US Classes206/242, FOR TOBACCO, PIPE OR CIGARETTE HOLDER229/87.06, Including transparent portion or window229/87.13For a pack of cigarettes or cigars
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassesB65D 85/10
The present invention relates to a pack containing packets of cigarettes, and more precisely to a carton for packets of cigarettes.
The term `carton` is used herein to describe a pack identifiable as a wrapper containing multiple packets of cigarettes, each enveloped in a respective individual wrapper.
Conventionally, the wrapper of such a carton can be of rigid type, that is to say, fashioned from a flat blank of stiff paper material, or alternatively, the wrapper can be of a soft type fashioned from a leaf of pliable paper material.
The soft type of carton wrapper will in general present a substantially plain parallelepiped appearance, whereas the rigid type of wrapper can present a notable variety of shapes including, for example, parallelepiped with sharp, bevelled or rounded corner edges, also prismatic, presenting a triangular or hexagonal cross section, as well as other familiar shapes and styles.
As regards the packets of cigarettes, these are provided with a double wrapping, or more exactly, an inner wrapper in direct contact with the cigarettes, and an outer wrapper of paper material that can be of either rigid or soft type, in like manner to the carton wrapper described previously.
In the case of a rigid cigarette packet, the outer wrapper is obtained from a flat diecut blank presenting crease lines and processable in such a way as to create a rigid hinge-lid type of packet, by way of example.
In the case of a soft cigarette packet, the outer wrapper is fashioned from a leaf of pliable wrapping material.
In addition, both the carton and the single packets contained in the carton are enveloped routinely in a further outer wrapping, or overwrap, of transparent thermoplastic material. The carton wrapper, and similarly the wrappers of the single cigarette packets, are printed typically with an abundance of lettering and graphic information serving both to identify the brand and to indicate the essential characteristics of the cigarettes contained in the pack.
Moreover, and particularly in the case of rigid packs, it is usual to mark the wrappers of the carton and of the single packets with graphic elements reproduced in relief, by means of embossing and knurling procedures.
This further processing step performed on carton and packet wrapper blanks of the type in question involves the use not only of standard printing systems but also of dedicated equipment, such as rollers, which obviously must be replaced when switching production from one brand to another.
It will be evident from the foregoing that there are extremely high costs attached to the production of these packs, which involves the use of systems including not only improved printing devices, but also embossing and knurling devices.
With frequent demands from the market for additional markings and/or distinctive lettering to customize the product further, manufacturing costs are driven higher and the extra features in question are not easily provided, due to the lack of available space on the surface of the pack.
Indeed it will be appreciated that in relatively recent times, with the introduction of anti-smoking laws, various health warnings have been added to the aforementioned lettering and relief graphics, since many countries now require such warnings to be displayed both on the wrappers of cartons and on the wrappers of single packets.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
The object of the present invention is to provide a pack, containing packets of cigarettes, such as will meet the aforementioned demands of the market without any further increase in the cost of producing wrappers, whether for cartons or for the single packets contained in a carton.
The stated object is realized in a pack according to the present invention, of which the essential features are as recited in any one or more of the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will now be described in detail, by way of example, with the aid of the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a first embodiment of a pack containing packets of cigarettes, viewed schematically in perspective, and shown in a closed configuration and an open configuration, respectively;
FIG. 3 shows a packet of cigarettes forming part of the pack illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, viewed in perspective and with certain parts cut away for clarity;
FIG. 4 shows the pack of FIGS. 1 and 2, with one detail illustrated in an alternative embodiment;
FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate two further embodiments of a pack according to the invention, viewed schematically and in perspective.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
With reference to FIG. 1, numeral 1 denotes a pack containing packets of cigarettes and comprising a rigid carton 2, substantially parallelepiped in appearance, of which the longitudinal axis is denoted L.
The carton 2 is furnished with a wrapper 3 presenting two larger side walls 4 and 5, top and bottom respectively, two smaller side walls 6 and 7, front and rear respectively, and two end walls or end faces 8 and 9 positioned left and right as viewed in the drawings.
Referring also to FIG. 2, the top side wall 4 functions as a lid 10, connected to the rear side wall 7 along a hinge line 11 coinciding with the corner edge along which the two walls 4 and 7 are joined.
The wrapper also presents a flap 12, joined to the edge of the top side wall 4 farthest from the hinge line 11 and bent to a right angle, which connects with the front side wall 6 when the lid is in the closed position.
The wrapper 3 accommodates a plurality of rigid hinge-lid cigarette packets 13, substantially parallelepiped in appearance and arranged with longitudinal axes L' disposed transversely to the axis L of the carton.
The packets 13 are ordered in two rows, laid flat one on top of another, and furnished with individual wrappers 14 each presenting two larger side walls 15 and 16, front and rear respectively, two smaller side or flank walls 17 and 18, and two end walls constituting a top end face 19 and a bottom end face 20.
As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the space enclosed by the wrapper 14 is occupied by cigarettes, denoted 21, enveloped in a second or inner wrapper 22 and lying parallel to the axis L' of the packet, arranged in three layers respectively of seven, six and seven cigarettes, by way of example.
The lid 10 of the carton wrapper 3 presents an opening, or window 23, extending parallel to the axis L and presenting a substantially rectangular outline, with rounded ends.
The front wall 15 of each packet 13 likewise presents an opening or window 24, similar to that of the carton, and at least a portion of the inner wrapper 22 located beneath the window will be of transparent material.
As discernible from FIG. 1, when the lid 10 of the carton is closed, the window 23 presented by the top wall 4 of the wrapper 3 coincides with the window 24 presented by the front wall 15 of the packet 13 at the leftwardmost end of the top row, so as to create an opening A by which graphic elements 25 printed on the cigarettes 21 of the top layer can be exposed to view.
Each window 23 and 24 is preferably sealed by a film 26 of transparent thermoplastic material applied to the wall 4 of the carton wrapper 3 and to the wall 15 of the packet wrapper 14, on the respective inside faces.
The pack 1 illustrated in FIG. 4 differs from that of FIGS. 1 and 2 in that the lid 10 presents a window 23 of length such as to coincide with two windows 24 of two adjacent packets 13 making up the top row, so that the graphic elements 25 presented by two top layers of cigarettes 21 belonging to two different packets 13 are exposed to view.
FIG. 5 illustrates a pack 1 comprising a carton 2 of which the wrapper again appears parallelepiped but in this instance is of hinge-lid design, that is to say presenting the same structure as that of the single packets 13 illustrated in the drawings.
In the pack 1 of FIG. 5, the packets 13 are ordered in two rows placed one on top of the other, with respective axes L' parallel to the longitudinal axis L of the carton 2. In this instance the windows 23 of the carton 2 are positioned on the smaller side or flank walls, denoted 27.
Finally, the pack shown in FIG. 6 is of prismatic geometry, appearing hexagonal in section and designed to contain a plurality of packets 13 (six) having a triangular cross section. A window 23 might be located on one or on all the side walls 28 of the carton 2, positioned to coincide with a window 24 located on one wall of a corresponding packet 13.
In practice, the windows 23 and 24 could present any given outline and coincide one with another only in part.
Self-evidently, a pack embodied in accordance with the present invention is able to meet the demands of the market for a high level of customization in the packaging of tobacco products, and without any appreciable increase in production costs, particularly printing costs, related to wrapping materials.
In addition, the production of wrapper blanks or sheets can be standardized, within certain limits, given that the customization of the packaging relies exclusively on revealing the graphic elements, of whatever nature, printed on the actual cigarettes 21.
Lastly, and importantly, packs 1 embodied in accordance with the present invention can present any given geometry or styling other than those described and illustrated, while providing the advantage, in addition to those inherent in the adoption of one or more windows 23, that savings on material can be made in the event of packets 13 or cartons 2, or both, being fashioned with at least one bevelled or rounded longitudinal corner edge.
As regards the arrangement and the number of sharp, bevelled or rounded corner edges, numerous options are available (not illustrated). By way of example, the pack 1 of FIG. 1 could present at least one longitudinal or transverse corner edge with a sharp profile, and at least one with a bevelled or rounded profile.