Title:
Stick of single-dose plastic bottles, improved to provide sufficient rididity
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The stick of single-dose plastic bottles comprises a plurality of bottles (1) connected together separably by at least two rows of tabs (3, 5) at the base or foot of the stick, and in another, remote position, and the rupture lines (3C, 5A) for separating and using the bottles are not aligned. This stiffens the stick so that it resists deformations which would otherwise be possible along coaxial rupture lines.



Inventors:
Rogai, Marcello (Florence, IT)
Rogai, Federigo (Florence, IT)
Application Number:
10/485548
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
06/07/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D67/02; B65D1/09; (IPC1-7): B65D1/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060283827Container having a smooth finishDecember, 2006Perez et al.
20060054584Tamper evident container seal with integral pull openerMarch, 2006Jackman
20060157437Container with a dispenserJuly, 2006Tamir
20070000800Storage system for a paint-wet paint roller coverJanuary, 2007Stoddart
20090223999DUAL SIDED CONTAINERSeptember, 2009Hill et al.
20090026167WINE LABEL COVER APPARATUS AND METHODJanuary, 2009Metry
20020162816Bottle-feeding babiesNovember, 2002Walsh
20080314859Bottle For Dispenser For Dispensing Oral Cleaning LiquidDecember, 2008Rim et al.
20100025353METHOD FOR COATING SOME AREAS OF HOLLOW ELEMENTSFebruary, 2010Siegl
20070240806Heat-Shrinkable Cylindrical Label, and Method of Producing Heat-Shrinkable Cylindrical Label ContinuumOctober, 2007Suzuki et al.
20020020686Double walled see through capFebruary, 2002Stull et al.



Primary Examiner:
GEHMAN, BRYON P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Stick of single-dose plastic bottles, comprising a plurality of bottles connected together separably by at least two rows of tabs at the base or foot of the stick and in another, remote position, all the tabs having rupture lines—optionally defined by discrete rupture points—forming lines parallel to the longitudinal lines of the bottles, for separating and using said bottles, characterized in that the rupture lines of one row of tabs are not aligned with the rupture lines of the other row of tabs, thereby stiffening the stick so that it resists deformations which would otherwise be possible along coaxial rupture lines.

2. Stick of bottles according to claim 1, characterized in that in one of the two rows of tabs, there is, between two contiguous bottles, a single rupture line in an intermediate position, and in the other of the rows of tabs there are two separate rupture lines in each tab, neither being aligned with the single rupture line in the tabs of the other row.

3. Stick according to claim 2, characterized in that there is a single rupture line between contiguous bottles in the row of tabs at the base, while there are two rupture lines close to the contiguous bottles in the other row of tabs, generally in the middle of the bottles.

4. Stick according to claim 1, characterized in that: the tabs of the row corresponding to the base are transversely thicker and hollow, especially so as to form hollow parallelepiped segments, to reduce weight; and there are pairs of remote rupture lines across the thickness of said hollow tabs.

5. Stick according to claim 1, characterized in that, in the row located in an intermediate position with respect to the bodies of the bottles, the tabs are in pairs between contiguous bottles and extend longitudinally at a distance from each other, each tab having one intermediate rupture line or two rupture lines adjacent to the two bottles.

6. Stick according to claim 1, characterized in that the end tabs of at least one of the rows have end parts shaped so as to engage with an aligning and guiding component in the magazine of the filling machine, and/or for packaging two or more sticks.

7. Stick according to claim 6, characterized in that said extremity is shaped in such a way as to be curved.

8. Stick according to claim 1, characterized in that a tab or a portion of a tab that remains attached to a bottle after separation carries raised or indented molded indications.

9. Stick according to claim 4, characterized in that the morphology of the segments is such as to offer a balance that encourages downward orientation of the base connection.

10. (cancelled)

11. Stick according to claim 2, characterized in that, in the row located in an intermediate position with respect to the bodies of the bottles, the tabs are in pairs between contiguous bottles and extend longitudinally at a distance from each other, each tab having one intermediate rupture line or two rupture lines adjacent to the two bottles.

Description:
[0001] The prior art provides sticks formed by a series of bottles connected together separably by means of tabs forming the base or foot of the stick, together with central tabs. Both rows of tabs have rupture lines (or points) that are longitudinal with respect to the bottles, both rupture lines being situated on the same axis. These rupture lines, which are introduced during manufacture, lie on the same axis, which means that both bending and flexing are possible and frequent, leading to serious problems with sticks piling up against each other. This occurs both when stacking the sticks and when feeding them to the filling machine.

[0002] The invention avoids these problems and also achieves other objects and advantages which will be apparent in the text which follows.

[0003] Basically, in a stick of single-dose plastic bottles comprising a plurality of bottles connected together separably by at least two rows of tabs at the base or foot of the stick and in another, remote position, all the tabs having rupture lines optionally defined by discrete rupture points forming lines parallel to the longitudinal lines of the bottles, for separating and using said bottles, the rupture lines of one row are not aligned, according to the invention, with the rupture lines of the other row; this makes it possible to achieve sufficient rigidity of the stick so that it resists deformations which would otherwise be possible along coaxial rupture lines.

[0004] Other features of the invention are defined in the secondary claims which follow.

[0005] A clearer understanding of the invention will be gained from the description and the accompanying drawing, which latter shows a practical, non-restrictive example of said invention. In the drawing:

[0006] FIGS. 1-4 show a first embodiment of a stick according to the invention, in a perspective front view, in the views marked II-II and III-III in FIG. 1, and in the view and partial section marked IV-IV in FIG. 1;

[0007] FIGS. 5-8 show, as in FIGS. 1-4, a second embodiment;

[0008] FIGS. 9 and 10 show, as in FIG. 1, two further embodiments;

[0009] FIGS. 11, 12 and 13 show a portion of a stick in a perspective front view and in the view marked XII-XII in FIG. 11, in another embodiment, and a variant of the form shown in FIG. 11;

[0010] FIG. 14 is a simplified schematic of an embodiment of the invention; and

[0011] FIG. 15 shows in cross section a modified morphology compared with that of FIGS. 1-8.

[0012] In FIGS. 1-4, the reference number 1 denotes the bottles of a stick of bottles. These are connected together by a base or foot of the stick given the general reference 3 and by another connection in an intermediate position with respect to the bodies of the bottles 1, given the general reference 5. The connection 5 consists of a strip connected to two contiguous bottles 1 and having two rupture lines 5A between the strip and each body of a bottle. The connection formed by the base or foot 3 of the stick is made up of parallelepiped components 3A that are connected to the individual bottles to form the twist-opening means of the bottles (once filled, sealed and separated from each other). These parallelepiped elements 3A are connected together at the mutually abutting minor fronts 3B by a pair of connecting rupture lines 3C which are separated from each other by the width of the parallelepiped element 3A. Each parallelepiped element 3A is hollow as can be seen particularly in FIGS. 1 and 4, and in the center has a hollow cylindrical projection 3E around the neck 1A of the bottle, because of the need to provide a closing membrane for the neck 1A and to reinforce the parallelepiped element 3B. The rupture lines 5A and 3C may be continuous or formed by at least two rupture points.

[0013] At both ends of the system of connection at the base or foot 3 of the stick is an end part 7 which is strip-shaped with suitable lateral connecting reinforcements 7A. In a corresponding way, in line with the intermediate connections 5 (those remote from the connection 3) are two end parts 9, which may be shaped like the end parts 7 described above and illustrated, or may be shaped as hollow prismatic extensions forming a bearing and lateral guiding surface for the stick illustrated, as FIG. 3 shows in particular. The end parts 9 of the intermediate connection 5 advantageously include a recess 9A whose purpose is partly as a means of guiding the stick through the machine for handling the sticks for the purposes of filling and sealing the bottles 1, and partly also advantageously to allow simple and economical packing of a plurality of sticks side by side, which may be connected at the recesses 9A by tie binding means or even elastic means.

[0014] The rupture lines 3C are parallel but are not aligned with the rupture lines 5A, thereby significantly stiffening the stick of bottles, as is required for the purposes of handling the sticks and preventing the problems noted earlier.

[0015] In the intermediate connections 5 there are, in accordance with the drawing, two rupture lines 5A between two contiguous bottles 1, but another solution is possible in which there is a single rupture line in the connection 5 between two bottles, that is not aligned with the rupture lines 3C. In this case the connecting strip 5 between contiguous bottles remains connected, after rupture, to one of the two bottles; this strip may carry raised or indented indications which it may be useful to have accompany the bottle even after its separation from the stick. Some provision will be made for one of the end bottles.

[0016] It is worth noting that the presence of two rupture lines 3C remote from each other at the extremities 3B between the parallelepiped elements 3A may be sufficient to stiffen a stick, even independently of the position of a rupture line at the intermediate connections formed in the connecting strips 5.

[0017] FIGS. 5-8 show, in a similar way to FIGS. 1-4, a stick which is basically similar to that of said FIGS. 1-4, the only difference being that in the intermediate connection represented by the strips 15 corresponding to the strips 5 of the previous example, the end parts 19 (which are functionally equivalent to the end parts 9 of the previous example) are modified and take the form of extensions which, in the side view seen in FIG. 7 are shaped as a double T, with a strip 19A which is longitudinal with respect to the body of the bottle and reinforcements 19B which can be provided on both edges of the strip 19A or simply on one of them. As before, the end parts 19 may be given a recess 19C equivalent to the recesses 9A of the example seen in FIGS. 1-4, for possible packing of a plurality of sticks with simply-executed ties presenting no problems of cost or disposal.

[0018] FIG. 9, which is similar to FIGS. 1 and 5, shows a variant in the end parts 27 equivalent to the end parts 7 and 17 of the previous examples. In this variant the end parts 27 also have a recess 27A equivalent to the recesses 9A and 19C of the previous examples and for the same purposes. It is thus possible to bind the sticks twice, around the recesses 19C as shown in FIG. 5 and around the recesses 27A as shown in FIG. 9, using the morphology of the stick visible in said FIG. 9.

[0019] FIG. 10 shows a solution similar to that of the previous examples, but in which the end parts 37 of the base connection 33 (these are equivalent to 13 and 23) and the end parts 39 (these are equivalent to 9 and 19) are both prism-shaped like the end parts 9 of FIG. 1 rather than being longitudinal strips like the end parts 7, 17, 19 and 27 of the previous examples. This version again has recesses such as 37A and 39A in the end parts 39, for possible packing and for the possible guide system.

[0020] Further possible variants are shown in FIGS. 11-14.

[0021] FIGS. 11 and 12 show a base or foot connection 43 that is in strip form rather than in hollow parallelepipeds, with rupture lines 43A in intermediate positions between contiguous bottles. Pairs of strips 45 run between contiguous bottles 41, each strip 45 having intermediate rupture lines 45A. This version again preserves the principal conditions of the invention. FIG. 13 shows an arrangement equivalent to that of FIGS. 11 and 12, but with the difference that instead of an intermediate rupture line 45A in each connecting strip 45, there are two rupture lines 45B adjacent to the two contiguous bottles 41 between which the two strips 45 extend.

[0022] In theory, at least, the invention can also be implemented as shown in FIG. 14, where a base or foot connection 53 has rupture lines 53A displaced to a greater or lesser extent from the center line between contiguous bottles, while the intermediate connection 55 has a single rupture line 55A adjacent to one of the two contiguous bottles between which each connecting strip 55 extends, well out of alignment with the corresponding rupture line 53A. As before, the rupture lines 53A and 55A are not in alignment with each other.

[0023] In FIG. 11 as another variant of the previous versions (to which it is also in fact applicable), either or both of the end parts 47 and 49 of the connections such as 43 and 45 are not now recessed as at 37A, 9A, 19C, 27A, 37A, 39A, but have projections as indicated at 63 and 65, the function of these being to guide the sticks on their way through the machine. This version again offers the possibility of connection by means of said end parts of a plurality of sticks placed side by side, making use of the projections 63 and 65, which can be inserted through transverse slits in two tapes or bands running alongside the adjacent sticks.

[0024] FIG. 15 shows a different morphology for a base or foot connection 73 (shown in cross section) which comprises narrowings 73A and straight sections 73B, along which run the rupture lines between the segments which are designed to cut the neck of the respective bottle.

[0025] It will be understood that the drawing shows only an example purely as a practical demonstration of the invention, as the invention may be varied in its shapes and arrangements without thereby departing from the scope of the concept on which the invention is based.