US 3080238 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 5, 1963 G. H. KRAFT ETAL CHEESE PACKAGE F`11ed Aug. 11, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 March 5, 1963 G. H. KRAFT ETAL 3,080,238
CHEESE PACKAGE I Filed'Aug. 11. 1960 s sheets-sheet 2 G. H. KRAFT ETAL CHEESE PACKAGE March 5, 1963 Filed Aug. 11, 1960 5 Sheets-Shee-t 3 #HP/@V 6 POMEJHK Madam@ a me United States This invention relates to packaging and more particularly to a package which incorporates a tear means so as to facilitate opening' and reclosing the package. The present invention also relates to a continuous web of packaging material having a tear means incorporated therein, and to a method of producing such a web of material.
The user of tear tapes and threads with packages which are fabricated from sheet material, such as plastic film o1' `the like, is well known. There are many situations, however, where the known applications of such tapes and threads have not been totally satisfactory, for example, in the packaging of perishable food products such as cheese. The principal problem in this latter respect results from the fact that most tear tapes `or threads are incorporated in the sheet material so as to tear away a thin strip of the material which provides only a start for opening the package. Therefore, the user must tear away more of the sheet material to gain access to the packaged product for its utilization. rIhe haphazard 'tearing which results makes it substantially impossible to eiectively close the package so as to protect the unused portions of the con-` tents.
Accordingly, -it is the principal object of the present invention to provide an improved package which has a tear means for readily and effectively opening it. Another object is the provision of an improved package which is opened by a tear means in a manner such that the severed portion of the package is readily and more effectively reclosed. A specific object is to provide a package which utilizes a tear thread in such a Way as to provide improved packaging for perishable food products such as cheese. Another object is to provide an improved web of packaging material from which packages of the type described may be produced. A still further object is to provide a superior method of producing a web of packaging material incorporating a continuous tear thread.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a stack of cheese slices enclosed in a package embodying various of the features of this invention;
FIGURE 2 :is a plan view of a portion of a web of packaging material having incorporated therein a tear thread in a configuration which is adapted to result in the production of packages of the type shown in FIG. l;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the tear thread and a portion of the web taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the cheese and package shown in FIG. 1 with the tear thread pulled so as to partially open the package;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the cheese slices and the package shown in FIGS. 1 yand 4 with several of the slices removed and the package reclosed.
FIGURE 6 is a schematic view of a length of a web of packaging material, such as shown in FIG. 2, during the process of forming packages, the material being formed into a tube and containing a series of spaced apart stacks of cheeseslices;
FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing another embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 8 is a plan view of a web of packaging ma ice terial which is adapted to produce packages of the type shown in FIG. 7;
FIGURE 9 is a view similar to FIG. l of still another embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE l0 is a plan view of a web of packaging material which is adapted to produce packages of the type shown in FIG. 9; and
FIGURE l1 is an enlarged sectional View of the pack-r aging material and tear thread taken along line 11-11 of FIGURE 10.
Briey, with reference to FIGS. l through 6, the illustrated package 15 comprises a sheet of packaging material 17 disposed around a unit such as the product 14. A tear tape 16 is disposed between the product 14 and the packaging material 17 to facilitate opening the package 15. Packages ofthis general type are conveniently made from a continuous web 24 of the packaging material 17, such as shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 6, the products 14 to be packaged are arranged at spaced lintervals along the length of the web 24 and the edges of the web are brought around the products and secured together to form a tube 34 of the packaging material. The portions of the tube 34 intermediate the products are then sealed, individually enclosing each product in its own package 15, and the packages are separated. A continuous length of the tear thread 16 is disposed longitu` dinally along the web 24 in a repeating pattern such that when the packages 15 are formed, as just described, a length of the thread is incorporated in each package to facilitate its being opened.
As shown in FIG. l, the illustrated product 14 comprises a rectangular block 18 of cheese that is made up of a stack 2@ of rectangular slices 22 of cheese. While the specific embodiments which are herein described are illustrated as being employed in the packaging of sliced cheese, it is obvious that a package embodying features of the invention would also be appropriate for the packaging of various other products.
The illustrated package 15 is preferably made from a film 12 of moisture resistant exible material such as cellophane, rubber hydrochloride, co-polymerized vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate, etc., or a hn of any of these materials having a coating 13 such as wax or paran or a paraffin and rubber mixture. These films may be disposed abou-t the product to be packaged and sealed to provide a moisture resistant, substantially airtight package.
The tear string or thread 16, shown in section in FIG. 3, should be relatively thin to produce the desired tearing eifect, but it should also be strong enough to tear through the overlying film 12 without breaking itself, and it should preferably be strong enough to sustain sudden pulls, which `create considerably greater stress than a steady pull. The thread 16 should be thin enough and the character of the packaging material 17 should be such that the latter is readily severed or sheared along a thin, clearly delined line rather than rupturing or otherwise opening along an irregular line. In addition, the thread 16 should be thin enough so that when the thread is sealed between two layers of packaging material 17 the coating or lm can ow around the thread to provide a seal which will keep air from leaking into the package 15. A No. 5() mercerized cotton thread opcrates satisfactorily without creating leaks.
FIGURE 2 shows a length of the continuous web 24 placed with its surface that will be on the inside of the packages 15 to be formed facing upwardly, and With a continuous length of the thread 16 disposed sinuously upon it in a generally centered, repeating pattern. Rectangular stacks 20 of cheese slices 22 to be packaged are longitudinally spaced-apart and conveyed into a wrapping machine (FG. 6). In forming the packages 15, the web 24 is fed from a supply roll (not shown) through a path overlying the path of the stacks being conveyed into the wrapping machine. As the stacks and the. web converge, the latter is folded by suitable plow means, or the like,into tubular form with the edges of the web being folded downwardly along Vthe sides of the stacks and -then folded across the bottom of the stacks tof form the tubular wrap or tube 34 Venclosing the cheese. The joined edge portions of the web may be overlapped or formed into a downwardly extending tin-like portion which is sealed and folded against the bottom of the stacks. Intermediate the stacks 26, the s ides of the tube 34 may be tucked inwardly, the top and the bottom of the tube sealed together, and the tube severed, to form an individual package for each stack.
To more conveniently describe the disposition of the tear thread 16 on the web 24, the web will nowvbe designated in terms of its relationship to the stacks 20 when vthe stacks are enclosed in thetube 34. The rectangular areas or sections of the web 24, which the stacks 26A. register withand which thus provide top walls 26, for the packages 15, are Idesignated by the numeral 25, The entire central longitudinal portion of the web 24, which portion includes the areas and the intermediate areas and provides the top of the tube, is designated by lnumeral 23. The portions of the web 2d immediately outwardly on either side of the central portion 23, and which thus `provide the material for the sides of the tube and the side walls 28 for the packageslS, are designated 27 and 27'. The outermost portions of the web 24 which provide the bottom of the tube and the bottom walls 30 for the packages 15 are designated 29 and 29. A longitudinal base line 31, which coincides with one side of each area 25, is also designated for convenience of description.
As shown in FIG. 2, the tear thread 15 describes its continuously repeating pattern lengthwise along the web 24, the pattern being repeated for each stack 20 of cheese to be packaged. Progressing from left to right, the thread 16 extends along base line 31 intermediate two areas 25, and is then looped across an area 25. Speciiically, the thread extendsover the area 25 in a slightly forward direction with the bottom or closed end of the loop extending over the adjacent portion 27 of the vweb and continues back across area 25 in a slightly, forward direction. After crossing the area 25 the thread continues along the next intermediate section of` base line 31, land so on. The thread 16, thus, continuously extends along the web 24, crossing over each area 25 to `partially encompass a major portion of it, formingthe same pattern for each stack 2t) of cheese slicesto be packaged. The portion of the area 25 enclosed by the thread 16 is preferably substantially coextensive with that entire area, with the entrance to or open end of the loop being preferably substantially coextensive with one side of the area.
It is preferable to secure the thread 16 to the film 12 to insure that it is properly located in the nished package 15 and to maintain it in position during the opening operation. The thread 16 is shown imbedded in the coating 13 of the lm 12 (FIG. 3), but it may be secured to the lm by other suitable means such as an adhesive or by softening the surface of the lm itself and imbedding the thread in the softened film. This securing operation may be done when the thread is placed on the web or as a separate operation.
The thread 16 may be placed on the web 24 in the position shown in FIG. 2 in a variety of Ways. One convenient method of placing the thread 16 on the web 2 4 isby effecting continuous longitudinal relative movement of a length of `the web and a supply of the thread such as a spool orwreel of thread while feeding the thread onto the web generally centrally thereof, and by elect-n ing transverse relative movement between the portion i of the thread being fed and the web to create a repeated pattern. This may be accomplished, for example, by moving the web longitudinally while feeding the thread cti a spool onto it and moving the unwinding thread transversely to produce the desired contigui-ations.
As described above and shown in FIG. 6, in forming the packages 15 from the web 24, the stacks 20 are en-v closed in the tube 34 in spaced-apart relation to each other and the tube is sealed intermediate the stacks.
After that, the packages 15 may be separated from one another by cutting the sealed intermediate parts of the tube 34, including the tear thread 16, leaving an end iin di? at either end of each package 15. A notch 42 may be cut in one or both end tins 49 of each package. vThe notch d2 is positioned inwardly Iof the cut end of the tear thread 16 which extends adjacent one side of the end nll.
To open the package 15, the corner of the tin 40 outwardly of the notch 42, together with the enclosed end of the .thread 16, can he-readily torn away from the rest of the iin dil. Then the remainder of the thread 16 is pulled upthrough the film 12, as indicated in FIG. 4, to open the package 15. The adhesion between the thread 16 and the filrn 12 should begr-eat enough to maintain the thread in proper position during the opening operation so that the tearing will be along the desired path i.e., along the original location of the thread. As alreadynoted the thread 16 should be strong yet thin enoughto produce a thin, clearly defined line of severance.
Specifically, the threadsevers the film 12 from the end `tin 4t) to the corner of the package top wall Z6 adjacent thereto, cutting along the line designated 5d in FIG. 4. Then the thread 16 severs the lilm'12 along line 52, which extends from the aforementioned corner of the top wall 26, at a slight angle to the edge of the package across the top of` the package to its opposite side. The thread then severs the film 12 along an arcuate line 5d, describing a generally semi-circular curve on the side wallA 28 of the package. The thread 16 then follows the inclined linef56 back across the top wall Z6 of the package, the line 58 from thereto the n 4t? opposite the starting point, and finally through that end iin 4d. Preferably, the thread is symmetrically disposed with 5G and 52 describing generally similar paths to 56 and 5S, respectively. The thread 16 may be torn completely from the package 15 and discarded when the package is opened.
The package is, thus, neatly opened along a thin line which severs a truncated pyramid-shaped Hap 46 from the top wall 26 of the package, thereby lcreating a truncated pyramid-shaped opening 48 in the top wall. The opening 48 exposes substantially the entire top surface of stack 2d of cheese slices 22. Inaddition, parts ofthe sides of thestack 20 are exposed; severing the iilm'lZ along lines 50 and Si; exposes part of one side of the stack while severing it along line 54 exposes part of the other side of the stack.
Features of the package just described make'it very desirable for packaging slices of perishable food products such as cheese. For example, when the package is open, as shown generally in FIG. 4, the top slice of cheese is readily accessible and it may be grasped and removed from the package without tearing the package any further. This accessibility results from several features of the present structure. As described above, part of the edges of slices of cheese are exposed by the severing of the lm 12 along arcuate line 54, and as the cheese is iexible, the top slice may be grasped by that part of its edge and removed from the package. In additiomthe opposite edges of the slices are exposed by the severing of the film 12 along lines 50 and 58, making the topvslices directly accessiblevfrom that side. This elimination of additional tearing preserves the neat appearance of the package after it is opened. When the desiredrnumber of cheese slices have been removed from the package, the package may be readily reclosed by merelygfoldns the 11519.46. back over the wref the Stack 20, as shown in FIG. 5.
Of particular importance is the flap 46 and its operation in a package of cheese slices. When the package is initially opened, and before any slices are removed, the iiap i6 just covers the opening 48 in the top wall 26 of the package. When one or more slices 22 of cheese are removed from the package, however, and the ap 46 is placed back over the top of the stack, the severed edges of the ap 46 will overlap the severed edges of the remainder of the top wall 26 of the package. This overlapping of the flap 46 produces a securely re-closed package which will better protect the cheese from the adverse effects of the atmosphere.
The overlapping results from the configuration of the tiap d6 in combination with the particular form of -the product being packaged, i.e., a stack of slices. As slices are removed from the top of the stack, the height of the stack is reduced, allowing the upper edge portion of the vertical walls of the packages to fold over the top of the diminished stack. Since the flap M extends from the uper edge of one side Wall, when a slice of cheese is removed from the stack the ap 46 will be displaced relative to the opening 48 in the top wall 26 of the package. Due to the inclined edges of the flap 46 and of the opening d8, the relative displacement creates the above-described overlapping. No additional iilm 12 is required to produce the overlap as the necessary film is made available by merely removing some of the cheese from the package.
Another embodiment of the invention, shown in FIG- URES 7 and 8, is generally like the preferred embodiment and numerals and letters sufxed with the small letter a are used to designate corresponding parts. The tear thread 16a is disposed on the web 24a, extending continuously along three sides of each rectangular area 25a, as shown in FIGURE 8.
When the package a, made from web 24a and shown in FIG. 7, is opened, the rectangular tiap 46a exposes the entire top of the stack 2da. Sides of the stack 26a are also exposed, in generally the same manner as in the preferred embodiment, to make cheese accessible without further tearing of the package 15a. On reclosing the package, the ap 46a will overlap the side wall of the package opposite from where the tiap 46a remains attached. Also, the upper portions of that side Wall and the end walls of the package will fold over the top of the remaining cheese to assist in providing protection from the atmosphere.
In producing this web 24a, the method described in connection with the preferred embodiment would be performed with periodic halts in longitudinal movement to allow the thread 16a to be placed along the ends of the areas 25a, generally perpendicular to the base line Another embodiment, also generally, similar in principle to the preferred embodiment, is shown in FIGS. 9, l0, and l1, and has the same numerals and letters for corresponding parts sufiixed with b. The tear thread 16b, in this embodiment, crosses back over itself to provide a complete loop. Specifically, the tear thread 16b extends continuously, moving from left to right, along the base line 31b between the rectangular areas ZSb, along the side of the area 25h coinciding With the line 31b and along the three other sides of the area. The thread 16b then doubles back on itself, extending along the part of line SIb coinciding with the side of the area 25h, crosses over itself, and continues on along the next part of line Sib. This pattern is repeated for each area 25b. When opening a package 15b made from a web 24b, the thread 16h may either be pulled only to sever the top wall 26b on three sides to form a iiap similar to ap 46a, or the thread may be pulled further to completely sever the top wall 26b from the rest of the package. Since the thread 16b crosses over itself in this embodiment, only one end of the thread may be used to open the package 15b. The method for producing web 24b will of course involve a combination of longitudinally forward and backward as well as transverse movements.
Thus, a package is presented by the present invention which can be readily and neatly opened by one simple threaded pulling operation to make the contents of the package accessible. The package of the present invention is particularly advantageous for packaging stacks of cheese slices, as the slices are made accessible when the package is open without further tearing of the package and the package can be easily and more effectively reclosed after some of the slices are removed.
Various fea-tures of the invention are set forth in the following claims.
l. A cheese package including a cheese product of stabilized and generally rectangular configuration, a sheet of flexiblewrapper material formed in a tube disposed about said product in generally conforming relation thereto and completely enclosing said product, said tubular wrapper being sealed across the opposite ends thereof, and a tear means secured on the side of said sheet which faces said product, said tear means extending from a position wherein one end is within one of said wrapper ends to a major surface portion on the product where it is disposed in a generally sinuous manner to describe an area which includes the entire length of at least one side of said major surface portion, and said area defined by said tear means including two additional sides which `are disposed in spaced-apart relation and which extend from opposite ends of said one side of said major surface portion aand across the entire Width of the product, the other end of said tear means extending to a position within the other of said wrapper ends, at least one end of said tear means being available to be grasped and moved relative to the package to thereby rupture the wrapper and form a tiap portion of said flexible material which is movable away from said product while maintaining a connection between said flap and said package along said one side, to thereby provide for exposure of the product across its entire width while affording means for reclosing the package after it is initially opened.
2. A cheese package including a cheese product of stabilized and generally rect-angular configuration, a sheet of flexible Wrapper material formed in a tube disposed about said product in generally conforming relation thereto and completely enclosing said product, said tubular `wrapper being sealed across the opposite ends thereof to form a transverse iin adjacent said ends, and a tear means secured on the side of said sheet which faces said product, said tear means extending from a position within one of said end fins on to a major surface portion on the product where it is disposed in a generally sinuous manner to describe an area which is defined in part by at least one entire side of said major surface portion, and said area defined by said tear means including two additional sides which are formed by the tear means being disposed in spaced-apart relation and which additional sides extend from opposite ends of said one side of said major surface portion and across the entire width of the product, the other end of said tear means extending to a position within the other of said tins, at least one end of said tear means being available to be grasped and moved relative to the package to thereby rupture the wrapper and form a flap portion of said flexible material which is movable away from said product while maintaining a connection between said flap and said package along said one side, to thereby provide for exposure of the product across its entire width while affording means for reclosing the package after it is initially opened.
3. A cheese package including a cheese product of stabilized and generally rectangular configuration, a sheet of iiexible wrapper material formed in a tube disposed about said product in generally conforming relation thereto and completely enclosing said product, said tubular wrapper being sealed across the opposite ends thereof to form a transverse iin adjacent said ends, and a tear means secured on the side of said sheet which faces said product, said tear means extending from a position within one of svaidrend ns on to a major surface portion on the product, where it is disposed in a generally sinuous manner to describe an area dening a substantial portion of said major surface which includes the entire length of at least one side of said major surface portion and the entire widthof at least a part `of said major surface portion to thereby encompass the greater part of said major surface portion, said one side of said major surface portion being free of said tear means along said entire length thereof, the other end of said tear means extending to a position within the other of said, fins, and -at least one end of said tear means-being available to be grasped and ntovedvrelative to the package to thereby rupture the Wrapper and form a flap portion of said exible material whichvis movable away from said product to expose the latter While maintaining a connection between Said ap andsaid package along said one side.
References Gited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Ferres Oct. 13, Malocsay Apr. 19, Milmoe et al. Dec. 9, Bronander Nov. 16, Roush Aug. 8, Gerrish lfuly'27, Bellet al. Ian. 11, Parker et al. Jan. 27,
FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain May 6, Sweden Apr. 8,