Title:
POURING PACKAGE AS WELL AS A METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a method for manufacturing a pouring package, and the pouring package. The pouring package comprises a container (1) formed from a packaging material with an inner space bounded by walls (12,13,14,15) for receiving a fluid therein. The walls comprise a base (11), two partially triangular side walls (12A,12B) rising therefrom and a front and rear wall (13,14) which are connected to the base, extend between the side walls and are mutually connected between the top corners (17) of said triangular side walls (12A, 12B) in a closing strip (15C). The front and/or rear wall is provided with a weakening line (18 A, 18B), such that the closing strip (15C) can be pressed in toward the base in order to deform the front and/or rear wall along the weakening line for of forming an upper wall (15A,15B) extending between the top corners.



Inventors:
Paulen, Thomas Gijsbert (Eindhoven, NL)
Application Number:
12/304109
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
06/11/2007
Assignee:
IQ + INVESTMENTS N.V. (Willemstad, Curacao, AN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/115, 229/126, 229/245, 493/87, 493/102, 493/162
International Classes:
B65D5/02; B65D5/06; B65D5/70; B65D5/74
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060191983Carton with integral detachable funnelAugust, 2006Cargile Jr.
20060231605Mailer envelope with integrated return response vehicleOctober, 2006Collins
20060043159Return mailerMarch, 2006Roberts
20070095883Interlocking dividersMay, 2007Boehm
20010022319Blank of cardboard or like material comprising at least one strip and two tongues all three provided with an adhesive for the setting up of a container with an inviolable closureSeptember, 2001Chevalier
20030001002Individual beverage carton with a straw thereinJanuary, 2003Haughton et al.
20100019019Album Digital Post-cardJanuary, 2010Maidemberg
20070029371Carton having multi-ply handleFebruary, 2007Theelen
20020036230FOLDING BOX WITH ANGULAR BELLOWSMarch, 2002Chevalier et al.
20060091189Set-up pizza trayMay, 2006Stier
20080152265ADAPTABLE GIFT BAGJune, 2008Feeney



Primary Examiner:
DEMEREE, CHRISTOPHER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - West Coast (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
1. Method for manufacturing a pouring package, comprising a container which is formed from packaging material and which in finished form comprises an inner space bounded by walls for receiving a fluid therein, wherein the walls comprise a base and a pair of standing side walls connected to opposite sides of the base, and a front wall and rear wall extending between the side walls, wherein the side walls are each at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, wherein the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip, wherein a length of packaging material is provided comprising a connected series of portions of packaging material for the purpose of forming a single pouring package at a time, each provided with fold-lines, such as crease lines, for folding therealong of the base, the front wall, the rear wall and the-side walls, and wherein at least one weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, is arranged on a part of the packaging material associated with at least one of the front wall and the rear wall such that in a finished package the closing strip can, if desired, be pressed in toward the base in order to deform at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the top corners using a part of this at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip.

2. Method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the at least one weakening line extends from a first point, close to a location associated with the one top corner on at least one of the part of the packaging material associated with the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall, to a second point close to a location associated with the other top corner on the at least one of the part of the packaging material associated with the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall.

3. Method as claimed in claim 1, wherein in the finished package the closing strip is pressed in toward the base in order to thereby deform at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the top corners using a part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip.

4. Method as claimed in claim 1, wherein in the finished package the pressing-in of the closing strip toward the base and reshaping of the package back to the finished form is performed in mechanized manner after filling and closing of the package.

5. Pouring package, comprising a container formed from packaging material and having an inner space bounded by walls for receiving a fluid therein, wherein the walls comprise a base and a pair of standing side walls on opposite sides of the base, and a front wall and rear wall extending between the side walls, characterized in that the walls comprise an upper wall on a side of the container remote from the base, that the opposite side walls are at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, and that the upper wall extends between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls.

6. Pouring package as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that the upper wall is bowl-shaped and extends integrally from at least one of the front and the rear wall.

7. Pouring package as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that over at least almost a full width thereof closing strip extends from the upper wall with which opposite wall parts of the container are joined together to form a hermetically sealed whole.

8. Pouring package, comprising a container formed from packaging material and having an inner space bounded by walls for receiving a fluid therein, wherein the walls comprise a base and a pair of standing side walls on opposite sides of the base, and a front wall and rear wall extending between the side walls, characterized in that the pair of side walls and the front wall and the rear wall are connected to the base, that the side walls are at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, that the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip, and that at least one of the front wall and the rear wall is folded along a fold-line so that a part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the fold-line and the closing strip forms an upper wall extending between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls.

9. Pouring package as claimed in claim 8, wherein the fold-line extends along a preformed weakening line, such as a crease line in particular.

10. Pouring package, comprising a container formed from packaging material and having an inner space bounded by walls for receiving a fluid therein, wherein the walls comprise a base and a pair of standing side walls on opposite sides of the base, and a front wall and rear wall extending between the side walls, characterized in that the pair of side walls and the front wall and the rear wall are connected to the base, that the side walls are at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, that the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip, and that at least one of the front wall and the rear wall is provided with at least one weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, such that the closing strip can, if desired, be pressed in toward the base in order to deform the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls, this using a part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip.

11. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the pouring package is adapted to be brought into a first state and a second state, that in the first state the upper wall lies on either side of the closing strip substantially in a common plane with an adjacent part of at least one of the front wall and the rear wall, and that in the second state the upper wall is folded along a fold-line defined by the weakening line relative to the adjacent part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall, so that the upper wall is bowl-shaped.

12. Pouring package as claimed in claim 11, characterized in that the pouring package is adapted to be moved reversibly from the first state to the second state.

13. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the weakening line extends between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls.

14. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the weakening line extends on one of the front and rear walls from a first point at least close to a one of the respective top corners to a second point at least close to another of the respective top corners.

15. Pouring package as claimed in claim 14, characterized in that the weakening line extends from the one top corner to the other top corner.

16. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10 characterized in that the weakening line extends to a position close to the base.

17. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the side walls are at least almost congruent and each form an isosceles triangle over at least a part of a height thereof.

18. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the container widens laterally from the base between the pair of side walls over at least a part of a height thereof.

19. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the closing strip comprises a manually removable breakable closure.

20. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the closing strip has a decorative appearance.

21. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the upper wall is provided with hand-operated release means which are adapted and able to make the content available to a user.

22. Pouring package as claimed in claim 21, characterized in that the release means comprise a manually removable seal arranged over a pouring opening in the upper wall.

23. Pouring package as claimed in claim 21, characterized in that the release means comprise a pouring spout at the position of a pouring opening in the upper wall, which pouring spout comprises a breakable closure which hermetically closes the pouring opening in a first closed state of the pouring spout, and leaves the pouring opening clear in a second opened state of the pouring spout.

24. Pouring package as claimed in claim 23, characterized in that the pouring spout is reclosable.

25. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the pouring package is aseptic.

26. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the packaging material is a cardboard laminated on an inner side of the package with a plastic sealing hermetically in airtight and liquid-tight manner.

27. Pouring package as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the base is substantially rectangular.

28. System for manufacturing a pouring package as claimed in claim 5 comprising: a supply device for supplying a length of packaging material with a connected series of portions of packaging material for forming a single pouring package at a time, each provided with weakening lines, such as crease lines, for folding therealong of a base, a front wall, a rear wall and side walls; a packaging device for forming a closed package from a portion of packaging material from the length of packaging material; and a weakening device placed between the supply device and the packaging device for arranging at least one weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, on a part of the packaging material associated with at least one of the front wall and the rear wall such that in the finished package a closing strip can be pressed in toward the base in order to deform at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the top corners using a part of at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip.

Description:

The present invention relates to a pouring package, comprising a container formed from packaging material and having an inner space bounded by walls for receiving a fluid therein, wherein the walls comprise a base and a pair of standing side walls on opposite sides of the base, and a front wall and rear wall extending between the side walls. The invention also relates to a method and a system for manufacturing such a pouring package.

Within the scope of the present invention the term “pouring” should be broadly interpreted such that it is understood to mean not only pouring but also drinking from the package.

A package of the above stated type is applied particularly for the purpose of holding and distributing drinks and other liquid food products, such as in particular dairy products, soups and soft drinks, both for direct consumption from the package and for multi-serve use. A conventional pouring package frequently applied for this purpose is substantially bar-like and therefore also referred to as a brick package. Such a brick package typically has a volume of about 150 to 500 ml in the case of a small to medium-size drink package, and typically 750 to 1500 ml in the case of a larger-volume package. The package is formed on industrial scale from a blank or from a tube of a suitable packaging material, and normally filled simultaneously in the same production line. Use is normally made here as packaging material of plasticized cardboard having the desired aseptic properties. The packaging material is made sterile in the machine by means of hydrogen peroxide, this being particularly important for perishable food products in addition to a sufficient liquid, gas and light-tightness.

Although use has been made for years of such a brick package, in respect of both the smaller drink packages and the larger volume packages, such a package has little appeal, particularly as drink package for direct consumption. The package is therefore less suitable for sales (outlets) in a higher market segment. Furthermore, the current brick package is mainly associated with drink packages for small children, and the package has not therefore been successful, or hardly so, among older target groups. On the other hand, more upmarket packing materials such as glass, tin and plastic are little to be preferred as alternative from an environmental and cost viewpoint.

The present invention therefore has for its object to provide a pouring package of the type stated in the preamble which is distinguished from usual pouring packages, and also for this reason has a sufficiently great appeal and attraction as drink package, particularly also in a higher market segment and for teenagers and (young adults, and to provide a method and a system for providing such a pouring package.

The invention provides for this purpose a method for manufacturing a pouring package, comprising a container which is formed from packaging material and which in finished form comprises an inner space bounded by walls for receiving a fluid therein, wherein the walls comprise a base and a pair of standing side walls connected to opposite sides of the base, and a front wall and rear wall extending between the side walls, wherein the side walls are each at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, wherein the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip, wherein a length of packaging material is provided comprising a connected series of portions of packaging material for the purpose of forming a single pouring package at a time, each provided with fold-lines, such as crease lines, for folding therealong of the base, the front wall, the rear wall and the side walls, and wherein at least one weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, is arranged on a part of the packaging material associated with at least one of the front wall and the rear wall such that in a finished package the closing strip can, if desired, be pressed in toward the base in order to deform at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the top corners using a part of this at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip.

It is thus possible to manufacture the pouring package of the type described in the preamble wherein the side walls are connected to the base and are each at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, and wherein the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected in a closing strip between the top corners. The triangular form of the side walls gives the package identity and appeal.

In order to achieve the stated objective, a pouring package of the type described in the preamble therefore has in a first aspect according to the invention the feature that the walls comprise an upper wall on a side of the container remote from the base, that the opposite side walls are at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, and that the upper wall extends between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls.

In a second aspect a pouring package of the type stated in the preamble is characterized according to the invention in that the pair of side walls and the front wall and the rear wall are connected to the base, that the side walls are at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, that the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip, and that at least one of the front wall and the rear wall is folded along a fold-line so that a part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the fold-line and the closing strip forms an upper wall extending between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls.

In a further aspect a pouring package of the type stated in the preamble is characterized according to the invention in that the pair of side walls and the front wall and the rear wall are connected to the base, that the side walls are at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, that the front wall and the rear wall are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip, and that at least one of the front wall and the rear wall is provided with at least one weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, such that the closing strip can, if desired, be pressed in toward the base in order to deform the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the respective top corners of the pair of at least partially at least substantially triangular side walls, this using a part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip.

The advantage is always that the upper wall, at least in ready-to-use position, gives the package body. The result is a stylish package with a wholly individual attraction for the user. This appeal is not related to the specific size of the package, whereby the pouring package according to the invention provides a basis for packaging liquids and other fluids such as powders and grains which can be scaled between relatively small drink packages and larger volume packages.

In a particular variant the method according to the invention is characterized in that in the finished package the closing strip is pressed in toward the base in order to thereby deform at least one of the front wall and the rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the top corners using a part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip. It is thus possible according to the invention to provide the pouring package in a first or a second state.

A particular embodiment of the pouring package is therefore characterized according to the invention in that the pouring package is adapted to be brought into a first state and a second state, that in the first state the upper wall lies on either side of the closing strip substantially in a common plane with an adjacent part of at least one of the front wall and the rear wall, and that in the second state the upper wall is folded along a fold-line defined by the weakening line relative to the adjacent part of the at least one of the front wall and the rear wall, so that the upper wall is bowl-shaped.

In the first state, also referred to herein as transporting state or straightened form, the front wall and rear wall each extend in a flat plane on either side of the preformed weakening line. The substantially wedge-shaped pouring package is thus provided which can for instance be stacked and/or repackaged in efficient manner. In the second state, also referred to herein as the ready-to-use state, a part of the front and/or rear wall extending between the weakening line and the closing strip forms the upper wall extending between the top corners, so that the package has body in the ready-to-use state.

In a particular embodiment the package is provided which can be moved reversibly from the first state to the second state.

In a particular embodiment a pouring package according to the invention has the feature that the at least substantially triangular side walls each form an isosceles triangle over at least a part of a height thereof, and are at least almost congruent. The package thus has an exceptionally regular form which moreover allows forming and filling on industrial scale in relatively simple manner from a suitable blank, both from a tube and from a flat blank.

A preferred embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention is characterized in that in the second state the upper wall is bowl-shaped and extends integrally from at least one of the front and/or rear wall adjacent thereto between the pair of at least substantially triangular side-walls. The hereby obtained bowl shape of the upper wall provides the container with compression strength at that position, this being particularly advantageous when for instance the wall has to be pierced with a sharp object in order to force a pouring opening. The space in the container under the upper wall defined thereby moreover enhances an unimpeded outflow of the fluid via an optional pouring opening in the upper wall.

In order to enhance a controlled, fixed deformation of the front wall and/or rear wall for the purpose of forming the upper wall, a further preferred embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention has the feature that a preformed weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, is arranged between the upper wall and the rest of the front and/or rear wall. The package can thus be manufactured and filled in the straightened form, wherein the upper wall lies on either side substantially in a common plane with the rest of the adjacent front and/or rear wall, so that it can be transported with a relatively high packing density The substantially triangular side walls are a particularly advantageous factor here where repackaging and distribution of a number of packages together are concerned. For this purpose the side walls are preferably substantially rectangular over the whole height. By folding down the upper wall along the weakening line, the user can then him/herself bring the package into the ready-to-use state. The upper wall will herein fold precisely along a fold-line thus defined by the weakening line relative to the rest of the front wall and/or rear wall so as to thus finally form said container in the second state. This gives the package a dynamic, active and extra-distinctive character.

A further preferred embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention has the feature that the container widens laterally from the base between the at least substantially triangular side walls over at least a part of a height thereof. Such a widening not only provides the package with more volume, and therefore content capacity, but also contributes toward the ergonomics of the package which, particularly as drink package, thereby lies better in the hand.

With a view to manufacture and filling on industrial scale, the closing strip of the pouring package according to the invention can extend over at least almost a fill width thereof It can be a hermetic closing strip with which opposite wall parts of the container are joined together to form a hermetically sealed, i.e. liquid-tight and airtight, whole. The closing strip can function here as final operation in a factory folding and filling process, wherein the package is formed from a flat blank or tube, filled and finally sealed hermetically by mutually adhering the relevant wall parts on their top side and thus joining them together to form the closing strip.

For an increased attention value and attraction, a further particular embodiment of the pouring package furthermore has the feature that the closing strip has a decorative appearance. The decorative appearance can for instance comprise a decorative imprint or a decorative form into which the closing strip is punched or cut. Both are also possible.

For a non-spill and easy evacuation of the content from the package, a further particular preferred embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention has the feature that the upper wall is provided with hand-operated release means which are adapted and able to make the content of the container available to a user. These may be relatively simple, once-only use release means as in a further particular embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention, which is characterized for this purpose in that the release means comprise a manually removable seal arranged over a pouring opening in the upper wall. After being rid of the seal, the package can be emptied via the pouring opening or, particularly in the case of a drink package, sucked empty via the pouring opening using an optionally co-packaged straw.

Instead of such a relatively simple release, a further particular embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention, for instance for a higher market segment, has the feature that the release means comprise a pouring spout arranged at the position of a pouring opening in the upper wall of the container, which pouring spout comprises a breakable closure which hermetically closes the pouring opening in a first closed state of the pouring spout, and leaves the pouring opening clear in a second opened state of the pouring spout. In a more particular embodiment the pouring package according to the invention is characterized here in that the pouring spout is reclosable. Such a pouring spout is for instance manufactured from a plastic and gives the package overall convenience of use in respect of opening and (re)closing of the package in order to pour the content out of the package or drink it therefrom as desired.

The invention will now be further elucidated on the basis of a number of exemplary embodiments and an associated drawing. In the drawing:

FIG. 1A shows an example of a system for manufacturing a pouring package according to the invention;

FIG. 1B shows an example of a part of a length of packaging material for forming a package according to the invention;

FIGS. 1C-1D show a perspective view of a first embodiment of a pouring package according to the invention in respectively a first and a second state;

FIGS. 2A-2B show a perspective view of a first embodiment of a pouring package, according to the invention in respectively a closed and opened state;

FIGS. 2C-2D show alternative embodiment of the package of FIGS. 2A-2B;

FIGS. 3A-3B show a perspective view of a second embodiment of a pouring package according to the invention in respectively a closed and opened state;

FIGS. 4A-4D show a perspective view of a third embodiment of a pouring package according to the invention in respectively a closed and opened state;

FIGS. 5A-5F show respectively in each case in top view, front view and side view six alternative exemplary embodiments of a pouring package according to the invention;

FIGS. 6A-6D show a front view of a number of embodiment variants of the pouring package according to the invention which are provided with a decorative appearance; and

FIGS. 7A-7F show respectively a perspective and side view of two embodiments of the pouring package according to the invention in successive stages of use.

The figures are otherwise purely schematic and not drawn to scale. For the sake of clarity some dimensions in particular are exaggerated to a greater or lesser extent. Corresponding parts are designated as far as possible in the figures with the same reference numeral.

FIG. 1A shows an example of a possible embodiment of a system S for manufacturing a pouring package according to the invention. The system S comprises a packaging material supply device PSU for supplying a length W of packaging material, in this example from a roll R of packaging material. The length W of packaging material comprises a connected series of portions Pi (i=1,2,3, . . . ) of packaging material for forming a single pouring package at a time. The system further comprises a packing device PU for forming a closed package from a portion P of packaging material from the length of packaging material.

In this example the packing device PU forms from the length W a tube T of packaging material by connecting to each other, here hermetically, the longitudinal edges of the length W. A closing unit CU subsequently closes tube T on a bottom side of the package. In this example the package is closed in a substantially straight closing strip. The package can then be filled with a desired filling, for instance a drink, by means of a filling supply device CSU, and the package is closed on a top side of the package, in this example likewise in a substantially straight closing strip, by closing unit CU. After closing of the bottom side or after closing of the top side of the package, a flat base of the package can be formed, for instance by folding the walls of the package in known manner, for instance as m the known brick package. The closed package can thus for instance be obtained with the base, two standing side walls connected on opposite sides to the base and each being at least partially at least substantially triangular with a top corner remote from the base, and the front wall connected to the base and the rear wall opposite the front wall and connected to the base, each of which extends between the substantially triangular walls and are mutually connected between the top corners in a closing strip.

In order to obtain neat folds where the packaging material is folded, each portion Pi of packaging material on the length W of packaging material is provided with fold-lines, such as crease lines, for folding therealong of the base, front wall, rear wall and side walls. This is preferably therefore a roll of packaging material on which fold-lines are already arranged. A fold-line is here a line along which the packaging material preferably folds, such as a prearranged weakening line.

FIG. 1B shows an example of a part of a length W of packaging material comprising three portions, P1 (shown partially), P2 and P3, shown with thick lines. In portions P1-P3 the fill lines indicate the above mentioned fold-lines for folding therealong of the base, front wall, rear wall and side walls.

In order to provide the package according to the invention at least one weakening line can be arranged on a part of the packaging material associated with the front and/or rear wall. The system further comprises for this purpose a weakening device WU placed between the packaging material supply device PSU and the packaging device PU for arranging at least one weakening line, such as a crease line in particular, on a part of the packaging material associated with the front and/or rear wall such that in the finished package the closing strip can be pressed in toward the base in order to deform the front and/or rear wall along the at least one weakening line for the purpose of forming an upper wall extending between the top corners using a part of the front and/or rear wall extending between the at least one weakening line and the closing strip. The weakening device WU can for instance comprise two rollers, the one of which is provided with a ridge corresponding to the desired weakening line and the other with a corresponding groove for deforming the packaging material therebetween. Alternatively, the weakening device WU can for instance comprise a stamp and counter-stamp. In FIG. 1B the thus arranged weakening lines are arranged only on portion P3 and indicated with broken lines (16A,16B,18A,18B).

The weakening device WU placed between packaging material supply device PSU and packaging device PU provides the advantage that it is possible in simple manner to change a configuration, for instance a shape, of the weakening lines 16A,16B,18A,18B, for instance by replacing or adjusting form-defining parts (such as rollers or stamps) of the weakening device. The fold-lines prearranged on the length can herein be maintained respective of the chosen weakening lines. An inexpensive starting product, i.e. the length of packaging material with the prearranged fold-lines, can thus be applied to provide a finished package, the final form of which, after pressing in the closing strip, can be modified in simple manner, for instance in accordance with the nature of the filling packaged therein.

If desired, the system S can be provided with other devices, such as for instance a release means fixing device for (optionally perforating the packaging material and) attaching (post-applied) release means, such as for instance a pouring spout with screw cap, to the packaging material.

System S can further be provided with a folding and/or forming station in which the filled package is preformed along the weakening lines 16A,16B,18A,18B, and then returned to the wedge-shaped position in order to facilitate folding by the consumer during use.

In FIG. 1B the reference numerals indicate the parts of the finished package with which the thus designated parts of the portion Pi correspond. A description of these parts follows below.

The pouring package according to the invention can be provided in a first and a second state. FIG. 1C shows the pouring package in the first state. FIG. 1D shows the pouring package in the second state.

The pouring package of FIGS. 1C and 1D comprises a container 1 formed from a blank or tube of packaging material. Use is made in this example for the packaging material of a cardboard internally laminated with a plastic sealing hermetically in airtight and liquid-tight manner. Such a packaging material has the aseptic properties required for the food industry and is moreover filly recyclable.

Container 1 comprises on the bottom side a rectangular base 11, from which a pair of side walls 12A,12B extends on either side, these forming in this example an isosceles triangle and being mutually congruent On a front and tear side the container likewise comprises a front wall 13 and a rear wall 14 in which, if desired, a crease line or other weakening line 16A,16B respectively is arranged in height direction in order to allow a desired profiling and folding of this wall.

The container comprises a closing edge or strip 15C where the wall parts, in this example front wall 13 and rear wall 14, of the container are joined together and mutually sealed to form a hermetic closure of the whole once it has been filled with the desired product.

In these pouring packages a preformed weakening line is arranged in the form of a crease line on front wall 13 and/or rear wall 14. In the example of FIGS. 1C and 1D the preformed weakening line 18A is arranged on the front wall and the preformed weakening line 18B is arranged on the rear wall.

In the example of FIG. 1C, front wall 13 and rear wall 14 each extend in a flat plane on either side of the preformed weakening line 18A, 18B respectively. The pouring package is hereby situated in the first state, also designated here as the transporting state as will be further elucidated below.

Weakening lines 18A,18B have a position and form in FIGS. 1C and 1D such that, in the case of pouring package 1 with the closed closing strip 15C, the closing strip can if desired be pressed in toward base 11 in order to deform front and rear walls 13,14 along weakening lines 18A,18B.

In FIG. 1D the pouring package is shown in the second state in which the front and rear wall 13,14 have been thus deformed. The second state is here also referred to as ready-to-use state, as will be further elucidated below. The part of front wall 13 extending between weakening line 18A and closing strip 15C herein forms an upper wall 15A extending between the top corners, and the part of rear wall 14 extending between weakening line 18B and closing strip 15C forms an upper wall 15B extending between the top corners. The preformed weakening line 18A,18B is thus arranged between upper wall 15A,15B and the rest of the front and/or rear wall 13,14. On a top side the container in FIG. 1D is thus closed with an upper wall 15A, 15B extending between corresponding top corners 17 of the triangular side walls 12A,12B. Walls 12A,12B,13,14,15A,15B of container 1 thus enclose an inner space with a volume typically between 150 ml and 500 ml for the purpose of receiving a flowable product there.

The pouring package of FIGS. 2A and 2B likewise comprises a container 1 formed from a blank or tube of packaging material. Use is made for the packaging material of a cardboard internally laminated with a plastic seating in hermetically airtight and liquid-tight manner. Such a packaging material has the aseptic properties required for the food industry and is moreover fully recyclable.

The container comprises on the bottom side a rectangular base 11, from which a pair of side walls 12A,12B extends on either side, these forming in this example an isosceles triangle and being mutually congruent. On a front and rear side the container likewise comprises a front and rear wall 13,14 in which, if desired, a crease line or other weakening line 16A,16B respectively is arranged in height direction in order to allow a desired profiling and folding of the wall. On a top side the container is closed with an upper wall 15A,15B extending between corresponding top corners 17 of triangular side walls 12. Walls 12A,12B,13,14,15A.15B of container 1 thus enclose an inner space with a volume typically between 150 ml and 500 ml for the purpose of receiving a flowable product therein.

In FIGS. 2A and 2B upper wall 15A,15B has a concave progression and is thereby bowl-shaped in order to give the container more strength, and particularly compression strength, at that location In this example the upper wall 15A,15B extends integrally from at least one of the side walls 13,14 adjacent thereto on respectively the front and rear side of container 11. The upper wall is here separated from the associated front or rear wall 13,14 by a weakening line 18A,18B in the form of a preformed crease line. This crease line 18A,18B defines a predetermined deformation on the upper wall when this latter is pressed inward toward base 11 from the straightened transporting state, lying in one plane with the adjacent rest of the front or rear wall, to the shown ready-to-use state.

In upper wall 15A,15B the container comprises a closing edge or strip 15C where the wall parts of the container are joined together and mutually sealed to form a hermetic closure of the whole once it has been filled with the desired product.

In order to enable evacuation of the content of the package, the container is provided in upper wall 15A with hand-operated release means in the form of a manually removable closing tab 20 which hermetically covers a pouring opening 21. As soon as the closing tab is pulled loose, FIG. 2B, a pouring spout 22 is pulled out which enhances non-spill pouring from the package.

An alternative embodiment of the above described package is shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D. This package is identical to that of FIGS. 2A and 2B apart from the specific release means in upper wall 15A. In this alternative embodiment these comprise only a pouring opening 21. Pouring opening 21 is however supplemented with a venting opening 23 in order to enhance a gradual outflow of the product.

Depicted in FIGS. 3A and 3B is a variation of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B which differs therefrom in that the release means comprise, instead of a post-applied closing tab, a pouring opening 31 which is pre-applied in the packaging material and which is spanned inside by the plastic laminate coating of the packaging material and is therefore hermetically sealed until used. In order to remove the product from the container a straw 30, with which the package can be sucked empty, is inserted into pouring opening 31. Straw 30 is provided for this purpose on the underside with a sharp tip 32 to enable perforation of the sealing plastic coating The bowl-shaped upper wall 15A, and optionally. 15B, between the two triangular side walls 12 herein provides for sufficient insertion space under pouring opening 31 and for sufficient stability.

For a higher market segment in terms of sales outlets, product for packaging or both, the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 4A-4D provide a more upmarket variant of the above described embodiments which is provided with a fully-fledged pouring spout 41 which is arranged once the package has been filled and closed. Pouring spout 41 is formed from a high-quality plastic and covers a pouring opening which is prearranged in upper wall 15A and which is closed internally by a breakable closure formed from the plastic coating of the packaging material.

In the first state shown in FIG. 4A the breakable closure is intact and pouring spout 41 covers the pouring opening with the breakable closure therein. In order to clear the pouring opening the pouring spout 41 can be folded open, FIG. 4B, so that a perforating member 42 formed therein becomes accessible.

By exerting a sufficient pressure from outside on perforating member 42, FIG. 4C, it will penetrate through the plastic breakable closure in the pouring opening and thus make available the content of the container. The pouring spout is then in a second opened state, FIG. 4D in which the content of the package can be wholly or partially poured out or drunk.

FIGS. 5A-5F show six different embodiments of the pouring package according to the invention which can all be embodied as larger-volume package, typically with a volume of 750 ml to 1500 or 2500 ml, or as smaller drink package, typically with a volume in the order of 150 ml to 500 ml. The package is shown in each case in a top view, a front view and a side view.

In respect of material use and production method the shown embodiments do not differ essentially from the above described embodiments, although they do so in terms of design. All the packages shown here can, if desired, be supplemented with a suitable pouring opening or pouring spout, for instance of the type as described above.

The exemplary and embodiments of FIGS. 5A-5F have in common that in each case a pair of side walls 12A,12B extends from a base 11 of container 1, these walls being substantially triangular over at least part of the height thereof In the case of the embodiment of FIG. 5B the side walls involved are only triangular over an upper portion of their height, while the corresponding side walls of the exemplary embodiments in the remaining figures are in all cases substantially triangular over their fill height In the exemplary embodiments of FIGS. 5D and 5E use is made here of a somewhat rounded triangular form in respect of side walls 12A,12B, while side walls 12A,12B in the remaining embodiments have at least in principle a truly triangular form.

For an enhanced ergonomics of the package and a more attractive appearance, the package widens upward from the base over the full height in the case of the embodiments of FIGS. 5A,5C and 5F, and over an (upper) part of the height in the other embodiments of FIGS. 5A-5F. Upper wall 15A-15B is always integral with the adjacent front 13, rear 14 and side walls 12A,12B, but is separated therefrom by suitable crease lines 18A,18B or other weakening zones which enhance a controlled folding process during production. Crease lines 18A,18B can be round, as in FIGS. 5A,5B,5D and 5E, or angular (18A,18A′,18A″ or 18B,18B′,18B″) as in FIGS. 5C and 5F. In the latter case crease lines 16A,16A′,16B,16B′ are also arranged diametrically in the front and rear wall 13,14 from a corner point of base 11 to the closest corner point in crease line 18A,18A′,18A″ or 18B,18B′,18B″ so as to enhance a smooth and controlled design of said walls.

On a top side the package closes with a closing strip 15C, at the position of which the walls 12A,12B,13,14 are joined together to form an airtight and leakage-tight whole once the container has been filled with the intended product Use can be made here of a permanent or a semi-permanent attachment, this latter allowing opening with a sufficient spreading force to allow subsequent pouring of the product out of the package. Strip 15C provides the grip necessary for this purpose.

Instead of a straight, purely functional closing strip 15C, use can also be made of a closing strip 15C with a decorative appearance as shown with reference to the exemplary embodiments of FIGS. 6A-6D. Such embellishment is intended particularly for drink packages, but can also be applied for other packages. The decorative appearance can be obtained by cutting or punching the strip into an appropriate, attractive form, optionally in combination with a suitable imprint (FIG. 6A) or an application (FIGS. 6C,6D). The package can thus refer to for instance a possibly known cartoon character (FIG. 6A), for instance for children, or to the origin of the product such as in the case of the fruit or apple form of FIGS. 6C and 6D. If desired, the package can be supplemented with release means, such as a pouring spout or a pouring opening (optionally with a straw) so as to facilitate direct consumption from the package.

The pouring package according to the invention can thus be given form in varying embodiments, wherein other embodiments are also possible in addition to the above stated exemplary embodiments. A particular embodiment of the pouring package according to the invention is herein deformable, for instance reversibly, from the straightened, relatively flat first state in which the pouring package is formed, filled, repackaged and transported, to the pressed-in second state in which the pouring package is ready for use. This is further shown with reference to two exemplary embodiments in FIGS. 7A-7F.

In these pouring packages the preformed weakening line 18A,18B is arranged in the form of a crease line on respectively front wall 13 and/or rear wall 14. The preformed weakening line 18A,18B is arranged between upper wall 15A,15B and the rest of this front and/or rear wall 13,14. The package can thus be manufactured and filled in the straightened form shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, wherein upper wall 15A,15B lies on both sides substantially in a common plane with the adjacent front and/or rear wall. In the embodiment of FIG. 7A the crease line 18A. 18B is a curve running over the front and/or rear wall from the one top corner 17 to the opposite top corner 17. In the embodiment of FIG. 7B the crease lines 18A,18B are a pair of V-shaped lines together forming the shape of a cross. The V-shaped lines 18A,18B herein maintain a certain mutual distance so as not to adversely affect the strength and integrity of the package.

In such a straightened form, also the transporting state, the pouring package can be repackaged to form a bulk packaging with hardly any loss of packing density, see FIGS. 7C and 7D, for further transport and carriage. The substantially triangular side walls 12A,12B are a particularly advantageous factor here in respect of repackaging and distribution of a number of packages together.

By folding down upper wall 15A,15B along the preformed weakening line 18A,18B the user him/herself can then finally bring the package into the ready-to-use position. Upper wall 15A,15B will herein fold precisely along a fold-line thus defined by the preformed weakening line 18A,18B relative to the rest of the front and/or rear wall and thus ultimately form the intended container. The additional fold-line 16A,16B, which is not strictly essential, supports this deforming process in the pouring package of FIGS. 7A and 7E. These aspects give the package a dynamic, active and extra-distinctive character. The final ready-to-use state is shown flirter in FIGS. 7E and 7F for the two respective embodiments.

Although the invention has been elucidated above solely on the basis of a finite number of exemplary embodiments, it will be apparent that the invention is by no means limited to the given exemplary embodiments. On the contrary, many variations and embodiments are still possible within the scope of the invention for a person with ordinary skill in the art. The package can thus be used not only for drinks, but other viscous or thin-fluid or sprinkled food products can advantageously also be packed therein, and the package is also suitable for holding products other than food products.

For each market segment and each product group the package according to the invention can thus be given its own “look” without having to depart from a uniform package basis and without the appearance in one market segment or product detracting from another. The invention therefore provides an exceptionally universal and versatile packaging concept which can be given a broad-based placing in the market