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Publication numberUS20040223665 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/431,143
Publication dateNov 11, 2004
Filing dateMay 7, 2003
Priority dateMay 7, 2003
Publication number10431143, 431143, US 2004/0223665 A1, US 2004/223665 A1, US 20040223665 A1, US 20040223665A1, US 2004223665 A1, US 2004223665A1, US-A1-20040223665, US-A1-2004223665, US2004/0223665A1, US2004/223665A1, US20040223665 A1, US20040223665A1, US2004223665 A1, US2004223665A1
InventorsGerry Blohowiak, Peter Hatchell, Robert Bayliss
Original AssigneeHudson-Sharp Machine Co.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reclosable bag
US 20040223665 A1
Abstract
A reclosable bag includes front and rear panels joined to each other, and optionally includes inwardly extending side gussets. The bag includes a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of the bag, with the fastener assembly including cooperating, first and second fastener elements. The fastener elements are respectively secured to the front and rear panels of the bag, and permit an open mouth of the bag to be closed, and the top of the bag folded and maintained in a folded disposition by the cooperating fastener elements.
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Claims(13)
1. A recloseable bag, comprising:
a front bag panel;
a rear bag panel joined at respective opposite side edges thereof to said front bag panel;
a bottom seal joining said front and rear bag panels to each other, and
a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of said bag, said fastener assembly comprising first and second fastener elements respectively joined to said front and rear bag panels, at least one of said fastener elements being spaced from a top edge of said bag, so that said bag can be folded closed, and maintained in a releasably closed disposition by detachable engagement of said first and second fastener elements.
2. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 1, wherein:
said first and second fastener elements comprise profile strip fastener elements.
3. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 1, wherein:
each of said first and second fastener elements includes at least one flange portion, at least one of said flange portions including printed graphics thereon for viewing from the exterior of said bag.
4. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 1, including:
a pair of inwardly extending side gussets respectively joining opposite side edges of said front and rear bag panels.
5. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 1, wherein:
said reclosable fastener assembly includes at least one retention element for limiting relative movement of said first and second fastener elements in a direction along the lengths thereof.
6. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 5, wherein:
said retention element is provided on one of said first and second fastener elements, and is engageable with an end edge of the other of said first and second fastener elements.
7. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 5, wherein:
said fastener assembly includes a pair of cooperating retention elements respectively joined to said first and second fastener elements.
8. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 7, wherein:
one of said retention elements includes a projection, and the other of said retention elements defines an opening for detachably receiving said projection.
9. A recloseable bag, comprising:
a front bag panel;
a rear bag panel joined at respective opposite side edges thereof to said front bag panel;
a bottom seal joining said front and rear bag panels to each other, and
a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of said bag, said fastener assembly comprising first and second fastener elements respectively joined to said front and rear bag panels, so that said bag can be closed, and maintained in a releasably closed disposition by detachable engagement of said first and second fastener elements.
10. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 9, wherein:
said first and second fastener elements comprise profile strip fastener elements.
11. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 9, wherein:
each of said first and second fastener elements includes at least one flange portion, at least one of said flange portions including printed graphics thereon for viewing from the exterior of said bag.
12. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 9, including:
a pair of inwardly extending side gussets respectively joining opposite side edges of said front and rear bag panels.
13. A reclosable bag in accordance with claim 9, wherein:
said reclosable fastener assembly includes at least one retention element for limiting
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates generally to reclosable bags and like packages, and more particularly to a reclosable bag, which may include side gussets, with a reclosable fastener assembly provided on the exterior of the bag for closing the bag after the mouth of the bag has been closed and folded, thus facilitating convenient reclosing of the bag, and access to the contents of the bag after initial opening.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Reclosable bags and other reclosable packages have come into increasingly widespread use in view of the convenience afforded consumers. Packages of this nature typically include a reclosable fastener assembly, which may comprise suitable interlocking profile strips, cooperating adhesive strips, cooperating hook-and-loop fasteners, or like mating, cooperating elements. After initial opening of the package, and partial removal of its contents, the reclosable fastener assembly permits the package to be suitably manipulated and maintained in a closed disposition until access to the package's contents is again desired. U.S. Pat. No. 4,909,017, U.S. Pat. No. No. 4,617,683, and U.S. Pat. No. No. 5,902,047, all hereby incorporated by reference, illustrate various reclosable package constructions and methods for their production.

[0003] In typical prior art constructions, the reclosable fastener assembly of a reclosable package has been positioned on inside surfaces of the package, so as to permit an opening in a front wall of the package to be reclosed, or for permitting a top opening of a package to be reclosed by joining front and rear walls of the package. However, for some applications, it can be desirable to provide a reclosable fastener assembly on the exterior of the package, thus promoting versatile positioning on the package, and convenient use by consumers. Exterior positioning affords the opportunity to provide printing indicia or the like on the reclosable fastener assembly, thus providing convenient instructions for use of the assembly, information about the contents of the package, etc.

[0004] The present invention is directed to a reclosable package in the form of a reclosable bag, which may include side gussets, which includes a reclosable fastener assembly for conveniently reclosing the bag after initial opening.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention is directed to a reclosable package in the form of a reclosable bag, which may be configured to include side gussets. Notably, the bag includes a reclosable fastener assembly provided on the exterior surface of the bag, which facilitates convenient reclosing of the bag at its open mouth by securing the mouth closed with the reclosable fastener assembly. If desired, the fastener assembly can be positioned to permit the mouth of the bag to first be folded before it is secured closed with the fastener assembly. In the preferred form, the reclosable fastener assembly includes at least one retention element which limits relative movement of the fastener elements of the fastener assembly in a direction along the lengths thereof.

[0006] In accordance with the illustrated embodiment, the present reclosable bag includes a front bag panel, and a rear bag panel joined at respective opposite edges thereof to the front bag panel. A bottom seam is provided which joins the front and rear bag panels to each other, and closes the bottom of the bag.

[0007] In accordance with the illustrated embodiment, the present reclosable bag may include inwardly extending side gussets at respective opposite side edges of the bag. Such side gussets are typically formed integrally with the front and rear panels of the bag, and desirably provide a package of enhanced capacity. However, it will be understood that a bag embodying the principles of the present invention may be formed without side gussets, in a so-called “pillow pack” configuration.

[0008] Depending on the specific application, a reclosable bag embodying the principles of the present invention may include a transverse top seal which joins the front and rear bag panels to each other. In a typical application, the present reclosable bag is opened by removal or opening of the top seam of the bag, with the bag thus defining an open mouth for access to its contents. For some applications, however, it can be desirable to form the present bag without a top seal.

[0009] In accordance with the present invention, the present bag includes a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of the bag. The fastener assembly comprises first and second fastener elements respectively joined to the front and rear panels of the bag. In the illustrated embodiment, the fastener assembly is provided in the form of a profile strip fastener assembly, wherein the first and second fastener elements thereof comprise profile strip fasteners which cooperatively releasably interlock with each other. However, it is within the purview of the present invention that the reclosable fastener assembly alternatively include cooperating first and second adhesive fasteners, cooperating first and second hook-and-loop fasteners, or other cooperating fastener arrangements.

[0010] In order to facilitate reclosing of the present bag with the reclosable fastener assembly, at least one of the fastener elements thereof can be spaced from a top edge of the bag. In this manner, the bag can be folded and closed, and thereafter maintained in a reclosable closed disposition by detachable engagement of the first and second fastener assemblies.

[0011] Profile strip fastener assemblies as illustrated herein can typically slide relative to each other in a direction along the lengths thereof. For some embodiments of the present invention, it can be desirable to limit such relative movement of the fastener assemblies. To this end, the reclosable fastener assembly includes at least one retention element. In one illustrated embodiment, a pair of cooperating retention elements are provided, with the cooperating retention elements respectively joined to the first and second fastener elements of the fastener assembly. One of the retention elements includes a projection, while the other of the retention elements defines an opening for detachably receiving the projection, with the retention elements thus being configured to limit relative sliding movement of the associated profile fastener elements of the fastener assembly. In an alternative embodiment, a retention element is provided on one of the first and second fastener elements, and is engageable with an end edge of the other of the first and second fastener elements to limit relative sliding movement therebetween.

[0012] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a reclosable bag embodying the principles of the present invention;

[0014]FIG. 2 is a relatively large, fragmentary perspective view of a reclosable fastener assembly which can be used for making the bag of the present invention;

[0015]FIG. 3 is an exploded, perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a reclosable fastener assembly for practicing the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic, perspective view of a reclosable bag configured in accordance with the present invention, prior to initial opening of the bag;

[0017]FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, illustrating the present bag after it has been initially opened, and thereafter reclosed;

[0018]FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view of an alternative embodiment of a reclosable fastener assembly for use in practicing the present invention; and

[0019]FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the present reclosable bag as shown in FIG. 1, prior to reclosing of the bag.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings, and will hereinafter be described, presently preferred embodiments of the invention, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.

[0021] The present invention is directed to a reclosable bag which includes a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior surface of the bag. After initial opening of the bag, the fastener assembly permits the bag to be conveniently reclosed, and thereafter reopened for access to the bag's contents.

[0022] A bag configured in accordance with the present invention can be manufactured from a variety of different materials. Typical bags of this type are formed from plastic film material, but it is within the purview of the present invention that like web materials, such as paper, film/foil laminates, and like web materials can be advantageously employed. In accordance with embodiments of the present invention illustrated herein, the present bag is shown as a so-called side gusset bag, including side gussets at opposite side margins thereof, which desirably act to increase the internal capacity of the bag. A bag embodying the principles of the present invention may also include internal reinforcing, and can be formed in accordance with the teachings of U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,351, hereby incorporated by reference.

[0023] With reference to FIG. 1, therein is illustrated a reclosable bag 10 embodying the principles of the present invention. Reclosable bag 10 includes a front bag panel 12, and a rear bag panel 14 joined at respective opposite edges thereof to front bag panel 12. A bottom seal 16 extends transversely of the front and rear bag panels, joining the panels to each other. The illustrated embodiment includes a pair of inwardly extending side gussets 18 which extend between respective opposite side edges of front and rear bag panels 12 and 14. Side gussets 18 are typically formed integrally with the front and rear bag panels. Bag 10 is typically formed from a continuous web of bag-making material, which is suitably folded and joined to itself, typically at a longitudinal seam at either the rear bag panel, or generally within one of the side gussets 18. The web of bag-making material is thus shaped to a generally tubular configuration. Formation in this manner can be effected in conjunction with so-called form, fill, and seal equipment, whereby the bag is formed in conjunction with filling of each bag. Bottom seal 16, and an associated top seal can be formed transversely of the tube of material attendant to filling of the bags.

[0024] In accordance with the present invention, reclosable fastener assembly 20 is joined to the exterior of the bag 10. The reclosable fastener assembly is configured to facilitate convenient reclosing of the bag 10 after it is initially opened, such as by removal of a top seal, if provided.

[0025]FIG. 2 illustrates a typical configuration for the reclosable fastener assembly, which in this illustrated embodiment, comprises a profile strip fastener assembly including cooperating profile strip elements. In particular, the fastener assembly 20 includes a first fastener element 22, and a second fastener element 24, with the first and second fastener elements respectively joined to the front and rear panels 12 and 14 of the bag 10.

[0026] Each of the first and second fastener elements 22, 24 are specifically configured to facilitate their attachment to the front and rear bag panels, and their convenient use by consumers. In particular, each of the fastener elements includes at least one flange portion, and an associated profile strip fastener element. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 2, first fastener assembly 22 includes a flange portion 26 joined to a respective profile strip element 28. Flange portion 26 provides a convenient means for handling the fastener element during securement to the associated front bag panel, such as by heat-sealing, or can provide a surface upon which a suitable adhesive 30 can be applied for securing the fastener element to the exterior of the bag 10.

[0027] Similarly, second fastener element 24 includes a flange portion 32, and a respective profile strip element 34 joined to the flange portion. Again, flange portion 32 can be employed for securing the second fastener element to the rear bag panel of bag 10, or alternatively, may provide a surface upon which a suitable adhesive 36 is provided.

[0028] In the illustrated embodiment, second fastener element 24 includes a further gripping flange portion 38, which extends in a direction opposite of flange portion 32 with respect to profile element 34. Gripping flange portion 38 may include gripping projections 40 or the like to enhance grip by consumers, and to facilitate manipulation of the fastener elements, including cooperating engagement and disengagement of profile strip elements 28 and 34, for opening and closing the bag.

[0029] While various types of reclosable bags are known wherein fastener elements are positioned on the inside of the associated bag, the present reclosable bag desirably positions first and second fastener elements 22 and 24 on the exterior of the bag for convenient manipulation by consumers. This desirably positions the flange portions of the fastener elements for convenient viewing by consumers. Thus, at least one of the flange portions of the first and second fastener elements 22, 24 is provided with printed graphics thereon for viewing from the exterior of the bag. In the illustrated embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, gripping portion 38 of second fastener element 24 has been illustrated with an exemplary “Open Here” printed graphic to facilitate consumer use.

[0030] As will be further appreciated, the external disposition of fastener assembly 20 desirably isolates the fastener assembly from the contents of the bag. This acts to avoid any interference with the function of the fastener assembly by the bag's contents, such as can occur with granulated or powdered bag contents.

[0031] From the foregoing description, use of the present reclosable bag assembly will be readily apparent. As illustrated in FIG. 1, at least one of the first and second fastener elements can be spaced from the top edge of the bag, such as by the illustrated spacing of first fastener element 22. In this fashion, after initial opening of the bag, the top edge of the bag can be folded and closed, and thereafter maintained in a releasably closed disposition by detachable engagement of the profile strips of the first and second fastener elements. The bag can be conveniently reopened by merely separating the fastener elements, and unfolding the top of the bag to again open the mouth of the bag.

[0032] As noted above, alternative configurations for the reclosable fastener assembly 20 can be employed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. However, while use of profile strip fastener assemblies is desirable for economical manufacture and convenient consumer use, such fastener assemblies typically permit relative sliding movement between respective profile strip elements thereof. For some applications, it can be desirable to limit such relative movement of the fastener assembly components.

[0033] Accordingly, an alternative embodiment of the reclosable fastener assembly 20, designated by reference numeral 120 in FIG. 3, includes an arrangement for limiting relative movement of the first and second fastener elements in a direction along the lengths thereof. In accordance with this illustrated embodiment, a first fastener assembly 122 and a second fastener assembly 124, which may include respective profile strip elements, include cooperating retention elements for limiting longitudinal movement of the fastener elements with respect to each other. In particular, cooperating retention elements 123 and 125 are respectively provided on first and second fastener elements 122 and 124. As illustrated, retention element 125 includes a projection, while retention element 123 defines an opening for detachably receiving the projection in a snap-like fashion. By this arrangement, the retention elements can be releasably engaged with each other, attendant to engagement of the profile strips of the first and second fastener elements 122, 124. As will be recognized, this cooperation of the retention elements thereafter acts to limit relative sliding movement of the first and second fastener elements 122, 124 along the lengths thereof.

[0034] An alternative arrangement for limiting relative sliding movement of the first and second fastener elements of the fastener assembly is illustrated in FIG. 6. FIG. 6 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the reclosable fastener assembly, designated 220, including first and second cooperating fastener elements 222, 224. First and second fastener elements 222, 224 may include respective profile strip elements, as described hereinabove. In order to limit relative sliding movement, at least one of the fastener elements includes at least one retention element engageable with an end edge of the other of the fastener elements. Thus, in the illustrated embodiment, fastener element 224 is provided with a pair of retention elements 227, each of which are engageable with a respective end edge of fastener element 222. Convenient use of the fastener assembly is thus facilitated, while relative sliding movement of the fastener elements is limited by the retention elements 227.

[0035]FIGS. 4, 5, and 7 further illustrate use of the present package. FIGS. 4 and 7 illustrate the reclosable bag 10 prior to initial opening, with the first and second fastener elements 22, 24 of the associated fastener assembly disengaged from each other, and with at least one of the fastener elements spaced from the top edge of the bag. The bag 10 is opened such as by cutting or the like at the upper edge of the bag. Suitable perforations, scoring, or like weakening of the bag can be provided to facilitate initial opening. Thereafter, the bag is easily closed by folding the top of the bag downwardly, and thereafter releasably securing the first and second fastener elements to each other. Notably, by the illustrated arrangement wherein the bag 10 includes side gussets, the folded-over disposition of the top of the bag desirably permits the bag to be conveniently lifted generally at the opposite side gussets, while avoiding excessive loading and opening of the reclosable fastener assembly. This can be desirable if the present bag is configured for contents which are relatively heavy, such as bird seed, fertilizer, or like granular material. Additionally, the exterior disposition of the fastener assembly promotes convenient access to the contents of a side-gusseted bag by permitting the bag to open fully, such as for use of a scoop or the like to remove the bag's contents.

[0036] From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous modifications and variations can be effected without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concept of the present invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover, by the appended claims, all such modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7819583 *Nov 4, 2005Oct 26, 2010Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Bag structures and methods of assembling the same
US8142077Apr 15, 2009Mar 27, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Bag structures and methods of assembling the same
US8486500 *Jun 19, 2008Jul 16, 2013Coating Excellence International LlcFlat bottom bag
US20100221464 *Jun 19, 2008Sep 2, 2010Andrew AustrengFlat Bottom Bag
US20110013859 *Mar 4, 2010Jan 20, 2011Windmoller & HoelscherSide fold sack with roll bottom
US20110230323 *Jan 21, 2011Sep 22, 2011James Alan RobinetteAssembly for forming a bag with a pinch-bottom seal
WO2008022308A2 *Aug 17, 2007Feb 21, 2008Andrew AustrengResealable package with tamper-evident structure and method for making same
WO2008157681A1 *Jun 19, 2008Dec 24, 2008Andrew AustrengFlat bottom bag
Classifications
U.S. Classification383/89, 383/120, 383/63
International ClassificationB65D33/24, B65D33/25
Cooperative ClassificationB65D33/2533, B65D33/24, B65D33/2525
European ClassificationB65D33/24, B65D33/25A1C, B65D33/25A1A