Title:
SANITARY SNAP-ON CAN CARRIER AND TRANSPORT DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sanitary snap-on multiple-can carrier and transport device is disclosed which facilitates bundling, storage and transport of cans in multi-pack units of two, four, six, eight and 12 cans. The configuration of the device permits multiples of the device to be loaded into magazines, which in turn may be loaded into and dispensed from high speed machine applicators to apply the devices to cans. The design also permits stacking of rows of cans bound together for purposes of storage and even permits the formation of entire palletloads of cans without the extra support of conventional shipping containment material such as strapping, cardboard and shrinkwrap.



Inventors:
Borg, Zakary James (Eugene, OR, US)
Application Number:
12/891204
Publication Date:
03/29/2012
Filing Date:
09/27/2010
Assignee:
BORG ZAKARY JAMES
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/386
International Classes:
B65D75/00; B65D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEUNG, CHUN HOI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCOY RUSSELL LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A multiple-can carrier for cans with annular beaded rims comprising multiple substantially planar annular rings joined together by coupling webs, each of said rings having a downwardly projecting flange, a plurality of arcuate standing ribs, an upwardly projecting flange integral with a substantially planar cap, each downwardly projecting flange having an exterior and an interior, said exterior provided with at least one tab and said interior provided with a multiplicity of arcuate hooks.

2. The carrier of claim 1 wherein said at least one tab is oriented at a downward angle relative to horizontal and terminates in a substantially horizontal foot.

3. The carrier of claim 2 including a handle.

4. The carrier of claim 3 wherein said handle comprises two finger loops.

5. The carrier of claim 4 wherein said handle comprises two substantially U-shaped half-loops.

6. The carrier of claim 3 made of resilient material.

7. The carrier of claim 6 wherein said resilient material is high density polyethylene.

8. The carrier of claim 1 comprising two of said substantially planar rings.

9. The carrier of claim 1 comprising four of said substantially planar rings.

10. The carrier of claim 1 comprising six of said substantially planar rings.

11. The carrier of claim 1 comprising eight of said substantially planar rings.

12. The carrier of claim 1 comprising twelve of said substantially planar rings.

13. The carrier of claim 10 attached to six cans.

14. Multiples of the carrier of claim 13 forming a stack of multiple layers of bundles of six cans in each bundle.

15. The stack of claim 14 wherein adjacent layers are oriented 90° relative to each other.

16. The stack of claim 15 on a pallet.

17. The carrier of claim 11 attached to eight cans.

18. Multiples of the carrier of claim 17 forming a stack of multiple layers of bundles of eight cans in each bundle.

19. The stack of claim 18 wherein adjacent layers are oriented at 90° relative to each other.

20. The stack of claim 19 on a pallet.

21. The carrier of claim 12 attached to twelve cans.

22. Multiples of the carrier of claim 21 forming a stack of multiple layers of bundles of twelve cans in each bundle.

23. The stack of claim 22 wherein adjacent layers are oriented 90° relative to each other.

24. The stack of claim 23 on a pallet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is an ongoing need in the can container and canister industry for carriers of simple lightweight construction and easy application that are capable of bundling a plurality of cylindrical containers or canisters into a single package to be transported, displayed, stored, stacked or sold as a single unit. These needs are met by the present invention.

There is also a need in the industry for carriers capable of automatic high speed application, that provide protection from the external environment, and that may be used to create larger stacks and even palletfuls of cans that minimize packaging time and materials. These needs are also met by the present invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, there is provided a device for application to the annular beaded rims of cans and the like that snaps on and off the tops of them, that forms a combination bundler and carrier for multiple canisters having such annular beaded rims, that is capable of high speed automatic application to cans, that provides a degree of sanitary protection from an environment such as a warehouse, and that may be used to create stacks and even palletfuls of cans.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an exemplary sanitary snap-on multiple can carrier and transport device of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an end view of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1 in a nested stack.

FIG. 6 is a top perspective partial cutaway view of the device shown in FIG. 1 applied to the tops of six cans.

FIG. 7 is a cutaway side view of the device shown in FIG. 1 applied to the tops of two rows of cans with one bundled group of cans stacked atop another.

FIG. 8 is a top perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1 applied to the tops of 36 cans that are stacked on top of and secured to 36 additional cans by means of the devices shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a partial perspective view of the stacking arrangement shown in FIG. 9, showing one layer of cans with carriers oriented 90° to an adjacent layer.

FIGS. 10-13 are top perspective views of the device of the invention in configurations of two, four, eight, and twelve rings, respectively, applied to the tops of corresponding numbers of cans.

FIG. 14 is a top perspective view of an eight-pack configuration of the device applied to cans in a stacking arrangement.

FIG. 15 is a top perspective view of a 12-pack configuration of the device applied to cans in a stacking arrangement, with imaginary lines superimposed on each 12-pack for ease in visualizing the groups of 12 cans.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings, wherein the same numerical references generally refer to like elements, there is shown an exemplary device 1 for fastening to annular beaded rims and shielding the tops of canisters such as cans, the device comprising multiple substantially planar annular rings 10 joined together, each having downwardly projecting flanges 12 and a plurality of arcuate standing ribs 14. Rings 10 are preferably joined together equidistantly by coupling webs 20. The outer portions of flanges 12 are provided with downwardly angled tabs 30 having splayed-out feet 32, best seen in FIGS. 3-4; such tabs 30 help align the device over the center of tops of groups of cans during high speed application. Rings 10 are also provided with raised flanges 40 that are capped with substantially planar tops 42 that are integral with flanges 40 (see FIGS. 1-2) to provide a barrier between the tops of cans and the external environment. The inside undersides of flanges 12 are provided with a multiplicity of arcuate hooks 50, best seen in FIGS. 2 and 6, designed and arranged so as to elastically engage the annular beads of cans when flanges 12 are pressed down and over the cans' annular beads, thereby providing a “snap-on” fit.

Device 1 is preferably made of a resilient material such as high density polyethylene by injection molding. Use of a resilient material allows arcuate hooks 50 to snugly engage the beaded rim of a can with spring-like force by simply pressing downwardly on ring 10 or top 42.

Finally, device 1 may be provided with carrying handles in the form of inwardly projecting finger loops 60, flexibly attached at points 62 on coupling webs that couple the two center rings 10 to the four outer rings 10, equidistant from the two center rings 10. Loops 60 normally lie in substantially the same plane of the multiple canister carrier, thereby permitting efficient nesting of the carriers, as seen in FIG. 5, and stacking of bundles of cans to which the carriers have been applied, as seen in FIGS. 8-9. But when grasped for carrying, loops 60 pivot upwardly away from the plane of the carrier by virtue of gravitational pull on cans to which rings 10 have been applied.

The device may be applied to any manner of cylindrical containers or canisters having annular beaded rims on their tops and/or bottoms, such as food cans or beverage cans, providing a degree of sanitary protection when used in the closed top form.

Besides its use as a combination bundler and carrier for two-, four-, six-, eight- and 12-packs of cans and the like, the device has several other advantageous features by virtue of its design. One such feature of all embodiments of the inventive device is the capability of the device to be stacked and tightly nested one atop the other in large multiples that occupy very little space, with arcuate standing ribs 14 serving as alignment studs, best seen in FIGS. 5 and 7. This feature in turn permits the formation of magazines of the devices that may be loaded into and dispensed from high speed automated machinery that applies the devices to cans.

Another feature of the six-, eight- and 12-pack embodiments of the device is that it permits the formation of stable stacks of six-, eight- and 12-packs of cans to which the device has been applied, as shown in FIGS. 7, 14 and 15, with arcuate standing ribs 14 serving as alignment and receiving studs for the bottoms of the cans in the next six pack above, and the upper planar surfaces of rings 10 to support the next pack above. This is helpful with storing and shipping both smaller quantities of cans and in facilitating the formation of multiple stacks of cans suitable for loading onto pallets.

Yet another advantageous feature of the six-, eight- and 12-pack embodiments of the device is that it permits multiple stacks of six-, eight- and 12-packs to be tied together laterally so as to form entire pallets of cans for storage and shipping larger quantities of cans, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 15. This is accomplished by orienting each succeeding row of packs 90° relative to the immediately adjacent row, as shown in FIGS. 9, 14 and 15. Such an arrangement permits the manufacturer/shipper to create a stable palletful of cans by simply capturing the entire loaded pallet with a minimal amount of stretchable plastic film that is the width of the pallet in one direction, thereby saving considerable packaging expense relative to the state of the art, which requires multiple cardboard trays and sleepsheets, as well as multiple layers of shrinkwrap surrounding the pallet, requiring considerable time and expense for disposal and/or recycling of such packaging materials.

The terms and expressions which have been employed in this specification are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions to exclude equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the scope of the invention is defined and limited only by the claims which follow.