Patent application title: PACKAGING ASSEMBLY
David William Ingram (Brussels, BE)
Filip Dominique Hubert Vangeel (Vilvoorde, BE)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2552FI
Class name: Receptacles container attachment or adjunct
Publication date: 2012-12-06
Patent application number: 20120305579
The present invention relate to a packaging assembly comprising a. a
container having an orifice; and b. a cap, designed to cover said
orifice, comprising a top and bottom face and a side wall, said top face
comprising an part of an attachment system; and c. a further and
separable packaging component comprising an outer and an inner face and a
side wall, said inner face comprising the second part of the attachment
system, wherein said attachment system comprises a cooperating protrusion
1. A packaging assembly comprising a. a container (1) having an orifice;
and b. a cap (2), designed to cover the orifice, comprising a top face
(4) and bottom (5) face and a side wall (6), the top face comprising a
first part of an attachment system; and c. a further and separable
packaging component (3) comprising an outer face (8) and an inner face
(9) and a side wall (10), said inner face comprising a second part of the
attachment system (11), wherein the first part and second part of the
attachment system each one either a protrusion or a channel. Structured
such that the attachment system comprises both a protrusion and a
2. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the container (1) is a box, bottle, tub, tube.
3. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the cap (2) is a flip top cap.
4. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the packaging component (3) is selected from the group consisting of a dosing container, a label, a bundling device or a handle device.
5. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the packaging component (3) comprises side walls (10) and a contact edge (12) wherein the contact edge is not employed in the connection of the packaging component(3) to the cap (2).
6. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the packaging component (3) is completely separable from the cap (2).
7. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the cap (2) and packaging component (3) are made by injection molding.
8. A packaging assembly according to claim 1 wherein the cap (2) and packaging component (3) are made using plastic materials selected from polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, thermoplastic elastomer and mixtures thereof.
 The present application relates to a universal attachment system, wherein a packaging component can be attached to a package without requiring the use of the components circumference.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to the field of packaging, particularly packaging for use in the detergent industry, however one might conceive of many uses of the present packaging assembly and hence the present invention should not be unnecessarily limited to this field.
 Packaging containers are often sold with a further device, such as a dosing device. A dosing device is provided by the detergent manufacturer as it is generally accepted that the consumer perceives better cleaning when the detergent product is added directly to the wash drum, rather than being dispensed through the drawer. However, there is a generic problem in the provision of dosing devices; they can become detached and separated from the container. Thus when the consumer comes to buy the package, they no longer have access to the dosing device. It has been an aim of the present invention to provide an improved attachment system of a packaging component, such as a dosing device, to a container. In achieving this aim, however, the Applicant has solved further problems. The attachment system can also be used to attach other items to a container, such as for example a label or a handle mechanism.
 Generally dosing devices have been attached to the package by the gripping of the orifice of the dosing device onto the side wall of the bottle or cap. This arrangement has a serious disadvantage in that the dosing device is easily removed. However, in addition to this, the designer of dosing devices is also constrained by the need to closely fit the orifice of the dosing device to the diameter of the cap or bottle. Thus, the further benefit of the present attachment system is that because of the location of the attachment system there is no longer a design constraint to mold the orifice of the dosing device so as to fit onto and hold the container. The designer can therefore more freely design the shape of the dosing device.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 According to the present invention there is provided a packaging assembly comprising  a. a container (1) having an orifice; and  b. a cap (2), designed to cover said orifice, comprising a top (4) and bottom (5) face and a side wall (6), said top face comprising an part of an attachment system (7); and  c. a further and separable packaging component (3) comprising an outer (8) and an inner (9) face and a side wall (10), said inner face comprising the second part of the attachment system (11), wherein said attachment system comprises a cooperating protrusion and channel.
DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES
 FIG. 1 provides a cross section view of the present invention, comprising a container, cap and dosing device packaging component.
 FIG. 2 provides a perspective view of the cap with attachment part.
 FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of a dosing container packaging component.
 FIG. 4 provides a bottom view of a dosing container packaging component.
 FIG. 5 provides a perspective view of the present invention when used as a label device.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to a packaging assembly system for attachment to a container (1). The container may be a box, tub, tube, or other convenient receptacle, but is preferably a bottle. The container has an orifice, through which product is dispensed, and a releasable and at least partially removable cap (2) designed to close said orifice. The cap (2) comprises a top (4) and bottom (5) face and a side wall (6). The bottom face (5) of the cap (2) faces the internal space of the container and the top face (4) is directly opposed and thus faces away from the internal space of the container. The packaging assembly comprising an attachment system. The attachment system comprises two parts, channel (7) and a protrusion (11). The top face (4) of the cap comprises a first part of an attachment system (7). Hence the cap (2) may comprise either the channel or the protrusion, more preferably the channel (7).
 Preferably the cap (2) is a flip top cap, comprising a container attachment portion and a hinged lid. In this embodiment the attachment system is on the top face of the lid.
 The packaging assembly of the present invention additionally comprises a further and separable packaging component (3). Preferably the packaging component (3) is entirely separable from the cap. The additional packaging component (3) may be for example a further container, a linking device, a label attachment or combinations thereof. Preferably the additional packaging component (3) is a dosing device container. The packaging component comprises an outer (8) and an inner (9) face and a side wall (10). The inner face (9) is that which is in contact with the cap (2) and the outer face (8) is that which is directly opposed. The packaging component has side walls (10) and preferably a contact edge (12). The contact edge (12), here present, is the edge contacting the cap (2) or bottle (1). The inner face (9) of the packaging component comprises the second part of the attachment system (11). The attachment system comprises a channel and a protrusion. Hence the packaging component comprises either the channel or the protrusion, more preferably the protrusion (11). The packaging component is attachable to said cap by means of the cooperation of the protrusion and channel.
 In a preferred embodiment the cap (2) comprises a channel (7) and the packaging component (3) comprises a protrusion (11). This embodiment is preferred as it permits easier and more accurate alignment of the components of the attachment system.
 The packaging component (3) is preferably a dosing container. The dosing container is generally configured as a cup with sides sufficiently tall so as to hold a sufficient quantity of product. The inner face of the packaging component is that which faces the cap. The part of the attachment system on the packaging component may be located on the bottom of the cup. Alternatively the part of the attachment system on the packaging component may be located on the inside of the cup. In this embodiment, the cup is inverted for attachment to the cap. The contact edge (12) of the packaging component is the free edge at the top of the container side wall (10). In the embodiment where the dosing container (3) is inverted and attached to the cap (2), the contact edge (12) may make contact with the cap or bottle or with neither, depending on the height of the dosing device wall. The benefits in this construction are that firstly the dosing container can be made with a wide mouth, which improves dosing accuracy and ease. Secondly it provides additional design freedom of the dosing device, cap and bottle, since the designer is no longer constrained by the need to make the mouth of the dosing container fit tightly over the cap and bottle neck.
 The attachment system comprises a channel (7) and a protrusion (11). The size and shape of both are to be coordinated to achieve the best fit and connection. Preferably the channel and protrusion are concentric. Preferably they have a circular or ellipsoid shape in aerial view. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the channel comprises a depth of from 0.5 mm to 10 mm, more preferably from 1 mm to 7 mm, more preferably from 2 mm to 5 mm. The protrusion is obviously designed to cooperate with the channel and so is from 0.5 mm to 10 mm tall, more preferably from 1 mm to 7 mm, more preferably from 2 mm to 5 mm tall. The channel therefore comprises 2 concentric walls; an inner and an outer wall. The attachment system can function merely on the existence of friction between the channel walls and the protrusion. However, preferably the attachment system is equipped with a locking system to improve the contact attachment. More preferably said locking system consists of a snap bead or hook arrangement.
 A Snap bead locking system comprises a first surface with a first bead and a second surface which is forced over the first bead. The friction between the surfaces and the first bead provides a locking system. The construction can also include a second bead on the second surface, such that the beads grip one another in the locked phase. In the present invention, the first surface is provided by the channel and the second surface is provided by the protrusion. Preferably the packaging component of the present invention comprises a snap bead locking system comprising the first and the second bead.
 A hook locking system works in a similar way to that for the snap bead, with the difference that the bead is then changed for a hook.
 The snap bead or hook locking system can be placed at any suitable point along the depth of the channel. Where a bead or hook exists on the protrusion it is preferably located at the distal end thereof. It is preferred that the bead or hook is located at approximately half the depth of the channel. The locking system can be located on the inside or outside wall of the channel, but is preferably located on the inside wall. The inside wall is that which is closer to the center of the cap or packaging component.
 The force required to remove the packaging component from the cap is herein defined as the removal force. The removal force can be tailored to the needs of the manufacturer. Methods of varying the removal force of a snap bead system include increasing or decreasing the depth of the snap bead, raising or lowering the location of the snap bead along the depth of the channel, increasing or decreasing the depth of any bead on the protrusion and varying the flexibility of the material used to make the protrusion and/or the cap. Methods for varying the removal force of a hook system include increasing or decreasing the angle of the channel or protrusion. In a particularly preferred embodiment the attachment system comprises a snap bead construction. Preferably the snap bead in the channel exhibits a depth of between 0.05 mm to 0.25 mm, more preferably between 0.07 mm and 0.2 mm, more preferably 0.1 mm to 0.15 mm. Alternatively, the removal force may be varied in the snap bead construction system by incorporating a second bead on the protrusion. The bead on the protrusion may also have a depth of from 0.05 mm to 0.25 mm, preferably from 0.07 mm to 0.2 mm, more preferably 0.1 mm to 0.15 mm.
 The removal force of the attachment system is preferably within the range of from 3N to 150N. More preferably the removal force for a dosing container is in the range of from 3N to 10N, more preferably from 3.5N to 9N, more preferably from 5N to 9N. This range is sufficient for the packaging assembly to withstand transport, but is also an acceptable removal force to the consumer.
 More preferably the cap (2) and packaging component (3) are made using any suitable plastic material. The cap and the packaging component may be made from the same or different materials. Preferred plastic materials are selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, polyethylene, polyurethane, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) or mixtures thereof. Most preferably the cap and packaging component are made from the same material. The cap and packaging component may be made using any suitable technique, however they are preferably made using the same technique, and more preferably by injection molding. The benefit of injection molding to make both cap and packaging component are the improved precision of the molding process resulting in a improved fit of both and thus the improved connection and attachment.
 In an alternative embodiment, the packaging component may another element which is desirable to attach to the container. The Applicant has envisaged the use of the system to attach a label, bundling or a handle device. A label device (13) (FIG. 5) would consist of the necessary part of the attachment system and label which provides the inner and outer faces and side walls. In this embodiment, it is clear that the side walls could be thin; for example the width of paper or card. The part of the attachment system is attached onto the inner face of the label, such that it is attachable to the cap (2). The label device can be made from any suitable material including paper, card, plastic or mixtures thereof. The labeling device may also comprise a promotional tool, such as a free sample product or other attention attracting device. The removal force of the labeling device is preferably higher than for a dosing container and as such is preferably within the range of from 3 to 40N, more preferably from 10 to 30N.
 A bundling device is used to attach two or more containers together, such that they can be sold together. In this embodiment the packaging component comprises two or more attachment parts. The attachment parts are then connected with coordinating parts on two or more container caps, so as to keep the two packaging assemblies together. The bundling device can be made of any appropriate material that fits the needs. The bundling device is preferably made using plastic, more preferably polypropylene, polyethylene, polyurethane and mixtures thereof.
 A handle device comprises on or more attachment part and a handle portion. The device may comprise more than one attachment part, such that two or more packages can be attached together. In this embodiment, the locking system of the channel and protrusion need to be more robust. This can be achieved by widening the bead on a snap fit assembly or using a hook system. The removal force for the bundling and handle devices are preferably from 30N to 150N, more preferably 30 to 120N. Clearly a higher removal force is required for heavier containers.
 The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as "40 mm" is intended to mean "about 40 mm".
 Every document cited herein, including any cross referenced or related patent or application, is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety unless expressly excluded or otherwise limited. The citation of any document is not an admission that it is prior art with respect to any invention disclosed or claimed herein or that it alone, or in any combination with any other reference or references, teaches, suggests or discloses any such invention. Further, to the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the same term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to that term in this document shall govern.
 While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.
Patent applications in class CONTAINER ATTACHMENT OR ADJUNCT
Patent applications in all subclasses CONTAINER ATTACHMENT OR ADJUNCT