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Publication numberUS3927789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 23, 1975
Filing dateNov 4, 1974
Priority dateNov 21, 1973
Also published asDE2357979A1, DE2357979B2, DE2357979C3
Publication numberUS 3927789 A, US 3927789A, US-A-3927789, US3927789 A, US3927789A
InventorsProdel Ulrich Heinrich
Original AssigneeProdel Ulrich Heinrich
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle packing
US 3927789 A
Abstract
A bottle packing comprises a plastic case having side walls, a bottom, parallel primary partitions dividing the interior of the case into sections, and parallel secondary partitions dividing the sections into individual bottle compartments. Carriers, each holding a plurality of bottles, are received in the sections of the case and have slits in their bottoms and lower side walls to fit over the secondary partitions. Central portions of the secondary partitions are higher than end portions so as to extend up between adjacent bottles and separate them whether they are in a carrier or are placed in the case without a carrier.
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nited States Patent [1 1 Prodel BOTTLE PACKING [76] Inventor: Ulrich Heinrich Prodel, Grunstrasse 13, D 4902 Bad Salzuflen, Germany 22 Filed: Nov. 4, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 520,918

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 21, 1973 Germany 2357979 [52] US. Cl. 220/21; 220/23.83;.206/203 [51] Int. Cl. B65D 1/24 [58] Field of Search 220/21, 22, 23.83, DIG. 15; 206/139, 203

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,863,759 2/1975 Prodel 220/21 X Dec. 23, 1975 Primary ExaminerWilliam I. Price Assistant Examiner-Steven M. Pollard Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert E. Burns; Emmanuel J. Lobato; Bruce L. Adams [5 7] ABSTRACT A bottle packing comprises a plastic case having side walls, a bottom, parallel primary partitions dividing the interior of the case into sections, and parallel secondary partitions dividing the sections into individual bottle compartments. Carriers, each holding a plurality of bottles, are received in the sections of the case and have slits in their bottoms and lower side walls to fit over the secondary partitions. Central portions of the secondary partitions are higher than end portions so as to extend up between adjacent bottles and separate them whether they are in a carrier or are placed in the case without a carrier.

us. Patent Dec.23,1975 sheet 1 OH 3,927,789

FIG-1 US. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 Sh6et30f4 3,927,789

m W W H J R US. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 Sheet 4 of4 3,927,789

FIG. 11

BOTTLE PACKING FIELD OF INVENTION The present invention relates to a bottle packing comprising a plastic case the interior of which is divided by partitions into bottle compartments in such manner that the case is adapted to receive the individual bottles or bottles contained in carriers or packs.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION Bottled beverages such as soft drinks and beer are sold and shipped in various forms of packing. One packing form is a plastic case divided by partitions into compartments in which the individual bottles are placed. This packing form has been particularly approved as it serves not only for transport of bottled beverages to the market but also for the return transport of empty bottles. Although there was earlier the trend to the use of disposable bottles or containers for beverages, this trend has been reversed for environmental reasons. Plastic cases for the transport of individual bottles have hence found a wide use.

Another packing form is the so-called pack. Four, six or eight bottles are held in a one piece wraparound carton so that a carrier for the bottles results. This carrier makes possible the transport of a small number of bottles for household use from the retailer to the individual household. The bottles packed in carriers are shipped from the brewery or bottling plant to the distributors and retailers in corrugated cartons in order to provide for transport units larger than four, six or eight bottles since the small units of four, six or eight bottles are too inconvenient to load and stack. Bottles packed in carriers are universally today one-way bottles which must be thrown away after use. They fill the trash barrels and rubbish dumps and on the production side represent a very important cost factor which may amount to as much as 30 percent of the total price.

In order to overcome this disadvantage there has been proposed a bottle packing comprising a stackable, plastic bottle case which is suitable for the transport of loose bottles as well as for bottles packed in carriers. The case has four side walls, the upper and lower edges of which are reinforced, a bottom and at least one partition dividing the case into individual compartments. In each of the comp artments there is at least one spacer which projects up from the bottom and separates the individual bottles placed in the case. For example if bottles are packed in carriers with six bottles disposed in two rows in each carrier and with four of the six packs in a case, the case has two crossing partitions which divide the interior of the case into four compartments. Each of these four compartments can receive a six pack. In each of the compartments there are two columnar spacers which project up from the bottom of the case and are star shaped in cross section. In the bottom of the carrier there are star shaped openings which allow these spacers to project up between the bottles in the carrier. These two spacers in each compartment keep the bottles from bumping one another during transport of the cases. With this bottle packing the bottles cannot be as close together as they were in previous carriers packed in corrugated cartons.

In order to permit the bottles to be as close together in the carrier as previously, there has been proposed a bottle case having side walls of a height at least equal to the sum of the height of partitions in the case and the height of the bottles to be transported. When the bottles packed in carriers are placed in the case, the bottoms of the carriers rest on the partitions. If the bottles are not packed in carriers they are received in the individual bottle compartments formed by the partitions. The arrangement of the bottle compartments does not need to correspond to the arrangement of the bottles in the carriers. For example, the bottle compartments can have a honeycomb configuration while the bottles in the carriers are arranged in two rows.

A further proposal for a bottle packing is that the form of the middle and lower parts of the carriers are made to correspond to the form of the partitions of the bottle case. The bottle case is provided with partitions which extend in only one direction and are wedge shaped so that downwardly widening bulges or recesses are provided to receive the bottles.

While these proposals have presented solutions to the problem of providing a bottle case capable of transporting bottles in carriers or loose bottles, there is nevertheless room for improvement. In one case the height of the case must be greater than usual. In another, bottoms of the carriers are weakened. In many cases it is not possible to use present packing machines for filling the cases or emptying machines for removing the bottles. Hence, special filling and emptying machines are required.

SUMMARY or INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to overcome the foregoing disadvantages by providing a bottle packing comprising a plastic case of the usual size which is adapted to receive either bottles in carriers or individual bottles and has the usual arrangement and spacing of bottle compartments so that present machines can be used for packing and emptying the bottle cases.

In accordance with the invention a plastic bottle case having side walls and a bottom has a plurality of primary partitions dividing the interior of the case into a plurality of sections each of which is of a width to receive a bottle and a plurality of parallel secondary partitions perpendicular to the primary partitions dividing each of the sections into a plurality of individual bottle compartments, a central portion of each of the secondary partitions being higher than the end portions adjacent the primary partitions or the side walls of the case. Bottle carriers adapted to be received in the case and each holding a plurality of bottles have slits in the bottom and lower portions of the side walls to receive the secondary partitions of the case when a carrier containing bottles is placed in the case. The secondary partitions extend between and separate adjacent bottles in a carrier and also extend between and separate adjacent bottles when placed in the compartments of the case without a-carrier.

It is thereby possible to use very simple carriers which are like known carriers except that slits are provided in the bottom and in the lower portions of the side walls between each two adjacent bottles. The carrier can for example have only two side walls and a bottom, with openings provided in the side walls to receive the necks and lower portions of the bottles so as to hold them in place. It is also possible to use carriers invthe form of a folding box which has four side walls. This understandably holds the bottles more securely.

It is desirable for the primary partitions which divide the interior of the case into sections for holding the carriers to be approximately as high as the middle por- 3 tions of the secondary partitions between individual bottles. I

If bottles are to be arranged in two rows in a carrier it is expedient to join the adjacent side walls of two single row carriers together at their upper ends.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The objects and advantages of the invention will be more fully understood from the following description of preferred embodiments shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a vertical section through a bottle packing in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the bottle packing shown in FIG. 1; I 1

FIG. 3 is a side view of a single row carrier which is filled with bottles;

FIG. 4 is an end view of the carrier shown in FIG..3;

FIG. 5 shows a blank which is'folded to form the carrier of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a side view of another single row carrier which has four side walls and is filled with bottles;

FIG. 7 is an end view of the carrier of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 shows a blank which is folded to form the carrier of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a side view of a two row carrier;

FIG. 10 is an end view of the carrier of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 shows a blank which is folded to form the carrier of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 12 shows the carrier of FIG. 6 folded for transport from the carrier maker to the bottle packer.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED embodiments:

The bottle packing shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a plastic case 1 having four side walls 1A and 1B and a bottom 2. The interior of the case 1 is divided by partitions 3 into five separate sections A, B, C, D and E each of a size to receive four bottles 4. The partitions 3 are parallel to the side walls 13 and have a height approximately half the height of the side walls so that the tops of the partitions are above the center of gravity of bottles received in the case. Each of the sections A-E is divided by partitions 5 into four individual bottle compartments. The partitions 5 are perpendicular to the partitions 3 and hence parallel to the side walls 1A. Central portions 5B of the partitions 5 have a height approximately equal to that of the partitions 3 while end portions 53 adjacent the partitions 3 or side walls 1B are lower, preferably having a height less than half that of the central portions 5B. In order to impart a high stability to the central upwardly projecting por-' tions 5B of the partitions 5, vertical ribs 6 are provided to stiffen the partitions. The partitions 3 and 5 are preferably formed integrally with the side walls and bottom of the case, thereby providing astrong one piece construction.

The plastic bottle case shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is adapted to receive individual bottles as well as bottles contained in carriers or packs. Thus, in section A there are shown four individual bottles 4. In section B there are four bottles in a carrier which has only two side walls and a bottom, the ends of the carrier being open. In section C is a carrier which has closed ends. In sections D and E there is shown a carrier for eight bottles arranged in two rows. The construction of the case shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 has the advantage that central portions of the partitions 5 extend up between adjacent bottles whether or not they are in a carrier and thereby keep the bottles from bumping one another during transport.

In FIGS. 3 and 4 there is shown a carrier of the kind shown in section B of the case illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 holding four bottles arranged in a single row and thus constituting a four pack. The carrier is of a wraparound construction comprising two side walls 7 and 10 and a bottom 8 with the ends of the carrier being open. The carrier is thus readily formed from a flat blank as shown in FIG. 5. Lower portions of the side walls 7 and 10 adjacent the bottom 8 angle inwardly and are provided with openings 9 to receive lower portions of the bottles as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4. Moreover, an upper portion 10A of the side wall 10 is provided with openings 11 through which the necks of the bottles extend. The openings 9 and 10 serve to position the bottles longitudinally of the carrier so that they are securely held in the carrier even though the ends are open. At the upper end of the side wall 7 there is a portion 7A of reduced width which is provided with hand grip openings 12. The reduced portion 7A of the side wall 7 passes through a slot 14 provided near the upper end of the side wall 10 and is folded over about a fold line 13 so. that the two hand grip openings 12 coincide with one another and the end of the reduced portion 7A is engageable with the side wall 10 adjacent the slit 14 so as to secure the reduced portion 7A against withdrawal and thereby retain the carrier in closed condition.

The carrier .is conveniently formed of lightweight stock, for example strong paper or light cardboard which is die cut to form a blank of the shape shown in FIG. 5. In addition to the openings 9, 1 1 and 12 and the slit 14, the blank is provided with slits 15 which extend across the bottom 8 and into lower portions of the side walls 7 and 10 between the openings 9.

-In assembly the pack, the necks of the bottles are first inserted in the openings 11 of the side wall 10. The carrier blank is then wrapped around the bottles and the reduced end portion 7A of the side wall 7 is inserted through the slit 14 near the top of the top wall 10 and folded over about the fold line 13 to secure the carrier in closed condition. The carrier containing four bottles is then placed in one of the sections of the plastic case 1 defined by the partitions 3. The slits 15 in the bottom 8 and lower portions of the side walls 7 and 10 of the carrier permit the partitions 5 of the case to extend into the carrier between adjacent bottles. The higher central portions of the partitions 5 extend between the bottles sufficiently to separate them and effectively prevent them from bumping one another during transport. By reason of the end portions 5A of the partitions 5 being lower than the central portion 53, the slits 15 do not need to extend as high in the side walls 7- and 10 of the carrier so that the carrier is not materially weakened by the slits.

In FIGS. 6 to 8 there is shown another carrier which is likewise adapted to be insertable in the bottle case of FIGS; 1 and 2. This carrier has two long side walls 16 and two short end walls 17. As in the carrier of FIGS. 3 to 5 slits 15 are provided in the bottom and the lower portions of theside walls 16 to permit entry of the partitions 5 between adjacent bottles when the carrier is placed inthe case 1. An upper end portion of one of the side walls'16 is provided with a hand grip opening 12'while an upper end portion of the other side wall 16 is provided with two hand grip openings 12 and a fold line1l3 so that the latter portion can be folded over the upper end of the first mentioned side wall as seen in FIG. 7. The end walls I7'do not extend the fullhei'ght of the walls but only a portion of the height, for example to the lower portion of thenecl As""seen from FIGS. 7 and 8the end walls 17 are formed'byflaps provided at opposite ends of the side wallsI16' and joined together by a glue strip ZL'The'flapscan of course be otherwise joined. The end walls 17 are provided with a central fold'line 18 and'the' bottom 19 is provided with a central fold line' 20 sothat the carrier can be collapsed to a flat condition as illustrated 'in FIG. 12. The carriers can hence be stored and can be shipped from the carrier manufacturer to the bottler in a very compact condition. When the carriers are to be filled with bottles they are opened up so that the two halves of each end wall lie in a common plane and the side walls are spaced apart a distance equal to the diameter of the bottles. This occurs automatically when the carrier is inserted in the plastic case 1. Thus, when a bottle case is provided with empty carriers it can be filled with bottles by a usual packing machine. It is not necessary to close the tops of the carriers as this can be done by the customers merely by bringing the upper portions of the two side walls together and folding the upper end portion of the longer side wall over the upper end of the shorter side wall so that the hand grip portions 12 are in registry with one another.

In FIGS. 9 to 11 there is shown a carrier which corresponds in general to two of the carriers of FIGS. 6 to 8 joined together at their upper ends so as to hold eight bottles arranged in two rows. The carrier thus has two adjacent inner side walls 16A and two outer side walls 163. The two inner side walls 16A are joined together by a fold line 22 at the top of the carrier. Upper portions of the outer side walls 16B slope inwardly as seen in FIG. 10 and are provided with openings 11 for the necks of the bottles. A hand grip opening 12 is provided near the upper end of each of the side walls. The outer side walls 168 are longer than the inner side walls 16A so that when bent to the form shown in FIG. 10 the hand grip openings in the outer side walls coincide with those of the inner side walls. End walls 17 are formed of flaps joined together by glue strips 21 as described in conjunction with FIGS. 6 to 8. They extend only a portion of the height of the bottles. The end walls 17 are provided with central fold lines 18 and the bottoms 19 of the two halves of the carrier are provided with fold lines 20 so that the carrier can be collapsed for packing and shipping.

The bottom 19 and lower portions of the side walls 16A and 16B of each half of the carrier are provided with slits 15. When a double carrier such as is shown in FIGS. 9 to l l is put into a plastic case as shown in FIG. 1, it occupies two adjacent sections of the case. Thus, for example in FIG. 1 a carrier in accordance with FIGS. 9 to 11 is shown occupying sections D and E. The two adjacent inner side walls 16A straddle a partition 3 between the adjacent sections of the case. As with the carrier of FIGS. 6 to 8 that of FIGS. 9 to 11 can be placed empty in a case and then filled by a packing machine of the usual kind. The top of the carrier can be left open for closure by a customer merely by gripping the hand grip portions provided at the upper ends of the side walls. If desired the joining fold line 22 can be perforated, slitted or scored so that the two halves of the eight pack provided by the double carrier can readily be separated from one another if a customer desires only four bottles. Instead of making the double carrier from a single blank as illustrated in FIG. '11 the'two' halves=of the carrier can be made separately and thereafter joined. to one another for example by adhesive or stapling at the upper ends of thesidewalls. If a case is intended-.to accommodate only double carriers such as that shown in FIGS. 9 to 11, it is provided with an even number of sections insteadof with an odd number as illustrated in FIG. '1.

It will be understood that with the "construction of a bottle case and'carriers as herein illustrated and described the filled bottles can-be shipped to the distributor and retailer with the bottles in carriers so as to form four packs, 's'ix packs or eight packs as desired which are sold to customers. When the empty bottles are returned to a dealer they can be placed in the same plastic bottle case without carriers and shipped back to the bottler. The partitions 5 of the case prevent the bottles from bumping one another regardless of whether or not the bottles are in a carrier. The cases in accordance with the invention are of usual size and can be filled and emptied with automatic machinery of the usual kind for filling and emptying cases which are used without carriers.

While preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated in the drawings and are herein particularly described, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent 1. A bottle packing comprising a plastic case having side walls and a bottom, a plurality of parallel primary partitions dividing the interior of said case into a plurality of sections each of which is of a width to receive a bottle and a plurality of parallel secondary partitions perpendicular to said primary partitions dividing each of said sections into a plurality of individual bottle compartments, a central portion of each of said secondary partitions being higher than opposite end portions adjacent said primary partitions or said side walls, and bottle carriers adapted to be received in said sections of said case and each holding a plurality of hottles, each of said carriers having side walls and a bot tom, said bottom and lower portions of said side walls of the carrier being slotted to receive said secondary partitions when a carrier containing bottles is placed in said case, whereby said secondary partitions extend between and separate adjacent bottles in a carrier and also extend between and separate adjacent bottles when placed in said case without a carrier.

2. A bottle packing according to claim 1, in which said carrier has two side walls one of which has an upper end portion of reduced width and the other has in its upper portion a slit in which said portion of reduced width is received.

3. A bottle packing according to claim 2, in which an upper part of said portion of reduced width is folded over and engages the slitted upper portion to retain said portion of reduced width in said slit.

4. A bottle packing according to claim 2, in which one of said side walls of the carrier has holes through which necks of the bottle extend.

5. A bottle packing according to claim 1, in which said carrier has four side walls comprising two outer side walls and two adjacent inner side walls, said carrier holding two rows of bottles and being received in two adjacent sections of the case with one of said primary partitions received between said adjacent inner side walls of the carrier.

'6; A bottle packing according to claim 5, in which said outer side walls of the carrier have holes through which necks of the bottles extend.

7.A bottle packing according to claims, in which said carrier has end walls of lesser height than said side walls. I

8. A bottle packing according to claim 7, in which said end walls comprise flaps at opposite ends of opposite side walls bent inwardly and secured together.

9. A bottle packing according to claim 1, in which said carrier has two opposite side walls and two end tles are joined at their upper ends. ll

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3863759 *Oct 18, 1973Feb 4, 1975Spumalit AnstaltPlastic crate for transporting bottles in bottle carriers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4036391 *Oct 22, 1976Jul 19, 1977Spumalit-AnstaltPlastic bottle case
US4210265 *Mar 27, 1979Jul 1, 1980Alexander Schoeller & Co. AgMolded case for returnable beverage bottles
US4295576 *Oct 30, 1979Oct 20, 1981Alexander Schoeller & Co., Ag.Molded case for returnable beverage bottles
US4326629 *Apr 21, 1980Apr 27, 1982Benjamin TateBottle carrier
US8579124 *Dec 20, 2007Nov 12, 2013Compagnie Gervais DanoneProduct display device
US20100072148 *Dec 20, 2007Mar 25, 2010Compagnie Gervais DanoneProduct display device
EP0645314A1 *Sep 22, 1994Mar 29, 1995The Mead CorporationBottle crate and carton adapted for use therewith