Title:
Bottle Closure System and Cap That Can be Incorporated in Said Closure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a bottle closure system and to a cap that can be incorporated in said closure. According to the invention, the bottles (2) are closed automatically with the insertion of a cork. The inventive method comprises a step (11) in which an accessory cap is placed on the end of the neck of the bottle (11). The accessory cap stays in place in an independent manner while the corresponding cork is inserted into the bottle through same and remains in place for the later removal of the cork.



Inventors:
Erice Irurita, Pablo (Pamplona, ES)
Application Number:
11/571847
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
07/06/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/329
International Classes:
B65D45/00; B65D41/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SANCHELIMA & ASSOCIATES, P.A. (MIAMI, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bottle closure system of the type carried out automatically within a continuous bottling operation, the bottles (2) being closed by means of the insertion of a cork (3), between the filling step (7) for filling the bottles (2) and the corking step (8), there is a step (11) for placing an accessory cap (1) on the bottles (2), said accessory cap being incorporated supported on the end of the neck of the bottles (2), around which the accessory cap (1) establishes an annular engagement, remaining stable by itself in said position during the transfer of the bottles (2) to the corking step (8), where the cork (3) is inserted in the neck of the bottle (2) by means of the insertion through the cap (1), characterized in that said accessory caps (1) are arranged individually in an inclined position, in which when the bottles (2) move forward, they hit the caps making them swing to the position for placing them on the end of the neck of the corresponding bottle (2).

2. A bottle closure system according to claim 1, characterized in that the accessory caps (1) define in their outer assembly a configuration identical to that of the outer assembly of the end section of the neck of the bottles (2), allowing the use of the same means of conventional installations for incorporating the seal covering (14) on the closure of the bottles (2).

3. A cap which is incorporated according to the system of claim 1, consisting of a cylindrical body (1.1) provided with a thread (12) in the inner part, said body extending in an end with an annular protuberance (1.2) the inner diameter of which corresponds to the outer diameter of the end area (2.1) of the neck of the bottles (2), characterized in that the inner diameter and outer length (a) of the body (1.1) correspond to the outer diameter and the length (c) of the end area (2.1) of the neck of the bottles (2), whereas the outer diameter and the outer length (b) of the protuberance (1.2) correspond to the diameter and the length (d) of the outer widening (2.2) which the neck of the bottles (2) has near the end, the outer assembly of the cap defining a configuration equivalent to that of the outer assembly of the end section of the neck of the bottles (2).

Description:

II. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the closure of bottles which are stopped up with a cork, such as wine containing bottles, proposing a process including the incorporation of an uncorking cap in the closure assembly, by means of which the corresponding bottle can be uncorked and opened without needing accessory elements.

2. Description of the Related Art

Certain beverage bottles and particularly wine containing bottles are usually closed with corks that are inserted under pressure in the mouth of the bottles, such that the use of an uncorking tool is necessary to open them, with the drawback involved in having the tool for this purpose and the nuisance of the use thereof.

Several uncorking tools have been developed to that end, for the purpose of facilitating the actuation in some cases, which on the other hand usually causes the tool to be complex and expensive, whereas in other cases the objective is simplicity and economy, which results in the nuisance and difficulty in handling the corresponding tools.

On the other hand, it is known that the corking for closing the bottles is currently carried out automatically, as part of a continuous process of the bottling operation, which requires the use of means adapted according to a standard configuration of the bottles, because otherwise the automatic process is virtually impossible to develop.

This conditions the incorporation of accessory means in the bottle closure assembly, such that the solutions adopted in the sense of incorporating accessory elements intended for facilitating uncorking in said bottle closure assembly, do not allow carrying out this incorporation in conventional automatic bottling processes, requiring substantial modifications in the corresponding installations or the interruption of the process in independent operative phases.

US patent published with number U.S. Pat. No. 4,446,980A, relating to a bottle cork extractor, discloses a bottle closure system by means of inserting a cork which includes a step for placing a cap on each of the bottles, which cap is incorporated by means of its support on the end of the neck of the bottle to subsequently carry the bottle with the cap to the corking process, where the cork is inserted through the cap. The caps described in this document consist of a cylindrical body extended at one end by means of an annular protuberance, the inner diameter of which corresponds to the outer diameter of the upper end of the neck of the bottle, establishing an annular engagement on this end of the neck of the bottle keeping the cap in said position during its transfer to the corking step.

European patent with application number 95402149.9, published in Spain with number ES2143022, also discloses a stopper device for a bottle which can be removed without a tool which proposes an automatic bottle closure system by means of inserting a cork, including a step for placing an accessory cap on the bottles, establishing a annular engagement on the end of the neck of the bottle which keeps the bottles in position during their transfer to the corking step, which is carried out by inserting the cork though the cap.

European patent application with number 929736.7 and published in Spain with number ES2209883, relating to a process for closing bottles and similar containers, and a barrier element, a bottle or similar container and a bottling installation related thereto, describes an installation for bottling and stopping up bottles in which the accessory cap is placed after filling the bottle and before inserting the cork.

US patent published with number U.S. Pat. No. 3,111,798 discloses a machine for placing stoppers on bottles, in which the stoppers are located in an inclined position on a ramp, from which they are collected by projections arranged in a circular device moving them from the neck of the bottle by means of a much more complex process than the one described in this specification.

French patent with publication number FR1085651, related to a stopper with a self-extracting device, describes a cap provided with an inner thread, allowing the rotation of the cap to cause the extraction of the cork.

British patent GB455577 relates to improvements in the means for stopping up bottles and the like, and European patent with application number 97101362.8, published in Spain with number 2181937 describes a cork cap, and neither of these two patents is similar to the closure system or the cap described in this specification.

Other patents describing the closest subject matter provide for a number of more or less complicated features that fail to solve the problem in an efficient and economical way. None of these patents suggest the novel features of the present invention.

III. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, a corking bottle closure system is proposed which includes the incorporation of an uncorking cap, whereby the bottles are provided by themselves with means for removing the cork so as to open them, eliminating the need of having to use an independent uncorking tool, and the incorporated cap is further provided with a structural shape maintaining the necessary configuration for carrying out the bottle closure system by means of the automatic installations of conventional bottling processes.

Said system of the invention comprises a step for incorporating the uncorking cap during the bottling, such that after the filling, the bottles go through a step in which feeding means supply the uncorking caps, which caps are arranged on the mouths of the corresponding bottles, remaining by themselves in this position until the subsequent phase in which the closure cork is inserted, which cork is inserted through the cap arranged on the bottle, so that one part thereof is housed in the neck of the bottle and another part in the incorporated cap, being flush therewith.

The bottles are thus provided such that it allows uncorking and opening them without needing any accessory uncorking element, because the cork is removed by means of rotation of the incorporated cap, which further entails a great ease in the uncorking operation.

The uncorking cap is formed by a cylindrical body with an inner thread, incorporating as an extension of one of its ends an annular protuberance, the inner diameter of which corresponds to the outer diameter of the end part of the neck of the bottles, whereas the body of the cap corresponds to the diameter of this end part of the neck of the bottle, which allows arranging the cap by engagement and support on said end part of the neck of the bottles, remaining stable by itself in this position on the corresponding bottle for the course form the step for its placing on the bottle to the step for inserting the cork in the automatic bottling closure system.

Between the body and the protuberance of the capsule there is further defined an outer configuration identical to that of the end area of the neck of the bottles with the annular widening preceding said area, the diameters and the length of the outer parts of the cap coinciding with the areas of this part of the bottle, such that when the equality of the end configuration of the bottles is maintained, the automatic bottling installations do not require changes in the subsequent phase for incorporating the seal protecting covering, whereas the incorporation of the cap does not affect the operation preceding the cleaning and filling of the bottles, where the bottling installation does not require any change either.

With the incorporation of the uncorking cap according to the invention, the aesthetics and quality of the bottles are therefore not altered, and it is not necessary to change the bottling installations except for the incorporation of the step for supplying the accessory caps, an uncorking arrangement that is easy to handle and with little effort however being obtained in the bottles thus processed, without the need for independent uncorking tools for the bottles, and with the advantage that the uncorking with the cap of the invention does not produce cork chips which may fall into the liquid contained in the bottle; the system being applicable both with natural and synthetic cork and also applicable in the closure of normal and sparkling wine bottles.

Further objects of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations thereon.

IV. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

With the above and other related objects in view, the invention consists in the details of construction and combination of parts as will be more fully understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 schematically shows a bottling installation, including the phase for incorporating uncorking caps according to the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a detail of the neck of a bottle with the uncorking cap incorporated on the end and the closure cork arranged in a correlative position for the insertion.

FIG. 3 shows a detail on a larger scale of the neck of a bottle in a closed arrangement according to the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a detail of the operative manner for placing the corresponding uncorking cap on a bottle in the automatic bottle closure system.

FIG. 5 shows an enlarged detail of the neck of a bottle with the corresponding uncorking cap opposite thereto in a correlative assembly position.

FIG. 6 shows a sectional detail of the application of the closure of the invention in a sparkling wine bottle.

V. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The object of the invention relates to a system including the incorporation of an accessory cap (1) in the closure assembly of the bottles (2) which are stopped up with a cork (3), such as the case of wine containing bottles, such that said accessory cap (1) is formed as an uncorking element to remove the closure cork (3) in the opening of the corresponding bottles (2).

As shown in FIG. 1, a conventional installation of the automatic bottling processes for bottles (2) which are closed with a cork comprises a step (4) for feeding the bottles (2) to a conveyor means (5), by means of which the bottles (2) are taken through a washing step (6) and then through a filing step (7), later passing through a corking step (8) and a sealing step (9), to finally end in a packaging step (10).

According to the invention, between the filling step (7) for filling the bottles (2) and the corking step (8), there is a step (11) for incorporating the accessory caps (1) on the bottles (2), in which the an accessory cap (1) is automatically placed on each bottle (2), so that the bottles (2) with the respective caps (1) thereupon then pass to the corking step (8), where the corresponding corks (3) are inserted in the neck of the bottles (2) through the respective cap (1).

As observed in 5, the accessory cap (1) incorporated on the bottles (2) comprises a cylindrical body (1.1) provided with a thread (12) therein, said body (1.1) extending in one end with an annular protuberance (1.2).

Specifically, the inner diameter of the protuberance (1.2) corresponds to the outer diameter of the end part (2.1) of the neck of the bottles (2), the outer length (b) of said protuberance (1.2) being equal to the length (d) of the outer annular widening (2.2) which conventional bottles (2) of the wine bottling type have near the end of the neck; while the outer diameter of the body (1.1) and the length (a) thereof correspond to the outer diameter and to the length (c) of the mentioned end part (2.1) of the neck of the bottles (2); whereas the inner diameter of the body (1.1) corresponds to the neck of the bottles (2), the thread (12) projecting inwards.

Thus, in the process for incorporating the caps (1) on the bottles (2), said caps (1) are located individually in the step (11) in an inclined position, in which when the bottles (2) pass, the end of the neck thereof hits the area of the edge of the protuberance (1.2) located in the lower part, as shown in FIG. 4, therefore by means of the forward movement itself of the corresponding bottle (2), the cap (1) is lowered and placed on the end of the neck of the bottle (2).

In this placing on the end of the neck of the bottles (2) the caps (1) form an engagement by means of their protuberance (1.2) on the end part (2.1) of the neck of the bottles (2), as shown in FIG. 2, therefore the mentioned caps (1) remain stable by themselves on the bottles (2), supporting vibrations without falling, which allows taking the bottles (2) with the corresponding caps (1) thereupon from step (11) to corking step (8), maintaining the continuity of the automatic bottling process.

The protuberance (1.2) is enough to keep the caps (1) stable on the corresponding bottles (2) in the mentioned circumstances, but for greater safety, in the inner lower part the body (1.1) can define an edge (13), whereby an engagement retention is also defined by the inner part on the end of the neck of the bottles (3), better ensuring the securing.

With the mentioned shapes, the caps (1) define externally a configuration identical to that of the assembly (2.1-2.2) of the end of the neck of the bottles (2), therefore the means for carrying out the closure sealing of the bottles (2) in step (9) can be the same as those of conventional bottling installations, without it being necessary to substitute or adapt said means of the conventional installations.

In the applicable arrangement, the caps (1) are incorporated on an end part of the closure cork (3) of the corresponding bottle (2), such that the thread (12) inside the cap (1) is tucked in an embedded manner in the cork (3) by the elastic deformation of the material of the latter, as shown in FIG. 3.

Therefore, to carry out the uncorking after eliminating the seal covering (14), it is simply necessary, to rotate the cap (1) in the direction of the thread, such that since the cap (1) cannot move forward due to its stop against the end of the neck of the bottle (2), the rotation thereof forces a backward movement of the cork (3), forcing it to come out, because due to the elasticity of the material of the cork (3), the thread (12) of the cap (1) moves forward and is embedded along the cork (3), with an effect like that of a nut and spindle assembly.

The function of the mentioned cap (1) is fulfilled equally by natural cork stoppers (3) and synthetic stoppers, such that the system of the invention can be applied to the closure of any type of bottles with both types of stoppers.

On the other hand, the system is also applicable to the closure of bottles of sparkling beverages, as shown in FIG. 6, the incorporation of the stopper (3) and of the uncorking cap (1) being identical to those of the closure of bottles of normal wines, including in the bottling process, a step for incorporating the corresponding metallic lid (15) and a step for incorporating the wire cage (16) to assure the retention of the closure with respect to the respective packaging bottle (17).

The foregoing description conveys the best understanding of the objectives and advantages of the present invention. Different embodiments may be made of the inventive concept of this invention. It is to be understood that all matter disclosed herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.





 
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