PACKAGING FOR FLAT OBJECTS AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING THE PACKAGING
TECHNICAL FIELD Packaging for flat objects, made from a foldable sheet material, (possessing the properties of being elastic in at least one direction and also relatively stiff), comprising a box like part a lid and a closing arrangement for locking of the lid.
PRIOR ART A Compact Discs, sc CDs, is a product that is very common on the market and which as has a consequence thereof is frequently transported in different ways. Since CDs are rather fragile and also sensitive in relation to scratching, a packaging is necessary. A common form of packaging within the field is a plastic kind of packaging. There are many disadvantages with that kind of packaging. Firstly it is relatively fragile. Secondly it has relatively high weight and thirdly it is not especially environmental friendly.
Thirdly information cannot be printed on the plastic surface but printed material much be added separately.
Packagings for CD's made in different materials, in order to eliminate the above disadvantages, are known. For instance, there is known a packaging for CDs made in a board material. However, this packaging presents the advantage of being rather flexible, which leads to not providing sufficient protection in some situations. Furthermore this kind of packaging (made of board) is also rather bulky and has relatively high weight.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the invention to eliminate or at least minimize some of the above mentioned problems which is achieved by packaging for flat objects, made from a foldable sheet material, (possessing the properties of being elastic in at least one direction and also relatively stiff), comprising a box like part a lid and a closing arrangement for locking of the lid wherein that there is formed the hinge between said lid and said box like part, wherein preferably said hinge is made in said sheet to form an integrated part between said lid and at least a portion of said box like part.
According to further aspects of the invention: - that the box like part comprises a bottom plate, and an intermediate sheet wherein, preferably the intermediate sheet is positioned on top of the bottom plate by means of a
folding arrangement, wherein a space is formed within said intermediate sheet arranged to contain said flat object,
- that the closing arrangement comprises at least on protruding tab arranged on the lid, and at least one opening arranged in said folding arrangement, wherein preferably said folding arrangement is formed by said sheet material integrated with said bottom plate and said intermediate sheet,
- that said closing arrangement includes a sloping wall, for said at least one opening,
- that at least one of said at least one opening and/or said protruding tabs is formed with converging edges, - that the sheet material comprises a first liner and a second liner and a flute arranged there between, wherein the flute is arranged to extend in a direction perpendicular to the hinge thereby providing a higher bend ability in that direction,
- that the box like part comprises side edges which extend above the top surface of the intermediate sheet, wherein preferably said side walls are formed by folding of said sheet material, and more preferred by double folding portions integrated with the bottom plate, and
- that the space is formed by an annular edge which is arranged to form a gap (x) in relation to the inner side of each side wall.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the following the application will be described with reference to the enclosed figures, wherein:
Fig. 1 shows a CD case, in a perspective view from above, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, Fig. 2 shows a cross sectional view along lines A-A in Fig. 1, Fig. 3 shows a cross sectional view along line B-B in Fig. 1, Fig. 4 shows a view from above of a sheet of microwell prior to punching in accordance with the invention, Fig. 5 shows the same sheet after punching, Fig. 6 shows the sheet after a first folding action, wherein Fig. 6a shows a detailed view,
Fig. 7 shows the sheet after further folding action, and Fig. 8 shows the final folding action.
In Figs. 1, 2 and 3 there is shown a preferred embodiment of a CD case according to the invention. There is shown a case comprising a lid 1, a bottom plate 2, an intermediate
sheet 3 and a closure portion 4. Furthermore the CD case comprises to sidewalls 21, 22, which extend between a hinge means 7 (of the lid 1) and a closure portion 4. In the intermediate sheet 3 there is a cut out circular space, delimited by a circular edge 304, adapted to surround the outer edge of a CD, to be contained within the CD case. The closure portion 4 includes two openings 408, 409, which are intended to interact with two protruding closure tabs 104, 108 of the lid.
The CD case is made from a continuous sheet of microwell, comprising a first liner 5 and a second liner 6 and a flute 8 arranged between the liners 5, 6. Preferably, the two liners 5, 6 have a different qualities, e.g. in relation to the friction of their outer surfaces. According to a preferred embodiment the outer surface of the second liner 6 has a lower friction than the first liner 5. For instance it is possible to use Billerud White Liner P+ 120g/m2 for both the liners 5, 6 but using different coatings to achieve a blank surface or a surface with more friction and it is also possible to use a coating which renders waterproof properties and a wide array of other properties depending of what is needed in a particular situation. As flute it is possible to use Billerud Flute S 112 g/m2. Of course these are mere examples which may be used to construct the packaging of the invention.
The lid 1, has a first side edge 101 and a second side edge 103. Extending between these two edges 101, 103, there is a Hd closure edge 102. The side edges 101, 103 form straight lines, whereas the lid closure edge 102 has its straight line interrupted by the protruding tabs 104, 108. The side edges 105, 107 and 109, 111 of the tabs converge slightly in a direction away from the hinge 7, such that the width of the end portion 106 of the each tab 104, 108 is smaller than the width of the tabs 104, 108 near the lid closure edge 102. The tabs 104, 108 are positioned in such a manner that the distance of the edge portion 113 between the tabs 104, 108 is longer than each one of the remaining edge portions 112, 114, which provides for a beneficial retaining action when closing the lid 1.
The hinge 7 that provides the possibility to open and close the lid 1 is formed by grooves 71, 72 that facilitate opening and closure of the lid. Adjacent the hinge 7 there extends, in parallel, a first edge 302 of the intermediate sheet 3. The side edges of the intermediate sheet 3 are attached with the side walls 21, 22 by means of gluing. The space 305 for the CD is formed by a circular edge 304, positioned to form a protecting distance x between it and each side wall 21, 22.
The bottom plate 2, is formed between the hinge 7 and the closure portion 4. The side walls 21, 22 (se fig 2) are formed by folding sidewise, extended portions of the bottom plate 2, to form a first portion 211, 221 that is upwardly extending and a second portion 210, 220 that is downwardly extending. The end of the downwardly directed portions 210, 220 are glued to the top surface 6 of the bottom plate 2 and also to the side edge of intermediate sheet 3. (See Fig. 2).
The closure portion 4, (se figures 2 and 3) comprises an outwardly directed surface 407, a top surface 406 and an inwardly directed surface 405. These surfaces are formed by the sheet 5,6 by folding it in such a manner to create a space 415 at the interior. The inwardly directed wall 405, is arranged with to slope with an angle α, and with two openings 408, 409. These openings are formed by means of side edges 410, and 412 in a converging manner, such that the width of the opening is larger nearer the intermediate sheet 3 than near the top surface 406. Moreover these openings are formed in such a manner that at the top of each opening 408, 409 there will be formed protruding portions 401, 402, when punching the openings 408, 409.
The function of the CD case in accordance with the invention is as follows. The lid 1 is intended to pivot about the hinge portion 7. When the lid is pivoted into contact with the closure portion 4, the tabs 104, 108 will extend beyond the edges of the protruding portions 401, 402 at the top of the openings 408, 409. Hence, it is necessary to put pressure on to the lid in order to press the tabs 104, 108 past the protruding portions 401, 402. Thanks to the use of a material in the second liner 6, that has a relatively low friction this may be achieved in a smooth manner. At the same time as the tabs are pressed onto the protruding portion 401, 402, the closure portion 4 will flex slightly, due to its design, e.g. being hollow and having the inclined inwardly directed wall 405. At the same time also the lid 1 itself will flex due to the pressure. Once the tabs 104, 108 have past the protruding portions 401, 402 the built-up, inherent resilient forces, will result in a "snap-in action", i.e. pushing the tabs 104, 108 into the holes 409, 408, where the design of the holes will safe guard as secure a closure.
When opening the lid, the closure portion 4, is bent/rotated, in a direction away from the tabs 104, 108, sufficiently to make the tabs come out of interaction with the holes 408, 409 and pushing on the protruding portions 401, 402, which will flex, whereby a releasing action will occur.
In a preferred embodiment according to the invention the microwell material is used in such a manner that the extension of each "valley/top" of the flutes extend parallel to the side walls 21, 22 and the side edges 101, 103. This will result in better bending ridgity in the crosswise direction, which is beneficial in relation to the function of the closing/penning of the lid 1. Moreover, the double folded side walls 21, 22 are also advantageous features for obtaining ridgity, and also in order to protect the CD. Further it will add an extra hindrance for the CD to slip out of the packaging. In the preferred embodiment the microwell material is of paper, which has many advantages. First it will provide for low weight. Secondly it will provide for printable surfaces on both sides of the packaging. Moreover it provides for an extreme sense of ridgity, which signalises a feeling of high quality. In tests performed the CD case according to the invention will have the following format 130 x 130 x 4 mm, whereas a known, popular CD case called Slimcase™ has considerably larger dimensions, 142 x 125 x 5 mm. The weight of the CD case made of microwell according to the invention is 19 g, whereas the casing Slimcase™ weighs 42g. Hence, the weight of the CD packaging according to the invention is less than half of the weight of Slimcase, that is one of the most popular packagings that exists today on the market. Another advantage with a packaging according to the invention made by microwell is that it is extremely durable in relation to tough handling. Tests have shown that it may be thrown out from the top of a six storage building, containing a CD, hitting the ground without any damage to the CD and without any damages that influence the function of the CD packaging .
In Figs. 4-8 there is shown a consecutive process for producing a packaging according to the invention. In Fig. 4 there is shown a sheet 9 made of microwell. In that sheet there is shown lines, by means of dotted lines, where punching is to be performed. Moreover, it is indicated in Fig. 4 with other lines were folding is to be performed. Thirdly it is also shown that the hinge 7 is made by forming two grooves 71, 72 by pressing in the sheet material.
In Fig. 5 there is shown the remaining parts of the sheet after punching/pressing. Also in Fig. 5 the indentations/grooves, formed by pressing for folding and for creating the hinge 7, are indicated.
In Fig. 6 the first folding operation that is performed is presented, which relates to the creation of the side walls 21, 22. These side walls 21, 22 are formed by first folding each of the outer portions 210 and 220 on to the inner portions 211, 221. Simultaneously glue is being applied to fix the two portions 210, 211 and 220 and 221
to each other. Thereafter these joint portions 210, 211 and 220, 221 are folded inwardly and glued on to the bottom portion 2, to form the sidewalls 21, 22.
In Fig. 6a there is shown the marked circle in Fig. 6, which shows a zoomed in part of the portions 405, 406, 407 mat forms the female part of the closing arrangement. Its illustrates that the punching of a "hole-tab" 112 to form the holes 408, 409 in the front wall 405 does leave "gap" 401 between it and the transition line between the top 406 and the front 405, which "gap" will provide a surface 401 for interaction with a tab 108.
In Fig. 7 there is shown that the closing arrangement and 4 and also the intermediate sheet 3 has been formed, by folding around the four lines between the bottom plate 2 and the intermediate sheet 3, thereby creating the three above presented surfaces 105, 106, 107 of the closing arrangement 4. The holes 408, 409 for the tabs 104, 108 are formed by letting the "hole-tabs" 112 deflect during the folding operation and by fixation of the intermediate sheet 3 and the "hole-tabs" 112 (see Fig. 3) on to the bottom plate 2 by gluing. Simultaneously fixation of the side walls 21, 22 to the side edges of the intermediate sheet 3 is also performed.
In Fig. 8 it is shown when the finalised packaging is closed by pivoting the lid 1 about the hinge 7.
The invention is not limited by what has been described above but may by the varied in the scope of the enclosed claims. For instance, it is evident to the skilled person that the principles of the packaging may be used in connection with other kind of materials than traditional microwell, for instance plastic microwell sheets, specific extruded plastic sheets, etc. Moreover it is evident to the skilled person that any kind of flat shaped object, other than CDs, may be used to used for a packaging according to the invention, e.g. computer diskettes, minidisks, DVDs s etc. Indeed the skilled person also realises that the specific use of a single sheet that is folded into a packaging, according to the invention, may also be used with other kind of materials not including any kind of flute, e.g. also in relation with conventional board, in setting circumstances. Moreover it is evident that many of the specific features as described above, e.g. the specific design of the holes, the specific design of the tabs, may be varied within wide ranges without departing from the scope of the invention. Furthermore the openings and the tabs may be reinforced in different ways, for example by applying glue to the edges, this is by no means necessary for the preferred embodiment, but can be used to strengthen the edges in situation where extra strength is needed. And further a circular part can be added, by
means of glue, in to the middle of the large circle section and thereby creating a support for a CD or DVD. The skilled man realises that this part can hold the same properties as a similar circular part holds in a conventional plastic CD/DVD case. Furthermore if the case is produced in some plastic materials there is a possibility to join the parts not by using glue but by heating the plastic material and there by melting the parts together. Another characteristic feature of the invention is the "click" sound that emerges when opening and closing the case. This gives among other things a sensation of knowing when the case closes and opens and further it gives a feeling of quality to the user of the case. A further advantage with the invention is that using the present case a CD/DVD is protected from scratching due to the fact that it is laid down in the box without using a sliding input, that some cases uses. Also when using the material micro well, the blank surface appears inside the case and below the CD/DVD and hence results in a low friction surface in contact with the CD/DVD surface further reducing the risk of scratching. Furthermore it is obvious that the sidewalls (21, 22) can be added as separate pieces by gluing them to the sides, they can even be added in a different material from the rest of the case, for instance in plastic.