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Title:
BI-STABLE SEMI-COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER FOR STACKING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/146588
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bottle including a finish defining a bottle opening, a collapsible assembly carrying the finish, the collapsible assembly including a first groove coupled to a second groove by a connecting portion, a bell coupled to the collapsible portion, a base, a central axis extending from the finish to the base, and a sidewall extending between the bell and the base. The collapsible assembly is configured to actuate along the central axis between a first extended position and a second depressed position, in the first extended position the first groove is positioned further away from the base than the second groove, and in the second depressed position the first groove is positioned closer to the base than the second groove.

Inventors:
HANAN JAY (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2021/013683
Publication Date:
July 22, 2021
Filing Date:
January 15, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NIAGARA BOTTLING LLC (US)
International Classes:
B65D21/02; B29D22/00; B65D1/02; B65D1/32; B65D1/42; B65D21/08
Foreign References:
US20150298847A12015-10-22
US20100199609A12010-08-12
US20110165298A12011-07-07
DE19527947A11997-02-06
JP6055675B22016-12-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SWANSON, Elias, R. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A bottle comprising: a finish defining a bottle opening; a collapsible assembly carrying the finish, the collapsible assembly including a first groove coupled to a second groove by a connecting portion; a bell coupled to the collapsible portion; a base; a central axis extending from the finish to the base; and a sidewall extending between the bell and the base, wherein the collapsible assembly is configured to actuate along the central axis between a first extended position and a second depressed position, in the first extended position the first groove is positioned further away from the base than the second groove, and in the second depressed position the first groove is positioned closer to the base than the second groove.

2. The bottle of claim 1 , wherein the first groove and the second groove are concentric relative to the central axis.

3. The bottle of claim 1, wherein the first groove and the second groove are annular.

4. The bottle of claim 1 , wherein the first groove has a diameter that is smaller than a diameter of the second groove.

5. The bottle of claim 1 , wherein in the first extended position, the connecting portion extends from the second groove to the first groove away from the base, and wherein in the second depressed position, the connecting portion extends from the second groove to the first groove towards the base.

6. The bottle of claim 5, wherein in the first extended position, the connecting portion has an increasing slope relative to the bell, and wherein in the second depressed position, the connecting portion has a decreasing slope relative to the bell.

7. The bottle of claim 1, further comprising: a resting surface defined by the base; a sealing surface defining the perimeter of the opening; and a bottle height defined by a vertical distance extending from the resting surface to the sealing surface, wherein in the first extended position, the bottle height is a first height, and wherein in the second depressed position, the bottle height is a second height, the first height being greater than the second height.

8. The bottle of claim 1, further comprising an axial length defined by a vertical distance extending from the finish to the base along the central axis, wherein the axial length changes between the first extended position and the second depressed position.

9. The bottle of claim 1, wherein the base defines a central recess and a plurality of feet, the central recess configured to receive a portion of a second finish associated with a second bottle upon which the base is stacked.

10. The bottle of claim 9, wherein the second bottle includes a second collapsible portion that carries the second finish and is coupled to a second bell, the second collapsible portion including a third groove separated from a fourth groove by a second connecting portion, wherein the second collapsible portion is in a second depressed position where the third groove is positioned below the fourth groove.

11. The bottle of claim 10, wherein the plurality of feet are configured to contact the second bell about the central axis.

12. A bottle comprising: a finish defining a bottle opening; a neck coupled to the finish; a bell; a connecting portion coupled at a first end to the neck, and at a second opposite end to the bell; a base; and a sidewall extending between the bell and the base, wherein the connecting portion is configured to pivot relative to the bell between a first position and a second position, wherein the neck is positioned closer to the base in the second position than in the first position.

13. The bottle of claim 12, wherein in the connecting portion is configured to pivot relative to the neck between the first position and the second position.

14. The bottle of claim 12, wherein in the first position, the connecting portion extends away from the base from the bell to the neck, and wherein in the second position, the connecting portion extends towards the base from the bell to the neck.

15. The bottle of claim 12, wherein the neck is configured to translate along an axis extending from the finish to the base between the first position and the second position.

16. The bottle of claim 15, wherein the finish is configured to translate along the axis between the first position and the second position, the finish is positioned closer to the base in the second position than in the first position.

17. The bottle of claim 12, including a height defined by a vertical distance extending from an end of the finish and an opposite end of the base, wherein in the first position, the height is a first height, and wherein in the second position, the height is a second height, the first height being longer than the second height.

18. A stacked bottle system comprising: a first bottle including: a first base defining a first central recess and a plurality of first feet; a first bell coupled to the first base by a first sidewall; a first finish coupled to the first bell and defining a first bottle opening; and a first central axis extending from the first finish to the first base; and a second bottle including: a second base; a second bell coupled to the second base by a second sidewall; a second finish defining a second bottle opening; and a second central axis extending from the second finish to the second base, wherein the second finish is translatable along the second central axis from a first position to a second position, and wherein in the second position the second finish is closer to the second base than in the first position, and wherein the first bottle is configured to be stacked onto the second bottle, the first central recess configured to receive a portion of the second finish of the second bottle in the second position, and the plurality of first feet configured to contact the second bell about the first central axis.

19. The stacked bottle system of claim 18, wherein the first finish of the first bottle is translatable along the first central axis from a first position to a second position, and wherein in the second position the first finish is closer to the first base than in the first position.

20. The stacked bottle configuration of claim 18, wherein the second base of the second bottle defines a second central recess and a plurality of second feet.

Description:
BI-STABLE SEMI-COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER FOR STACKING

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/962,900, filed on January 17, 2020, and entitled Bi-Stable Semi-Collapsible Container for Stacking, the entire contents of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to plastic containers. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to a plastic container that is semi-collapsible while containing a liquid to improve stacking and stability, without adversely affecting shelf space.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Plastic containers are an alternative to glass or metal containers. A common plastic used in the manufacture of plastic containers is polyethylene terephthalate (or PET). Containers made of PET are generally transparent, thin walled, and can maintain their shape in response to force exerted on the walls by the contents of the container.

SUMMARY

[0004] In one embodiment, a bottle includes a finish defining a bottle opening, a collapsible assembly carrying the finish, the collapsible assembly including a first groove coupled to a second groove by a connecting portion, a bell coupled to the collapsible portion, a base, a central axis extending from the finish to the base, and a sidewall extending between the bell and the base. The collapsible assembly is configured to actuate along the central axis between a first extended position and a second depressed position, in the first extended position the first groove is positioned further away from the base than the second groove, and in the second depressed position the first groove is positioned closer to the base than the second groove. [0005] In another embodiment, a bottle includes a finish defining a bottle opening, a neck coupled to the finish, a bell, a connecting portion coupled at a first end to the neck, and at a second opposite end to the bell, a base, and a sidewall extending between the bell and the base. The connecting portion is configured to pivot relative to the bell between a first position and a second position, wherein the neck is positioned closer to the base in the second position than in the first position.

[0006] In another embodiment, a stacked bottle system includes a first bottle and a second bottle. The first bottle includes a first base defining a first central recess and a plurality of first feet, a first bell coupled to the first base by a first sidewall, a first finish coupled to the first bell and defining a first bottle opening, and a first central axis extending from the first finish to the first base. A second bottle includes a second base, a second bell coupled to the second base by a second sidewall, a second finish defining a second bottle opening, and a second central axis extending from the second finish to the second base, wherein the second finish is translatable along the second central axis from a first position to a second position, and wherein in the second position the second finish is closer to the second base than in the first position. The first bottle is configured to be stacked onto the second bottle, the first central recess configured to receive a portion of the second finish of the second bottle in the second position, and the plurality of first feet configured to contact the second bell about the first central axis.

[0007] Other aspects of the disclosure will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. l is a perspective view of an example of an embodiment of a bottle illustrating a semi-collapsible portion.

[0009] FIG. 2 is a side view of the bottle shown in FIG. 1.

[0010] FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the bottle shown in FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 4 is a top view of the bottle shown in FIG. 1. [0012] FIG. 5 is a close-up perspective view of a collapsible portion of the bottle in an extended configuration as shown in FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the bottle shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 2.

[0014] FIG. 7 is a close-up perspective cross-sectional view of the collapsible portion of the bottle shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

[0015] FIG. 8 is a side view of the bottle shown in FIG. 1 with the collapsible portion of the bottle in a depressed configuration.

[0016] FIG. 9 is a close-up perspective view of the collapsible portion of the bottle in the depressed configuration as shown in FIG. 8.

[0017] FIG. 10 is a close-up perspective cross-sectional view of the collapsible portion of the bottle in the depressed configuration shown in FIG. 8, taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 9.

[0018] FIG. 11 is a close-up perspective cross-sectional view of the base of the bottle shown in FIG. 1, taken along line 11-11 of FIG. 6.

[0019] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a first, top bottle and a portion of a second, bottom bottle that are stacked, the bottles being the bottles illustrated in FIG. 1 with the collapsible portion of the bottom bottle in the depressed configuration.

[0020] FIG. 13 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a system for producing the bottle of FIG. 1.

[0021] Before embodiments of the disclosure are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The disclosure can support other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] The present disclosure illustrates a container 100 that includes a portion that is semi- collapsible and bi-stable. The container 100 illustrated in the figures is a bottle 100, and further an approximately one-gallon bottle. It should be appreciated that a bottle 100, and specifically a one-gallon bottle is provided for purposes of illustration and is not limiting. The semi-collapsible and bi-stable components can be used with any type of suitable container or vessel, or any size of suitable bottle that benefits from semi-collapsibility (e.g., to reduce an overall height of the bottle, etc.) and/or is bi-stable (e.g., to improve stability with at least two bottles being stacked, etc.).

[0023] FIGS. 1-2 illustrate a bottle 100 (also referred to as a container 100). The bottle 100 includes a bell 104, a base 108, and a sidewall 112. The sidewall 112 (also referred to as a body 112) extends between the bell 104 and the base 108. A shoulder 114 provides a transition between the sidewall 112 and the bell 104. The bell 104 extends upward and inward relative to a central axis 115 to a neck 116 and a finish 120. The central axis 115 extends from the finish 120 to the base 108. The neck 116 is coupled to the bell 104, and the finish 120 is coupled to the neck 116. The finish 120 defines a bottle opening 124 (or an opening 124 or an orifice 124) (shown in FIG. 1) that leads to an interior of the bottle 100. The finish 120 includes a thread 128 and a sealing surface 132. The thread 128 is configured to engage a closure (or a cap) (not shown). The sealing surface 132 defines a circumferential perimeter end of the opening 124. The sealing surface 132 is configured to engage with a portion of the closure (not shown) to seal the opening 124. A neck ring 136 (also referred to as a transfer bead 136) circumferentially extends around the neck 116 and is positioned between the finish 120 and the neck 116. The interior of the bottle 100 is configured to contain a beverage and/or other contents.

[0024] The bell 104 includes a first plurality of load ribs 140. The load ribs 140 are positioned around a circumference of the bell 104 and are further illustrated in a curved (or an arcuate) orientation. In other embodiments, the first plurality of load ribs 140 can be any suitable shape or orientation (horizontal, vertical, wavy, angled, etc.). In yet other embodiments, the bell 104 can have no load ribs 140. [0025] The sidewall 112 includes a second plurality of load ribs 144. The load ribs 144 are positioned around a circumference of the sidewall 112. The load ribs 144 are illustrated in a vertical, wavy orientation around the side wall 112. In other embodiments, the second plurality of load ribs 144 can be any suitable shape or orientation (horizontal, vertical, wavy, angled, etc.). In yet other embodiments, the bell sidewall 112 can have no load ribs 144. In yet other embodiments, the sidewall 112 can include a label panel (not shown), which can include a smooth portion of the sidewall 112 that is configured to received label. In still yet other embodiments, a circumferential label (not shown) can extend around the circumference of the sidewall 112.

[0026] The base 108 defines a plurality of feet 148. The feet 148 are positioned on the base 108 about the central axis 115 (see FIG. 2). With reference to FIG. 3, a plurality of slots 152 radially extend from a central recess 156 (or a push up 156). Each slot 152 is positioned between consecutive feet 148. Stated another way, the slots 152 separate one foot 148 from the adjacent foot 148. In the illustrated embodiment, the bottle 100 includes eight feet 148 and eight slots 152. In other embodiments, the bottle 100 includes any suitable number of feet 148 and associated slots 152, for example a plurality of feet 148 (e.g., two, three, or four or more, etc.) and a plurality of slots 152.

[0027] With reference now to FIG. 2, the bottle 100 includes a collapsible assembly 160 (also referred to as a collapsible area 160). The collapsible assembly 160 is positioned between the neck 116 and the bell 104. In other embodiments, the collapsible assembly 160 is included as a portion of the bell 104 (or defined by the bell 104). The collapsible assembly 160 can carry the neck 116 and the finish 120. As shown in FIGS. 1-2 and 5-7, the collapsible assembly 160 is depicted in a first position (or a first configuration, or an uncollapsed position, or an extended position).

[0028] As shown in FIGS. 4-5, the collapsible assembly 160 is defined by a first groove 164 (or a first indentation 164 or a first valley 164 or a first notch 164 or a first depression 164), a second groove 168 (or a second indentation 168 or a second valley 168 or a second notch 168 or a second depression 168), and a connecting portion 172 (or a collapsible portion 172). The first groove 164 has an annular shape (or circular shape) around the finish 120 to define a first annular groove 164. Similarly, the second groove 168 has an annular shape (or circular shape) around the finish 120 to define a second annular groove 168. The first groove 164 is concentric to the second groove 168. Further, the first and second grooves 164, 168 are concentric relative to the central axis 115 (or relative to the finish 120). More specifically, the first groove 164 has a diameter that is smaller than a diameter of the second groove 168. The first and second grooves 164, 168 are connected by the connecting portion 172. The connecting portion 172 is a portion of the bottle 100 that extends from the first groove 164 to the second groove 168 to interconnect the first and second grooves 164, 168. Stated another way, the first and second grooves 164, 168 define a connecting portion 172 therebetween. The connecting portion 172 has a hinged connection with the first groove 164, and a hinged connection with the second groove 168.

Stated yet another way, the connecting portion 172 extends from the bell 104 to the finish 120, and more specifically from the bell 104 to the neck 116. The connecting portion 172 is coupled to the neck 116 (or to the finish 120) at a first end and coupled to the bell 104 at a second end, opposite the first end. The connecting portion 172 is configured to hinge relative to the neck 116 (or to the finish 120), and further configured to hinge relative to the bell 104. The hinged connections can be defined by the first and second grooves 164, 168, respectively. The hinged connections can also be defined by an inner circumference 164 of the connecting portion 172, and an outer circumference 168 of the connecting portion 172. In other embodiments, each groove 164, 168 can have any suitable geometric shape (e.g., triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, etc.) that extends around the finish 120. In addition, the connecting portion 172 can have an annular shape, or can be any suitable geometric shape (e.g., triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, etc.) that extends around the finish 120.

[0029] With reference now to FIGS. 5-7, the collapsible assembly 160 is illustrated in the first position. In this extended position, the finish 120 is positioned above the collapsible assembly 160. Further, the neck 116 is positioned above the collapsible assembly 160. With specific reference to FIGS. 5 and 7, the connecting portion 172 extends upward, or in an upward direction, from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164. In this configuration, the connecting portion 172 has a positive slope relative to the bell 104 as the connecting portion 172 extends from the bell 104 towards the neck 116. Stated another way, the connecting portion 172 extends away from the base 108 (shown in FIG. 6) towards the neck 116. Stated yet another way, the connecting portion 172 extends away from the base 108 (shown in FIG. 6) as it extends from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164 towards the finish 120 (or any associated component of the finish 120). Further, stated yet another way, the first groove 164 is positioned above the second groove 168 such that the first groove 164 is positioned further away from the base 108 (shown in FIG. 6) than the second groove 168.

[0030] Now referring to FIGS. 8-10, the bottle 100 is illustrated with the collapsible assembly 160 in the second position (or a second configuration, or a collapsed position, or a depressed position, or a retracted position). In this depressed position, the finish 120 is lowered towards the base 108 (shown in FIG. 8) of the bottle 100 such that the finish 120 is closer to the base 108 than in the extended position. With specific reference to FIGS. 9-10, the connecting portion 172 extends downward, or in a downward direction, from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164. In this configuration, the connecting portion 172 has a negative slope relative to the bell 104 as the connecting portion 172 extends from the bell 104 towards the neck 116.

Stated another way, the connecting portion 172 extends towards the base 108 (shown in FIG. 8) as it extends from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164 towards the neck 116. Stated yet another way, the connecting portion 172 extends towards the base 108 (shown in FIG. 6) as it extends from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164 towards the finish 120 (or any associated component of the finish 120). Further, stated yet another way, the first groove 164 is positioned below the second groove 168 such that the first groove 164 is positioned closer to the base 108 (shown in FIG. 6) than the second groove 168.

[0031] To actuate the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended first position to the depressed second position, a downward force 178 (shown in FIG. 8) is applied to the finish 120. As the downward force 178 is applied, the finish 120 and neck 116 translate (or move) along the central axis 115 (shown in FIG. 2) towards the base 108. As the finish 120 and neck 116 translate, the connecting portion 172 pivots relative to the first groove 164 and pivots relative to the second groove 168. More specifically, the connecting portion 172 pivots relative to the first groove 164 away from the base 108 (or towards the finish 120). The connecting portion 172 also pivots relative to the second groove 168 towards the base 108 (or away from the finish 120). Accordingly, the first and second grooves 164, 168 cooperate, and are configured to permit the connecting portion 172 to move from a first orientation associated with the extended first position, where the connecting portion 172 extends away from the base 108 from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164, to a second orientation associated with the depressed second position, where the connecting portion 172 extends towards the base 108 from the second groove 168 to the first groove 164. As the connecting portion 172 moves from the first orientation to the second orientation, the first groove 164 translates (or moves) along the central axis 115 towards the base 108. It should be appreciated that the neck 116 and the finish 120, which are carried by the collapsible assembly 160, are positioned along the central axis 115 closer to the base 108 in the depressed, second position than in the extended, first position.

[0032] With reference back to FIG. 2, in the extended, first position of the collapsible assembly 160, the bottle 100 has a first height Hi. The first height Hi is a bottle height that vertically extends from the sealing surface 132 (or the top end of the finish 120) to a resting surface 174 defined by a bottom of the foot / feet 148 (or a bottom of the base 108). The resting surface 174 is the surface upon which the bottle 100 rests (or stands). With specific reference to FIG. 8, in the depressed, second position of the collapsible assembly 160, the bottle 100 has a second height Yh. Like the first height Hi, the second height H2 is the bottle height that vertically extends from the sealing surface 132 (or the top end of the finish 120) to the resting surface 174 defined by the bottom of the foot / feet 148 (or the bottom of the base 108). The first height Hi is greater (or longer) than the second height H2. Accordingly, the bottle 100 is taller when the collapsible assembly 160 is in the extended, first position than when the collapsible assembly 160 is in the depressed, second position. Stated another way, transitioning the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position reduces an overall height of the bottle 100. It should be appreciated that the semi-collapsibility of the bottle 100 is defined by the collapsible assembly 160 being adjustable between the extended, first position and the depressed, second position.

[0033] When the collapsible assembly 160 is in the depressed, second position, the force required to transition back to the extended, first position is greater than the weight of a full bottle 100. More specifically, the force is approximately 1.5 times the weight of a full bottle. As a nonlimiting example, a bottle 100 that is one-gallon in size and filled to contain one gallon of a liquid weighs in the range of approximately 8.34 pounds to 9.0 pounds, and more specifically at least 8.34 pounds. The force required to move the collapsible assembly 160 from the depressed, second position to the extended, first position is in the range of approximately 12.0 pounds to 14.0 pounds. Accordingly, the force to withdraw the collapsible assembly 160 from the second position to the first position is in the range of approximately 1.33 to 1.68 times the weight of the full bottle, and more specifically in the range of approximately 1.44 to 1.56 times the weight of the full bottle, and more specifically approximately 1.50 times the weight of the full bottle. Since the force required to withdraw the collapsible assembly 160 from the depressed to the extended position is greater than the weight of the full bottle 100, a user can grasp the bottle 100 in the region of the finish 120 or the neck 116, and the collapsible assembly 160 will remain in the depressed, second position. For example, in some embodiments of the bottle 100, a handle (not shown) can be attached around the neck 116. The user can then carry the full bottle 100 by the handle. The collapsible assembly 160 is designed to withstand the force applied to the neck 116, through the handle, generated by carrying the full bottle 100 by the handle, and maintain the collapsible assembly 160 in the depressed, second position. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments of the bottle 100 having different sizes and/or containing different volumes of a liquid, the approximate ranges of the full bottle weight can be different. However, in these other embodiments, the force to withdraw the collapsible assembly 160 from the second position to the first position is greater than the combined weight of the bottle and the full contents of the bottle.

[0034] The bottle 100 also includes improved stability with at least two bottles being stacked. This can be referred to as bi-stable or improved stackability. With reference to FIG. 11, the central recess 156 is sized to receive a portion of the finish 120 of a second, adjacent bottle 100 having a collapsible assembly 160. FIG. 12 illustrates a stacked bottle system (or a stacked bottle configuration), and more specifically a first bottle 100a stacked on a second bottle 100b. The bottles 100a, 100b are identical to bottle 100 disclosed above. FIG. 12 illustrates the base 108 of the first, top bottle 100a. In addition, FIG. 12 illustrates the bell 104 and the collapsible assembly 160 of the bottom, second bottle 100b. The collapsible assembly 160 of the bottom, second bottle 100b is in the depressed, second position. In response to being stacked, the central recess 156 of the first (top) bottle 100a is configured to receive a portion of the finish 120 of an adjacent second (bottom) bottle 100b. The central recess 156 and feet 148 define a cavity 176 (shown in FIGS. 11-12). The cavity 176 is sized to receive a portion of the finish 120 and the neck 116 of the adjacent, second bottle 100b. In addition, the feet 148 of the first (top) bottle 100a are configured to contact the bell 104 of the second (bottom) bottle 100b about the central axis 115 (see FIG. 2). The combination of the sized central recess 156 and the cavity 176 of bottle 100a, which receives a portion of the finish 120 and neck 116 of the adjacent second bottle 100b when the collapsible assembly 160 of the second bottle 100b is in the depressed second position, and the feet 148 of the bottle 100a, which contact the bell 104 of the adjacent second bottle 100b when the collapsible assembly 160 of the second bottle 100b is in the depressed second position, provides improved stability when the bottles 100a, 100b are stacked upon each other. The improved stability for at least two stacked bottles 100a, 100b is thus bi-stable. It should be appreciated that FIG. 12 illustrates the second bottle 100b without a closure. This is for purposes of illustration. In other embodiments, the bottles 100a, 100b that contain a liquid will have a closure (or a cap) that covers / seals the finish 120. In yet other embodiments, in response to a first bottle 100a being stacked onto a second bottle 100b, and each bottle containing a liquid, there may be some deflection or deformation of the bottle structure in one or both bottles 100a, 100b. For example, a portion of the base 108 of the first bottle 100a may deform (or deflect), such as towards the bell 104 of the first bottle 100a, in response to the weight of the first bottle 100a upon the second bottle 100b. As another example, a portion of the bell 104 of the second bottle 100b may deform (or deflect), such as towards the base 108 of the second bottle 100b, in response to the weight of the first bottle 100a upon the second bottle 100b. Any deformation and/or deflection of the bottles 100a, 100b can reinforce stability in a stacked orientation (or configuration).

[0035] FIG. 13 is an example of a process 200 for producing the bottle 100. The process 200 includes a series of manufacturing steps that are depicted in flow diagram form. The process 200 begins at step 204, where the bottle 100 is manufactured. For example, the bottle 100 can be blow molded from a preform using a blow molding process. In other examples, the bottle 100 can be molded in any generally known or desired process for producing the bottle 100.

[0036] Next, at step 208 the bottle 100 can be filled with a liquid. The filling of the bottle 100 can include filling, capping, and disinfecting of the bottle and/or associated liquid. In other embodiments, filling of the bottle 100 can be performed using aseptic processing techniques. The bottle 100 exits step 208 with the liquid in the bottle 100 and a removable closure (or cap) sealing the liquid within the bottle 100. The collapsible assembly 160 of the bottle 100 is also in the extended, first position.

[0037] At step 212, the bottle 100 is actuated to transition the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position. During manufacturing of the bottle 100 (e.g., during blow molding, etc.) the bottle 100 includes the collapsible assembly 160 in the extended, first position. After the filling step 208, the collapsible assembly 160 is then actuated to the depressed, second position. In one embodiment, actuation of the collapsible assembly 160 bottle 100 can occur during attachment of the handle (not shown). For example, as the handle is attached to the bottle 100, the closure (not shown) and finish 120 is received by an aperture in the handle. The handle slides along the closure / finish 120, over the neck ring 136, and into engagement with the neck 116. The equipment that attaches the handle can then apply an additional downward force to the collapsible assembly 160 through the handle. The downward force is sufficient to actuate the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position. In another embodiment, the manufacturing and/or handling equipment can include a finger (or arm). The finger (or arm) can apply a downward force onto the closure / finish 120. The downward force applied by the finger (or arm) is sufficient to actuate the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position. In yet other embodiment, any suitable manufacturing, filling, or handling equipment can include a component, finger, or arm to apply suitable downward force on the collapsible assembly 160 for actuation from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position. In addition, in other embodiments, the actuation of the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position can occur at any suitable step of the manufacturing, filling, and/or handling process after molding of the bottle 100 (e.g., before filling of the bottle, after filling of the bottle, etc.).

[0038] At step 216, following actuation of the collapsible assembly 160 to the depressed, second position, the bottle 100 proceeds to any additional processing steps. This can include application of a label, sorting, placement into groups for further packaging, etc. [0039] One or more aspects of the bottle 100 provides certain advantages. For example, the collapsible assembly 160 provides a bottle 100 having an adjustable height. This allows for desired strength properties of the bottle 100, while also meeting certain height requirements of the bottle 100. More specifically, by reducing the height of the bottle 100 through actuation of the collapsible assembly 160 from the extended, first position to the depressed, second position, the bottle 100 can meet the necessary shelving height requirements of a merchant. In addition, the base 108 of each bottle 100 facilitates improved stability when stacking onto an adjacent bottle 100. In response to being stacked, the central recess 156 and cavity 176 of the bottle 100 is sized to receive the closure / finish 120 / neck 116 of an adjacent bottle, the adjacent bottle having the collapsible assembly 160 in the depressed, second position. The feet 148 of the bottle further contact the bell 104 of the adjacent bottle 100. This combination improves stacking stability of the bottles 100. These and other advantages are realized by the disclosure provided herein.