In my previous article I defined “fixed-dose dispensing technology”, as a way to consistently dose from a bottle exact same volumes of liquid. This technology mainly is realised by using dual-chamber bottles, of which one chamber holds the liquid and the second chamber is used as a fixed measuring cup, from which the liquid is dispensed. My previous article described two patents, both with a very simple solution to this problem.
In this article I will highlight two more patents, one invention showing an insert, which functions as a dispensing chamber and the second with an in-built dispensing chamber. There are many more patents showing variants to this theme, but they all have the same goal: to provide a liquid container, which would enable the dispensing of a controlled dose of the liquid, particularly in a manner in which the consumer does not have to use the closure or bottle cap as measuring cup.
Thomas A. Lucius, 1997, US patent 5695093
This invention shows a container for dispensing fluids, incorporating a measuring cup or dispensing receptacle within the bottle and which enables the consumer to pour out a measured amount or controlled dose of fluid without using an external measuring device. The invention comprises a bottle, a dispensing receptacle positioned within the bottle neck, and a liquid transfer system for filling the dispensing receptacle in the bottle with liquid from the bottle. With the cap or closure removed, the tipping of the bottle allows a controlled dose of the liquid in the dispensing receptacle to be dispensed.
An advantage of this invention is that it enables a manufacturer to supply different sizes (i.e., different measures or dosages) of receptacles for different customer or product requirements while still using the standard bottle size. Furthermore the dispensing receptacles can have a standard diameter, but still fit bottles of various capacities as long as the bottle necks have the same opening size.
The liquid transfer system for filling the dispensing receptacle comprises a baffle positioned within the bottle to enable the dispensing receptacle to be filled with liquid from the bottle when the bottle is tipped in one direction and to prevent fluid from the bottle from entering the receptacle when the bottle is tipped in the opposite direction, thereby enabling a controlled dose of the fluid to be dispensed. The baffle is preferably moulded into the bottle, but can be inserted or positioned within the bottle in any other suitable manner.
The bottle includes a concave closure, which cooperates with the dispensing receptacle to enable it to be filled with liquid from the bottle, when the bottle is tipped.
The last patent we will have a look at is the very typical dual-chamber dispensing bottle, on which a lot of similar designs are based.
J.T. Jennings, 1990, US patent 4893732
J.T. Jennings defined his patent as “Exact volume dispensing container” and claims an improvement of repeatedly dispensing a discrete measured amount of fluid. This goal is achieved by using a container with a storage chamber, a measuring chamber, a pour-out spout, and a modified pour-spout in which a passage or opening at a preselected position in the wall between the measuring chamber and the modified pour-spout acts as an automatic drainback from the measuring chamber.
In operational mode the bottle is tilted to overfill the measuring chamber, and then returned to an upright position. Drainback of the liquid from the measuring chamber into the storage chamber occurs until the exact level is achieved in the measuring chamber, which corresponds to the exact volume the bottle is designed to dispense through its pour-out spout.
The bottle is then tipped forward, and the measured quantity of liquid is dispensed from the measuring chamber through the regular pour-out spout.
And now after we have seen some older inventions, we might have a look at the recent fixed-dose dispensing bottles in the market. There are two systems in the market. One has two chambers incorporated in the bottle. The other has the second (dosing) chamber incorporated in the cap. The operational handling also can be divided in two systems. The most common procedure is a squeezable bottle, where the consumer squeezes the bottle to fill the dosing chamber. The second procedure is that the consumer turns the bottle upside-down and the dosing chamber fills itself.
We start with the two-chamber bottles, first the squeezable ones and after these the upside-down turners, and follow with sophisticated dosing caps, not the common measuring cups but the real fixed-dose caps.
The Vetnil two-chamber dispensing bottle
As dispensing the right quantity is crucial in the field of veterinary products, pharmaceuticals and medicines and any form of contamination of the liquid left in the bottle must be avoided, Vetnil Ind. e Com. Produtos Veterinários Ltda, a Brazilian manufacturer of veterinary products, developed in cooperation with Projeto Integrado, a unique two-chamber bottle, but in such a way that the filling process did not require changes in machinery.
From the viewpoint of those who apply the product, the bottle, manufactured by Emplas, has two ergonomic benefits, its structure is firm, but squeezable and it assures a safe handling, while the symmetry of the bottle reconciles the use by both right-handed as well as left-handed people.
Dispensing the liquid is a two steps procedure (see illustrations). By putting pressure on the body of the squeezable container, the product is forced to climb through the cannula to reach the dispensing chamber. A transparent measuring ruler located in the side of the bottle allows the control of dosage, while showing the volume of product remaining in the bottle. After filling the dispensing chamber the liquid can be dispensed, while the system prevents the liquid to return to the body of the bottle, eliminating any possibility of contamination.
It is obvious that the Vetnil bottle belongs in the category of squeezable dual-chamber dispensing bottles. In my next article I will show some more examples of this category and to be complete some examples of upside-won turners.
to be continued