US 3181767 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 4, 1965 G. w. STARKEY 3,181,767 RECLOSABLE BbX STRUCTURE Filed Nov. 7, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 3.
May 4, 1965 s. w. STARKEY RECLOSABLE BOX STRUCTURE 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Nov. 7, 1963 United States Patent 3,181,767 RECLOSABLE BOX STRUCTURE George W. Starkey, Whittier, Califl, assignor to The Flintkote Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Nov. 7, 1963, Ser. No. 322,138 3 Claims. (Cl. 229-17) This invention relates generally to packaging, and more specifically to a reclosable box construction particularly adapted for pourable granulated and powdered products.
One of the most common and widely used types of packaging for consumer products is a six-sided box, known in the trade as a Seal-End Carton, which has a top and bottom each comprising two pairs of opposed flaps which are folded inwardly and sealed. For the die cutting of blanks, their setting up and the final filling and closing operations, many standardized pieces of machinery have been produced and are wide-spread in installation throughout the industry.
It is the principal object of this invention to provide in this basic form of box the novel improvement involving a reclosable flap structure which is specifically adapted for granulated and powdered contents, and which can be handled by existing, standard machinery.
Packages having an opening in the nature of a pour spout or opening are particularly desirable for contents such as granulated and powdered cleaning agents, salt, sugar, seed, fertilizer, insecticides and vermin poisons. One characteristic in the use of such products is that in many instances an entire packaged quantity may not be emptied at once; but might be consumed only gradually in small portions. The package may be stored for varying periods and under varying conditions between periods of use. During such intervening periods, it is highly desirable to effect a simple reclosure of the package to discourage access to the contents by children or animals. Also, accidental spillage is to be avoided for reasons of cleanliness, waste and preventing damage to surrounding objects.
One approach to this problem has been to provide a pour spout integral with the carton by utilizing additional paperboard stock and complicated flap configurations and/or folding procedures. In addition to the increased material costs, such proposals usually require special complicated dies, special flap folding equipment and/or special gluing equipment. Often they increase the wastage of paperboard from the die cutting operation. Thus, although the advantages of integral pour spouts are recognized in the industry, it has been necessary in many instances to provide specially formed individual pour spouts of metal, plastic, fiberboard or the like which are applied by special equipment during the filling operation. Applicant has resolved this problem by providing an integral pour spout construction formed by a novel arrangement directly from the conventional panels of a Seal-End Carton which does not require any additional material and which can be produced on conventional equipment for manufacturing such cartons.
In accordance with this invention, three overlapping flaps at the top of the box are cut and scored in such form of box blank for producing a Seal-End Cartonj" 3,181,767 Patented May 4, 1965 without necessitating the use of additional stock or special folding and/or gluing equipment.
More specifically, along an upper portion of the box where three overlapping flaps or panels are in overlapping relation, their respective functions are as follows: In the lowermost flap, interrupted cut or score lines arranged along a circular line define a punch-out piece that can be pushed through or otherwise removed to create a pour opening. A corner portion of the intermediate flap which overlies this pour opening is provided withan interrupted cut or score line whereby this entire portion of the flap can be torn away and discarded to expose the pour opening. In the uppermost flap or panel there is an interrupted cut or score line following approximately the tear line in the intermediate flap, whereby tearing along the former line forms a closure flap which is hingedly movable over the pour opening and over the overall area from which a corner of the intermediate flap has been removed. As described more fully hereinafter, the closure flap has a protruding tab, defined in conjunction with formation of its tear line, which is tucked beneath a flap which also is formed in conjunction with the tear line in the intermediate fiap. Thus, after each partial emptying of the box it can be reclosed simply by a tucking of the locking tab and fiap.
Further objects, details and advantages of this invention will become more apparent from the following description thereof when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a face view of the paper blank after cutting and scoring to define its various panels and flaps; and as necessary to the reclosable feature in accordance with this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a closer and more detailed view of that part of the blank which forms the pour opening and reclosable flap structure according to this invention;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the box, serving to illustrate steps involved in closing of the box following filling;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view serving to illustrate the steps taken in opening the box, including formation of the upper closure iiap and tearing away the corner of the intermediate end flap to uncover the pour opening; and
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view showing the reclosing of this box by tucking the corner flap under the edge of the intermediate flap therebeneath.
The packaging disclosed herein may be constructed from various sheet materials such as paper, plastic, metal foils, or special combinations thereof, but for general commercial purposes it may be assumed that it is constructed of the ordinary type of relatively stifi paperboard or cardboard.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the finished box blank is illustrated and generally indicated at 2. This blank has a front panel 4, back panel 6, and side panels 8 and 10 which are defined by vertical score lines 16 and upper and lower horizontal score lines 12 and 14. A narrow strip 18 extending beyond the edge of back panel 6 is aflixed, as by gluing, to the inner side of the portion of end panel 10 indicated at 20 in setting up the box. The bottom of the box is formed by bottom panels 22 and inner flaps 24 which are separated by slits 26 which are die-cut in the blank. The top portion of the blank is made up of front top panel 28, rear top panel 30, and inner flaps 32 and 34, which are separated by slits 36 extending inwardly to the score lines 12.
Referring now to FIGURE 2 in particular, after the box has been set up and filled it is closed in conventional manner by folding inwardly first the inner flaps 32 and 34, y
28. Thus, at one corner, the flap 32 is lowermost, the panel 30 is in the middle and panel 28 is on top.
Resuming the description of the unfolded box blank 2 (FIGURES 1 and 2) at the inner corner of top panel 28 which is confined between a slit 3-5 and a score line 12, an arcuate tear line 38 is produced by deep scoring or interrupted cutting of the blank. Midway along the arc of tear line 38, an outwardly directed U-shaped cut 4G is formed as part of tear line 38, which cut defines a tab 44. Because cut 40 is continuous and penetrates completely through the paperboard, the tab 44 can be easily lifted with ones fingernail to initiate thereby the tearing along tear line 38 and lifting of a closure flap, designated as 42. It will be noted that closure flap 42 is hingedly connected to front box panel 4 along score line 12.
In the lowermost flap, i.e., inner flap 32, deep scores or interrupted cuts along line 46 form a punch-out piece 48. When piece 48 is pushed through or otherwise removed, it leaves a suitable pour opening. In the instant disclosure the line 46 is circular to produce a round pour opening, although it will be readily evident that other shapes (such as oval, triangular or square) of pour opening may be employed. Also, the size of this pour opening may be varied to afford desired control over flow rate of the particular granulated or powdered product to be poured through it.
In the interleaved middle or intermediate panel 30 there is a deep score or interrupted cut line 50, conforming to the tear line 38 in the upper panel 28, whereby tearing along line 50 will effect complete removal of the corner portion 54. The removal of corner portion 54 provides access to the punch-out piece 43. It will be evident that when panels 28 and 35 are folded over in flatly overlapping relationship the tear line t) will lie directly beneath and be coextensive with the tear line 38. A short flap-like tab '56 is formed by cuts in the shape of a U as indicated at 52. The tab 56 permits tucking of tab 44 beneath it at the edge of panel 30 formed when corner portion 54 is torn away along line 50.
As with conventional setting up operations used to form a Seal-End Carton, inner flaps 32, 34, rear top panel 30 and front top panel 28 are preferably adhered together by applying glue to the upper surface of inner flaps 32, 34 and to the upper surfaec of rear top panel 3t However, in order to ensure proper operation of applicants novel pour spout construction, corner portion 54 must not be adhered either to the inner flap 32 or to closure flap 42 formed in front top panel 28. This is preferably accomplished by applying printing ink to which the glue will not adhere to the upper surface of corner portion 54 and tab 56 and to the portion of the upper surface of flap 32 which underlies corner portion 545 and tab 55. In this way the appropriate portions of the top of the box are free of attachment to each other without requiring any modification of the conventional gluing equipment. Alternatively, special gluing equipment may be used which will not apply glue to these surfaces, although this procedure is not preferred.
It should be noted that with the exception of features directly involving the flap 42, punch-out piece 48 and the tear-away corner portion 54, the box blank and the setting up procedures are entirely conventional. Thus, the basic cutting of the box blank can be performed on conventional machinery with the existing die cutting machinery modified slightly to effect the necessary cutting and scoring to form the pour spout construction in a single-step operation simultaneously with scoring and cutting out the basic blank outlinev Alternatively, but less desirable, such additional cuts and scores can be formed by an additional die. With regard to operations of setting up the box, fill ing and closing, the features comprising this invention do not affect the use of conventional machinery in any way. That is, the tear lines 38, 46 and 5t), and the tabs 44 and 56, do not interfere with the normal operations of setting up, filling and closing.
It should be understood that tear lines 38, 40, 46, 50 and 52 may be formed in any conventional manner as by continuous score lines, interrupted score lines, interrupted cut lines or the like. The sole requirement for the formation of such lines is that the integrity of the box be maintained prior to opening while still permitting ready tearing along such lines in the desired manner.
In the use of the box, as pictured in FIGURE 4, the flap 42 is first torn open along tear. lines 38 and 40. Then the corner portion 54 is torn off along tear line 5! and the punch-out piece 48 is removed. A desired quantity of the granulated or powdered pro-duct is poured through the opening left by removal of piece 43, and the box is reclosed until a further need for the product arises. This reclosing merely involves the tucking of tab 44 beneath the edge of intermediate panel 30 at the area of flap-like tab 56. Subsequent reopening involves simply a removal of the tab 44 from beneath tab 56.
Thus it will be evident that all of the previously mentioned objects are attained in accordance with this invention. It will be understood that various departures from the specifically disclosed embodiments of the invention may be effected without departing from the scope thereof as defined by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a box of the type having four side walls and a bottom, a reclosable contents dispensing structure at the top of the box comprising panels folded inwardly across the top in mutually flat overlapping relation and being conneoted with said side panels along scored fold lines, said flaps including two panels folded inwardly from opposite side walls and a panel folded across from an adjacent intermediate side wall, a closure flap in the uppermost panel defined by a tear line and being hingedly movable about its associated fold line, the lowermost panel having a relatively small pour opening adapted for pouring of granulated and powdered products, the last-mentioned opening being beneath said closure flap, and the intermediate panel between said uppermost panel and lowermost panel, having a removable portion defined by a tear line to define an opening covering a substantial area beneath said closure flap and over the portion of said lowermost panel having the pour opening therein, said closure flap having a tab portion protruding beyond said tear line defining the opening in the intermediate flap, said tab being adapted to be tucked beneath the edge of the last-mentioned opening and over the surface of the under lying lowermost panel to hold the closure fiap in closed position over said pour opening.
2. In a box of the type having four side walls and a bottom, a reclosable contents dispensing structure at the top of the box comprising at least two panels folded inwardly across the top in mutually flat, overlapping relation and being hingedly connected to an opposed pair of walls along fold lines, a closure flap in the uppermost panel defined by a tear line and being hingedly movable about one of said fold lines, the lower panel having an opening of substantial area immediately beneath said closure flap, said closure flap having a portion thereof protruding outwardly beyond the edge of said opening and adapted to be tucked beneath said edge to hold the closure fiap in closed position over the opening, and a third panel hingedly connected to another one of said walls and being disposed parallel to the other panels and extending across the area beneath said opening, said third panel having a smaller opening therein adapted for pouring of granulated and powdered products.
3. In a box of the type having four side walls and a bottom, a reclosable contents dispensing structure at the top of the box comprising at least two panels folded inwardly across the top in mutually flat, overlapping relation and being hingedly connected to an opposed pair of walls along fold lines, a closure flap in the uppermost panel defined by a tear line and being hingedly movable about one of said fold lines, the lower panel having an 6 opening of substantial area immediately beneath said References Cited by the Examiner closure flap, said closure flap having a portion thereof UNITED STATES N protruding outwardly beyond the edge of said opening and adapted to 'be tucked beneath said edge to hold the 2,002,485 5/35 Alfred closure flap in closed position over the opening, said 2162556 6/39 Lagaard 229-47 closure flap being defined partially by one straight side 2,523,668 9/50 Read 229 17 edge of said uppermost panel, and said tear line extend- 2933'230 4/60 Yezek 7 229 17 ing arcuately from said straight edge inwardly toward g gfiil g?E )Z said fold line about which the closure flap is hingedly I movable. 10 FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Primary Examiner-