Title:
SELF-LIFTING DISPENSER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-lifting dispenser, including a pack(1) opened with sliding method. A rigid thin wire(2) is threaded and moves up and down through a channel(11) within the inner side of the wall of the pack(1). The upper end of the wire(2) is mounted on the opening device of the pack(1). The lower end of the wire(2) is the hook(21) located at bottom of sliding open exit(15) of the pack(1). The bottom of the pack(1) may be associated with a cavity(12) at corner under the sliding open exit(15). Compared to current technology, the lifting device could be extremely thin, pre-made and inserted during the automatic cigarette packing process with slight modification of existing packing line.



Inventors:
WU, Yunfei (NINGBO, CN)
WU, Tahming (SHANGHAI, CN)
WU, Xuanfei (DALLAS, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/127841
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
05/28/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/10
View Patent Images:
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20080315013Handheld windshield cleaning apparatus and method of using while drivingDecember, 2008Barniak Jr.
20080067083COVER SETMarch, 2008Lin
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Primary Examiner:
GRANO, ERNESTO ARTURIO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Yunfei Wu (Dallas, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A self-lifting dispenser, including a pack(1) opened with sliding method. A rigid thin wire(2) is threaded and moves up and down through a channel(11) within the inner side of the wall of the pack(1). The upper end of the wire(2) is mounted on the opening device of the pack(1). The lower end of the wire(2) is the hook(21) located at bottom of sliding open exit(15) of the pack(1). The bottom of the pack(1) is also associated with a cavity(12) at corner under the sliding open exit(15).

2. The dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein, the hook (21) is a rigid thin wire(2) as bending at the lower end of the wire to form as one part.

3. The dispenser as claimed in claim 2, wherein, the rigid thin wire(2) includes the wire with diameter less than 0.3 millimeter.

4. The dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein, the pulling device for lifting is outer-box(1a): as being applied in the pack(1) consisting of outer-box(1a) and inner-box(4). The inner-box(4) slides in and out of the one-side-open outer-box(1a).

5. The dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein, the pulling device for lifting is the cover(3): as being applied in the pack(1) consisting of a container(1b) and a slideable cover(3). The cover(3) with side rails(35) slides inside the grooves(36) in the compatible position of the container(1b).

6. The dispenser as claimed in claim 5, wherein, the cover(3) extends at one end with a downward dimple(34). The dispenser is semi locked as the dimple(34) kisses the nick(14) on top of the short wall of the container(1b), as the pack is closed.

7. The dispenser as claimed in claim 6, wherein, the bumps are arranged for fingers to grab the cover (3) easily.

8. The dispenser as claimed in claim 2, wherein, the shape of the hook(21) is a circle or square, as applied in lifting pencil.

9. The dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein, the channel(11) is formed by curve-cutting paperboard or plastic sheet, and pasted together with two pieces of thin paper(1). In the channel(11), the thin wire(2) threads through and freely moves up and down.

10. The dispenser as claimed in claim 2, the rigid thin wire is made of stainless steel or copper or plastics.

11. The dispenser as claimed in claim 1, the pack 1 is out wrapped by high barrier transparent film when foil is not utilized.

12. The dispenser as claimed in claim 4, wherein, the restrainer is an open, half bottomed paper container(63) to prevent cylindrical articles from falling down. The paper container(63) contains last-exit 2 to 5 cylindrical articles.

13. The dispenser as claimed in claim 5, wherein, the restrainer is an open, half bottomed paper container(63) to prevent cylindrical articles from falling down. The paper container(63) contains last-exit 2 to 5 cylindrical articles.

14. The dispenser as claimed in claim 12, wherein, a small steel sheet is glued to the paper container(62), combined with a small magnet(61) mounted under the raised bottom(13) near the cavity(12).

15. The dispenser as claimed in claim 5, wherein, the restraining and positioning system is a cross shape stainless strip(64) restricted by one-way bottom teeth(65), groove(66) and attracted by a thin magnet(67) in the wall opposite to the strip(64).

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to the box packing technical field, especially for automatically extracting packed goods, or self-lifting dispenser, such as self-lifting cigarette box, self-lifting candy stick box and self-lifting pencil box, etc.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In traditional packaging of cigarette and candy stick, the function of self-lifting is not available in the common commercial packs. Smokers usually use two hands to fetch one cigarette. Now, the sliding cigarette box has been on the market for years. But the box can't automatically lift up cigarettes. The sliding box consists of outer-box and inner-box. In order to smoke, one hand is used to push the inner box out, while the other hand is used to carry the cigarette. Thus the cigarette is touched by possible dirty hands with germs, which may get into human's body. It is not a hygienic way. Next, it is dangerous for drivers who must use two hands to get cigarette to the mouth while driving.

For a long time, people have been trying to extract cigarettes when opening the pack. Early in 1966, Frischer invented a method to lift the cigarette by tearing strip positioned inside the package and available from the outside.

In 1996, (U.S. Pat. No. 5,503,268) disclosed methods that allow smokers to get one cigarette by one hand. The methods involve forming the containers, loading the containers with cylindrical articles and dispensing the article from the container. The container includes a box and a telescope closure sleeve for exposing a circular aperture in a side wall of the box. An inner wall of the box provides a curved surface for aligning an individual article so that it may be dispensed through the aperture. A window in the sleeve permits the contents of the container to be viewed though an opening in the box.

China Patent (Patent No. CN2437632) “Automatic Extracting Cigarette Box” published in 2001 a new design of the box. In the left side of the box, locates a cigarette holder, on the top of which is the cover. On the right side of box, is a pusher. The mentioned pusher is a pushing rod with springs. On the left again, a hole is designed at bottom. Within the hole, a spring device is assembled to lift the cigarette. The mentioned spring device includes a level. The left end of the level is assembled with a shooter. The right side of the level associated a pushing rod. The shooter is just under the hole. The box cover has an open exit aligned with the hole. The design has disadvantages of too many parts, complicated structures, difficult to make and high cost of production of course. Furthermore, another China patent (CN2688084) “Automatic Extracting Cigarette Box” also needs sliding column of cigarette size, many parts and complicated structure. Plus the arrangement of cigarette can't use the space completely and the pack size is increased. Due to the presence of sliding column, the inner foil can't be lined inside. It is extremely difficult to automatically packing the cigarette box with existing technologies. Therefore it is very difficult to commercialize. The improvement of the design is necessary.

The main objective of the innovation is to design a self-lifting cigarette dispenser, which could be automatically packed by existing packing machines with slight modification.

The other objectives include the design of self-lifting cigarette gift boxes, self-lifting candy stick and short pencil boxes.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

In order to solve the mentioned problems, an automatically extracting cigarette box or self-lifting dispenser has to have the advantage of a simplified structure, easy to make, low cost and moderately small pack size.

The methods of solving the above problems are: The self-lifting dispenser, including sliding opened containers, consists of a channel within inner side of the wall of the pack. A rigid thin wire is threaded and moves up and down through the channel. The upper end of the wire is mounted on the opening device of the pack. The lower end of the wire is the hook located at bottom of sliding open exit of the pack. The bottom of the pack is also associated with a cavity at corner under the sliding open exit.

As improvement, the mentioned hook is optimized and bended at the lower end of rigid thin wire such as stainless steel wire as a whole part. The diameter of the rigid thin wire is selected as equal or smaller than 0.3 millimeter.

As improvement, the mentioned pack is selected as composition of inner-box and sliding outer-box. The mentioned wire pulling device is the outer-box.

As improvement, the mentioned pack is selected as a composition of open container and moving cover. The mentioned wire pulling device is the sliding cover. The cover extends the pulling end down with a dimple. The cover is semi-locked by the dimple associated with the nick on the top of short wall of the container. On the top of cover the bumps are for index fingers to grab the cover easily in order to open and close.

As improvement, the mentioned pack may be applied to package the short pencil. As for this application, the hook is as a circle or square.

Compared to the existing technology, the invented dispenser has a channel within the inner side of the wall, and the rigid thin wire is threaded and moves up and down through the channel. The upper end of the wire is mounted on the opening device of the pack. The lower end of the wire is the hook located at bottom of sliding open exit of the pack. The bottom of the container is also associated with a cavity at corner under the sliding open exit. As the pack opens, the cylindrical article on the hook is lifted up as hook moves up. As the pack closes, the hook moves down to the original position. By shaking the pack or with restrainers and magnetic force the article is positioned on the hook before the pack opens again. The advantage is that the invention could be applied widely in packing various goods, such as cigarette, short pencil and other cylindrical articles. In addition, the invented lifting device is composed of the channel associated with moving rigid thin wire. The cylindrical article is lifted as the wire moves up. Not only the design is simplified and cost of manufacture is reduced, but also thin wire and channel make the whole lifting device extremely thin. The size of self-lifting cigarette pack achieved almost the same size of regular cigarette box. Furthermore, the optimized lifting device could be pre-made and inserted during the packing process, and thus simplify the modification of automatic cigarette packing machine in order to produce the self-lifting cigarette packs in commercial quantity.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is perspective view of the invented dispenser structure.

FIG. 2 is the layout of Drawing 1.

FIG. 3 is the side sectional view of lifting device.

FIG. 4 shows the separated lifting device and raised bottom.

FIG. 5 is perspective view of the circle hook.

FIG. 6 is perspective view when the pack is closed (plastic mold).

FIG. 7 is perspective view when cigarette is lifted in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 illustrates the semi-locker of the pack in FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is perspective view of another type of the pack as closed (metal).

FIG. 10 is perspective view when cigarette is lifted in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 shows the slot allowing the rigid wire going through.

FIG. 12 is the partially sectional view of connection of wire and cover in FIG. 9.

FIG. 13 is the sectional view of the metal cover.

FIG. 14 is perspective view of pack with inner-box and outer-box.

FIG. 15 is perspective view when cigarette is lifted as pack opens in FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 shows up end of rigid wire mount on outer-box in FIG. 14.

FIG. 17 is perspective view of lifting device pasted on the inner-box in FIG. 14.

FIG. 18 is the layout of inner-box in FIG. 14.

FIG. 19 is perspective view of the pre-cut foil paper for cigarette in FIG. 14.

FIG. 20 shows the tear off of the foil paper when the pack just opens in FIG. 14.

FIG. 21 is perspective view of cigarette lifted after the foil paper is torn off in FIG. 14.

FIG. 22 is perspective view of dispensing pencil.

FIG. 23 is perspective view of single row of 10 cigarette pack in FIG. 14.

FIG. 24 is perspective view of restrainer with magnetic force positioning system in FIG. 23.

FIG. 25 is perspective view of the article positioning system in FIG. 7.

FIG. 26 is pictorial view of the cross positioning strip in FIG. 25

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The followings describe the embodiment in details with reference to the above drawings.

As shown from FIG. 1 to FIG. 26, the self-lifting dispenser, including sliding pack, the channel 11 is built within the inner wall of the pack 1. A rigid thin wire 2 is threaded through the channel 11 and moves up and down within the channel. The diameter of the wire is equal or less than 0.3 mm. The upper end of the rigid wire is mounted on the pulling device of the pack. The lower end of the wire 2 is a bended hook 21 located at the bottom of sliding open exit 15 of the pack 1. The bottom of the pack 1 may be associated with a cavity 12 at corner under the sliding open exit 15. As the pack 1 opens, the cylindrical article on the hook 21 is lifted by moving-up hook 21. As the pack 1 closes, the hook 21 moves down to the original position. By shaking the pack 1 or with restrainers 63 and magnetic force the article is positioned on the hook 21 before the pack 1 is opened.

As illustrated from FIG. 14 to FIG. 18, FIG. 20 and FIG. 21, the pack 1 consists of outer-box 1a and inner-box 4. The inner-box 1a inserts into and slides in and out the outer-box 1a. The mentioned pulling device is the outer-box 1a. In other words, the rigid thin wire 2 and hook 21 are pulled up by the outer-box 1a. As shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, the pack 1 is composed of the container 1b and sliding cover 3. The cover 3 with side rails 35 slides inside the grooves 36 in the compatible position of the container 1b. The mentioned pulling device is the cover 3, the cover 3 extends at one end with a downward dimple 34. The dispenser is semi-locked as the dimple 34 kisses the nick 14 on top of the short wall of the container 1b, as the pack is closed. The bumps are arranged for finger to grab the cover 3 easily. As shown in FIG. 22, the hook shape is a circle or square when applied to pack the short pencils.

As illustrated in FIG. 23 and FIG. 24, when short cylindrical articles are packed, for example, single row of 10 regular cigarettes, the several cigarettes are put in a restrainer 63 to prevent cigarettes from falling down to a dead angle. The restrainer 63 is paper box of top-open and bottom-partially-open for the hook 21 to lift. A tiny steel sheet is pasted at bottom of the restrainer 63 combined with a magnet mounted under the raised bottom 13 near the cavity 12. A magnetic force is formed to push the cigarettes onto the hook. When the pack is reused, several articles are loaded again into the restrainer 63, which will move back to the original position by tapping or shaking the pack.

As shown in FIG. 25 and FIG. 26, for the design in FIG. 7, the restraining and positioning device is a cross shape strip 64. The movement of the cross strip 64 is restricted by one-way bottom teeth 65 and groove 66. Thus, the cylindrical article can only move in one direction to the exit. The bottom teeth 65 may not be so deep that when the pack is upside down the positioning strip may separate from the teeth 65, and move to the original position for reuse. The system may be more effective when the magnetic force assists. The cross strip 64 is made of the stainless steel attracted by a thin magnet 67 buried in (or mold in) the opposite wall.

The followings describe the embodiment in more details with reference to the related drawings.

As shown from FIG. 1 to FIG. 5, the self-lifting dispenser consists of pack, rigid thin wire 2 and its bended hook and channel 11. The channel is made of curve-cut paperboard or plastic sheet, front paper and back paper. First, cut the mentioned sheet into two pieces with smooth curves, paste with the back paper. Then bury the thin wire 2 between the front and back paper when the front paper is pasted with the sheets. The rigid thin wire and its hook 21 may be formed to the final shape before or after the channel 11 is made. As shown in FIG. 1, the channel is made together with the bottom of the pack, which may be applied in the pack with metal and sliding-box for self-lifting cigarette. For plastic container the raised bottom may be in molded together with the plastic container. FIG. 5 shows the rigid hook is in the circular shape. It is suitable to lifting pencil as shown in FIG. 22.

As shown from FIG. 6 to FIG. 8, in the case of the plastic container of the self-lifting dispenser, the channel is stuck to the inner wall of the container. The mounting end of hook wire is connected with inside wall of the cover. When the cover opens, the rigid hook moves up as the wire slides inside the channel, and lifts the cigarette filter out of the container. When the pack closes and the wire slides back inside the channel, the hook moves back to original position. The closing and opening of the cover is achieved by sliding of the side rail of the cover along the groove located on the top wall of the container. The bumps are arranged on the top of the cover for index finger to grab easily. The plastic container may be molded together with properly raised bottom. As shown in FIG. 8, in order to prevent the cover from sliding off without attention, the end of the side wall of the cover is equipped with a dimple 34 and related top of the short wall of the container is made with nick 14. When the pack is closed and the dimple sits inside the nick, the pack is semi-locked. The sliding of the cover may be stopped as the hook is blocked by the front paper. The limit of sliding range of the cover may also be set by dimple on the side rail of the cover associated with a stop on the groove of the container.

As shown in FIG. 10 to FIG. 13, in the case of the metal container of the self-lifting dispenser, the channel is stuck to the inner wall of the container. The mounting end of the hook wire is connected to the cuff of the cover. When the cover opens, the rigid hook moves up as the wire slides inside the channel, and lifts the cigarette filter out of the container. When the pack closes and the wire slides back inside the channel, the hook moves back to original position. The closing and opening of the cover is achieved by bend-in cuff of the cover sliding along bend-out cuff of the container. The bumps are arranged also for index finger to grab easily. A small cracking 32 is created on top of wall of the container in order for the thin wire to go through. As shown in FIG. 11, the upper end of the rigid wire may be clamped firmly by the bended cuff. The sliding cover may be stopped as the hook is blocked by the front paper. The sliding range may also be control by downward bumps or dimple of the cover against the side wall of the container below the cover.

As shown in FIG. 14 to FIG. 18, in the case of the inner-box inserted inside the outer-box of self-lifting dispenser, the channel is pasted to the inner wall of the inner-box. The mounting end of the hook wire is connected to the side wall of outer-box. When the inner-box is pushed out, the rigid hook moves up as the wire slides inside the channel and lifts the cigarette filter out of the inner-box. When the inner-box is closed inside the outer-box, the hook moves back to the original position. The upper end of the wire is mounted on the side wall of outer-box by a simple transparent tape (FIG. 16). The layout of inner-box is similar to the regular sliding box as shown in FIG. 18. On the left top, a slot 41 like a rectangular hole is cut for the mounting end of the wire to go through. With the slot the inner-box may be formed as the traditional pack processing method. After the up side piece 40 is folded and stuck together with down left side piece 42, a crack is formed with the wire passing through.

The method of moisture proof may use traditional foil paper or apply high barrier transparent film wrap such as glass coated PET and sealable BOPP, or just use high barrier transparent and sealable film.

As shown in FIG. 22, the dispenser may pack. The method is the same as plastic dispenser for cigarette. The only modification needed is to change the hook into a circle or square. The short pencils are arranged in a single row. And the plastic container may be transparent and combined with printed front and back paper. The young consumers see the attractive printed pictures and monitor the pencil position.

The advantage of the invented self-lifting dispenser is that the new design of structure is simplified and optimized. The size of pack is minimized by thin lifting device with very thin rigid wire. The existing packing line may be applied with slight modification to pack self-lifting paper sliding boxes. The advantage further extends to easy making, low cost, hygiene, convenience and wide application. Thus the design can have bright commercial future.

In addition, the hook is made of stainless thin wire (but not limited to). The diameter of stainless wire is less than 0.3 mm. The channel is composed of curve-cut paperboard or plastic sheets pasted with thin front and back paper. The thickness of the whole lifting device could be less than 0.5 mm. Furthermore, the lifting device could be pre-made off-line with or without inner-box, and inserted with foil wrap in currently available packing process line without significant machine modification.

The mentioned inner-box has a slot on the side up board 40. The slot 41 allows the mounting end of wire to pass through even when the side board 40 is fold by packing machine and pasted with side down board 42.

Under the hook, the cavity is created by the raised bottom with a missing corner. The cylindrical article is positioned by the weight and poise of consumers. For 20 (7+6+7) cigarettes pack, position of the cigarette could be manipulated by shaking or tapping the pack with open exit side downward. In the case of single row of 10 cigarettes, restrainer and magnetic force may be applied to keep the cigarette loaded on the hook. The mentioned container may be made of transparent plastics in order for consumers to monitor the positioning of the articles. Also the front and back paper may be replaced by transparent film so that kids would enjoy seeing the trick of the magic self-lifting pencil or candy stick dispenser.

The mentioned cigarette pack, especially the style of container with sliding cover, could be reused. For the first time of loading cigarettes, the wrap of foil paper may be applied. The packaging process is as follows:

    • a. Style of container with sliding cover: The lifting device is pasted against inner wall of the container. The 20 cigarettes are wrapped by foil paper and inserted into the container. Then just before the sliding cover closes, the upper end of wire is mounted on the inside of cover side wall.
    • b. Style of sliding box: Basically similar to existing machine packaging process, cigarettes are wrapped by foil paper. The pre-made lifting device as in FIG. 1 is pasted with the foil wrap. Then the inner box wraps the cigarette with the lifting device and foil paper. The slot 41 allows the mounting end of wire 2 to reach out of the inner box. After inner box is wrapped, the mounting end of the wire is connected with outer-box (by tape). Finally the outer-box is wrapped. Here only two steps are added to the existing packing machine. One step is to paste foil wrap with lifting device. The other is to tape the mounting wire to the outer-box.

The foil paper used should be pre-cut. Thus, when the pack is opened for about one cigarette position, the part of foil paper blocking the first cigarette is torn away. After the cover open to the limited position, all pre-cut paper is torn away to make easy for cigarette to come out.

As mentioned before, foil paper may be replaced by high barrier glass coated transparent film wrapping at outside of the pack before BOPP, or peelable transparent tape sealing the sliding seams of container with sliding cover. In this scenario, the lifting device as in FIG. 1 may be pasted with inner box first as shown in FIG. 17. Then inner and outer boxes are made with both tops open. 20 cigarette (7+6+7) are directly inserted into the inner-box, and tops of the inner and outer boxes are folded and sealed at last.





 
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