US 3610466 A
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United States. Patent DISPENSING BOX WITH SLIDABLE MEMBER CONTAINING AN ABSORBENT MATERIAL 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
U.S.Cl 221/135, 221/266 Int. Cl 865d 83/04 Field of Search 221/89,
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-David A. Scherbel Attorney-Cushman, Darby & Cushman ABSTRACT: A flat box for dispensing pills one at a time has a thickness slightly greater than one pill. A partition is arranged parallel to one sidewall of the box and a dispensing slide is slidable from the exterior between the sidewall and partition, so one pill can pass through a gap in the partition and into a first recess in the member. A second recess in the slide is closed by a perforated cover, and contains an absorbent material. Air from the interior of the box is drawn through an opening in the partition and the perforated cover, as the slide is operated, and is dried by the absorbent material.
DISPENSING BOX WITH SLIDABLE MEMBER CONTAINING AN ABSORBENT MATERIAL The present invention relates to a dispensing box which can be used more particularly for the individual dispensing of pharmaceutical pills and tablets.
According to the present invention there is provided a flat dispensing box for pills having front and rear walls spaced by a distance such as to accommodate only one layer of pills to be dispensed and comprising an internal partition parallel to one sidewall of the box, a dispensing member slidable between the partition and said one side wall and having a thickness which is slightly less than the said distance between the front and rear walls of the box and being formed with a first recess in communication with the interior of the box, the shape and position of the recess being such that one, and only one, of the pills to be dispensed is able to lodge itself therein, the partition providing a gap of a width equal to the width of the recess to permit a pill to pass from the interior of the box into the recess, the said distance between the front and rear walls of the box being not greater than the width of the recess, the dispensing member being slidable by external means to a dispensing position in which the recess therein emerges from the box through an aperture, so as to free the pill from the recess, and in which the dispensing member blocks the gap, the dispensing member being formed with a second recess, a permeable cover being provided for the recess, such cover being spaced from the front wall and an opening being provided in the partition adjacent the front wall to provide communication between the interior of the box and the second recess via the permeable cover.
Such a dispensing box permits a very satisfactory action of the substances contained in the slide without any risk of soiling the articles to be dispensed, even if the absorbent material becomes powdered in use.
In order that the invention will be better understood, the following description is given, merely by way of example, of a preferred embodiment of the invention, reference being made to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 shows in perspective a box according to the invention, and for easy description it is shown as formed from a transparent material;
FIG. 2 shows in perspective the dispensing member itself; and
FIG. 3 is a section on the line III-Ill of FIG. 2.
The slide-type dispensing box for the individual dispensing of articles contained comprises a front wall I and a rear wall 2, which are spaced apart by sidewalls so as to be at a distance which is slightly greater than the thickness of the pills C to be dispensed, the sidewalls being formed of two parts 3 and 4 fitting into one another to leave free a slot 5 and an aperture 6. A partition 7 is arranged parallel to one of the sidewalls and has a height equal to the internal height of the box.
A dispensing member 8, the height of which is substantially equal to that of the box, slides between this partition and said one sidewall, its end closing the aperture 6. The member 8 is operated by an external slide button 9 extending through the slot 5. Formed adjacent the end of the dispensing member is a first recess 10, the dimensions of which are such that one of the objects to be dispensed, and one only is able to lodge itself therein. The recess lli may of course, if desired, have an upper or lower face, or both; it suffices that it be designed in such manner that only one of the objects to be dispensed can be lodged therein.
The slide is provided with a second recess 12. The partition 7 is formed with an opening 11, leaving a free space between the bottom of the opening and the front wall of the box. The second recess 12 is bounded by a bottom portion 16, boundary walls 16A, 16B and a permeable cover 17, the cover being at a lower level than the top of the walls 16A, 16B, and the wall of the recess opposite the partition being provided with a slot 14 which, in the condition of rest, is situated opposite the opening 11. A notch 15 is situated at the end of the member 8 remote from the first recess 10. A slight swelling of the partition fitting into a slight corresponding recess in the slide holds the latter in the closed position by the action of the elasticity of the two parts.
The cover 17 of the recess is made of thin sheeting which is not readily deformable and is made of a porous material. The porosity may result from the nature of the material used, or more simply can be due to the presence of perforations 13. Preferably, this cover is made of a resilient material and is engaged in grooves I8, 18' provided in the walls 16A, 168. The introduction of the cover is facilitated by bevelling 19 of the internal walls of the recess.
The box may be made of a plastics material normally used for this type of article, such as polystyrene, copolymers of polystyrene, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, polyvinyl chloride or acetochloride, cellulose esters such as cellulose acetate or any similar product which may be transparent, opaque, pigmented or nonpigmented.
When the box has been filled and closed, an object, e.g., a pill C, is caused to pass into the recess 10, by means of an appropriate movement. Then, by urging the button, the dispensing member is caused to slide, so that it blocks the space 10A remaining between the partition 7 and the wall, so as to prevent the discharge of other objects, whereas the object engaged in the recess 10 is expelled.
The design of the box permits the peripheral attachment of an adhesive tape ensuring complete fluid-tightness during storing.
The box may readily be provided with a lid and a base which are fitted together in such manner that they cannot be opened by unauthorized persons. In this case, the box may be provided with any device, such as a protuberance which locks the slide member before use, the said protuberance being ruptured the first time that the dispensing member is manipulated, thus giving the user the certainty that he is in fact the first person to utilize the box since the filling thereof. Furthermore, it is possible to provide a device for locking the movement of the dispensing member, by means of an appropriate arrangement; the result of this measure is a box which is especially useful for dangerous products.
Owing to the dispensing member 8 being constructed as indicated, the atmosphere of the box remains in communication at all times with the substance contained in the second recess 12. Then the member 8 is displaced to the dispensing position, the rear portion of the member which slides with an easy fit between the front and rear walls of the box, the partition and the sidewall, acts like a piston, the air situated above the cover of the member 8 being aspirated through the notch 15 and replaced by air coming from the interior of the box. When the member is put back into the position of rest, the air which had passed through the notch 15 is expelled towards the interior of the recess and thence towards the interior of the box. Each movement of the slide to dispense an article, therefore, causes a movement of the internal air which facilitates the action of the substance 20 contained within the recess.
By way of a variant, the partition may be of a lower height than that of the box, with the corresponding side of the dispensing member notched or of a slightly lower height than that of the box. The space thus left free fulfils the function of the slots and openings mentioned hereinbefore.
The box is made to the desired dimensions for receiving the intended number of articles. Its thickness depends on the nature of the material used and is determined in accordance with the usual rules.
EXAMPLE By way of example, a box whose wall thicknesses were about 2 mm. was produced by injection moulding from shockresistant polystyrene. Its dimensions overall were 72X78Xl4 mm., the internal height of the box being 6.5 mm.
was 50x14 mm. with a 0.8- mm. thick bottom portion 16. The sides had an internal groove which was 0.6 mm. in height and 0.6 mm. in width. The sides were bevelled towards the interior of the recess. The slot 5 at the partition side was 45 0.5 mm. and the opening 11 was 45 mm. X1 mm. The notch was 6 mm. in width and 1.0 mm. in depth.
The cover was in the form of a sheet of low-density polyethylene with a thickness of 0.5 mm., perforated with 40 perforations 0.5 mm. in diameter,
After filling the recess with silica gel colored with cobalt chloride, the cover was pressed into the groove, where it was held by its elasticity.
A box of this kind was able to preserve pills which were 13 mm. in diameter, 5 mm. in thickness, in a substantially dry atmosphere.
Adsorbent substances have been mentioned as the active substance which can be contained in the recess in the slide, the battle against moisture being in fact the most common problem. Therefore, silica gel is used in most cases. The use of a transparent and perforated recess cover makes it possible to monitor the changing of the color when such silica gels are pigmented with a cobalt salt. It will be apparent that it is possible to replace the silica gel by other substances either adsorbent or active, for example, gas-adsorbent substances such as carbon dioxide, antiseptic substances or the like, it being simply necessary for these substances to be capable of being put in such a state that they do not pass through the pores of the recess cover.
A rectangular box has been shown in the drawings; however, the invention can equally be applied to triangular boxes or boxes in the form of a sector of a circle, or completely circular boxes.
1. In a dispensing box for dispensing articles one by one and maintaining a controlled atmosphere in the box, said box comprising first and second parts interfitting one within the other, top and bottom walls, a sidewall, means defining a slot in said sidewall, an internal partition parallel to said sidewall, a dispensing member slidable between the'sidewall and the partition, the height of the dispensing member being substantially equal to the internal height of the box, an external button on said dispensing member, passing through said slot enabling said dispensing member to be moved to a dispensing position, a first recess formed in said dispensing member so as to communicate with the interior of the box, a gap in the partition having a width equal to the width of the first recess to permit an object to lodge in the recess, an aperture in the box through which the dispensing member passes, one wall defining the first recess normally closing said aperture, the first recess being exterior of the box when the dispensing member is moved to the dispensing position and a second recess in said dispensing member, the improvement consisting in:
a. an opening in said partition providing a free space between the bottom of said opening and said top wall;
b. boundary walls defining said second recess, the boundary wall adjacent said partition being spaced from the top wall to define a spacing communication with said openc, a permeable cover to said second recess spaced from said top wall; and
d. a notch formed in the boundary wall opposite said first recess.
2. A box as claimed in claim I and further comprising a groove formed in said boundary wall, said cover being a perforated member engaged in said groove.
3. A box as claimed in claim 2, wherein said boundary walls are bevelled towards said groove.