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Publication numberUS3687282 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1972
Filing dateMay 5, 1970
Priority dateMay 5, 1970
Also published asCA967523A1, DE2121752A1
Publication numberUS 3687282 A, US 3687282A, US-A-3687282, US3687282 A, US3687282A
InventorsOwen Ronald C
Original AssigneeIllinois Tool Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container package
US 3687282 A
Abstract
A container package for a plurality of containers which includes first and second carrier elements which are interconnected to one another to form a closed loop carrier member which embraces and secures the containers together as a unit, the first and second carrier elements capable of being separated from one another along weakened lines of separation in one of the carrier elements to facilitate removal of the containers therefrom.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

nited States Patent Owen [ CONTAINER PACKAGE [72] Inventor: Ronald C. Owen, Chicago, 111. 6063 1 [73] Assignee: Illinois Tools Works Inc., Chicago,

Ill.

[22] Filed: May 5, 1970 21 App]. N0.Z 34,784

[52] US. Cl. ..206/65 S, 53/30, 206/4533, 229/DIG. 12, 229/51 TS [51] Int. Cl. ..B65d 65/16, B65d 85/62 [58] Field of Search ..206/65 E, 65 S, 65 C, 45.33, 206/DIG. 18, 59 C; 229/DIG. 12, 40, 51 TS;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,894,925 7/1959 Morris et a1 ..206/59 C 3,589,510 6/ 1971 Begnaud et a1. ..206/65 S 3,491,878 1/ 1970 Britton et al. ..206/65 E 3,348,671 10/1967 Wood ..229/40 1 Aug. 29, 1972 3,231,651 1/1966 Cheney ..206/59 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 691,904 8/1964 Canada ..229/DIG. 12

Primary ExaminerWil1iam T. Dixson, Jr. Att0meyRobert W. Beart, Michael Kovac, Barry L. Clark and Jack R. Halvorsen [57] ABSTRACT A container package for a plurality of containers which includes first and second carrier elements which are interconnected to one another to form a closed loop carrier member which embraces and secures the containers together as a unit, the first and second carrier elements capable of being separated from one another along weakened lines of separation in one of the carrier elements to facilitate removal of the contajners therefrom.

lClaim,4DrawingFigures PATENTED maze m2 INVENTOR. Ronald 6. Owen SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Although the multipackaging of non-returnable bottles has for many years been achieved by the use of prescored and prefolded paperboard or cardboard carriers which encircle the containers, there has been a recent trend toward cheaper thermoplastic film materials which can be heat shrunk into close conforming relationship to a group of containers. While packages more economical than the paperboard carriers are potentially possible with heat shrunk film, it is known that the film readily tears in the finger hole areas of the carrier due to the thin film that is used in affording a more economical package. In those instances where the film has been strong enough, because the films are thicker, to prevent accidental tearing of the package, the packages have been relatively difficult to open, in order to gain access to the containers.

Several attempts have been made to strike a balance that appears necessary in order to produce a commercial thermoplastic film-type package which is in the form of a closed loop carrier member. In certain prior art structures, for example, reinforcing strips in the form of cardboard sections and the like are provided for underlying the upper wall of the film in order to strengthen and reinforce the finger hole carrying structure. To make the containers more readily accessible in such a package, tear strip tabs and the like have been proposed. It has been difiicult, however, to provide a package which provides the combined reinforcing structure for the finger hole area and at the same time offer convenient access to the containers.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved package which assures package integrity as well as easy access to the contents thereof.

More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide a reinforcing structure for carrying of the package while permitting rapid, unfettered removal of the carrier to permit access to the containers.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved method for assembling first and second carrier elements to provide a closed loop package.

These and other objects are attained by the provision of a container package for a plurality of containers in juxtaposed relationship and including a carrier device for the containers having first and second carrier elements which are interconnected to one another to form a closed loop carrier member which embraces and secures the juxtaposed containers together, the first carrier element having a central panel and a pair of side panels depending therefrom on opposite sides of the central panel, the central panel having finger hole means for carrying the package and a corresponding number of apertures which are of a size to readily accept the containers therein, the first carrier element further including a weakened line in the area of juncture between the center and both side panels thereof, the second carrier element comprising a thermoplastic film overwrap which is positioned about the bottom and sides of the containers in close conforming contour configuration, the second carrier element being attached to the side panels of the first carrier element below the weakened lines of separation in the first carrier element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container package which is constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the container shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the container package illustrated in FIGS. 1-2 and depicting the manner in which the containers are removed therefrom; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the method of assembling the carrier devices to containers to form the container package of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As illustrated in FIGS. l-3 of the drawing, the container package 10 of the present invention includes a plurality of containers 12, which are in the form of glass bottles or the like. Each of the containers 12 include a generally cylindrical side wall portion 14, a reduced neck portion 16, and a crown cap or closure element 18 at the upper end of the containers 12, all as is well known. The containers 12 are illustrated in the drawing as being arranged in two rows of three containers each to form the well-known six pack multi-package. For securing and retaining the containers 12 together as a unit, a closed loop carrier member 20 is provided.

The closed loop carrier member 20 includes a first carrier element 22 at the upper ends of the containers 12 and a second carrier element 24 which is attached to the first carrier element 22 and embraces the cylindrical sides 14 and bottoms of the containers 12. The first carrier element 22 is preferably made of a paperboard or cardboard construction although plastic materials may be used, if desired. The carrier element 22 comprises a central panel 26 and a pair of depending opposed side panels 28. The central panel 28 is provided with finger hole means 30, as is known, for carrying the package and a corresponding number of apertures 32 which are of a size to readily accept the reduced neck and crown or closure 16, 18 of the containers 12. Each of the apertures 32 have a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the reduced necks 16, but slightly less than the diameter of the crown or closures 18 which project radially outwardly from the reduced neck portions by a small distance. Recesses 34, 36 are formed in the internal margins of the central panel 26 defining the apertures 32. The recesses 34, 36 merge with and form lateral extensions of the apertures 32 for accommodating the bottle closures 18 during assembly of the package. In this regard, reference is made to patent application Ser. No. 839,284 filed July 7, 1969 for a specific description of the method and apparatus for achieving assembly of a paperboard carrier member having apertures of the type generally configured as the apertures 32 of the present invention. For purposes of the present discussion, it is sufficient to point out that the lateral extensions 34, 36 provide wide mouths when the opposed side panels 28 are folded upwardly, thus permitting the closures 18 of the bottles to be inserted through the apertures 32 and enabling the carrier device to be positioned in the reduced neck portions 16 of the bottles.

Each of the opposed side panels 28 depend from the central panel 26 along a fold line which is also a package weakened line of separation 38 in the area of juncture between the central panel 26 and both side panels 28 of the first carrier element 22. The weakened lines of separation preferably comprise prescored lines which terminate short of the opposite ends of the carrier element to provide limited areas 40 at opposite ends of the first carrier element 22 which are nonweakened. The nonweakened portions 40 prevent accidental tearing or fracture of the prescored line 38 from opposite ends of the package until it is desired by the user to manually tear or break apart the nonweakened portions 40. it is to be noted that the weakened lines of separation 38 are in close proximity to, but do not intersect, the apertures 32 in order to retain the reduced neck portions 16 of the bottles 12 within the apertures 32 in the event portions of the prescored line 38 are perhaps torn or broken. Thus, there are limited material portions 42 between the scored line 38 and the outermost margins of the apertures 32 which must also be manually torn or separated by a user after breaking or separating the nonweak'ened portions 40 and separating a side panel 28 from the central panel 26 along the weakened line of separation 38.

The first carrier element 22 provides a number of important advantages including the provision of a strengthened or reinforced finger hole gripping structure, by using rigid material for the first carrier element, as well as rapid access to the contents of the package through the use of the apertures 32 and weakened lines of separation 38 between the central and side panels 26, 28, as has been discussed above.

in order to combine these important advantages in an economical package, the second carrier element 24 comprises a thermoplastic film overwrap which is positioned about the bottoms and sides of the containers 12 in a close conforming contour configuration. The second carrier element 24 may be made from any suitable organic thermoplastic material of a type which can be heat shrunk to envelop the containers 12, as is well known. Alternatively, the second carrier element 24 may be of the elastic type such that it mechanically stretches and embraces the containers.

For interconnecting the first and second carrier elements 22, 24 to each other, it is necessary that the upper edges 44 of the thermoplastic film overwrap be attached to the depending side panels 28 of the first carrier element 22 below the weakened lines of separation. The attachment may be achieved by various adhe sives or, if desired, by heat sealing the upper edges 64 of the thermoplastic film overwrap to a coating of material on the outer faces of the side panels 28 which is complementary to the thermoplastic film overwrap to permit heat sealing thereto.

in assembling the first and second carrier elements 22, 24 to the containers 12, the procedure generally depicted in FIG. 4 of the drawing is preferably followed. in this illustration a plurality of bottles 12 are fed to a plurality of stations by a conveyor 46 where the carrier elements 22, 24 are assembled thereto. Specifically, a plurality of carrier elements 22, at substation A, are depicted as being stacked one atop the other and suitable means (not shown) for dispensing one of the carrier elements 22 from the stack can be utilized. The side panels 28 are preferably folded upwardly, in order to expose the recesses 34, 36 of the apertures 32, in order to permit the carrier element to be assembled over the closures 18. The carrier element 22 is moved relative to the bottles 12 as illustrated by the arrows 48 at substation B, the arrows representing a suitable means for this purpose, in order to assemble the carrier element 22 relative to the reduced neck portion 16 of the bottles 12. The second carrier element 24 is preferably formed from a tube 50 of thermoplastic material which is slitted as at 52 into a U-shaped element and then positioned about the bottoms and sides of the containers while the second carrier element 22 is assembled relative to the upper ends of the bottles 12.

At substation C the first carrier element 22 and the slitted thermoplastic U-shaped film element are attached to one another by heat sealing, adhesives, or the like. Shearing means 54 are provided at substation D to separate the U-shaped tube element on opposite sides of the first carrier element 22 to form the second carrier element 24 which is separated from the U-shaped film element. Thereafter, at substation E the second carrier element 24, if it is of the heat shrinkable type, may be heat shrunk around the bottoms and sides of the containers 12 into close conforming contour rela tionship. The thus completed container packages 10 can then be conveyed to appropriate handling means for packing and shipment.

From the foregoing it will now be appreciated that the present invention provides an economical container package which has structural integrity and facilitates container removal. The method for producing a container package of the above described type is also disclosed and claimed herein.

I claim:

1. A container package for a plurality of containers having annular enlargements at least at one end thereof arranged in juxtaposed relationship and including a carrier device for said containers having first and second carrier elements which are interconnected to one another to form a closed loop carrier member which embraces and secures the juxtaposed containers together, the first carrier element having a central panel and a pair of side panels depending therefrom on opposite sides of the central panel, said central panel having finger hole means for carrying the package and two rows of a corresponding number of apertures which are of a size to readily accept the annular enlargement at the upper ends of said containers, the first carrier element further including a weakened line of separation in the area of juncture between the center and both side panels thereof, the weakened lines of separation terminating a spaced distance from each end of said. first carrier element along said weakened lines of separation, each of said weakened lines being spaced sufficiently close to one of said rows of apertures to provide limited material portions between said apertures and said weakened lines of separation which are capable of manual separation, said second carrier element comprising a thermoplastic film overwrap which is positioned about the bottom and sides of the containers in a close conforming contour configuration, an extrusion coating on said side panels of said first carrier element, said extrusion coating being formed of thermoplastic material complementary to said thermoplastic film overwrap to permit heat sealing therebetween, said second carrier element being heat sealed to the side panels of the first carrier element below the weakened lines of separation in the first carrier element.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2894925 *Jun 24, 1954Jul 14, 1959B B Chem CoPolyethylene containing adhesive
US3231651 *Feb 24, 1964Jan 25, 1966Dow Chemical CoPlastic film windup apparatus
US3348671 *Oct 30, 1964Oct 24, 1967Mead CorpBottle carrier
US3491878 *Mar 27, 1968Jan 27, 1970Du PontMultiple container package
US3589510 *Apr 28, 1969Jun 29, 1971Ameripol IncPackage and method of making
CA691904A *Aug 4, 1964Grace W R & CoSelf-forming container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3920123 *Mar 18, 1974Nov 18, 1975SolvayPackaging under heat-shrunk film
US4036362 *Mar 31, 1975Jul 19, 1977Huntingdon Industries IncorporatedPackage
US4094406 *Mar 28, 1977Jun 13, 1978The Mead CorporationPackage for a group of articles
US4172348 *Apr 20, 1978Oct 30, 1979Ganz Brothers, Inc.Package and apparatus and method for making same
US4696402 *Mar 19, 1985Sep 29, 1987Rayovac CorporationEasy-open, individual unit dispensing package
US5167325 *Dec 9, 1991Dec 1, 1992Field Container Company, L.P.Carrier for containers
US5407065 *Mar 2, 1994Apr 18, 1995Riverwood International CorporationBottle neck carrier
US6896129Mar 25, 2003May 24, 2005Illinois Tool Works Inc.Banded container package with opening feature
US6923314Nov 21, 2002Aug 2, 2005Illinois Tool Works Inc.Banded container package with opening feature
US7360647 *Dec 23, 2004Apr 22, 2008Ogg Design, Inc.Packaging system and method
US7458458Dec 23, 2004Dec 2, 2008Illinois Tool Works Inc.Sleeved container package with opening feature
US7942263Oct 16, 2008May 17, 2011The C.W. Zumbiel Co.Beverage container package and dispenser
US8104617 *Jul 4, 2005Jan 31, 2012Kabushiki Kaisha Yakult HonshaOverwrap packed body
US8127925May 17, 2011Mar 6, 2012The C.W. Zumbiel CompanyContainer package and dispenser
EP2014573A2Feb 15, 2008Jan 14, 2009MeadWestvaco Packaging Systems LLCComposite packaging and blank therefor
WO1995023745A1 *Jan 26, 1995Sep 8, 1995Riverwood Int CorpBottleneck carrier
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/162, 206/497, 53/48.2, 53/398, 206/194, 206/432, 229/240, 53/133.8, 53/413, 53/442
International ClassificationB65D71/42, B65D71/40, B65D71/00, B65D71/10, B65D71/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D71/10, B65D71/42, B65D2571/00018
European ClassificationB65D71/42, B65D71/10