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Publication numberUS3650395 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1972
Filing dateJan 22, 1970
Priority dateJan 22, 1970
Publication numberUS 3650395 A, US 3650395A, US-A-3650395, US3650395 A, US3650395A
InventorsHobbs Reginald John
Original AssigneeHobbs Reginald John
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shrink wrap package having the containers therein in contacting relation
US 3650395 A
Abstract
A package comprises a number of separate containers, the adjacent ends of which are located by a number of depressions or locating formations formed in a tray, and a taut sheet wrapping layer extending externally around both the containers and the tray: there may be top and bottom trays formed to locate the tops and bottoms of the containers, the wrapping layer extending around the containers and the two trays.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Hobbs 51 Mar. 21, 1972 SHRINK WRAP PACKAGE HAVING THE CONTAINERS THEREIN IN CONTACTING RELATION Reginald John Hobbs, Granville Works, Emery Road, Brislington Trading Estate, Bristol, 4, England Filed: Jan. 22, 1970 Appl. No.: 4,993

Inventor:

U.S. Cl. ..206/65 E, 206/65 C, 206/65 S, 229/2.5, 229/DIG. 12

Int. Cl ..B65d 71/00 Field of Search ..206/45.33, 46 FR, 65 C, 65 E, 206/65 S, 72; 220/102; 229/2.5, DIG. 12; 248/152 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1965 Reny ..206/65 S UX 8/1967 Anderson ..206/65 S Hartmann et a1 ..229/2.5

Primary Examiner-Joseph R. LeClair Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman AttorneyYoung & Thompson [57] ABSTRACT A package comprises a number of separate containers, the adjacent ends of which are located by a number of depressions or locating formations formed in a tray, and a taut sheet wrapping layer extending externally around both the containers and the tray: there may be top and bottom trays formed to locate the tops and bottoms of the containers, the wrapping layer extending around the containers and the two trays.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 3 Shoots-Shut 1 Patented March 21, 1972 INVENTOR S a m W w m #J% rT H M 0 D my m 6 f A Patented March 21, 1972 5 Sheets-Sheet z fNV'ENTOR EEG/Nana JOHN floats BY Z5 ATTORNEYS Patented March 21, 1972 3 Shuts-Shut 5 S w 0 S m w N mfi m E0 T m m N m B D SHRINK WRAP PACKAGE HAVING THE CONTAINERS THEREIN IN CONTACTING RELATION This invention relates to the packaging of containers, especially though not exclusively canned or bottled foods and drinks, and tobacco tins, perfume bottles and toiletry containers.

From one aspect of the present invention a package comprises a number of separate containers, a tray formed with a number of depressions or locating formations locating the adjacent ends of the containers, and a taut sheet wrapping layer extending externally around both the containers and the tray.

In one arrangement the package may comprise top and bottom trays each formed with a number of depressions or locating formations to locate the tops and bottoms .of the containers, and in which the taut sheet wrapping layer extends externally around the containers and the two trays.

In the case where each of the containers is larger at one end than at the other, one end tray may have a number of relatively large depressions or locating formations, closely spaced from one another, and the other end tray may have a corresponding number of relatively small depressions or locating formations, spaced further apart from one another,'the centers of adjacent depressions or locating formations being equally spaced apart in each tray, the spacing in one tray being equal to the spacing in the other tray.

The wrapping layer is preferably formed of a heat shrinkable flexible synthetic plastics material.

The tray or each tray is preferably formed of a synthetic plastics material, conveniently by vacuum forming from thin sheets.

According to a preferred feature of the invention the positioning of the locating depressions or formations in the tray or each tray is such that the containers are in close proximity to one another.

The containers may be made from glass, and may be similar to one another.

From another aspect the invention consists in method of packaging a number of containers such as cans or bottles, in which the containers are placed with their ends on a tray having depressions or locating formations to hold the containers in close proximity with one another, and a film of synthetic plastics wrapping material is applied externally around the containers and the tray and heat shrunk into position to hold the containers and the tray firmly together.

Preferably, before the wrapping film is applied, a second tray with corresponding depressions or locating formations is placed over the opposite ends of the containers.

From a further aspect the invention consists in a tray for use in a package as defined, which tray is an imperforate sheet of material having a plurality of depressions or locating formations spaced from one another to locate a number of containers to be placed on the tray, and an outer periphery which as seen in plan extends inwardly between adjacent depressions or locating formations positioned around the periphery of the tray.

From a yet further aspect the invention consists in a tray for use in a package as defined, which tray is formed from a thin sheet of synthetic plastics material and having a plurality of intersecting reinforcing troughs or ridges, and reinforcing formations at the intersections one another to locate a number of containers to be placed on the tray, and an outer periphery which as seen in plan extends inwardly between adjacent depressions or locating formations positioned around the periphery of the tray.

A tray according to the invention is to be distinguished from a container for articles such as eggs having pockets or the like for accommodating the articles and a hinged lid for covering the articles.

The invention may be performed in various ways and two specific embodiments, with some modifications, will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a top tray for packaging a number of bottles,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bottom tray for packaging the bottles,

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a complete package, and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a different complete package.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. l'to 3 the invention is applied to a packaging system for a number of glass bottles of tomato ketchup of substantially circular section. The package, as illustrated in FIG. 3, includes top and bottom trays 10, 11, and an overall wrapping film 12 of clear flexible heatshrinkable synthetic plastics material such as polythene. The bottom tray 11, as illustrated in FIG. 2, has the appropriate number of closely spaced shallow circular depressions 13, having flat bottoms and a depth less than their diameter, to receive the bottoms of the ketchup bottles, and is so arranged that when standing on the tray the bottles will be in close proximity with one another. To improve the general rigidity of the tray shallow intersecting reinforcing ridges 15 extend lengthwise of the rows of bottles across the tray between opposite sides of the tray. The ridges separate adjacent depressions and partly define the depressions. The ridges are interrupted by small upstanding reinforcing portions 14 where they intersect with one another, the reinforcing portions being displaced out of a plane containing the peaks or top surfaces of the ridges. The top surfaces of the portions being displaced out of a plane containing the peaks or top surfaces of theridges. The top surfaces of the portions 14 in tray 11 include depressions 25. The edge of the tray has a continuous upstanding peripheral flange 22 provided at it supper edge with a shallow out-tumed lip 16 which is trimmed off to a sinuous curved profile corresponding roughly to the external contour of the group of bottles so that the tray, as seen in plan, i.e., perpendicularly to the general plane of the tray, extends inwardly between adjacent depressions around the periphery of the tray.

The top tray 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1, has the same number of similar flat bottomed shallow depressions 17 having a depth less than their diameter and of appropriate size to receive the caps of the bottles. These depressions 17 in the top tray are of smaller diameter than those 13 in the bottom tray and the spacing between the depressions 17 is somewhat greater, the centers of the depressions in both trays being equally spaced apart in each tray, the spacing in one tray being equal to the spacing in the other. Again the depressions 17 are separated by portions 18 and again the tray is strengthened by channel-shaped reinforcing formations in the form of troughs 19 which are of greater width than the ridges 15, the depressions l7 acting as reinforcing formations at the intersections of the troughs. The tray 10 has an outwardly extending peripheral lip 23.

Both trays 10, 11 have outer peripheries which as seen in plan extend inwardly at 21 between adjacent depressions 13 or 17 positioned around the periphery of the tray. The depressions 13, 17 are substantially circular and the periphery is generally scalloped.

Both the top and bottom trays are vacuum-formed from thin sheets of synthetic plastics material and are imperforate, that is have no apertures through them. A suitable material is high impact polystyrene.

The trays may be formed with locating formations other than the depressions 13, 17.

After placing the bottles in position in the depressions in the bottom tray 11 and locating an inverted top tray 10 over the lids, the final synthetic plastics wrapping sheet 12 is applied in a wrapping machine so as to extend externally around the articles and the trays, which machine seals and heat shrinks the wrapping material to hold the bottles and the two end trays tightly or firmly together, with the bottles parallel, and in close proximity adjacent their lower ends. The sheet 12 extends at 26 partly into the inwardly extending portions 21 of the periphery of the trays 10, 11 so as to increase the area of engagement between the sheet and the bottles to assist in holding the bottles in firm relationship. The resulting package has great inherent strength and rigidity. It is extremely cheap both in materials and in packaging costs, is easily opened, and presents little problem in disposal of waste material. It is eminently suitable as a package for disposable containers such as non-returnable glass soft drink bottles.

The wrapping layer 12 may wholly enclose the bottles and trays, or as shown at there may be an aperture in the layer so that it only partly surrounds the containers and trays.

The intersecting troughs or ridges extending across the trays are such that the trays do not have a flat portion extending across the tray, which portion could be relatively easy to bend, thus adding to the rigidity of the trays In another embodiment (not illustrated) the invention is applied to the packaging of vacuum-sealed cylindrical cans, having lids with rims which overhang theupper edges of the cans. It is important that these lids should not be disturbed since otherwise the vacuum may be destroyed and such containers also present a problem in that the diameter at the lid end is somewhat greater than the diameter at the base of the can. In this embodiment of the invention such containers are wrapped in multiple packs by means of top and bottom trays each formed with an appropriate number of spaced depressions to locate the respective ends of the containers. The design of the trays may be similar to the previous example though the recesses in the top tray will in the present example be of approximately the same diameter as the recesses in the bottom tray. Indeed in some circumstances identical top and bottom trays may be used. Again a sheet of clear synthetic plastics material such as polythene is applied overall and heat shrunk to form a taut package.

in another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4 the invention is applied to the packaging of a number of cylindrical containers such as cans or bottles, using a single bottom tray and an overall taut wrapping film. in this case the containers 31, or at least upper parts thereof such as lids or rims 32, may as shown be pulled into close contact with one another by the wrapping film thus producing a rigid package.

1 claim:

1. A package comprising a plurality of separate containers of circular cross section, top and bottom trays each comprising a vacuum formed thin sheet of synthetic plastics material having a number of locating depressions locating the adjacent circular ends of said containers, and a taut sheet wrapping layer of heat shrinkable flexible synthetic plastics material, said sheet layer extending externally around said containers and said top and bottom trays, the two said trays each being formed with shallow indentations around the periphery thereof and situated between adjacent locating depressions as seen in plan; said locating depressions being so positioned that said taut wrapping layer holds the containers in contact with adjacent containers, and said taut wrapping layer being pulled into said indentations and partly between adjacent containers at the periphery of each tray, whereby'said containers and trays are held firmly in contact with one another to form a rigid package.

2. A package according to claim 1, in which each of said containers is larger at one end than at the other, one of said end trays having a number of relatively large closely spaced locating depressions, and the other end tray having acorresponding number of relatively small locating depressions spaced further apart from one another, the centers of adjacent depressions or locating formations being equally spaced apart in each tray, the spacing in one tray being equal to the spacing in the other tray, and the edges of the depressions oflarger size being located closely adjacent to one another.

3. A package according to claim 1, in which at least one of said trays is formed with intersecting ridges which extend transversely between and define said locating depressions, and extend across said tray between opposite sides of the tray, and in which said ridges are interrupted by reinforcing formations where they intersect with one another between the locating depressions, the said reinforcing formations being displaced out of a plane containing the peaks of said ridges.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3799333 *May 7, 1971Mar 26, 1974May GAssembling of a predetermined number of containers for conveyance as a unit
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/139, 206/432, 206/497
International ClassificationB65D71/70, B65D71/00, B65D6/00, B65D71/06, B65D71/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2571/00018, B65D71/10, B65D71/70
European ClassificationB65D71/70, B65D71/10