|Número de publicación||WO2007028647 A1|
|Tipo de publicación||Solicitud|
|Número de solicitud||PCT/EP2006/008816|
|Fecha de publicación||15 Mar 2007|
|Fecha de presentación||11 Sep 2006|
|Fecha de prioridad||9 Sep 2005|
|También publicado como||WO2007028647B1|
|Número de publicación||PCT/2006/8816, PCT/EP/2006/008816, PCT/EP/2006/08816, PCT/EP/6/008816, PCT/EP/6/08816, PCT/EP2006/008816, PCT/EP2006/08816, PCT/EP2006008816, PCT/EP200608816, PCT/EP6/008816, PCT/EP6/08816, PCT/EP6008816, PCT/EP608816, WO 2007/028647 A1, WO 2007028647 A1, WO 2007028647A1, WO-A1-2007028647, WO2007/028647A1, WO2007028647 A1, WO2007028647A1|
|Solicitante||Syngenta Participations Ag|
|Exportar cita||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citas de patentes (4), Citada por (2), Clasificaciones (8), Eventos legales (5)|
|Enlaces externos: Patentscope, Espacenet|
TΓΓLE  IMPROVED CONTAINER
FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY
 This technology relates to containers, and in particular, flexible containers having a rigid container support.
 In the past, considerable difficulty has been encountered in providing a satisfactory single-use container that is safe, tamper resistant, easy to handle, and inexpensive to manufacture.
 Known containers generally fall into two broad categories. The first is rigid containers that commonly include glass and rigid plastic containers. The second is non-rigid or flexible containers that generally include bags and pouches.
 Flexible containers are well known in the art and are extensively used by hospitals, chemical manufacturers, food and beverage manufactures, the military and many others. Flexible containers are commonly used as blood bags, intravenous solution containers, chemical containers, beverage containers, and meals-ready-to-eat containers.
 Flexible containers are commonly manufactured using metal foils and/or plastics. A laminate sheet is conventionally used as the construction material for a flexible container. The laminate sheet generally includes a laminate film formed of plastic material layers, and an aluminum foil joined or deposited thereto for enhancing breakage strength and moisture- blocking function. The laminate film generally has a base substrate formed of a material selected from a group of polypropylene, nylon and/or polyester. The film is generally biaxially oriented film.  Generally, a rectangular laminate sheet is folded into two sections in order to define front and rear walls, and the confronting three side edge portions are heat sealed together to obtain a bag shape. Such pouch is ordinarily referred to as a "pillow type" pouch. Alternatively, two identical rectangular laminate sheets are prepared serving as the front and rear walls, and these are superposed together, and are joined at four side edge portions.  US 6,767,601 discloses a multilayer laminate for use in chemical barrier packaging for use with products such as motor oil and solvent impregnated cloths. The '601 film comprises a nylon layer, a polyester layer and a polyolefin layer. Certain layers my be substituted with a metal foil layer. US 6,348,246 discloses laminate sheeting for producing flexible pouches. The '246 pouches are suitable for packaging a flowable or solid food substance. The '246 pouch may be fabricated from a laminate sheeting whose plies have different properties that depend on the package requirements. An individual of ordinary skill in art will be familiar with the acceptable laminates for their respective product packaging requirements.
 Known flexible containers generally have a high breaking strength, and therefore, it is difficult to tear the pouch at the heat sealed portion so as to discharge a content packed therein. To overcome this problem, a notch is commonly formed at one or more heat sealed portions in order to facilitate the tearing. To further facilitate the tearing the containers may include a tear tape, a perforation in the container, a laser etched tear line, a reorientation of a portion of the laminate material, or the material may be constructed to easily tear.
 A common disadvantage of many flexible containers is their difficultly of use and control. Many flexible container contents include liquids and flowable solids. Upon opening the flexible container it may be difficult to handle the flexible container without spilling or splashing the contents. If the flexible container is not properly held the top may fold over and spill contents. If the flexible container is held too tightly the contents may be squeezed out; held too loosely and the user may drop the container.
 Moreover, after the flexible container has been opened, the mouth of the container may remain stuck together via liquid or static adhesion. Products held in the flexible container, such as chemicals, must commonly be rinsed out of the container before disposal of the container. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a greater than 99% removal of pesticides from the pesticide container before disposal of the container. To accomplish the high removal percentage, the EPA recommends triple rinsing pesticide containers. The user must first pour the pesticide out of the flexible container, then hold the flexible container open to fill with water, then pour out. The user must repeat this step two more times, all the while being cautious not to contact the pesticide. When the mouth of the flexible container does not properly stay open these rinsing steps may become difficult and potentially dangerous if the user does not take the proper precautions.  Additional disadvantages of known flexible containers is the difficulty in printing logos, directions, or warnings directly onto the container.
 The present technology provides for an apparatus which facilitates the opening and handling of a flexible container by providing a rigid support for engaging around the flexible container. The present technology provides for an apparatus for assisting an end user in the opening and handling of a flexible container by using a flexible container enclosed within or connected to a rigid support. In one embodiment, the flexible container is held, contained or anchored within the outer rigid support. The packaging assembly and apparatus of the invention is particularly suitable for containing pesticides and other agrochemicals in the form of liquids and flowable solids (such as granules) and for safely handling such materials.  The present technology provides easy access to tear off a notch cut in the flexible container. The rigid support facilitates the controlled tearing -open of the container. In certain circumstances the perforating or laser etching will not be required. The present technology allows for squeezing the rigid support to facilitate the opening of the container, thus allowing easy pouring and rinsing. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that although, in one embodiment, the rigid support is more rigid in configuration as compared to the flexible container, the rigid support is also capable of being deformed when squeezed by an end user to facilitate the opening and emptying of the flexible container. The rigid support also prevents involuntary contact with the product by minimizing splashing or loss of control. The rigid support also provides for a large front and back printing surface so that logos, directions and warnings can be properly displayed.
 The present technology may also be implemented at a low cost. A product currently using a flexible container can be fitted with a rigid support with minimum packaging machine investment. Because the user can implement the improved container with existing flexible containers, there is no machine changeover time except for implementation of the rigid support. If human labor is available at a low cost, machine packaging can be foregone and substituted with laborers. The rigid support may be constructed from a plannar panel or blank formed from any suitable material which, in one embodiment, is relatively more rigid than the flexible packaging material; with cardboard or paperboard being a low-cost environmentally friendly choice.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS  FIGs. 1 and 3 illustrate an exterior view of a rigid support in an unfolded condition in accordance with one embodiment of the present technology.
 FIGs. 2, 4 and 5 illustrate the interior view of a rigid support in an unfolded condition in accordance the embodiment of Figs. 1 and 3.
 FIG.6 is a plan view of a flexible container in accordance with one embodiment of the present technology.
 FIGs. 7a - 7c are schematic illustrations of a process of making an improved container in accordance with one embodiment of the present technology showing the rigid support of Figs. 1 - 5 as it is being folded around the flexible container of Fig. 6.
 FIGs. 8 and 9 are front and back views, respectively, of the rigid support of Figs. 1 -
5 in a folded condition.
 FIGs. 10 and 11 are top views of the folded rigid support of Figs 8 - 9.
 FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the folded rigid support of Figs 10 and 11.
 FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an improved container in accordance with one embodiment of the present technology.
 FIG. 14 is a front view of the improved container of Fig. 13.
 FIG. 15 is an exterior view of a rigid support in an unfolded condition in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present technology.
 FIG. 16 is an interior view of a rigid support in an unfolded condition in accordance with the alternate embodiment shown in Fig. 15.
 FIG. 17 is a front view of an alternate embodiment of an improved container in accordance with the present technology.
 FIG. 18 is a bottom view of the improved container shown in Fig. 17.  FIGs. 19a-c are schematic illustrations of a process of making an improved container in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present technology showing an alternative embodiment of a rigid support as it is being folded around the flexible container of Fig. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS  The presently preferred embodiments of the present technology will be best understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals throughout. It will be readily understood that the components of the system, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations without departing from the spirit of the claims. Thus, the following more detailed description of the embodiments of the apparatus, system, and method of the practicing the disclosed technology, as represented in FIGS. 1-19 (a-c), is not intended to limit the scope of the claims, but is merely representative of the presently preferred embodiments.  Referring to FIGS. 1-2, a first embodiment of rigid support 10 is presented in accordance with the present technology depicted as a blank in an unfolded condition. Support 10 has an interior 18 and an exterior 20. Referring to FIGS. 3-4 support 10 has a front section 12, a back section 14, and a flap section 16. The rigid support 10 can be constructed of any suitable material, but products such as plastics, cardboard, or paperboard are preferred. Paperboard is a thick paper, generally, but not limited to, a sheet thickness equal to or greater than about 8Λooo of an inch.
 Referring to FIG.6 a flexible container 24 is presented. Referring to FIGs. 7a, b, c, flexible container 24 is combined with support 10 to form an improved container 30 after assembly in a known manner by folding the panels down about the folding lines and gluing with adhesive lines 22.
 In one embodiment rigid support 10 can be open at both the top and bottom of the support as seen in FIGS. 1-9. In another embodiment a rigid support 110 may have a gusseted bottom 150 as seen in FIGS. 15-18. Gusset flaps 152, 154 are integrated into rigid support 110 to form the gusseted bottom 150. Gusset flaps 152, 154 overlap and are adhered to one another using a suitable adhesive. Gusset flaps 152, 154 can be scored to present a folding line 156 that coincides with folds 158a, 158b of rigid support 110. Rigid support 110 gives the user the ability to place a container 130 in an self-supported upright position. This embodiment allows the user to set down an open container 130 in the upright position. Without the gusseted bottom 150 the user may be forced to travel to an inconvenient location to prop-up container 30 so it does not spill or release any contents.
 In yet another embodiment rigid support 10 can be configured as a ring support as seen in FIGS. 19a-19c. This design may be advantageous where minimalist packaging is desired and a ring support will provide for the desired handling and safety the user must achieve. Rigid support 210 can be of any length relative to the flexible container. Rigid support 10 can act as a support ring as seen in FIGS. 19a-19c or extend the entire length of flexible container 24 in a sleeve configuration as seen in FIGS.7a-7c.
 Exterior 20 provides a surface area that the manufacturer can use to print any information the manufacturer wishes, such as trademarks, product logos or UPCs. If the manufacturer has a potentially dangerous substance in container 30, the manufacturer may wish to print detailed user directions, product warnings, emergency measures, and/or general product information. This is particularly useful for packaging that is configured for holding dangerous or toxic materials such as pesticide or agrochemical compositions. Known processes for printing information directly onto flexible container 24 are generally more expensive and have a lower print quality than known process for printing onto paper products. Moreover, packaging for chemical containers generally requires an amount of accompanying literature that is in excess of what can be printed on a flexible container. Therefore, a paper product embodiment of rigid support 10 may be advantageous to a manufacturer who wishes to print literature, high quality graphics or photographs onto the interior 18 and/or exterior 20 of rigid support 10. In another embodiment, the exterior surface 20 has texture embossed thereon to increase grippab ility of the rigid support and thereby the container 30 by the end user.  Exterior 20 also provides a surface area where the manufacturer can advertise other products that may compliment the current product. Furthermore, the manufacturer could use rigid support 10 as a marketing tool. The manufacturer can place their trade name or product logo on exterior 20 of rigid support 10, while the contents of container 30 may hold an unrelated good the potential customer may desire for immediate use, or consumption. For example, a pharmaceutical manufacture might supply their marketing team with a logo inscribed rigid support 10 to place around a flexible container holding candy or other propaganda. The manufacturer could also use interior 18 of rigid support 10 for further information disclosure or promotion, such as contact information, disclaimers, rebates, customer contests and product registration. The manufacturer may also sell exterior 20 space to another individual or company that wishes to advertise on the space. This type of advertising may be advantageous in locals where there is a large amount of pedestrian traffic, such as sporting events, county fairs, large cultural events and a myriad of other events.  Flexible container 24 is commonly manufactured using metal foils and/or plastics. Water soluble plastics are also contemplated. A laminate sheet is conventionally used as the construction material for flexible container 24. The laminate sheet generally includes a laminate film formed of plastic material layers, and an aluminum foil joined or deposited thereto for enhancing breakage strength and moisture-blocking function. The laminate film generally has a base substrate formed of a material selected from a group of polypropylene, nylon and/or polyester. Generally, a rectangular laminate sheet is folded into two sections in order to define front and rear walls, and the confronting three side edge portions are heat sealed together to obtain a bag shape. Such flexible container is ordinarily referred to as a "pillow type" pouch. Alternatively, two identical rectangular laminate sheets are prepared serving as the front and rear walls, and these are superposed together, and are joined at four side edge portions.  Flexible containers 24 generally have a notch or notches 32a, 32b formed at one or more heat sealed portions in order to facilitate the tearing. To further facilitate the tearing the flexible containers 24 may include a tear tape, a perforation in the flexible container (extending between the notches 32a, 32b), a laser etched tear line, a reorientation of a portion of the laminate material, or the material may be constructed to easily tear. In a particularly useful embodiment of an improved container 30, the rigid support 10 further comprises a perforated tear strip (not shown) that encloses the top "notched" (32a, 32b) end of the flexible container 24 so that the flexible container is completely enclosed by the rigid support 10. The perforation in the tear strip (not shown) of the rigid support 10 can parallel a perforation in the flexible container extending between the notches 32a, 32b. This configuation further facilitates safe opening of the container when the tear strip is grasped between the thumb and forefinger of the end user and pulled to tear the strip. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that rigid supports containing tear strips that can sandwich the top notched region of the flexible container can be assembled from a suitable blank in a known manner. For example, a blank containing perforated tabs attached to the respective tops of panels 14 and 12 (Fig. 4) could be constructed which would form a tear strip upon folding of the blank into a rigid support 10.  Improved container 30 as described or illustrated in the embodiments in accordance with the present technology is by no means the only form of container that can be so produced. Thus, container 30 may be comprised, shaped and dimensioned to store toxic materials such as pesticides and agrochemicals, as well as non-toxic foodstuffs, candy, personal hygene products, flowable solids, liquids, gels and other many other substances. Container 30 formed may be designed to envelop and protectively package small toys and other non-food products which are more or less perishable. Container 30 may also be designed to envelop and protectively package liquid and solid forms of chemicals and biological materials. In one embodiment, the improved container 30 has a flexible inner pouch and a rigid outer support. The container's rigid support member provides support for the flexible pouch. The rigid support facilitates the safe opening and handling of the container and its contents (such as liquid and flowable solid pesticides) by an end user. In a specific embodiment, the flexible pouch or container is sized for holding a liquid content of from 4 ml - 100 ml or a solid content of from 4 g - 50 g.
 Referring to FIG.5 and FIG.7, interior 18 presents an area in which an adhesive 22 can be applied. Adhesive 22 is used to adhere support 10 to flexible container 24. Exterior 20 of flap 16 also presents an area in which adhesive 22 is applied. Adhesive 22 on exterior 20 of flap 16 is used to adhere exterior 20 of flap 16 to interior 18 of front section 12. Adhesive 22 is illustrated as being selectively applied, however, it is of the understanding that adhesive 22 may be applied in smaller or larger amounts or smaller or larger areas the present technology.  Adhesive 22 should be a suitable adhesive for adhering the material comprising the flexible container 24 to the material comprising rigid support 10. Suitable adhesives may include a double sided tape or a flowable adhesive such as glue. Flowable adhesives may be either hot or cold melt flowable adhesives, and additionally may be pressure sensitive.  FIG.7c illustrates improved container 30. Container 30 is created by first adhering flexible container 24 onto interior 18 of back section 14 of support 10. Flexible container 24 should be adhered to support 10 to allow the user access to tear notches 32a, 32b (FIG. 7a). Flap 16 is then folded inward so that interior 18 of flap 16 is in contact with flexible container 24 (FIG. 7b). Finally, front section 12 is folded so that interior 18 of section 12 is adhered to flexible container 24, as well as exterior 20 of flap 16 (FIG.7c).
 The construction of improved container 30 can be accomplished through the use of an automated machine or manpower. Construction can be implemented as a separate process isolated from the construction of flexible container 24. Therefore, a manufacturer wishing to implement rigid supports into the existing manufacturing of flexible containers would experience no down-time during that implementation.
 FIGS.8-11 illustrate rigid support 10. FIG. 10 shows rigid support 10 in a closed position. FIG. 11 shows rigid support 10 in an open position. The open position of rigid support 10 is obtained by the application of pressure to the folds 58a, 58b of rigid support 10. The application of pressure to, or squeezing of, folds 58a, 58b produces a wide-mouth (see FIG. 10) in an open container 30, which allows for easy handling, notability in the pouring and rinsing functions.  The ability for the user to conveniently open and hold the flexible container has many advantages. For example, the wide-mouth opening allows the user the ability to hold-open and fill the container. This is especially useful in the triple rinsing of pesticide containers, which can be very difficult and dangerous without the present technology. The wide-mouth also allows the user the ability to handle the flexible container without spilling or splashing the contents. If flexible container 24 is not carefully held the top may fold over and spill contents. If flexible container 24 is held too tightly the contents may be squeezed out; held too loosely and the user may drop the container. Rigid support 10 solves these common handling problems by providing rigid support that facilitates the user. This increased ease in handling directly relates to an increase in safety. This can be particularly important when pesticide compositions such as insecticides are being handled by humans where contact with exposed skin may result in temporary itching, tingling, burning or numbness, called paresthesia. Paresthesia involving the face is also known as "subjective facial sensation" or SFS.
 Improved container 30 may also be implemented in a variety of household settings. Rigid support 10 can be implemented into common household flexible containers used by millions of people. Rigid support 10 could be used with common resealable flexible containers such as Ziploc® bags or the like. Rigid support 10 could be sold as a stand alone product with adhesive pre-applied, and the consumer would be responsible for constructing improved container 30 by following simple assembly instructions. This would facilitate the consumer in the ability to fill and remove liquid or flowable substances from the flexible container. After, filling container 30 the user could easily transport, store, or re-serve the contents of container 30.  Container 30 can produce a wide-mouth opening, and because of this container 30 could easily be used as a serving container in situations were the user may want to dispose of the container after its use. For example, the user may wish to transport and serve soup to a picnic or social gathering. The user would simply open container 30 by squeezing the folds 58a, 58b, pour in the contents, transport the contents, and re-open container 30 at the event by squeezing the folds 58a, 58b to produce the wide-mouth.
 In the illustrated embodiments, flexible container 24 is a common available flexible container. Other designs of common available flexible container exist and rigid support 10 can be constructed and fitted to fit such flexible containers without departing from the spirit of the claims.
|Patente citada||Fecha de presentación||Fecha de publicación||Solicitante||Título|
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|US3684156 *||22 Feb 1971||15 Ago 1972||Continental Can Co||Combination package|
|US4428500 *||8 Mar 1982||31 Ene 1984||Container Corporation Of America||Automatically erectable liquid-tight tray|
|US20030002755 *||14 May 2002||2 Ene 2003||Mars Incorporated||Pillow pouch packaging with reinforcing elements|
|Patente citante||Fecha de presentación||Fecha de publicación||Solicitante||Título|
|EP2149507A1||31 Jul 2008||3 Feb 2010||The Procter and Gamble Company||A three seal sachet with a dispensing device|
|EP2604531A1 *||12 Dic 2012||19 Jun 2013||Fleury Michon||Packaging for food product and corresponding packaging method|
|Clasificación internacional||B65D33/02, B65D77/06, B65D5/60, B65D75/52|
|Clasificación cooperativa||B65D75/525, B65D77/062|
|Clasificación europea||B65D75/52F, B65D77/06B|
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