Title:
Wraparound carton and blank
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carton and a blank for forming a carton for packaging an article for example a sachet, the carton including opposed top and base walls interconnected by first and second side walls so as to form a tubular structure. An aperture is struck from the top wall so as to receive a protruding portion of the article wherein the aperture extends into a panel adjacent the top wall so as to facilitate the folding of the top wall over the protruding portion during construction of the carton.



Inventors:
Lebras, Philippe (Chateauroux, FR)
Application Number:
11/225551
Publication Date:
03/09/2006
Filing Date:
09/13/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/162.6
International Classes:
B65D25/04; B65D25/54
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WESTROCK COMPANY (Richmond, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A carton for packaging an article, comprising opposed top and base walls interconnected by first and second side walls so as to form a tubular structure, the top wall including an aperture struck from the top wall so as to receive a protruding portion of the article wherein the aperture extends into a panel adjacent the top wall so as to facilitate the folding of the top wall over the protruding portion during construction of the carton.

2. A carton according to claim 1 wherein the panel adjacent the top wall is a securing flap arranged to secure the top wall to one of said first or second side walls.

3. A carton as claimed in claim 2 wherein the securing flap is disposed on the outside surface of the side wall and a portion of the side wall is disposed in the aperture to engage the article in the aperture.

4. A carton according to claim 1 for packaging a plurality of articles, the carton is further provided with a partition panel struck from a panel forming the tubular structure, wherein the partition panel is arranged so as to ensure that the portions of the respective articles are aligned with the apertures.

5. A carton according to claim 4 wherein the partition panel is struck from one of the first or second side walls and defines a display window in said first or second side wall.

6. A carton according to claim 5 wherein there further comprises a stabilising flap hingedly connected to an edge of the partition panel and disposed along the inner surface of the outer one of the first or second side walls.

7. A carton according to claim 1 wherein the securing flap is substantially the same size as the side wall to which it is secured thereby forming a composite side wall.

8. A blank for forming a wraparound carton for packaging an article, the blank comprising in series a first side wall panel, a base wall panel, a second side wall panel, a top wall panel and a securing flap, the top wall panel including an aperture struck from the top wall panel to receive a protruding portion of the article in use, wherein the aperture extends into a panel adjacent the top wall panel so as to facilitate the folding of the top wall panel over the protruding portion during the folding of the blank to form a carton.

9. A blank according to claim 8 wherein the adjacent panel is the securing flap.

10. A blank according to claim 8 wherein the partition panel is struck from and hingedly connected to one of the first and second side wall panels.

11. A blank according to claim 8 wherein the blank is a two-part blank.

Description:

This is a continuation of international application No. PCT/US2003/007812, filed Mar. 14, 2003, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a wraparound carton and blank. More particularly, the invention relates to a wraparound carton and blank for accommodating articles such as flexible sachets of semi-liquid foodstuffs, for example soft cheese, having a protruding sachet portion.

Commonly, wraparound carriers are provided with apertures to retain one or more articles. U.S. Pat. No. 4,836,375 (Shuster) illustrates one example.

Another example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,189,215 to Currie discloses a wraparound carton for packaging for bottles, slotted apertures being provided across the width of the top wall thereof to accommodate the necks of the two bottles.

A further example, U.S. Pat. No. 1,782,429 to Johnson discloses a wraparound carton for packaging tubes of material, the carton having a triangular profile and an aperture in a top wall thereof arranged to receive a cap of the tube.

When flexible articles are to be packaged, such as sachets containing semi-liquid foodstuffs for example, alignment of the necks or caps of such sachets with apertures through which they protrude when erecting the carton may be problematic due to the tendency of such articles to deform and/or overlap with each other.

The present invention seeks to overcome, or at least mitigate the problems of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the present invention provides a carton for packaging an article, for example a sachet, the carton comprising opposed top and base walls interconnected by first and second side walls so as to form a tubular structure. There further comprises an aperture struck from the top wall to receive a protruding portion of the article wherein the aperture extends into a panel adjacent the top wall so as to facilitate the folding of the top wall over the protruding portion during construction of the carton.

The panel adjacent the top wall may be a securing flap arranged to secure the top wall to one of said first or second side walls. Preferably, the securing flap is disposed on the outside surface of the side wall and a portion of the side wall is disposed in the aperture to engage the article in the aperture.

According to an optional feature of this aspect of the invention, the carton is further provided with a partition panel struck from a panel forming the tubular structure, wherein the partition panel is arranged so as to ensure that the portions of the respective articles are aligned with the apertures. Preferably the partition panel is struck from one of the first or second side walls and defines a display window in said first or second side wall.

There may further comprise a stabilising flap hingedly connected to an edge of the partition panel and disposed along the inner surface of the outer one of the first or second side walls.

According to another optional feature of this aspect of the present invention the securing flap is substantially the same size as the side wall to which it is secured thereby forming a composite side wall.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a blank for forming a wraparound carton for packaging an article such as a sachet for example, the blank comprising in series a first side wall panel, a base wall panel, a second side wall panel, a top wall panel and a securing flap, there further comprising an aperture struck from the top wall panel to receive a protruding portion of the carton in use wherein the aperture extends into a panel adjacent the top wall panel so as to facilitate the folding of the top wall panel over the protruding portion during the folding of the blank to form a carton.

In one class of embodiments, the adjacent panel is the securing flap.

According to an optional feature of the second aspect of the present invention the partition panel is struck from and hingedly connected to one of the first and second side wall panels.

The blank may be a two-part blank.

A third aspect of the invention provides a method of forming a wraparound carton comprising a first side wall panel, a second side wall panel, a top wall panel and a securing flap, hingedly interconnected in series so as to form a tubular structure, the top wall panel having an article receiving aperture struck therefrom and extending into the securing flap, the method comprising the steps of:

    • i) introducing the article to the carton;
    • ii) folding the top wall panel and securing flap about a first fold line hingedly interconnecting the second side wall panel; and
    • iii) introducing a protruding portion of the article into the extended portion of the aperture whilst folding the top wall and securing flap, thereby allowing the securing flap to clear the article.

Preferably, there comprises the step prior to step (ii) of placing the article on the first side wall and folding the base wall and second side wall around the article.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1A and 1B are plan views of the first and second parts respectively of a two-part blank for forming a carton according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are perspective views of the blanks of FIGS. 1A and 1B, during successive stages of the carton loading and erection procedure;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the carton formed from the blank of FIGS. 1A and 1B in a fully set-up and loaded condition;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a single part blank for forming a carton according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the blank of FIG. 6 during erection thereof to form a carton;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the fully set-up and loaded carton formed from the blank of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a single part blank according to a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a single part blank according to a fourth embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of a blank for folding a carton according to the fifth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the blank of FIG. 11 during the carton erection and article loading procedure with the carton and articles inverted; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the blank of FIG. 11 during the carton erection and article loading procedure with the carton and articles inverted.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the first embodiment of the invention as illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5, and in particular to FIG. 1A, there is shown a first part 10A of a two-part blank formed from paperboard or like foldable sheet material for forming a wraparound carton and comprises a plurality of panels for forming the sides and ends of the carton. In this embodiment, additional panels are provided to secure the first and second blank parts together. Thus, in FIG. 1A there is shown a first end tab 12, first end wall panel 14, first side wall panel 16, second end wall panel 18 and second end tab 20 hingedly interconnected in series along fold lines 36, 38, 40 and 42 respectively. End flaps 24, 26, 28 and 30 are, in this embodiment, hingedly connected to the end edges of end wall panels 14 and 18 along fold lines 46, 48, 50 and 52 respectively. An inner base wall panel 22 is further preferably hingedly connected to one edge of first side panel 16 along fold line 44.

Optionally, a partition panel 32 is advantageously struck from first side wall panel 16 and is hingedly connected thereto along fold line 78. In this embodiment, it is arranged to be substantially parallel to and is located substantially midway between fold lines 38 and 40.

A securing flap 34 is hingedly connected to partition panel 32 along fold line 80. In this embodiment, the width W of partition panel between fold lines 78 and 80 is substantially the same as the width of end wall panels 14 and 18 between fold lines 36 and 38 and 40 and 42 respectively.

An aperture 54 is, in this embodiment, struck from first side wall panel 16 and may extend to second end wall panel 18 so as to interrupt fold line 40 and enable the contents of a carton formed from the blank 10a to be viewed, when in a set-up and loaded condition.

Referring now to FIG. 1B, there is illustrated the second part 10B of the two-part blank of the first embodiment. In this embodiment, the second part 10B comprises a outer first side wall panel 56, a top wall panel 58, side second wall panel 60 and an outer base wall panel 62 hingedly interconnected along fold lines 64, 66 and 68 respectively.

An aperture 70 may be provided, struck from outer first side wall panel 56 and is located so as to be in register with the area defined by partition panel 32 and securing flap 34 when the two blanks are brought into a set-up condition. A cutaway portion 76 is provided in some embodiments, which portion 76 is struck from outer first side wall panel 56 and is, in this embodiment, arranged to be in register with part of aperture 54 struck from inner first side wall panel 16 when the blank is erected to form a carton.

A pair of neck apertures 72 and 74 are struck from, and extend across top wall panel 58 and, preferably, into outer first side wall panel 56. In this embodiment, the portion extending into outer first side wall panel 56 is defined by a curved cut line 73, 75, extending into outer first side wall panel 56 from the intersection of the transverse cut lines defining the apertures 72 and 74 with fold line 64.

The construction of the various embodiments described herein can be formed by a series of sequential folding and gluing operations in a straight line machine so that the carton is not required to be rotated or inverted to complete its construction. The folding process is not limited to that described below and may be altered according to particular manufacturing requirements.

To commence construction of the first embodiment shown in FIG. 2, partition panel 32 is folded out of alignment with inner first side wall panel 16 about fold line 78 so as to be substantially perpendicular thereto. The articles are then introduced to the blank 10A. Preferably, four articles A are, in this embodiment, placed on first side wall panel 16 either side of partition panel 32 in a 2×2 configuration. Securing flap 34 is then folded into a substantially perpendicular relationship with partition panel 32. In this embodiment, articles A are flexible sachets of a semi-liquid material such as soft cheese, each article having a protruding neck and cap portion. In other embodiments it is envisaged that other articles such as bottles or cans may be packaged by the carton.

The articles A are placed on the blank such that the protruding portions extend beyond the upper edge of inner first side wall panel 16.

Thereafter the base and end wall structures are erected by folding first and second end wall panels 14 and 18 inwardly along fold lines 38 and 40 respectively so as to be brought into a substantially perpendicular relationship with inner first side wall panel 16. End wall tabs 12 and 20 and end wall flaps 24, 26, 28 and 30 are then folded inwardly about fold lines 36, 42, 46, 48, 50 and 52 respectively so as to be substantially perpendicular with first and second end wall panels 14 and 18. Inner base wall panel 22 is folded upwardly and inwardly about fold line 44 so as to be brought into substantially face contacting relationship with end wall flaps 24 and 28. In one class of embodiments, inner base wall panel 22 may be secured to end wall flaps 24 and 28 using glue or other suitable securing means known in the art. Blank 10A is now in the partially erected state illustrated in FIG. 3.

To complete erection, the second part, 10B, of the two-part blank is secured to the first part 10A by gluing or otherwise securing outer base wall panel 62 to inner base wall panel 22, as shown in FIG. 4.

Second side wall panel 60, top wall panel 58 and outer first side wall panel 56 are then brought into mutually perpendicular relationships with the adjacent panels by folding along fold lines 68, 66 and 64 respectively such that top wall panel 58 overlies end wall flaps 26 and 30 and outer first side wall panel 56 overlies inner first side wall panel 16, thereby forming a composite first side wall. Inner and outer first side wall panels may be secured together using glue or other suitable means known in the art such as a locking tab arrangement.

In this embodiment, the respective panels of second part 10B may be further secured to tabs and flaps 12, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 34 using glue or other suitable known means. In a preferred embodiment, the respective areas of one or both of parts 10A and 10B are pre-glued prior to the folding operation. The carton is then in a fully erected state as shown in FIG. 5.

It can be seen from FIGS. 4 and 5 that the cap portions of articles A protrude through top wall apertures 72 and 74 and further that the extended portions 77, 79 of apertures 72 and 74 substantially prevent outer first side wall panel 56 fouling on the protruding portions during the folding of the second part 10B of the blank.

It will also be seen from FIG. 5 that aperture 70 is in register with the aperture formed by the folding of partition panel 32 and glue flap 34, and that cutaway 76 is in register with the portion of aperture 54 struck from inner first side wall panel 16.

Preferably, a portion 80, 82 of the inner side wall 16, for example the upper edge, engages the article in the aperture to be retained therewith in order to reduce relative movement of the cartons.

Referring now to the second embodiment of the invention as illustrated in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, like numerals have, where possible, been used for like parts with the addition of the prefix “1”. The first and second embodiments are similar and therefore, only the differences between the first and second embodiments of the invention are described below.

Referring to FIG. 6, there is shown a single part blank 110 for forming a carton according to a second embodiment of the present invention rather than the two-part blank of the first embodiment, so that the top and sides are hingedly connected to the base 122 along fold line 168. The blank differs from the two-part blank of the first embodiment in that aperture 154 is struck from second end wall panel 118 and second end tab 120 so as to interrupt fold line 142. In addition, a further aperture 155 is struck from first end wall tab 112 and first end wall panel 114 so as to interrupt fold line 136. Consequently, cut-outs 176 and 178 are provided on opposed edges of second side wall panel 160 so as to be in register with a portion of apertures 154 and 155. Finally, outer first side wall panel 56 is, in this embodiment, replaced by a securing flap 156 of significantly smaller area.

The erection process is substantially identical to that of the first embodiment and shown in FIG. 7 except, of course, that it is unnecessary to secure inner and outer base wall panels together due to the fact that the blank is provided in a single piece. Once folded, securing flap 156 is secured to first side wall panel 116 using glue or other suitable means known in the art. The carton is then in a set-up condition as illustrated in FIG. 8: again a portion 180, 182 of the inner side wall 16 engages the articles in the aperture to restrict unwanted movement.

Referring now to FIG. 9, there is shown a third embodiment Which is similar to the first and second embodiments so like numerals have been used for like parts with the addition of the prefix “2”. The blank 210 for forming a carton differs from the blank of the second embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 6, in that the location of apertures 254 and 255 are altered to remove the need for cutaway portions 176 and 178 to be provided on second side wall panel 160.

Referring to FIG. 10, there is illustrated a blank for forming a carton according to a fourth embodiment of the invention in which like numerals have been used for like parts but with the addition of the prefix “3”. The blank 310 differs from the blank 210 in as much as securing flap 256 is replaced by outer first side wall panel 356 that substantially overlies fully inner side wall panel 316 and is thus provided with cutaway portions 376 and 378 located so as to be in register with apertures 354 and 355 when a carton is formed from the blank. In contrast with the blank of the first embodiment, no aperture is provided in outer first side wall panel 356 to be in register with the aperture formed by the striking of partition panel 332 and glue flap 334 from inner side wall panel 316.

The construction process of the third and fourth embodiments is the same as the second embodiment, so is not described in any greater detail.

The fifth embodiment of the invention as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12. In particular to FIG. 11, there is illustrated a blank 410 of paperboard or like foldable sheet material for forming a wraparound carton. There comprises a plurality of panels for forming a top wall, a base and opposed side walls. In this embodiment, the blank 410 comprises in series a base wall panel 414, first side wall panel 416, top wall panel 418 and second side wall panel 420 hingedly interconnected in series along fold lines 424, 426 and 428 respectively. Preferably, there further comprises an inner side wall panel or securing flap 412 hingedly connected to base wall panel 414 along fold line 420.

There may further comprise one or more aperture structures. In FIG. 11 there is shown a pair of aperture structures 430 and 432 are struck from base wall panel 414 and, in this embodiment, extends into securing flap 412. Each structure is substantially identical and therefore only aperture structure 30 is described in further detail.

There further comprises a spacer (or bracing) tab 434, struck from base wall panel 414 and extending into spacer flap 412 so as to interrupt fold line 422. Spacer tab 434 is hingedly connected to securing flap 412 by fold line 438. The tab is defined by cut line 458, with each end of cut line 458 being connected to fold line 438 by relatively short straight mutually parallel cut lines 459a and 459b. Of course, the position of the cut lines is non-limiting and in some embodiments cut lines 459a and 459b are dispensed with. The end of tab 434 remote from fold line 438 is, in this embodiment, substantially parallel to fold line 438 so as to define a portion to engage the flange of an article or a panel of the article carrier.

Opposed pairs of article retention structures 442, 444; 446, 448 are preferably provided along fold lines 426 and 428 respectively, the structures being arranged so as to interrupt the aforesaid fold lines. Each retention structure is substantially identical, and therefore only structure 446 is described in further detail. It can be seen from FIG. 11 that structure 446 comprises a protruding portion 450 of top wall panel 418 arranged so as to interrupt fold line 428 and being defined by curved cut line 452.

The structure further comprises a pair of spaced parallel cut lines 454 and 456 which is, in this embodiment, arranged substantially perpendicular to fold line 428, to extend from curved cut line 452 and terminates part way down second side wall panel 420. The cut lines 454 and 456 thereby define a tab portion 457.

It can be seen from FIG. 12, in which the carton and articles A are inverted for the sake of clarity, that top wall panel 418 is placed so as to overlie the planar top face of the articles A. All references to directions are to be understood as if the blank and articles are in an upright state. Top wall panel 418 is dimensioned, in this embodiment, such that flange portions F of the articles A extend beyond fold lines 426 and 428.

Spacer tabs 434 are then folded downwardly out of alignment with securing flap 412 thereby revealing aperture 436 completely. Subsequently, first side wall panel 416 is folded inwardly out of alignment with top wall panel 418 and base wall panel 414 is folded inwardly and upwardly about fold line 424 out of alignment with first side wall panel 416. The elongate nature of apertures 436 enables base wall panel 414 to fold over the base of articles A without fouling on securing flap 412.

Subsequently, securing flap 412 is folded upwardly and inwardly about fold line 422 and second side wall panel 420 is folded downwardly and inwardly about fold line 428 as shown in FIG. 13. Thus, spacer tabs 434 are guided between second side wall panel 420 and the side of the respective article A and are thus brought into engagement with the under side of flange portions F of the articles A to restrict relative movement of the article A. In some embodiments, the outer face of securing flap 412 is brought into face contacting relationship with the inner face of second side wall panel 420. Panels 412 and 420 are preferably secured together using glue or other suitable means known in the art.

The inward folding of first and second side wall panels 416 and 420 causes flange portions F to protrude laterally beyond fold lines 426 and 428 and the thickness of the flange portions causes tabs 457 to fold outwardly slightly beyond the plane of first and second side wall panel 420. The tabs 457 thereby engage underneath the flanges F, and assist in the retention of the articles A within the carton. The carton is now in a fully set-up and loaded condition.

It will be recognised that as used herein, the terms “top”, “base”, “side”, “end”, “inner”, “outer”, “upper” and “lower” with respect to the panels of the carton or carton blank are relative terms, and that the carton formed from the blank may be reoriented as necessary or as desired. It will further be recognised that rather than the side wall being formed from composite panels, the carton blank may be rearranged whereby some other wall such as a top wall may be composite.

Any reference to hinged connection should not be construed as necessarily referring to a single fold line only: indeed it is envisaged that hinged connection can be formed from one or more of one of the following, a score line, a frangible line or a fold line, without departing from the scope of invention.

It should be understood that numerous changes may be made within the scope of the invention. For example, the size and shape of top wall apertures may be altered to accommodate different sized article protruding portions and the location and size of the article viewing apertures may be altered as required. The present invention and its preferred embodiment relates to a carton which is shaped to provide satisfactory rigidity to hold items such as primary containers securely but with a degree of flexibility. The shape of the blank minimises the amount of paperboard required for the carton. The items can be applied to the carrier by hand or automatic machinery. It is anticipated the invention can be applied to a variety of carton or tray types and not limited to those of the wraparound sort.