US 3198327 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 3, 1965 D. E. BOEHLING ETAL 3,193,327
MULTI-UNIT MERCHANDISING PACKAGE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 50, 1962 INVENTORS DANIEL E- BOEHLING THOMAS E. KIRBY, JR.
ATTORNEY! 1965 D. E. BOEHLING ETAL 3,198,327
MULTI-UNIT MERCHANDISING PACKAGE Filed July 30, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS DANIEL E. BOEHLING THOMAS E. KIRBY, JR.
ATTORNEYS 3, 1965 D. E. BOEHLING ETAL 3,198,327
MULTIUNIT MERCHANDISING PACKAGE Filed July 30, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORJ DANIEL E. BOEHLING THOMAS E. KIRBY, JR.
ATTORNEYS United States Patent 0 This invention relates to a multi-unit merchandizing package, and more particularly to a unit-handled package of articles which have peripherally flanged or chimed ends. Examples of such articles are conventional metal beer or soft drink cans having circular ends double seamed to the can body, and tubular foil-paperboard container bodies having metal ends secured thereto for use in packaging biscuit dough and the like.
in recent years, multi-unit packaging of cans or similar containers has met with widespread consumer acceptance, especially in the form of the six-container package or six-pack. In accordance with this trend, many forms of multi-unit packages have been developed in an effort to provide an eflicient, economical and attractive package.
it is an object of this invention to provide a novel sixpack type package which is economical in manufacture, provides maximum display of the contents, and, importantly, provides a neat, substantially rigid, easily handled package, thereby achieving maximum efficiency for the purposes intended.
As cylindrical metallic and paperboard containers are usually peripherally lithographed or labelled with advertisiug indicia in an attractive eye-appealing manner, it is highly desirable that the container be viewable by the consumer to a maximum extent. The present invention achieves this goal by utilizing a transparent overwrap, whereby no part of the cylindrical surface of the container is obscured by the packaging material itself. Further, the use of a transparent overwrap eliminates the additional manufacturing expense required when ordinary cardboard wrappers are provided which necessitate additional printing or lithographing upon the cardboard.
In the packaging of closely grouped chimed containers, the chimes of adjacent containers are in substantially tangential contact with each other. In the normal handling, shipping and stacking of multi-unit packages of chimed cans, the chimes of adjacent cans have a natural tendency to slip relative to one another or ride up on top of each other, thereby imparting an undesirable tilt or skew to the package, and thus detracting from the intended attractive appearance thereof. Further, such chime-riding causes the packaged containers to assume a more compact grouping, thereby reducing the lateral dimensions of the can group and causing looseness of the surrounding overwrap and rattling of the package.
it is accordingly another important object of the inention to eliminate such chime-riding in a multi-container package.
While the overwrapping of a group of containers with transparent sheet or film material such as polyvinyl chloride maximizes display of the package contents, the film material between adjacent vertically stacked packages tends to abrade and wear away at the areas of contact between the chimes of vertically adjacent cans in the stack. This chime-abrasion weakens the film or completely severs through the same at these points of contact, thereby weakening the overall package, whereby the same may more easily rupture when the package is lifted and handled by the purchaser, thereby discharging the cans from the package onto the floor.
it is therefore another chief object of the instant invention to provide a package which will positively eliminate such chime-abrasion.
Other significant objects and advantages of the present invention will become clear from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation, partly in section, of the novel package of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plan of the package.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section taken on the lines 33 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the upper insert member of the package.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the lower insert member of the package, illustrating the several tabs thereof as positioned in the completed package.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a modified lower insert member.
PEG. 7 is a section taken on the line '77 of FIG. 6 with the containers shown in phantom lines.
Referring to the drawings, the novel package ill of the invention comprises a number of chimed articles such as cylindrical containers 11, shown as six, and grouped in rectangular array, an upper sheet-like insert member H of heavy cardboard, cardboard-foil laminate or the like, a lower insert 13 of similar material, and an overwrap of transparent film M which completely surrounds the package on all sides thereof and is preferably shrunk into snug engagement with the containers.
The film overwrap may be any transparent plastic material, and preferably heat-scalable and shrinkable. A preferred overwrap material is biaxially oriented heatshrinkable, heat scalable solution cast polyvinyl chloride, which material possesses the necessary strength and durability to provide a unit handled six-pack package and which is substantially completely transparent to maximize viewability of the'contents.
The containers ii are cylindrical, and are provided at one or both ends with rim flanges or chimes 15 which project or extend radially of the tubular container body proper. These chimes 15 are normally produced in the process of securing the top or bottom end closure to the cylindrical container body. As stated, the containers 11 may be conventional metal beverage cans formed from normal or light-weight tin plate, aluminum, or other containers having an end seam, chime or chimes, including containers having a body formed from a helically tubed, cardboard-foil laminate having metal end closures seamed thereto, as commonly employed in the packaging of dough products. Any other articles or containers having chimelike end constructions as at 15 may be packaged in accordance with the instant invention.
The lower insert member 13 constitutes an essential component of the package. As seen in FIG. 5, the insert 13 comprises a rectangular sheet of relatively stiif material, such as cardboard or a cardboard-foil laminate. The blank 13 is provided with a plurality of U-shaped cut to which define substantially rectangular tabs 17. These tabs 17 are folded or hinged upwardly to dispose the tabs substantially perpendicular to the plane of the insert 13. As clearly seen in F163. 2 5, the U-shaped cuts are so arran cd on the insert 13 that the upstanding tabs if!" will be disposed tangentially with respect to the chimes 15 of each pair of adjacent containers ill to be packaged. in the rectangular six-unit package shown, seven such tabs l7 are provided. Thus, when the six chimed containers are positioned in closely grouped relation upon the insert 13, (as seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3), tabs 17 space each can chime 15' from the chime of the next adjacent can, whereby no two adjacent cans it have their chimes in contact. it will be seen, therefore, that in the completed package lb there can be no tendency for the chimes to slip relatively in contact with one another or tilt or become vertically ofiset with respect to adjacent cans, whereby the package cannot become disarranged and unattractive.
Further, as the tabs 17 positively prevent any undesirable chime-riding, the slight reduction in overall lateral dimensions of the can group which formerly occurred from chime-riding and which resulted in looseness of the transparent overwrap, cannot take place, whereby the transparent plastic material 14 remains tautly embraced about the container group to enhance the eye appeal of the package and the ready handling and stacking thereof.
In addition to elimination of chimeriding, the insert 13 as cooperatively associated with the package 19, also performs another important function. As has been previously pointed out, the package includes a complete protective overwrap of transparent plastic film material 14, such as polyvinyl chloride. The use of a transparent complete overwrap effects important economic advantages in packaging containers 11 of the type described. As these containers are either provided with eye-catching lithographed surfaces, or equally attractive printed labels, the present practice of packaging such containers within opaque cardboard containers or cardboard wrapper blanks substantially nullifies the attractive and ornamental appearance of each container 11. Thus, in order to display the conventional cardboard package, the opaque overwrap or carton material itself must be lithographed or printed at considerable expense to carry the trademark and other indicia desired to properly advertise and display the same. The provision of a complete overwrap of transparent film material as in the instant invention eliminates this double printing or lithographing expense, as full viewing of containers 11 may be had through the transparent wrap. Further, the film verwrap14 is of materially less thickness than the conventional cardboard or like packaging material employed, and therefore lighter, thereby tending to reduce bulk shipping costs.
Recognizing these economies, it has been previously proposed to wrap a multi-unit package of containers 11 in transparent wrapping material. When, however, such film-wrapped packages are vertically stacked one upon the other as is conventionally practiced in the storing or merchandizing of the packages, there is a pronounced tendency for the transparent film material to wear away or abrade where layers of the same are sandwiched between vertically adjacent can chimes 15, as for example, the bottom chimes in one pockage and the top chimes in another package. This is because the entire weight of the container in the uppermost package is applied to'the annular area of the chime where the latter is in contact with the top chime of a container in a lower package. This chime-abrasion between adjacent packages rapidly causes weakening and rupture of the film material, thereby rendering the transparent overwrap completely unsuitable as a packaging material.
The package of the present invention completely obviates this highly undesirable occurrence in the provision of the cardboard insert 13. When two packages of the character of FIG. 1 are stacked, the film 14 drawn about the lower chimes 15 of the cans in the upper package is vertically spaced from the film about the upper chimes 15 of the cans in the lowermost package by a distance equal to the thickness of the insert member 13. Thus, there can be no contact between vertically adjacent can chimes to cause abrasion of the transparent plastic film material at such points. Further, the entire weight of the multi-can package will be distributed evenly over the insert member 13 thus eliminating any localized annular high pressure areas to cause such abrasion.
Therefore, it will be seen that in the instant package 10, insert member 113 performs the dual function of preventing chime-riding and also preventing chime-abrasion in a highly efficient yet inexpensive manner.
In some instances, especially when larger size containers 11 are packaged, or a greater number of containers than six are packaged, it is desirable to use the modified insert member 18, FIG. 6. Tue modified insert 13 is blanked to conform to the peripheral shape of a multi-unit group of containers, such as six, whereby the same takes on a scalloped appearance. In this embodiment, the chimes 15 of the containers 11 are fully received on the insert 18, with no chime overhang. With the insert 18, the weight of the several cans of the package is distributed evenly over the entire layer insert 18, thereby even further reducing the average pressure of the package upon a subjacent package in a stack. The larger insert 13 furtherreduces the possibility of chime abrasion between laterally adjacent packages in a horizontal tier, although insert 13 requires somewhat more material than the preferred insert 13. As in the case of the preferred insert 13, the insert 18 is provided with similarly located upstanding tabs 1'7 to prevent chime-riding as above discussed.
As seen in H65. 5 and 6, both the preferred insert 13 and the modified insert 13 are provided with generally triangular pressure tabs 26' which are suitably located on the insert members so as to be disposed beneath the corner containers :11 in the rectangular array thereof, as clearly seen in FIG. 2. The plastic overwrap 14- of the package which, as stated, is preferably of heat-shrinkable material, is tightly drawn around the several components there- Within to form .a rigid, easily handled package. The corner tabs 21} further maintain the desired t-autness and rigidity of the completed package as the same are hinged or folded upwardly from the blank through substantially as best seen in FIG. 1, whereby the corner tabs 21 exert an upward thrust upon the corner containers 11. This slight additional thrust imparted by corner tabs Ztl, coupled with the rigid spacing of the containers by tabs 17 preventing chime-riding thereat, further insures the container will maintain a taut attractive appearance.
The completed package Till may further include an upper insert member 12, FIGS. 1 and 4, which comprises a rectangular sheet of cardboard or the like disposed in overlying relation to the grouped containers 11 beneath the transparent film overwrap 14. When the additional upper insert member 12 is employed, it will be seen that when the packages 11% are stacked, the chimes 15 of vertically adjacent cans in the stack will be further separated by the thickness of the insert member 12 in addition to the thickness of the insert member 13, thereby further preventing any possibility of chime-abrasion as above mentioned.
The upper insert member 12 may also provide a handle means for the complete package. To this end the upper insert 12 is provided with a plurality of apertures 21 disposed between adjacent groups of four cans in the package. The overwrap material 14 will similarly be apertured in alignment with the holes 21, whereby the purchaser or other handler of the package may readily insert his thumb and forefinger through the apertures 21 and thereby lift and carry the completed taut package with facility and ease.
It will be seen from the :foregoinr that the present invcntion provides a multi-container package of maximum utility and minimal expense. While the package is in some respects similar at first glance to multi-container or sixpack packages presently available, the package of the instant invention as above detailedly set forth possesses eX- treme simplicity in construction wherein the several components thereof cooperate in novel manner to p vid maximum display and protection of the package contents, and also form a unit-handled package which is taut and rigid, wherein the commonly encountered disadvantages of chime-abrasion and chime-riding are completely eliminated by simple and effective means which add neither to the complexity nor the cost of the package.
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages.
What is claimed is: 1. A multi-article merchandising package comprising, a plurality of closely grouped cylindrical containers each having radially projecting end chimes, an overwrap of transparent plastic film snugly surrounding and fully enclosing said grouped containers with said plastic film sealed upon itself to form a unit-handled container package, spacer means disposed between and in tangential contact with each adjacent pair of chimes to thereby space apart each pair of adjacent containers by the thickness of said spacer means to prevent chime-riding, a sheet-like insert disposed within said overwr ap adjacent and parallel with the container ends for vertically spacing vertically adjacent chimes of separately packed containers when stacked to prevent chime abrasion of the overwrap therebetween, and means lightly urging said insert away from said containers to thereby maintain said overwrap in tautly embracing relationship about said containers and insert.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein said last named means comprises a plurality of tabs struck from said insert and folded substantially 180 relative thereto and toward said containers, each said tab resiliently engaging the end of the container thereadjacent.
3. A multi-articl-e merchandising package comprising a plurality of closely grouped cylindrical containers having decorated side walls and each having radially projecting end chimes,
a planar sheet-like member disposed adjacent and beneath the container lower ends in underlying engagement with the entire lower end chime of each side container,
means inwardly of the periphery of said member disposed between and in tangential contact with each adjacent pair of chimes to thereby space apart each pair of adjacent containers to prevent chime-riding,
a heat-shrunk overwrap of transparent plastic film fully enclosing said grouped containers and said planar member to form a unit container package, whereby the entire side wall peripheral portions of said container group are visible for display through said transparent film and said planar member prevents chime-abrasion between the vertically adjacent chimes of like packages when stacked and rigidifies said package while not obscuring the decorated peripheral side wall portions of said container group.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,867,320 11/59 'Andre 206- 2,896,779 7/59 Armel 206-65 3,000,530 10/61 Forrer 206-65 3,066,795 12/62 Mansfield 206-65 3,087,610 4/63 Kirkpatrick 206-65 3,118,537 1/64 C opping 206*65 FOREIGN PATENTS 535,504 12/54 Belgium. 975,942 10/50 France.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
EARLE J. DRUMMOND, Examiner.