Title:
Cartons for pistons and method of packing pistions in cartons
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rectangular prismatic carton and method for bulk packing pistons or other similar products are provided, which improve the fill efficiency of the product without increasing the risk of damaging a percentage of the packaged product. The carton comprises a carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom being formed by overlapping flaps. The carton has a ratio of the opening perimeter of the carton to the height of the carton is less than about 2. The carton provides a reduced opening cross-section that allows for improved fill efficiency when filling the carton with pistons or other product and leaving a volume of unfilled space remaining within the carton.



Inventors:
Rueschhoff, Kenneth J. (Wildwood, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/784506
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/06/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/446, 53/473
International Classes:
B65D85/00; B65B1/04; B65D85/20
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Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kevin, Pumm (Suite 400, 7700 Bonhomme, St. Louis, MO, 63105, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprising dropping the pistons into the rectangular prismatic carton though an opening in one of the two smallest faces of the rectangular prismatic carton.

2. A method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprising: providing a rectangular prismatic carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom formed by overlapping flaps; dropping the pistons into the carton through the open top; and, closing the carton by overlapping the flaps.

3. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the height h of the carton is less than 36 times the height H of the pistons.

4. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the height h of the carton is less than 36 times the diameter D of the pistons.

5. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the length l of the carton is less than 24 times the height H of the pistons.

6. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the width w of the carton is less than 15 times the height H of the pistons.

7. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the length l of the carton is less than 24 times the diameter D of the pistons.

8. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the width w of the carton is less than 15 times the diameter D of the pistons.

9. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the product of the length l and the width w is less than 240 times the transverse cross sectional area of the pistons (πD2/4).

10. The method of bulk packing pistons according to claim 2 wherein the product of the length l and the width w is less than 55 times the longitudinal cross sectional area of the pistons (H×D).

11. A rectangular prismatic carton of bulk-packed pistons, the rectangular prismatic carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom being formed by overlapping flaps.

12. The rectangular prismatic carton of claim 11, wherein the carton is configured to have a ratio of opening perimeter length to carton height of less than about 2.75, for providing improved fill efficiency when filling the carton with bulk-packed pistons and leaving a volume of unfilled space remaining at the top of the carton.

13. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the height h of the carton is less than 36 times the height H of the pistons.

14. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the height h of the carton is less than 36 times the diameter D of the pistons.

15. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the length l of the carton is less than 24 times the height H of the pistons.

16. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the width w of the carton is less than 15 times the height H of the pistons.

17. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the length l of the carton is less than 24 times the diameter D of the pistons.

18. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the product of the length l and the width w is less than 240 times the transverse cross sectional area of the pistons (πD2/4).

19. The rectangular prismatic carton according to claim 11 wherein the product of the length l and the width w is less than 55 times the longitudinal cross sectional area of the pistons (H×D).

20. A method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprises providing a rectangular prismatic carton having a height h that is greater than both the length l and width w of an open end in the carton, and filling the carton with randomly oriented pistons to within a predetermined distance from the plane of the opening in the carton to provide a volume of unfilled space remaining within the interior of the carton.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/790,140, filed Apr. 7, 2006, entitled “Cartons For Pistons and Method Of Packaging Pistons In Cartons”.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to pistons used in pressurized barrier packaging, and in particular to cartons for such pistons and methods of packing such pistons in cartons to reduce damage to the pistons during handling, shipping and storage.

BACKGROUND

A popular dispensing mechanism for viscous materials such as shaving gels and food products such as processed cheese spreads is a pressurized barrier package. These barrier packages typically comprise a can with a piston inside. A charge of the material to be dispensed is placed in the can above the piston (i.e. on the under side of the can valve), and a charge of gas is placed in the can below the piston, so that when the can valve is operated the pressure can move the piston to dispense the material through the valve. The pistons are typically thin-walled inverted cup shaped structures. The shape of the piston is important, because the walls of the piston must contact the walls of the can and provide a leak free seal so that the gas pressure drives the piston rather than leaking into the material product and out through the valve.

The pistons are manufactured, and typically packaged in bulk in cardboard cartons for handlings, shipping, and storage. These cardboard cartons typically have a rectangular prismatic shape, and to facilitate loading the pistons into the carton, the top of the carton is the largest face. During the loading and packaging process, and also during the subsequent handling, shipping, and storage, it has been observed that properly manufactured pistons are damaged, often to the point where they cannot be used. The most common damage is an ovalization of the piston, which impairs is function.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to rectangular prismatic cartons for bulk packing products such as a piston. The various embodiments of a rectangular prismatic carton comprise a carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that the height h is greater than the length l and width w. The top and a bottom of the rectangular prismatic cartons may be formed by overlapping flaps. In one preferred embodiment, the rectangular prismatic carton has a ratio of opening perimeter to carton height of less than about 2.75. The various embodiments of a rectangular prismatic carton have a reduced cross-section that provides for improved fill efficiency when filling the carton with product and leaving a volume of unfilled space remaining within the carton.

In another aspect of the present invention, various embodiments of a method of bulk packing a piston product is provided that improves the fill efficiency of the pistons without increasing the risk of damage or deformation of the pistons when the carton is closed. In one embodiment, a method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons is provided that comprises dropping the pistons into the rectangular prismatic carton though an opening in one of the two smallest faces of the rectangular prismatic carton. In another embodiment of a method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprises providing a rectangular prismatic carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom formed by overlapping flaps; dropping the pistons into the carton through the open top; and, closing the carton by overlapping the flaps. In yet another embodiment of a method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprises providing a rectangular prismatic carton having a height h that is greater than both the length l and width w of an open end in the carton, and filling the carton with randomly oriented pistons to within a predetermined distance from the plane of the opening in the carton to provide a volume of unfilled space remaining within the interior of the carton.

Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure in any way.

FIG. 1 is an image showing a first carton and a second carton having about the same interior volume.

FIG. 2 is an image showing a first carton configuration and a second carton configuration having different cross-sectional opening areas.

FIG. 3 is an image of the first carton shown in FIG. 1 filled with randomly oriented pistons to a height at or near the top of the carton.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view drawing of the first carton shown in FIG. 1 with a clearance space provided above a volume of randomly oriented pistons within the interior of the carton; and

FIG. 5 is an image of one embodiment of a carton configured to have a reduced clearance space above a volume of randomly oriented pistons within the interior of the carton, in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the present disclosure, application, or uses. It should be understood that throughout the drawings, corresponding reference numerals indicate like or corresponding parts and features.

The present disclosure provides a carton and method for bulk packing pistons, or other similar products that may be deformed as a result of being closely packaged within a shipping carton, which improves the fill efficiency of the product without increasing the risk of damaging a percentage of the packaged product. In the various embodiments, the rectangular prismatic carton for bulk-packed pistons comprises a carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom being formed by overlapping flaps. In one embodiment, the rectangular prismatic carton has a ratio of the opening perimeter of the carton to the height of the carton is less than about 2.75. The various embodiments of a rectangular prismatic carton have a reduced cross-section that provides for improved fill efficiency when filling the carton with product and leaving a volume of unfilled space remaining within the carton.

Where pistons or other similar products are randomly loaded into the interior volume of a carton to a height at or near the top of the carton opening, some of the randomly loaded product may inadvertently extend above the plane of the opening, such that closing the carton by overlapping the flaps will subject a force to a certain percentage of the product within the carton. This force can cause deformation or ovalization of a piston or other similar product, which deformation will prevent the product's proper operation and lead to a given scrap rate of product that cannot be used. In the case of the piston product described herein, this scrap rate can be as much as 10 percent of the packaged product.

Referring to FIG. 1, a first carton 100 and a second carton 200 are shown that each have approximately the same interior volume. The opening in the first carton 100 has a length and width that are longer in dimension than that of the depth of the carton. Although the second carton 200 has approximately the same volume as the first carton 100, the opening in the second carton 200 has a length and width that are shorter than the depth of the carton. Accordingly, the cross-sectional area of the opening in the second carton 200 is significantly less than that of the first carton 100.

To avoid causing ovalization and/or other damage to the pistons or other similar products that are loaded into the carton, the manufacturer or shipper of the product must leave a clearance space at the top of the carton 100 as shown in FIG. 4. The arithmetic product of this clearance C, the length L of the opening, and the width W of the opening represents the unused volume that must be provided within the enclosure to prevent damage of the enclosed product, which reduces the packaging fill-efficiency. Even if a clearance of less than ½ the diameter D (or height) of the product is provided, the resulting reduction in carton fill efficiency can result in shipping as much as ten percent less product given the large area of the opening defined by L and W. Because a given volume or clearance below the opening area must be sacrificed to avoid the up to ten percent scrap rate caused by fully filling the carton (and overfilling), the shipper accordingly incurs higher delivery costs.

In the various exemplary embodiments, a rectangular prismatic enclosure is provided for bulk packing pistons, and is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as carton 200. The opening in the second carton 200 has a length and width that are shorter than the depth of the carton 200. The carton may be randomly filled with pistons, or other similar deformable products, to a height such that a clearance of less than ½ the diameter D of the product is left remaining at the top of the interior of the carton. The space defined by the arithmetic product of a clearance C that is about ½ of the piston diameter, and the cross-sectional area of the opening in the second carton 200 yields a reduced unused volume that must be sacrificed to avoid the potential for damage to the enclosed product caused by filling at or near the top of the carton. Alternatively, the unused volume may be defined by arithmetic product of a clearance C that is about ½ of the piston height, and the cross-sectional area of the opening in the second carton 200. The reduced cross-sectional area of the opening in the second carton 200 accordingly minimizes the volume of unused space within the carton, to thereby maximize the packing fill efficiency of pistons without increasing the risk of damage to the enclosed piston product.

In one embodiment, the prismatic carton 200 has length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom being formed by overlapping flaps. The height h of the carton 200 is preferably less than 36 times the height H of the piston product. Alternatively, the rectangular prismatic carton 200 may preferably have a height h of the carton is less than 36 times the diameter D of the pistons. The piston product preferably has a height in the range of about 1 to 2.5 inches, and a diameter in the range of about 1 to 2.2 inches. The length l of the carton is preferably less than 24 times the height H of the piston product. Alternatively, the length l of the carton may preferable be less than 24 times the diameter D of the piston product. The width w of the carton is preferably less than 15 times the height H of the piston product. Alternatively, the width w of the carton may preferably be less than 15 times the height H of the piston product.

In the preferred embodiment, the prismatic carton 200 preferably has an arithmetic product of the length l and the width w is less than 240 times the transverse cross sectional area of the pistons (πD2/4). Alternatively, the prismatic carton 200 preferably has an arithmetic product of the length l and the width w is less than 55 times the longitudinal cross sectional area of the pistons (H×D). In one preferred embodiment, the rectangular prismatic carton has a width of about 8½ inches, a length of about 16 inches, and a height of about 24 inches. In another embodiment, the rectangular prismatic carton has a width of about 16 inches, a length of about 16 inches, and a height of about 24 inches. The various embodiments of a carton may be filled with randomly oriented pistons up to within a predetermined distance from the open top, so as to leave an unfilled space remaining at the top. The volume of unfilled space remaining within the interior of the carton is preferably reduced by providing a carton having a ratio of opening perimeter length P to carton height H that is less than about 2.75. This reduced carton cross-section provides for improved fill efficiency when filling the carton with product and leaving a volume of unfilled space remaining within the carton for minimizing potential damage to the product.

In another aspect of the present invention, various embodiments of a method of bulk packing a piston product is provided that improves the fill efficiency of the pistons without increasing the risk of damage or deformation of the pistons when the carton is closed. In one embodiment, a method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons is provided that comprises dropping the pistons into the rectangular prismatic carton though an opening in one of the two smallest faces of the rectangular prismatic carton. In another embodiment of a method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprises providing a rectangular prismatic carton having length l, width w, and height h, such that h is greater than l and w, the top and a bottom formed by overlapping flaps; dropping the pistons into the carton through the open top; and, closing the carton by overlapping the flaps. In yet another embodiment of a method of bulk packing pistons in rectangular prismatic cartons, the method comprises providing a rectangular prismatic carton having a height h that is greater than both the length l and width w of an open end in the carton, and filling the carton with randomly oriented pistons to within a predetermined distance from the plane of the opening in the carton to provide a volume of unfilled space remaining within the interior of the carton. The volume of unused space remaining within the interior of the carton is reduced by providing a carton having a ratio of opening perimeter length P to carton height H that is less than about 2.75.

Certain terminology is used herein for purposes of reference only, and thus is not intended to be limiting. For example, terms such as “upper”, “lower”, “above”, and “below” refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made. Terms such as “front”, “back”, “rear”, “bottom” and “side”, describe the orientation of portions of the component within a consistent but arbitrary frame of reference which is made clear by reference to the text and the associated drawings describing the component under discussion. Such terminology may include the words specifically mentioned above, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import. Similarly, the terms “first”, “second” and other such numerical terms referring to structures do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context.

The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.