US 3112047 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 26, 1963 c. F. WEINREICH ETAL 3,
LIQUID-TIGHT CONTAINER Filed Nov. 1, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 WA YNE H. FL'ICKINGEI? mwsurons CHAAL 5 E WE/NRE/CH ATTORNEY c. F. WEINREICH ETAL 3,112,047
Nov. 26, 1963 LIQUID-TIGHT CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed NOV. 1, 1960 WAYNE HFL/CKINGE R mmvroxs CHA PL E5 F WE/NRE/CH ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,112,047 LIQUID-TIGHT CONTAINER Charles F. Weinreich and Wayne H. Flickinger, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, assignors to Cherry-Barrel! Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 1, 1960, Ser. No. 66,573 7 Claims. (Cl. 222-105) This invention relates to a liquidatight container and more particularly to an improved disposable container having a liquid-tight liner that is suitable for carrying, storing, and dispensing fluids and other flosvable prod ucts.
The dispensing of fluids such as milk in small quantities from bulk containers is a familiar practice in many eating establishments. One type of dispenser commonly used is that shown in Patent No. 2,601,319. When these dispensers were first used, the milk was shipped and dispensed from five gallon milk cans modified by the addition of a rubber hose for dispensing the milk in small quantities. In recent times many attempts have been made to replace the milk can with light weight, disposable containers. So far, such attempts have been only slightly successful, but if a satisfactory disposable container could be designed, it would have many advantages over the use of the milk cans. Some of these advantages would be lower initial cost and elimination of the necessity of returning the cans to the dairy and washing them prior to refilling with fresh milk.
To date, all the attempts to make a satisfactory disposable container have used plastic bag and carton combinations. This combination makes a desirable container but the attempts have not been successful because some of the designs require the use of components that add a relatively large amount to the cost of the container. Other designs were difficult to manufacture, would not drain completely because of the formation of pockets and folds in the bag, did not have adequate strength and therefore a high percentage of leakers resulted. Others were difficult to fill properly, excessive foaming of the product occurred, or dispensing was unsatisfactory.
The primary object of our invention therefore is to provide an improved sanitary, light weight, disposable container that can be used for the storage, transportation and dispensing of milk or other flowable products.
Another object of our invention is to provide an improved light weight disposable container that is low in cost.
A further object of our invention is to provide such a container that has adequate strength to withstand the handling associated with the filling, storage, transportation and dispensing of milk from the container.
Another object of our invention is to provide such a container in which the formation of folds is practically eliminated, thus reducing the possibility of added stresses causing failures in the container liner.
It is a still further object of our invention to provide a disposable liquid container of the plastic bag box design that will minimize the formation of pockets in the bag and therefore permit substantially all the contents to be emptied.
It is a still further object of our invention to provide a container design in which the dispensing nozzle of the bag liner is formed integrally with the liner in a manner that eliminates the possibility of the nozzle becoming pinched off accidentally.
It is another object of our invention to provide a contniner of the combination plastic-bag-box type in which means is provided to position the liner and properly hold it in the box during filling thereby minimizing the formation of troublesome pockets and folds that tend to otherwise form during the filling operation.
It is a still further object of our invention to provide a disposable container in which the plastic bag liner has a novel filling spout that can be easily applied to a simple filler and sealed thereon to prevent the admission of air into the bag during the filling operation and thereby eliminate foaming of the product.
It is a still further object of our invention to provide a disposable container that can be easily manufactured, compactly shipped and stored in a flattened condition, and readily assembled with a minimum of effort.
These and other objects of our invention will be apparent from consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FEGURE 1 is a side view of the line portion of our novel container shown in a flattened condition;
FIGURE 2 is an exploded view of our novel container;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the assembled container showing the components from the side;
FIGURE 4 is a top view of the false bottom that forms a component of our novel container; and
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view showing from the side a modified form of our invention.
Referring first to FIGURES l, 2 and 3, a container 10 consists of a box 11 with flaps 12 at the dispensing end, flaps 13 at the other end, and a flexible liner or bag indicated generally by the reference numeral 14. Bag 14 is formed of a relatively thin, flexible material, such as polyethylene.
Formed preferably as an integral part of the bag 14 are a filling spout 16 and a dispensing spout 18. The filling spout 16 is tapered so as to be funnel shaped and the least dimension or neck 17 of the filling spout 16 is preferably of a size that will form a sealing fit around a filling nozzle (not shown). The bag 14 is formed by cutting from two superimposed sheets of material the desired shape of the bag. In the shape shown in FIGURE 1, the longitudinal edge 20 of the bag 14 can be formed along a folded edge of the material and this edge 20 therefore would not require sealing. However, at least the remaining edges of the bag 14 must be sealed. Thus, the two sides of the filling spout, all the sides and edges of the dispensing spout 18, and the other longitudinal edge 22 of bag 14 as well as the ends are closed by suitable sealing methods.
Note that the dispensing spout 18 extends a considerable distance beyond the longitudinal edge 22. Also note the angle of the dispensing spout 18 and that the portion of longitudinal edge 22 adjacent the dispensing spout 18 is preferably out back so that the width of the bag 14 at that point is narrower than the remaining portion of the bag 14. This narrowed portion 24 improves the functioning of the bag 14:, but is not absolutely necessary. However, the length and angle of the dispensing spout 18 are extremely important for the best operation of our novel bag 14. We have found, for example, that if the dispensing spout 18 extends parallel to the longitudinal edges 20 and 22 the spout 18 will at times become pinched off, which is obviously undesirable. The three corners 26 of the bag 14 are all preferably cut off at an angle, as shown, to avoid the formation of troublesome folds and pockets. When constructed according to our invention, the bag 14 when filled closely approaches the shape of the square box 11, which is the most desirable shape for the bag 14. Manufacturing problems, however, prohibit the making of a perfectly square bag.
The box 11 preferably is provided with a false bottom 28. Although false bottom 28 facilitates dispensing, it is not absolutely necessary. If used, false bottom 2-8 provides a sloping platform 30 supported by four flaps 32 that tend to distribute the Weight of the contents of bag 14 around the outside edges of the box 11 Where it has its greatest strength. An opening 3d is provided in the platform of false bottom 28 and the dispensing spout 18 extends through this opening, as best seen in FIGURE 3. The shape of this opening 34 is important to allow proper dispensing of the contents of the bag 14- and to prevent the spout 18 from becoming pinched off. We have found the shape shown in FIGURE 4 to be quite satisfactory, the opening 34 having a straight base with two diverging sides that are joined by a curved portion. An opening 36 is also necessarily provided in the end flaps 12, this opening 36 being formed by a pull-out tab 38 provided in the fiaps 12 of the box 11.
We prefer to connect a board to the bag 14 opposite the end on which the filling spout 16 and dispensing spout 18 are formed. Board 40 is made of thin and flexible but somewhat stiff material such as pasteboard and its shape corresponds to the interior of box 11. The board 40 may be made slightly larger than the inside dimensions of the box 11 and it is secured to the end of the bag 14 in any suitable manner, for example, by heat sealing or by the use of a satisfactory adhesive. The purposes for board 40 will be obvious from the description below of how the container 10 is used.
Our novel bag and box container 10 can be used for any flowable material and has particular utility when used for milk in a dispenser of the type referred to previously. The container 10 is preferably filled by a filling apparatus that has a tubular filling nozzle, this being one of the advantages of the bag 14 since this is a very simple and inexpensive type of filling nozzle. Both the bag 14 and the box 11 are shipped in a flat condition thereby taking up a minimum of space. When the operator is ready to assemble and fill the container 10', he first assembles the box 11 by closing the flaps 13. The box 11 is then inverted and the bag 14 inserted in the box. The end of the bag 14 having secured thereto the board 40 is inserted all the way down into the box 11 until the board 40 rests on the flaps 13 that have been previously closed. The board 40 here serves the purpose of simplifying the insertion of the bag 14 which can at times be somewhat awkward to handle due to its flexibility. The board 49 also positions and centers the bag 14 propenly within the box 11. Proper positioning during filling is very important. The operator then positions the box 11 containing the bag 14 beneath suitable filling apparatus (not shown), grasps the unsealed opening of the filling spout 16 and slips the filling spout 16 over the tubular nozzle of the filling apparatus. As mentioned before, the neck 17 of the filling spout 16 is of such a dimension to provide a substantially air-tight fit around the nozzle of the filling apparatus. This is desirable since some products, and especially milk, foam excessively in the presence of air. Since the bag 14 is shipped in a flattened condition, there is little or no air in the bag 14 prior to the filling operation. Only an extremely small amount of air is introduced into the bag 14 when the filling spout 16 is slipped over the filling nozzles. Since the neck 17 fits substantially air-tight around the filling nozzle, air will not be drawn into the bag during the filling operation and foaming will be eliminated.
To properly fill the bag 14, the filling spout 16 should be slipped onto the filling nozzle as far as possible thereby stretching the bag 14 to its maximum length. Of course, the weight of the milk in the bag 14 as it is filled will gradually slide the filling spout 16 down on the filling nozzle but the bag 14 will be stretched at all times. By thus holding the filling spout 16 up during filling, the formation of pockets in the bag 14 is minimized and the possibility of underfilling because of these pockets is eliminated and proper drainage is also assured.
Once the bag 14 is filled to the desired amount, the filling spout 16 is slipped off the filling nozzle and the opening of the spout 16 is then sealed by any suitable means. The operator then takes the false bottom 28 and after spreading the dispensing spout 18 through the opening 34, places the false bottom 23 into the box 11 Cit until the bottom edges of flaps 32 are even with the open end of the box 11. The false bottom 23 should be positioned so that the dispensing spout 18 is on the same side of the box 11 as is the dispensing opening 36. It is also necessary that when the operator inserts the bag 14 into the box 10 prior to filling that the bag 14 be positioned so the spout 18 will be in alignment with the opening 36. Errors can be kept to a minimum by making the box 11 and board 40 slightly rectangular.
With the false bottom 28 in place, the end flaps 12 are then closed. The flaps 12 may be of any suitable interlocking design or they may be taped shut. The container 10 is then ready for shipment.
When ready to be used, the container 10 is placed inside the dispenser. The tab 38 in end flaps i2 is then pulled out and bent downward and the dispensing spout 18 grasped and pulled through the opening 36 and down through the pinch-type valve (not shown) that is generally used in milk dispensers. After the spout 18 is closed off by the pinch-valve, the sealed end of the dispensing spout 18 is cut off thus allowing the contents of the containcr It) to be dispensed upon opening of the pinch valve.
Another important feature and advantage of our novel container 10 is that as the contents of the bag 14 is dispensed, the board 40 will remain at the top of the box 11 and hold the bag 14 up. This minimizes the formation of pockets which collect milk and prevent completely emptying the bag 14. This is a substantial improvement over containers of the prior art which generally leave a cup or more remaining in the bag. Except for 25 or 30 cubic centimeters our novel container 10 can he completely emptied Without any manipulation of the container 10.
Referring now to FIGURE 5, another embodiment of our invention will be described with parts similar to those of the first embodiment being referred to by same reference numeral followed by the subscript a. Container ltla includes a box 1112 identical to the box 11 used in the first embodiment. Box 11a has a plastic liner or bag 14a that when in dispensing position preferably rests upon a false bottom 28a identical to that of the first embodiment. The basic differences between the container 19a in FIGURE 5 and container 10 of the first embodiment are in the construction of the bag. The bag 14a has the dispensing spout 180 at one end and the filling spout 16:! at the opposite end. Also, the bag 1411 does not have secured to it a board 40 but instead the bag 1411 is suitably secured to the false bottom 28a. Otherwise, the bag 14a is identical to the bag 14 of FIGURE I having a narrowed down portion 24a similar to portion 24 and the spout 18a of the same shape and angle as spout 18.
To assemble the box 11a the end flaps 12a are closed first. The filling spout 18a is extended through the opening 34a and the bag 14a fixed to the false bottom 28a. Alternatively, the bag 14a may be secured to the false bottom 280 by the container manufacturer thus eliminating this step of the assembly. The bag with the false bottom 28a attached is then inserted into the box 11a. The bag 14a is then ready to be filled. Unlike the first embodiment, the dispensing spout 18a is in a downward position during filling.
The embodiment of FIGURE 5 has the advantage over the first embodiment in that it eliminates the cost of the board 40, which holds up the top of the bag 14 during the time it is being emptied. Holding up the top of the bag 14a can be accomplished in the second embodiment by securing in any suitable manner the filling spout 16a to the top flaps 13a after the bag 14a is filled and the filling spout 15a sealed. This could be done, for example, by placing the filling spout 16a between two of the flaps 13a and then folding the other two flaps down over the spout 16a. The false bottom 28a serves the more important funciton of board 40, namely, to position the bag 14a prior to and during filling.
Having thus described our invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various revisions and modifications can be made therein without depanting from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is our intention therefore that the scope of our invention be determined by the following claims.
1. A container comprising a box, a rigid liquid-tight flexible bag in said box, said bag being in a fiat collapsed condition when empty and supported by the walls of said box when filled with liquid, means on said bag to provide for filling and emptying the bag, and means to hold up one end of said bag in said box while the contents of the bag are emptied from the opposite end.
2. A container comprising a box, a liquid-tight bag in said box, means on said bag to provide for filling and emptying the bag, and a positioning member secured to the end of said bag opposite the end from which the bag is emptied, said member being of a shape corresponding to the inside of the box and substantially more rigid than the bag, said member also being slightly larger than the inside of the box to hold up the end of said bag while its contents are emptied from the opposite end.
3. For use in a supporting enclosure, a liquid-tight flexible bag that is in a flat collapsed condition when empty, means on said bag to provide for filling said bag, and an integral dispensing spout at a bottom corner of said bag said spout projecting outwardly and downwardly from said bag at an obtuse angle relative to the bottom of the bag and extending a considerable distance beyond said bag, a considerable portion of said bag along the edge just above said dispensing spout being of reduced width.
4. A container comprising a box, a liquid-tight flexible bag in said box, means on said bag to provide for filling the bag, a dispensing spout on said bag formed of the same material as said bag, and extending downwardly and outwardly therefrom, and a false bottom in said box, said false bottom having an opening therein through which the dispensing spout extends, said opening having a straight base with diverging sides joined by a curved portion, the curved portion of the opening embracing the portion of said spout distant from its outer extremity, the sides of the opening diverging toward said outer extremity of the spout.
5. A liquid container comprising a box, a flexible bag in said box formed of liquid impervious material, said bag being in a flat, collapsed condition when empty, a tapered filling spout formed of the same material integrally with said bag, the narrowest portion of said filling spout being of a size to form an air-tight fit on a filling nozzle, a dispensing spout at one end of said bag formed of the same material integrally with said bag, a positioning member at the end of said bag opposite the dispensing spout, said member being of the same shape but slightly larger than the inside of said box so as to hold up the end of said bag as its contents are emptied, and means on said box to provide for extending said dispensing spout through said box to the outside thereof.
6. The liquid container of claim 5 in which the filling spout and dispensing spout are formed on the same end of said bag, and the positioning member is at the end of said bag opposite to said filling and dispensing spouts.
7. The liquid container of claim 5 in which said box is rectangular and the positioning member is also rectangular.
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