US 3734278 A
A portable container package of a relatively large number of containers comprising the combination of certain carriers including handle means for sub-groups of the containers, and a cooperating film member, and further including a convenient handle for the entire package.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Kerrigan et al.
[111 3,734,278 1 May 22, 1973  CONTAINER PACKAGE  Inventors: James E. Kerrigan, Arlington Heights; Mindaugas J. Klygis, Evergreen Park, both of I11.
 Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc., Chicago,
 Appl.No.: 185,515
Oct. 1, 1971  US. Cl ..206/65 S, 206/4533, 229/52 A, 229/DIG. 12, 294/872  Int. Cl. ....B65d 25/22, B65d 71/00, B65d 85/62  Field of Search ..206/65 S, 65 C, 45.33; 229/DIG. 12, 52 A; 294/872, 87.26
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,874,835 2/1959 Poupitch ..206/65 C 3,101,847 8/1963 Bruce ..206/65 C 3,255,877 6/1966 Kracht et al ..206/65 S 3,331,503 7/1967 Brown ..206/65 S 3,410,396 11/1968 Copping ..206/65 S Primary ExaminerWilliam T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney-Robert W. Beart et al.
 ABSTRACT A portable container package of a relatively large number of containers comprising the combination of certain carriers including handle means for sub-groups of the containers, and a cooperating film member, and further including a convenient handle for the entire package.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented May 22, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented May 22, 1973 3,734,278
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I INVENTQRS James E. K err/gem 3 M/ndaugas J. K/yg/s 5 a a. w.
Tl) air A H 'ys CONTAINER PACKAGE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention concerns an arrangement of certain container carrier elements and a sleeve or film member which are combined with a relatively large number of containers to produce a novel unitary package which may be conveniently carried by a person. The embodiments of the invention shown and described hereinafter concern a unitary package of 24 containers. From the detailed description, it will be obvious to one skilled in the art that the package may comprise more or less than 24 containers. The package of 24 containers of the first embodiment comprises two unitary groups or packages of twelve containers and certain carriers, and a film member. Each unitary package of 12 containers comprises two sub-groups or packages of six containers and certain carriers. The carrier for each package of six containers includes certain handle means. The carrier for each package of twelve containers has a handle cooperating with the carriers of the packages of six containers to form the unitary package and carrying means for the twelve container pack. The two packages of 12 containers are vertically stacked and the film member is applied about the package. The handle of the top package of twelve containers is the handle for the package of 24 containers.
In the second embodiment of the invention, the handle for the lower two packages of six containers is omitted. Thus, in the second embodiment, the unitary package of 24 containers comprises two lower packages of six containers, an upper package of twelve containers, and the cooperating film member.
In the present embodiments all members of the package for the twenty-four containers are formed from plastic materials. A feature of this construction is that the package is not subject to damage by water or high humidity conditions. Further, for example, the contents of the package can easily be cooled by submersion of the entire package in cold water.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a simple, light-weight and sturdy portable packaging arrangement for a relatively large number of containers such as 24 cans.
Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent upon a perusal of the hereinafter following specification and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a package constructed according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a reduced top plan view of the package shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of the invention and with the film member omitted.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the preferred embodiments, the containers, such as cans 10, are stacked as upper and lower groups of cans 10. Although the present embodiments comprise 12 cans in each of the upper and lower groups, the invention contemplates other numbers of containers.
Each of the upper and lower groups of cans 10 comprises two subgroups such as shown at 11 in FIG. 3. Each sub-group 11 comprises six cans 10 arranged in two parallel rows of three cans 10 and a carrier 12. The carriers 12 are made in accordance with the teachings of US. Pat. No. 2,874,835. Briefly, the carriers 12 are made from an unsupported sheet of resilient and deformable plastic material and comprise integrally interconnected bands having apertures smaller than the circumferential dimension of the cans 10. The bands are stretched and applied about the cans 10 immediately below the upper chimes thereof to form a unitary package of six cans 10. The carriers 12 further include finger holes or holds 13 for convenient carrying of each six-pack or sub-group 11. The individual cans 10 are removed from each sub-group 11 by drawing and pivoting a can 10 downwardly and outwardly of the subgroup 11.
In one embodiment of the invention, the sub-groups 11 of each of the upper and lower groups are interconnected by a carrier 14. In the other embodiment, only the upper group of sub-groups 11 is provided with a carrier 14. The carriers 14 are constructed in accordance with the teachings of the pending application of M. Julius Klygis, Ser. No. 149,312, filed June 2, 1971. Briefly, the carriers 14 are conveniently made from a rigid or semi-rigid plastic material and comprise a central section and two depending side sections. The side sections have depending tabs 15 which may be seen in FIG. 3, and which cooperate with the marginal edge portions and the finger holes of two adjacent carriers 12 to interlock two sub-groups 11 as shown in FIG. 3. The interlocking cooperation between a carrier 14 and two carriers 12 is achieved by a downward projection of the carrier 14 over two sub-groups 11 positioned in a side-by-side relationship. The central section of each carrier 14 includes a handle portion for convenient car- .rying of the unitary assembly of 12 cans l0. Normally the handle portion is slightly raised for easy grasping by a persons hand, however, the material of the carrier 14 is preferably one having sufficient resiliency so that when packages of 24 containers are stacked, the carriers within the stack are flattened.
The invention further comprises a sleeve member 15 which is clearly shown in FIG. 2. The sleeve member 15 is preferably formed from a heat-shrinkable thermoplastic film. The member 15 is applied and shrunk about the vertical sides and over substantial portions of the top and bottom sides of the vertical stack of upper and lower groups of cans 10. The carrier 14 of the upper group of cans 10 provides the means for carrying the unitary package of 24 cans 10. No mechanical interconnection other than the member 15 is provided between the upper and lower groups of cans 10. The gripping and holding cooperation between the member 15, the carriers 12, the upper carrier 14, and the cans 10 provides a unique stable, sturdy package for many purposes. The package has high lateral and diagonal stability. The package is conveniently arranged for hand carrying. It may also be conveniently pallatized with a large number of other identical packages for transportation by fork lift trucks and over-the-highway trucks. The package construction inherently permits rapid cooling of the contents of the cans 10 by refrigeration of the package. Visibility of the cans l0, and maintained cleanliness thereof are high. When all components of the other than the cans 10 are formed from plastic materials the package may be conveniently stored under high humidity conditions.
The package of the invention may also be easily opened or separated into upper and lower groups, subgroups II, or individual cans 10. As previously noted,
the first embodiment of the invention contemplates a carrier 14 on both the upper and lower groups of cans 10. Thus when the film member 15 is removed, the upper and lower groups of cans may be transported as separate groups of 12 cans 10. In the second embodiment of the invention, removal of the member 15 provides an arrangement of three packages, the upper group of 12 cans 10, and two sub-groups 11.
Having described the invention, it is to be understood that changes can be made in the described embodiments by one skilled in the art within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims.
1. A package of a relatively large number of containers comprising; a first sub-groups of containers joined together by first carrier means into a first unit having finger gripping handle means, a second sub-group of containers of like number to said first sub-group and joined together by second carrier means into a second unit having finger gripping handle means, said first and second carrier means each formed of a resilient deformable plastic material and comprising a plurality of integrally connected container encircling bands and having said finger gripping handle means between said bands, said second unit being disposed on said first unit in aligned relation in a vertical stack, a sleeve member formed of heat shrunken thermoplastic film and encircling the vertical surfaces and extending above and below the respective upper and lower sides of the vertical stack of said first and second units, and second auxiliary handle means interconnected with said carrier means and extending above the upper surface of said second unit.
2. A package of a relatively large number of containers comprising four sub-groups of containers, each of said sub-groups including a first carrier, each of said first carriers being formed of a resilient deformable plastic material and comprising a plurality of integrally interconnected container encircling bands arranged in two parallel rows, each of said first carriers disposed in cooperation with the containers of one of said subgroups so that said bands grippingly engage the outer surface of said containers, said four sub-groups of containers being arranged in a vertical stack of two pairs of sub-groups, a second carrier, said second carrier including means cooperating with the first carriers of the upper pair of sub-groups of containers to interlock said first carriers and the containers carried thereby into a unitary package, a sleeve member for heat shrunken thermoplastic film disposed about the vertical surfaces and over the upper and lower sides of the vertical stack of said two pairs of sub-groups of containers, and said second carrier including handle means for carrying the unitary package of said two pairs of sub-groups of containers,
3. A package as defined in claim 2, wherein each of said first carriers includes handle means for carrying said sub-groups of containers.
4. A package as defined in claim 3, wherein the integral interconnection of said bands of said first carriers comprises webs extending horizontally between adjacent bands.
5. A package as defined in claim 4, wherein each of said first carriers is disposed immediately below the upper edge of said containers.
6. A package as defined in claim 5, wherein said means of said second carrier cooperating with the first carriers of the upper pair of sub-groups of containers to interlock said first carriers and the containers carried thereby into a unitary package comprises tab means depending from said second carrier, and said tab means being in engagement with the handle means and the extending webs of the adjacent first carriers of said upper pair of sub-groups of containers to interlock said first carriers and the containers carried thereby into a unitary package.
7. A package as defined in claim 6 wherein said handle means of said second carrier comprises an upwardly projecting handle integrally formed on the upper surface of said second carrier, and said second carrier being formed on a material sufficiently resilient to provide for substantial flattening of said handle when another package of a relatively large number of containers is stacked thereon.
8. A package as defined in claim 2, and an additional second carrier cooperating with the first carriers of the lower pair of sub-groups of containers to interlock said first carriers and the containers carrier thereby into a unitary package.