US 3327887 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 27, 1967 J. w. CHALMERS I PACKETS FOR CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 23, 1965 BY %%%wrw ATTORNEYS June 27, 1967 J. w. CHALMERS 3,327,387
PACKETS FOR CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE Filed Jui 23, 1965 s Sheets-Sheet 2 l VENTOR 4 m M I r Jab June 27, 1967 J. w. CHALMERS 3,327,887
PACKETS FOR CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE Filed July 23, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 "D I ATTORNE YS United States Pate t 3,327,887 PACKETS FOR CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE John Walker Chalmers, Farnborough Park, Kent, England, assignor to The Molins Organisation Limited, London, England, a corporation of Great Britain Filed July 23, 1965, Ser. No. 474,405 Claims priority, application Great Britain, July 27, 1964, 29,905/64; June 3, 1965, 23,777/ 65 Claims. (Cl. 220-31) This invention relates to packets for articles such as cigarettes, sweets, biscuits or the like and more particularly to packets with integral or permanently-attached lids. (It is convenient to describe the invention as applied to cigarette packets but it should be borne in mind that a wide variety of articles are suitable for packing in packets embodying the invention.)
For many years the form of cigarette packet which has been most common in the British Isles has been a two-part packet, one part being in the form of a tube or sleeve of rectangular section, the other (often termed the slide) comprising a flat sheet with doubly-folded upturned flanges at each of two opposed edges and so dimensioned as to fit snugly within the sleeve. Access to the cigarettes is obtained by pushing one end of the slide until the flange at the other end is clear of the sleeve, then unfolding such flange to allow withdrawal of individual cigarettes by substantially axial movement.
More recently, there has been adopted a form of packet termed the hinged-lid or flip-top packet which, as is suggested by the names quoted, has a lid hinged to the body of the packet. Usually such packets are designed to accommodate twenty cigarettes in three staggered layers, the lid being at one end of the packet so that individual cigarettes may be removed by axial movement. The lid hinge is situated on the back of the packet, a short distance from one end, and the front of the lid extends farther from that end so that the side edges of the lid run obliquely, forming acute angles with the side edges of the front of the lid. The body of the packet has a liner making its sides and front ofrdouble thickness and such liner projects into the lid when the packet is closed, the extent of this projection being such that on opening and closing the lid the latter engages and slightly deforms the projecting liner; this protects the packet against inadvertent opening during handling.
In some packets of this type, the hinge has been provided by a double crease or score, so that the rear wall on close examination is found to have three portions, as between the rear wall of the lid and that of the body there is a very narrow intermediate strip of material lying between two parallel creases forming the hinge. In the conventional hinged-lid packet made of thin card, this form of hinge is less likely to tear during the normal life of the packet, as each of the two hinge portions need only tolerate being bent to a right-angle when the packet is fully open, whereas a single hinge at full opening has been bent through almost 180 which as is well known has a weakening effect upon material such as card, The intermediate strip serves no purpose.
Hitherto, such hinged-lid packets have been made of thin card, but we now find it of advantage to employ synthetic plastic material (hereinafter termed plastic) e.g. polypropylene or polystyrene; such material has notable advantages in that packets (including lids), may be made in one piece by a variety of established moulding processes, have an excellent strength/weight ratio, and are for all practical purposes completely moisture-tight. The commercial use of plastic for a wide variety of products has increased greatly in recent years and is still increasing, so that the cost of such material is now falling to a level where its use for such articles as cigarette packets is becoming economically feasible. Moreover, machines for moulding plastic by the various established processes are being offered in an increasing variety and many of such machines are now capable of high-speed operation, another important factor is economic manufacture.
It has now been found that when employing plastic material, manufacture of such packets is much facilitated by the provision of a double hinge, with an intermediate portion of sufiicient depth to allow the presence of a tool-part of a forming die-between the rear walls of the lid and the body during forming of the packet in the open condition, with the said rear walls lying in parallel planes.
According to the invention, we provide a one-piece packet, for cigarettes or the like, formed of synthetic plastic material and comprising a lid hinged to one end of a body by means of a hinge integral with a rear wall of the lid and a rear wall of the body, said body having a projecting part and the lid being arranged to overlie said projecting part when the packet is closed (the projecting part preferably being of less thickness than the remainder of the front and sides of the body so that the outer surfaces of the body and lid are then all flush), in which said hinge is a double hinge so that the rear wall of the packet has three portions, the highest and lowest of said portions being the rear walls of the lid and body respectively and the third portion being an intermediate portion of substantial depth having integral hinge connections both to the lid and to the body, said hinge connections being at parallel opposed edge portions of said third or intermediate portion.
Preferably the front wall of the lid is deeper than the back wall of the lid and the former may with advantage also be of greater thickness than the remainder of the lid, as it is the front wall of the lid which needs to be prised up whenever the packet is to be opened and which accordingly may with advantage be made of greater mechanical strength as it is subjected to substantial local stress during such opening. Conveniently such greater thickness may be achieved by moulding the said front wall of the lid with an integral extension and folding said extension back against the inner face of the said front wall; preferably an adhesive is applied to said extension before it is folded back, to retain the extension in its desired position.
When such a packet is formed by moulding, whether by injection moulding or by drawing from sheet, the plastic material is necessarily in a heated condition and tends to behave in substantial measure as a viscous liquid. Accordingly, if any two parts touch while in the heated condition they tend to become welded together and this imposes limitations on the attitude in which the packet must be formed. As an absurd example, such a packet cannot be moulded in the closed condition as (apart from any possible need to have a tool inside the packet as it is formed) the resultant packet would have its body and lid welded together, i.e. would be permanently closed.
A further limitation on the moulding of such packets arises from consideration of tooling. Any established plastic moulding process involves the provision of a pair of dies which can be brought together (closed) and separated (opened) and which, while closed, together define the form of the article to be produced. Whenever the form of article to be produced so permits, such dies and the machines in which they are used are least costly and most durable if each die is a relatively rigid member (i.e. it has no part which needs to be movable relative to the remainder of the die) and the closing and opening of the dies are effected by simple rectilinear reciprocation.
A packet embodying the invention may be moulded in the open condition, in such an attitude that the front and rear walls of the lid and of the body he in parallel planes. Then the lid and body may be formed in parallel cavities of one die and the other die may have punch or plug members entering said cavities to any desired extent without creating any difliculty in opening and closing the dies by straight line movement as is most desirable. The presence of the intermediate portion of the rear wall, between the two hinge connections, means that the rear walls of the lid and body are spaced apart and therefore there is room for a part of the one die therebetween, to preserve necessary separation of the said rear walls while the plastic material is hot. With the materials currently available for manufacture of moulding dies, the said part of the one die should not be less than about 3 mm. thick, hence we prefer that the said intermediate portion of the rear wall of the packet should be of at least this depth.
The provision of the double hinge also enables a better seal to be obtained at the lid to body junction when the packet is closed, as will be seen from the description of a preferred form of packet embodying the invention given hereinafter.
The benefits of the double hinge are derived in large measure during manufacture, and we find that such a double hinge may be inconvenient when the packet is in use; we prefer therefore to provide that the projecting part of the body of the packet has portions arranged to be engaged by the intermediate portion when the packet is closed, and to secure said intermediate portion to said portions (e.g. by adhesive) as a step in finishing the packet after its removal from the moulding dies. We also prefer so to arrange the said projecting part of the body that it assists in guiding the lid on to the body during closing movement of said lid, so as to prevent edge-to-edge abutment of the body and lid during closing, should the body an-d/ or lid be slightly deformed.
When such packets are made with relatively thin walls, as is desirable for economy of material, said walls may be formed with a ribbed or otherwise embossed configuration to provide enhanced stiffness.
In order that the invention may be well understood preferred embodiments thereof will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a preferred form of packet,
FIGURE 2 is a side view, in section, of the packet of FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a part of the packet of FIGURES 1 and 2,
FIGURE 4 is a view, similar to FIGURE 1, of another form of packet embodying the invention;
FIGURE 5 is a partial rear view of the packet of FIG- URE 4, with part broken away; and
FIGURE 6 is a partial section of the packet of FIG- URES 4 and 5, when closed.
First referring to FIGURES 1 to 3, the packet shown has a body B with a front Bl, sides B2, a back B3 and a bottom B4. Hinged to said body B is a lid L having, correspondingly, a front L1, sides L2, a back L3 and a top L4. A double hinge to be described later connects the back L3 of he lid to the back B3 of the body, said hinge being parallel to the top and bottom of the packet. The free edge of the front L1 of the lid is also parallel to the top and bottom of the packet, but the free edges of the sides slope upwardly towards the back of the packet, the back L3 of the lid being of less depth than the front LI of the lid.
The front and sides of the body have upward extensions respectively indicated by references BB1 and BEZ, said extensions being of less thickness than the remainder of the body B but having their inner surfaces flush with those of the front and sides res ectively so that said extensions are externally recessed. When the lid is closed, the front L1 and sides L2 thereof lie in the recesses so provided, so that the external surfaces of the lid are flush with those of the body.
The front body extension BEl is centrally cut away to have a shallow central portion and deeper end portions BElZ, the latter being integral with and forming stiffening flanges for the side body extensions BEZ. The side body extensions BEZ have corresponding stiffening flanges at the back, provided by extensions BE3 of the back B3 of the body.
From a consideration of FIGURE 2, it will be appreciated that, whenever the lid is moved between its open and closed positions the side body extensions BEZ and front body extension portions BE12 are necessarily temporarily deformed slightly by inward displacement, also the parts of the lid engaged by. such extensions are slightly deformed outwardly. Because of the considerable mechanical strength of plastic such as polypropylene, it is necessary so to select the dimensions of the extensions, relative to the remainder of the packet, that such deforma tion is relatively slight. To avoid the lid having an undesirable freedom or floppiness when closed, the front body extension portions BE1-2 are bent outwardly at their upper medial corners to provide retaining lugs R; the degree of outward bending is so chosen that when the packet is closed, the inner surface of the front L1 of the lid holds said lugs R at positions slightly further inward than the positions they assume when unconfined, so that said lugs exert an outward force against the inside of the front L1 of the lid. As the said lugs Rare nearer the top of the packet than is the hinge, this outward force produces a torque on the lid in the closing direction, preventing the aforesaid floppiness.
Turning now to the construction of the hinge, the back D3 of the lid and the back B3 of the body we provide a third or intermediate part I..The part I is connected by parallel hinges H1, H2 to the lid and body respectively. Both said hinges are formed by flexible strip material integral with the adjoining parts L3, B3 but the hinge H1 is preferably weaker than the hinge H2. The hinge H2 is shorter thanhinge H1, i.e. the bottom edge of part I is shorter that its top edge, but the free edges of extensions BE3 of the back of the body have medial edges in alignment with the ends of the hinge H2, so that end portions of the intermediate part- I overlap the extensions BE3 to ensure effective sealing of the packet in the hinge region.
This double hinge arrangement provides a compromise between the conflicting requirements of ease of opening or closing and sufficient access to the cigarettes in the packet, when open. It will be apparent from FIGURE 2 that in packets of this general type that the higher the hinge is placed, relative to the body extension, the less deformation of said extension and/or of the lid is required to permit the lid to move betweenv its open and closed positions; however, a high hinge position necessarily means a shallow lid and hence less exposure of the contents of the packet when the lid is open. With the double hinge shown, when opening of the packet commences, the hinge H1 first comes into play as it is weaker as hinge H1 is placed relatively on the packet, opening is easy for the reason mentioned above. However, in the final stages of opening the hinge H2 is also operated so that in the fully-open position good access to the contents of the packet is provided, as seen in FIGURE 3.
FIGURES 4 to 6 show a modified form of packet em.- bodying the invention, FIGURE 4 showing the packet as moulded and FIGURES 5 and 6 showing it in its final for-m. Many of the parts of this packet correspond to parts of the packet of FIGURES 1 to 3 and accordingly the same references are employed so that the general descrip tion of that packet may be applied to the'packet of FIG- URES 4 to 6.
In FIGURES 5 and 6, however, it will be seen that the double hinge has been eliminated, after moulding of the packet, by securing the intermediate part I of the rear wall by means of adhesive A to the extensions BE3a,
which are of somewhat different form to the extensions BB3 of the packet of FIGURES l to 3: the said extensions BESa, as seen in FIGURE 4, are larger and their medial edges ME are cut obliquely, so as to overlapthe intermediate part I of the rear wall, providing contacting areas for the application of the adhesive A (FIGURE 5).
In the packet of FIGURES 4 and 5, moreover, it should 'be noted that the lugs R are omitted. To present the undesirable freedom or floppiness of the lid when closed, previously mentioned, we provide in the packet of FIG- URES 4 and 5 a slight outward bend or burr OB at the edges of the body extensions BEl, BB2, BB3 as can readily be done during the moulding of the packet, e.g. by the cutting tools when the packet is drawn and cut from sheet material. It will be noted that the packet of FIGURES 4 and 5 has its body substantially covered with ribbing; this is also readily formed during whatever moulding process is employed and serves to stiffen the packet generally, permitting a desired stiffness to be attained with a smaller wall thickness than would be required with plain walls and hence promoting economy in material usage.
In both forms of packet shown, the presence of body extensions BB3, BEZ assists in avoiding edge-to-edge contact of the lid and body during closing of the lid should the body he held in such a manner as to distort it. The common form of distortion is caused by an excessively firm grip effective against diagonally opposed corners of the body, which causes the latter to assume the shape of a parallelogram when viewed from the lid end. The lid will generally be closed by one finger and remains undistorted, but as it moves over the extensions BB3, BEZ, one end wall of the lid will encounter the corner joining BB3 to BB2 and as the lid is further closed there will be a camming action, pushing out that end wall of the lid so that as the lid moves towards the closed position it progressively distorts into the same shape (in plan) as the body, over which it therefore engages without difliculty.
Lastly, in FIGURES 4 to 6, the front wall Ll of the lid differs from that of the packet of FIGURES 1 to 3 in being of double thickness, for extra stillness, as is desirable in view of the tendency for users to open such packets by prising up the said front wall L1.
As shown in FIGURE 4, the front wall L1 of the lid is moulded with a hinged connection FH to an extension flap EF, which is folded back inside the lid as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6 and secured to the front wall L1 by further adhesive A to give the desired double thickness. This also gives a pleasingly rounded edge to the front of the lid. Alternatively, the front of the lid may be made of greater thickness in the course of the moulding operation.
In either of the forms of packet shown, it will readily be appreciated that the presence of the intermediate part I of the rear wall provides space for a tool to keep the rear walls of the lid and body apart, and assist in the formation of hinges H1, H2, during moulding. However, such a tool must be of a certain minimum thickness, to give suflicient mechanical strength, and thus where the packet is to be of dimensions to receive cigarettes of normal size, the part I should be at least 3 mm. deep.
It will be appreciated from the above description that the invention provides a material improvement in packets of the hinged-lid or flip-top type. The scope of the invention is not limited to the specific examples described, in which various changes or modification may be made without discarding the essential features of the invention.
What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A one-piece packet, for articles such as cigarettes, formed of synthetic plastic material and comprising a lid hinged to one end of a body by means of a hinge integral with a rear wall of the lid and a rear wall of the body, said body having a projecting part and the lid being arranged to overlie said projecting part when the packet is closed, in which said hinge is a double hinge so that the rear wall of said packet has three portions, the highest and lowest of said portions being the rear walls of the lid and body respectively and the third portion being an intermediate portion of substantial depth having integral hinge connections both to the lid and to the body, said hinge connections being at parallel opposed edge portions of said intermediate portion.
2. A packet as claimed in claim 1, in which said projecting part of the body is of less thickness than the remainder of the front and sides of the body so that the outer surfaces of the lid and body are all flush when the packet is closed.
3. A packet as claimed in claim 1, in which the lid has a front wall of greater thickness than the remainder of the lid.
4. A packet as claimed in claim 3, in which the said front wall has an integral extension folded back against the inner face of said front wall.
'5. A packet as claimed in claim 4 in which said extension is adhesively secured to said inner face.
6. A packet as claimed in claim 1, in which the projecting part of the body has portions arranged to be engaged by the intermediate portion when the packet is closed, said intermediate portion being adhesively secured to said portions of said projecting part.
7. A packet as claimed in claim 1, in which the projecting part of the body is so arranged that it assists in guiding the lid on to the body during closing movement of said lid.
8. A packet as claimed in claim 7 in which the projecting part includes extensions of the side walls of the body and extensions of adjoining parts of the front and rear walls thereof, adjoining portions of the side and rear Wall extensions being connected by integral curved portions arranged to engage within the side walls of the lid during closing movement thereof.
9. A packet as claimed in claim 1 in which the intermediate port-ion of the rear wall has a depth of at least 3 mm.
10. A packet as claimed in claim 1, in which the walls are relatively thin and are formed with a ribbed or otherwise embossed configuration.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,099,382 7/1963 Talbert 229-44 3,167,104 1/1965 Wiley et al. -.5 3,173,600 3/1965 Michalka 229-44 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
G. T. HALL, Assistant Examiner,