Title:
Container having protective recessed pocket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container is provided that is generally rectangular in shape, thereby forming side walls, end walls, a top, and a bottom. The container includes a pocket located on the interior of one of the walls adjacent the bottom. The container further includes an access flap formed in the wall corresponding to the pocket. The access flap acts like a door for selectively providing access to the pocket from the exterior of the container.



Inventors:
Duyst, Alan J. (Hanford, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/863021
Publication Date:
04/02/2009
Filing Date:
09/27/2007
Assignee:
Weyerhaeuser Co. (Federal Way, WA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/120.01
International Classes:
B65D5/56; B65D77/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DEMEREE, CHRISTOPHER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
INTERNATIONAL PAPER COMPANY (Memphis, TN, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A paperboard container having a collapsed state and an open erected state; comprising: an inner sleeve having opposed side panels and opposed end panels, the inner sleeve including an exterior surface and an interior surface; an outer sleeve having opposed side panels and opposed end panels, and having an exterior surface and an interior surface wherein, as assembled, the inner sleeve is positioned within the outer sleeve, and the exterior surface of the inner sleeve side panels and/or end panels are adhered to the interior surface of the outer sleeve side panels and/or end panels, respectively; wherein the outer sleeve includes a bottom flap hingedly connected to one of the outer sleeve side or end panels, and wherein, as assembled for use, the bottom flap forms a pocket disposed on the interior surface of the outer sleeve.

2. The container according to claim 1, further comprising a fluid bag having a nozzle, the pocket having an opening for passage of the fluid bag nozzle from an inner cavity of the container into the pocket.

3. The container according to claim 2, wherein the outer sleeve includes means for providing access to the hag nozzle from exterior of the container.

4. The container according to claim 2, further including a lock plate adapted to hold the bag nozzle at the pocket opening.

5. The container according to claim 4, wherein the lock plate is U-shaped.

6. The container according to claim 1, wherein the outer sleeve further includes a plurality of bottom closure flaps hingedly connected to the remaining outer sleeve side panels and/or outer sleeve end panels.

7. The container according to claim 1, wherein the outer sleeve includes upper closure flaps hingedly connected to each of the outer sleeve side and end panels.

8. The container according to claim 1, wherein the inner sleeve includes a shoulder that secures the bottom flap in its pocket configuration.

9. A container, comprising: a container body having a top and a bottom and formed by opposed side walls and opposed end walls the side walls and end walls forming an interior cavity; a plurality of bottom flaps hingedly coupled to the side walls and the end walls at the bottom of the container body; a pocket formed by one of the bottom flaps, the pocket disposed within the interior cavity adjacent one of the side or end walls; a door for selectively providing access to the pocket from the exterior of the container.

10. The container according to claim 9, further comprising a fluid bag disposed with the interior cavity of the container body.

11. The container according to claim 10, wherein the fluid hag includes a nozzle that extends into the pocket.

12. The container according to claim 9, wherein the container body is formed from paperboard material.

13. The container according to claim 9, wherein the walls of the container body are comprised of an outer sleeve and an inner sleeve, and wherein the bottom flaps are hingedly coupled to the outer sleeve.

14. The container according to claim 9, wherein the inner sleeve and the outer sleeve are constructed from double wall corrugated paperboard blanks.

Description:

BACKGROUND

It is currently known to ship or store fluid material in either a large rigid cylindrical drum (e.g., a large metal drum) or a large paperboard container having a seated inner fluid bag. One such paperboard container is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,394, and presently assigned to Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, Wash. While such containers are sufficient for their intended purpose, the packaging industry is always in need for improvements for known containers. As will be described in the detailed description below, containers formed in accordance with aspects of the present invention are directed to such improvements.

SUMMARY

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, a paperboard container having a collapsed state and an open erected state is provided. The container comprises an inner sleeve having opposed side panels, opposed end panels, and including an exterior surface and an interior surface. The container also includes an outer sleeve having opposed side panels and opposed end panels, and having an exterior surface and an interior surface. As assembled, the inner sleeve is positioned within the outer sleeve and the exterior surface of the inner sleeve side panels and/or end panels are adhered to the interior surface of the outer sleeve side panels and/or end panels, respectively. The outer sleeve includes a bottom flap hingedly connected to one of the outer sleeve side or end panels. As assembled for use, the bottom flap forms a pocket disposed on the interior surface of the outer sleeve.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a container is provided. The container comprises a container body having a top and a bottom and is formed by opposed side walls and opposed end walls, wherein the side walls and end walls form an interior cavity. The container also includes a plurality of bottom flaps hingedly coupled to the side walls and the end walls at the bottom of the container body and a pocket formed by one of the bottom flaps. The pocket is disposed within the interior cavity adjacent one of the side walls or end walls. The container further includes a door for selectively providing access to the pocket from the exterior of the container.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a container with a fluid bag carried therein;

FIG. 2 is a partial longitudinal cross-sectional view of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is one embodiment of a blank suitable for forming an inner sleeve of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is one embodiment of a blank suitable for forming an outer sleeve of the container of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate one method of assembling the blank of FIG. 3 into the inner sleeve;

FIGS. 6A and 6B depict a method of assembling the container from the blanks of FIGS. 3 and 4; and

FIGS. 7A-7C depict one method of forming the protective pocket of the container from the blank of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 depicts another method of assembling the container from the blanks of FIGS. 3 and 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings where like numerals correspond to like elements. Embodiments of the present invention are generally directed to containers, for example, paperboard containers, suitable for use in the packaging and shipping industry. In accordance with features described herein, embodiments of the container are particularly well suited for use with a conventional fluid bag having a nozzle and fitment. The bag may be placed in the container as described below and filled with a fluid material. As used herein, the term “fluid” refers to a material that behaves in a fluid manner, i.e., a liquid, plasma, dry dispensable material, etc.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate one suitable embodiment of a container 10 formed in accordance with aspects of the present invention. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the container 10 is generally rectangular in shape, thereby forming side walls 12 and 14 (hidden in FIG. 1), and end walls 16 and 18 (hidden in FIG. 1), a top 20, and a bottom 22. The container 10 includes a pocket 24 located on the interior of one of the walls, such as the end wall 16, adjacent the bottom 22. The container 10 further includes an access flap 26 formed in the wall corresponding to the pocket 24. The access flap 26 acts like a door for selectively providing access to the pocket 24 from the exterior of the container 10.

In an embodiment, the container 10 is configured so as to have a flat, collapsed or “knock down” condition and an erect condition. In use, the container 10 is shipped to a customer in the collapsed condition. Once received, the customer can easily store the flat containers in large quantity, without significant cost. To use, the customer erects the container 10 by pushing opposite side corners toward one another.

As stated above, the container 10 is particularly well suited for use with a conventional fluid storage bag, thereby forming packaging suitable for the shipment and storage of non hazardous fluids. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a conventional fluid storage bag 30 is placed within the interior cavity of an erect container 10 by, for example, the customer. The bag 30 is oriented such that the bag's nozzle 32 and fitment 34 extend outwardly into the pocket 24. The bag 30 may then be filled with the desired fluid in a conventional manner to be either shipped or stored. In use, the pocket protects the nozzle/fitment of the bag 30 and any valve spigots, etc. employed to selectively remove the contents of the bag 30.

In one embodiment, the container 10 is capable of holding approximately 55-gallons (or approximately 200 liters) of fluid material and is sized so that four of such containers fit on a standard U.S. 40-inch by 48 inch pallet or metric 1200 mm by 1000 mm pallet. Other sizes are also contemplated to be within the scope of the present invention, as defined by the claims.

Due to the weight associated with storing or transporting fluid within the bag 30, the container walls (i.e., side walls, end walls, top, bottom, etc.) are suitably configured with the appropriate dimensional stability and strength (e.g., stacking strength, bulge resistance, etc.) for its intended purpose. For example, the container may be made to one of many specifications using different grades of container material, such as paperboard stock. In one embodiment, the walls of the container may be formed as a single wall or double wall corrugated paperboard with reinforcement liners or sleeves. In one suitable embodiment, the walls of the container 10 are formed from an inner sleeve 36 laminated to an outer sleeve 38, both of which are constructed of double wall corrugated paperboard. The term “inner container” is used herein to refer to that portion of the container formed by the inner sleeve 36. The term “outer container” is used herein to refer to that portion of the container formed by the outer sleeve 38.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown one embodiment of a paperboard blank 36B suitable for forming the inner sleeve. The blank 36B includes a number of side panels distinguished from one another by hinge lines (e.g., 8-point wide crush scores). As shown in FIG. 3, the blank 36B has a series of four panels 44, 46, 48, and 50 and a glue joint panel 52 hinged to one end of the series. In the embodiment shown, one of the panels 48 is wider than the other panels. This panel 48 forms the side wall of the inner container, as shown assembled in FIG. 5C. The two panels 46 and 50 are disposed on the sides of the panel 48, thereby forming the end walls of the inner container. The remaining panel 44, in conjunction with the glue joint panel 52, form the opposite side wall of the inner container, as assembled.

The inner sleeve blank 36B further includes a cut-out 60 disposed at the bottom of panels 44, 46, and 48, and delineated by horizontal edge 64, and vertical edges 66 and 68. As shown in FIG. 3, the horizontal edge 64 extends the entire width of the panel 46 and into the panels 44 and 48 a selected distance. As will be described in detail below, the selected distance is one that cooperates with the depth of the protective pocket as assembled. The blank 36B may further include a reference slot 70 along the hinge line between the panels 46 and 48 to aid in proper placement of the inner sleeve with respect to the outer sleeve when assembling the container 10.

In one embodiment, the end panels 46 and 50 are nearly the same width (e.g., one end panel 46 is approximately 18½ inches wide and the other end panel 50 is about 18⅜ inches wide). The side panel 44 is also nearly the same width (e.g., 18⅛ inches wide) as the end panels 46 and 50, while the side panel 48 is somewhat wider at about 22½ inches wide. In this embodiment, the length of the panels is about 35 inches while the horizontal edge of the cut-out is 22½ inches long and the vertical edges are 6 inches long. The blank 36B may be made from any suitable material, such as paperboard or the like. In one embodiment, the blank 36B is made from double wall corrugated paperboard.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown one embodiment of a paperboard blank 3813 suitable for forming the outer sleeve of the container 10. The outer sleeve blank 38B includes a series of four panels 80, 82, 84, 86 and a glue joint panel 88, each preferably defined from one another by hinge lines (e.g., 8-point wide crush scores). Two of the four panels 80 and 84 are wider than the other two panels. These two wider panels 80 and 84 form the side walls of the outer container and are eventually located adjacent to the two opposed inner container side walls (i.e., formed by panels 44 and 48) when the inner and outer sleeves are joined during assembly. The remaining two outer sleeve panels 82 and 86 are alternatingly positioned between the two side panels 80 and 84 to form the end walls of the outer container.

The blank 3818 also includes four top flaps 90, 92, 94, and 96. Two flaps 90 and 94 are hingedly connected to the two outer sleeve side panels 80 and 84, and two top flaps 92 and 96 are hingedly connected to the two outer sleeve end panels 82 and 86 via score lines. As assembled, the two outer sleeve top flaps 92 and 96 that are hingedly connected to the outer sleeve end panels 82 and 86 are folded toward one another. The two outer sleeve top flaps 90 and 94 that are hingedly connected to the outer sleeve side panels 80 and 84 are also folded toward one another and in doing so are made to substantially abut each other along their free outer edges. This results in a completely covered exterior top surface, with no overlapping joints.

Still referring to FIG. 4, the outer sleeve blank 38B also includes four bottom flaps 100, 102, 104, and 106, each bottom flap being shaped similar to the outer sleeve top flaps. As assembled, the bottom flaps 100 and 104 that are hingedly connected to the side panels 80 and 84, respectively, are positioned exterior to the bottom flap 106 that is hingedly connected to the end panel 86. The bottom flaps 100 and 104 are sized so as to overlap each other. Outer cuts made to define the upper and bottom flaps of the outer sleeve blank 38B may be made parallel to one another or tapered as shown in FIG. 4. A number of holes, handles, or other openings may be formed in the container to aid in moving the container, if desired.

The blank 38B further includes the access flap 26 formed in end panel 82. The access flap 26 is formed by cut lines or perforated lines that extend from the hinge line between flap 102 and panel 82. Thus, the access flap 26 folds about the hinge line between flap 102 and panel 82. The access flap 26 may be easily moved to the position shown in FIG. 1 for providing access to the bag nozzle 34. The size of the opening formed by the access flap 26 should be large enough to provide enough space for other valve components to be attached.

In one embodiment, the side panels 80 and 84 are nearly the same width (e.g., one side panel 80 is approximately 22⅜ inches wide and the other side panel 84 is about 22½ inches wide), and have the same length (e.g., 37 inches). The end panels 82 and 86 are also nearly the same width (e.g., one end panel 82 is approximately 18½ inches wide and the other end panel 66 is about 18⅜ inches wide), and have the same length (e.g., 36 inches). In this embodiment, the top flaps 90 and 94 have the same length (e.g., 9½ inches) and top flaps 92 and 96 have the same length (e.g., 9 15/16 inches). Likewise, the bottom flaps 100 and 104 have the same length (e.g., 14⅜ inches) and bottom flaps 102 and 106 have the same length (e.g., 14 13/16 inches). The outer sleeve blank 38B may be made from any suitable material, such as paperboard or the like. In one embodiment as described above, the outer sleeve blank 38B is made from double wall corrugated paperboard.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, the container 10 includes a recessed pocket 24 for protecting the nozzle 32 and fitment 34 of the bag 26 once assembled by, for example, the customer. To that end, the bottom flap 82, which has not been used for closure of the bottom 22 of the container 10, is configured with three panels 110, 112, and 114 extending the width of the flap 82 and delineated by hinge lines disposed substantially perpendicular to the hinge lines disposed between panels 80-86. As shown in FIG. 4, the central panel 112 is flanked by shorter panels 110 and 114, which form the top and bottom walls of the pocket 24, as assembled. The central panel 112 further includes a cut-out 120, such as a circular cut-out, sized large enough to pass the fitment 34 of the bag 30.

The panel 82 further includes left and right flaps 126 and 128 that are positioned outwardly of panel 114, and are hingedly connected thereto, via hinge lines. A U-shaped lock plate 130 is formed between flaps 126 and 128 by a number of cut or perforation lines to allow the lock plate 48 to be easily separated from the flaps 126 and 128, and to be used as described below.

Turning now to FIGS. 5A-7C, there is shown one suitable method for assembling the container 10. First, the inner and outer sleeve blanks 36B and 38B are formed, preferably in a rotary die cutter. In one embodiment, the blanks 36B and 38B are formed from double wall corrugated paperboard. Next, to form the inner sleeve 36 shown in FIG. 5C, the inner sleeve bank 36B is laid laterally with its interior surface facing upward, and then is sequentially folded along the hinge lines between panels 44-50, as shown in FIG. 5B, until the panel 44 overlaps the glue joint panel 52, as shown in FIG. 5C. It will be appreciated that glue or other type of adhesive is placed at select locations along the exterior surface of the panel 52 so that the panel 52 is secured to the panel 44. While the glue joint panel 52 is shown inside of the panel 44 in FIG. 5C, it will be appreciated that the panel 52 could be secured on the outside of the panel 44.

Glue or other types of adhesive is then placed at select locations along either the interior surface of the outer sleeve panels 80-86 or the exterior surfaces of the inner sleeve panels 44-50. Next, the inner sleeve 36 of FIG. 5C is placed on the interior surface of the partially folded outer sleeve blank 38B in the orientation shown in FIG. 6A. Alternatively, it will be appreciated that the inner sleeve 36 may be placed on the outer sleeve blank 38B in its substantially planar configuration of FIG. 3. For proper alignment, the registration slot 70 may be utilized at this time to align with a designated reference hinge line, such as the hinge line between panel 82 and panel 84, of the outer sleeve 38. Once the inner sleeve 36 is placed onto the outer sleeve blank so that the panels 44 and 46 adhere to the panels 80 and 82, the remaining outer sleeve blank is folded along the appropriate hinge lines so that the panel 86 adheres to the panel 48 and the panel 86 adheres to the panel 50. Finally, the glue joint panel 88 is adhered to the outer surface of the panel 80. The final assembled container is shown in its erected configuration in FIG. 6B.

In an alternative method for assembling the container 10 shown in FIG. 8, the inner sleeve blank 36B is laminated to the outer sleeve blank 38B prior to folding the blanks into their rectangular configuration. Once the inner sleeve blank 3613 is laminated to the outer sleeve bank 388 in the orientation shown in FIG. 8, the laminated blanks may then be folded about suitable hinge lines to form the container configuration of FIG. 6B.

As discussed above, the assembled container 10 also has a flat, collapsed or “knock down” state by folding the assembled container about alternating hinge lines. The collapsed container 10 may be shipped to a customer, without taking significant space. Once at the customer, the container 10 may be easily stored until the container is ready for use. To fill the container 10, the customer pushes the folded side edges of the collapsed container toward one another. This causes the interior space of the container 10 to open up, with the inner and outer sleeves generally forming a rectangular shape.

Turning the container upside down, the customer inserts the nozzle 32 and fitment 34 of the fluid bag 30 through the cutout 120 of the bottom flap 102 of the outer container from the exterior side thereof. The U-shaped lock plate 130 is then removed from the flaps 126 and 128 and placed around the fitment 34, as shown in FIG. 2, thereby securing the fitment 34 and nozzle 32 to the bottom flap 102 in a removable manner. As such, the U-shaped lock plate 130 ensures the continued placement of the fitment 50 through the cut-out 120.

The customer then forms the pocket 24 by folding the bottom flap 102, beginning with the outer flaps 126 and 128, inwardly into the interior of the container 10, as sequentially shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B. During this movement, the bottom flap 102 folds sequentially about its hinge lines formed between the panels 110, 112, and 114 until the outer flaps 126 and 128 are disposed adjacent the interior wall surface of the panel 82 of the outer container. Once the pocket is formed, the bag 30 is disposed within the inner cavity of the container 10 (See FIGS. 1 and 2). It will be appreciated that the pocket 24, once formed, is held in this position by the shoulders formed by the cut-out 60 of the inner container. By utilizing the cut-out 60 for securing the bottom flap in its pocket orientation instead of using more permanent means, the bag 30 may be removed from the bottom flap 102 by unfolding the pocket 24 and removing the lock plate 130. The bag 30 may then be discarded while the container 10 may be reused or recycled. Alternatively, the pocket may be permanently formed by gluing the outer flaps to the interior wall surface of the panel 82.

The customer continues erecting the container 10 by folding and sealing the bottom flaps 100, 104, and 106 to close the bottom 22 of the container 10. The bottom flaps 100, 104, and 106 are made to be oversized so that the flaps easily overlap one another, thereby increasing the strength of the bottom 22 of the container 10. The container 10 is then turned right side up and placed on a pallet. Next, the bag 30 is filled with the desired material. The container 10 is then closed at its top 20 via top flaps 90, 92, 94, and 96. The filled container is now ready to be used or even shipped to a second customer who will dispense and use the fluid product. This is accomplished by pivoting the access flap 26 to expose the bag nozzle 32 and fitment 34, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. An operator may then place a conventional valve spigot on the nozzle/fitment, and proceed with dispensing the contents of the bag 30.

While exemplary embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as claimed. For example, embodiments of the present invention may be made in any number of sizes with capability to handle various volumes. Also, although embodiments of the present invention are described herein as sized to fit on various standard sized pallets, the container may be made to fit a non-standard size using other dimensions. Further, while the pocket is formed by one of the end panel flaps, the pocket may suitable be made from one of the side panel flaps.

Even further, by way of example, the terms “adhesive”, “adhering”, etc. are meant to refer to any method of connecting two or more panels to one another in a manner that precludes significant movement between the panels. Though glue or lamination is the preferred method of adhesion, other types of known connective methods may be used, depending on the circumstances of a particular application. By way of still another example, the stacking strength of the container may be increased by placing one or more upright tubes (not shown) or the like within the interior of the container. Similarly, top and/or bottom plates (not shown) may be inserted at the container ends to transmit loads between corners.