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Title:
ASSEMBLY METHOD OF FIRST TIME ACTIVATING AN ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/157150
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to an assembly comprising a container and a cap, wherein a first opening indicator is arranged at an interface between the container and the cap, the first opening indicator comprising an indication window, the indication window, in a storage state of the assembly, showing an indication element of the first opening indicator and, in an activated state of the assembly, not showing said indication element of the first opening indicator. The present invention further relates to a method of first time activating such an assembly.

Inventors:
HOLZSCHUH JONAS (DE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2022/051016
Publication Date:
July 28, 2022
Filing Date:
January 18, 2022
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GEKA GMBH (DE)
International Classes:
A45D40/26; A45D34/00; B65D55/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012076402A12012-06-14
Foreign References:
GB2459317A2009-10-21
DE202006016882U12007-01-04
CN202618731U2012-12-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MANITZ FINSTERWALD (MFP) (DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1 . An assembly (10) comprising a container (12) and a cap (14), wherein a first opening indicator (16) is arranged at an interface (18) between the container (12) and the cap (14), the first opening indicator (16) comprising an indication window (20), the indication window (20), in a storage state of the assembly (10), showing an indication element (22, 22’) of the first opening indicator (16) and, in an activated state of the assembly (10), not showing said indication element (22, 22’) of the first opening indicator (16).

2. The assembly (10) of claim 1 , wherein the indication element (22) has a colour differing from the container (12) and/or the cap (14).

3. The assembly (10) of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the indication element (22) comprises a loop (24) having two arms (26), e.g. strips (26’).

4. The assembly (10) of one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the indication element (22, 22’) is stored at an elevation (28) of the first opening indicator (16), in particular wherein the indication element (22, 22’) is stored at the elevation (28) in the storage state of the assembly (10).

5. The assembly (10) of claim 3 and claim 4, wherein the loop (24) is stored at the elevation (28).

6. The assembly (10) of claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the first opening indicator (16) comprises a second elevation (30), in particular wherein a part of the indication element (22) is stored between said elevation (28) and said second elevation (30) in the storage state of the assembly (10), especially wherein a valley (32) is arranged between said elevation (28) and said second elevation (30).

7. The assembly (10) of one of claims 4 to 6, wherein at least one of the elevation (28) and the second elevation (30) has two surfaces (34, 36), a flat surface (34) and a curved surface (36).

8. The assembly (10) of claim 7, wherein the flat surface (34) projects perpendicularly to an outer surface (38) of the container (12) and the curved surface (36) is arranged to extend between the outer surface (38) of the container (12) and the flat surface (34).

9. The assembly (10) according to one of claims 4 to 8, wherein the elevation (28) is arranged at a neck (40) of the container (12), with the neck (40) being part of said interface (18).

10. The assembly (10) according to one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the indication element (22, 22’) is arranged within the cap (14) of the assembly (10).

1 1 . The assembly (10) according to one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the indication window (20) is arranged in an outer wall (42) of the cap (14) of the assembly (10).

12. The assembly (10) according to one of claims 1 to 1 1 , wherein the cap (14) is rotatable relative to the container (12) and the indication element (22, 22’) is entrained by the cap (14) and relative to the container (12) on a first opening of the assembly (10), in particular wherein a pre-determined breaking point (44) is arranged at the first opening indicator (16) and on the first opening of the assembly (10), the indication element (22, 22’) is removed from said assembly (10) at said pre-determined breaking point (44), especially wherein the pre-determined breaking point (44) is arranged at the arms (26) of the indication element (22) most preferably wherein the elevation (28) and the second elevation (30) are configured to engage the pre-determined breaking point (44) of the indication element (22) on the first opening of the assembly (10) to remove the indication element (22) from the assembly (10).

13. The assembly (10) according to one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the indication element (22, 22’) is attached to an applicator (46) present within the cap (14) and with the applicator (46) being provided to engage the container (12).

14. The assembly (10) according to one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the container (12) is filled with a material (M), with the material for example comprising a member selected from the group of members consisting of a beauty product, a cosmetic product, a cleaning product, a skin care product, a medical product, a dental product, a pharmaceutical product, an adhesive, a lubricant, a paint, and a building material.

15. The assembly (10) according to one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the indication element is a solid indication element (22’), such as a disc-shaped indication element.

16. The assembly (10) according to claim 15, wherein an outer surface (84) of the solid indication element (22’) comprises an indicia (86).

17. The assembly (10) according to claim one of claims 1 to 16, wherein the first opening indicator (16) is arranged partly at the cap (14) and partly at the container (12), preferably at a neck of the container (12).

18. The assembly (10) according to claim 1 , 2, 10, 11 , or 14, 28 wherein the first opening indicator (16) is arranged completely at the cap (14). The assembly (10) according to claim 1 , wherein the indication window (20) is arranged in an outer wall (42) of the cap (14) of the assembly (10) and wherein the first opening indicator (16) is arranged completely at the cap (14). The assembly (10) according to claim 18 or 19, wherein the cap (14) comprises an outer part (14a) and an inner part (14b) and wherein the outer part (14a) is movable, preferably rotatable, relative to the inner part (14b) in a non-activated state to activate the first opening indicator (16). The assembly (10) according to claim 20, wherein the outer part (14a) and the inner part (14b) are configured to form a mechanical connection (88) in the activated state that blocks relative movability or rotatability between the outer part (14a) and the inner part (14b). A method of first time activating an assembly (10) of one of claims 1 to 14, the method comprising the steps of moving the cap (14) of the assembly (10) relative to the container (12), thereby engaging the first opening indicator (16) and moving the assembly (10) and the first opening indicator (16) from a storage state into a state indicating that a first opening of the container (12) has taken place. A cap (14) for closing a container (12), preferably for use in an assembly according to one of claims 1 to 22, 29 wherein the cap (14) comprises an outer part (14a) and an inner part (14b) and wherein the outer part (14a) is movable, preferably rotatable, relative to the inner part (14b) in a non-activated state to activate the first opening indicator (16). The cap (14) according to claim 23, wherein the outer part (14a) forms an indication window (20), the indication window (20), in a storage state of the cap (14), showing an indication element (22) of the first opening indicator (16) and, in an activated state of the cap (14), not showing said indication element (22) of the first opening indicator (16) or the indication window (20), in a storage state of the cap (14), not showing an indication element (22) of the first opening indicator (16) and, in an activated state of the cap (14), showing said indication element (22) of the first opening indicator (16). The cap (14) according to one of claims 23 or 24, wherein the outer part (14a) and the inner part (14b) are configured to form a mechanical connection (88) in the activated state that blocks relative movability or rotatability between the outer part (14a) and the inner part (14b). The cap (14) according to claim 25, wherein the outer part (14a) and the inner part (14b) form a snap-lock connection (88) in the activated state to block relative movability or rotatability between the outer part (14a) and the inner part (14b).

Description:
Assembly method of first time activating an assembly

The present invention relates to an assembly comprising a container and a cap, wherein a first opening indicator is arranged at an interface between the container and the cap, the first opening indicator comprising an indication window, the indication window, in a storage state of the assembly, showing an indication element of the first opening indicator and, in an activated state of the assembly, not showing said indication element of the first opening indicator. The present invention further relates to a method of first time activating such an assembly.

Containers are used to store a plethora of materials. Such materials can range from adhesives used in the dental, medical, pharmaceutical and veterinary fields, to adhesives, lubricants, such as oil, grease and the like, as well as paints used in industrial applications, e.g. in the automotive, and aeronautical fields, and in the construction sector etc.

A further field of application is in the beauty sector where the typical situation in stores is as follows products, e.g. cosmetic items, such as mascara, lip-gloss, lipstick, make-up, etc., are typically stored in shop shelfs for selling. In order to prevent the unused cosmetic items of being opened the stores offer test items which the consumers are supposed to use for test purposes in order to evaluate in the store whether the product of interest is to the customers satisfaction or not. Such an item is for instance a cosmetic unit (e.g. Mascara) which can be opened and tested by the consumer right at the point of sale. The aim is to convince the user to buy the tested product. Tester units are standard on the market and in the stores. Unfortunately, many consumers do not follow the rules of using only the tester units. They simply open unopened packages as new tester units as they are “fresh” and use these. What makes matters worse is that in some instances the same consumers who already opened a fresh package then proceed to buy a further fresh - unopened - package.

The contamination after the first opening cannot always be recognized, as a lot of the packages do not have any protection, such as a tamper-proof evidence.

Even if the units are marked with labels (applied at the interface between the cap and the bottle) the indication of already opened units is not clear. If such labels break, the customer can directly see the damage and pick another product.

However, from time to time it happens that the label can simply peel-off (e.g. in the area of the bottle) without being broken. This leads some consumers to remove the label, to then test the product and then after use the potential consumer can easily press-on the label back at the initial position. The product seems to be visually unopened, but in fact the contamination process has already started.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an assembly having a visual first- opening-indication function that can be manufactured in an as simple as possible manner and that reliably ensures a visual first indication of whether the assembly has been previously opened or not, so that respective customers do not use and/or purchase assemblies in which a contamination process has already started.

This object is satisfied by an assembly and by a method of first time activating an assembly in accordance with the respective independent claim.

Such an assembly comprises a container and a cap, wherein a first opening indicator is arranged at an interface between the container and the cap, the first opening indicator comprising an indication window, the indication window, in a storage state of the assembly, showing an indication element of the first opening indicator and, in an activated state of the assembly, not showing said indication element of the first opening indicator.

Thereby an assembly equipped with such a first opening indicator can be provided having a first-opening-indication function. Such an assembly can be formed reliably and efficiently either by injection molding, injection blow molding or through additive manufacturing in an as simple as possible manner.

By providing the first opening indicator with an indication window via which an indication element can be seen, different states of use can be reliably indicated, such that respective customers do not use and/or purchase assemblies, such as mascara pens, in which a contamination process has already started.

The labels previously applied to the assemblies as tamper proof evidence are applied in a subsequent step after filling of the respective assemblies. The parts of the visual first opening indicator are present at the container and the caps prior to filling of the container. The visual first opening indicator is assembled automatically at the assembly from these parts once the container is filled and the cap is attached at the container. The fillers of the containers hence do not need to adapt their manufacturing processes and no longer need to include the subsequent step. Moreover, the containers can be filled in the same way as they were previously filled meaning that the manufacturing process does not need to be adapted in any way, if at all, it is simplified.

The indication element may have a colour differing from the container and/or the cap. By using an indication element having a different color to the color of the cap and/or of the container the different states can be emphasized in particular if the contrast is sharp. In this way a visual aid can be provided in which a state of the assembly can be indicated visually, with the states comprising a storage state indicated by the presence of the indication element prior to opening of the assembly and an open or activated state which is also indicated by the first opening indicator in that the indication element is no longer visible at the indication window.

The indication element may comprise a loop having two arms, e.g. strips, possibly connected to one another via a web. The use of a loop as an indication element facilitates the visible change of state of the first opening indicator such that one can reliably ensure the provision of a visual first opening indicator that enables a visual first indication of whether the container has been previously opened or not. The use of a loop having two arms, e.g. straight arms, that are possibly connected to one another via a web, e.g. a straight web, enables the provision of a rectangular or square loop. Such a loop reliably ensures that the force applied on the loop on opening the cap leads to a movement of the loop.

Different shapes of loops can also be used, for example round loops, oval loops and the like. The provision here is that the loop can be engaged by the further parts of the first opening indicator to bring about the change in visual first indication.

It should also be noted that a front side of the indication element, e.g. the loop could be provided with a cover. I.e. the side of the loop that projects radially outwardly from a longitudinal axis of the assembly equipped with such a first opening indicator may be covered with a cover. This cover can either be a label or be provided with a label or other kind of marking or surface decoration indicating the state of use. For example, the loop could be provided with a cover having an indication, such as OK present thereon to show that the assembly has not yet been opened. A further kind of surface decoration could also be a layer of paint or the like. The indication element, in particular the loop, may be stored at a first elevation of the first opening indicator, in particular wherein the indication element is stored at the first elevation in the storage state of the assembly. The first elevation can be used to activate the first opening indicator and hence storing the indication element at the first elevation ensures an as compact as possible assembly.

The first opening indicator may comprise a second elevation, in particular wherein a part of the indication element is stored between said first elevation and said second elevation in the storage state of the assembly, especially wherein a valley is arranged between said first elevation and said second elevation. Preferably one of the arms of the loop is stored in said valley in the storage state of the assembly and the other arm of the loop can be stored on the other side of the first elevation. On activation of the assembly the first and second elevations contact the arms and thereby entrain the indication element.

Such a design of the first opening indicator comprising first and second elevations separated by a valley and an indication element arranged thereat ensures an as compact as possible assembly which simplifies the manufacture thereof.

At least one of the first elevation and of the second elevation may have two surfaces, a flat surface and a curved surface. Such a design of the first and second elevations is simple to manufacture, ensures an as compact as possible assembly and on use of the first opening indicator, the flat surfaces can be used to entrain the indication element with an as uniform a force as possible.

The valley may be arranged between the flat surface of the second elevation and the curved surface of the first elevation. This ensures a compact design of the assembly. The flat surface may project perpendicularly to an outer surface of the container and the curved surface is arranged to extend between the outer surface of the container and the flat surface. Thereby an as uniform as possible a force can be exerted by the respective flat surface on rotation the cap relative to the container.

The first elevation may be arranged at a neck of the container, with the neck being part of said interface, and, optionally if provided, the second elevation may also be arranged at a neck of the container.

In this way part of the first opening indicator is arranged at a part which is engaged on removing the cap from the container via the neck which optionally also comprises an outer thread which can mate with an optionally provided inner thread of the cap.

The indication element may be arranged within the cap of the assembly. This ensures a compact assembly that can be manufactured in an as simple as possible way.

In order to even further simplify the manufacture of the assembly a two-part cap can be used having an outer cap and an insert. In such a case the indication element is preferably arranged at the insert and the indication element is present at the outer cap.

The indication window may be arranged in an outer wall of the cap of the assembly. In this way the first opening indicator can be arranged in a visible part of the assembly ensuring that customers can readily see whether an assembly has been previously opened or not.

The cap may be rotatable relative to the container and the indication element is entrained by the cap and relative to the container on a first opening of the assembly. Such a rotatable connection, optionally made available via a threaded closure is simple to manufacture and simple to use.

A pre-determined breaking point may be arranged at the first opening indicator and on the first opening of the assembly, the indication element is removed from said assembly at said pre-determined breaking point. Using a pre-determined breaking point to remove the indication element on first use of the assembly ensures that the first indication function reliably takes place.

The pre-determined breaking point may be arranged at the arms of the indication element. This ensures an as simple to manufacture and an as compact a design as possible.

The first elevation and the second elevation may be configured to engage the predetermined breaking point of the indication element on the first opening of the assembly to remove the indication element from the assembly. On rotation of the cap relative to the container, a part of the cap, i.e. the indication element, can engage the first and second elevations which so to say block a movement of the indication element and if the force of contact between the first and second elevations and the indication element brought about via the rotation is larger than the pre-determined holding force of the pre-determined breaking point, the indication element will be removed from the fist opening indicator.

The flat surfaces of the first elevation and of the second elevation may engage the arms of the loop on the first opening of the assembly to remove the indication element from the assembly. In this way an as uniform a force as possible can be exerted on the indication element on rotating the cap from the container.

The indication element may be secured with respect to a movement relative to the cap after the first opening of the assembly. In this way the indication element can be prevented from being visible via the indication window following a first use of the assembly.

The indication element may be attached to an applicator present within the cap and with the applicator being provided to engage the container. The applicator can generally be used to aid in dispensing material stored in the container. The applicator can be arranged and present at an inner surface of the cap and can, for example, project into the container and optionally be a mascara pen, or the like.

Alternatively the container may comprise an applicator this can be present, for example, in the form of an outlet, a nozzle, a lipstick applicator or the like present at the neck of the container. The applicator can generally be used to aid in dispensing material stored in the container.

The container may be filled with a material, with the material for example comprising a member selected from the group of members consisting of a beauty product, a cosmetic product, a cleaning product, a skin care product, a medical product, a dental product, a pharmaceutical product, such as those comprising monoclonal antibodies, insulin, hormones (fertility, as well as growth), peptides, vaccines, and a medical adhesive, an adhesive, a lubricant, a paint, and a building material.

The indication element may be a solid indication element, such as a disc-shaped indication element. Such an indication element can fill the entire window and thereby be more prominent for customers who have problems with their eyesight.

An outer surface of the solid indication element may comprise an indicia. Such an indicia can, for example, be a word such as OK indicating that the assembly has not yet been opened. A cap indicia may be printed onto the neck. Such an indicia can, for example, comprise the words “open” indicating that the assembly has been opened after the indication element has been removed.

According to an embodiment, the first opening indicator is arranged partly at the cap and partly at the container, preferably at a neck of the container. In other words, the first opening indicator can be activated by a relative movement of the cap and the container.

Alternatively, the first opening indicator can be arranged completely at the cap. Accordingly, the first opening indicator can be activated by a relative movement between a first part of the cap and a second part of the cap. Preferably, the cap comprises an outer part and an inner part. The outer part can be movable, preferably rotatable, relative to the inner part in an non-activated state to activate the first opening indicator.

In order to be able to screw the cap onto the container repeatedly, it is advantageous if the outer part and the inner part are configured to form a mechanical connection in the activated state that blocks relative movability or rotatability between the outer part and the inner part. Preferably, the mechanical connection is configured to be permanent.

The method may comprise the steps of moving the cap of the assembly relative to the container, thereby engaging the first opening indicator and moving the assembly and the first opening indicator from a storage state into a state indicating that a first opening of the container has taken place.

Using such a method one can reliably indicate whether an assembly has been previously opened or not aiding customers to only purchase new assemblies.

According to another aspect, a cap for closing a container is provided. The cap comprises an outer part and an inner part. The outer part is movable, preferably rotatable, relative to the inner part in an non-activated state to activate the first opening indicator.

According to an embodiment, the outer part forms an indication window. The indication window, in a storage state of the cap, is arranged to show an indication element of the first opening indicator and, in an activated state of the cap, is arranged to not show said indication element of the first opening indicator.

Alternatively, the indication window, in a storage state of the cap, may not show the indication element of the first opening indicator and, in an activated state of the cap, may show said indication element of the first opening indicator.

According to an embodiment, the outer part and the inner part are configured to form a mechanical connection in the activated state that blocks relative movability or rotatability between the outer part and the inner part. The mechanical connection may be provided by a snap-lock connection. In other words, the outer part and the inner part may form a snap-lock connection in the activated state to block relative movability or rotatability between the outer part and the inner part.

According to an embodiment, the container is part, e.g. a housing, of a dose delivery mechanism such as a pen injector. Accordingly, the cap can be configured to be used for a dose delivery mechanism such as a pen injector. The dose delivery mechanism may be a disposable dose delivery mechanism, in particular a single use or multi-use disposable dose delivery mechanism. The dose delivery mechanism may include a dose setting member and/or a dose activation member. The dose delivery mechanism can be used to inject a dose of monoclonal antibodies, insulin, hormones such as fertility or growth hormones, peptides, or vaccines. Further embodiments of the invention are described in the following description of the Figures and/or the dependent claims attached to this specification. The invention will be explained in the following in detail by means of embodiments and with reference to the drawing in which is shown:

Figs. 1 a to e views of an assembly;

Figs. 2a to b sectional views of a container and of a cap of the assembly of Fig.1 ;

Figs. 3a to c sectional views of the assembly of Fig. 1 ;

Figs. 4a to e views of a further assembly;

Figs. 5a to b sectional views of a container and of a cap of the further assembly of Fig.4;

Figs. 6a to c sectional views of the further assembly of Fig. 4;

Figs. 7a to e views of a further assembly;

Figs. 8a to b sectional views of a container and of a cap of the further assembly of Fig.7;

Figs. 9a to c sectional views of the further assembly of Fig. 7;

Fig. 10A a cap with a first opening indicator in an unassembled state;

Fig. 10B an assembly comprising the cap of Fig. 10A in assembled and a matching transparent container;

Fig. 11 A the assembly of Fig. 10B in a non-activated state;

Fig. 11 B the assembly of Fig. 10B in an activated state;

Fig. 12 a sectional view of the cap along a main axis of the cap;

Fig. 13A a sectional view of the cap along a plane indicated in Fig. 12 by a dashed line in a non-activated state;

Fig. 13B the sectional view of the cap along the plane indicated in Fig. 12 by the dashed line in an activated state;

Fig. 14 two assemblies comprising the cap of Fig. 10A, one being in an activated state and one being in a storage state. In the following the same reference numerals will be used for parts having the same or equivalent function. Any statements made having regard to the direction of a component are made relative to the position shown in the drawing and can naturally vary in the actual position of application.

Fig. 1 a shows a perspective view of an assembly 10 comprising a container 12 and a cap 14. A first opening indicator 16 is arranged at an interface 18 between the container 12 and the cap 14, i.e. in a region where the container 12 and the cap 14 interact with one another.

The first opening indicator 16 comprises an indication window 20, the indication window 20, in a storage state of the assembly 10, showing an indication element 22 of the first opening indicator 16 and, in an activated state of the assembly 10, does not show said indication element 22 of the first opening indicator 16.

The indication element 22 may have a color differing from the color of the container 12 and/or of the cap 14. For example, the container 12 and the cap 14 may be present in the same color, such as black, beige, brown, blue or the like and the indication element 22 may then be present, for example, in yellow, pink or green.

Fig. 1 b shows a front view of the assembly 10 in the storage state. The indication element 22 is visible in the indication window 20. For reasons of clarity this is shown as a hatched structure in Figs. 1 b and 1 c.

Fig. 1 c shows an enlarged view of the indication window 20 of Fig. 1 b. As is visible, the indication element 22 comprises a loop 24 that has two arms 26, e.g. strips 26’ and a web 48 of material connecting the two arms 26. As indicated in the drawings the arms 26 and the web 48 are arranged at least substantially perpendicular to one another forming three sides of a rectangle. In the storage state the indication element 22, i.e. the loop 24, is stored at a first elevation 28 of the first opening indicator 16.

Figs. 1d and 1 e show the assembly 10 in the activated state. In this state the indication element 22 is no longer visible in the indication window when the cap 14 is placed on the container 12 in the closed state of the assembly. In the closed state the first elevation 28 is visible. In the position where the loop 24 was previously visible a part of an outer surface 38 of the container is now visible in the activated state of the assembly 10.

Figs 2a and 2b show sections of the container 12 and of the cap 14 through the first elevation 28. In fact the assembly 10 of Fig. 1 has two first elevations 28 arranged spaced apart by 180° about the circumference of a neck 40 of the container 12. It should be noted in this connection that also only one first elevation 28 can be provided at an assembly 10 respectively at the neck 40.

The neck 40 comprises an outlet 52 for dispensing materials stored in the container 12. The outlet 52 may be formed as an insert inserted into the neck as is the case in Fig. 2a or may be integrally formed in one piece during production of the container 12.

If, as is presently the case, the outlet 52 is an outlet insert 52’ this can comprise an annular projection 72, i.e. a projection 72 that extends around the circumference of the outlet insert 52’, at an outer surface 74 of the outlet insert 52’ that engages an annular recess 76 of an inner surface 78 of the neck 40, i.e. the recess extends circumferentially around the neck 40, in order to snap fit the outlet insert 52’ into place at the neck 40 and to ensure a seal between the outlet insert 52’ and the neck 40. The shape of the projection 72 is generally formed complementary to the shape of the recess 76. For example, the projection could have the shape of a part of a circle in cross-section, or the shape of a truncated cone in cross-section or the like and the recess 76 could then be formed as a part-circular recess or as an inverse truncated cone or the like.

The neck 40 further comprises a first portion 54 and a second portion 56. The first portion 54 comprises an outer thread 50 arranged thereat for repeatedly connecting the cap 14 to the container 12. The first portion 54 has an outer diameter of smaller size in comparison to an outer diameter of the second portion 56. The first elevation 28 is provided at the second portion 56 and projects from the outer surface 38 of the neck 40.

The neck 40 is arranged as projecting from the remainder of the container 12 along a longitudinal axis A of the container, with the neck 40 merging into the remainder of the container 12 via a shoulder 58. The longitudinal axis A extends from a floor 60 of the container via the outlet 52.

A material M is typically stored in the container 12. The material M may, for example, comprise a member selected from the group of members consisting of a beauty product, a cosmetic product, a cleaning product, a skin care product, a medical product, a dental product, a pharmaceutical product, an adhesive, a lubricant, a paint, and a building material.

Fig. 2b shows the cap 14. In use the cap 14 is screwed to the container via the neck 40 and a bottom end 62 of the cap 14 faces the shoulder 58 of the container 12.

The cap 14 comprises an internal thread 64 that is configured to engage the outer thread 50 of the neck 40. The cap 14 is of two piece design and comprises an outer cap 66 and an insert 68.

The indication window 20 is provided at the outer cap 66. The indication window 20 is arranged in an outer wall 42 of the outer cap 66 of the cap 14 of the assembly 10.

The indication element 22 is provided at the insert 68, i.e. the indication element 22 is arranged within the cap 14 of the assembly 10.

The insert 68 is bonded, e.g. by means of an adhesive, and/or ultrasonically welded and/or press fit and/or friction fit and/or snap fit into the outer cap 66 on assembly of the cap 14.

An applicator rod 46’ is visible as is a fitting 70 via which an applicator 46 (see Fig. 5b) can be attached to the cap 14. The applicator rod 46’ has a base 80 at its end from which it projects from the insert 68.

Fig. 3a shows a further section through the assembly 10 of Fig. 1 . As can be seen, in this storage state, the base 80 of the rod seals against an inner surface 82 of the outlet 52.

Fig. 3b shows an enlarged view of the indication window. In this instance the indication element 22 formed by the loop 24, the first elevation 28 and the indication window 20 are aligned such that the indication element 22 is visible via the indication window 20.

Fig. 3c shows a sectional view through the assembly 10 onto the sectional line B:B of Fig. 3a. The first opening indicator 16 comprises a second elevation 30. A part of the indication element 22, in particular one arm 26 of the loop 24, is stored between said first elevation 28 and said second elevation 30 in the storage state of the assembly 10.

A valley 32 is arranged between said first elevation 28 and said second elevation 30. Part of the indication element, e.g. said one arm 26 of the loop 24, is stored in the valley 32 arranged between said first elevation 28 and said second elevation 30.

The first elevation 28 and the second elevation 30 each have two surfaces 34, 36, a flat surface 34 and a curved surface 36. The valley 32 is arranged between the flat surface 34 of the second first elevation 28 and the curved surface 36 of the elevation 30.

The flat surface 34 projects perpendicularly to an outer surface 38 of the container 12 and the curved surface 36 is arranged to extend between the outer surface 38 of the container 12 and the flat surface 34.

The neck like the assembly 10 of Figs. 1 to 3 has a round outer shape and the outer surface 38 of the neck 40 of the container is likewise at least generally of round outer shape or is of round outer shape.

The flat surface 34 is directly adjacent to the curved surface 36, i.e. the flat surface 34 transitions directly into the curved surface 36. The first and second elevations 28 and 30 respectively transition directly from the outer surface 38 and each only comprise the one curved surface 36 and the one flat surface 34.

The first and second elevations 28, 30 are arranged at the neck 40 of the container 12, with the neck 40 being part of said interface 18 with the cap 14 being able to be screwed to the container via said neck 40. The cap 14 is rotatable relative to the container 12 and the indication element 22 is entrained by the cap 14 and relative to the container 12 on a first opening of the assembly 10.

As visible in the section of Fig. 3b a pre-determined breaking point 44 is arranged at the first opening indicator 16 and on the first opening of the assembly 10, the indication element 22 is removed from said assembly 10 at said pre-determined breaking point 44.

The pre-determined breaking point 44 is arranged at the position of where the arms 26 of the indication element 22 project from the insert 68.

The first elevation 28 and the second elevation 30 are configured to engage the pre-determined breaking point 44 of the indication element 22 on the first opening of the assembly 10 to remove the indication element 22 from the assembly 10 by causing the pre-determined breaking point to be activated and thereby tearing off the loop 24.

For this purpose the flat surfaces 34 of the first elevation 28 and of the second elevation 30 engage the arms 26 of the loop 24 on the first opening of the assembly 10 to remove the indication element 22 from the assembly 10 via the pre-determined breaking point. Such flat surfaces 34 permit a uniform application of force on the arms 26 and hence a breaking of the pre-determined breaking point 44.

Alternatively, the indication element 22 can be secured (not shown) with respect to a movement relative to the cap 14 after the first opening of the assembly 10.

Figs. 4 to 6 show a second kind of assembly 10. The difference to the assembly of Figs. 1 to 3 is that the assembly 10 has a square shape in cross-section in parallel to the longitudinal axis A. The square shape having rounded corners respectively edges.

The respective first opening indicators 16 are arranged at oppositely disposed edges of the assembly 10. Like with the assembly 10 of Figs. 1 to 3, the neck 40 has a rounded cross-section in parallel to the longitudinal axis A and the insert 6(s of the cap 14 of Figs. 4 to 6 also has a cross-section formed complementary to the cross-section of the neck 40 in the region of the first and second elevations 28, 30.

Figs. 7 to 9 show views of a third kind of assembly. The difference to the assemblies of Figs. 1 to 6 is that the indication element is a solid indication element 22’. The pre-determined breaking point 44 is arranged at the interface between the solid indication element 22’ and the insert 68.

In the specific example the solid indication element 22’ is a disc shaped indication element 22’.

An indicia 86 is printed on an outer surface 84 of the solid indication element 22’.

It should be noted that the arms 26 of the indication element 22 may have a width in the range of 0.1 to 5 mm, preferably of 0.2 to 3 mm, a thickness in the range of 0.1 to 2 mm, preferably in the range of 0.2 to 1 mm, and a length in the longitudinal direction A in the range of 0.5 to 10 mm, preferably in the range of 1 to 5 mm.

Similarly, the web 48 connecting the two arms may have a length transverse to the length of the arms 26 selected in the range of 0.5 to 10 mm, preferably in the range of 1 to 5 mm, a thickness in the range of 0.1 to 2 mm, preferably in the range of 0.2 to 1 mm, and a width in the range of 0.1 to 5 mm, preferably of 0.2 to 3 mm. In this connection it should be noted that the indication window 20 is shaped and sized such that the indication element 22 is visible through the indication window 20. Generally speaking the area of the indication window 20 is not more than 120% of an area spanned by the outer sides of the indication element 22.

On a first time activation of one of the assemblies 10 of Figs. 1 to 6, the cap 14 is turned relative to the container 12. This movement of the cap 14 causes the flat surfaces 34 of the first and second elevations 28, 30 of the first opening indicator 16 to engage and move the indication element 22 in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction and to thereby move the first opening indicator 16 from a storage state into a state indicating that a first opening of the container 12 has taken place.

This occurs in that the flat surfaces 34 of the first and second elevations 28, 34 entrain the arms 26 of the loop 24 thereby activating the pre-determined breaking points 44 such that the loop 24 is removed from the insert 68.

In the storage state the indication element 22, i.e. the loop 24, was visible via the indication window 20, after a first time activation of the assembly 10, the loop 24 is no longer visible in the window indicating that the assembly 10 was previously opened. By using a loop 24 having a different color to the color of the cap 14 and/or the neck 40 this state can be emphasized in particular if the contrast is sharp.

Figs. 10A to 14 depict a further embodiment. This embodiment differs from the before discussed embodiments in that the first opening indicator 16 is arranged completely at the cap 14.

In order for the cap 14 to be able to provide information on whether the cap 14 has been screwed off the neck of the container 12 or not, the cap 14 has an outer part 14a and an inner part 14b. The outer part 14a is rotatable relative to the inner part 14b for a predetermined angle in a non-activated state in the same direction as the cap 14 is rotatable to unscrew the cap 14 from the container 12.

Furthermore, the outer part 14a forms an indicator window 20 which allows the user to see a portion of the inner part 14b through a portion of the outer part 14a. When a costumer takes an assembly 10 with the cap 12 and tries to open it, the outer part 14a rotates relative to the inner part 14b. This causes a relative movement of the indicator window 20 relative to the inner part 14b so that a different surface of the inner part 14b can be seen through the indicator window 20.

As can be seen from comparing Figs. 11 A and 11 B, a surface of the inner part 14b that can be seen in the non-activated state (see Fig. 11 A) can have one colour, e.g. black, and another surface of the inner part 14b that can be seen in the activated state (see Fig. 11 B) can have a different colour, e.g. red or any other colour besides black so that the customer can distinguish a potentially used product from an unused product.

Sectional views along the dashed line of Fig 12 are shown in Figs. 13A and 13B, wherein Fig. 13A depicts the cap 14 with the first opening indicator 16 in a nonactivated state, i.e. a storage state, and Fig. 13B depicts the cap 14 with the first opening indicator 16 in an activated state.

Figs. 13A and 13B depict how a snap-lock connection 88 between the outer part 14a and the inner part 14b is activated. In the non-activated state depicted in Fig. 13A, the outer part 14a of the cap 14 can be rotated, in this example counterclockwise, relative to the inner part 14b. When the outer part 14a of the cap 14 is rotated relative to the inner part 14b, a blocking element 88a formed on the inner circumferential surface of the outer part 14a passes a flexible latch 88b formed on the outer circumferential surface of the inner part 14b of the cap 14. After the blocking element 88a passes the flexible latch 88b, the flexible latch 88b and the blocking element 88a form a form-fitting connection that blocks relative movement between the outer part 14a and the inner part 14b.

The flexible latch 88b projects radially outwardly from the inner part 14b towards the outer part 14a, whereas the blocking element 88a projects radially inwardly from the outer part 14a toward the inner part 14b.

The inner part 14b further comprises a non-flexible latch 88c. The outer part 14a comprises a second blocking element 88d.

The non-flexible latch 88c projects radially outwardly from the inner part 14b towards the outer part 14a, whereas the blocking element 88d projects radially inwardly from the outer part 14a toward the inner part 14b.

The non-flexible latch 88c and the flexible latch 88b are locked between the first and second blocking elements 88a and 88d in the activated state of the cap 14. In this respect the blocking elements 88a and 88d have blocking surfaces that extend in parallel with respect to the longitudinal axis A and so to say block a movement of the latches 88b, 88c in both directions of rotation.

The non-flexible latch 88c has a generally rectangular shape that cannot be readily deformed, whereas the flexible latch 88b is flexible in the sense that it can move relative to the inner part 14b. The first blocking element 88a has a latching surface disposed opposite to the blocking surface with the flexible latch 88b being arranged such that it can move over the latching surface while being pressed radially inwardly and thereby deforming on a first opening of the assembly and then be blocked from movement by the blocking surface of the blocking element 88a, as the flexible latch 88b has an inherent flexibility that permits the outward deflection thereof once the flexible latch 88b has moved past the blocking element 88a.

Fig. 14 depicts two assemblies 10, the upper one being in an non-activated state which can be seen by a black indicator 16 and one being in an activated state which can be seen by a red indicator 16.

List of reference numerals:

10 assembly

12 container

14 cap

14a outer part

14b inner part

16 first opening indicator

18 interface

20 indication window

22, 22’ indication element, solid indication element

24 loop

26, 26‘ arm, strip

28 first elevation

30 second elevation

32 valley

34 flat surface

36 curved surface

38 outer surface

40 neck

42 outer wall of 14

44 pre-determined breaking point

46, 46’ applicator,

48 web

50 outer thread

52, 52’ outlet, outlet insert

54 first portion of 28

56 second portion of 28

58 shoulder

60 floor

62 bottom end

64 internal thread

66 outer cap

68 insert

70 fitting

72 annular projection

74 outer surface of outlet insert

76 annular recess

78 inner surface of 40

80 base

82 inner surface of 52, 52’

84 outer surface of 22’

86 indicia

88 snap-lock connection

88a blocking element 88b flexible latch

A longitudinal axis

M material