|Publication number||US3460863 A|
|Publication date||Aug 12, 1969|
|Filing date||May 2, 1968|
|Priority date||May 2, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3460863 A, US 3460863A, US-A-3460863, US3460863 A, US3460863A|
|Inventors||Schaich Wilbur A|
|Original Assignee||Owens Illinois Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (26), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
12 1969 w. A. SCHAICH 3,460,863
MULTIPACK CONTAINER CARRIER Original Filed Sept. 22, L965 3 Sheets-Sheet l Au 12, 1969 w. A. SCHAICH 3,460,863
MULTIPACK CONTAINER CARRIER Original Filed Sept. 22, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 5
INVENTOR. 1 LguR A,SCHP\\CH 2, 1969 w. A. SCHAICH 3,460,863
MULT IPACK CONTAINER CARRIER Original Filed Sept. 22, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 7
INVENTOR. w: LBUR ASCHP-(CH United States Patent 3,460,863 MUL'IIPACK CONTAINER CARRIER Wilbur A. Schaich, Maumee, Ohio, assignor to Owens- Illinois, Inc., a corporation of Ohio Original application Sept. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 489,239. Divided and this application May 2, 1968, Ser. No.
Int. Cl. 1366c 1/62 US. Cl. 294-871 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved multipack carrier for the unitary packaging of a plurality of containers is provided for packaging two aligned rows of bottles in a unitary package. Such package is commonly referred to as a six-pack carton.
This is a division of application Ser. No. 489,239, filed Sept. 22, 1965.
It has been quite common to merchandise a plurality of bottles, cans or jars in multipacks, generally consisting of six container units, although packs of two, four and eight units have also appeared in the market place. Since the multipack unit is intended for a single use, namely, to carry the containers from the point of purchase to the home or other point of consumption, as contrasted with a returnable case, it is obvious that the construction of any multipack carrier should employ a minimum of low cost material, and the manufacture thereof should encompass a minimum of fabricating operations so as to keep the cost of such disposable item to as low a level as possible. At the same time, current merchandising practices indicate that it is desirable for any multipack carrier to have sufiicient exposed area so as to carry the brand name, product identification and other advertising decoration. In the case of multipack carriers for narrow neck bottles, such as those utilized for packaging of beer and carbonated beverages, this requirement to carry a substantial advertising message in addition to serving its function of holding the bottle firmly in the desired multipack configuration, has rendered it quite difficult to produce an acceptable multipack carrier at an absolute minimum expense.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved multipack carrier for containers which can be fabricated at minimum expense and yet perform the combined function of firmly securing a desired number of containers in multipack relationship and providing a substantial exposed area of the carrier for carrying brand name, product identification and other advertising type decoration.
A specific object of this invention is to provide an improved multipack carrier for narrow-neck bottles formed by simple punching operations on a continuous tube of resilient plastic material.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description thereof, taken in conjunction with the annexed sheets of drawings on which there is shown several embodiments of this invention.
ON THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a multipack bottle carrier embodying this invention which is constructed to retain two bottles in a unitary package;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view showing the multipack carrier of FIGURE 1 in assembled relationship with respect to the bottles;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a modified bottle carrier for two bottles;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view showing the carrier of FIGURES 3 in assembled relationship to the bottles;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a multipack carrier embodying this invention which is specifically designed to retain six bottles in two side-by-side rows of three bottles each;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the carrier of FIG- URE 5 with the bottles assembled therein; and
FIGURE 7 is a schematic, elevational view, partly in section, of an apparatus for continuously forming multipack carriers of the present invention.
AS SHOWN ON THE DRAWINGS In its simplest form, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a multipack carrier 10 embodying this invention comprises a tubular length of resilient thermoplastic material, such as polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride or any similar plastic which can be readily fabricated into tubular form by extrusion processes and which has a raw material cost sufficiently low so as to permit the use of such material in a multipack carrier application. In the modification of FIG. 1, a plurality of pairs of opposed apertures 11 and 12 are respectively punched in the wall of tube 10 with all of the apertures 11 being axially aligned and diametrically opposite to the axially aligned apertures 12. One set of such apertures, for example the apertures 11, are proportioned to snugly engage the bottom portions of a container such as a bottle B shown in FIG. 2, while the other set of apertures 12 are proportioned to snugly engage the top portions of a container, such as the neck portions of the bottle B.
In the modification of FIG. 3, the opposed pairs of apertures 11 and 12 are peripherally spaced, Thus, in either form of the carrier, when a bottle is inserted into each of the opposed pairs of apertures 11 and 12, they will be firmly secured therein, in side by side abutting relationship provided that the normal distance between the opposed apertures 11 and 12 is somewhat less than the distance between the two points of engagement of such apertures with the bottle B, so that the wall portions 13 or 13a of the plastic tube 10 lying between apertures 11 and 12 are resiliently stressed by the insertion of a bottle therein. Similarly, the axial spacing between the successive apertures 12 is somewhat less than the minimum spacing between the necks of bottles B when they are disposed in side-by-side contacting relationship so that, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, the insertion of the second bottle B in the second pair of apertures 11 and 12 will result in a stretching of the wall portions 14 or 14a of the plastic tube 10 lying between the necks of bottles.
Bottle B may, if desired, have a rib R to retain aperture 11 at the desired engaging position on the bottom portion of bottle B. However, the web portion 11a of the plastic tube will generally engage the rip defined between the adjacent bottles and hold the carrier in proper vertical position relative to the bottles. In this manner the inserted bottles are held in snug side-by-side relationship by the surrounding plastic tube 10 and it will be noted that a substantial portion of the stretched wall portions 13 or 13a of the plastic tube 10 extends over the sides of the inserted bottles B and likewise the stretched wall portions 14 or 14a extend between the bottle necks, allowing more than adequate space for imprinting the carrier 10 with brand name, product identification or other advertising messages.
In the event it is desired that the carrier retain a pack of bottles in side-by-side rows, to form the popular sixpack, then the carrier construction shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is utilized. In this embodiment, a plastc tube 15 is provided with two axially extending sets of three opposed pairs of apertures 16 and 17. The apertures 16 are proportioned to snugly engage the bottom portions of the containers B, while the apertures 17 are proportioned to snugly engage the top or neck portion of the containers. The vertical spacing (radial spacing with respect to tube 15) between each aperture of the pair of opposed apertures is proportioned to be somewhat less than the actual distance existing between the points on the container respectively engaged by the apertures 16 and 17 and the horizontal spacing (axial spacing with respect to the tube 15) between each pair of adjacent apertures 17 is proportioned to be somewhat less than the spacing of the neck portions of the bottles B when disposed in side-by-side contacting relationship. Thus, when six bottles are respectively inserted in the six opposed pairs of apertures 16 and 17, the six-pack package shown in FIG. 6 results.
Again, the remaining wall portions of the plastic tube provide more than adequate space for carrying brand name, product identification or advertising decoration. It will be understood, of course, that the printing or decorating of the plastic tubes is accomplished prior to insertion of the bottles and, in fact, can be accomplished by flattening the tube to make the printing or decorating a routine operation. If desired, finger holes 18 (FIG. 6) may be punched in tube at a position intermediate neck apertures 17 to provide a convenient means for grasping the multipack.
Referring now to FIG. 7, there is schematically illustrated an apparatus for continuously and economically producing multipack carriers of the type heretofore described. For simplicity of illustration, only the manufacture of the type carrier shown in FIG. 1 will be described, but it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that mere multiplication of the aperture punching mechanism can be applied to produce carriers of the type shown in FIGS. 3 and 5.
In FIG. 7, the output of a conventional thermoplastic extruder 20 having a plasticizing screw 20a feeds suitable molten, thermoplastic material 21 into the inlet opening 22a of a tube extrusion die 22. Die 22 defines an annular discharge opening 22b which is in communication with inlet opening 22a. While the annular die opening 22b is shown to be of circular configuration, and thus produces a cylindrical tube T of plastic material, it will be understood that it could be readily constructed to have an oval configuration, if an oval cross section carrier is desired.
A hollow central support tube 23 is provided projecting axially beyond the die orifice 22b to provide a mounting for a hollow, chilled tube former 24. Suitable fluid pipes 23a and 23b are provided within the hollow interior of support tube 23 to provide for circulation of a suitable cooling fluid within the tube former 24.
A blanking die or mandrel is mounted on the bottom of tube former 24 by a suitable support bar 24a, and is respectively provided on its opposed surfaces with female die recesses 25a and 25b which are respectively proportioned to cut recesses in the wall of the tubing T corresponding to the bottle receiving recesses 11 and 12 respectively of the finished multipack carrier 10 of FIG. 1.
A pair of suitably driven rollers 28 are mounted on each side of support bar 24a and cooperate to flatten tubing T to conform to blanking die 25. A pair of hollow male dies 26 and 27 are suitably mounted in cooperating relationship with the female die recesses 25a and 25b and are radially reciprocated by a suitable actuating mechanism (not shown) to punch apertures in the wall of the extruded plastic tubing T corresponding to the apertures 11 and 12 of the finished carrier shown in FIG. 1. The pieces of plastic punched out of tubing T are accumulated in hollow dies 26 and 27 and periodically removed therefrom by conventional means (not shown). The punched tubing then passes between a pair of drive rollers 35, which, in cooperation with rollers 28, also function to pull the plastic tubing T over the tube former 24 and across the surface of blanking die 25. The punched tubing may then be wound up in roll form on a mandrel 36.
To strengthen the resulting carrier, it may be desirable to utilize a resilient thermoplastic material exhibiting stress orientation characteristics. When such material is employed, it is obvious that a desired degree of axial prestressing may be imparted to the formed tube by controlling the speed of the drive rolls 35 and 36 with respect to the rate of extrusion. Additionally, a desired degree of radial prestressing may be imparted to the tube by adding a tube expanding section 24b to the end of forming die 24.
Since the punched tubing T is in the form of a continuous flattened web, it is obvious that such tubing may be conveniently fed into any conventional flat printing or decorating machine to receive the desired decoration on the wall portions of the tubing intermediate the punched out apertures. The last step of manufacture of the finished carrier 10 obviously comprises a simple shearing operation to cut the apertured tubing T into lengths having the desired number of apertures which is required for the particular multipack application.
It will be evident to those skilled in the art that modifications of this invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure.
What is claimed is:
1. A multipack container carrier comprising an endless tube formed from a resilient plastic, said tube having a first row of apertures in its wall respectively adapted to snugly engage the bottom portions of a row of containers, said tube also having a second row of apertures in its wall radially spaced from, but respectively aligned with, the first row apertures, said second row apertures being respectively adapted to snugly engage the top portions of the containers in the row.
2. A multipack bottle carrier comprising an endless tube formed from a resilient plastic, said tube having a first row of apertures in its wall respectively adapted to snugly engage the bottom portions of a row of bottles, said tube also having a second row of apertures in its wall radially spaced from, but respectively aligned with, the first row apertures, said second row apertures being respectively adapted to snugly engage the neck portions of the bottles in the row.
3. A multipack container carrier comprising a tube of resilient plastic formation, said tube having a first axially aligned row of apertures in its wall respectively adapted to snugly engage the bottom portions of a row of containers, said tube also having a second axially aligned row of apertures in its wall radially spaced from, but respectively aligned with, the first row apertures, said second row apertures being respectively adapted to snugly engage the top portions of the containers in the row, the spacing between said first and second row of apertures and the spacing between adjacent apertures in each row being respectivelyless than the corresponding distances when containers are respectively inserted in said apertures, whereby the remaining wall portions of said tube will be resiliently distorted by insertion of containers in said apertures.
4. A multipack bottle carrier comprising a tube of resilient plastic formation, said tube having a first axially aligned row of apertures in its wall respectively adapted to snugly engage the bottom portions of a row of containers, said tube also having a second axially aligned row of apertures in its wall radially spaced from, but respectively aligned with the first row apertures, said second row apertures being respectively adapted to snugly engage the neck portions of the row of containers, the spacing between said first and second row of apertures 5 6 and the spacing between adjacent apertures in each row References Cited being respectively less than the corresponding distances UNITED STATES PATENTS when containers are res ectivel inserted in said a er- P y p 2,823,064 2/1958 Toensmeier 29487.2
tures, whereby the remaining Wall portions of said tube will be resilientl distorted b insertion of containers in Said apertures. y y 5 ANDRES H. NIELSEN, Primary Examiner
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||294/87.2, 206/427|