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Publication numberUS3400878 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 10, 1968
Filing dateSep 2, 1966
Priority dateSep 2, 1966
Also published asDE1611628A1
Publication numberUS 3400878 A, US 3400878A, US-A-3400878, US3400878 A, US3400878A
InventorsJr William C Heller, Donald W Davis
Original AssigneeHeller
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carton blank and commodity container
US 3400878 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 1968 w. c. HELLER, JR. ETAL 3,400,878

CARTON BLANK AND COMMODITY CONTAINER Filed Sept. 2, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 P 1968 w. c. HELLER, JR. ETAL 3,400,878

CARTON BLANK AND COMMODITY CONTAINER Filed Sept. 2, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 4 JWeY/Zm Quiz/m, Kfi /Zfr: z aDw/a/d 2/ {Om/a JIECWf/T? United States Patent 3,400,878 CARTON BLANK AND COMMODITY CONTAINER William C. Heller, Jr., 1840 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. 53202, and Donald W. Davis, Milwaukee, Wis.;

said Davis assignor to said Heller Filed Sept. 2, 1966, Ser. No. 576,959 10 Claims (Cl. 22937) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A carton blank and a carton produced therefrom having a predetermined area in at least one panel defined by a thermo'formed portion which is shaped to extend laterally beyond the plane of the panel.

Background It has become relatively common practice in the packaging industry to combine paperboard or the like with plastic coverings in various manners. For example, this sheets or films of plastic have heretofore been used to cover voids formed in paperboard blanks as by die cutting, the blanks being then assembled into boxes or cartons having transparent windows. In such cases, the window covering is generally applied to the carton blank at the converting plant, and is adhered in place as by means of an adhesive or by heat sealing. For optimum strength and appearance, it is also common practice to secure the window covering to the interior surface of the carton wall or walls. In such prior instances, the window coverings span the void areas in flat condition and generally afford relatively poor visibility due to the lack of third dimension in the windowed areas.

It has also been heretofore proposed to preform relatively thick plastic sheet stock to predetermined shapes with the aid of heat, and to then combine the preformed and self-supported plastic bubble or blister with a flat paperboard backing sheet. In such instances, the commodity packaged is generally of a self-sustaining nature, such as items of hardware, sporting goods, cosmetic containers, tooth brushes, or the like. In packaging the same, the commodity is positioned on the cardboard or paperboard sheet, and the transparent plastic bubble, pre-shaped to accommodate or conform to the commodity, is placed thereover and marginally secured to the backing sheet as by means of adhesive, heat sealing or staples. While these blisters or bubble packs have enjoyed good commercial acceptance and provide good visibility of the packaged product, the use thereof is undesirably limited to products which are self-supported and capable of being packaged on a flat base, and the assembly operations must all be performed during the packaging operations.

In a variation of the blister or bubble pack, it has been proposed to heat soften the plastic sheet and to .mold the same about and into direct contact with the article or articles being pack-aged as by means of a vacuum. Such socalled'skin packages possess generally the same advantages as the blister packs with regard to protection and visibility, but-the same disadvantages with respect to assembly and product restriction are likewise present.

'1 It is, therefore, another object of this invention to provide an improved'commodity package and method ofpro ducing the same which obviates the aforesaid disadvantages. I

Another object of the invention is to provide animproved carton which is provided with one or more void areas of predetermined shape covered by a preformed outwardly or inwardly extending closure of predetermined curvature and configuration.

3,400,878 Patented Sept. 10, 1968 A further object of the invention is to provide an improved paperboard container havingone or more window Openings of any desired configuration covered by a thermoformed plastic sheet molded to represent a desired object or objects and applicable to the paperboard base either in a continuous or discontinuous process.

An additional object of the present invention is ,to provide an improved carton formed of paperboard or the like and provided with one or more transparent or opaque bubble covered openings. of any desired predetermined configuration, the bubble coverings projecting either inwardly or outwardly from the plane of the carton wall containing the same.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved method of and apparatus for the efiicient production of cartons having bubble 'windows in a continuous manneran'd at low cost.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.

The drawings A clear conception of the improvements as embodied in typical commodity cartons and of the method and typical apparatus for producing such cartons in a continuous manner may be had by referring to the drawings accompanying and forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate the same or similar parts in the several views.

FIGURE 1 is a more-or-less diagrammatic view showing the several steps of a continuous in-line production method of forming the novel containers by means of simple apparatus;

FIGURE 2 is a plan view of a typical container blank produced by the method and apparatus of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a transverse section through the blank of FIGURE 2 and taken along the line 3-3 thereof;

FIGURE 4 is an end view of a container assembled from the blank of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of another typical container partially assembled and provided with the improved bubble shaped window coverings in adjacent .side walls;

' FIGURE 6 is a part-sectional end view of the container of FIGURE 5 in collapsed condition to show the manner in which the bubbles are nested;

FIGURE 7 is another perspective view of a partially assembled container similar to that of FIGURE 5 but having bubble covered windows in opposite side walls;

FIGURE 8 is a part-sectional end view of the collapsed carton of FIGURE 7; and

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of a carton having a preformed plastic covering over an end of the carton.

Detailed description While the invention :has been shown andldescribed herein as embodied in a carton orcartons of a particular type produced by means of a continuous in-line process and with the preformed plastic coverings being of particular configurations, it is not intendedor desired to thereby unnecessarily limit the invention by reason "of such specific embodiments. It is also contemplated that certain descriptive terminology used herein shall be given the broadest possible interpretation consistent with the disclosure, and wherever the term. bubble is employed herein, it is intended that such reference is to either a convex or concave covering for the void area over which it is applied.

In accordance with the present invention, a plastic sheet is thermoformed and .is adhered or attached in position over a Window opening in a paperboard structure such as a carton, box, tube or the like. The plastic sheet is thermoformed by heat softening the same within the window area or a portion of the window area and then drawing the heated plastic into a cavity mold by means of vacuum or air pressure. The plastic covering may be formed to conform to the shape of a portion of the packaged article or it may be molded to represent any desired object or form. In any case, the plastic covering may be advantageously used to provide visibility and sales appeal and it may also be employed for purposes of decoration, advertising or functionality as well ,as sales appeal.

The invention also contemplates provision of improved means for manufacturing carton blanks in which one or more of the carton panels carries a shaped plastic form, the form being adhered to the carton blank by any suitable means whereby its projecting flange is attached to the edges of an opening which has been die cut or otherwise formed in the carton blank. It is preferable to adhere the flange of the plastic covering to the inside wall of the carton, and to facilitate storage and handling, it is advantageous to use a shape which permits nesting. Also, the plastic form or forms may project either inwardly or outwardly from the plane of the carton wall, and these coverings may be either opaque, translucent, or transparent. It is also contemplated that the plastic coverings may be thermoformed in a continuous process at the converting plant, or these coverings may be preformed and applied to the carton blanks either at the converting plant or in line with the filling operation at the packaging plant, or they could also be thermoformed in line with the filling operation.

Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, a typical production line is illustrated. which would be especially suitable for the manufacture of carton blanks having thermoformed window coverings applied thereto as a part of the converting operation. In this view, a continuous sheet of paperboard is drawn from supply roll 14 as by means of cooperating draw rolls 16, 17. The paperboard may be supplied either with or without a coating such as polyethylene or the like dependent upon the intended use of the cartons. The cardboard stock has voids or openings formed therein as by means of cooperating cutting dies 18, 19, and these openings are thereafter covered by application of a plastic sheet or sheets over the window openings. The plastic sheeting may be supplied frm a suitable supply roll 21 to a pair of cooperating cut off. rolls 22, 23, from which the successive sections of plastic sheetingare applied to the advancing paperboard 15 by means of an applicator 24 having revolving applicator shoes 25, 26. Suitable plastics for use in thermoforming include, but are not limited to, cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate butyrate, polyethlene, oriented polystyrene, and rigid or flexible vinyls.

The applicator shoes 25, 26 preferably operate in cooperation with heat sealing bars 30 with the successive plastic sheets being adhered to the paperboard by heat sealing to a suitably coated or treated portion of the board. However, adhesives may also be used in place of heat sealing, in which case the bars 30 are replaced by suitable adhesive applicators. From the applicator shoes, the coverings are advanced with the base paperboard sheet 15 tothe draw rolls 16, 17 which also apply pressure to the composite portions of the web to firmly seal the plastic coverings in position.

The paperboard web 15 with the plastic sheets 20 covering the successive openings or voids is then passed over a large diameter roll 32 having cavity molds 33 recessed in its peripheral face. The cavity molds 33 communicate with a source of vacuum through ports or passageways 36 which in turn communicate with a stationary arcuate vacuum arbor 37 communicating through line 38 with a source of vacuum.

As the large diameter roll 32 is rotated, the composite web 15, 20 is maintained in close contact with the face of the roll by means of continuous steel tapes 40 or the like traversing rolls 41, 42, 43, 44 so as to press against the edges of the composite web. The mold roll 32 is synchronized with the window cutting die 18, 19 so that the plastic covered windows are positioned over the successive cavity molds 33. A radiant heat oven 50 is also provided adjacent to the peripheral face of the roll 32, and as the composite web 15, 20 passes beneath the radiant heat oven 50, the plastic window coverings are heated to a suitable softness for molding purposes.

As each softened window area is brought opposite the vacuum arbor 37 after having been heat-softened by the heater 50, a vacuum is applied to the respective cavity mold 33, thus drawing the plastic down into the mold. As each plastic sheet makes contact with the cold metal of the mold into which it is drawn, it immediately cools and hardens. Advancement of the paperboard web then is continued beyond and away from the peripheral face of the mold roll 32, and the paperboard web pulls the plastic covering sheets out of the respective molds, the plastic sheets maintaining the shape of the molds 33 as they are withdrawn.

The paperboard web with the thermoformed coverings secured in place over the void areas is then cut and scored, the cutting and scoring operations being performed in a customary manner as by cooperating rolls 52, 53 to provide successive carton blanks 60 such as shown in FIG- URES 2 and 3. The completed carton blanks 60 with the thermoformed bubble coverings 61 marginally secured to the carton to thus cover the openings or voids 62 therein are then stacked and are readied for shipment to the packaging plant, and the product is thereafter inserted and the carton assembled as shown in FIGURE 4.

While the carton of FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 is shown as having only a single rectangular opened formed in One of its side walls and covered by a thermoformed plastic covering of rectangular configuration protruding outwardly from the plane of the carton Wall, the openings may be formed in the top and/ or bottom panels or in adjacent or opposite side walls, and the openings and coverings may be of any desired configuration. For example, as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, a carton 65 may be provided with correspondingly shaped openings or voids 66, 67 in adjacent side walls 68, 69, and the opaque, translucent or transparent plastic bubble coverings 70, 71 may be formed to extend outwardly and inwardly respectively from the plane of the wall to which each is secured. Thus, by properly locating the openings in corresponding areas of their respective side walls, the bubble-like coverings will permit nesting when the carton is collapsed as shown particularly in FIGURE 6.

As shown in FIGURES 7 and 8, the openings and/or voids in the carton walls may be of any desired configuration, and may, for example simulate Christmas trees or the like to designate special seasons. In these views, the carton 75 is formed with the openings 76, 77 in opposing side walls 78, 79 with the thermoformed plastic coverings again protruding outwardly and inwardly respectively from the plane of the respective side wall. Thus, with proper positioning of the side wall openings so that they are alined when the carton is collapsed, the plastic coverings 80, 81 will permit nesting as shown specifically in FIGURE 8.

There are also certain advantages to locating the thermoformed window covering in the top or bottom of the foldable carton, and an example of such carton is given in FIGURE 9. In this figure, the carton 85 has the end closure flap 86 thereof formed with an aperture or void 87 of desired configuration, and this void is covered by an upwardly extending thermoformed bubble 88. By thus locating the window, nesting and stacking of the cartons is facilitated, and by forming the bubble of transparent material, extremely good content visibility results. Also, the window covering may be designed to perform as a pouring spout, or it could be shaped to simulate the shape of a bottle or the like,

It is contemplated that-the window areacoverings may be formed from plasicsheets or patches suitably secured to the paperboard stock in the apertured or open areas, or theymay be formed of plastic which has been extruded over-the voids, in any event, the low cost of shipping foldable cartons, as opposed to the space required by the bulk of rigid Containers is maintained, and the resultant product is novel, attractive and appealing to purchasers of the packaged product. l

The type of container to which this invention pertains can be used for a varied product line and may include liquids, candies, toys, powdered or granular products or the like. As indicated, it is possible to draw shape the window coverings into ears, noses, product shapes or the like. While it is anticipated that for most applications it would be desired to use a plastic which is transparent for the Window covering so that the packaged product is visible, it is, nevertheless, anticipated that in some applications it might be highly desirable to use an opaque or decorated plastic form which might be made to coordinate with the decorations or printing on the carton. For example, a carton for use during the Christmas season might carry printing to represent a Santa Claus with a plastic form on one wall of the carton shaped and decorated as by distortion printing, to represent the face of Santa Claus with the plastic bubble in the opposite wall of the carton being transparent and in the form of a Santa Claus pack which permits the packaged contents to be viewed.

While the covering for the void areas in the carton blanks has been shown herein as being secured to one surface of the carton stock adjacent to each void, a covering may be applied to both surfaces of the carton stock adjacent to each void area so as to give greater strength to the final carton. It should also be understood that the void areas and the coverings therefor may be located in any position on the carton blank, not necessarily a side wall or end panel, and in some instances, the covered void may be formed in an area which falls entirely or partially within a crease or fold in the finally assembled carton. It is also conceivable that the windows in the adjacent or pposite walls of each carton such as illustrated in FIG- URES to 8 inclusive may be formed simultaneously in a single mold with the suction being applied to the softened plastic covering in both void areas of each carton blank at the same time, in which case a suitable agent may be utilized in order to prevent adherence of the softened plastic covers applied to overlying walls. Furthermore, in the illustrations of FIGURES 5 to 8 inclusive, it is contemplated that the inwardly protruding bubble be formed in this manner primarily for nesting purposes as illustrated, but such inwardly directed bubble may be forced outwardly by suitable pressure application after assembly and immediately before or during the packaging process. This concept is illustrated in FIGURE 8 wherein the initial position of the bubble covering 81 is shown in full lines with the coveringbeing illustrated in its final position by means of broken lines. Depending upon the nature of the carton stock utilized, it is additionally contemplated that the wall of the base sheet may be partially molded along with the covering material, and such structures could be made with paperboard stocks which inherently contain a considerable amount of plastic such as Geon which is capable of being formed with heat and pressure.

Again, with specific regard to the embodiment of FIG- URES 5 to 8 inclusive, it will be noted that not only is provision made for the nesting of the bubble coverings in collapsed condition of the cartons, but these cartons are also nestable for most convenient packaging and shipment when filled. In assembled and filled condition, the cartons may be stacked side by side with the outwardly directed bubble window 70 of FIGURE 6, for example, nested Within the inwardly directed bubble window 71 of the next adjacent carton, thus conserving space and requiring only such additional space as is necessary for one outwardly directed bubble window for each row of cartons.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are" contemplated as being within the scope of r the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter that is regarded as the invention:

We claim:

1. A carton blank comprising, abase sheet scored to provide side and end panels, said sheet having void areas formed in corresponding predetermined areas of adjacent panels, and a sheet of thermoplastic material covering each of said void areas and secured to said base sheet about the voids, said thermoplastic covering sheet having the portions thereof which span the voids shaped to extend laterally beyond the plane of said base sheet.

2. A carton blank according to claim 1, wherein the spanning portions of the thermoplastic covering sheets extend beyond the plane of the base sheet in opposite directions.

3. A carton blank comprising, a base sheet scored to provide side and end panels, said sheet having void areas formed in corresponding predetermined areas of opposite panels, and a sheet of thermoplastic material covering each of said void areas and secured to said base sheet about the voids, said thermoplastic covering sheet having the portions thereof which span the voids shaped to extend laterally beyond the plane of said base sheet.

4. A carton blank according to claim 3, wherein the thermoplastic covering sheets extend beyond the plane of the base sheet in opposite directions.

5. A carton blank comprising, a base sheet scored to provide side and end panels, said sheet having an unobstructed void area formed in at least one panel thereof, and a sheet of thermoplastic material covering the void area and secured to said base sheet about the void to provide the sole covering thereof, said thermoplastic covering sheet being at least partially transparent and selfsustainable and having the portion thereof which spans the void shaped to extend laterally beyond the plane of said base sheet.

6. A carton blank comprising, a base sheet scored to provide side and end panels, said sheet having an unobstructed void area formed in at least one panel thereof, and a sheet of thermoplastic material covering the void area and secured to said base sheet about the void to provide the sole covering thereof, said thermoplastic covering sheet being self-sustainable with the portion thereof which spans the void-shaped to extend laterally beyond the plane of said base sheet and being distortable to permit forceful distention thereof from a position wherein it extends laterally beyond the plane of the base sheet on either side thereof.

7. A carton blank comprising, a sheet scored to provide side and end panels, said sheet having a self-sustaining thermoformed portion of given shape extending laterally beyond the plane of said sheet in one direction in a predetermined area of one of said panels, and having a self-sustaining thermoformed portion of the same given shape extending laterally beyond the plane of said sheet in the opposite direction in a corresponding predetermined area of another of said panels.

8. A commodity container comprising, a carton defined by cooperating side and end panels, one of said panels being formed with a self-sustaining thermoformed portion of given shape extending laterally outwardly beyond the plane of said one panel in a predetermined area thereof, and the opposite panel being formed with a self-sustaining thermoformed portion of the same given shape extending laterally inwardly beyond the plane of said opposite panel in a corresponding predetermined area thereof.

9. A commodity container according to claim 8, wherein the self-sustaining outwardly extending portion is formed in an end panel and the self-sustaining inwardly extending portion is formed in the opposite end panel.

10. A commodity container according to claim 8, wherein the self-sustaining outwardly extending portion is formed in a side panel and the self-sustaining inwardly extending portion is formed in the opposite side panel.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS PfOhl 20678 Zastrow 206-44.11X'R Crane 20645.31

Crane 20645.31 Greenbaum 20645. 31XR Gulliver 206 45.31 XR DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4928877 *Oct 14, 1988May 29, 1990Impact International Pty, Ltd.Method of making a laminated tubular body
US5012972 *Oct 27, 1989May 7, 1991Longview Fibre CompanyPaperboard container with content indicating window
US5031826 *Feb 9, 1990Jul 16, 1991Thorsten SeufertRound container intended for dispatch in the empty state and method of making same
US5034080 *Mar 8, 1990Jul 23, 1991Impact International Pty. Ltd.Method of making a laminated tubular body
US5083994 *May 28, 1991Jan 28, 1992Thorsten SeufertRound container intended for dispatch in the empty state and method of making same
US5100369 *Aug 24, 1990Mar 31, 1992International Paper CompanySystem for continuous high speed application of fitments to carton blanks
US5364333 *Jul 15, 1993Nov 15, 1994Gulf States Paper CorporationTamper evident consumer product package, windowed flat blank used therein, and method and apparatus for making the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/162.6, 493/380, 493/905, 493/85, 493/944, 493/393
International ClassificationB31B1/82, B65D5/42
Cooperative ClassificationB31B2201/9076, Y10S493/905, B65D5/4204, B31B1/82, Y10S493/944
European ClassificationB65D5/42B, B31B1/82