Over the years, there have been a number of variations on a theme of resealability for beverage containers, most of which center on a twist-off feature of some sort. At one time the now-ubiquitous “sports cap” remade the face—or literally the top—of beverages through the added-value convenience of resealability.
Brand owners’ response to consumers’ thirst for resealable beverage containers continues unabated. For example, just last month Bud Light unveiled the “Cool Twist” reclosable aluminum bottle based on patented technology from Alcoa.
Now a patent assigned to Powercan Holding LLC, Pompano Beach, FL, offers a different take on beverage can resealability. And, unlike many patent filings, this one is so unique that it doesn’t reference prior patents.
Published in mid-February, this patent has as a preferred embodiment an aluminum beverage can provided with a cap that is twisted by the consumer to open. The twist or rotational movement of the cap is converted into linear motion by a cam mechanism to drive the cap open. Once the can is opened, the cap can be reverse-twisted to remove it from the opening, and then after drinking, the consumer can twist the cap back into a sealing position within the opening. Optionally, the cap can be discarded if the entire contents of the can are consumed.
Given the concern for product safety regarding choking hazards, it’s not clear to me how this is addressed, if at all, in the filing. This is interesting because the introductory background section references the old removable "pull tabs," noting that they could present a safety issue “in that the tabs could be swallowed by small children.” It’s possible I’m overlooking something here.
The cap is preferably made of plastic material of sufficient hardness that the cam surfaces do not deform during opening and closing operations.
Option for other features
The cap can be designed to be sold separately from the beverage container, and re-used after washing. Also, caps with different features may be provided, such as a cap with a child's sip-cup top for toddlers.
The invention claims to meet a need for improved beverage containers that are resealable, cost effective to produce and "green" in terms of facilitating the recycling of aluminum cans. In addition to carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, applicable product categories include foodstuffs and non-edible products.
Driven by consumer convenience and branding, we can anticipate more options and applications for resealability/reclosability for beverages and numerous other packaged products will continue to be, if you’ll pardon the expression, unstoppable.
Source: Fresh Patents