Traitement en cours

Veuillez attendre...

Paramétrages

Paramétrages

1. GB2046228 - CLOSURE FOR A BOTTLE BOTH BEING OF NON-CIRCULAR CROSS-SECTION

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique
SPECIFICATION
Stoppering device and method for a necked bottle, and package formed by use thereof
It is known that many products are packaged in bottles with shapes which are not bodies of revolution about the neck axis. In many cases, these bottles are associated with stoppers having specific shapes provided so as to form an aesthetically pleasing juncture with the bottle.
The aesthetically pleasing juncture presupposes, of course, that the stopper in its leakproof closed position should be in a predetermined position in relation to the bottle. In that case, practical difficulties derive from the fact that it is necessary to obtain at the same time, on the one hand, the stoppering seal and, on the other hand, the desired positioning of the stopper in relation to the bottle. In general, this result can only be obtained by providing a stoppering device in two elements formed by, on the one hand, a revolving stoppering which is first fixed on the bottle to obtain the seal and, on the other hand, a cap having the required external shape for the stoppering device which is then added to the stopper in the desired position in relation to the bottle.
This two stage operation is particularly irksome in that to obtain the stoppering on automatic packing lines, in most cases manual intervention is required.
The object of the present invention is to overcome the above mentioned drawback by proposing a stoppering device which may be easily positioned on automatic packaging lines, whilst having regard to both the leakproof seal of the bottle and the satsifactory positioning of the external cap of the stoppering device in relation to the bottle.
According to the invention we provided a stoppering device for a necked bottle comprising a closing stopper adapted to be fixed on the bottle neck, said stopper comprising a peripheral ring adapted to be severed from the said stopper; and a cap surmounting the said stopper, said cap comprising, on the one hand, first means operable to secure the cap to the said ring and, on the other hand, second means operable to secure the cap to the remainder of the stopper after the ring has been severed from the said remainder of the stopper.
The stoppering device thus comprises the stopper which is fixed on the neck of the bottle to obtain the required seal and the cap which is originally sealingly fixed to the stopper by means of the peripheral ring but which cap, at the end of the positioning movement, can together with the ring be severed from the stopper so that the cap is capable of free rotation around the bottle and may be mechanically orientated in relation to the bottle.
In a second stage, the correctly orientated cap is secured to the bottle by operation of the second securing means, for instance engageable grooves and splines carried by the cap and bottle. It will be seen that with such a stoppering device it is possible to obtain without any manual intervention, on the one hand, the leak-proof closing of a bottle and on the other hand, the orientation of the external structure of the stoppering device in relation to the bottle.
In a preferred embodiment, the peripheral ring is connected to the stopper by means of at least one predetermined easily breakable zone; the peripheral ring is preferably fixed to the stopper by a plurality of predetermined breakable connections regularly distributed over the stopper circumference; the peripheral ring is coaxial with the stopper.
In a first variant of this embodiment, the first securing means is formed by a groovespline assembly of the peripheral ring and by a corresponding groove-spline assembly of the cap; the grooves and splines of the first securing means have a slight conical taper which locks the peripheral ring axially in relation to the cap.
In second variant of the embodiment, the first securing means comprise catch engagement formations of the cap and the ring engageable to prevent any relative rotation of the cap with respect to the ring; the catch engagement formations on the cap and the ring comprise several projections on the cap or the ring, regularly distributed around the stopper axis, and corresponding regularly distributed recesses, of the ring or the cap, respectively.
The said first securing means may have a part thereof formed on an external skirt of the cap. Alternatively, the said first securing means may have a part thereof formed on an inner sleeve of the cap, the said inner sleeve being surrounded by an external skirt disposed around the stopper ring.
Provision may advantageously be made for the said second securing means to be formed by an external groove-spline set of the stopper and by a corresponding internal groove-spline set of the cap; the said groove-spline set of the cap, which forms part of the said second securing means, may be arranged on the inner wall of an inner sleeve of the cap, the said inner sleeve being surrounded by an external skirt of the cap. Advantageously, the fixing by grooves and splines of the second fixing means may be achieved with the assistance of a slight conical taper to effect axial locking of the cap in relation to the bottle.
Provision may be made for the second securing means to be associated with an axial stop limiting the axial displacement of the cap in relation to the stopper to a value which is sufficient to achieve securing of the cap to the stopper; the said axial stop may be carried by the cap or by the stopper.
The present invention also provides a new industrial product constituted by a container comprising a necked bottle stoppered by means of the stoppering device of the invention.
It is clear that the stoppering device of the invention allows elimination of all manual intervention on automatic packaging lines during the stoppering of a bottle with respect to which the external structure of the cap of the stoppering device is to be orientated.
The invention also provides, therefore, a method of stoppering a necked bottle of noncircular cross-section using a presentation cap of non-circular cross-section comprising taking the particular form of stoppering device of the invention in which the said second securing means comprise splines and grooves and in which the peripheral ring is connected to the stopper by at least one predetermined breakable zone, the device being preassembled with said first securing means connecting the peripheral ring to the cap, the ring and the cap being of non-circular cross-section, fastening the stopper to the bottle neck, rotating the cap and the peripheral ring with respect to the bottle neck to sever the ring from the stopper, advancing the non-circular cross-section bottle between guides which hold the bottle against rotation about its axis while advancing the non-circular cross-section cap of the stoppering device between convergent guides which orientate the cap with respect to the bottle body, and then depressing the cap and the ring in a direction axially of the bottle neck and towards the bottle body to engage said grooves and splines of the second securing means to complete the closing operation. The operation which is conventional on packaging lines for non-circular caps, produces severance of the peripheral ring from the stopper so that the cap which is fixed to the ring becomes free to rotate in relation to the stopper which has by now become locked in a sealing manner on the bottle neck.The orientation of the cap in relation to the bottle may then be obtained in a simple way by displacing the bottle between the mechanical guides and the interfixing of the cap and of the stopper is then ensured by lowering the cap on the stopper, this lowering producing the activation of the second securing means where these are constituted by the grooves and splines. For this lowering to be effected in a reproducible manner, an axial drive stop is provided, and to prevent separation of the cap from the stopper a conical taper is provided at the joint of the cap on the stopper. At the end of the operation, the cap is fixed to the stopper by means of the second securing means, and the stopper has become locked in a sealing manner on the bottle neck while the cap is suitably orientated in relation to the bottle body.
In order that the present invention may more readily be understood two embodiments, represented on the attached drawings, will now be described by means of purely illustrative and non-restrictive examples. In these drawings:
Figure 1 is an axial cross-section, in exploded form, of the stopper and cap of a first variant of the stoppering device according to the invention;
Figure 2 is an axial cross-section showing the two components of Fig. 1 assembled together before positioning on a bottle on an automatic packaging line;
Figure 2A shows a cross-section on the line
IIA-IIA of Fig. 2, the profile of the bottle being shown in dash dot lines and the guides for the cap being shown in dashed lines;
Figure 3 shows an axial cross-section of the stoppering device of Fig. 2 after positioning on the bottle;;
Figure 4 shows an axial cross-section of a second variant of the stoppering device according to the invention before it is positioned on a bottle, the cap and the stopper of this stoppering device being already assembled on each other; and
Figure 5 shows an axial cross-section of the stoppering device of Fig. 4 after it has been positioned on a bottle.
Referring to Figs. 1 to 3, it will be seen that the stoppering device according to the invention is constituted by a stopper 1 and a cap 2.
Stopper 1 comprises a cylindrical body 1 a fitted internally with an internal screw thread 1 b and obturated at one of its ends by an end wall 1 c. Stopper 1 is intended to be screwed on the externally threaded neck of a bottle 3 shown in Fig. 3. Stopper 1 comprises an external peripheral ring 4 which is connected to stopper 1 by a multiplicity of predetermined breakable connections which are regularly arranged around the circumference of stopper 1 in the predetermined breakable zone designated as 4a on Figs. 1 and 2. On its edge which is not directly connected stopper 1 by the breakable connections in zone 4a, the ring 4 carries four catch engagement slots 5 regularly distributed over its circumference.
The cap 2 is formed by an external skirt 6, concentric with a first inner sleeve 7 and a second inner sleeve 8. At its lower end, the skirt 6 comprises four catch engagement projections 9 regularly distributed around its circumference. Sleeves 7 and 8 are bodies of revolution around their common axis which constitutes the axis of the cap 2 but, as may be clearly seen in Fig. 2a, the skirt 6 is not a body of revolution. The ring 4 associated with the stopper 1 has a top free edge which has a shape corresponding to the lower free edge of skirt 6 so that it can be connected to the skirt by co-operation of the catch engagement projections 9 of the cap with the engagement slots 5 of the stopper. When the skirt 6 is assembled in this way on ring 4 by catch engagement, the stoppering device shown in
Fig. 2 is obtained.In this assembled device, the skirt 6 and ring 4 are connected along a line of juncture 10, and the cylindrical sleeve 7 comes to be positioned around the upper part of the cylindrical barrel 1 a of the stopper 1. In the embodiment described, the rim of ring 4 is located above the level of the upper end 1 C of the stopper and the rim of the cylindrical sleeve 7 is located below the level of the rim of skirt 6. in the assembled position, found in Fig. 2, the cap 2 is fixed to the stopper 1 by the cooperation of four engagement catches 5 and 9 and the fitting together of the rims of the skirt 6 and ring 4.
On the circumference of the cylindrical barrel 1 a of stopper 1, provision has been made for a set of external grooves and splines 1 d disposed at the upper part of the said cylindrical barrel 1 a, that is to say, near end 1 c.
Similarly, within the sleeve 7 provision has been made for a system of internal grooves and splines 7a so that system 7a may be engaged with system 1 d by a relative travel of sleeve 7 in relation to the cylindrical barrel 1 a. The groove and spline system 7a does not extend down to the free edge of sleeve 7, but stops substantially at the level of the rim of skirt 6.
The two components shown separated in
Fig. 1, and constituted by stopper 1 on the one hand and cap 2 on the other hand, are made separately by moulding of a plastics material. These two components are then assembled as indicated above by catch engagement of elements 5, and 9 as shown in Fig.
2, and the stoppering device thus obtained is then or subsequently positioned in the stoppering machine of an automatic packaging line on which the bottles 3 (Fig. 3) are filled with the liquid to be stored. At one point of the packaging line, the line comprises a stoppering machine which automatically screws, onto the neck of a bottle 3, a stopper device such as that shown in Fig. 2. On termination of the screwing operation, the seal is obtained by the locking of end wall 1 C on the rim of the neck.The stoppering machine achieves screwing of the stoppering device on the neck by externally seizing the skirt 6 and the screwing torque is such that when the seal is obtained and further rotation of the cylindrical barrel 1 a of the stopper is prevented, the connections of the ring 4 to the cylindrical barrel 1 a at zone 4a are ruptured, and thus the ring 4 becomes free to turn in relation to the cylindrical barrel 1 a.
The stoppering machine then releases skirt 6, and the bottle provided with its stoppering device is carried along by a conveyor belt in the direction of arrow F (Fig. 2A) between two lateral guides 11 represented by dashed lines on Fig. 2A. Fig. 2A also shows, represented by dashed lines, convergent guides 1 2 intended to orientate the stoppering device. On this Fig. 2A, the bottle 3 has been represented by dot dash lines. The convergent guides 1 2 bring the stoppering device to the predetermined desired orientation in relation to the bottle.
In the case shown, the stoppering device has a substantially rectangular shape in plan, in the same way as does the bottle 3, and the respective minor axes of the stoppering device and of the bottle are colinear. The orientation of the external structure of the stoppering device in relation to the bottle is made possible by virtue of the fact that the cap 2, fixed to ring 4, may turn freely in relation to the cylindrical barrel 1 a of the stopper.
In the subsequent stage of the packing operation, downward thrust is applied to the top part of the cap 2, i.e. towards bottle 3 and along the bottle axis: This pressure produces movement of cap 2 axially with respect to the cylindrical barrel 1 a of the stopper. This lowering of the cap 2 in relation to the cylindrical barrel 1 a is stopped when the sleeve 8 abuts the end wall 1 C of the stopper, this sleeve 8 thus constituting an axial stop.
During this movement, the groove-spline system 7a of sleeve 7 meshes with the groovespline system 1 d of the cylindrical barrel 1 a and ensures fixing of the cap 2 against rotation relative to the cylindrical barrel 1 a. Of course during this movement the ring 4, which is now fixed to cap 2, is displaced axially in relation to the cylindrical barrel 1 a until it comes to conceal this cylindrical barrel almost completely, as shown in Fig. 3. The axial gripping of the cap 2 to the cylindrical barrel 1 a is obtained by giving the interacting groove and spline systems 1 d, 7a a slight conical taper, for example a conical taper of 0.5 or 1 included angle in relation to the neck axis. In this way, cap 2 becomes fixed to the cylindrical barrel 1 a of the stopper so that the stopper may be unscrewed by the user grasping and rotating cap 2.
The advantage of the device described above is that on an automatic packaging line manual intervention is no longer necessary to orientate the non-circular cap 2 in relation to the non-circular bottle 3. This device may be applied irrespective of the shape of cap 2, and it is extremely cheap since the two components of the stoppering device may be obtained in a simple way from a plastics material by moulding. It is quite clear that the fixing together of the cylindrical barrel 1 a to the sleeve 7 of cap 2 may be obtained in any other way than by the cooperation of two groove spline assemblies; for instance fixing may be by force-fitting of the sleeve 7 on the cylindrical barrel 1 a of the stopper, again with tapering engagement surfaces if desired.
Referring now to a second variant of the stoppering device in accordance with the present invention, shown in Figs. 4 and 5, there will be seen the stopper 21 and the cap 22 of the stoppering device. The assembly 21, 22 is intended to stopper a bottle 23 which has, when viewed in plan, the same shape as the bottle 3 of the first variant (shown in Figs. 1 to 3). In plan view, the cap 22 also has the same shape as cap 2 of the first variant.
The stopper 21 comprises a cylindrical barrel 21 a having an internal screw thread 21 b, the cylindrical barrel 21 a being obturated near its top part by an end wall 21 C. The end wall 21 tis topped by a sleeve 21 and the cylindrical barrel 21 a is surrounded by a peripheral ring 24 which is connected to the cylindrical barrel 21 a by breakable connections arranged in the zone 24a and regularly distributed around the circumference of the ring 24. The cylindrical barrel 21 a and the ring 24 are bodies of revolution about a common axis which is intended to be identical with that of the bottle neck on which the stoppering device is to be fitted.The upper part of the stopper 21 is formed by the crown 21 e and also by the cylindrical side wall of the upper part of barrel 21 a: this zone comprises an external groove and spline system 21 e formed over the whole circumference of the said zone. This groove and spline system has a slight conical taper of approximately 0.5 or 1, included angle in relation to the axis of stopper 21. This groove and spline system 21 dextends downwardly from the upper edge of the crown 21 e as far as a shoulder 21 f disposed at a level slightly higher than that of the zone 24a of the breakable connections.
Ring 24 has, on its inner wall facing the groove spline system 21 d, an internal groove spline system 24b also having a slight conical taper in relation to the stopper axis.
Cap 22 has an optional, decorative outer skirt 26 having, when viewed in plan, a shape similar to skirt 6 of Fig. 2A. Within skirt 26 there is situated a sleeve 27 which has an external groove-spline system 27b extending over its whole height and an internal groove spline system 27a arranged only on its upper part (for engagement with the groove-spline system 21 dof the barrel 21). The groovespline system 27a is bounded on its upper part by an internal shoulder 27coy the cap.
Components 21 and 22 of the stoppering device of Figs. 4 and 5 are made separately by moulding from plastics material. They are then assembled by engaging the sleeve 27 within the annular gap existing between the ring 24 and the external groove spline system 21 d. This engagement is effected by axial displacement and causes the groove and spline systems 24b and 27b to cooperate so that cap 22 is locked against rotation with respect to the stopper 21. Cap 22 is depressed relative to the stopper 21 until the rim of sleeve 27 abuts the frangible connecting zone 24a of the ring 24 with the cylindrical barrel 21 a of stopper 21. The stoppering device then forms an assembly whose two components are interfixed.
This assembly is then placed into the magazine of a stoppering machine of an automatic packaging line and, as has been described in the case of the variant of Figs. 1 to 3, the stoppering machine externally grasps the cap 22 and screws the stoppering device on to the threaded neck of a filled bottle 23. The end of the screwing operation is achieved when the rim of the bottle neck abuts the end wall 21 of stopper 21 and the torque applied by the machine is such that rupture of the connections of the ring 24 to the cylindrical barrel 21 a of the stopper is produced by reason of the two groove spline systems 24b and 27b which lock cap 22 against rotation relative to the ring 24.Cap 22 is then free to rotate in relation to the cylindrical barrel 21 a, and the ring 24 has become fixed to the cap 22 by reason of the conical taper of the groove spline systems 24b, 27b.
The bottle 23 is then carried along by a conveyor belt, as in the case of the first variant, illustrated in Figs. 1 to 3, and the cap 22 is orientated in relation to bottle 23 by means of lateral guides as has already been described. When a suitable orientation has been obtained in relation to the bottle, axial thrust is applied to the cap 22, downwardly, i.e. towards the bottle. This thrust produces the lowering of the cap 22 onto the stopper 21, and hence the engagement of the groovespline system 27a with the groove-spline system 21 dto fix the cap 22 against rotation relative to the stopper 21. This lowering is carried out until the rim of crown 21 e abuts the shoulder 27c. At this moment, the operation is complete. The user may grasp and rotate the cap 22 to unscrew the stopper 21 because the cap 22 is fixed to this stopper by the groove-spline systems 27a and 21 b. The advantages of this second variant shown in
Figs. 4 and 5 are the same as those which have been mentioned in the case of the first variant shown in Figs. 1 to 3.