|Publication number||WO2013020573 A1|
|Publication date||14 Feb 2013|
|Filing date||5 Aug 2011|
|Priority date||5 Aug 2011|
|Publication number||PCT/2011/63543, PCT/EP/11/063543, PCT/EP/11/63543, PCT/EP/2011/063543, PCT/EP/2011/63543, PCT/EP11/063543, PCT/EP11/63543, PCT/EP11063543, PCT/EP1163543, PCT/EP2011/063543, PCT/EP2011/63543, PCT/EP2011063543, PCT/EP201163543, WO 2013/020573 A1, WO 2013020573 A1, WO 2013020573A1, WO-A1-2013020573, WO2013/020573A1, WO2013020573 A1, WO2013020573A1|
|Inventors||Natacha LESTY, Fredrik Jacobsson|
|Applicant||Sca Packaging Marketing Nv|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (2), Classifications (7), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet|
The present invention resides in a dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles, in particular one that can be used in the frame of a "Shelf Ready Packaging" (SRP) , "Display Ready Packaging" (DRP) or "Retail Ready Packaging" (RRP) concept.
"Shelf Ready Packaging" (SRP) , "Display Ready Packaging" (DRP) or "Retail Ready Packaging" (RRP) refers to the containers and packaging for retail goods which are ready to be displayed instantly or with little set up for retail consumption by consumers. Alternative formats thereof are emerging in all shapes and sizes. An example of a retail ready package is the paperboard cartons that hold several packs of gum which are placed near cash registers at supermarkets and retail stores.
In the following, the terms "Shelf Ready Packaging" (SRP) , "Display Ready Packaging" (DRP) and "Retail Ready Packaging" (RRP) will be used synonymously. Another synonym is "PAV" ("prfit-a-vendre") .
A large variety of prior art RRP dispensers have been constructed by folding a sheet-material blank to form a container. Where the material is cardboard, such dispensers are quite inexpensive due to the low cost of the cardboard and the ease of cutting and bending a blank of this material. When assembled, these dispensers generally define an enclosure for containing a plurality of articles, and an opening in the enclosure through which articles are extracted. Guide means may be present for directing the articles to the opening, by a gravity feed or by other inducement .
Where the guide means included an internal ramp structure for guiding the articles, it was often found expedient to form the ramp from separate sheet material and to secure the ramp within the container by adhesive, staples or other comparable means. While this type of design is relatively simple, it still requires at least two independent parte, plus means for joining the parts.
From US 3,450,308, a dispenser for containing and dispensing individually a plurality of stacked articles is known, which dispenser is constructed from a unitary sheet folder to form a container and an internal ramp member for directing the lowermost of the stacked articles to an opening having dimensions to permit articles to pass individually there through and to permit each article to be grasped while it is within the container.
Disclosure of the invention
It is the object underlying the present invention to provide a dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles (products) , wherein the dispensing system can be conveniently re-filled and allows for a controlled withdrawal of the individual articles. In this context, withdrawing, dispensing, picking, extracting, taking out, etc. are used synonymously.
The basic idea of the present invention is to provide a dispensing system comprising at least one box including the individual articles (products) to be dispensed and a stand for receiving the box to present the individual articles contained in the box. As a result, the stand may easily be refilled by adding new boxes to the stand at the same time allowing controlled withdrawal (picking) of articles from the box according to the first-in-first-out principle.
Accordingly, the above object is achieved by a dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles as claimed in claim 1, including: at least one box for including several of the individual articles to be dispensed, wherein the box includes an area for the withdrawal of at least one of the individual articles; and a presentation stand, which defines an enclosure for accommodating the box and an opening for exposing at least the withdrawal area of the box to the outside .
The dispensing system of the present invention consists of two cooperating entities: on the one hand, there is the box including several of the individual articles to be dispensed. The box includes an area for the withdrawal of at least one of the individual articles. The withdrawal area may be formed by an opening and is configured for easy picking of one article after the other being fed by gravity to the withdrawal area (e.g. opening) of the box. On the other hand, there is the presentation stand in which the box can be accommodated and presented. In accordance with the invention, the presentation stand includes an opening for exposing at least the withdrawal area of the box to the outside. The individual products can therefore be taken from the box one after the other until the box has been emptied. The box can then be removed from the presentation stand so that a new box filled with individual articles can take its place.
The presentation stand can advantageously be designed so as to accommodate several boxes in a stacked fashion. In this case, the enclosure defined by the presentation stand may have an open top so that the presentation stand can be reloaded with new boxes. Furthermore, in this case, the opening in the presentation stand can be designed so that the lowermost box of the stack can be placed in a predetermined position within the presentation stand, in which the box partly extends through the opening so that the withdrawal area thereof is exposed. Once the box has been emptied and is removed from the presentation stand, which can suitably be done by removing it completely through the opening, the subsequent box in the stack is allowed to move into the predetermined position within the presentation stand. Once the new box has arrived in this position, the withdrawal aperture of the new box is exposed to the outside of the dispenser so that the individual products can be taken from the new box.
The dispensing system of the present invention can be easily refilled by simply placing new boxes including the individual products into the presentation stand. The use of the boxes for including the individual articles, rather than placing the individual articles directly into the dispenser, also has the advantage that the presentation stand as such can have a relatively simple shape because the products are protected by the boxes. One and the same presentation stand can also be used for many different types of products as long as they are placed in boxes matching with the presentation stand. The use of the boxes also provides the particular advantage that the products arrive at the withdrawal aperture in a well controlled manner, i.e. one after the other. This may further enable that articles are withdrawn (picked) first which have been contained in the stand first. This also means that the products are presented in a neat fashion and will therefore be more easily accepted by the customer. Moreover, the stand may have a longer life-cycle and can be used for being refilled with boxes. Even further, if a plurality of boxes is stacked in one stand, the load of an upper box/-es is borne by the lowest box, instead of the individual articles, whereby deformation and/or damaging of the articles may be prevented. The dispensing system could be used on the shelf, or placed next to the cash register or even in a display. As regards the individual products to be dispensed, the dispensing system can be used for virtually any kind of product which can suitably be placed in the boxes of the dispensing system. One could for example think of cartons, bottles, pillow bags, tablets, tubes, cans, tubs, rolls such as mint rolls, or bags, e.g. bags of nuts. The dimensions of the dispensing system, i.e. of the presentation stand and the boxes, entirely depend on the kind of product and the dimensions of the location where the system is to be used, e.g. the shelf.
In order to direct the box toward and through the opening in the enclosure, the dispensing system may further include a guide means. For example, the box can be guided through the opening by a gravity feed. To this extent, the guide means can be constituted by a ramp member provided in the presentation stand. In this manner it is ensured that the lowermost box in the stack slides through the opening by itself and arrives at the proper position in which its withdrawal area is exposed to the outside.
A the same time, the slope of the ramp member also makes sure that the products within the box are moved towards the withdrawal area rather than remaining in an inaccessible area of the box.
The slope angle of the ramp member will be suitably adapted dependent on the type of product to be dispensed. One possible slope angle is more than 10°, preferably more than 20°. Preferably, the slope angle is less than 60°, more preferred less than 45°. However, dependent on the circumstances, an even smaller angle of only a few degrees could be favourable, in particular if the products in the box are such that they easily slide towards the withdrawal aperture and a steeper angle would perhaps entrain the risk that the products fall out of the aperture. On the other hand, there will be products which require a steeper slope angle to make sure that they do arrive at the aperture and are not stuck within the box. In these cases the slope angle may be 45° or even more. Moreover, the surface on which the stand is to be placed may itself be angled relative to the horizontal. When selecting the angle such circumstances may be taken into account as well.
The shape of the box can suitably be designed so as to match the shape of the presentation stand. This does not only mean that the box must be sized so as to fit into the enclosure defined in the presentation stand and partially extend through the opening. The box could even be adapted to the guiding slope formed in the presentation stand insofar as the box can have the form of a parallelepiped, two opposing side faces of which have the form of a parallelogram with angles different from 90°, and the acute angle of the parallelogram and the sloping angle of the ramp member preferably add up to 90°.
It is, however, as well possible to use rectangular boxes with the presentation stand. This provides for a more advantageous manufacturing process being less complicated.
With regard to the materials used, the presentation stand and/or the box may be made from solid paperboard or corrugated board, in particular e-flute corrugated board. Yet, also other fiber based materials and/or materials are conceivable .
The most common corrugated board is single wall board, also known as double face board. It consists of two outer sheets of flat paper, called facings or liners, glued to a fluted, or corrugated, inner sheet, called medium.
Corrugated board can be produced in various thicknesses, or heights. This is accomplished by shaping the medium (or inner paper) of the board into any of several flute heights during the production, or corrugating, process.
The higher the flute, the thicker the corrugated board. To designate the various flute heights, or board thicknesses, the corrugated paperboard industry applies letters and, as a result, has derived designations such as A-flute, B-flute, C- flute, E-flute, and so on.
B-flute board is about 1/8-inch thick, E-flute is about 1/16- inch (1.5 mm) thick, or half as much
Apart from e-flute corrugated board, corrugated board in different thicknesses could also be used for the presentation stand and the boxes, as could entirely other materials. Of course, the presentation stand and the boxes do not need to be made from the same materials but different materials could be used. For the presentation stand, plastic or any other rigid material could be employed. For the boxes, paperboard could be used.
In order to facilitate the initial set-up of the system, the presentation stand may be designed such that it can be formed by folding at least one sheet-material blank, preferably a single sheet-material blank. It is then possible to provide the blank in a flat configuration for shipment and distribution, and easily complete the presentation stand by folding. Taking the presentation stand down and re-setting it up at a different location is equally easy.
This particularly applies in case the entire presentation stand, including the ramp member, is formed by folding a single sheet-material blank. A separate step of attaching the ramp member or other guide member to the presentation stand can then be omitted. For fixing the stand in the final configuration after folding the material blank, two parts of the blank, e.g. a side edge of the front face and a side edge of one of the side faces, can be engaged with each other. This may e.g. be accomplished by a slot/hook combination and/or a hole/protrusion combination.
Also the box may be formed by folding at least one sheet- material blank, preferably a single sheet-material blank.
The withdrawal area of the box is an area in which a withdrawal aperture can be formed through which the articles can be withdrawn from (taken out of) the box. During transport and storage the aperture is preferably closed or not yet established so as to prevent the articles from falling out or being withdrawn. Once the articles are to be dispensed, however, the withdrawal aperture must be provided. This can be done by arranging at least part of at least one of the faces of the box so that it is tearable away (e.g. by means of a perforation) , so as to expose at least one of the individual articles. For example, a part of the front face and/or a part of the lid of the box could be made tearable away, so as to generate the withdrawal aperture at the front end of the box which protrudes through the opening in the presentation stand. In case both a part of the front face and a part of the lid of the box may be torn away, the aperture would be facing frontward and upward. In this context and even though not preferred, the box could already be delivered with the withdrawal aperture being formed. Preferably, however, the withdrawal aperture is formed either immediately before the boxes are placed in the presentation stand or by a customer once a new box has been slid down protruding through the opening in the presentation stand.
As already explained, the box from which the individual products are to be withdrawn is suitably retained in a predetermined position with respect to the presentation stand, in which the withdrawal area of the box is exposed to the outside of the dispenser so that the products can be withdrawn. At the same time, care must be taken that the box is not completely removed through the opening, at least not as long as there are still products left in the box. In order to retain the box in the proper position, a retaining means may be provided. The retaining means may e.g. be provided in the form of interlocking features of the presentation stand and the box. This could be a side edge of the opening in the presentation stand which engages with the box in the withdrawal area thereof. The retaining means may also be constituted by a protrusion formed on one of the edges of the box, which cooperates with a slot or groove or a through hole formed in the presentation stand so as to retain the box in the predetermined position with respect to the presentation stand. The retaining means may as well be constituted by two protrusions, one being formed on one of the edges of the box and the other being formed in the presentation stand, wherein the both protrusions cooperate so as to retain the box in the predetermined position with respect to the presentation stand. The protrusions may thereby be formed by folding back and/or gluing a pad onto surfaces of the presentation stand and the box which in use are in contact.
In any event, in order to facilitate the removal of an empty box from the presentation stand, the arrangement could be such that the retaining means are operable so as to release the empty box from the predetermined position and allow the removal of the empty box through the opening in the presentation stand.
Brief description of the drawings
Figure 1 and la are a side views of a dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles according to two embodiments of the present invention. Figure 2 is a rear view of the system of Figure 1.
Figure 3 and 3a are a perspective views of a presentation stand which is part of the system of Figures 1 and la.
Figure 4 is a perspective view of a box which is also part of the system of Figures 1 and 2.
Figure 5 is a partial view of the box of Figure 4 in which a withdrawal aperture has been formed.
Figures 6, 6a and 7 show the outlines of the blanks used for the presentation stand of Figures 1 and la and one box of Figures 4 and 5, respectively.
Figure 8 is a side view of a dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles according to another embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 9 is a perspective view of a box which is also part of the system of Figure 8.
Figure 10 is a perspective view of a presentation stand which is part of the system of Figure 8.
Figures 11 and 12 show the outlines of the blanks used for the presentation stand of Figures 8 and 10 and one box of Figure 9, respectively.
Detailed description of embodiments of the invention
A dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles according to the present inventio will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. Figure 1 is a side view of a dispensing system for containing and dispensing individual articles according to the present invention.
The dispensing system of the present invention includes a presentation stand 1 in which several boxes 2 are accommodated in a stacked manner. Each of the boxes in turn includes several of the individual articles to be dispensed.
As shown in Figure 1 and also in Figure 3, which is a perspective view of only the presentation stand 1, the stand 1 has been folded from a single sheet material blank so as to comprise a front face 101, side faces 102 and 103, and an internal ramp member 105 which constitutes a sloping bottom of the stand.
The front face 101, side faces 102 and 103 and the ramp member 105 define an enclosure within the stand 1 within which the boxes 2 are stacked. At the bottom end of the front face 101, where the front face 101 meets the internal ramp member 105, an opening 106 is formed. As shown in Figure 1, the opening 106 is dimensioned such that the lowermost box 2 in the stack partially extends there through.
The slope angle of the ramp member 105 will be suitably adapted dependent on the type of product to be dispensed. In the present embodiment, the slope angle is about 20°.
The lowermost box 2 is to be retained in a predetermined position in the presentation stand 1 so as to allow the withdrawal of the individual products from the box 2. To this extent, the dispensing system includes a retaining means.
As becomes also clear from Figure 2, which is a rear view of the system of Figure 1, the retaining means is in this case constituted by a protrusion 207 formed on a rear surface of the box 2, which engages into a slot 107 formed in the internal ramp member 105 of the presentation stand. The slot 107 extends in the direction in which the lowermost box 2 moves into and through the opening 106, so that the box 2 is retained in the proper position as soon as the protrusion 207 meets the end of the slot 107.
In order to allow the removal of an empty box 2 from the presentation stand 1, the engagement between the protrusion 107 and the end of the slot 107 can simply be released by pushing the protrusion 107 from below so that the box 2 can completely slide through the opening 106 and be discarded. If the back is, however, not accessible, the box may even be manipulated at the front (pushing the front end downward) to raise the back edge and remove the box through the opening 106.
From Figure 1 it also becomes clear that because of the arrangement of the internal ramp 105, the exposed part of the box 2 is made to extend below the bottom level of the stand 1. In case the stand 1 is used on a shelf, it is therefore suitably placed so that the protruding part of the box 2 extends into the free space beyond the shelf edge or in front of the shelf edge, respectively. As an alternative, a kind of base or socket would have to be provided beneath the stand 1 as such. An alternative is shown in Figures la and 3a. In this alternative, a lower front face 110 is formed enabling a distance between the lower edge of the opening 106 and the bottom level of the stand 1. Because of this distance, it may as well be achieved that the box 2 protruding through the opening 106 remains with its front edge above the bottom level of the stand. This spacing may as well be achieved by folding the presentation stand 1 from a material blank as shown in Figure 6a as compared to the blank of Figure 6 used for forming the presentation stand shown in Figures 1 to 3.
Apart from accommodating and presenting the boxes 2, the presentation stand 1 can also fulfil the function of presenting information to the customers. In particular, the front face 101 of the stand 1 can be suitably used for this purpose.
Turning now to Figure 4, which is a perspective view of one box 2, the shape of the boxes 2 as such will be described.
The boxes 2 each have a front surface 101, side surfaces 202 and 203, a rear surface 204, a bottom surface 205, and a top surface or lid 206. The dimension of the boxes 2 are adapted to the individual articles to be dispensed, which could for example be cartons, bottles, pillow bags, tablets, tubes, cans, tubs, rolls such as mint rolls, or bags, e.g. bags of nuts.
At the same time, the shape of the box 2 is designed so as to match the shape of the presentation stand 1. This does not only mean that the box 2 is sized so as to fit into the enclosure defined in the presentation stand 1 and partially extend through the opening 106. The box 2 is further adapted to the slope of the ramp member 105 formed in the presentation stand 1 insofar as the box 2 has the form of a flat parallelepiped, two opposing side faces 202, 203 of which have the form of a parallelogram with angles different from 90°. The acute angle a of the parallelogram and the sloping angle γ of the ramp member 105 add up to 90° .
A further alternative embodiment in this regard is shown in Figures 8 to 12. In this embodiment, rectangular boxes are used in which the side faces of the box extend perpendicularly to the top and bottom faces. This leads to a less complicated configuration of the blank for forming the box as shown in Figure 12.
Each of the boxes 2 includes an area in which a withdrawal aperture for the withdrawal of at least one of the individual article can be formed: as shown in Figure 4, a perforation line 208 is provided which encompasses a part of the lid 206 of the box 2 as well as the front surface 201 thereof. As soon as the material delimited by the perforation line 208 has been removed, the withdrawal aperture 211 is generated. The withdrawal aperture 211 is provided for taking (picking) out one article after the other from the lowest box 2 protruding with the withdrawal opening through the opening 106.
Figure 5 is a partial view of the box of Figure 4 in which the withdrawal aperture 211 has been formed. As becomes clear from Figure 5, for forming the withdrawal aperture 211, both the front part of the lid 206 and a part of the front face 201 of the box 2 have been removed. In order to facilitate the tearing away of the material delimited by the perforation line 208, a gripping cut-out 209 is provided on the bottom edge of the front face 201. After tearing away, only two side tabs 210 remain of the front face 201, and of the top surface 206, the part which is adjacent the front face 201 has been removed. The shape and size of the aperture 211 are chosen so that the individual articles can conveniently be withdrawn from the box 2 but do not fall out easily.
In the front edge of the bottom surface 205 which terminates at the withdrawal aperture 211, a gripping cut-out 212 is formed which further facilitates the withdrawal of the articles.
In the present embodiment, both the presentation stand and the box are formed by folding a respective single sheet- material blank made from e-flute corrugated board. It is therefore possible to provide the blanks in a flat configuration for shipment and distribution, and easily complete the presentation stand by folding. Figures 6, 6a and 7 show the outlines of the blanks used for the presentation stand 1 as shown in Figures 1 to 3 and Figures la and 3a, respectively, and one box 2, respectively. The presentation stand 1 is configured such that the entire stand 1, including the ramp member 105, is folded from a single blank as shown in Figures 6, 6a and 11. As becomes also clear from the rear view of Figure 2, the ramp member 105 is connected with the side faces 102 and 103 by connecting folds 109, 112 extending parallel with the respective side faces 102 and 103. In other words, the presence of these connecting folds results in a triangular bottom area of each side face 102 and 103 which is double walled.
For fixing the stand 1 in the final configuration after folding the material blank of Figure 6 or 6a, a side edge of the front face 101 and a side edge of one of the side faces 103 of the stand 1 are engaged with each other by means of connecting flaps 108.
Alternatively and as shown in Figures 8, 10 and 11, the front face 101 may comprise an opening (through hole) having a rectangular form, whereas a side edge of one of the side faces 103 has a protruding part. Once the protruding part is passed through the through hole in the front face, it is once folded back and the edge of the protruding part facing the through hole is again engaged with the through hole in the front face 101 so as to engage the front face and the side face of the stand 1.
When the presentation stand 1 has been completed by folding the blank and fastening the connecting flaps 108, the stand 1 can be filled with a stack of boxes 2. Due to the presence of the internal ramp member 105, the lowermost box 2 in the stack will slide through the opening 106 in the front face 101 of the stand 1 by the influence of gravity. The protrusion 207 on the rear face of the box 2 engages with the end of the slot 107 in the ramp member 105 and retains the lowermost box 2 in the proper position with respect to the stand 1, in which at least that area of the box 2 in which the withdrawal aperture 211 is formed extends to the outside of the stand 1.
An alternative of the retaining means is shown in the embodiment in Figures 8 to 12. In particular, instead of the slot 107 and protrusion 207, a pad 1107 is formed at the front edge of the stand and folded back and glued onto the internal ramp member 105. Thus, at the front of the ramp member 105, there is formed a stop which is formed by the face of the pad 1107 directed away from the opening 106.
As shown in Figure 9, the bottom 205 of the box may have a partially cut-out portion that is cut at three edges and folded about the connecting edge back onto the bottom surface 205 forming a pad 1207 which may additionally be glued to the bottom of the box. The face of this folded back pad 1207 facing in use toward the opening 106 abuts at said face of the pad 1107 as shown in Figure 8 in order to retain the lowermost box 2 in the proper position with respect to the stand 1, in which at least that area of the box 2 in which the withdrawal aperture 211 is formed extends to the outside of the stand 1.
For taking out the boxes when empty (all articles have been taken out) , one only has to lift the front edge of each box and may then pull the box through the opening 106 as the face of the pad 1207 directed toward the opening 106 may pass over the face of the pad 1107 directed away from the opening 106.
The withdrawal apertures 211 of the boxes 2 are generated by tearing away the material delimited by the perforation lines 208. This can be done already prior to stacking the boxes 2 in the stand 1, so that the boxes 2 are ready for dispensing immediately when they arrive at the bottom of the stack. As an alternative, the withdrawal aperture could only be generated once the box 2 has arrived at the predetermined position in which the withdrawal area extends through the opening 106 in the stand 1.
The invention is not restricted to the above described embodiment. In fact, various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention, as it is defined by the appended claims.
In addition, the embodiments described above may variously be combined. For example, rectangular boxes similar to that shown in Figure 9 may as well be used in stands as shown in Figures 3 and 3a. Similar, the boxes as shown in Figure 4 as regards their shape may aleo be used with the stand as shown in Figure 10. Similar, the retaining means as shown in the embodiment in Figures 8 to 10 may as well be used instead of the protrusion 207 and the slot 107 in the embodiment shown in Figure 1 and la. Also the engaging means 108, 1108 may alternatively be used in the various embodiments. Thus, the specific features of the connection means, the retaining means, the shape of the box and the spacing by means of the additional front face 110 may be interchanged depending on the circumstances.
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|WO2004030497A1 *||16 Sep 2003||15 Apr 2004||Model Ag||Display unit consisting of a stand and inserted trays|
|WO2009093976A1 *||23 Jan 2009||30 Jul 2009||Sca Packaging Marketing Nv||Storage, transport and display system|
|DE3204998A1 *||12 Feb 1982||1 Sep 1983||Horst Engelbrecht||Device for storing a plurality of right-parallelepipedal articles, for example audio tape cassettes|
|US3450308||6 Oct 1967||17 Jun 1969||Schoenefeld William C||Article dispenser having an inclined bottom ramp and a front wall article outlet opening|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|WO2013155063A1 *||9 Apr 2013||17 Oct 2013||Meadwestvaco Corporation||Product dispensing system|
|WO2015021351A3 *||8 Aug 2014||16 Apr 2015||Meadwestvaco Packaging Systems, Llc||Systems and methods for dispensing articles from a carton|
|International Classification||A47F5/11, A47F1/06, A47F1/12, B65D5/54|
|Cooperative Classification||A47F1/12, A47F5/112, B65D5/542|
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