EP2052992B1 - Closure assembly with a levered lid opening mechanism - Google Patents

Closure assembly with a levered lid opening mechanism Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2052992B1
EP2052992B1 EP20080166373 EP08166373A EP2052992B1 EP 2052992 B1 EP2052992 B1 EP 2052992B1 EP 20080166373 EP20080166373 EP 20080166373 EP 08166373 A EP08166373 A EP 08166373A EP 2052992 B1 EP2052992 B1 EP 2052992B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
tab
lid
closure
strap
dispensing outlet
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
EP20080166373
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2052992A1 (en
Inventor
Mark W. Dressel
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Bausch and Lomb Inc
Original Assignee
Bausch and Lomb Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US98081507P priority Critical
Application filed by Bausch and Lomb Inc filed Critical Bausch and Lomb Inc
Publication of EP2052992A1 publication Critical patent/EP2052992A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP2052992B1 publication Critical patent/EP2052992B1/en
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D47/00Closures with filling and discharging, or with discharging, devices
    • B65D47/04Closures with discharging devices other than pumps
    • B65D47/06Closures with discharging devices other than pumps with pouring spouts or tubes; with discharge nozzles or passages
    • B65D47/08Closures with discharging devices other than pumps with pouring spouts or tubes; with discharge nozzles or passages having articulated or hinged closures
    • B65D47/0804Closures with discharging devices other than pumps with pouring spouts or tubes; with discharge nozzles or passages having articulated or hinged closures integrally formed with the base element provided with the spout or discharge passage
    • B65D47/0828Closures with discharging devices other than pumps with pouring spouts or tubes; with discharge nozzles or passages having articulated or hinged closures integrally formed with the base element provided with the spout or discharge passage and elastically biased towards the open position only
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2251/00Details relating to container closures
    • B65D2251/10Details of hinged closures
    • B65D2251/1066Actuating means
    • B65D2251/1075Levers

Description

    Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to a closure assembly that provides for sanitary dispensing of a liquid from a container.
  • Background of the Invention
  • Sterile solutions are useful for certain medicinal and ophthalmic applications in which it is desirable to expel a portion of the sterile solution from a multi-dose container for treatment purposes while maintaining the integrity of the remaining sterile solution. In such applications, it is necessary either to provide a bacteriostatic agent in the solution itself or to remove microorganisms and other contaminants from the flow of replacement air into the container. It is also advantageous to provide that the fluid dispensing path minimize the intrusion of contaminations into the container after dispensing a portion of the sterile solution.
  • US patent 5,588,546 discloses a closure with a stay-open lid, wherein the stay-open feature is attained in part by the use of a nib on the lid of the closure which engages a void on the base of the closure. A frictional fit between the nib and the sides of the void keep the lid up until the user chooses to close the lid on top of the base.
  • Figures 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E are views of a prior art closure assembly 10 that is used to dispense commercial contact lens solutions. The prior art closure 10 includes a lid 12 attached to the cap 14 by strap 16. The strap 16 is formed by separate ribbons 18 and 19. The lid 12 is displaced from the dispensing outlet by exerting upward pressure on area 22 of the lid. Essentially, one lifts the lid 12 off the cap 14 with their fingers and thumb by grapping underneath area 22 and pulling upward. Upon opening the lid 12 will extend a distance from the displacement outlet.
  • Documents such as US-A-2002125274 , WO-A-9911536 or EP-A-1 535 854 disclose a closure assembly there opening of the lid is achieved by pushing in one direction only.
  • There is a need for a closure assembly that provides for easy removal of a lid from a dispensing cap, and one that is designed to reduce inadvertent contact between the fingers or thumb of a user and the outlet or lid of the container.
  • Brief Summary of the Invention
  • The invention is directed to a closure assembly for a container according to claim 1.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
    • Figures 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E are views of a prior art construction.
    • Figures 2A, 2B and 2C are side, front, and end views, respectively, of a closure assembly in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure.
    • Figures 2D and 2E are perspective views of the closure assembly of Figure 2A.
    • Figures 3A, 3B and 3C are side, front, and end views, respectively, of a closure assembly in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure.
    • 3D, and 3E are perspective views of the closure assembly of Figure 3A.
    • Figures 4A and 4C, are views of another embodiment of the closure assembly.
    • Figure 4B is a cross-sectional view of the closure assembly of Figure 4A.
    • Figures 5A and 5B are top and cross-sectional views of a closure assembly with the tab offset from the ribbon.
    • Figure 6 is a side view of a closure assembly showing the ribbon attached at the bottom of the tab.
    Detailed description of the invention
  • The invention is directed to a closure assembly for a container. The closure assembly comprises a cap having a dispensing outlet. The closure includes a lid that sealingly engages the dispensing outlet in a closed position and is spaced a distance from the dispensing outlet in an open position. The closure assembly also includes a tab extending from a bottom portion of the lid and having an upper surface of sufficient dimension to engage a finger or thumb such that downward pressure on the upper surface of the tab with the finger or thumb transmits an upward force to the lid to disengage the lid from the closed position.
  • In one embodiment, the closure assembly also includes a strap that connects the tab to the cap and is of sufficient dimension and stiffness to displace the lid from the dispensing outlet in the open position. Preferably, the lid, the tab, the strap and the cap are integrally formed, e.g., by injecting molding of an appropriate plastic material. Alternatively, one can envision the strap, tab and lid as integrally formed, which is then positioned about the dispensing outlet area much like the cap of a water bottle.
  • Figures 2A, 2B, and 2C, are side and top end views of a closure assembly 30 in accordance with one embodiment. Figures 2D and 2E are perspective views of the same closure assembly 30.
  • The closure assembly 60 depicted in Figures 4A to 4C includes a cap 32, a lid 34 and an integral interconnecting strap 44. The cap 32 includes internal features such as threads, detents, annular ribs or ridges for engaging a correspondingly configured neck of a container (not shown). The peripheral surface of the cap 32 is shown with a knurled edge 76.
  • The cap 60 includes a dispensing outlet 62. See, Figures 4A and 4B. Although the dispensing outlet 62 can have any of a variety of configurations, a suitable exemplary embodiment has a generally nozzle shape with an outer or exposed shoulder 74 and protruding lip 75. The dispensing outlet 62 lies on a longitudinal axis LA. Typically, the longitudinal axis LA is collinear with a longitudinal axis of the container.
  • The lid 34 is configured to releasably and sealingly engage the cap 32 to preclude fluid flow through the dispensing outlet 62 when the lid is in a closed position. The lid 34 is provided with an annular bead that fastens beneath lip 75 and onto shoulder 74 for a liquid tight fit of the lid. The lid 34 is provided with an integral tab 36.
  • The tab 36 projects radially away from the lid 34. In one embodiment, the tab 36 defines a contact area 38 for engaging a finger or thumb of a user. The tab 36 is sized to space the contact area 38 from the engagement of the lid 34 and the cap 32, by a sufficient distance to allow the tab 36 to function as a lever. The tab 36, which functions as a lever, is relatively inflexible with respect to the strap 44. That is, the tab 36 transmits torque or force to the lid 34, rather than flexing or bending to absorb an applied force. Accordingly, the tab 36 can include stiffening features such as ribs or struts. Alternatively, or additionally, the portions of the tab 36 can be formed with an increased thickness, thereby increasing the rigidity of the tab. Essentially, the tab 36 transmits sufficient torque to remove lid 34 from the dispensing outlet 62 with little or no flexing of the tab.
  • It is understood that the contact area 38 can include any of a variety of surface features or indicia. As seen in Figures 3B, 3D and 3E, the contact area 38 includes a plurality of ridges. The ridges can be parallel or intersecting. Further, the ridges can be curvilinear, faceted or straight. It is also noted that the contact area 38 can include indicia to direct the user on how to operate the closure assembly. The indicia can be either words, symbols, or a combination thereof. See, Figure 2B.
  • In one embodiment, the contact area 38 of the tab 36 is spaced from the longitudinal axis LA of the dispensing outlet 62 by a distance that is at least substantially equal to one half the cap diameter (or equal to the cap radius). Thus, for a concentrically located dispensing outlet 62 in the cap 32, the contact area of the tab 36 has a radial dimension of approximately 1 to 1.5x the radial dimension of the cap. In a further exemplary embodiment, the contact area 38 of the tab 36 is radially intermediate the periphery of the cap 32 and a periphery of the container. The contact area 38 is spaced from the longitudinal axis LA to allow the application of force on the tab 36 at approximately the radius of the cap 32. In a further exemplary embodiment, the tab 36 is sized to locate at least a portion of the contact area 38 beyond the radius of the cap 32 yet within the footprint of the container.
  • As depicted in the Figures, the strap 44 integrally interconnects the tab 36 to the cap 32 and thus provides for displacement of the lid 34 between a closed position, i.e., sealing the dispensing outlet 62, and an open, operable position of the lid distanced from the dispensing outlet and permitting free unobstructed flow of the liquid from the dispensing outlet, i.e., the container. The strap 44 extends from the lid 34 to the cap 32. The transition from the cap 32 to the strap 44 is located at a lower or bottom portion of the cap 32, thereby maximizing the distance along the longitudal axis LA between connection of the strap to the lid and the connection of the strap to the cap. Maximizing distance between these connections increases the radius of curvature experienced by the strap 44 in the closed position of the lid 34. The increased radius of curvature allows the strap to be thicker. Movement of the lid 34 onto the cap 32 into the closed position produces a bias in the strap 44 that will be released when the lid is removed and will carry the lid away from the dispensing outlet 62.
  • The lid 34 will be held away from the dispensing outlet 62 by the strap 44. The strap 44 can be formed of separate ribbon elements 46 and 48. Alternatively, the strap 44 can be formed of a single ribbon. The strap 44 formed of separate ribbons 46 and 48 can effectively provide greater support to the lid 34. The strap 44 is configured such that the lid 34 does not twist when being brought back onto the dispensing outlet 62. Accordingly, the strap 44 presents the lid 34 to the dispensing outlet 62 in substantially collinear alignment.
  • Figure 4A is a top view of an alternate closure assembly 60. Figure 4B is a cross-sectional view of the closure 60. Figure 4C is a side view of the closure assembly 60 in a closed position. In Figure 4A and 4B, the closure 60 is shown in an after molded configuration showing a one piece closure assembly.
  • The cap 32 is designed for a press fit onto a container, or alternatively, it is well within the skill of the art to utilize a screw fitting. The closure assembly is adapted to be applied to a container. For example, the container can include an annular bead that engages shoulders 66, 68 and 70 of the closure assembly to seal the closure assembly to the container. The cap 32 is shown to have a generally circular periphery defined by a cap diameter.
  • As shown in Figure 4B, the tab 36 is thicker than the strap 44. The tab 36 may have a higher resistance to bending than the strap 44 such that the resistance is sufficient to allow pushing down on the tab 36 to loosen the lid 34. Alternatively, the tab 36 can subtend a larger angle to exhibit greater resistance to bending with respect to a strap 44 of the same thickness. In the alternative, the tab 36 can be provided with ribs in order to increase its beam strength such that the tab 36 sufficiently resists bending to disengage the lid 34, in response to a downward force on the contact area 38.
  • Figures 5A and 5B are views of a closure assembly 80. In closure assembly 80, the tab 36 projects at a generally right angle to the strap 44. The tab 36 can be pushed up or down to open the lid 34 (move the lid from the closed position to the open position). Even if pushed up, the thumb or finger of the user would not tend to be drawn toward the dispensing outlet 62 as the lid movement would be to the side. If the tab 36 were pressed down to open, the finger is not lead toward to the dispensing outlet 62.
  • The tab 36 when separated, or spaced, from the strap 44, as in Figure 5A, can be in any location that does not tend to lead the finger toward the dispensing outlet 62 when opening the closure assembly. A location less than 120° from the attachment point with the strap 44 is suitable. A preferred location is 75° to 90° from the center of the area of attachment of the strap 44 to the lid 34. The tab 36, when offset from the strap attachment point, can contain words such as "push" or other indicia to indicate that downward motion is preferred to open the lid 34.
  • One use of the closure assembly in is combination with plastic squeeze containers that are used to hold ophthalmic compositions such as eye drops or contact lens cleaning solutions. For such uses, the consumer could both hold and open the present closure with one hand. Other suitable use is with medical solutions and other ophthalmic solutions.
  • Figure 6 illustrates a closure assembly 90 with a different attachment point for the strap 44 onto the tab 36. In this instance the strap 44 extends from the underside of the tab 36 rather than as a continuation of the tab. This embodiment will provide additional bending resistance to the tab 36 as the tab is made is thicker at the point 92 of strap attachment to the tab. This embodiment also provides a more acute curve in the strap 44 which causes the lid 34 to spring further from the dispensing outlet 62 when the lid 34 is opened.
  • Any suitable material can be utilized in the formation of the closure assembly. Typical of such materials are polystyrene and other olefin polymers. A preferred material has been found to be a low-density polyethylene as it is low in cost, easy to mold and provides good flexibility properties for use in the ribbon while also providing the strength needed for the tab.
  • The present closure assembly facilitates one-handed operation in a manner where the finger opening the closure assembly is not led towards an orifice or outlet where sanitary material is expelled. Preferably, the cap and the lid are integral with the strap to form the closure assembly thereby providing low cost of manufacture. Further, the operation of the opening of the lid is simple and intuitive to the user.
  • While the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations as fall within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (11)

  1. A closure assembly (80) for a container, the closure assembly (80) comprising:
    a cap (32) having a dispensing outlet (62), wherein the cap (32) sealingly engages the container;
    a lid (34) sealingly engaged with the dispensing outlet (62) in a closed position and movable to an open position spaced from the dispensing outlet (62); and
    a tab (36) extending from a bottom portion of the lid (34) and having an upper surface of sufficient dimension to engage a finger or thumb such that downward pressure on the upper surface of the tab (36) with a finger or thumb transmits an upward force to the lid (34) to disengage the lid (34) from the closed position,
    wherein the closure assembly (80) is adapted in such a way that the tab (36) can be pushed in any of the directions up or down to open the lid (34).
  2. The closure of claim 1, further comprising a strap (44) that connects the tab (36) to the cap (32) and is of sufficient dimension and stiffness to displace the lid (34) from the dispensing outlet (62) in the open position.
  3. The closure of claim 2, wherein the lid (34), the tab (36), the strap (44) and the cap (32) are integrally formed.
  4. The closure of any one of claims 2 and 3, wherein the lid (34) has a circular periphery and the tab (36) is attached to the lid (34) at a point separate from the point of connection of the strap (44).
  5. The closure of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the dispensing outlet (62) includes a lip (75) and a shoulder (74) and the lid (34) comprises an inner annular ring adapted to fit under the shoulder (74) to sealingly engage the dispensing outlet (62) in the closed position.
  6. The closure of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the tab (36) comprises features that stiffen the tab (36) to facilitate the transmission of the upward force on the lid (34) as the downward force is applied to the upper surface of the tab (36).
  7. The closure of claim 6, wherein the features that stiffen the tabs (36) are rib members or struts disposed on a lower surface of the tab (36).
  8. The closure of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the tab (36) is of sufficient thickness to provide a tab (36) of sufficient stiffness to facilitate the transmission of the upward force on the lid (34) as the downward force is applied to the upper surface of the tab (36).
  9. The closure of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the upper surface of the tab (36) includes indicia on an upper surface of the tab (36).
  10. The closure of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the upper surface of the tab (36) includes a contact area (38) to provide friction to a finger or thumb contacting the tab (36).
  11. The closure of claim 2, wherein the lid (34), the tab (36) and the strap (44) are integrally formed.
EP20080166373 2007-10-18 2008-10-10 Closure assembly with a levered lid opening mechanism Expired - Fee Related EP2052992B1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US98081507P true 2007-10-18 2007-10-18

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP2052992A1 EP2052992A1 (en) 2009-04-29
EP2052992B1 true EP2052992B1 (en) 2010-01-06

Family

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP20080166373 Expired - Fee Related EP2052992B1 (en) 2007-10-18 2008-10-10 Closure assembly with a levered lid opening mechanism

Country Status (5)

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US (1) US20090255962A1 (en)
EP (1) EP2052992B1 (en)
AT (1) AT454324T (en)
DE (1) DE602008000505D1 (en)
ES (1) ES2337630T3 (en)

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WO2011108134A1 (en) * 2010-03-03 2011-09-09 株式会社サンプラテック Container and attachment for container
AU2012206593B2 (en) * 2011-01-14 2016-02-25 Creanova Universal Closures Ltd. Closure
WO2013027205A1 (en) * 2011-08-21 2013-02-28 S.M.L. Success Ltd Container cover
US20140263018A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. Tether-retained dialyzer port cap and dialyzer including same
JP6282003B2 (en) * 2013-12-27 2018-02-21 株式会社吉野工業所 Squeeze type discharge container
US10246233B2 (en) * 2017-04-03 2019-04-02 Mario Fagone Flap cap

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AT454324T (en) 2010-01-15
EP2052992A1 (en) 2009-04-29
US20090255962A1 (en) 2009-10-15
DE602008000505D1 (en) 2010-02-25
ES2337630T3 (en) 2010-04-27

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