one of which is in the form of a groove and another of which is in the form of an edge portion slideably engaged in said groove.
28. The container according to claim 26, wherein said displaceable flap is secured with a sliding opening mechanism forming part of said lid part.
29. The container according to claim 26, wherein said container has a major longitudinal axis and displaceable flap is oriented substantially inline with said major longitudinal axis.
30. A packaging assembly comprising: a rigid or semi-rigid frame having two substantially parallel lateral sides or edges, an opening mechanism that slideably engages with each lateral side or edge, said opening mechanism is associated with a pliable sheet material with a seal along an interface of one side of said sheet material against a surface of a flange of said frame, and said frame forms an opening to part of a rigid cavity adapted for receiving a product article.
31. The packaging assembly according to claim 30, wherein said product article stored within said packaging article is a sealant device for use in medical procedures.
32. The package assembly according to claim 30, wherein said frame is substantially rectilinear.
33. The package assembly according to claim 30, wherein said interface between said pliable sheet material and said surface of a flange is sealable along a bead pattern that includes a pointed feature, which concentrates shearing forces at an initial opening site.
34. A method for opening a package article, the method comprising the following steps: a) providing a package article having a rigid or semi-rigid frame that defines an opening, an opener device that has at least two spaced-apart tabs that slideably engage with a track on either a face or an edge flange of said frame, said spaced-apart tabs are secured to a pliable sheet material which forms a part of a cover lid attached to said frame; b) moving said spaced-apart tabs along said track on said frame from one end to an opposing end of said frame; and c) retracting said pliable sheet material from an interface with said frame.
35. The method according to claim 34, wherein said method further includes the step of reclosing or resealing said package article by performing steps b) and c) in reverse.
36. The method according to claim 34, wherein said method further includes providing instruction to a user about how to either open or close said packaging article.
37. The method according to claim 34, wherein said steps b) and c) are performed manually.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention pertains to a package or container having an easy-to-open aperture. In particular, the package has a rigid or semi-rigid frame and an opening mechanism that retracts a pliable sheet of material that covers the opening of the package.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    In healthcare settings, such as clinics or hospitals, as well as industrial or laboratory settings, workers can often experience difficulty performing tasks that require fine manual dexterity when wearing protective gloves. For example, a worker often can be hard pressed to open and unwrap quickly a device, instrument, or other product from a tightly sealed or sterile package. The situation in an operating room (OR), intensive-care unit (ICU), or other clinical environment can at times be quite urgent. While gloved, a worker does not have time to search for or fumble with the package wrapping to find conventional tabs or pulls before tearing open the package. Hence, a need exists for a better, faster, more easily opened product package. Moreover, this need extends to a product package that is easy to manufacture and so inexpensive to produce that it is economical to dispose of after only a single or limited use. The present invention addresses these needs, in addition to providing a novel method and device configuration for opening a package of various shapes or forms for any kind of product or article of manufacture.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Generally, the present invention relates to a package or package assembly having a container and a closure. The package includes a rigid or semi rigid frame that defines an aperture or opening. A mechanism for opening the package is adapted to have at least two opposing tabs or flanges that engage or “hug” an edge or flange of the frame and enables the opening mechanism to slide or run along the side or over a part of the surface of the frame. The tabs can fit and work with a track such as a keyway or rail-like groove or bead. The tabs may move independently of each other; hence, they may operate independently of each other. In such an embodiment, the coversheet material connects the two tabs, since a piece or corner of the coversheet material is secured to each tab. Alternatively, the tabs may be connected to each other with a support or platen, such that their movement and operation is coordinated for better efficiency. The tabs each may secure a corner of a lid or coversheet material, but more preferred embodiments employ a platen or support panel to secure the cover material. The opening mechanism, also referred to as a “slider,” has a mechanical feature, such as either a slot or clamp-like configuration, or a male or female mating element, that accommodates and engages with a groove or guide rail, respectively, on the aperture frame. One end of a flexible or pliable sheet, which forms at least part of the cover lid, is adhesively or mechanically secured or otherwise fixed within the slot or clamped in the slider. When pulled up or down along the aperture frame, the slider draws back the sheet away from an edge of the frame, to which the sheet is attached, for instance, by an adhesive. The opener is adapted to slide or glide against opposing edges of the frame. As the opener slides up and down the frame, the opener pulls the pliable sheet of material either backward or forward, hence opening or closing the packaging. The pliable material can be attached or sealed against either the edge or a flange of the frame, and may be able to reseal depending on the relative tackiness of the adhesive. The overall dimensions and physical size of the packaging can be configured to satisfy a user's needs—the package maybe as small as to only require two finger tips to operate or as large as to required the use of two hands to open and close.
  • [0004]
    In particular embodiments, the enclosure on either or both sides of the frame can be made from a relatively soft and flexible material. On one side of the aperture frame is a flexible coversheet used to open and close the package, and on the other side in some cases the material may take the form of a bag or envelope. In other embodiments, such as shown in the accompanying illustrations, involve a shaped or three-dimensional cover or plastic shell-like tray as one side of the packaging and the other side is the flexible coversheet.
  • [0005]
    Manufacture of the present packaging can be a two or three part assembly process, which comprises providing a rigid or semi-rigid aperture frame that defines an opening to a cavity, such as a flexible envelope or bag, or rigid or semi-rigid shell or other like form, assembling a sliding component, such as tabs, with a sheet material, or alternatively, attaching a pre-assembled sliding component with sheet material to an associated track or keyway on the frame, sealing the sheet material to the frame, such that the sheet material covers the opening to the cavity. A predetermined or selected product or article of manufacture should be already positioned within the cavity before it is sealed within the package, if the inventive package concept is employed in commercial product sales or uses. Alternatively, the present invention may be embodied in a package that may be made available for sale for consumer or home uses to hold or store food, personal products, or household items (e.g., like a storage bag). When assembling the sliding member, it is envisioned according to an embodiment that a first set of pin on the sliding member aligns with another set of pins on a flange of the sliding component near where an initial tear away from the cavity would begin, for folding the membrane sheet material as something to grab and secure the membrane sheet. The flange and pins may also act as a stopping point for the sliding motion. As stoppers for the sliding component, pins or knobs can also be formed as integral parts of the aperture frame, and situated at either end of the frame.
  • [0006]
    The invention also relates to an article of manufacture or product contained within the packaging container. Such articles can be any variety of products, ranging for instance from various medical devices or applicators, such as a skin-preparation applicator or a syringe, to household items, food stuff, tools, toys, personal care products, and other items that are sold or stored in a package, such as a battery, nails or screws. The container has a frame that defines an opening, and has opposing sides. An opener device or mechanism engages with the two sides of the frame along the edges or a surface by means of a track, keyway (e.g., like a zip-lock storage bag), guide rails or runner flanges, and the opener device has an associated pliable sheet of material that covers the opening in the frame. When the opener device or slider is displaced down the length of the package along the side flanges, the pliable sheet is withdrawn and opens the package interior.
  • [0007]
    The present invention also describes a method for operating the package to open and/or reclose the package aperture. The method for opening a package article includes the following steps: a) providing a package article having a rigid or semi-rigid frame that defines an opening, an opener device that has at least two spaced-apart tabs that slideably engage with a track on either a face or an edge flange of said frame, the spaced-apart tabs are secured to a pliable sheet material which forms a part of a cover lid attached to the frame; b) moving the spaced-apart tabs along the track on said frame from one end to an opposing end of said frame; and c) retracting the pliable sheet material from an interface with the frame. The method further may include the step of reclosing or resealing the package article by performing steps b) and c) in reverse. Steps b) and c) can be performed manually. The method further includes providing instruction to a user about how to either open or close the packaging article.
  • [0008]
    Additional features and advantages of the present invention will be revealed in the following detailed description. Both the foregoing summary and the following detailed description and examples are merely representative of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview for understanding the invention as claimed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES
  • [0009]
    FIGS. 1A and 1B are schematic representations of a basic embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A shows an aperture frame with a curvy shape, tabs engaging an edge or flange of the aperture frame and attached to a flexible coversheet, which is partially drawn back. FIG. 1B shows the aperture frame of FIG. 1A flipped over. The housing is not shown.
  • [0010]
    FIGS. 2A-2C depict three views of a schematic of an exemplary package according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2A shows a first or ventral side of the package straight on. FIG. 2B shows a side view of the package, and FIG. 2C shows a second or dorsal side of the package straight on.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 illustrates another view of the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 2A-2C, showing view from one end of the packaging looking along its longitudinal axis.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a three-quarter view of the embodiment in FIGS. 2A-2C, with the first or ventral side oriented upward.
  • [0013]
    FIGS. 5A-5F are six views of an embodiment of an exemplary opener mechanism adapted for sliding according to the present invention. FIGS. 5A and 5B are first (ventral) and second (dorsal) views of an opener mechanism that has two panels, and two spaced-apart tabs for engaging with an aperture frame.
  • [0014]
    FIGS. 5C and 5D are dorsal and ventral views, respectively, of the opener mechanism as the two panels are folded one over the other. FIGS. 5E and 5F, respectively, are a head-on view and side view of the opener mechanism.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 6 is an exploded view of three panel sections of a sliding opener mechanism that permits the closure to be resealed.
  • [0016]
    FIGS. 7A-7E show an embodiment of the bond pattern at the interface between the frame of the packaging and the pliable sheet material, in which a chevron (in place of a rounded edge as in FIGS. 2A-2C) at one end is employed to concentrate force for earlier opening of the device. The chevron is situated against the prevailing force applied when a user opens the packaging by sliding the opener mechanism.
  • [0017]
    Stoppers may be formed at either end of the package to prevent the slider from disengaging from the edge or track of the aperture frame when either opening or closing to either extremis of the frame.
  • [0018]
    FIGS. 8A-8E show an embodiment having a product or article of manufacture in a sealed package of the present invention, corresponding to the FIGS. 2A-2C, 3, and 4. FIG. 8A shows the ventral side of the package with the sliding opening mechanism and its associated coversheet over the aperture of the frame. FIG. 8E shows the article in the package with the second or dorsal side oriented upward.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0019]
    While the present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings for purposes of illustration, it is understood that the invention is not limited to this package embodiment, and other iterations are included within the scope of the description. The present invention, in essence, involves a packaging container that has an easy opening closure, which can be reclosed. As partially depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the package 10 has a rigid or semi-rigid frame 12 with an edge flange 14 defining an aperture 16. The frame 12 is relatively flat and planar. An opening mechanism 18 having spaced-apart first and second tabs or flanges 20 engages with the edge flange 14 of the aperture frame 12 and is adapted to slide against the edge flange 14. The tabs may function independently of each other or may be tied together with either a resilient, or semi-rigid or rigid connector (not shown) between the tabs. It is envisioned that such a connector can regulate the relative operation of the tabs along a track or keyway 22, such that one tab does not outpace the other too much when opening or closing the package. For certain applications or configurations, it may be desirable for the connector to be able to flex with the movement of the tabs. As shown, a stopper 24 is situated at either end of the track 22 along either side of the aperture frame 12. The slideably engaged opening mechanism 18 is secured to a retractable coversheet 26 that functions as a lid of cover to the aperture 26. As used herein, the terms “lidstock,” “sheet,” or “coversheet” refers to a material that may be a film, nonwoven web, woven fabric or knit fabric.
  • [0020]
    The part of the packaging 10 that constitutes the housing 28 for the container can be made from a variety of materials and take a variety of shapes or any form as the user may desire. In certain embodiments, the frame can be part of a rigid tray or encasement of the packaging. The container has a support or receptacle part for different contents, such as an applicator for treatments or medicaments or the like, or another device or article. The receptacle can form a shell that commonly forms part of the aperture frame, either an integrally molded piece or later attached or fitted together. The shell, associated aperture frame, and slider tabs and other parts of the assembled package article can be made by extrusion or injection molding a variety of themoplastics, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl acetate, or the like.
  • [0021]
    Alternatively, the aperture frame 12 can be situated between the first and second pliable sheets or envelope, wherein the second pliable sheet or envelope of material opposes the first pliable cover sheet of the package. In essence, the frame forms a firm opening, such as depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B, for a large bag-like pouch. The pouch can be either pliant, floppy, or maintains its shape. The pouch can be first folded and then extend as it is filled with content items. The pouch can be closed or sealed by bring the first pliable material over to cover the frame aperture. The material of the pliable cover sheet can be a plastic or polymer film, an elastomer membrane or film (e.g., natural rubber latex or synthetic (ntrile) rubber latex), a filament-based or fibrous web (e.g., paper), or a nonwoven web, or combinations or layers of such materials. In some embodiments, the retractable sheet material may be made from high-density polyethylene fibers, such as Dupont TyvekŪ brand protective material or various forms of calendared nonwoven materials. For instance, Dupont TyVekŪ brand protective material offers characteristics of paper, film and fabric in one material. This balance of properties makes TyVekŪ lightweight yet strong; vapor-permeable, yet water-, chemical-, puncture-, tear- and abrasion-resistant. The pouch can be made from materials similar to identical to the that used for the cover sheet, in addition to either a textile material, like conventional cotton, flax, or wool woven fabrics, or nonwoven web or fabric (elastic or non-elastic), or thermoplastic polymer film sheet.
  • [0022]
    The packaging has the following basic constituents: a container, a frame defining an opening, and an opening mechanism. In certain embodiments, the frame has opposing rectilinear, substantially parallel sides. The opening mechanism engages slideably with the parallel sides. A pliable sheet of material, which covers the opening in the frame, is associated with the opening mechanism in a manner such that when the opening mechanism is movable back and forth along said frame, the pliable sheet opens and closes the container. The frame has a guide for engaging with the opening mechanism, and the guide may include either a recessed groove or a raised bead that runs, either continuously or discontinuously, along the frame (e.g., on a planar surface or edge flange). Desirably, the opening mechanism is easily operable by hand. Typically, a user can grip the sides of the two tabs of the slider between the thumb and a finger. For instance, when a person grabs hold of the package and pulls the opening mechanism, the pliable sheet is ripped at least partially from a seal that it forms with the frame. The container can be formed of either a rigid, semi-rigid, or flexible material, as long as the frame maintains a shape. The container can be a thermoformed piece, which in certain situations the frame and container can be made as a unitary piece.
  • [0023]
    In certain embodiments, such as in FIGS. 2A-C, the package 10 includes a cavity defined by either a rigid or semi-rigid lip or flange 14, which constitutes two substantially flat, parallel sides, with the cavity in between. The cavity can be a shell-like tray 28. The tray has a well 28a for receiving contents and a peripheral flange 1 4a or edge surrounding the well. The retractable coversheet (not shown) is attached to the frame 12 along the peripheral flange 14 with an adhesive or other mechanical fastener. The opening mechanism binds or otherwise secures an end of the coversheet. A part or end of the pliable sheet is associated with the opening mechanism, such that when the opening mechanism is movable back and forth along said frame edge flange, the pliable sheet extends and retracts over the aperture of the frame. In other words, the opening mechanism runs along the flange and draws the coversheet open and close with the sliding motion of the opening mechanism along the edges of the tray, hence permitting one to reclose the package. When the fastening means is an adhesive layer and utilizes an active or tacky adhesive, a peel strip can be used to cover the adhesive until the cover sheet is ready to be applied to a surface 11. In certain embodiments, the opposing sides are desirably, rectilinear and substantially parallel to each other. As used herein, “substantially parallel” refers to not deviating from true parallel by more than about 5-10 degrees. In other embodiments, the sides or edges of the aperture frame may relates to each other in a variety of shapes, including V-like or V-shaped, curved, arced, or elliptical forms, or other shapes as may be desired, so long as the two opposing sides or edges do not diverge from a bisector or mid-line oriented longitudinally and/or equidistant between each side or edge by more than about 25-30% (up to ˜33%) of the total maximum width of the frame.
  • [0024]
    In certain embodiments, the package may be constructed only for either single, one-time use, or disposable use. As used herein, the term “disposable” is not limited to single use articles but also refers to articles that can be discarded if they become soiled or otherwise unusable after a few uses. In other embodiments for more durable use, one can reseal the package depending on degree of tackiness of an adhesive or sealant bead along the flange where the pliable sheet contacts the flange. As used herein, the term “adhesive” refers to any substance that is adapted to bond at least portions of one or more layers or plies of the sheet material to the aperture frame by surface attachment. Such substances may be organic, inorganic, natural, synthetic or combinations thereof. Exemplary adhesives may be based on caseins, starches, gums, mucilages, terpene resins (rosin), pitches, rubbers, celluloses, rubber latexes, rubber solvents, waxes, thermoplastic resins, thermosetting resins, epoxy, silicone polymers or the like. Several commercially available adhesive and release paper systems can be employed. The pliable lid coversheet should have release paper properties. For instance, an untreated coversheet material may have inherent release properties and may be peeled, or the coversheet may be treated with a release surface-coating. Persons of skill in the art understand without due experimentation, that the selection of particular species of adhesives or the coversheet material or the material from which the aperture frame is formed depends on the relative compatibility of the adhesive and the materials.
  • [0025]
    The present invention encompasses embodiments in which the adhesive layer may be a continuous layer or it may be discontinuous. The adhesive may be applied in any configuration including a continuous bead, various spray patterns, spatterings, printings, swirl arrangements or the like.
  • [0026]
    In certain examples, pressure activated adhesives or tackifier will tend to make resealing easier. Examples of a tackifying adhesive that can be resealed include relatively low glass-transition temperature (Tg) polymeric or other adhesives that remains tacky under ambient conditions. A more rigid or dry adhesive (i.e., high Tg) can define the limits to which the slider is permitted to move, since the coversheet material thus adhered will tend to be more difficult to remove and less likely to reseal. An example of this kind of adhesive may include polyethylene imine.
  • [0027]
    In embodiments of the invention, the adhesive layer may be in the form of a strip of adhesive running along the peripheral length of the flexible coversheet where it contacts an edge or flange of the aperture frame. The adhesive layer may run along the entire length dimension of at least one side of the coversheet. The adhesive strip may have a width ranging from almost equal to the width of the flange of the aperture fame to a relatively thin strand or bead. Generally speaking, the adhesive strip may have a width sufficient to provide good adhesion of the adsorbent pad to surfaces in view of the peel strength or tack of the adhesive. For example, some suitable pressure sensitive adhesives of the type used in self-sealing envelopes and the like can be applied in a strip. This tight contact generates a seal, barrier or block to minimize gaps and spaces.
  • [0028]
    Desirably, the adhesive layer is a pressure sensitive adhesive layer. The adhesive used in the present invention should be able to bond the flexible sheet materials. It is also desired that the adhesive maintain the bond when a laminate material is extended or stretched in use. Examples of suitable adhesives that may be used in the practice of the invention include Rextac 2730, 2723 available from Huntsman Polymers of Houston, Tex., as well as adhesives available from Bostik Findley, Inc, of Wauwatosa, Wis., such as H9375-01. Suitable pressure sensitive adhesive include, but are not limited to, hot-melt adhesives. As an example, useful hot-melt garment adhesives include those available under the designations 34-5602 (also known as “Easy Melt”); DF-5575; 170-3902; DM-523; 34-5516; 34-5512; MQ 7987; 53-4503 from National Starch, Bridgewater, N.J. Other useful hot-melt garment adhesives include those available under the designations HL-8141; D-58; D-3944; HL-8112; HM-5717; HL-1375; and HM-1972 from HB Fuller, St. Paul, Minn., and the adhesive available under the designation 910-373 also from Bostik Findley, Inc., of Wauwatosa, Wis.
  • [0029]
    As illustrated in FIGS. 5A-5F and 6, the opening mechanism 18 has spaced-apart flanges or tabs 20 that are adapted to engage with the opposing edges or peripheral flanges 14, 14 a of the aperture frame 12. For example, in certain embodiments, the first and second tabs can be configured to have either a portion that is a substantially C-like-shape or L-like-shape (in profile) channel 27. The channel allows the tabs to engage with the aperture frame edge from the outside. That is, the edge of the frame slides either in between or over the C or L-shaped channels. Alternatively, the slider can have either a male (protrusion) or female (recess) mating element that fits, for example, with a keyway, groove, or guide rail 22 along a surface 11 of the aperture frame 12. The first and second flanges can have a number of raised ridges or ribs 25, which when situated on an inward facing surface of a tab 20 is adapted to grip the frame or when situated on an outward facing surface is for a person's hand to better grip the opening mechanism. In addition a primary attribute for a single-use package that is easier to open than current conventional configurations for medical and lab use of sterile article or products, the package may also have a re-sealable or re-closable package.
  • [0030]
    In desirable embodiments, the opening mechanism 18 includes a first and second platen situated between the spaced-apart first and second flanges. The first platen I is adapted to engage with the second platen 2. As illustrated in the examples, the first and second platens are connected to each other at a hinge y. One platen is folded over the other, hence sandwiching and securing part of the pliable sheet material therein between. According to certain uses, the opening mechanism is adapted to enable one to reclose the package, either by mere physical proximity of the cover sheet over the opening or with sealing around the edges of the opening. Depending on the tackiness or strength of glues or other adhesive that originally held the pliable sheet material to the face of the frame, one can run the opening mechanism back and reseal the sheet against the surface of the frame. Alternatively, the opening mechanism may have a slot adapted to receive and secure a part of the pliable sheet.
  • [0031]
    According to an embodiment, the sliding opener piece would have two flex points, not just one as depicted in the accompany FIGS. 5A-5D. A first piece is intended to have the C or L sliding design on the sides to pull back the lid stock. A second or middle panel could have a design, name, logo, or description and attaches both the first and a third panel. The third or top panel is adapted to flex from the second panel in a design similar to how the first and second panels are attached, near the outside edge parallel to sliding rails. It would flex around to the backside of the formed tray, be die cut to snap around the two dimples, or “stops”, at either the bottom or top of the slider rails. It would be assembled so when the user opens the package, he/she would have to unsnap the third panel and then pull the complete slider down the rails of the package and re-close doing the opposite action.
  • [0032]
    As shown in FIG. 6, in another embodiment the opening mechanism or slider has three panel sections that can be interfolded one over the other, along lines x and y. In some iterations, this folding is in an accordion-like fashion. A first panel section 1 serves as a base for the opening device. The panel section 1 has two flanges or tabs 20, one on either side, that are adapted to engage with a rail or runner flange of the aperture frame of the package. A slider tab 20, having a manual grip area on the tab and a C-shaped channel, which fits against the lidstock of the pliable coversheet material, is maneuvered to open and close the package. In FIG. 6, in panel section 1, there are situated three holes 30. These holes are desirably die cut and align with pins 32 on panel section 2 of the sliding mechanism 18. Panel section 2 is the front panel of the slider mechanism 18. The pins 32 are molded on a backside of panel section 2, and lock into the holes 30 on in panel section 1. The coversheet or lidstock of the package is secured between the holes and corresponding pins. Panel section 3, according to the present embodiment, has a number of holes 34 that snap over molded dimples or grooves on a backside of a molded frame 12 or tray 28 when closing the package. This feature permits one to reseal the package when a tacky adhesive is employed at the interface 15 between the lidstock and aperture frame 12. One way of assembling the slider to the package may involve the following steps.
  • [0033]
    One aligns and slides panel 1 onto the rails of the rigid or semi-rigid frame, folds lidstock over the straight, flat edge of panel 2, then folds and secure panel 2 through the holes in panel 1 with the lidstock in between. The lidstock may have a number of holes cut to correspond and receive the molded pins. Then, one folds panel 3 over the backside, at one end, of the aperture frame and secures holes over dimples 24.
  • [0034]
    In other embodiments, the sliding opener device can be patterned similar to the closing mechanisms described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2002/0070220, or U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,325,239, 6,394,299, or 6,722,520, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In the present situation, the rigid or semi-rigid flange of the frame can have a keyway, like in the patents, comprising a groove or track in the flange to guide the slider device, as it moves up and down the sides of the frame. The slider can incorporate an inclined, wedge-like component or pressure wheel that can be applied to secure or seal the pliable sheet to the flange to allow for resealing of the sheet material after one has opened the package. The resealing mechanism may be configured to work in only one direction when the sliding component is pulled back over the opening.
  • [0035]
    According to the present invention, an opener mechanism spans across the frame, and has at least two flanges or wings on either side that are adapted to grip and run along or slide against the an edge of the frame. As shown in the accompanying figures, the flanges are adapted to fit against rectilinear, opposing edges of the frame. Attached at one end to the opener mechanism is a pliable sheet that can be extended or retracted as the opener mechanism is moved forward or backward along the frame. The pliable sheet has a bead or area of adhesive around its edge to match and seal against the edge of the frame. The frame can either be part of a rigid plastic encasement, such as used with conventional packages, or have on the other side another pliable covering, which can take the form of a bag or other container for a product or article housed or stored within the packaging. Either the plastic encasement or the pliable bag can be form-fitting to the product within. For example, FIGS. 8A-8E depict a non-limiting and exemplary package of the present invention configured to house within an applicator 45 for a surgical skin-preparation treatment. Much like a Roman blind, the film or sheet that covers the opening in the frame is flexible and will bend or fold upon itself as the opening mechanism is retracted or drawn to one side, such as illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B.
  • [0036]
    In another embodiment, the container comprises a receptacle part and a lid part. The receptacle part has a cavity 28 for receiving stored contents in said container, and the receptacle part and lid part include respective opposing portions adapted to slideably engage with one another corresponding portions to permit relative sliding movement of the lid and receptacle parts between open and closed positions. A displaceable flap forms a cover over an aperture in the lid part, and which moves aside or cures up on it self with the sliding movement. The container has a major longitudinal axis and displaceable flap is oriented substantially parallel with said major longitudinal axis. The opposing portions can take various forms. For example, one of which is in the form of a groove and another of which is in the form of an edge portion slideably engaged in the groove. The displaceable flap can be secured with the sliding opening mechanism which forming part of the lid part. In certain desirable embodiments, the cover sheet material is attached or sealed to an edge of the semi-rigid or rigid flange at an interface. The interface 15 between the pliable coversheet material and the surface of the flange 11 is sealable along a bead pattern that includes a pointed or chevron-like shape 40. The pointed chevron-like feature concentrates shearing forces at an initial opening site, proximal to the initial position of the opening device or sliding handle, as one peals the cover sheet and makes opening the package initially easier. FIGS. 7A-E show an example if a pointed chevron 40 similar to the apex of Tudor-style Gothic arch, which enables one to concentrate stress forces on the pliable sheet at the point of the chevron.
  • [0037]
    In another embodiment, a flange that extends from the frame to partially overhang and cover the edge of the pliable sheet material provides a physical barrier that prevents dust or other contaminates from accessing or settling inside of the package when the package is re-closed. The barrier protects the opening without the need for an adhesive to secure the edge of the pliable sheet to the frame. The flange covers along either the longitudinal or lateral edges of the pliable sheet.
  • [0038]
    In certain commercial applications, the packaging can have an obstruction to the slider tabs to prevent the package from being opened accidentally, or by thieves who open and take the article held in the package and leave an empty package carton. For instance, the obstruction, one on either side of the aperture frame, can be a piece of hard plastic or rubber that may require cutting or breaking of a frangle piece from the slider before on can open the package.
  • [0039]
    The present invention has been described by way of examples, those skilled in the art will understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments specifically disclosed, and that various modifications and variations can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, unless changes otherwise depart from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims, they should be construed as included herein.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7681732Jun 13, 2008Mar 23, 2010Cryovac, Inc.Laminated lidstock
US20090178945 *Jul 16, 2009Moehlenbrock Andrew WLaminated lidstock
US20100096387 *Feb 28, 2008Apr 22, 2010Haronga Taihauauru Turoa TeharawiraContainer closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/350
International ClassificationB65D43/20
Cooperative ClassificationB65D77/30, B65D75/32
European ClassificationB65D75/32, B65D77/30
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 15, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ELISWOOD, MARK R.;SHUMAN, ALAN G.;REEL/FRAME:019553/0183
Effective date: 20061114