Title:
Carton For Bottles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
According to the present invention there is provided a carton suitable for transporting bottles, the carton including: i) a series of side wall panels that are interconnected and form an enclosure and can be manipulated from an empty collapsed orientation for storage in a space saving manner to an assembled orientation into which bottles can be loaded; and ii) an internal wall structure positioned inside and connected to the side wall panels at pre-selected locations such that as the enclosure is manipulated from the collapsed orientation to the assembled orientation the internal wall structure is located in an operative position which defines separate compartments each adapted to receive a bottle and thereby avoid bottles loaded into the carton from contacting each other.



Inventors:
Artis, Kym (South Australia, AU)
Hawke, Graeme (South Australia, AU)
Application Number:
11/661906
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
09/02/2005
Assignee:
Amcor Limited (Victoria, AU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/120.02, 229/100
International Classes:
B65D75/00; B65D5/00; B65D25/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRANGE, SHARON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERCHANT & GOULD P.C. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A carton suitable for transporting bottles, the carton including: i) a series of side wall panels that are interconnected and form an enclosure and can be manipulated from an empty collapsed orientation for storage in a space saving manner to an assembled orientation into which bottles can be loaded; and ii) an internal wall structure positioned inside the enclosure and including a) a central divider that is connected to only one of the side wall panels and b) lateral dividers that extend from the central divider only and are connected to the side wall panels at pre-selected locations such that as the enclosure is manipulated from the collapsed orientation to the assembled orientation the central and lateral dividers are located in an operative position which define separate compartments each adapted to receive a bottle.

2. The carton according to claim 1, wherein the side wall panels and the internal wall structure are made from a single sheet of material.

3. The carton according to claim 1, wherein the side wall panels and the internal wall structure are formed from fluted or corrugated cardboard.

4. The carton according to claim 1, wherein the number of compartments defined by the internal wall structure and, thus, the number of bottles that can be loaded into the carton is a multiple of two.

5. The carton according to claim 1, wherein the central and lateral dividers are integrally connected along a single fold line.

6. The carton according to claim 5, wherein the central divider extends along the length of the carton so as to define two rows into which the bottles can be loaded.

7. The carton according to claim 5, wherein the lateral dividers extend from opposite sides of the central divider and define a series of ranks across the width of the carton.

8. The carton according to claim 5, wherein the central divider includes two layers of material and that each lateral divider is formed by a tongue cut into one of the layers and folded outwardly from the central divider.

9. The carton according to claim 5, wherein each lateral divider includes an outer tab that is fixed to one of the side wall panels.

10. The carton according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the side wall panels includes a line of weakness that defines an openable section that can be opened by hand so as to reveal contents of the carton.

11. The carton according to claim 10, wherein the internal wall structure includes a frangible section that allows the openable section to be detached from the internal wall structure when the openable section is opened or removed from the carton.

12. A method for packaging bottles into a carton including a) a series of side wall panels that are interconnected and can form an enclosure; and b) an internal wall structure positioned inside the enclosure, the internal wall structure including a central divider that is connected to only one of the side wall panels and lateral dividers that extent from the central divider only and are connected to the side wall panels at pre-selected locations, and the method includes: i) manipulating the orientation of the carton from a collapsed orientation in which the carton can be stored in a space saving manner to an assembled operative orientation in which the internal wall structure defines a series of compartments that are each adapted to receive a bottle and the internal wall structure is adapted to avoid bottles loaded into adjacent compartments from contacting each other; and ii) loading bottles into the compartments.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the side wall panels and the internal wall structure are made from a single sheet of material.

14. The method according to claim 12, wherein the side wall panels and the internal wall structure are made from fluted or corrugated cardboard.

15. The method according to claim 12, wherein the central and lateral dividers are integrally connected along a single fold line.

16. A blank formed from a single sheet of material, wherein the blank can be assembled into the carton according to claim 1.

17. A blank that can form the carton according to claim 1.

Description:

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention relates to a carton in which bottles such as wine bottles can be transported. In addition, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention the carton may also be used for displaying bottles at a point of sale at a retail outlet.

Bottles such as wine bottles have been transported in the past in corrugated cardboard boxes. Normally six or more bottles are loaded into each box in a filling or packaging line using automated air suction technology. Once the bottles have been loaded into the box, a person manually picks, assembles and places a divider made of solid or fluted cardboard material into the box in order to prevent the sides of the bottles from rattling and clashing against each other during transportation. The steps of manually picking, assembling and positioning dividers into each carton increases overall costs.

The loaded boxes are then palletized and stretch wrapped using a robotic system prior to storage and ultimately delivery to a retail outlet.

Once at the retail outlet, the top of each box is either broken open or cut using a box knife or similar cutting blade which can potentially cause an injury. Bottles are then removed from the box and placed either on a wine bottle rack, stood upright on a shelf or displayed on the floor and the box discarded.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an alternative carton that has benefits and advantages over the traditional cartons.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

According to the present invention there is provided a carton suitable for transporting bottles, the carton including:

i) a series of side wall panels that are interconnected and form an enclosure and can be manipulated from an empty collapsed orientation for storage in a space saving manner to an assembled orientation into which bottles can be loaded; and

ii) an internal wall structure positioned inside and connected to the side wall panels at pre-selected locations such that as the enclosure is manipulated from the collapsed orientation to the assembled orientation the internal wall structure is located in an operative position which defines separate compartments each adapted to receive a bottle and thereby avoid bottles loaded into the carton from contacting each other.

An advantage of the present invention is that internal wall structure replaces conventional dividers and, therefore, removes the need to manually assemble and insert a divider into a carton.

It is preferred that the side wall panels and the internal wall structure be made from a single sheet of material.

The carton may be made of any suitable material including solid cardboard or plastic, however, it is preferred that the carton be made from fluted or corrugated cardboard.

In addition, although any number of bottles may be loaded into the carton, it is preferred that the number of compartments defined by the internal wall structure and, thus, the number of bottles that can be loaded into the carton be a multiple of two.

It is preferred that the internal wall structure include a central divider that is connected to one of the side wall panels and lateral dividers that extend from the central divider and are connected to other side wall panels so that when the enclosure is manipulated from a collapsed orientation to an assembled orientation, the central divider and lateral dividers define the compartments.

It is preferred that the central divider extend along the length of the carton so as to define two rows into which the bottles can be loaded.

It is also preferred that the lateral dividers extend from opposite sides of the central divider and define a series of ranks across the width of the carton.

It is even more preferred that the central divider includes two layers of material and that each lateral divider be formed by a tongue cut into one of the layers and folded outwardly from the central divider.

It is also preferred that each lateral divider include an outer tab that is fixed to one of the side wall panels.

Each tab may be fixed to the side wall panel using any suitable means, however, it is preferred that each tab be fixed in position using a hot melt adhesive.

It is also preferred that at least one of the side wall panels include a line of weakness that defines an openable section that can be opened by hand. A carton having this feature can be laid on its side so that the side wall panel having the lines of weakness faces upwardly and the openable section opened or removed from the carton so that the bottles in the carton can be viewed. An advantage provided by this feature is that the carton and particularly graphical features printed on the carton can also be used for display purposes at a point of the sale. Another advantage provided by this feature is that the carton can be opened without the use of a knife or blade which substantially reduces the potential for injury.

In the situation in which the internal wall structure is connected to the openable section defined by the line of weakness in one of the side wall panels, it is preferred that the internal wall structure includes a frangible section that allows the openable section to be detached from the internal wall structure when the openable section is opened or removed from the carton.

In the situation in which the internal wall structure includes lateral dividers having tabs connected to the openable section, it is preferred that the tabs be frangible connected to the lateral dividers to allow the openable section to be opened by hand as desired.

According to the present invention there is also provided a method for packaging bottles in a carton having any one or a combination of the features described above. The method including:

i) manipulating the orientation of the carton from a collapsed orientation to an assembled orientation and thereby locating the internal wall structure in an operative position in which the internal wall structure defines a series of compartments; and

ii) loading a bottle into each compartment.

According to the present invention there is also provided a blank formed from a single sheet of material, wherein the blank can be assembled into the carton having any one or a combination of the features described above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a carton in an assembled orientation;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the carton shown in FIG. 1 loaded with bottles;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the carton shown in FIG. 1 laying on a side and in a collapsed orientation;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the carton shown in FIG. 1 while laying on a side in an assembled orientation with a portion of side wall panels of the carton show in dotted lines so as to emphasis an internal wall structure within the carton;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of a portion of the internal wall structure circled in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective of the carton shown in FIG. 1 while laying on one side and with an openable section moved to an opened position for unloading or display of the bottles in the carton; and

FIG. 7 is a drawing of blank for making the carton shown in FIG. 1 from a single sheet of material.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The embodiment shown in the Figures includes four side wall panels identified by reference numerals 10a to 10d which are interconnected by fold lines 16. When the carton is erected the four side wall panels 10a to 10d form an enclosure into which glass bottles 11 can be loaded. The carton shown in the figures is configured for 6 bottles, however, it will be appreciated that the carton may be configured to receive 2, 4, 8, 10 or any even number of bottles.

Each side wall panel 10a to 10d includes a flap 12 at opposite ends that can be folded to form top and bottom closures of the carton in much the same way as a conventional carton. In addition, the carton also includes a fifth side wall panel 10e which can best be seen from the blank of the carton shown in FIG. 7. When the carton is erected, the fifth side wall panel 10e is folded inside the enclosure so that it overlaps and is glued to the opposite side wall panel 10a. The fifth side wall panel 10e has approximately half the width of side wall panel 10a and does not have top and bottom flaps 12 like the other side wall panels 10a to 10d. Rather, and as can best be seen from the blank of the carton shown in FIG. 7, a pair of equally sized flaps 13a and 13b extend laterally outwardly from the fifth side wall panel 10e and form the internal wall structure. One of the flaps 13a is connected to the fifth side wall panel 10e along fold line 14 and the other flap 13b is connected along another fold line 15 to flap 13a. Flap 13b is not directly connected to the fifth side wall panel 10e.

When erected, flaps 13a and 13b are folded on each other and hot glued together to form a central divider 13 that essentially divides the carton into two rows that extend along the length of the carton. Bottles 11 loaded into each row are thus separated by the central divider 13 which reduces contact between the bottles loaded into the rows.

In addition, during formation of the blank, two tongues 17 are also cut into each flap 13a and 13b in spaced relationship. When the carton is erected, the tongues 17 are folded outwardly and form two pairs of lateral dividers projecting from the central divider 13 which span between the central divider 13 and the opposite side wall panels 10b and 10d. Each lateral divider is also formed so that the outer extremity of each includes a tab 18 connected along a fold line 19. Each tab 18 is hot glued to an inner surface of the opposite side wall panel at a selected location so as to form rectangular or square shaped compartments when the carton is assembled.

In essence, the lateral dividers divide the rows into a series of separate compartments and that separate bottles loaded into the carton. Once the tabs have hot melt glued in the desired position, the internal wall structure allows the side wall panels 10a and 10d to be manipulated between an empty collapsed orientation and an assembled orientation.

FIG. 3 illustrates the carton in the empty collapsed orientation and the direction of the arrows A indicate the direction in which the side wall panels 10a to 10d can be manipulated in order to locate the side wall panels 10a to 10d in an assembled orientation. As the side wall panels 10a to 10d are manipulated in the direction of arrows A, the central divider 13 and lateral dividers 17a and 17b are located in an operative position and thereby define an internal wall structure having a total of six compartments that are adapted to receive a bottle.

One of the advantages of the embodiment illustrated in the drawings is that the internal wall structure can replace the dividers that are manually assembled and inserted into conventional cartons used for package in bottles. Another advantage is that it can also be stored and transported in an collapsed orientation.

In addition, one of the side wall panels, namely the side wall panel identified by reference numeral 10b in FIG. 7 may also include a line of weakness 20 that defines an openable section 21 that can be opened by hand. As can be seen in FIG. 7, the line of weakness 20 defines a semi-circular portion 22 intended to be grasped by ones hand which is connected to two parallel lines of weakness 23 running along the length of the carton. In use, the semi-circular portion 22 can be pushed inwardly into the carton or, alternatively, pulled outwardly and the parallel lines 23 broken to reveal the bottles contained in the carton. FIG. 6 illustrates the openable section 21 moved to an opened position for displaying bottles (not shown in FIG. 6). This allows a retailer to more easily utilise the carton for displaying the bottles in the carton at a point of the sale. Another benefit of this arrangement is that the carton can be opened without the use of knives or a cutting blade and, therefore, avoids the dangers of using such devices.

In order to facilitate removal or opening of the openable section 12, it is preferred that the fold line 19 between the arms 17a and 17b and the tabs 18 of the internal wall structure be frangible such that the tabs 18 remain glued to the openable section when opened.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that many modifications can be made to the preferred embodiment described above without departing from the spirit and of the present invention.

For example, although the Figures illustrate a carton made from a blank comprising a single sheet of material, it is possible that each carton be made from two or more than two sheets of material.