Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20110049086 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/461,964
Publication dateMar 3, 2011
Filing dateAug 28, 2009
Priority dateAug 28, 2009
Publication number12461964, 461964, US 2011/0049086 A1, US 2011/049086 A1, US 20110049086 A1, US 20110049086A1, US 2011049086 A1, US 2011049086A1, US-A1-20110049086, US-A1-2011049086, US2011/0049086A1, US2011/049086A1, US20110049086 A1, US20110049086A1, US2011049086 A1, US2011049086A1
InventorsRichard Boiros, Masaaki Sasaki, Tadayoshi Oshino, Shigeru Tomiyama
Original AssigneeOcean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle
US 20110049086 A1
Abstract
A plastic bottle comprises a main body defining an upper portion and a lower portion, the lower portion including a plurality of vacuum flex panels, said lower portion including upper and lower label bumpers to receive a wrap around label. A circumferential, recessed waist portion defines a transition between the upper and lower portions of the main body. The upper portion includes a dome with a gripping section having a pair of opposed grip portions positioned above the waist and recessed into the upper portion.
Images(8)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(31)
1. A plastic bottle comprising:
a main body defining an upper portion and a lower portion, the lower portion including a plurality of vacuum flex panels, said lower portion including upper and lower label bumpers to receive a wrap around label; and
a circumferential, recessed waist portion defining a transition between the upper and lower portions of the main body, wherein
the upper portion includes a dome with a gripping section having a pair of opposed grip portions positioned above the waist and recessed into the upper portion.
2. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein, in cross section, the waist portion has a generally round shape with generally flat portions positioned just below the grip portions.
3. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein the grip portions are positioned above the center of gravity of the bottle when filled to capacity.
4. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein each grip portion has a grip area with a depth that progressively increases from a rear side towards a front side of the grip area.
5. The plastic bottle according to claim 4, wherein a front wall of the grip portion flares from the grip area to transition into a front side of the upper portion which is generally cylindrical.
6. The plastic bottle according to claim 4, wherein the grip portions include upper and lower side walls that transition the grip area to surrounding portions of the upper portion that are not recessed.
7. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein, in cross section, each gripping section has a generally U-shape, defined by generally parallel grip areas and a rear wall connecting the grip areas.
8. The plastic bottle according to claim 7, wherein each grip area extends from an imaginary plane, running parallel to and adjacent a longitudinal axis of the main body, to the rear wall of the upper portion.
9. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein the grip portions are oriented asymmetrically on the upper portion.
10. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein the capacity of the container is 60 ounces or more.
11. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein the main body has a generally cylindrical shape.
12. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein the gripping section includes a rear wall to engage a user's palm, with the opposed grip portions to receive the user's fingers and thumb in use.
13. The plastic bottle according to claim 12, wherein the rear wall includes at least one lateral rib extending between the opposed grip portions.
14. The plastic bottle according to claim 13, wherein the at least one lateral rib comprises at least two lateral ribs that are parallel to one another and the waist portion.
15. The plastic bottle according to claim 13, wherein the lateral rib is recessed into the rear portion.
16. The plastic bottle according to claim 12, wherein a front side of the upper portion includes a logo portion positioned opposite to the rear wall.
17. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein the lower portion includes a wrap around label, the wrap around label having a logo that is aligned with a logo portion provided on the upper portion of the main body.
18. The plastic bottle according to claim 17, wherein the logo portion possesses a degree of vacuum deformation capacity.
19. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, further comprising an arch body for each grip portion positioned at least along a portion of a rear wall of the grip portion.
20. The plastic bottle according to claim 19, wherein the arch body is positioned between a rear side of each grip portion and at least one lateral rib that extends between the grip portions.
21. The plastic bottle according to claim 19, wherein each said arch body further extends adjacent a top border of the grip portion.
22. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, wherein each said grip portion includes a grip area having at least one raised bead extending generally vertically.
23. The plastic bottle according to claim 22, wherein said at least one bead includes at least three said beads having the same or different heights.
24. The plastic bottle according to claim 23, wherein at least one of the beads is positioned along a transition between the grip area and a front wall of the grip portion.
25. The plastic bottle according to claim 22, wherein each bead is angled relative to a longitudinal axis of the main body.
26. The plastic bottle according to claim 28, wherein each said bead has an upper portion angled towards a front side of the upper portion.
27. The plastic bottle according to claim 25 , wherein the angle is about 1-15 degrees.
28. The plastic bottle according to claim 27, wherein the angle is about 3-5 degrees.
29. The plastic bottle according to claim 28, wherein the angle is about 5-10 degrees.
30. The plastic bottle according to claim 1, further comprising at least one rib positioned on a front side of the upper portion, adjacent each said grip portion.
31. The plastic bottle according to claim 30, wherein said at least one rib extends between a neck to the waist portion, but is curved to accommodate a front side of the grip portion.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present application is directed to plastic bottles, typically blow molded from PET material. In particular, the present application is directed to such plastic bottles that include gripping sections for round bottles of relatively large capacity, e.g., 60 oz, 64 oz, 96 oz, 128 oz., etc.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many 96 oz. bottles are commercially available and prevalent in consumer settings, such as grocery stores. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,273,282, 6,796,450, 6,257,433, 6,044,997 and 5,762,221. In addition, so-called pinch grip containers are prevalent in the field, especially in regard to 64 ounce bottles, see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,165,557. However, there is an ever growing need to improve bottles in terms of gripability, pourability, labeling, reducing weight, decreased weight/material and/or increased strength, etc.

Thus, a need has developed in the bottling art to provide address one or more of these challenges.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention relates to an improved bottle design having a gripping section located above the bottle label panel to enable labeling with a wrap around label using a wrap around labeling machine.

Another aspect is to allow for material reduction, while maintaining the bottle's strength and load capacity, as well as the bottle's ability to accommodate for or otherwise resist vacuum deformation.

Another aspect is to provide improved gripping and/or pourability, e.g., by providing one or more raised beads in the grip area of each gripping portion, and/or positioning and/or dimensioning the gripping section relative to the remainder of the bottle.

Another aspect is to provide an improved and/or coordinated logo scheme, by providing relatively large logo areas on the upper and lower portions of the bottle that are aligned and/or coordinated with one another.

Another aspect is to provide for vacuum deformation flex panels in the base, upper and/or lower portions of the bottle to accommodate for any forces introduced during the pasteurization process during a filling operation.

Another aspect is directed to a bottle having a reinforced upper portion of the dome portion thereof, e.g., on a generally round bottle.

The bottle described herein may be a hot-fillable or cold-fillable plastic bottle. In one form, the bottle is made from blow-molded plastic (e.g., PET or another suitable plastic).

According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided a plastic bottle comprising a main body defining an upper portion and a lower portion, the lower portion including a plurality of vacuum flex panels, said lower portion including upper and lower label bumpers to receive a wrap around label; and a circumferential, recessed waist portion defining a transition between the upper and lower portions of the main body, wherein the upper portion includes a dome with a gripping section having a pair of opposed grip portions positioned above the waist and recessed into the upper portion.

One or more reinforcing or strengthening members, e.g., ribs, may be provided about or within the grip portions. For example, one or more laterally extending ribs (e.g., 1-4 or more) may be provided between the grip portions on the rear side of the bottle. An arch body and/or ribs may be provided about the perimeter or in the vicinity of the grip portion. The terms “vertical” and “lateral” or horizontal are taken when the bottle is resting upright on its base.

These and other aspects will be described in or apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of a bottle according to one example of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front reverse perspective view thereof;

FIG. 3 is the rear view thereof;

FIG. 4 is the front view thereof;

FIG. 5 is the top view thereof;

FIG. 6 is the bottom view thereof;

FIG. 7 is the side view thereof;

FIG. 8 is a simplified cross-sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 9 is a simplified cross-sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLES

The following description is provided in relation to several examples that may share common characteristics and/or features. It is to be understood that one or more features of any one example may be combinable with one or more features of the other examples. In addition, any single feature or combination of features in any of the examples may constitute an additional aspect of the invention.

FIGS. 1-9 show examples of bottles made according to the present invention. In the figures, reference number 10 designates a plastic bottle or container, e.g. a polyethylene terephthalate (PET), hot-fillable or cold-fillable beverage bottle. Typically, a hot fillable bottle will include one or more (e.g., 4-6) vacuum flex panels for deformation portions 55, while it is not necessary for cold fill bottles to include such vacuum panels. However, a hot fillable bottle can be used for cold fill applications. The bottle may have a filling capacity of 64 oz., 60 oz., 96 oz., or smaller than 60 oz. or larger than 96 oz., e.g., 128 oz., etc. Also, while described in conjunction with round bottles, the features described herein may also have application to other types of bottles, e.g., rectangular bottles, etc.

The bottle 10 includes a finish or neck 30 and a main body 40 that extends away from the neck 30. The neck 30 may be crystallized to have a substantially opaque or white appearance, as is well known in the art. However, it is not necessary to provide a crystallized neck. The body portion 40 includes an upper portion 45 and a lower portion 50, which in the exemplary embodiment has the vacuum flex panels or deformation portions 55, which may be in the form of panel sections recessed into the lower portion, e.g., 1-5 mm or more. The vacuum deformation portions 55 accommodate internal forces tending to collapse the bottle inwardly due to filling the container 10 with a liquid at an elevated temperature, e.g., a pasteurization temperature. After the container 10 is hot-filled and capped, cooling of the liquid tends to collapse the vacuum deformation portions 55. Each vacuum deformation portion 55 may include at least one, e.g., 2-3, stiffening structures 56, e.g., truncated pyramids, to add rigidity, e.g., to prevent more than a certain amount of deformation of the vacuum deformation portions 55. Upper portion 45 is shorter than the lower portion 50 in the illustrated embodiment, although they could have the same height or the lower portion 50 could be shorter than the upper portion 45. A base or heel portion 25 is provided below the lower portion 50.

The bottle 10 is manufactured, for example, using a blow-molding process which is well known. During blow-molding, a preform (not shown) is expanded and assumes the shape of an interior molding surface, i.e., a mold (not shown), to form a substantially transparent, biaxially-oriented bottle. The neck 30 of the preform is not expanded and remains as the neck 30 of the bottle 10. The neck 30 includes threads and an open mouth 35 for receiving a screw-on cap (not shown). The lower portion of the preform is expanded to form the body portion 40 of the bottle 10, including the upper portion 45 and the lower portion 50.

While this example relates to hot-fill applications, it is also contemplated that the bottle 10 can be used in cold-fill applications. For example, the bottle can be made using an aseptic cold-fill line.

Further, the lower portion 50 of the bottle 10 is adapted to receive a label 61 (FIG. 4) which is wrapped, e.g., shrink-wrapped, around the lower portion 50 and the vacuum deformation portions 55. For example, the label 61 (only a portion is shown) wraps about the entire perimeter of the bottle 10. The upper limit of label 61 is positioned below an upper transition shoulder 54 between the top and bottom portions 45, 50 of the body portion 40. A lower transition shoulder 54.1 defines a lowermost boundary of the label 61. The label 61 could include one or more separate parts to be individually applied to the label area.

A front side 45F (FIG. 4) of the upper portion includes a logo portion 53 positioned opposite to a rear side 45R. The lower portion 50 includes the wrap around label 61 having a logo 61.1 that aligns or is coordinated (e.g., size wise) with the logo portion 53 provided on the upper portion 45 of the main body 10. The logo portion 53 may possess a degree of vacuum deformation capacity. Logo portion 53 may be embossed or debossed into the upper portion 45. In addition, or in the alternative, logo portion 53 may also take the form of an adhesive label.

Bottle 10 includes a shoulder or dome portion 60 and a gripping section 64 provided below shoulder 60. As shown in FIG. 8, gripping section 64 includes a pair of grip portions 65 and a rear wall 65.1 that connects the grip portions 65. Each grip portion 65 is inwardly recessed into the body portion 40. For example, the grip portions 65 on opposite sides of the bottle 10 are spaced a distance that is less than the width of the upper portion of the bottle. Preferably, each grip portion 65 in particular a grip area 65.2 thereof, is recessed to a depth that progressively increases when moving from the rear side 65R to the front side 65F of the grip area 65.2. For example, the depth d12 at or near the rear side 65R is about 2-10 mm, e.g., about 3-5, and the depth d11 at or near the front side 65F of the grip area 65.2 is about 5-25 mm, e.g., about 15-20 mm, as shown in FIG. 8. In embodiments, the depth may be only a few millimeters, e.g., 1-5 mm, of a generally constant depth.

Main body 40 includes a recessed or pinched waist portion 57 that divides the upper and lower portions 45, 50. As seen in FIG. 9, in cross section, the waist portion 57 has a generally round shape with generally flat portions 57.1 positioned just below or aligned with the grip portions 65. This flattened section may influence the shape of the lower part of the grip portions as seen in the top view of FIG. 5.

Although not shown, the border of each grip portion 65 may include a ledge that improves gripability. Such a ledge if provided would substantially surrounds the entire grip portion 65, although it is possible that less than the entire perimeter of the grip portion 65 includes the ledge. Further, although the grip portion 65 is shown as generally square or slightly trapezoidal with rounded corners, it can take the form of other shapes such as circles, diamonds, rectangles or other geometric shapes.

As shown in FIG. 8, in cross section, each gripping section 64 has three sides defining a generally U-shape, made up from the generally parallel grip areas 65.2 and the wall 65.1 connecting the grip areas 65.2. The upper ends of the generally U-shape grip section 64 are flared outwards to connect to the curved or cylindrical front surface 45F of the upper portion 45.

Each grip area 65.2 that extends from an imaginary plane P, running parallel to and adjacent a longitudinal axis A of the main body 10, to the rear wall 65.1 of the upper portion. As such, the grip portions 65 are oriented asymmetrically on the upper portion. A front wall 65.3 of the grip portion 65 transitions or flares into the front side 45F of the upper portion 45 which is generally cylindrical and corresponds to a maximum diameter of the upper portion 45 at that point. The grip portions 65 include upper and lower side walls 65U, 65L (FIG. 7) that, together with front wall 65.3, transition the grip area 65.2 to surrounding portions of the upper portion 45 that are not recessed.

Each grip area 65.2 has at least one raised bead 90 (e.g., 1-5 mm) extending generally vertically. The at least one bead 90 may include at least three beads having the same or different heights. In the example shown in FIG. 7, the middle bead has a length which is longer than the adjacent beads. At least one of the beads is positioned along a transition between the grip area 65.2 and the front wall 65.3 of the grip portion 65.

Each bead 90 may be angled relative to a longitudinal axis of the main body. The upper part of each bead has an upper portion angled at an angle a towards a front side of the upper portion. The angle a is about 1-15 degrees, e.g., about 3-5 degrees or about 5-10 degrees.

The rear wall 65.1 is dimensioned to engage a user's palm, with the user's fingers and thumb engage the opposed grip portions 65 or grip or areas 65.2. The rear wall 65.1 includes at least one lateral rib 75 extending between the opposed grip portions 65, for strength and grippability. The at least one lateral rib 75 may comprise at least 2-4 or more lateral ribs that are parallel to one another and the waist portion 57. The lateral rib 75 is recessed into the rear portion (e.g., 1-5 mm), but it may protrude as well.

Bottle 10 may include an arch body 70 for each grip portion 65 positioned at least along a portion of a rear wall 65.1 of the grip portion 65. The arch body 70 may be recessed or protruding, e.g., 1-5 mm, and is positioned between the rear side 65R of each grip area 65.2 and the at least one lateral rib 75 that extends between the grip portions 65. Each arch body 70 may also extend adjacent a top border 65T of the grip portion 65, as seen in FIG. 7.

Bottle 10 may include at least one rib 80 (1-5 ribs) positioned on a front side 45F of the upper portion 45, adjacent each said grip portion 65. The at least one rib 80 extends between the neck 30 to the waist portion 57. One of the ribs 80 may extend past arch body 70, as seen in FIG. 7. The combination of ribs 75 and 80 along with arch body 70 (and even the logo portion 53) cooperates to provide improved strength (e.g., top loading strength), and/or resistance to squeezing and vacuum deformation forces, while at the same time requiring less material usage.

The bottle may also include a vacuum array, e.g., including one or more vacuum deformation portions positioned on the top portion 45 of the main body. For example, grip portion 65 and/or logo portion 53 may possess vacuum deformation capacity.

In this particular embodiment, bottle 10 has a volume capacity of about 96 oz. Exemplary dimensions d1-d12 of the bottle are shown in the various drawings, for example:

d1 is about 290-310 mm or about 300 mm;

d2 is about 120-130 mm or about 125 mm;

d3 is about 40-50 mm or about 45 mm;

d4 is about 70-80 mm or about 75 mm;

d5 is about 70-80 mm or about 75 mm;

d6 is about 15-25 mm or about 20 mm;

d7 is about 125-135 mm or about 120 mm;

d8 is about 140-150 mm or about 145 mm;

d9 is about 70-90 mm or about 75-80 mm;

d10 is about 40-50 mm or about 45 mm;

d11 is about 5-25 mm or about 15-20 mm;

d12 is about 2-10 mm or about 3-5 mm;

d13 is about 130-135 mm or about 135 mm; and

d14 is about 60-70 mm or about 65 mm.

Those of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that aspects of the present invention are applicable to other containers, such as round or polygon shaped, e.g., square, pentagon, hexagon, septagon, octagon, etc., bottles, which may have different dimensions and volume capacities (+/−10-20% or more).

The grip portion 65 is adapted to be grasped by the fingers and thumb of a person of average size, for example, an average woman having a size 7 hand. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the distance d9 between the grip portions 65 is about 70-90 mm, e.g., about 75-80 mm, although the distance can range lower than 70 and higher than 90. However, the grip portion 65 is not limited for use by a person having average size hands.

As seen in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 8, at least a portion the grip area 65.2 of the grip portion 65 is provided near or at the longitudinal axis A of the main body of the bottle to facilitate holding of and pouring liquid contents from the container 10. However, as seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 7, the grip portions 65 are above the waist portion 57 and therefore above the center of gravity.

While the invention has been described in connection with what are presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, while an exemplary hot-fellable container has been described, the disclosure is not limited to such and non-hot-fellable containers are also possible in which event vacuum panels would not be required. In addition, while PET containers made using a blow-molding process have been described, other materials and manufacturing processes are also possible. For example, the container can be made using extrusion molding or other stretch molding techniques, and the container could be made from materials such as, for example, polypropylene, high density polypropylene, polyolefin, styrene and other similar plastic materials.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20050252881 *Jul 13, 2005Nov 17, 2005Graham Packaging Pet Technologies Inc. (Formerly Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.)Hot fillable plastic container with integrated handle
US20070045222 *Jun 28, 2006Mar 1, 2007Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Rectangular container
US20080029475 *Aug 3, 2006Feb 7, 2008Scarola Leonard SPlastic coffee container with pinch grip
FR2765555A1 * Title not available
JP2002283441A * Title not available
JP2007145390A * Title not available
JP2008296927A * Title not available
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/384
International ClassificationB65D90/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D23/102, B65D2501/0036, B65D79/005, B65D1/40, B65D1/42
European ClassificationB65D79/00B, B65D23/10B, B65D1/40, B65D1/42
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 17, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: OCEAN SPRAY CRANBERRIES, INC., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BOIROS, RICHARD;SASAKI, MASAAKI;OSHINO, TADAYOSHI;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20101118 TO 20101126;REEL/FRAME:025974/0755