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Publication numberUS3834526 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 10, 1974
Filing dateMar 13, 1972
Priority dateMar 13, 1972
Publication numberUS 3834526 A, US 3834526A, US-A-3834526, US3834526 A, US3834526A
InventorsZine A
Original AssigneeCorning Glass Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container and partioning system for tubular objects
US 3834526 A
Abstract
A container and partitioning system for tubular objects including a container structure, partitioning means, a plurality of stoppered tubes and a compression member. The container structure includes opposed side panels, rear panels, a bottom panel, a top panel and a pivotal front panel. The partitioning assembly, housed in the container, includes a partitioning means, having a series of predetermined spaced depressions or apertures, adjacent to the container rear panel, and a plurality of blood collection tube assemblies having a closure with a flanged portion, the diameter of which is greater than that of the collection tube. The partitioning means depressions are adapted to permit the spaced insertion of the collection tube bottom ends, while adjacent ones of the parallel tubes are adapted to abut on the peripheral surfaces of their flanged portions, thus permitting spaced partitioning of the collection tube assemblies. The compression member, preferably of resilient material, restrains the assemblies against axial movement during shipment thereof.
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United States Patent 1191 Zine, Jr.

[ Sept. 10, 1974 [75] Inventor: Anthony R. Zine, Jr., Corning, NY.

[73] Assignee: Corning Glass Works, Corning,

22 Filed; Mar. 13,1972

21 Appl.No.: 234,069

Primary Examiner-Leonard Summer Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Thomas J. McNaughton; Clarence R. Patty, Jr.

[57] ABSTRACT A container and partitioning system for tubular objects including a container structure, partitioning means, a plurality of stoppered tubes and a compression member. The container structure includes op- [52] US. Cl. 206/437, 229/14 C, 229/34 R, posed Side panels, rear panels, a bottom pane], a top 229/51 TS panel and a pivotal front panel. The partitioning asl f 365d 365d 25/14, 365d 5/ 22 sembly, housed in the container, includes a partition- [581 Fleld of Search 206/65 A; 229/33, 57 T5; ing means, having a series of predetermined spaced 23/292 depressions or apertures, adjacent to the container rear panel, and a plurality of blood collection tube asl l References Cited semblies having a closure with a flanged portion, the UNITED STATES PATENTS diameter of which is greater than that of the collection 1,787,030 12/1930 Andrews 229/33 tubs- The P ng means depressions are adapted 2,460,641 2/1949 Kleiner to permit the spaced insertion of the collection tube 2,779,526 l/l957 Vogt 229/34 R bottom ends, while adjacent ones of the parallel tubes 3,010,635 11/196] Sheldon-Williams 229/33 are adapted to abut on the peripheral surfaces of their Kludas Ct al. R portions thus spaced partitioning 38L? Zg JE of the collection tube assemblies. The compression 3:607il34 9/1971 Mam fi LINK. 206/65 A ux g prefelably 165mm g t gl the 3,707,227 12/1972 131m 206/65 R g i'igg agamst am moveme" 5 Pmem FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,122,662 5/1956 France 206/65 A 3 Chums 6 Drawmg F'gures 34 C 32 fi\ HH l I- J l l l 30 l i l I l 28.

52 l56 1 1111 1 I l 66 lll'l ll ll ll 44 lllllll ll! l It 1' '1 .11... .1'. ..",.'.'.,'11'1.'." "61" ',,..!f'.'.. 72 8O PATENTEDSEPIOIBH 3384.526

sum 3 or 3 CONTAINER AND PARTIONING SYSTEM FOR TUBULAR OBJECTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a container and partitioning system for tubular objects. More specifically it pertains to a container with partitioning means for housing evacuated closed collection tubes used as part of a blood sampling apparatus.

2. Description of the Prior Art In the standard, well-known, evacuated blood sampling tubes, such as the system illustrated in US. Pat. No. 2,460,641 to Kleiner, a glass tube has a permanently closed lower end, with the open upper end being closed by a closure member such as a rubber stopper.

These blood collection tubes are generally packaged for shipment and handling, to physicians, hospitals and laboratories, in cardboard boxes, with the tubes being located in stacked tube trays, such as, for example, those shown in US. Pat. Nos. 3,272,371 and D205,735 to Weiner. These trays, which are generally made of a flexible plastic material, separate and partition the frangible tubes from each other to minimize or eliminate breakage during shipment and to permit ready dispensing at the point of use.

While this packaging system with the tube trays performs satisfactorily, it is also subject to several shortcomings. Not only are the trays themselves relatively expensive, but they also require a considerable amount of space within the container, present a disposal problem, and do not give a ready visual indication of the number of tubes remaining in an opened container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The instant invention responds to each of the previously described shortcomings in a manner so as to completely eliminate any further concern regarding such problems.

The container and partitioning system of this invention utilizes a container structure that includes a front panel, a bottom panel, a rear panel, a top panel, a pair of side panels, and a closure flap overlying the front panel to restrain the container in a closed assembly.

The partitioning assembly of this invention includes partitioning means, having a series of predetermined spaced depressions or apertures, adjacent the container rear panel, and a plurality of blood collection tube assemblies, each having a closure with a flanged portion, with the diameter of the flanged portion being greater than the outside diameter of the collection tube. The partitioning means depressions are adapted to permit the spaced insertion of the collection tube bottom ends, with adjacent ones of the parallel collection tubes being adapted to abut on the peripheral surfaces of their closure flanged portions, thereby permitting spaced partitioning of the collection tubes.

The container and partitioning system preferably also includes a compression member, interposed between the closures and the container front panel, for restraining the collection tube assemblies against axial movement during shipment and handling thereof.

The container also preferably includes a pair of spaced front flaps on its front panel, with each flap having a tapered edge. The flaps are insertable between the inner and outer side panel portions, with the tapered edges permitting pivotal movement of the front panel upon opening of the container. The pivotal movement can be initiated by utilizing a resilient compression member capable of storing and releasing energy.

The container and partitioning system of this invention in comparison with the prior art not only makes a considerably smaller package but also allows easy access as well as easy removal of the tube assemblies while at the same time giving visible evidence of the number of remaining assemblies all at a reduced cost.

Other advantages and features of the instant invention will be understood from the following description in conjunction with the attached drawings.

BRIEF DRAWING DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the blank and the superimposed partitioning member of a container and partitioning system for tubular objects.

FIG. 2 shows the container and partitioning system in fully assembled and closed form.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view'with the top panel open and shows the placement and partitioning of the tubular objects.

FIG. 4 is an end view with the top panel open and the front panel in a partially open position.

FIG. 5, which is a front view with the top panel open and the front panel in a fully open position, shows the abutting closure members of the tubular objects.

FIG. 6, which is similar to FIG. 4 but with the side panel removed, shows the placement and partitioning of the tubular objects.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, and particularly to FIG. 1, thereis shown a carton or container blank 10, for forming a package or container 11 (FIG. 2), having a front panel 12, a bottom panel 14, a rear panel 16, a top panel 18 and closure flap 20, which form the bounding wall structure of the container. The blank is further provided with a pair of side panels 22, a pair of rear flaps 24 and a pair of front flaps 26. The various panels and flaps are joined together as a unitary structure by means of a plurality of crease or score lines 28. Shown superimposed on rear panel 16 is partitioning means 60, which will be described in more detail later.

Closure flap 20 is made up of lip portion 30, tear strip portion 32 and adhesive or. glue portion 34. Each of side panels 22 has an intermediate portion 36 that is joined on its opposite, creased edges 38, 40 to side panel inner and outer portions 42, 44 respectively. Side panel inner portion 42 has a raised boss area 48 on its lower edge 46 and its rear edge 50 is recessed or offset, for reasons to be discussed later, with respect to rear edge 52 of panel outer portion 44. Each of front flaps 26 has a tapered edge 54, for reasons to be discussed later.

One of the several ways of assembling container 11 from blank 10, which is preferably formed of conventional corrugated board (i.e., having a corrugated center media with inner and outer liners), is to fold rear panel 16 along crease line 28 to a vertical position with respect to bottom panel 14, and then fold rear flaps 24 along their associated crease lines to a position perpendicular with regard to rear panel 16. Each of side panels 22 is folded along crease line 28 to a vertical position with respect to bottom panel 14, and is then further doubly folded along edges 38, 40 over upper edge 56 of rear flap 24 so that side panel inner and outer portions 42, 44 are parallel but separated by intermediate portion 36. Boss area 48 of the portion 42 engages a slit 84 in the inner surface of bottom panel 14. Thereupon, each of front flaps 26 is folded along crease line 28 to a vertical position, with respect to front panel 12, and panel 12 is folded along crease line 28 to a vertical position, with respect to bottom panel 14. Each of front flaps 26, because of their tapered edges 54, is readily insertable (FIGS. 4 and 5) between side panel inner and outer portions 42, 44. Thereafter, upon insertion of the contents into container 1 1, top panel 18 is folded along crease line 28 to a horizontal position, and closure flap 20 is folded along crease line 28 to a vertical position and adjacent to front panel 12. Adhesive or glue, in any desired configuration is provided on the inner surface of closure flap portion 34 and thus retains closure flap 20 adjacent to front panel 12 (FIG. 2). Opening of container 11 is accomplished by manually removing tear strip portion 32, and lifting up top panel 18 by grasping closure flap lip portion 30. If crease line 28 between rear panel 16 and top panel 18 is also perforated, the latter may also be manually removed from the former.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, rear edges 50 of panel inner portions 42, by being recessed, allow the sliding insertion therebetween and the inner surface of rear panel 16 of a partitioning means 60 having a series of spaced holes or depressions 62 (FIG. 1) that permit the spaced insertion therein of the bottom end 68 (FIG. 6) of a rigid tubular container or collection tube 66. C01- lection tube 66, which is made of glass, plastic or other material, and which is usually transparent, in addition to closed bottom end 68, has an open end 70 (FIG. 6) for receiving a self-sealing stopper or closure 72 formed of medical grade butyl rubber or other suitable material. Regardless of the exact material, stopper 72 is shaped so as to have a flanged portion 74 which overlies the annular end face of tube open end 70. Tube 66 together with closure 72 comprises collection tube assembly 80. Since the diameter of stopper flanged portion 74 is greater than the outside diameter of collection tubes 66, the contact between stacked adjacent parallel collection tube assemblies 80 will occur on annular surfaces 76 (FIGS. 3 and 5) of stopper flanged portions 74. Therefore, stoppers or closures 72, by acting as spacers for the open ends 70 of tubes 66, thus prevent open end tube-to-tube contact, whereas partitioning means 60, by permitting spaced insertion therein of tube bottom end portions 68 (FIGS. 1 and 6) prevents bottom end tube-to-tube contact. While the drawings show the parallel horizontal rows of depressions 62 in partitioning means 60 to be alternately offset in the vertical direction, adjacent rows could also readily be in-line in the vertical direction, with the shown offset configuration, however, permitting a more dense packing of the collection tube assemblies.

As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6, interposed between stopper top surface 78 and the inner surface of front panel 12 is a compression member 82, preferably either of a resilient material such as foam, or a crushable ma terial such as cardboard. The main function of compression member 82 is to restrain tube assemblies 80 against axial movement within the closed container during shipment and handling thereof. A further function, in the case of a resilient-material compression member, is to facilitate the removal of the tube assemblies 80, upon the opening of container 11, by releasing the energy stored in compression member 82 as a result of closing container 11 which squeezes member 82 between the tube assemblies and the container front panel. The energy stored in member 82 slightly pops" container front panel 12 (FIG. 4) and thereby permits more ready removal of tube assemblies 80. As previously noted, front panel 12, by having front flap tapered edges 54, is readily movable with respect to side panels 22.

In comparison with the presently used packaging systems for blood collection tubes, the container and partitioning system of this invention includes, among others, the following advantages:

A. Reduced overall package size.

B. Easy access to the collection tube assemblies.

C. Easy removal of all collection tube assemblies.

D. Visible evidence of remaining number of collection tube assemblies.

E. Resulting economies by eliminating the individual tube trays.

While this invention has been described in connection with possible forms or embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that changes or modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the claims which follow.

I claim:

1. A container and partitioning system, including a container, partitioning means, and a plurality of tube assemblies, comprising:

A. a unitary container structure including:

1. a front panel;

2. a bottom panel;

3. a rear panel;

4. a top panel;

5. a pair of side panels, with each side panel having an inner and an outer portion, and with the rear edge of said side panel inner portion being recessed with respect to the rear edge of said side panel outer portion; and

6. closure flap means overlying said front panel for restraining said container in a closed assembly;

B. a plurality of tube assemblies removably disposed within said container structure, comprising:

1. rigid tubular containers, each of which has a permanently closed bottom end and an open top end; and

2. self-sealing stoppers or closures removably affixed in said tubular container open ends, each stopper or closure being provided with a flanged portion having a diameter greater than the outside diameter of said tubular container, each of said closures or stoppers abutting the next adjacent closures or stoppers at an annular surface of its flanged portion; and

C. partitioning means slidably retained between the recessed rear edges of said side panel inner portions and the inner surface of said container rear panel, said means having a face opposing said container front panel provided with a series of depressions adapted to permit the spaced insertion of the closed bottom ends of said tubular containers, and

the distance between the centers of said depressions being at least as great as the diameters of said flanged portions, whereby said tube assemblies are held in positions generally parallel to one another, at their bottom ends by said partitioning means depressions and at their top ends by the abutment of the annular surfaces of said stopper or closure flanged portions.

2. The container and partitioning system of claim 1 including compression means, interposed under compression between the top surface of said stoppers or closures and the inner surface of said container front panel, for restraining said partitioned tube assemblies against axial movement during shipment and handling.

l. rigid tubular containers, each having a closed bottom end and an open top end; and 2. self-sealing closures or stoppers, removably affixed in said tube top ends, each stopper or closure being provided with an annular flanged portion having a diameter greater than the outside diameter of said collection tube, each of said closures or stoppers abutting the next adjacent closures or stoppers at the annular surface of its flanged portion; and c. partitioning means slidably retained between the recessed rear edges of said side panel inner portions and the inner surface of said container rear panel, said means having a plurality of rows of depressions opposing said container front panel, said depressions having inner portions adapted to permit the spaced insertion of the closed bottom ends of said collection tubes, and the distances between the centers of said depressions being at least as great as the diameters of said stopper flanged portions, whereby said tube assemblies are held in positions generally parallel to one another at their bottom ends by said partitioning means depressions and at the top ends by the abutment of the annular surfaces of said stopper or closure flanged portions.

Patent Citations
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US1787030 *Feb 1, 1926Dec 30, 1930Box Blank CorpOne-piece box
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US5881948 *Dec 31, 1997Mar 16, 1999Correll; John D.Expandable pizza box and method of use
US6024221 *Mar 23, 1998Feb 15, 2000Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama SeisakushoAmpule storage bag
US6290680 *Sep 22, 1998Sep 18, 2001Pharmacia AbPrefilled ampoules and manufacture thereof
US6345758 *Jun 28, 2001Feb 12, 2002The Swatch Group Management Services AgBox with a cover and a frontal flap formed in a single blank without adhesive bonding
US6807797Feb 16, 2001Oct 26, 2004Pharmacia AbPrefilled ampoules and manufacture thereof
US7597245 *Sep 12, 2007Oct 6, 2009David Allen TilleryDental impression shipping box
US8191562 *Aug 20, 2010Jun 5, 2012Sampson Michael MTelescopic umbrella with integral anchor
US20050028489 *Sep 3, 2004Feb 10, 2005Mikael ForsbergPrefilled ampoules and manufacture thereof
WO2009040378A1 *Sep 24, 2008Apr 2, 2009British American Tobacco (Investments) LimitedSmoking article pack blank and packs formed therefrom
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/528, 206/438, 206/523, 229/141, 206/490, 229/223, 229/178, 229/167, 229/123, 206/446
International ClassificationB65D5/48, B65D5/20, B65D5/22, B65D5/54
Cooperative ClassificationB65D5/48, B65D5/546, B65D5/22
European ClassificationB65D5/22, B65D5/54D2, B65D5/48
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 18, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: SHERWOOD MEDICAL COMPANY
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SHERWOOD MEDICAL INDUSTRIES INC. (INTO);REEL/FRAME:004123/0634
Effective date: 19820412