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Publication numberUS20100084308 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/530,598
PCT numberPCT/US2008/056829
Publication dateApr 8, 2010
Filing dateMar 13, 2008
Priority dateMar 13, 2007
Also published asWO2008112876A1
Publication number12530598, 530598, PCT/2008/56829, PCT/US/2008/056829, PCT/US/2008/56829, PCT/US/8/056829, PCT/US/8/56829, PCT/US2008/056829, PCT/US2008/56829, PCT/US2008056829, PCT/US200856829, PCT/US8/056829, PCT/US8/56829, PCT/US8056829, PCT/US856829, US 2010/0084308 A1, US 2010/084308 A1, US 20100084308 A1, US 20100084308A1, US 2010084308 A1, US 2010084308A1, US-A1-20100084308, US-A1-2010084308, US2010/0084308A1, US2010/084308A1, US20100084308 A1, US20100084308A1, US2010084308 A1, US2010084308A1
InventorsWilliam Roger Rigby
Original AssigneeMeadwestvaco Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging system with a selectable locking feature
US 20100084308 A1
Abstract
The disclosure is directed to a packaging sleeve (12) and a packaging sleeve blank (10). The blank (10) includes a slide card (110). The slide card (110) is configured to carry a blister card (300) and/or to be inserted into the sleeve (12). In some embodiments the sleeve (12) includes locking features for locking the slide card (110) into the sleeve (12). In some embodiments, the locking features can be selectively deactivated by an end-user. In some embodiments, the sleeve (12) includes a pocket (100). Printed information can be inserted into the pocket (100), or the surfaces of the pocket (100) can be used to provide additional surfaces for printing information, including advertising.
Images(12)
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Claims(40)
1. A package, comprising:
a tubular structure defined by a plurality of wall panels; and
a slide card detachably connected to at least one of the plurality of wall panels, wherein the slide card is configured to be slideably translated within the tubular structure.
2. The package of claim 1, further comprising an engaging tab configured to be connected to at least a portion of the slide card.
3. The package of claim 2, further comprising an engaging panel connected to the engaging tab.
4. The package of claim 3, wherein at least a portion of the engaging panel is detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one of the plurality of wall panels.
5. The package of claim 3, wherein the engaging panel is configured to be connected to at least a portion of the slide card.
6. The package of claim 5, wherein the slide card further comprises an extended base panel configured to be connected to the engaging panel.
7. The package of claim 1, further comprising at least one locking mechanism configured to engage the slide card in a storage position.
8. The package of claim 7, further comprising a locking mechanism release button configured to selectively release the slide card from the storage position.
9. A blank for forming a package, comprising:
a plurality of panels configured to form a tubular structure;
at least one panel configured to form an engaging mechanism; and
at least one slide card panel configured to form a slide card, the at least one slide card panel being detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one of the panels.
10. The blank of claim 9, wherein the blank further comprises a release button formed in at least one of the panels configured to form the tubular structure.
11. The blank of claim 9, wherein the blank further comprises at least one locking feature configured to lock the slide card in a storage position.
12. The blank of claim 9, wherein the at least one slide card panel is detachably connected to the at least one panel configured to form the tubular structure by the at least one panel configured to form the engaging mechanism.
13. A blank for forming an outer sleeve, comprising:
a plurality of panels configured to form a tubular structure; and
at least one slide card panel configured to form a slide card, the slide card comprising an extended base panel and being detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one of the plurality of panels.
14. The blank of claim 13, further comprising an engaging tab, wherein the engaging tab is configured to be connected to the extended base panel.
15. The blank of claim 14, further comprising an engaging panel connected to the engaging tab.
16. The blank of claim 15, wherein at least a portion of the engaging panel is detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one of the plurality of panels.
17. The blank of claim 15, wherein the engaging panel is configured to be connected to at least a portion of the slide card.
18. The blank of claim 13, further comprising at least one locking mechanism configured to engage the locking slide card in a storage position.
19. The blank of claim 18, further comprising a locking mechanism release button configured to selectively release the slide card from the storage position.
20. The blank of claim 13, further comprising at least one Ellis flap configured, upon erection of the blank into an outer sleeve, to lock a pocket formed from the plurality of pocket panels in a closed position.
21. A package with selectively engaging locking features, comprising:
an outer sleeve defined by a plurality of walls, a closed end, an open end, and locking features;
a slide card comprising an extended base panel and an engaging tab configured to be connected to the extended base panel and to engage the locking features of the outer sleeve; and
a blister card positioned within the slide card.
22. The package of claim 21, wherein the engaging tab is connected to the extended base panel by a fold line.
23. The package of claim 21, wherein the engaging tab is connected to the extended base panel by an engaging panel.
24. The package of claim 21, wherein the slide card is configured to be selectably positioned to a deactivation position at which the blister card is accessible without manipulation of the locking features.
25. The package of claim 21, wherein the outer sleeve further comprises a release button disposed in at least one wall panel for selectively disengaging the locking features of the package to allow slideable translation of the slide card.
26. The package of claim 21, wherein the outer sleeve further comprises a pocket.
27. The package of claim 26, wherein the outer sleeve further comprises at least one Ellis flap for locking the pocket in a closed position.
28. A method for forming a lockable package comprising:
providing an outer sleeve comprising a plurality of wall panels;
providing an engagement mechanism comprising at least one engagement mechanism panel;
providing a slide card that is configured to be slideably translated within the outer sleeve, wherein the slide card is detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one of the plurality of panels; and
providing a blister card configured to be positioned in cooperative alignment with the slide card.
29. The method of claim 28, wherein providing an engagement mechanism comprises providing an engagement mechanism panel that is connected to at least a portion of the slide card.
30. The method of claim 28, wherein providing a slide card comprises providing a slide card that is detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one wall panel.
31. The method of claim 30, wherein providing a slide card further comprises providing a slide card that is detachably connected to at least a portion of at least one wall panel by at least one engagement mechanism panel.
32. The method of claim 30, further comprising connecting at least a portion of the slide card to at least a portion of the at least one engagement mechanism panel.
33. The method of claim 30, wherein providing a blister card comprises providing a blister card that comprises a severing tool.
34. The method of claim 33, further comprising providing a blister card comprising a tapered edge extending from a hinge.
35. The method of claim 33, further comprising using the severing tool to sever at lease one severance line to allow movement of the slide card.
36. The method of claim 33, further comprising using the severing tool to sever at lease two severance lines to allow movement of the slide card.
37. The method of claim 35, further comprising placing the blister card in cooperative alignment with the slide card.
38. The method of claim 37, further comprising inserting the cooperatively aligned slide card and blister card into the outer sleeve.
39. The method of claim 37, further comprising inserting the cooperatively aligned slide card and blister card into the outer sleeve to a storage position.
40. The method of claim 37, further comprising inserting the cooperatively aligned slide card and blister card into the outer sleeve to a locked position.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/894,536, filed Mar. 13, 2007, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The disclosure relates to a packaging system for packaging and dispensing articles and, more specifically, to a packaging system that includes an outer sleeve with an inner structure that provides selectable security to articles that are located on an interior slide card.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    A known packaging system includes a blister package, such as a slide card, which is received in an outer sleeve. Such a packaging system is a convenient packaging format for certain pharmaceutical applications because the blister package can be repeatedly accessed from and returned to the outer sleeve in order to dispense unit doses from the blister package. The blister package is also a useful format because it enables a user to track the consumption of doses according to a prescribed schedule. The outer sleeve functions to provide security or limit access to the blister package. Specifically, the blister package can be lockably retained within the outer sleeve by a locking mechanism and released from the outer sleeve by a release mechanism. Further, operating the release mechanism to release the blister package from the outer sleeve requires a set of actions that are counter-intuitive to a child.
  • [0004]
    Child resistance is a feature particularly desired for pharmaceutical packaging and, with regard to certain products, is mandated by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970. For example, to achieve a desired child resistance (CR) rating of F=1, the number of subject packages that are compromised by children of a specific age may not exceed a pre-set failure rate. This general guideline is designed to ensure that the package has sufficient integrity against tampering by children.
  • [0005]
    Although many packaging systems include child-resistant locking features, such features are not always desired by the end user. For example, an elderly couple that does not routinely have small children in the house may not wish to have access to their medications restricted by locking features. However, when that elderly couple entertains friends or family, including small children, it would be desirable to have access to the same medications be limited or otherwise restricted.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    The disclosure is directed to a packaging system that allows the end-user to selectively engage and disengage the child-resistant locking features. The packaging system can be filled by a third-party, such as a manufacturer, distributor, or medication retailer or provider, for use by the end-user. The packaging system can be easily and inexpensively manufactured, and can be disposable. In some embodiments, the packaging system includes an outer sleeve and a slide card. The slide card is configured to accept a blister pack, tray, or other product-carrying device. In other embodiments, products can be attached directly to the slide card. The slide card, with or without a blister pack attached thereto, can be inserted into the outer sleeve for storage, transportation, or to store products in a child-resistant manner. The slide card and the outer sleeve can include locking features. The slide card can thereby be locked into the outer sleeve by engaging the locking features of the slide card with the locking features of the outer sleeve. The outer sleeve can include one or more lock release buttons for selectively disengaging the locking features of the outer sleeve from the locking features of the slide card.
  • [0007]
    The slide card can also function as a locking feature disengagement mechanism, whereby the locking features of the packaging system can be selectively deactivated. If a blister card is included in the package, the slide card can be manipulated so as to allow access to the blister pack without manipulating the locking features of the packaging system. When a user wishes to again use the locking features of the packaging system, the slide card can again be manipulated to return the slide card to the standard operating configuration, thereby reactivating the locking features of the packaging system. In some embodiments, the locking features of the packaging system can be permanently deactivated. For example, in one embodiment, an engaging edge of the slide card can be severed from the slide card to prevent engagement of the locking mechanisms of the outer sleeve and the slide card.
  • [0008]
    Accordingly, an outer sleeve is disclosed. The outer sleeve can include a tubular structure defined by two or more wall panels and a slide card. In some embodiments, the slide card is detachably connected to one or more of the wall panels. The slide card can be configured to be slideably translated within the outer sleeve. In some embodiments, the outer sleeve includes an engaging tab configured to be connected to at least a portion of the slide card. In some embodiments, the outer sleeve further includes an engaging panel connected to the engaging tab. In some embodiments, at least part of the engaging panel is detachably connected to part, or all, of one or more of the wall panels. The engaging panel can be configured to be connected to the slide card, or a portion of the slide card. The slide card can also include an extended base panel to which the engaging panel can be connected, for example, by a fold line, by adhesive, by other mechanical and/or chemical fasteners, or by a combination thereof. The outer sleeve can include one or more locking mechanisms to engage the slide card in a desired position. For example, the locking mechanisms can engage the slide card in a storage position, or in an access position. The outer sleeve can also include a locking mechanism release button to selectively release the slide card from a locked position.
  • [0009]
    A blank for forming a package is also disclosed. The blank can include two or more panels configured to form a tubular structure. The blank can also include one or more panels configured to form an engaging mechanism. In some embodiments, the blank includes one or more slide card panels configured to form a slide card. In other embodiments, the slide card panels are formed as a separate and distinct part. If the slide card is formed as part of the blank for forming a package, the one or more slide card panels be detachably connected to at least a portion of one or more of the tubular structure panels and/or the engaging mechanism panels. In some embodiments, the blank includes a release button formed in one or more of the tubular structure panels. The blank can also include one or more locking features. The locking features can be configured to lock the slide card in a desired position, for example, a storage position, or an access position. In some embodiments, one or more slide card panels is detachably connected to one or more of the tubular structure panels. The detachable connection can be formed between one or more slide card panels and one or more tubular structure panels directly, or between an engaging mechanism panel and a tubular structure panel, in which case a detachable connection can be formed between the engaging mechanism panel and the one or more tubular structure panels.
  • [0010]
    A blank for forming an outer sleeve is disclosed. A blank for forming an outer sleeve can include two or more primary panels configured to form a tubular structure. The blank can also include one or more slide card panels configured to form a slide card. In some embodiments, the slide card includes an extended base panel. The slide card can be detachably connected to at least a part of one or more primary panels. In some embodiments, the blank includes an engaging tab configured to be connected to the extended base panel. In some embodiments, an engaging panel is connected to the engaging tab. At least a portion of the engaging panel can be detachably connected to one or more wall panels. The engaging panel can also be configured to be connected to at least a portion of the slide card. In some embodiments, the blank includes one or more locking mechanisms to engage the locking slide card in a desired position, for example, a storage position or an access position. The blank can include a locking mechanism release button to selectively release the slide card from the desired position. The blank can also include one or more Ellis flaps. When the outer sleeve is at least partially erected from the blank, the Ellis flap can lock a pocket formed from one or more pocket panels in a closed position.
  • [0011]
    A package with selectively engaging locking features is disclosed. The package can include outer sleeve defined by two or more walls, a closed end, an open end, locking features, and a slide card. The slide card can include an extended base panel. The package, or the slide card, can also include an engaging tab configured to be connected to the extended base panel and to engage the locking features of the outer sleeve. The package can also include a blister card positioned in cooperative alignment with the slide card. The engaging tab can be connected to the extended base panel by a fold line. The engaging tab can be connected to the extended base panel by an engaging panel. In some embodiments, the slide card is configured to be selectably positioned to a deactivation position at which the blister card is accessible without manipulation of the locking features. In some embodiments, the outer sleeve includes a release button disposed in one or more wall panels. The release button can be used to selectively disengage the locking features of the package to allow slideable translation of the slide card. The outer sleeve can also include a pocket. In some embodiments the outer sleeve includes one or more Ellis flaps. The Ellis flaps, if included, can be used to lock the pocket in a desired position, for example, a closed position.
  • [0012]
    A method for forming a lockable package is disclosed. The method for forming a lockable package can include providing an outer sleeve with two or more wall panels, providing an engagement mechanism including one or more engagement mechanism panels, providing a slide card configured to be slideably translated within the outer sleeve, and providing a blister card configured to be positioned in cooperative alignment with the slide card. In some embodiments, the provided slide card is detachably connected to at least a portion of one or more of the panels. In some embodiments, the method includes providing an engagement mechanism panel that is connected to at least a portion of the slide card. The slide card can be detachably connected to at least a portion of one or more wall panels. The slide card can also be detachably connected to at least a portion of one or more wall panels by one or more engagement mechanism panels. The method can also include connecting at least a portion of the slide card to at least a portion of the one or more engagement mechanism panels. In some embodiments, the blister card includes a severing tool. The severing tool can be a tapered edge extending from a hinge of the blister card. In some embodiments, the method includes severing one or more severance lines with the severing tool to allow movement of the slide card. The severing tool can also be used to sever two or more severance lines to allow movement of the slide card. The method can include placing the blister card in cooperative alignment with the slide card. In some embodiments, the cooperatively aligned slide card and blister card are inserted into the outer sleeve. The blister card and slide card can be inserted to a desired position, for example, a storage position, a locked position, or both.
  • [0013]
    These and additional features and exemplary embodiments will be illustrated and described with reference to the figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    FIG.1 is a plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a blank for forming an outer sleeve and an integral slide card, according to the present disclosure.
  • [0015]
    FIGS. 2-5 illustrate an exemplary method of folding the blank of FIG. 1 to erect an outer sleeve with integral slide card, according to the present disclosure.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a blister card for use with the slide card, according to the present disclosure.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of the blister card of FIG. 6 assembled on top of the exemplary slide card of FIG. 1.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 8 illustrates assembling an exemplary package by loading and inserting a blister card and the slide card into the open end of the outer sleeve, according to an embodiment of the disclosure.
  • [0019]
    FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate an exemplary method for selectively disengaging the locking features of the exemplary embodiment, according to the present disclosure.
  • [0020]
    FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate alternative exemplary embodiments of a blank for forming an outer sleeve and a slide card, according to the present disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0021]
    As required, detailed embodiments of the present disclosure are disclosed herein. It must be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the disclosure 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 disclosure. 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 disclosure.
  • [0022]
    Referring to FIG. 1, a plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a blank 10 for forming an outer sleeve 12 (shown in FIGS. 5 and 8) is shown. Generally described, the blank 10 is formed from a foldable sheet material such as paperboard, corrugated board, plastic, cardboard, any other flexible and durable material, and the like. The selection of this material may be made according to the packaging needs. For example, a material selected for packaging medicines should be recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. In certain preferred embodiments, the material may be selected from a sheet of bleached sulfate board, a sheet of solid unbleached sulfate board (SUS), clay-coated newsback (CCNB), or any other suitable board material. In other examples, the paperboard may be clay coated on one side (C1S) or both sides (C2S) with a coating such as a fluidized blend of mineral pigments. The mineral pigments may be coating clay, calcium carbonate, or titanium dioxide and may be combined with starch or adhesive. Text or graphic information may be printed on the outer sleeve 12 or on the surface of the slide card according to any means conventionally known in the art. Similarly, an integral slide card 110 can be formed from foldable sheet material, as described above.
  • [0023]
    The blank 10 includes a number of primary panels that are substantially rectangular and that are aligned along the longitudinal axis L of the blank 10. For reference, a transverse axis V is provided to illustrate a transverse direction, which is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis L. Certain of the primary panels are folded and secured to form a tubular structure, as described in further detail below. The primary panels are hingedly connected one to the next along transverse fold lines, which are likewise substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis L of the blank 10. The primary panels of the blank 10 include an inner panel 20, a bottom panel 22, a top panel 24, a first pocket panel 26, a second pocket panel 28, an end panel 30, and side panels 32, 33. The panels 20, 22 are hingedly connected to opposite edges of the first side panel 32 along the fold lines 34, 36, respectively. The panels 22, 24 are hingedly connected to opposite edges of the second side panel 33 along the fold lines 38, 40, respectively. The first pocket panel 26 is hingedly connected to the top panel 24 along a fold line 42, the second pocket panel 28 is hingedly connected to the first pocket panel 26 along a fold line 44, and the end panel 30 is hingedly connected to the second pocket panel 28 along a fold line 46.
  • [0024]
    The blank 10 further includes a number of extension panels that are hingedly connected to an end edge of certain primary panels along fold lines that are substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis L of the blank 10. An inner extension panel 50 is hingedly connected to the inner panel 20 along a fold line 52, a bottom extension panel 54 is hingedly connected to the bottom panel 22 along a fold line 56, and a top extension panel 58 is hingedly connected to the top panel 24 along a tear line 60. In the illustrated embodiment, three apertures 59 a, 59 b, 59 c are disposed in the blank 10 so as to interrupt the fold lines 52, 56, 60 and thereby each aperture 59 a, 59 b, 59 c is partially disposed in a respective primary panel and partially disposed in a respective extension panel. Specifically, the aperture 59 a is partially disposed in the inner panel 20 and partially disposed in the inner extension panel 50. The aperture 59 b is partially disposed in the bottom panel 22 and partially disposed in the bottom extension panel 54. The aperture 59 c is partially disposed in top panel 24 and partially disposed in top extension panel 58. In addition, the first pocket panel 26 includes a notch 61. When the extension panels 50, 54, 58 are folded relative to the respective primary panels 20, 22, 26, the apertures 59 a, 59 b, 59 c define notches that facilitate removing the slide card 110 from the outer sleeve 12. The apertures 59 a, 59 b, 59 c are positioned relative to one another to provide child resistance, as described in further detail below.
  • [0025]
    A first end wall panel 62 is hingedly connected to the bottom panel 22 along a fold line 64 and a second end wall panel 66 is hingedly connected to the top panel 24 along a fold line 68. As illustrated, the fold lines 64 and 68 are substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis L of the blank 10. The end wall panels 62, 66 can be folded and secured as described below to form an end closure structure of the outer sleeve 12.
  • [0026]
    The top panel 24 and the inner panel 20 include elements that at least partially define a locking mechanism and a release mechanism for the outer sleeve 12, as described in further detail below. The top panel 24 includes a release button 70 that is defined by a contoured cut line 72 and the inner panel 20 includes an engaging aperture 74 that defines a node 76. The release button 70 and the engaging aperture 74 are disposed in their respective panels 24, 20 such that when the top panel 24 overlaps the inner panel 20, as described in further detail below, the release button 70 functionally aligns with the node 76.
  • [0027]
    The blank 10 further includes elements that define a slide card 110. The slide card 110, removably attached to the inner panel 20 along a tear line 111, includes a cover 112, a spine 114, a base 116, and an extended base panel 115. The spine 114 is hingedly attached to the cover 112 and the base 116 along two fold lines 120, 122, respectively. The extended base panel 115 is hingedly attached to the base along a fold line 124.
  • [0028]
    In addition, the blank 10 includes an extended engaging panel 117 hingedly attached to an engaging tab 118, which is removably attached to the inner extension panel 50 along a tear line 119. As explained in detail below, the extended base panel 115 can engage the extended engaging panel 117 to form a slide card locking foot, best shown in FIG. 7, wherein the locking foot engaging edge is defined by the contours of the tear line 119.
  • [0029]
    It is envisaged that, in any embodiment of the present disclosure, the carton can be formed from a blank by a series of sequential folding and gluing operations, which can be performed by a straight-line automatic packaging machine. It is also envisaged that the series of sequential folding and gluing operations can be manually performed. The folding process is not limited to that described below and can be altered according to particular manufacturing or user requirements. In addition, alternative embodiments may be made from multiple individual blanks, panels, or panel portions, rather than the illustrated single blank, without varying from the scope of the claims.
  • [0030]
    Turning now FIGS. 2-5, an exemplary method for erecting the blank 10 will now be described. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the particular sequences of folds discussed below are neither limiting nor the only sequence of folds possible to erect the outer sleeve 12 from the blank 10. For purposes of clarity in describing the folding sequence, the side or surface of the blank 10 that is shown in FIG. 1 is designated as the inside surface of the blank 10 and the opposite side is designated as the outside surface of the blank 10.
  • [0031]
    Referring first to FIG. 2, and according to an exemplary method of folding a sleeve 12, the inner extension panel 50 and the bottom extension panel 54 are folded along the respective fold lines 52, 56 such that the inside surface of each of the extension panels 50, 54 is substantially in a face contacting arrangement with the inside surface of the panels 20, 22 respectively. The extension panel 50 is secured to the bottom panel 20 while the bottom extension panel 54 can be optionally secured to the bottom panel 22. As illustrated, the extended engaging panel 117 is folded back to overlay the engaging tab 118 and adhesive is placed between the extended base panel 115 and the upward facing surface of the extended engaging panel 117.
  • [0032]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, the slide card 110 is folded along the tear line 111 so that the extended base 115 is in contact with the extended engaging panel 117. Because of the adhesive, or other attachment mechanism(s), the extended base panel 115 and the extended engaging panel 117 are attached. The inner panel 20 is then positioned substantially parallel to the bottom panel 22 by folding the first side panel 32 along the adjacent fold lines 34, 36 and rotating the inner panel 20 upwardly and over such that the first side panel 32 is substantially perpendicular to both the bottom panel 22 and the inner panel 20, while the bottom panel 22 and the inner panel 20 are substantially parallel to each other. At this point, an adhesive or other attachment mechanism(s) can be applied to the upwardly facing surface of the inner panel 20 in preparation for attachment to the top panel 24. The inner panel 20 is then attached to the top panel 24 by folding the second side panel 33 along the adjacent fold lines 38, 40 and rotating the top panel 24 upwardly and over such that the second side panel 33 is substantially perpendicular to both the bottom panel 22 and the inner panel 20. The top panel 24 and the inner panel 20 are then pressed together and attached to yield the configuration illustrated in FIG. 3. The first pocket panel 26 is then folded along an adjacent fold line 42 to overlay the top panel 24. The top extension panel 58 is then folded downwardly about the tear line 60 to overlay the first panel 26.
  • [0033]
    A pocket 100 can be formed from the pocket panels 26, 28 such that the pocket 100 is hingedly connected to the outer sleeve 12. According to an exemplary method, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the end flap 30 is folded along the fold line 46 such that the inside surface of the end flap 30 is in a face contacting arrangement with the inside surface of the second pocket panel 28. Adhesive is applied to the outside surface of the end flap 30 and the second pocket panel 28 is folded along the fold line 44 such that the outside surface of the end flap 30 is in a face contacting arrangement with the inside surface of the first pocket panel 26. As shown, the first pocket panel 26 is thereby secured to the second pocket panel 28 such that the pocket panels 26, 28 define a pocket 100 with two open ends. The notch 61 at one open end of the pocket 100 facilitates inserting and removing materials from the pocket 100. The opposite end of the pocket 100 can be optionally closed by securing the respective edges of the pocket panels 26, 28 together, for example, with adhesive. The materials that can be inserted into the pocket 100 include product or consumer information provided by the manufacturer or distributor. The top extension panel 58, often referred to as an Ellis flap, captures and holds the pocket 100 against the top wall 24 until the tear line 60 is severed.
  • [0034]
    In the exemplary embodiment, the pocket 100 is integrally formed from part of the blank 10. It will be noted that the pocket 100 may be separately attached to the blank 10, or it may be made detachable, by substituting a tear line or a severance line for the fold line 42. The foldable nature of the pocket 100 allows the pocket 100 to be folded into a face contacting arrangement with the top wall 24 of the sleeve 12. In this configuration, the pocket 100 can hide the push button 70. The pocket 100 allows the outer sleeve 12 to include a significantly greater amount of printed literature. For example, information can be inserted into the pocket 100 and the outside surface of the pocket 100 can be printed with information. In alternative embodiments, the outer sleeve 12 is manufactured without the pocket 100. It should be understood that in such an embodiment, the blank 10 may not include the pocket panels 26, 28 or the end panel 30.
  • [0035]
    To complete the exemplary erecting process to create the illustrated sleeve 12, the first end wall 62 and second end wall 66 are folded about their respective fold lines 64, 68 and attached to each other. The completed sleeve 12 with the integral slide card 110 can now be loaded with a blister card and delivered to the end user.
  • [0036]
    A slide card 110 is shown that is suitable for use with the outer sleeve 12. Slide cards with securing mechanisms configured to secure an item, including those that hold blisters, those with integral trays, those that trays mount to, and those that articles mount directly to, have been developed by the Applicant and are the subject of issued patents and/or co-pending applications. Accordingly, a brief overview of the illustrated slide card 110 will suffice for those skilled in the art.
  • [0037]
    The illustrated slide card 110 can include several panels including, for example, a cover panel 112, a spine 114, a base panel 116, and an extended base panel 115. Attached to the extended base panel 115 is the engaging tab 118 that includes an engaging edge 119. The cover panel 112, the spine 114, the base panel 116, and the engaging tab 118, are hingedly connected to each other at the fold lines 120, 122, 124, and the engaging panel 117. In the illustrated embodiment the slide card 110 is still attached to the sleeve 12. In order to slideably engage the slide card 110, it must be separated from the sleeve 12 by severing the tear lines 111, 119.
  • [0038]
    In practice, a third party such as a distributor, supplier or provider including a physician or pharmacist, can receive the sleeve 12 with the integral slide card 110, as best illustrated in FIG. 5. One embodiment is designed such that in order for the third party to load the blister card 310, best shown in FIG. 7 and described in more detail below, the provider folds back the locking panel 320 so that the tapered edge extending from the adjacent hinge 330 can be used as a tool to cut the tear line 111, thereby severing the side of the slide card 110 from the sleeve 12. Thereafter, the leading blunt edge of the blister card 310, formed by the hinge 330, is slipped over the extended base panel 115 and is nested between the folded engaging panel 117 and the engaging tab 118. Again, using an edge of the blister card 310 as a tool, the hinge-side blunt leading edge of the blister card 310 is pushed against the common fold line of the panels 117, 118 with sufficient force to sever the tear line 119 that connects the engaging panel 117 to the engaging tab 118. With the two tear lines 111, 119 severed, the blister card 310 and the slide card 110 are moveable, and can be inserted into the sleeve 12, as described in more detail below, to create a package 400, best illustrated in FIG. 8.
  • [0039]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, therein is illustrated a perspective view of a blister card 310 in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. A blister card 310 has a base panel 340 and an optional locking panel 320 hingedly connected along a hinge 330. The base panel has blisters 350 for holding an item, such as a medicament 390. A rib 360 extends around the perimeter of the base panel 340. The optional locking panel 320 has a fold-resisting abutment 370 and the base panel 340 has a fold-resisting abutment 380 proximate the hinge 330 and the adjoining locking panel, 320, if included.
  • [0040]
    One aspect of the disclosure is directed primarily to the fold-resisting abutments 370, 380. FIG. 7 illustrates the manner in which the blister card 310 is formed from composite slide and blister cards but still maintain the fold-resisting abutment features. The combination of the rib(s) 360 rising above the surface of the base panel 340 creates a flange element 342.
  • [0041]
    The alignment and relative disposition of the fold-resisting abutments 370, 380 with respect to one another, according to one embodiment, can be seen in FIG. 7. From FIG. 7, it will be appreciated that the card can be formed from composite slide and blister cards as opposed to an integrated card. In the illustrated embodiment, the hinge 330 is shown with the possibility of being formed in the “reverse” of the other elements, namely, the fold-resisting abutments 370, 380 and the rib(s) 360. If the card 310 is made of plastic material and some types of paper substrates, it can be formed by manufacturing processes such as thermo-forming or die-press with a tool set. An integrated slide and blister card 310 as taught by the disclosure is simple and can be simply formed by these processes, particularly when the card 310 is made of plastic substrate. The term “reverse” for the hinge 330 refers to the hinge as illustrated being formed in a downward direction, opposite the direction in which the abutments 370, 380 and the rib(s) 360 are formed. Although shown in reverse form, the hinge 330 may be suitably formed in the same upward direction as the other elements on the card 310. The hinge 330 may be formed in any configuration by known substrate manufacturing methods including but not limited to perforation or creasing along a line that will form the hinge 330.
  • [0042]
    Referring now to FIG. 7, the locking panel 320 is shown partially pivoted about the hinge 330 with respect to the base panel 340. In using the blister card 310, medicaments 390 are contained within the blisters 350. A penetrable substrate such as foil or some type of composite substrate containing paper, foil, and the like, or other mechanisms for allowing access to the medicaments 390 such as peel and drop tear strips or gates, and the like, generally indicated but not shown, holds the medicaments 390 in place within the blisters 350 until removed by known methods. It will be appreciated that the locking panel 320 of the blister card 310 illustrated in FIG. 7 can be further pivoted about the hinge 330 with respect to the base panel 340.
  • [0043]
    In one aspect of the disclosure, as shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the blister card 310 has unit dose blisters 350 that are integrally formed with the base panel 340. Turning now to the dashed lines illustrated in FIG. 7, there is shown a blister card 310 positioned over the slide card 110 as might be seen if the sleeve 12 were removed, the engaging tab 18 were extended, and the locking panel 320 were extended. In practice the slide card 110 remains in the sleeve 12 and the blister card 310 remains on the sliding card 110.
  • [0044]
    Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 8, a method for constructing an embodiment of a package 400 according to the present disclosure can be understood. To construct the package 400, the following method, which is presented for purposes of teaching and not limitation, is described. After placing the blister card 310 on the slide card 110, the slide card 110 is folded inwardly along fold lines 120 and 122, such that the cover panel 112 is substantially parallel to the base panel 116 and such that the spine 114 extends between and substantially perpendicular to the panels 112, 116 so as to form an end wall, as described in further detail below. In this configuration the blister card 310 is sandwiched between, and protected by, the cover panel 112 and the base panel 116. It will be appreciated that a package 400 can be shipped with the slide card 110 inserted into the sleeve 12. In such an embodiment, the slide card 110 can be withdrawn from the sleeve 12 for packaging, if desired.
  • [0045]
    The slide card 110 is pre-positioned between the inner panel 20 and the bottom panel 22, so that the engaging edge 119 releasably engages the engaging aperture 74. In this configuration, the slide card 110 is fully encased by, and releasably locked in, the outer sleeve 12. When the slide card 112 is fully inserted in the outer sleeve 12, the spine panel 114 closes the open end of the sleeve 12 and thereby forms an end wall closure for the sleeve 12 that is opposite the end wall panels 62, 66.
  • [0046]
    The engagement of the slide card 110 and the outer sleeve 12 is now discussed in further detail. The foldability of the slide card 110 causes the engaging tab 118 to resist the fold and inherently spring back toward its unfolded position. This spring resistance holds the engaging edge 119 of the folded engaging tab 118 against the inner panel 20 wherein, when the slide card 110 is fully received in the outer sleeve 12, the engaging edge 119 of the engaging tab 118 can be received in the engaging aperture 74. Specifically, the engaging edge 119 of the tab 118 abuts an edge of the inner panel 20 that is defined by the engaging aperture 74 and that is nearest to the end of the outer sleeve 12 through which the slide card 110 is inserted such that the slide card 110 is releasably locked in the outer sleeve 12. Further, this connection between the edge defined by the engaging aperture 74 and the engaging edge 119 of the engaging tab 118 prevents the slide card 110 from being removed from the outer sleeve 12 unless the release button 70 is depressed. In the exemplary embodiment, the release button 70 and the node 76 cooperate such that, when the release button 70 is depressed, the release button 70 and the node 76 deflect into the outer sleeve 12 thereby pushing against the engaging tab 118 to release the engaging edge 119 from the edge of the engaging aperture 74. The slide card 110 may then be at least partially withdrawn from the outer sleeve 12. In the exemplary embodiment, as the slide card 110 is withdrawn, the spring resistance of the engaging tab 118 holds the engaging edge 119 of the engaging tab 118 against the inner panel 20 such that the engaging edge 119 abuts an edge of, or otherwise the engaging tab 118 interlocks with, the inwardly folded extension panels 54 so as to prevent the slide card 110 from being fully removed from the outer sleeve 12.
  • [0047]
    When the extension panels 50, 54 are folded and secured as described above, the edges of the apertures 59 a, 59 b, 59 c define notches at the open end of the outer sleeve 12 to allow easier access to the slide card 110. The apertures 59 a, 59 b are substantially centered with respect to the panels 20, 24, respectively, and the aperture 59 b is off-center with respect to the bottom panel 22. Thus, the notches that are defined by the apertures 59 a, 59 c align when the panels 20, 24 overlap to form the outer sleeve 12 and the notch that is defined by the aperture 59 b is offset from or is otherwise intentionally misaligned with the notches defined by the apertures 59 a, 59 c with respect to the perpendicular direction between the top and the bottom walls 24, 22. The offset relationship between the notches provides an additional child-resistance feature in that, to open the package, the user must grasp the slide card 110 at the positions defined by the offset notches. Grasping the slide card 110 in this manner requires asymmetric placement of the fingers, which is counter-instinctive to children, and thus their ability to grasp and withdraw the slide card 110 from the outer sleeve 12 is greatly reduced. It should be understood that the position of the apertures 59 a, 59 b, 59 c can be varied such that the notches along the edges of the open end of the outer sleeve 12 are offset from one another to produce the same relationship. For example, the location of the notches, if present at all, may be varied depending on the package configuration.
  • [0048]
    Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, a method for selectively disengaging the locking features described above will now be taught. It will be appreciated from FIG. 9, that severing the Ellis flap by pulling back the pocket 100 will sever the top extension panel 58 along its tear line 60. By opening the pocket 100 to reveal the top panel 24, the user can press the release button 70. With the release button 90 pressed, the slide card 110 and the blister card 310 can be withdrawn from the sleeve 12. FIG. 9 illustrates the slide card 110 and the blister card 310 fully extended.
  • [0049]
    The slide card 110 can be distanced from the blister card 310, for example, by folding the slide card 110 down and away from the blister card 310, to allow the user to dispense medicaments 370, in a manner well known to most consumers. For those end-users who desire that the package 400 locking features remain engaged, the cover 112 is placed back over the blister card 310 and the slide card 110 is reinserted into the sleeve 12. For those end-users who desire that the package 400 locking features be disengaged, the cover 112 and the spine 114 are folded inwardly and tucked under the blister card 310, as best illustrated in FIG. 10. With the slide card 110 folded in this manner, i.e., such that the cover 112 and the spine 114 are tucked under the blister card 310 and inserted within the sleeve 12, the blister card 310 is slideably operable without the need to manipulate the push button 70. Should an end-user choose to re-engage the locking features, he or she may do so by disengaging the slide card 110, unfolding the spine 114 and the cover 112 of the slide card 110 so as to cover the blister card 310.
  • [0050]
    In an alternative embodiment, the locking feature is engaged by downwardly folding and tucking the cover 112 and the spine 114 under the base panel 116. In still another alternative embodiment, the locking feature is disengaged by severing the cover 112 and/or the spine 114 from the inner card 110. However, this particular alternative embodiment does not permit reengaging the locking features.
  • [0051]
    In yet another alternative embodiment (not illustrated), the blank of FIG. 1 includes a crescent cutout 21 and a node 78 with a concave profile along the top edge, that is, the edge closer to the crescent cutout 21. These two elements provide a different type of selectable child-resistance feature, when used together with a blister card 310 wherein the locking panel 320 includes a radius edge (not shown). There the child-resistant feature is selectable only once upon inserting a blister card 310 with a radius edge locking panel. This radius edge locking panel engages the concave node 78 to releasably lock the blister card 310 within the sleeve 12 and engages the concave cutout 21 to prevent fully removing the blister card 310 from the sleeve 12.
  • [0052]
    As explained in detail above, in the illustrated embodiments the locking panel 320 does not engage other elements of the sleeve 12 to provide child-resistant features. In alternative embodiments the locking panel 320 may engage one or more elements of the sleeve 12 for the embodiments that include limited selectable locking features.
  • [0053]
    Although the foregoing description has described an embodiment wherein the engaging tab 118 and the engaging panel 117 are detachably connected to the inner panel 20, other embodiments are contemplated. In one such embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 11, the engaging tab 118 is connected to the slide card 110. In this embodiment, the engaging tab 118 is hingedly connected to the extended base panel 115. The engaging tab 118 can be folded into an engagement position during erection of the blank 10, or after erection of the blank, for example, prior to use by an end consumer or filling by a distributor. In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 12, an engaging panel 117 can be connected to the engaging tab 118 and the engaging panel 117 can be connected to the extended base panel 115 of the slide card 110. In another embodiment, the engaging tab 118 is connected to the extended base panel 115.
  • [0054]
    In yet another embodiment, the engaging panel 117 and the engaging tab 118 are not connected to the slide card 110, and are instead formed as a separate piece that can be connected to the slide card 110. In another embodiment, the engaging panel 117 and the engaging tab 118 are connected to the extended base panel 115 by a severable connection between the engaging panel 117 and the extended base panel 115. In this embodiment, the severable connection, for example, a severance line, is severed, the orientation of the joined engaging panel 117 and the engaging tab 118 is reversed, and the engaging panel 117 can be attached to the slide card 110, for example, with an adhesive.
  • [0055]
    It should also be understood that the slide card can be formed as a separate and distinct blank, instead of being formed as part of the blank 10 used to form the outer sleeve 12 and the slide card 110. The slide card 110 can be formed separately and can be inserted by an end consumer, a distributor, a manufacturer, or by any other party during assembly, packing, warehousing, or at the point of sale, for example. As mentioned above, the engaging panel 117, the engaging tab 118, or both, can be formed as part of the slide card 110, whether the slide card 110 is formed as part of the blank 10, or as a separate component. Additionally, the slide card 110 can be formed proximate any of the sleeve panels, including, but not limited to, the panels 20, 22, 24, 32, 33, 50. For example, the slide card 110 can be formed adjacent the engaging tab 118, or along the bottom edge of the inner panel 20. It should also be understood that the slide card 110 can be formed without the fold line 124, or with additional fold lines, severance lines, or the like. Similarly, the slide card 110 can be formed without a cover 112, or the cover 112 can have a substantially different configuration, i.e., shape or dimensions, than that illustrated in the figures. All such modifications are included in the scope of the appended claims.
  • [0056]
    A package made according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure offers advantages in that it is lightweight, tamper resistant, senior friendly, durable, easy to assemble, economical, and offers protection of each unit dose until it is consumed. Moreover, a package made according to one or more embodiments of the disclosure provides a child resistant, yet user-friendly, unit dose packaging container that may be used to contain and dispense a variety of products. The package may also include additional features known in the art including the presence of the false bottom structural support, offset notch placement, and the use of partially or fully laminated structural materials in construction of the package sleeve and slide card.
  • [0057]
    It must be emphasized that the law does not require and it is economically prohibitive to illustrate and teach every possible embodiment of the present claims. Hence, the above-described embodiments are merely exemplary illustrations of implementations set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the scope of the claims. All such modifications, combinations, and variations are included herein by the scope of this disclosure and the following claims.
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US7967144 *Nov 9, 2009Jun 28, 2011Anderson Packaging, Inc.Child-resistant, senior-friendly package having a squeeze-release mechanism and method of assembly
US8602218 *Aug 10, 2011Dec 10, 2013Colbert Packaging CorporationChild-resistant packaging container and blank and method for making the same
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/531, 229/220, 229/122, 215/201
International ClassificationB65D83/04, B65D5/43, B65D5/54, B65D50/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/04, B65D83/0463
European ClassificationB65D83/04C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 10, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: MEADWESTVACO CORPORATION,VIRGINIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RIGBY, WILLIAM ROGER;REEL/FRAME:023210/0935
Effective date: 20090904