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Publication numberUS3613940 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1971
Filing dateMar 31, 1970
Priority dateMar 31, 1970
Publication numberUS 3613940 A, US 3613940A, US-A-3613940, US3613940 A, US3613940A
InventorsDavis Paul
Original AssigneeSweetheart Plastics
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slice feeding lid
US 3613940 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,353,708 11/1967 [72] Inventor Paul Davis Swampscott, Mass. 24,280

[21] Appl.No.

5253mm git 1 21 31 9 7 1 ,502,206 3/1970 l'lultberg et al.

[73] Assignee Sweetheart Plasticshm 3,520,441 7/1970 Fitzgerald.....................

Wilmington, Mass.

Primary ExaminerGeorge T. Hall Attorney-Wolf, Greenfield, Hieken & Sacks [54] SLICE FEEDING LID 10 Claims 8 Drawing Figs ABSTRACT: A slice feeding lid designed for use in automatic handling equipment and having a closure wall with a central portion offset from the plane of the periphery of the central portion and joined thereto by a camming surface which cooperates with an identical adjacent lid in a stack to cause the stacked lids to displace axially when the bottom lid is sliced from the stack.

PATENTEDHBT 19 an 3,613,940

SHEET 10F 3 FIG. I

FIG. 3

INVENTOR PAUL DAVIS ATTORNEYS FIG. 4

PATENTEDUBT 19 |97| SHEET 2 OF 3 3, 13,940

HQ F0 FIG. 5

x I Q I V 1 2 mm a A ATTORNEYS PATENTEnnm 19 um sum 30F, 3 3.613.940

FIG. 6

FIG. 7

FIG. 8

INVENTOR PAUL DAVIS ATTORNEYS 1 SLICE resume LII) This invention relates to plastic lids, and more particularly comprises a new and improved disposable one-piece coverall plastic lid such: as those used with food containers filled on automatic filling machines.

At the present time it is common practice to use coverall lids made of plastic in combination with food containers filled on automatic. filling equipment. The machines presently available to fill the containers and subsequently capv them include automatic lid-handling mechanisms which slice feed the lids in stack form one at a time to acapping station. In such mechanisms the lids are stacked in nested relationship, and stacking facilities are designed into the lids in an effort to avoid compacting of the lids, which makes them difficult to separate. Nevertheless, because the lids are often made of relatively thin plastic material, they are quite flexible and distort readily, and they frequently compact together during. shipment or in the magazine of the lid-handling mechanism. When lids are in a compacted state while in the magazine, the feeding mechanism cannot separate the lids properly, and the mechanism jams and special attention is required of the operator. In certain prior art devices, special mechanisms such as revolving stack posts and motor-driven discs are built into the dispensers to create agitationin the stack. These mechanisms are expensive and are not altogether satisfactory.

One object of this invention is to provide a coverall lid capable of being handled in automatic lid-feeding mechanisms and which itself serves to agitate the lids in the magazine as each lid is fed so as to separate compacted lids and prevent additional compacting.

Another object of this invention is to provide a coverall lid which is suitable for use with so-called rim-stacking containers so as to establish a standard fill depth for the container when the bottom of the stacking facility is substantially above the normal fill height.

Another object of this invention is to provide means for enabling a single container to be used for different fill volumes.

FIG. I is a cross-sectional elevation view showing a lid and container constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 1 showing another container and lid constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional elevation showing a lid magazine and shuttle feed mechanism containing a stack of lids shown in FIG. I;

FIG. 4 is a cross'sectional view similar to FIG. 3 and showing the manner in which the lowermost lid in the magazine is sliced from the stack and the effect of that action on other lids in the magazine;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4 and showing the mechanism filled with lids of the FIG. 2 embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of two lids in nested relationship that comprise another embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 7 is a view of the lids shown in FIG. 6 compacted in jammed relation; and

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional elevation view showing yet another embodiment of lid and container constructed in accordance with this invention.

In FIG. l a container It) and lid 112 are shown with the lid seated on the container rim in sealed relationship. The container which may be of any configuration is shown in the drawing to include a bottom wall 14 and a sidewall 16 integrally joined at the lower corner 18. The upper portion 18 of the sidewall l6 of the container is providedwith a lid seat 20 in the form of a shoulder which extends outwardly from the plane of sidewall 16. The upper margin of the sidewall 16 is provided with a rolled rim 22, and the container is designed to nest with other identical containers with the lower surface of shoulder 20 supported on the crown of the rim 22 of the next lower container, to prevent the containers from compacting, in accordance with well known techniques in the container art.

The lid 12 includes a closure wall 24 having a central portion 26 and a surrounding peripheral portion 28 joined by camming surface 20. Preferably the diameter of the central portion 26 of the lid exceeds the diameter of the bottom wall 14 of the container to form a seat when filled containers are stacked one on the other. The lid also contains a sidewall 32 joined to the peripheral portion 28 by bead 34 which is designed to cooperate with the lid seat 20 and/or inclined intermediatewall 35 of the upper portion 18 of the container to form a seal betweenthe container andLIid. As will be explained more fully below, the head 34 also enhances nesting of identical lids of the type shown in a magazine, shipping carton, etc.

An outwardly extending flange 36 is connected to the top of sidewall 32 of the lid at comer 33, and a skirt 40 is joined to the outer edge 42 of the flange 36 and extends downwardly to the plane of the peripheral portion 28 of the closure wall 24. To seat the lid as shown in FIG. 1, the bead 34 is snapped by the inner edge 44 of the rim 22, and because the inner diameter of the rim 22 is less than. the outer diameter of the bead 34, once in place it remains in place unless substantial force is applied to remove it.

It is to be understood that to effect a seal about the container mouth the peripheral portion 28 of the closure wall 24 of the lid need not be seated on the shoulder 20. The height of the sidewall 32 of the lid may be substantially shorter axially than the axial distance between the crown of the rim 22 and the shoulder 20, in which case the bead will not sit on the shoulder. The bead 34 normally should bear against the inclined wall 35 between the shoulder 20 and the rim 22, to effect the seal, which may or may not be supplemented by contact between shoulder 20 and peripheral portion 28.

When the lid is on the container, it will be noted that the central portion 26 extends substantially below the shoulder 20 so as to give the lid a depth d which is greater than the shoulder depth s. There are several desirable features which flow from this particular configuration. The. food packaging industry has established a more or less standard lid depth which makes a most attractive package. That is, the cylindrical wall of the lid established by the rim-covering structure provides an esthetically pleasing appearance by giving the container the impression of strength and mass. However, with containers designed as rim stackers with lid seats very close to the top, less than the desired depth is provided if the closure wall of the lid is confined substantially to the plane of the lid seat shoulder 20. And it is desirable to reduce the axial extent between the rim crown and the lid seat 20 so as to reduce the stack height of a given number of containers when nested together, which obviously reduces shipping costs. Thus, the invention serves opposing interests by allowing the axial height between the rim and the lid seat 20 to be reduced while preserving the desired depth of the lid between the central portion 26 and the flange 36.

Another important advantage of this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. In those figures a magazine 50 is suggested composed of a number of spaced posts 52 secured together at their lower ends by plate 54 which in turn may be connected to the filling machine frame or other support. A typical magazine of the type shown is used on automatic filling equipment such as shown in copending application Ser. No. 607,251, filed Jan. 4, I967 entitled LIQUID FILLING MACHINE. In that equipment containers are automatically filled, lids are fed automatically to the containers, and the lids are snapped in place. In the mechanism of FIG. 3 a shuttle 56 is movable back and forth below the magazine 50 on platform 58 to feed to the lids to a capping station (not shown). The lids 12 are stacked in the magazine 50 in the manner shown'with the bottom of the sidewall 32- and the skirt 40 seated on the top of the sidewall and skirt of the next lower lid in the stack. In this arrangement a relatively stable stack is provided which tends to preserve the orderly arrangement of the lids in the magazine when stacked one upon the other as suggested. The bead 34 rests on flange 36 of the next lower lid to resist lid jamming.

With the shuttle 56 in the position illustrated, its recess 60 receives the lowermost lid in the magazine 50 so that the eripheral wall portion 28 rests on the surface 62 of support 58. A slot 64 may be provided in the support 58 to receive the camming surface 30 and the central portion 26 of the lowermost lid. To separate the lowermost lid from the stack, the shuttle 56 moves to the right, and this technique is ordinarily called slice feeding. When the lid is slice fed in this manner, it will be apparent that the comer 38 of the lowermost lid as viewed on the left in FIG. 3 will engage the camming surface 30' of the next upper lid 12' in the stack, and as the lowermost lid continues to move to the right it will elevate the stack of lids above it. This is clearly shown in FIG. 4. Thus, as each lid is sliced from the bottom of the stack during each actuation of the shuttle 56, the lowermost lid agitates the stack by pushing the lids upwardly in the magazine. This agitation serves to maintain the several lids in the stack in an uncompacted condition. That is, the lids have a tendency to jam together particularly when they are formed of thin sheet plastic material, and the agitation of the stack serves to unstick any of the lids which have become fully or partially jammed. The agitation will also serve to disturb the stack sufficiently to prevent the flange 36 of one lid from entering between the skirt and sidewall of the next upper lid. The stack is agitated during each cycle of the shuttle 56.

The camming surface 30 in each lid serves an additional function by providing axial stiffness in the closure wall 24 while enhancing radial flexibility. Thus it allows the bead 34 to snap more easily by the inner edge 44 of the rim.

The lid shown in FIG. 2 in one sense is the reverse of the lid of FIG. I in that its closure wall 70 has a central portion 72 that is displaced upwardly above the cylindrical wall 74 composed of the flange 76, sidewall 78, and skirt 80. The flange, sidewall and skirt of the lid of FIG. 2 may be identical to the corresponding parts of the lid of FIG. I, as is the bead 82 which joins the sidewall 78 to the closure wall 70.

The container illustrated in FIG. 2 is identical to that of FIG. I, and it will be appreciated that with the lid of FIG. 2 the container volume is significantly increased. The extent of the increase is of course dependent upon the axial displacement of the central portion of the lid. It will be appreciated that significant savings may be realized by reducing inventory requirements if one size of container may be used for different volumes and only different lid configurations are used. Thus by providing a line of lids having central portions of different depth between the extremes of FIGS. I and 2, the same container could be used over a range of several ounces to pack ice cream or other foods.

In FIG. 5 the manner in which the lids of FIG. 2 may be slice fed from a magazine is suggested. When the lowermost lid is displaced to the right, the camming surface 86 of the lowermost lid on the right is shown to engage the camming surface 86 of the next upper lid so as to elevate that lid and as a result agitate all those lids above it in the magazine. Thus with each ejection of a lid from the magazine, the entire column of lids in the magazine is agitated to loosen them and prevent jamming. It will be appreciated if the closure wall 24 or 70 of either of the lids shown is confined to the axial space between the flange 36 or 76 and the bottoms of the skirt 40 or 80 and sidewall 32 or 78, no agitation will be imparted to the lids above the lowermost lid in the stack when the lowermost lid is slice fed by the shuttle but rather the column of lids will only fall in the magazine as each lid is sliced from the bottom.

In FIGS. 6 and 7 a slight modification of the invention is shown, and in connection with this embodiment the tendency of the lids to compact is illustrated. In FIG. 6, the lids 100 are provided with a beveled surface 102 which joins the sidewall I04 with the outwardly extending flange I06 at the cylindrical peripheral wall I08 that surrounds the closure wall 110. The beveled surface 102 serves as a support for the bead 112 at the bottom of the sidewall 104. It is evident in FIG. 6 that when the bead I12 of the upper lid rests on the beveled surface 102' of the next lower lid, and simultaneously the foot 114 of the skirt 116 engages the radius 118' of the next lower lid, the stack of lids has considerable lateral stability when nested in proper relationship with the lid axes coincident with one another. The beveled surface which adds to stack stability has the disadvantage of somewhat increasing the opportunity of the lids to compact. In FIG. 7 it will be noted that the bead 112 at the bottom of the sidewall 104 has moved down to engage the top of the sidewall 104' of the next lower lid, while the foot I 14 at the bottom of skirt 116 has slipped down to engage the skirt 116' of the lower lid. Because the lids are often made of a very thin and flexible sheet material, the peripheral cylindrical structure of the lid can distort so as to bind on the lid below in the manner illustrated in FIG. 7. The inclined surface I02 may serve as a wedge to spread the gap between the skirt and sidewall to open it sufficiently to receive the peripheral structure of the next adjacent lid.

In connection with the embodiment of FIG. I mention was made of the advantage achieved by the lid of preserving the desired lid depth even when the stack height of the rimstacking type of container is very small. This desirable feature may be served also by the embodiment of this invention shown in FIG. 8. In that figure the container 10 is identical to the container of FIGS. 1 and 2, but the manner in which the lid cooperates with the rim of the container to seal the container mouth is somewhat modified. Thus, the lid 120 includes a peripheral cylindrical structure 122 which surrounds the closure wall 124 in turn composed of the central portion 126, camming wall I28 and peripheral portion 130. In this form, the bead 132 which joins the peripheral portion to the sidewall I34 engages the very bottom of the lid seat as defined by the shoulder I36 in the container, and the sidewall 134 extends upwardly an appreciable distance above the crown I38 of the container rim 140. The flange 142 thus spans the rim spaced above the rim, and the skirt 144 of the lid extends downwardly from above the rim, to enclose it. By this arrangement, a standard or desired depth lid may be achieved. To gain the total desired lid depth, a part of that depth is made up by the extent of the sidewall 134 of the lid and the remainder by the depression in the closure wall 124. Significantly, the closure wall still contains the camming surface 128 to cause agitation of the lid as it is slice fed from the magazine. It will be appreciated that the lid may contain the inclined surface 102 as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 6, but that surface is not necessary.

While in the embodiments shown the skirt and sidewall of each lid are shown to be axially coextensive, it is to be understood that the lids need not have that configuration, and either the outer skirt or the sidewall alone may be used for nesting purposes. However, if the two are to cooperate as shown in FIG. 3 to support the lids in nested relation in the stack, then the axial height of the sidewall and skirt should be identical, but they need not be coextensive.

Having described this invention in detail, what I claim is:

I. A disposable one-piece coverall, plastic lid comprising a closure wall and an upstanding sidewall joined to the periphery of the closure wall,

a flange extending outwardly from and joined to the sidewall,

and a downwardly extending skirt joined to the periphery of the flange,

said sidewall, flange and skirt defining a U-shaped pocket to receive the rim of a container with which said lid may be used,

an axially displaced central portion provided in the closure wall and extending at least in one direction axially beyond the axial limits of the skirt and sidewall,

and a camming surface joining the central portion of the closure wall with its surrounding portion which would be engaged by an identical lid stacked below to move the lid axially when said identical lid is sliced from the stack.

2. A disposable one-piece coverall, plastic lid as described in claim I further characterized by said central portion lying below the bottom of the skirt and sidewall,

said camm ing surface extending upwardly and outwardly from the central portion of the surrounding portion.

3. A disposable one-piece coverall, plastic lid as described in claim 1 further characterized by said central portion lying above the top of the skirt and sidewall,

said camming surface extending from the central portion downwardly and outwardly to the surrounding portion.

4. In combination with the lid of claim 1,

a container having side and bottom walls, and a rolled rim,

and a lid seat in the sidewall disposed below the rim for receiving the periphery of the closure wall and the bottom of the lid sidewall,

said central portion of the sidewall lying outside the plane of the lid seat.

5. ln the combination of claim 4,

said central portion lying below the plane of said lid seat,

and said central portion having a greater diameter than the bottom wall of the container.

6. A disposable one-piece coverall, plastic lid as described in claim 1 further characterized by said skirt and sidewall being of the same axial height causing their bottoms to rest on the tops of the skirt and sidewall of the next lower lid when two such lids are nested together. i 7. In the combination of claim 4, said central portion lying above the plane of the rim. 8. In the combination of claim 4, said rolled rim lying below and spaced from the flange of the lid. 9. In the combination of claim 5, said rolled rim lying below and spaced from the flange of the lid. 10. A disposable one-piece coverall, plastic lid as described in claim 1 further characterized by an upwardly and outwardly inclined wall joining the top of the sidewall to the inner edge of the flange.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3353708 *Mar 15, 1965Nov 21, 1967Sweetheart PlasticsDisposable plastic article
US3502206 *Nov 4, 1968Mar 24, 1970Baxter Laboratories IncPackage for oral barium and the like
US3520441 *Jan 2, 1969Jul 14, 1970Dow Chemical CoContainer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4006839 *Mar 10, 1976Feb 8, 1977Bellaplast GmbhContainer with snap cover having frangible portions
US4291829 *Aug 30, 1979Sep 29, 1981Brown CompanyIce cream container, blank therefor, partially erected tube, and package comprising same, said container plus plastic cover and plastic cover itself
US4363821 *Sep 12, 1980Dec 14, 1982James River Corporation Of VirginiaMethod of packaging ice cream in a closable container
US5964365 *Apr 14, 1997Oct 12, 1999Igloo Products Corp.Lid/collar system
US7261219 *Apr 29, 2005Aug 28, 2007The Glad Products CompanySealing container
US9114916 *Jul 16, 2008Aug 25, 2015Huhtamaki OyjCover with depressions for closing a container
US9205951 *Jul 24, 2014Dec 8, 2015Josephine E. RomanAll-in-one stackable bulletin board caddy
US9522763 *Oct 29, 2015Dec 20, 2016Josephine E. RomanAll-in-one stackable bulletin board caddy
US9617061 *Feb 15, 2005Apr 11, 2017Stora Enso OyjCup package of a fibrous material and a method of manufacturing the same
US20050199639 *Apr 29, 2005Sep 15, 2005The Glad Products CompanySealing container
US20070170236 *Feb 15, 2005Jul 26, 2007Stora Enso OyiCup package of a fibrous material and a method of manufacturing the same
US20080073368 *Nov 10, 2006Mar 27, 2008Richard CusterContainers with discontinuous seal
US20090084796 *Jan 16, 2007Apr 2, 2009Coonce Ryan JContainers with interlocking covers
US20110089066 *Jul 16, 2008Apr 21, 2011William B. KircherCover for closing a container
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/781, 229/400, 220/380
International ClassificationB65D43/02, B65D43/10, B65D43/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2543/00537, B65D2543/00027, B65D2543/00351, B65D2543/00092, B65D2543/00685, B65D2543/00296, B65D2543/0062, B65D2543/00555, B65D2543/00796, B65D43/021, B65D2543/00509, B65D2543/00731
European ClassificationB65D43/02S3D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 8, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: SWEETHEART CUP COMPANY INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:006687/0491
Effective date: 19930830
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:007029/0011
Apr 6, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: SWEETHEART CUP COMPANY INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:FORT HOWARD CUP CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005346/0001
Effective date: 19891129
Feb 13, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL AGENT
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FORT HOWARD CUP CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005287/0404
Effective date: 19891114
Owner name: FORT HOWARD CUP CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LILY-TULIP, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005300/0320
Effective date: 19861231
Owner name: LILY-TULIP, INC., A DE CORP.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:MARYLAND CUP CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005300/0311
Effective date: 19861217
Jun 4, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: MARYLAND CUP CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SWEETHEART PROPERTIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004568/0663
Owner name: SWEETHEART PROPERTIES, INC., A CORP. OF MD.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SWEETHEART PLASTICS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004568/0656
Effective date: 19841231