US3186544A - Multiple container package and carrier - Google Patents

Multiple container package and carrier Download PDF

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US3186544A
US3186544A US17523862A US3186544A US 3186544 A US3186544 A US 3186544A US 17523862 A US17523862 A US 17523862A US 3186544 A US3186544 A US 3186544A
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carrier
container
containers
loops
package
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Byron V Curry
Dunn John Malcolm
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Byron V Curry
Dunn John Malcolm
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    • 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
    • B65D71/00Bundles of articles held together by packaging elements for convenience of storage or transport, e.g. portable segregating carrier for plural receptacles such as beer cans or pop bottles; Bales of material
    • B65D71/50Bundles of articles held together by packaging elements for convenience of storage or transport, e.g. portable segregating carrier for plural receptacles such as beer cans or pop bottles; Bales of material comprising a plurality of articles held together only partially by packaging elements formed otherwise than by folding a blank

Description

June 1955 N B. v. CURRY ETAL 3,136,544

MULTILPLE CONTAINER PACKAGE AND CARRIER Filed Feb. 25, 1962 4 Sheets Sheet 1 I K F 3/ 3/ 1 BYRON ll. CURRY INVENTORS.

' JOHN MA L C 01. M DUNN A NE? T TOR J1me 1965 B. v. CURRY ETAL 3,136,544

MULTIPLE CONTAINER PACKAGE AND CARRIER Filed Feb. 23, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 BYRON V. CURRY JOHN MALCOLM DUNN INVENTORS.

June 1, 1965 B. v. CURRY ETAL MULTIPLE CONTAINER PACKAGE AND CARRIER I Filed Feb. 25, 1962 -I w .l EFieEIrEI :EIE

2:: i :1 -5 EH Ines ne1,1965 B. v. CURRY Em 3,186 54 MULTIPLE CONTAINER PACKAGE AND CARRIER Filed Feb. 25, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 BYRON I. CURRY JOHN MAL COLM DUNN INVENTORS.

A T TQR/VE Y United States Patent 3,186,544 MULTELE CONTAINER PACKAGE AND CARRIER Byron V. Curry, 6 W. Orange Grove, Arcadia, Calif., and

John Malcolm Dunn, Monrovia, Calif. (305 Via Montego, San Clemente, Calif.)

Filed Feb. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 175,238 2 Claims. (Cl. 206-65) The invention relates to container packages and methods for making such packages, such as packs of four or six beverage containers.

In highly competitive industries such as the soft'drink and malt liquor industries, packaging and distributing costs are of prime concern. Soft drinks and malt liquors are commonly sold in the United States in packages or packs of four or six'containers. Such multiple sales are advantageous to the distributor and the manufacturer, but they do entail problems. The cost of packaging the containers must be kept low, yet the containers ideally should be usable repeatedly. However, return type cartons for the containers must be sterilized along with the containers before reuse. Therefore, cartons should withstand the moist heat of steam sterilization as well as the stresses of repackaging. Such materials are usually more costly than those which are merely adequate to form the carton and sustain the weight of the containers therein. We have invented a container package that combines container and container carrier configurations to yield a container package which is stable, strong and which may be manufactured at a very low cost, capable of reuse and multiple sterilization. In certain embodiments costs are so low the package may be of a non-returnable type. We have also invented process whereby the carriers for the containers of the inventive package may be efiiciently fabricated.

The invention contemplates a container package comprising a plurality of similarly oriented cylindrical containers each having an engaging bead or lip. Preferably the bead is a continuous peripheral ring, but may be discontinuous. Again, preferably but not necessarily, the engaging lip or bead is located remote from either end of the container. Each container has a contact zone near the engaging bead. The zone has lesser projection from the vertical axis of the container than does the engaging bead. One of a plurality of cinctures fixed together in a common plane perpendicular to the central axis of the container surrounds each of the plurality of containers. The cinc tures may be loops or bands. A support surface on each cincture is adapted to engage the bead of the container therein. A carrying handle may extend from the cinctures. Preferably the handle extends from the intersection of one pair of cinctures to the intersection of another pair of cinctures upwardly then downwardly to form a handle band tapering upwardly. The cinctures and handle form a carrier for the containers. The taper of the handle facilitates stacking. In some embodiments a folding handle may be used instead.

Six cinctures, which may be loops, arranged three on either side of a vertical plane form a carrier for six containers. In this configuration two handles may be preferable. These handles extend upwardly as described from one pair of loops and then downwardly to the intersection of a second pair of loops. If it is desired to form a package having four containers, at single handle or finger grip between intersections of loop pairs is sufficient.

The preferred carrier of the container package comprises a plurality of annular loops with a support surface on each loop adapted to engage the lip of a container. The loops are mutually fixed so that the support surfaces thereof are substantially coplanar. Each support loop may have an inner peripheral contact area adapted to engage the outer periphery of the container adjacent the engaging bead or lip thereof. A carrying handle is fixed to the loops. In a package of six containers, the loops are in rows of three loops each. A package of four containers has two rows of two loops each. In either package the rows are symmetrically oriented on opposite sides of a central vertical plane. This is an optimum configuration both from the viewpoint of lesser material for the carrier and minimum space for warehousing.

Our inventive process relates to the formation of a container carrier for containers having an external engaging bead or lip on each container. The preferred process includes the steps of incising a series of slits in an elongate blank along a continuous line thereon, and folding the blank along the line of the slits to form a relatively narrow double ribbon. However, the double ribbon may comprise two intermittently bonded strips. The ribbon is then compressed longitudinally to force the ribbon segments on each side of a slit to bulge outwardly from the fold line. The ribbon bulges form a series of tangent 360 circular loops on either side of the fold line. The loops are then bonded together at their points of tangency and a handle is fixed to the folded blank portions remaining between slits.

Such a carrier may be formed from paper, cardboard or mallable plastics. Preferably the carrier portion used with throw-away containers is of paper to be disposed of along with the throw-away containers.

The beads on the containers may be formed easily when the containers are first moulded or spun, and may be keyed to the standard design appearance of the particular container without detracting from the design. It is within the contemplation of the invention that metal cans may comprise the containers of the inventive package, since there is now commercially utilized a can, made by a deep draw method, which does not have a bottom'bead. Such containers may be inserted into the loops of the carrier of the invention in the preferred top loading orientation.

These and other advantages of the invention are apparent in the following detailed description and drawing in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a typical container in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2- is a perspective view of a container carrier of the inventive package;

FIG. 3 is a similar view of a similar carrier for a lesser plurality of containers;

FIG. 4 is elevational view, partly broken away, of the preferred container package of the invention;

FIG. 5 is fragmentary longitudinal section showing three empt carriers in stacked relationship;

FIG. 6 is a plan view, partly broken away, of a six pack package in accordance with the invention;

' FIG. 7 is an elevational view of an alternate embodiment of a container in accordance with the invention;

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are fragmentary views of further alternate embodiment of the container of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in section, showing an alternate embodiment of the package of the invention;

FIG. 12 is a plan View to a reduced scale of an alternate embodiment of the carrier of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly broken away, of a package in accordance with the invention and including the carrier embodiment of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a schematic representation of a method whereby the carrier ofthe invention may be fabricated;

FIG. 15 is an oblique view of a carrier fabricated in accordance with the method illustrated by FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 illustrates schematically an alternate embodiment of the carrier-forming process of the invention;

- FIG. 22 is a sectional elevation taken along line 22 2?. of FIG; 21; and

FIG. 23 is a plan view of a further alternate embodiment of a carrier in accordance with the invention, having finger holes as hand grip means.

FIG. 1 shows a beverage container 11 in accordance with the invention. The container has a conventional sealing cap 12 atop a tapering neck portion 13 which slopes downwardly from the cap to an engaging li-p or head 14. The bead is an annular protuberance projecting outwardly away from the central axis 16 of the container a distance R Directly below annular engaging lip 14 is a contact zone 18 which has a lesser projection R from the central axis.

FIG. 2 illustrates a container carrier 21' shown to a larger scale than is the container ofFIG. l. The carrier comprises a plurality of cinctures having the form of circular loops 23, 24, 25 forming one row on one side of the longitudinal axis of the carrier, and a pluralityof cinctures or circular loops 26, 27, 28 forming a row on the opposite side of the axis. Each loop has an upper support surface 2? The loops are fixed together at their respective tangent,

points 31. A carrying handle 33 extends upwardly from adjacent the intersection of loops 23 and 26 to a fingergrip area 35 and downwardly to a point adjacent the intersection of loops 24 and 27. The handle tapers upwardly for stacking. A similar carrier handle 37 extends upwardly from adjacent an intersection of loops 24, 27 and then downwardly to the intersection of loops 25, 28.

Container carrier 21 of FIG. 2 has six cinctures to carry six containers and forms with the containers a six pac of beverages or other packaged material. FIG. 3 illustrates. a carrier 43 having four loops 45, .46, 47, 48, each of which has an upper support surface. .41 adapted to meet the engaging lip of a container. Carrier 43 also has a carrier handle49 similar in attachment and configuration to the handles 35, 37 of the embodiment of FIG. 2. 7

Both of the carrier embodiments shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 may be fabricated of a number of materials. The selection of materials depends mainly upon the carrier use.

If the carrier is for use with disposable containers, it is preferable that the carrier be made from a polypropene' plastic so that it may be disposedof without economic loss. It the carrier, such as the carriers 21 and 43, are to be resuable (that is, used in container packages in which thecontainers are to be returned for a refund, sterilized and reused), then the preferable material-may bebutyrate plastic. Highimpact styrene may also be used but has the disadvantage of becoming brittle with temperature changes. Thin metal sheets of material such as aluminum may also be used.

FIG. 4 illustrates a container package in accordance with the inventi-on'in which carrier'21 of FIG. 2 is used in combination with a plurality of containers such as,con-,

r of the containers.

is typical of all of the containers. The fit between the contact area and the contact zone is such that the container slides, easily downwardly through the loop, yet fits snugly enough that lateral motion of the container is restricted. The purpose of such restriction is to preclude unnecessary contact between adjacent containers within the carrier package.

The diameter D of any horizontal cross sectionrof the container below bead or lip 58 is less than the diameter of the bead. Such configuration is preferable for top loading of the carrier, adapted to conventional loading machinery. V

As FIG. 4 illustrates, handles .33 and 37 of, carrier 21 are between containers of the package. The'container package. may be lifted and transported by inserting a finger between bottle pairs and exerting an upward. lift upon handles 33 and 37. The height of finger grip area 35 of a handle above. support surface 29 of the loops depends uponythe particular type of container combined witlrthe carrier. If the diameter ofthe containers is such that an average hand cannot span the central container or fit between rows,--and' still reach the handles, then it is prefer'ableto extend the handles above the tops Such is thefcase when containers of the packageare quart or larger bottles of fruit juices or household bleach, or other items commonly packaged in glass containers. i I 7 As mentionedheretotore it is preferable thatythe carrier handle or handlestaper from adjacent the loops to a narrower upward curve, as shown in FIGS. 2 and'3. Stacking of empty carriers isfacilitated by this configuration of the handles. Referringnow to FIG. 5, a plurality of carriers 71, 72, 73 in accordance with the invention are shown stacked in one above the other relationship.

Carriers 71 and 72 are substantially identical with four containercarrier of FIGS. FIG. -5 is similar to a 1ongitudinal section therethrough, disclosing the handle anchors 76, 77, at either end of the handles where they join the loops. The anchors also serve to fit theloops rigidly together at the tangent points. This construction may be achievedby' moulding the individual carriers as one piece. a

Carrier 73 is similar in outward appearance and construction to carriers 71 and 72. Carrier'73, however, may. .be assembled from a plurality of loops which are made singly and then bonded at their assembled points of tangencyby bonding spots like adhesive patches 79 shown in FIG. 5. The opposite ends of a handle 81 of carrier 73are. bonded at 83 to two adjacentsupport loops adjacent their tangent point.

The handles 85, 86 of carriers 71, 72respectively, fit within handle 81 because ofrthe upward taper of the respective handles. Thus there is little limitation on the stack height of empty carriers of this type.

As is evident from FIG. 6, which is a plan view of the carrier embodiment of FIG. 2,.the same stacking facility exists whether one, two, or three or more handles are needed. The number of handles depends upon how many containers the container package has.

Carrier 21, of FIGS. 2 and 6 may have handle anchors '76, 77 between the outer support loop pairs and a central anchor 78 between the inner looppairs. Alternately, carriers of the type shown in 1 168.2 and 6 may be constructed of. six individually formed loops bonded together as described with respect to carrier 73ofFIG. 5 and have handles attached in the position shown in FIG. 6, but bonded as shown in'FIG. 5; a

FIG. 7 shows a beverage or. otherliquid'container 91 having a discontinuous engaging lip comprising a plurality of coplanar beads 92, 93, 94, 95etc. Each bead has a nether engaging surface 97 adapted to. engage an upper sup portsurface '98 of'a support loop 99, shownfrag mentarily in FIG. 7. Container 91 has a contact zone 191 against which the contact area of loop 99 (not shown) may bear.

The materials of the carrier and container package of FIG. 7 may vary with the contents of the container, and whether or not the container is a disposable type. If the container is disposable, then the carrier-of which loop 99 is a portion, may be of an economical plastic such as polypropylene, or a heavy paper or fiber construction.

FIG. 8 illustrates a further alternate embodiment of the invention in which a container 103 having a continuous engaging lip or bead 154 also has a'contact zone 105 beneath the engaging bead 104-. The radial extent of zone 1115 from a central axis of the container is less than the radial extent therefrom of head 1104.

In FIG. 8 bead 104 is a distance below a horizontal plane (represented by line 106) which demarks the upper limit of the major volume of the container. Such bead placement is preferable as it gives a support point lessening the lever arm of the bottom of the bottle. Thus oscillation of the containers upon the support surface due to "uneven portage of the container package is less likely to cause adjacent container bottoms to strike together. In certain instances such jostling may result in damage to the container. However, more likely is that the carrier would be considered unsatisfactory because noises generated by contacting containers give the impression that the carrier were unstable.

FIG. 9 illustrates fragmentarily a further alternate container embodiment in which a deep-drawn metal container 111 has a continuous upper bead 112 and a beadless bottom edge 113. A contact zone indicated by arrow '115 extends beneath continuous bead 112. The distance of the container periphery from the central axis of the container is less below the bead 112 than is the like extent of the bead. Thus, the container too is adapted to the preferred top-loading technique.

FIG. fragmentarily shows a container 121 having an engaging head or lip 122 which results from'a sharply reduced diameter container portion 124. Lip 122 is adapted to engage the support surface of the cincture or loop of a carrier in accordance with the invention. Reduced diameter portion 124 may extend downwardly from lip 122 to the bottom of the container. The difference in diameter between lip 122 and reduced diameter portion 124 is exaggerated in FIG. 10 for the purposes of illusration. The difference in radius need be no greater than V 2 of an inch in order to achieve the apparatus of the invention. v

The embodiment of FIG. 10 is adapted to carrier designs in which no obvious protuberance from the outer periphery of the container is desired.

FIG. 11 illustrates fragmentarily an alternate embodiment of the package of the invention in which a plurality of containers 131 are confined Within a carrier 133. As is typical of the container packages of the invention, the containers are removably confined in a predetermined arrangement within a carrier which offers little or no impedance to refrigerated air flow when the container package is cooled. Therefore the time increment between receiving inventory and selling condition is materially reduced, as is the power necessary to reduce sufficiently the temperature of the container contents.

Carrier 13-3 may have one or more upwardly tapering handles 135 fixed as in previous carrier embodiments to adjacent loops near the tangent points thereof. The containers shown in FIG. 11 have an engaging lip 137 similar to that described with respect to the container of FIG. 10. -However, each carrier cincture or loop 138 of carrier 133 has an inwardly protruding annulus 139 at the bottom of the loop band. The annulus has an-upper surface 141, forming for each loop a support surface adapted to engage the respective lips 137 of the containers. In this configuration therefore, a contact zone 143 of the container is above the engaging lip of the container.

The carrier of the embodiment of FIG. 11 may be intecontainer package of the invention in which a carrier 151 (shown in plan view in FIG. 12) comprises a plurality of loops 152, 153, 154, 155 each of which has a continuous bottom band 157 and discontinuous conical cincture segments 155 upwardly and inwardly from the bottom band. The carrier of FIG. 12 is for four containers and in this configuration a single handle 161 is suflicient. The handle 161 is similar to those described in previous carrier embodiments, although it need not be identical to them.

Referring now to FIG. 13, carrier 151 is shown combined with a plurality of containers of which containers 16 i, 165 and 166 are visible in that figure. Loop 155 encompasses container 164, whereas loop 154 (partly broken away) encompasses container 166. 7

Each of the containers has a bead about its upper periphery above the horizontal line 106 marking the upper termination of the major volume of the container. Each discontinuous conical segment 159 is shaped so that it has an inner zone adapted to fit against a curving contact zone 168 of the container. The upper end of each of the discontinuous segments 159 is tapered inwardly and downwardly to form a support surface 171). The taper facilitates registry of the surface beneath the engaging lips of the containers.

Container 164 of FIG. 13 has a continuous bead 171 with an upwardly sloping bottom lip 172. This lip is adapted to be supported upon the inward tapering upper edges 1711 of the discontinuous segments 159 of band 157.

. Bead 171 may have a downwardly opening registry slot 174. A slightly upwardly elongated discontinuous conical segment 159A fits into the registry slot. Each of the carrier loops may have an elongate segment 155A at its extreme outer periphery. If such is the case then each continuous bead 171 of a container has a registry slot 174. A label 176 on the container is aligned vertically with the registry slot. Thus, containers in the carrier 155 may be positively oriented so that the information or advertising label 176 of each container faces outwardly for easy observation.

Container 166 is a slightly modified container in that its head 171A has a plurality of apertures 178 spaced about its periphery in accordance with the spacing of discontinuous conic-a1 segments 159 of the carrier. While the carrier of FIG. 12 is placed about containers such as con tainer 164 by a downward thrust of the carrier about the nested containers, with the conical cincture segments 159 snapping outwardly about the bead and then inwardly to register against bead lip 172, the containers exemplified by container 166 may be combined with a carrier by thrusting the carrier downwardly about the similarly oriented container group and passing the discontinuous conical segment 159 through the apertures 17 8 of the bead 171A until support surfaces of the segments are below the line engaging lip 172. Thereafter the containers may be turned within the carrier loops so that the surfaces 1711 of the carrier engage the lip 172 of each of the containers.

The bead 171A may be provided with a registry recess 174A into which an elongated segment 159A of each carrier loop registers to orient the containers within the carries and also to preclude accidental displacement of the containers which might realign the conical segments with apertures 1'75. a

The packageillustrated by FIGS. 12 and 13 presents an embodiment in which both the container beadandcarrie'r support surfaces may be discontinuous, although'this is not a necessary structural limitation. The embodiment of FIGS. 12 and 13 has the advantages inherent in the previously described embodiments, such as minimal material, great peripheral exposure of containers for quick cooling, and no need for carrier platform floors to lift a, 1 sass-4 the containers. In addition the contact between the COD.

tact zone of the containers and the contact area of the carrier cinctures or loops substantially eliminates undesirable chance contact between adjacent containers without rising separators.

FIGS. 14 through 18 illustrate further embodiments of carriers in'accordance with the invention, and process whereby such carriers may be fabricated. T herprocesses illustrated schematically by FIGS. 14 and 16,,while resulting in different carrier embodiments, have in common the following method: A central stiffener is fed at a predetermined speed along a path coinciding with a faster moving cincture or loop-forming strip orstrips that are to be fixed to the central stiffener once the strips have been formed r into carrier loops. A handle may or may not be a part of the central stiffener. The speed of the central stiffener along the path is considerable lessthan the speed of the strip or strips forming the loops until those loops are completely formed.

Turning now to FIG. 14, a central stiffener 291 having spaced, vertically extending handles 292 and 2&3 passes between feed rollers'2li6 in a rightward direction in that figure. "A continuous strip 20$ passes through feed roll-' ers 299 at a considerably greater speed than the rightward advance of stiffenerZtllJ- A second continuous strip 2lll is similarly fed on theopposite side of stiffener 2M.

wardly in a continuous handle portion 269. Thehandle portion aflords'a further drive contact area, preferably located beyond the end points'of guides 265. A pair of feed rollers such as the pair 271 shown in FIG; ,17 may be used to continue the impetus of the central stiffener v and further control its speed. j The speed of rollers 271 is synchronized with'the speed of feed belts 267. The effective speed imparted by the belts to the completely formed carrier'loops 275 on either side of the stiffener is' considerably less than the pe-' 'ripheral speed of theloop strip drive rollers s at the up- 20 stream end of'the fabricating path.

In operation the apparatus shown schematically in FIG. 16 impels the central stiffener, which may or may not include handle portion 269, and theloop'strip along the fabricating path by means of drive rollers 252 and 271.

25 Preferably stiffener 251 is -adhesively'coated inthe area Adhesive may be applied to both sides of the stiffener A as indicated by the arrows 213. The continuous stiffener.

may be coated with an adhesive prior to its passage through rollers 206 if those rollers are such that the adhesive does not adhere to them. Initially the forward portionsof each of the loop strips 2%, 211 are fixed to the stiffener and then the feed rollers are activated. Since the forward portion of the loop strips are constrained from' moving as rapidly as the strip is being fed, the strips tend to bunch up. By techniques well known in the art this bunching up can be guided into carrier loops such as the loops 215 show on one side of the stiffener and loops 216 shown on the other side of the central stiffener.

Depending upon the stiffness of the strip used to form the loops, it may be desirable to score the strip vertically asat 218 to induce proper curvature inthe loops. Once contacted .by loop strip 254. The slots 26 1 262 of loop strip 254 are so spaced that the interval between. slits is equal to the intervalbetweentangent points of adjacent loops at the stiffener, and the length of each slit is equal.

30 to the circumference of a loop. [The feedrollers 256 for the loop strip may be slanted to induce downward bending of the strip around itsecntral longitudinal axis. Other folding means Well knownin'the art may be used to accomplish this downward bending. As the stiffener. and

3 the loop strip are initially fed along the path a portion of the loops are formed they may be pressed into adhesive contact with the central stiffener by guide strips suchas the strip ,221 shown bearing against the outer periphery of loops 216. V j

The process forms a carrier such as carrier 225 of FIG.

15. Carrier 225 hasa plurality of 3609 loops 227 on .one side of a stiffener 223 and a plurality of loops 229 on the opposite side of the stiffener. In the embodiment of the carrier shown in FIG. 15 the central stiffener includes I an upstanding portion 231 comprising a handle for the four loops of the carrier. The loops are further bonded together at their points of tangency 233 to form an integral carrier. Note that a large bonding area is afforded by the loop strip portions 235'that extend along either side of the central stiffener between adjacent loops.

Bonding may take place as indicated by the arrows 237' a during the formation of the basic carrier element, or may be done after the continuous carrier element has been incised into individual carriers of four, six, or more carrier loops. The handle formation shown in FIG. 14 is for a six-pack carrier. Afour-pack carrier such as that shown in FIG. 15 entails reverse orientation of handle 202. As stated before, handles may be added at a future fabricating station rather than being apart of the central stiffener.

A further alternate process is illustrated in FIG. 16. ,A central stiffener 251 is fed rightwardly by a feed roller pair 252 at a predetermined speed. A cincture-forming or loop-forming strip 254 is fed rightwardly by pairs of rollers 256 whose drive shafts 257, 258 are fragmentarily Loop-forming strip illustrated at the left of the figure. 15ft is slitted intermittently along its longitudinal central axis, forming a plurality of slits 263., 262, etc. A pair the folded strip between slits is fixed tothe central stiffener. Thusthe' downstream portions of the central strip and the loop strip must travel at the same speed, whereas the upstream portion. of the central strip is being-fed much more rapidly'by feed rollers 256. This causes a parting of the folded loop strip along the slit, and the loop strip bulges outwardly 'on' either side. of the slit line in complete loops 281; As the materialcontinues to be fed faster on its upstream side than downstream the loops take more form, as indicated by loops283, and the opposite ends 285, 286 of the slit come closer together. Thus, as indicated by loops 238ythe slit'is almost'completely closed as the loop takes a circular'forrn. At this stage contact is made with feed belts'267, which tend to impel the 360 loops inwardly against the central stiffener into adhering contact with the loop strip portions 239 between slits.

Oncethe formed loops are bonded tothe central stiffener the loop pairs on either side of the central stiffener may be bonded-together at their tangent points. to form an integral carrier element.

As indicated in FIG. 18, the. carrier element may be cut at dotted line 291' remote from element end 292 to form a 'six pack carrier. Alternately it may be cut at dotted line 2% to forma carrier for; four containers. Fingerso 110165297 are spaced near upper edge 2% of the handle portion 259 and oriented directly above the line of tangent points of loop pairs on either side of the central stiffener.

The process'shown in FIG. 16 results in a container carrier havin'g more strength'because of the folded loop strip. It'is. also easier to; maintain transverse orientation 7O container package; 301 comprising a carrier 362 and a between loop pairs when the-pairs are formed from the same strip. t i

FIGS. 19 and 20 illustrate a still further alternate embodiment of the container package of the invention. A

plurality of containers 3&3 through 367 is shown with one container of the package missing. As is apparent in FIG. 20, each container has an engaging lip or head 311 forming a continuous annulus about the container at a point remote froma container cap 313.

Each container is surrounded by a cincture 315 defined by a circular substantially vertical wall 316 within a horizontal tray 318 of carrier 362. As in previous embodiments, the cinctures are oriented in similar rows on either side of a central vertical plane 319 of the package. Each cincture has an upper support surface 321 that engages bead 311 of a container. All of the support surfaces 321 are substantially coplanar.

The cinctures 315 are oriented so that the cincture walls approach tangency, enough tray material being left between the walls of adjoining cinctures to support the weight of the containers.

A centrally located elongated slot 325 traverses the central portion of tray 318 of the carrier. A handle member 327 is snugly fitted in the slot and projects above the tray surface in hand grip means 328. A longitudinal stiffener portion 329 extends beneath tray 318, precluding upward removal of handle member 327.

stiffener 329 has sufiicient thickness to space the adjacent container rows to prevent contact between the containers as a result of random package movement. The stiffener helps prevent longitudinal bending of the carrier due to the weight of the containers. Because of the spacing action of stiffener 329 no transverse tray stiffening is necessary.

It is preferable that the carrier of the package embodiment shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 be made of linear high density polyethylene or a similar material. Metallic sheets of sufiicient gauge may be used also, although material costs may preclude use of metal carriers with disposable type packages. It is to be understood that containers having a discontinuous engaging lip or bead may also be utilized in the combination illustrated by FIGS. 19 and 20.

FIGS. 21 and 22 illustrate a container package 331 suitable for carrying four containers. The carrier 333 is illustrated with two containers removed, only containers of 335 or 336 being in place. In the plan view of FIG. 21 cinctures 338 and 339 are therefore plainly visible.

It is preferable that carrier 33 of FIGS. 21 and 22 be moulded, preferably of linear high density polyethylene material. Each cincture has a plurality of upwardly and inwardly tapering support tabs 341 against which an engaging bead of a container 336A (shown in phantom lines in FIG. 22) may rest. Each tab tapers to a thin supporting edge 343 which immediately engages the head of a container within the particular cincture of the carrier. A handle ear 346 is turned upwardly from the carrier material at 346 and 347. A U-shaped wire handle 348 having a horizontal hand grip portion 349 is suitably attached to the tabs.

The outer periphery 351 of the carrier may be contoured concentric with the cinctures in order to save material and to provide as small horizontal dimensions as possible. Such dimensions are critical for storage eX- pediency.

A plurality of outwardly extending tabs 354 about each cincture may be utilized to afford bearing surfaces for the packaging machinery used in the assembly of carriers and containers to form the package of the invention.

The package of the invention may be assembled by pressing carrier 333 over the necks and down about the bodies of properly oriented groups of containers. The particular carrier 333 of FIGS. 21 and 22 combines with a group of four containers. The principle and method of assembly may be the same for a carrier adapted to six containers. As the carrier is pressed down about the containers, tabs 341 are sprung outwardly beyond their normal inner diameter within a cincture to pass over the head of the container. As soon as the tabs are below the maximum diameter of the bead. they spring back into place against the lesser diameter of the contact zone below the head. The actual support surface of the cincture of the embodiment of FIG. 21 has a lesser diameter than that of the engaging lip or head. However, the diameter of the contact zone of the container is obviously less than that of the lip.

Five tabs have been shown for each cincture. A minimum of three tabs and a maximum of eight or ten are presently used, depending on the nature of the material or the carrier and the weight of each of the containers of the container package. The package embodiment of FIGS. 21 and 22 may be assembled by passing containers down through the carrier. Despite its light weight it is structurally suflicient to support larger and heavier containers. Additionally, containers having a, protruding bottom bead, or a bottom periphery as large as the engaging bead can be removed upwardly from the carrier through the resilient tabs 341. A container of such configuration is preferable on conventional container handling lines in which the containers are moved by thrusting one container against another. If there is not contact between the top and bottom of each of the containers, the containers on the line will cant or tilt and affect the movement along the line.

The carriers 333 may be stored without containers in a relatively small space since the handle 348 folds against the upper surface of the carrier.

FIG. 23 illustrates a modified embodiment of the carrier of the package of FIGS. 19 and 20. A carrier 361 has a plurality of cinctures 363 defined by cincture walls 365 Within a carrier tray 366. The cincture Walls are oriented in rows of three on opposite sides of a central vertical plane passing through tray 366. A lower stiffener 368 having the vertical configuration of an inverted T may be integrally moulded with tray 366. Finger grip holes 371 and 372 located between adjacent cincture pairs afford hand grip means for carrying the container package. Stiffener 363 may diverge around the finger grip holes at 374 and 375 so as to be continuous to stiffen the carrier longitudinally. Preferably such a carrier is made from linear high density polyethylene or other like material. The outer periphery 376 of carrier 361 may be altered from that shown to approximate the concentric contours of the carrier of FIG. 2l if material saving is desired.

The foregoing specification sets forth several embodiments of the inventive container package, the containers and the container carriers. Many other variations of the apparatus and method disclosed illustratively herein will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. Such variations, as do the embodiments illustrated, Will have the advantages inherent in the invention: economical fabrication, weight bearing strength, compactness of the apparatus and resistance to the heat and moisture of sterilization. Also the total peripheral area of the containers of the invention packages may be directly exposed to refrigerated air as the containers of no previous package can be.

The handle or hand grip means may take many shapes, as dictated by comfort, necessary strength and cost factors of the particular apparatus. One or more features of any one embodiment may be interchanged with features of other embodiments, without departing from the scope of the invention, to result in method and apparatus embodiments in addition to those illustrated. We therefore do not wish to be limited by the foregoing specification but rather define our invention in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A container package comprising a plurality of similarly oriented cylindrical containers arranged in parallel rows,

each container having an engaging lip of greater diameter than the major diameter of the container body, and a container contact zone of lesser diameter than the maximum diameter of the engaging lip;

a plurality of cinctures equal in number to the plurality of containers,

a plurality of resilient :support tabs extending inwardly and upwardly from the wallof each cincture to define an intermittent support, surface circle of substantially the same diameter as the container contact zone,

each of said support tabs tapering from thecincture wall to a lesser thickness at the support surface of the tab and being prestressed to bend outwardly more readily than inwardly;

a carrier tray portion defined by the carrier materia between cinctures,

handle tabs projectingfrom the carrier tray portion,

diameter than the major diameter of the container and comprising a plurality of cinctures grouped in a commoniplane in parallel rows,

a plurality of resilient support tabs extending inwardly and upwardly from the wall of each cincture to define an intermittent support surface circle of substantially the same diameter as the major diameter of the container adapted to engage the underside of the lip .of a container,

each of said support tabs tapering from the cincture wall to a lesser thickness at the support surface of the tab and being prestressed to bend outwardly more readily than inwardly;

carrier material References Cited by theiExaminer UNITED STATES PATENTS 111,920 2/71 Ells 211-74 7 150,718 5/74 Seavey. r

1,603,028 10/26 Crimmel 211-74 "1,702,199 2/29 Cunningham 224-48 1,730,345 10/29 Beman 211-74 1,801,576 4/31 Shuger, 215-100 2,397,716 V 4/46 We'ndler 248-872 2,533,349 7 12/50 Burger 215-12 2,538,684 1/51 'Gushard et a1 215-12 2,575,580 11/51 Cadmus. r 2,697,629 12/54 Mashrush 294-872 2,710,219 6/55 ,Zalkind. 1 2,711,922 6/55 Batkin. I

2,738,114 3/56 Kahlan etal. 2,822,208 2/58 Then 294-872 2,874,835 2/59 Poupitch' 206-65 2,936,070 5/60 Poupitch 206-65 2,994,426 1 8/61 Biesecker 1206-65 2,996,329 8/61 Glazer 206-65 3,022,888 2/62 Brunsing 206-65 3,094,259 6/63 Diehl 224-482 3,134,485 5/64 Bonkowski 220-234 THERON CONDON, Primary Emmi/ten a EARLE J. DRUMMOND, Examiner.

Claims (1)

  1. 2. A CARRIER FOR A PLURALITY OF SIMILARLY ORIENTED CYLINDRICAL CONTAINERS EACH HAVING AN ENGAGING LIP OF GREATER DIAMETER THAN THE MAJOR DIAMETER OF THE CONTAINER AND COMPRISING A PLURALITY OF CINCTURES GROUPED IN A COMMON PLANE IN PARALLEL ROWS, A PLURALITY OF RESILIENT SUPPORT TABS EXTENDING INWARDLY AND UPWARDLY FROM THE WALL OF EACH CINCTURE TO DEFINE AN INTERMITTENT SUPPORT SURFACE CIRCLE OF SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME DIAMETER AS THE MAJOR DIAMETER OF THE CONTAINER ADAPTED TO ENGAGE THE UNDERSIDE OF THE LIP OF A CONTAINER, EACH OF SAID SUPPORT TABS TAPERING FROM THE CINCTURE WALL TO A LESSER THICKNESS AT THE SUPPORT SURFACE OF THE TAB AND BEING PRESTRESSED TO BEND OUTWARDLY MORE READILY THAN INWARDLY; A CARRIER TRAY PORTION DEFINED BY THE CARRIER MATERIAL BETWEEN CINCTURES; AND HAND GRIP MEANS ON THE CARRIER FOR LIFTING SAID CARRIER.
US3186544A 1962-02-23 1962-02-23 Multiple container package and carrier Expired - Lifetime US3186544A (en)

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Cited By (30)

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US3232422A (en) * 1963-12-16 1966-02-01 Illinois Tool Works Article carrier
US3311252A (en) * 1964-08-14 1967-03-28 Ira T Swartwood Handle device
US3330408A (en) * 1964-12-16 1967-07-11 Illinois Tool Works Carrier package
US3360179A (en) * 1965-07-13 1967-12-26 Sektkellerei Carstens Kg Cellular packing for bottles and the like
US3385626A (en) * 1966-09-21 1968-05-28 Mitchell S. Wozniak Plastic sheet carrier device
US3404505A (en) * 1965-01-27 1968-10-08 Owens Illinois Inc Method for packaging containers
US3443685A (en) * 1967-05-26 1969-05-13 Illinois Tool Works Container carrier and package
US3462009A (en) * 1967-03-07 1969-08-19 Reynolds Metals Co Package means for container means
US3463536A (en) * 1967-01-10 1969-08-26 Haynes Mfg Co Container handle
US3608949A (en) * 1969-07-22 1971-09-28 Illinois Tool Works Container carrier
US3613881A (en) * 1969-10-06 1971-10-19 Fred N Schwend Combined carrier and package
US3688935A (en) * 1970-07-13 1972-09-05 Illinois Tool Works One-piece container carrier
US3785484A (en) * 1972-04-12 1974-01-15 Grip Pak Inc Container package
US4103811A (en) * 1973-05-14 1978-08-01 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Article carrier and method of making same
US4238256A (en) * 1979-01-04 1980-12-09 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Device and method for applying flexible bails to containers
EP0142360A2 (en) * 1983-11-17 1985-05-22 Illinois Tool Works Inc. A carrier device and a package including it
US4627546A (en) * 1982-09-28 1986-12-09 Merrick Industries Flexible detachable handle and carrier for a plastic bottle and the combination thereof
US4793647A (en) * 1987-11-02 1988-12-27 Marvin Claire C Cup caddy
EP0400400A2 (en) * 1989-06-02 1990-12-05 GRAFENWALD KUNSTSTOFFGESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. & CO. VERARBEITUNGS- UND VERTRIEBS KG Packaging unit consisting of containers and a supporting frame
DE3918047A1 (en) * 1989-06-02 1990-12-06 Grafenwald Kunststoff Container and support frame combination
EP0622307A1 (en) * 1993-04-28 1994-11-02 Heineken Technical Services B.V. Carrier package for a multiplicity of bottles
US5868659A (en) * 1996-11-13 1999-02-09 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Method of forming a two-piece fused top lift carrier
US6032791A (en) * 1998-10-16 2000-03-07 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Container carrier adapted for use with adhesive handle
US6415917B1 (en) * 1998-12-24 2002-07-09 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Top lift handle container carrier
US6564530B2 (en) * 1998-12-24 2003-05-20 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Film Multipackage
US20030192788A1 (en) * 1998-12-24 2003-10-16 Marco Leslie S. Film multipackage
US20040055906A1 (en) * 2002-09-20 2004-03-25 Marco Leslie S. Banded container package with opening feature
US20040055905A1 (en) * 2002-09-20 2004-03-25 Marco Leslie S. Container package with carrier and surrounding sleeve
US6896129B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2005-05-24 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Banded container package with opening feature
US20050109640A1 (en) * 2002-09-20 2005-05-26 Marco Leslie S. Sleeved container package with opening feature

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US111920A (en) * 1871-02-21 Improvement in cruet-stands
US1603028A (en) * 1923-06-26 1926-10-12 Alvie C Crimmel Kitchen cabinet
US1730345A (en) * 1925-11-09 1929-10-08 Lynn W Beman Supply holder for kitchen tables
US1702199A (en) * 1926-01-28 1929-02-12 Frank A Cunningham Combined cone and bottle server and fan
US1801576A (en) * 1927-07-25 1931-04-21 Shuger Morres Bail-attaching means for containers
US2397716A (en) * 1944-05-05 1946-04-02 Jerome A Wendler Bottle carrier
US2533349A (en) * 1946-04-05 1950-12-12 Dermeties Inc Bottle and holder therefor
US2538684A (en) * 1948-04-21 1951-01-16 Allied Chem & Dye Corp Container
US2575580A (en) * 1949-02-14 1951-11-20 Edgar F Cadmus Method of packaging
US2697629A (en) * 1951-09-07 1954-12-21 James C Mushrush Portable bottle carrier
US2711922A (en) * 1952-03-29 1955-06-28 Stanley I Batkin Carrier for milk containers
US2738114A (en) * 1954-02-08 1956-03-13 Louis A Kahlan Bumper guards with carry handle for thermos bottles
US2996329A (en) * 1955-05-19 1961-08-15 Dura Pak Corp Bottle carrier
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US2994426A (en) * 1959-01-22 1961-08-01 Illinois Tool Works Carrier and carrier package
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US3094259A (en) * 1960-12-16 1963-06-18 Philip A Diehl Cup carrier
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Cited By (38)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3232422A (en) * 1963-12-16 1966-02-01 Illinois Tool Works Article carrier
US3311252A (en) * 1964-08-14 1967-03-28 Ira T Swartwood Handle device
US3330408A (en) * 1964-12-16 1967-07-11 Illinois Tool Works Carrier package
US3404505A (en) * 1965-01-27 1968-10-08 Owens Illinois Inc Method for packaging containers
US3360179A (en) * 1965-07-13 1967-12-26 Sektkellerei Carstens Kg Cellular packing for bottles and the like
US3385626A (en) * 1966-09-21 1968-05-28 Mitchell S. Wozniak Plastic sheet carrier device
US3463536A (en) * 1967-01-10 1969-08-26 Haynes Mfg Co Container handle
US3462009A (en) * 1967-03-07 1969-08-19 Reynolds Metals Co Package means for container means
US3443685A (en) * 1967-05-26 1969-05-13 Illinois Tool Works Container carrier and package
US3608949A (en) * 1969-07-22 1971-09-28 Illinois Tool Works Container carrier
US3613881A (en) * 1969-10-06 1971-10-19 Fred N Schwend Combined carrier and package
US3688935A (en) * 1970-07-13 1972-09-05 Illinois Tool Works One-piece container carrier
US3785484A (en) * 1972-04-12 1974-01-15 Grip Pak Inc Container package
US4103811A (en) * 1973-05-14 1978-08-01 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Article carrier and method of making same
US4136771A (en) * 1973-05-14 1979-01-30 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Article carrier and method of making same
US4238256A (en) * 1979-01-04 1980-12-09 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Device and method for applying flexible bails to containers
US4627546A (en) * 1982-09-28 1986-12-09 Merrick Industries Flexible detachable handle and carrier for a plastic bottle and the combination thereof
EP0142360A2 (en) * 1983-11-17 1985-05-22 Illinois Tool Works Inc. A carrier device and a package including it
EP0142360A3 (en) * 1983-11-17 1985-06-19 Illinois Tool Works Inc. A carrier device and a package including it
US4793647A (en) * 1987-11-02 1988-12-27 Marvin Claire C Cup caddy
DE3918047A1 (en) * 1989-06-02 1990-12-06 Grafenwald Kunststoff Container and support frame combination
EP0400400A3 (en) * 1989-06-02 1991-04-10 GRAFENWALD KUNSTSTOFFGESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. & CO. VERARBEITUNGS- UND VERTRIEBS KG Packaging unit consisting of containers and a supporting frame
EP0400400A2 (en) * 1989-06-02 1990-12-05 GRAFENWALD KUNSTSTOFFGESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. & CO. VERARBEITUNGS- UND VERTRIEBS KG Packaging unit consisting of containers and a supporting frame
NL9300726A (en) * 1993-04-28 1994-11-16 Heineken Tech Services A carrier for packaging containers in two rows of each at least two pieces as well as a method for obtaining of such a carrier provided with containers.
EP0622307A1 (en) * 1993-04-28 1994-11-02 Heineken Technical Services B.V. Carrier package for a multiplicity of bottles
US5868659A (en) * 1996-11-13 1999-02-09 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Method of forming a two-piece fused top lift carrier
US6152508A (en) * 1996-11-13 2000-11-28 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Two-piece fused top lift carrier
US6032791A (en) * 1998-10-16 2000-03-07 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Container carrier adapted for use with adhesive handle
US6935491B2 (en) 1998-12-24 2005-08-30 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Film multipackage
US6415917B1 (en) * 1998-12-24 2002-07-09 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Top lift handle container carrier
US20030192788A1 (en) * 1998-12-24 2003-10-16 Marco Leslie S. Film multipackage
US6564530B2 (en) * 1998-12-24 2003-05-20 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Film Multipackage
US20040055905A1 (en) * 2002-09-20 2004-03-25 Marco Leslie S. Container package with carrier and surrounding sleeve
US6896129B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2005-05-24 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Banded container package with opening feature
US20050109640A1 (en) * 2002-09-20 2005-05-26 Marco Leslie S. Sleeved container package with opening feature
US6923314B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2005-08-02 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Banded container package with opening feature
US20040055906A1 (en) * 2002-09-20 2004-03-25 Marco Leslie S. Banded container package with opening feature
US7458458B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2008-12-02 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Sleeved container package with opening feature

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