Title:
Roll product shipping, storage, and display carton
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carton for shipping, storing, and displaying rolls of material is disclosed. The carton comprises a front wall including a removable panel, with a reinforced panel provided above the removable panel and a lower panel extending across the front wall provided below the removable panel. During shipping, the removable panel strengthen the walls of the carton. At the destination, the removable panel is easily removed to allow access to the rolls in the carton. The reinforced panel allows the rolls to rest against the carton without tipping.



Inventors:
Terrell, Michael A. (Arlington, TN, US)
Porter, Jon C. (Nesbit, MS, US)
Duffey, Patrick W. (Crenshaw, MS, US)
Application Number:
11/043606
Publication Date:
06/16/2005
Filing Date:
01/26/2005
Assignee:
TERRELL MICHAEL A.
PORTER JON C.
DUFFEY W. P.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/449, 53/456, 53/412
International Classes:
B65D5/54; B65D85/20; (IPC1-7): B65B61/02; B65B43/08; B65B61/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DURAND, PAUL R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUARLES & BRADY LLP (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
1. A method for shipping and displaying rolls of material in a carton, the method comprising the following steps: constructing a container having an enclosed bottom end and an open top end; providing a removable panel in a side of the container; reinforcing a portion of the container by extending a panel horizontally across the container between the open end of the container and the removable panel; providing graphics on the container; and enclosing the container with a shipping container having an enclosed top and an open bottom, the shipping container being sized and dimensioned to extend over and enclose the open top end of the container and to extend to the enclosed bottom end of the container to cover the graphics during shipping; and removing the shipping container and removable panel to display the rolls of material and the graphics at a sales location.

2. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the step of reinforcing the panel comprises coupling a horizontally-extending stiff elongate member across at least a portion of the container between the open end and the removable panel.

3. The method as defined in claim 1, further comprising the step of reinforcing the panel by folding a portion of the container over another portion of the container.

4. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the step of providing a removable panel comprises perforating a portion of the container to separate the portion from the container.

5. The method as defined in claim 1, further comprising the step of providing a lower panel between the enclosed bottom of the container and the reinforced panel.

6. A method for shipping a carton of rolls of material, the method comprising the following steps: providing a container having an open top and an enclosed bottom; perforating the container to form a removable panel in a side of the container, the removable panel being circumscribed by an upper panel extending horizontally above the removable panel, a lower panel extending horizontally below the removable panel, and adjacent side walls extending along the sides of the removable panel; sectioning the upper panel into an upper and a lower part; folding the lower part to overlap the upper part, forming a reinforced bridging panel extending horizontally above the removable panel; storing the rolls of material in the container, the rolls extending vertically upward from the enclosed bottom of the container and through the open top of the container; providing a cover having an open bottom and an enclosed top, the cover being sized and dimensioned to extend from at least a top end of the rolls of material to the enclosed bottom of the container, wherein the container and the rolls of material are enclosed during shipment.

7. The method as defined in claim 6, further comprising the step of adhering the lower part of the upper panel to the upper part of the upper panel.

8. The method as defined in claim 6, further comprising the step of providing a stiff elongate member between the upper part and the lower part of the bridging panel.

9. The method as defined in claim 6, wherein the stiff elongate member comprises at least one of a wire and a metal rod.

10. The method as defined in claim 6, further comprising the step of cutting the lower part of the upper panel from the removable panel and from the adjacent sides to facilitate folding of the lower part over the upper part of the panel.

11. The method as defined in claim 6, further comprising the step of providing graphics on the container, wherein the graphics are enclosed by the cover during shipping and uncovered for advertising when the container is uncovered for a display.

12. A method for shipping rolls of gift wrap material, the method comprising the following steps: constructing a container having an open top end, an enclosed bottom end, a perforated cut line defining a removable side panel, a reinforcement member coupled above the removable side panel, and a hinged reinforcement panel between the reinforcement member and the removable panel; folding the hinged reinforcement panel over the reinforcement member, and adhering the hinged reinforcement panel in position; constructing a cover comprising an enclosed top end and an open bottom end, the cover being sized and dimensioned to enclose the container and to extend to the bottom end of the container; stacking a plurality of rolls of material into the container, the rolls of material extending vertically upward from the bottom of the container; enclosing the container with the cover; shipping the container to a sales location; and removing the cover and the removable side panel for display of the product in the carton.

13. The method as defined in claim 12, further comprising the step of providing graphics on the container, the graphics being enclosed by the cover during shipping.

14. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the step of constructing a container comprises cutting a blank from a sheet of material, perforating a removable panel into the blank, and folding the blank into the container.

15. The method as recited in claim 12, further comprising the step of printing a price for the rolls of material on the container.

16. The method as recited in claim 12, further comprising the step of folding the reinforced portion of the container above the removable side panel.

17. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the reinforcement member comprises at least one of a wire and a metal rod.

18. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the step of stacking a plurality of rolls of material comprises stacking rolls of gift wrap.

19. The method as recited in claim 12, further comprising the step of cutting a finger hole in the removable panel.

20. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the reinforcement member is a stiff elongate member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. provisional application 60/353,424, filed Jan. 31, 2002, and is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/353,502 filed Jan. 29, 2003.

STATEMENT CONCERNING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to packaging, and in particular, to a corrugated cardboard box for shipping, storing, and dispensing roll products such as gift wrap rolls.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Products are often shipped to retail stores in packages which, on receipt at the store, require that the package be opened and unloaded, and that the internal products inside be moved into a display. These activities require a significant degree of time and labor, and are therefore expensive for the store owners, driving the price of goods up.

To decrease the amount of time and labor in setting up displays in stores, various shipping cartons have been developed. One example is a “chip box”. The “chip box” is a shipping carton in which a perforated panel has been provided. Small packaged items, such as potato chips, bags of peanuts, and other small, lightweight bagged items are provided in the box and, at the retail store, the panel is removed allowing access to the products inside.

Rolls of gift wrap, however, are bulky, awkward and heavy and therefore cannot be provided in a chip box. These products, furthermore, are difficult to store in quantity in a retail store. One solution to this problem has been to place the rolls on end into a box having an opening in the front wall with a rod across the lower end of the opening and another rod across the upper end of the opening. The upper and lower rods restrain the rolls from falling out of the box and keep the lower ends of the rolls inside the box. Rolls are then dispensed from the box by lifting up the lower end of each roll over the lower bar and dispensing the roll out through the opening in the front of the box, between the two bars. The rolls, therefore, can be stored on a shelf, 4 or 5 feet above the floor, to preserve floor space.

These prior art boxes, while successful in providing access to the rolls, were relatively heavy and difficult to transport. Furthermore, these boxes required both set-up and subsequent filling of rolls, which were shipped apart from the box, at the retail establishment. These boxes, therefore, require both time and labor at the retail establishment. It is desirable in high-volume retail establishments, however, to minimize time and labor requirements to set-up sales displays, in order to limit costs.

Therefore, the present invention provides a gift wrap box which can be shipped already filled with rolls of gift wrap so that after a few simple unpackaging steps, the shipping box can also be used as the display and dispensing box.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a carton specially adapted for use in shipping and displaying a plurality of roll products. The carton comprises a container having an enclosed bottom end and an open top end. An opening, sized and dimensioned to be greater in length than one half of the length of the roll products, is provided in a side of the container. A reinforced bridging panel extends horizontally above the opening and a lower panel extends horizontally below the opening. The upper reinforcement panel, the lower panel, and the adjacent sides of the enclosure frame the opening, such that the rolls of products can be both seen and removed through the opening.

The reinforced bridging panel can be provided as a double layer of corrugated cardboard material, provided by folding a rear panel portion behind a front panel portion in the container. To further reinforce the bridging panel, a stiff elongated reinforcement which can be, for example, a wire or rod, can be adhered or otherwise attached to the reinforcement panel. These reinforcement devices help to contain the rolls in the carton.

In another aspect, the invention comprises a removable panel provided in a side of the container such that the reinforced panel extends horizontally across the container between the open end of the container and the removable panel. A shipping box having an enclosed top and an open bottom, which is sized and dimensioned to extend over and enclose the open top end of the container, is provided over the container during shipping. Both the shipping box and the removable panel are removed to allow for display and removal of product at a sales location.

The removable panel can provide reinforcement during shipping, and at least partially covers the opening through which the rolls are dispensed. The reinforcement panel can be constructed as a double layer of material, formed by cutting a portion of the container from the removable panel and folding the portion over behind a front panel. Construction of the reinforcement panel in this way provides a space between the top of the removable panel and the bottom of the reinforcement panel, simplifying removal of the panel by a user by allowing ready access to the panel. The edges of the removable panel can be scored or perforated to further simplify removal of the panel to provide an opening for display and removal of the rolls. Moreover, a container of the invention may be provided with an open top at a height less than the length of the rolls so that the rolls stick out of the top of the box, such that the ends of the rolls can be viewed by a customer.

In another aspect, the invention comprises a method for providing a shipping carton for rolls of material. A container having an open top and an enclosed bottom is provided, the container is perforated to define a removable panel circumscribed by an upper panel extending horizontally above the removable panel, a lower panel extending horizontally below the removable panel, and adjacent side walls extending along the sides of the removable panel. The upper panel is sectioned into an upper and a lower part, and the lower part is folded to overlap the upper part, thereby forming a reinforced bridging panel extending horizontally above the removable panel.

The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear in the detailed description which follows. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a carton of the present invention shown ready for display and to dispense rolls of gift wrap stored inside;

FIG. 2 is a view of the carton of FIG. 1 with the rolls of gift wrap removed and prior to removal of a removable front panel of the carton;

FIG. 3 is a view of the bottom of the carton showing how the flaps of the bottom are folded in to form the bottom of the carton;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a blank for constructing the carton FIG. 1 illustrating an inside flap prior to the gluing in of a reinforcing wire or rod;

FIG. 5 is a view of the blank of FIG. 4 with the reinforcing wire or rod shown in place, prior to gluing of the wire and flap;

FIG. 6 is a view of the carton blank with the reinforcing wire installed and the bridging panel folded in place;

FIG. 7 is a plan view drawing of the carton of FIG. 1 prior to the insertion of rolls and prior to constructing the bridging panel; and

FIG. 8 is a view of the carton shown covered with a shipping box.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the figures and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 8, a shipping carton 11 of the invention is illustrated. The carton 11 comprises a container 10, and a shipping box or enclosure 22. Rolls of gift wrap 12 are provided standing on end inside the container 10 and extending through and above an open top 13 of the container 10. An opening 16 is selectively provided in the front of the container 10 to provide access to the rolls 12 inside the container. The shipping box 22 is provided over the rolls 12 in the container 10 to protect the rolls 12 during shipment and storage, as described below.

Referring still to FIG. 1, the container 10 has a front wall 14 in which the opening 16 is formed that extends for the full width of the front wall 14. At the lower edge of the opening 16 is a lower panel 18 which extends for the full width of the front wall 14 and prevents the lower ends of the rolls 12 from slipping out of the container 10. The opening is sized and dimensioned to allow the removal of a roll 12 through the opening 16 when the container 10 is full of rolls by pulling the roll through the opening 16 as described below.

Adjacent the upper edge of the opening 16 is an upper reinforced or bridging panel 19, also extending the full width of the front wall 14, and including a front panel 20 that retains the rolls 12 and helps prevent the rolls 12 from tipping out of the container 10. The bridging panel 19 further comprises reinforcements for stiffening the bridging panel 19, as described below. To decrease time and labor at the retail establishments, the container 10 is preferably printed with the price or other information regarding the rolls 12.

A roll 12 is dispensed from the container 10 by grabbing the lower end of the roll through the opening 16, pushing the roll 12 upward, lifting the roll 12 until its lower end clears the lower panel 18, and then pulling the roll 12 out of the container 10 through the opening 16, between the panels 18 and 19. Because of the access available through the opening 16, the container 10 can be placed on an elevated shelf of a retail store to conserve floor space. Alternatively, if the container 10 is stored, for example, on a floor or lower shelf, rolls 12 can be pulled through the open top 13 of the container 10. As noted above, the opening 16 is sized and dimensioned to allow removal of the roll through the opening, even when the container 10 is full of rolls 12. As a result, the length of the opening 16 between the edge adjacent the reinforcement panel 28 and the lower panel 18 is preferably greater than one-half of the length of a roll 12.

The container 10 can be loaded with gift wrap rolls 12 prior to shipment of the container 10 to the retail store. As described above, for shipment, the five-sided shipping box 22 (FIG. 8) is provided on the container 10. The shipping box 22 comprises four sides sized and dimensioned to mate with the open end 13 of the container 10 and an enclosed top, as shown in FIG. 8. The shipping box 22 is placed over the loaded container 10 and taped or otherwise affixed around its bottom edges to the bottom of the container 10. In addition to protecting the rolls 12 within the container 10, the shipping box 22 strengthens the loaded container 10, and further protects the graphics printed on the container 10.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the container 10 can be provided with a removable panel 24. The panel 24 strengthens the container 10 for shipping, and, like the shipping box 22 helps contain the rolls 12 within the container 10. At a retail or other display location, however, the panel 24 is easily removed along the perforation lines 32 provided around the adjacent sides 36 and 38 of the container 10 and the lower panel 18. An indentation or finger hole 34, which can be, as shown, a semi-circular cut provided in the top edge of the removable panel 24 provides access to the removable panel 24 allowing a user to tear the removable panel 24 along the perforations 32 to provide the opening 16, which serves as a display window or aperture for retrieving rolls from the container 10 at the retail establishment, as described above. Although a perforation line 32 is shown, it will be apparent that the removable panel can comprise other elements which simplify removal of a portion of the front wall 14 including, for example, score lines. Alternatively, the removable panel 24 could be a separate component adhered to the front wall 14 using an adhesive strip or other removable adherent.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the bottom 15 of the container 10 is shown. The bottom 15 is made up, in conventional fashion, of four flaps 40, 42, 44, and 46 which are folded inwardly. One of the flaps 40, 42, 44, and 46 extends from each of the front 14, rear 48, and two side walls 36 and 38 of the container 10. A piece of corrugated cardboard (not shown) approximately the size of the folded bottom wall 15 of the container 10 may be placed flat inside and against the bottom wall 15 of the container 10. The additional piece of corrugated cardboard strengthens the bottom wall 15, and further provides padding and a flat surface for the lower ends of the gift wrap rolls 12 to rest on. The bottom 15 of the container 10 is secured by taping or gluing the flaps 40, 42, 44, and 46 to form a flat bottom wall 15, also in a conventional manner.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a blank 58 for constructing the container 10 of FIG. 1 is shown. The blank 58 preferably comprises a sheet of corrugated cardboard material and includes vertical fold lines separating the cardboard blank 58 into a front wall 14, side walls 36 and 38, and rear wall 48. Horizontal fold lines are provided to separate each of the walls 14, 36, 38, and 48 from the bottom panels 40, 42, 44, and 46, and a separation is cut or otherwise provided vertically between each of the bottom panels 40, 42, 44, and 46 allowing these panels to be moved independently from the adjacent walls 14, 36, 38, and 40, and the respective adjacent panels. A flap 49 is hingedly attached to the side wall 36 and, in use, is folded over and adhered to the rear wall 48 using a glue or other adhesive to form the container 10 into a rectangular configuration as shown in FIG. 1 prior to the loading of rolls 12.

As noted above, the front wall 14 includes a perforation line 32 extending vertically between the front panel 14 and each of the side walls 36 and 38 and horizontally along a bottom portion of the front wall 14, separating the removable panel 24 from the lower panel 18. Fold or hinge lines 48 and 50 for forming the bridging panel 19 are provided in an upper portion of the front wall 14. The hinge lines 48 and 50 extend horizontally across the front panel 14 between the front panel 20 and a reinforcement panel 28. A cut line 60 is also provided horizontally across the width of the front panel 14 separating reinforcement panel 28 from the removable panel 24. An open area 54 and 56 is cut or otherwise provided vertically on each of the opposing sides of the reinforcement panel 28 such that the reinforcement panel 28 can be folded up to form the bridging panel 19 along the hinge lines 48 and 50, as described below. The semi-circular finger hole 34 extends downward from the cut line 60 into the removable panel 24 at the approximate vertical center of the front wall 14, and aids in the folding up of panel 28 and the removal of the removable panel 24 by a user as described above.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a stiff elongated member 30 can be provided on the front panel 20 to reinforce the bridging panel 19. The stiff elongated member 30 is preferably constructed of a metal rod but can also be constructed from a metal or synthetic wire, plastic, cardboard or other materials. The stiff elongated member 30 runs substantially the length of the bridging panel 19 adjacent to the fold between panels 20 and 28 and provides significant resistance against bending of the bridging panel 19. The stiff elongated member 30 is preferably glued or adhered to the panel 20 prior to construction of the box 10 from the blank 58. Alternatively, the stiff elongated member 30 can be added to the container 10 at a later stage of construction, as, for example, when the bridging panel 19 is constructed on site, as described below with reference to FIG. 7.

Referring now to FIG. 6, the bridging panel 19 is formed by folding the reinforcement panel 28, which is cut out from the front wall 14 as described above, along hinge lines 48 and 50, over the back side of the front panel 20. Once positioned, the reinforcement panel 28 is glued or otherwise adhered to the back of the front panel 20. The front panel 20 and reinforcement panel 28 thereby form a double layer of corrugated material, providing a relatively stiff bridging panel 19 that resists bending when the weight of the rolls 12 is provided against the bridging panel 19. Furthermore, the corrugations in the corrugated cardboard which make up the container 10 are preferably configured to run in a horizontal direction, providing additional resistance against bending as the rolls 12 rest against the composite bridging panel 19 made up of the panels 20 and 28. As noted above, the bridging panel 19 can also include the stiff elongated member 30, provided between the front panel 20 and the reinforcement panel 28 as described above. Preferably, the bridging panel 19 is formed prior to folding the blank 58 into the container 10 as shown in FIG. 1. When constructed as shown, an opening 52 is formed above the removable panel 24 prior to shipping and forms part of the opening 16 when the removable panel 24 is removed. The opening 52 is enclosed during shipping and storage by the shipping box 22.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 7, the container 10 can be constructed from the blank 58 and the reinforcement panel 28 folded into the bridging panel 19 after the carton is constructed. In this application, an adhesive strip can be positioned on the back of the panel 20 to allow a user to adhere the reinforcement panel 28 to the back of the panel 20 at, for example, a remote location such as a retail establishment. Although the present invention is particularly useful when the carton 11 is loaded with rolls 12 prior to shipment, the carton 11 can also be partially assembled, as shown in FIG. 7, prior to shipping or shipped as a blank 58 as shown in FIG. 4, and assembled by a distributor, at a warehouse, or elsewhere. Furthermore, although the bridging panel 19 has been described with reference to the area extending horizontally above the removable panel, it will be apparent that, using similar steps to those described above, the lower panel 18 could also be reinforced. Reinforcing the container 10 on both the upper and lower sides of the opening 16 would be particularly advantageous, for example, when the rolls 12 to be provided in the container 10 are large “jumbo wrap” rolls or contain heavy materials such as heavy mailing paper or foils.

Referring now to FIG. 8, as described above, an open-ended five-sided shipping box 22, which is sized to have height substantially equivalent the height of the container 10 including the rolls 12 loaded into it, can be slipped over the container 10 prior to shipping of the carton 11 or for storage of the carton 11. The open bottom end of the shipping box 22 is adhered or taped to the bottom wall 15 of the container 10 to secure it during shipping or storage. As an alternative to the shipping box 22, the top of the container 10 can be extended up above the ends of the rolls 12 and closed, for example in the same manner that the bottom of the container 10 is closed. A nylon tear strip can then be provided, for example at the height of the container 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 (or a different height), which when pulled by a sales clerk tears the corrugated cardboard of the carton to create a clean separation of the top portion of the container 10 from the remaining bottom portion, which would leave the bottom portion looking much like the carton in FIGS. 1 and 2. This would save corrugated cardboard material by avoiding the shipping box 22, but would not protect the graphics on the outside of the container 10. In alternative embodiments, the shipping box 22 can be provided to extend from the top 13 of the container 10 to cover the exposed rolls 12, or from the opening 52 above the removable panel 24 to enclose the exposed rolls 12. In these cases, the rolls are adequately covered while minimizing materials.

The invention therefore provides a carton 11 specially adapted to ship, store, display, and dispense product rolls such as gift wrap rolls. The opening 16 in the front wall 14 of the container 10 through which the rolls 12 are dispensed extends for the entire width of the front wall 14 to provide a large opening 16 for display and dispensing of the rolls. A stiff reinforcement 30 provided in the bridging panel 19 over the opening 16, preferably between a front panel 20 and a reinforced panel 28 which is folded over the rear of the front panel 20 over the bottom edge of the front panel 20, helps reinforce the bridging panel 19 to contain the rolls 12. In addition, reinforcement during shipping is provided by a removable front panel 24 which at least partially covers the opening 16 through which the rolls 12 are dispensed, before the removable panel 24 is removed. Moreover, the container 10 of the invention may be provided with an open top 13 so that the rolls 12 stick out of the top 13 of the box, where they can also be viewed by a consumer.

When the container 10 is ready to be placed in the retail store on a shelf or on the floor for display and sale of the rolls 12, the shipping carton 22 is removed by cutting or removing the tape which holds it to the container 10 and discarding (or returning) the shipping carton 22. The removable panel 24 which covers the display and dispensing opening 16 is then removed, and the container 10 loaded with rolls 12 of gift wrap is then ready to be placed on the floor or shelf of the retail store, with the rolls ready for sale.

A preferred embodiment of the invention has been described in considerable detail. Many modifications and variations to the preferred embodiment described will be apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, the invention should not be limited to the embodiment described.