US 3236369 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
5 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. IA.
H. N. MOORE COMPARTMENTED PACKAGE Feb. 22, 1966 Filed Nov. 9, 1962 F IG.
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ATTORNEYS Feb. 22, 1966 H. N. MooRE COMPARTMENTED PACKAGE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 9, 1962 ..0 nlnf Re .la m 52 mw 3 WM a YM W -l 9 i mmm G. N f n d s m .2 y w 3 3 m lll. vin@ B .m y m .y m., B. w m mf F ||.8.T Mw 2 (I \[1 A TTORNEYS Feb. 22, 1966 H. N. MooRE COMPARTMENTED PACKAGE Filed Nov. 9. 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 F IG. I3
|27 Howard Nelson Moore ATTORNEYS United States Patent Olice 3,236,369 Patented Fel). 22, 1966 3,236,369 COMPARTMENTED PACKAGE Howard Nelson Moore, Silver Spring, Md.; George W. Moore, administrator of the estate of said Howard N. Moore, deceased Filed Nov. 9, 1962, Ser. No. 236,558 Claims. (Cl. 2116-56) The present application is a continuation-impart of my copending applications Serial No. 411,235, tiled September 17, 1941, now abandoned in View of Serial No. 92,- 476, tiled May 10, 1949, now U.S. Patent No. 2,808,691, granted October S, 1957, and a continuation of my application Serial No. 454,912, tiled September 9, 1954, now abandoned.
The present invention concerns the packaging of a numher of relatively similar objects, articles or units of material in a multicompartmental package, and the preservation lof the packaged units.
Reference is made to U.S. Letters Patent No. 2,255,- 432, granted to me September 9, 1941, on analogous subject matter, for supplementary disclosure and background. See also U.S. Letters Patent No. 3,015,917, granted to me January 9, 1962 for Individual Packaging Apparatus, Method, an'd Package on application Serial No. 688,756 tiled October 7, 1957.
It is an object of the invention to provide a package of similar units of material which are individually wrapped, each unit being sealed against contamination or change by any foreign matter, bacteria, moisture, undesired oxidation, other undesirable chemical changes, or the like. The present invention provides a package comprising individual units of similar character which are contained in individual compartments formed of cup-shaped elements which may overlap in scaling relation one with the other to form a unitary package of substantial strength whereby to guarantee the integrity of the sealed character of the individual compartments.
It is an object of the invention to package individually, like units of material comprising candy lozenges, candy mints, pigments, putty, extracts, chemicals, tablets, pharmaceuticals, slices of bread, cakes, cookies, cheese, fish, sea food, meat, meat products, tobacco, spices, tea, sugar, flour, meal and without limitation, loose materials of all kinds, including granulated, powdered or viscous materials and liquids. These products may be packaged in measured units to facilitate use without waste and to achieve a desired result. Diverse articles may be packaged such as complete meals, food and drink mixes, sandwiches, condiments or any compound ready mixed or in its component parts.
It is an object of the invention to provide a package for individual units of perishable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, foodstuffs and the like which can be irradiated by iissionable material or a radiation generating device, or any suitable radioactive material or source.
The radiation herein referred to may be low level radiation of materials before packaging or preferably of the packaged material with all coverings and seals intact. Although low level radiation is at the present time preferred because it provides adequate normal protection to the otherwise perishable contents without interference with taste, odor, or other characteristics, the invention is not limited to this type of irradiation. Where the objection to discoloration, changes in smell, and taste, are not limiting factors or they are controllable within acceptable limits, the invention is intended to be utilized for the packaging of food which i-s sterilized completely whereby refrigeration can, in most cases, be dispensed with entirely. Such packages may be used in the field on long trips or merely stored on a shelf and used a unit at a time as required.
While the present technique of relatively low level i1'- radiation for pasteurization is preferred, and it is not intended for normal use to make the packages or their contents radioactive, such treatment is not precluded where the maintenance of the otherwise perishable contents under highly `adverse conditions is paramount to taste, smell and other requirements regarding changes in characteristics. cEven in these cases, sterilization is all that would be required and it is only where there is danger of contamination from the outside by penetration or rupture of the compartment walls or the sealed joints that radioactivation of the contents, however mild, is resorted to. Until these techniques are improved, it is contemplated =that the pasteurized packages of the more delicate or more, perishable foods will be refrigerated as well.
The air contained in the individual compartments of the package may be withdrawn and replaced by an inert gas such as nitrogen or other air which has been sterilized. Nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon, neon or the like are preferred where oxidation is a deleterious factor. If desired, the sterilized air or inert gas itself may be radioactivated before injection in those cases where a long period of storage under highly adverse conditions is contemplated. If any chemical reaction, perfuming effect, coloring, taste, texture or food value change or any other chemical or physical combination or mixture is desired, the proper gas or material may of course be introduced before, during packaging, or later.
It is to be understood that in all cases where the package and its contents are radioactivated, sufficient shelf life or other storage time must be allowed prior to human consumption to assure against poisoning from this source. Such packages, as well as those just discussed above, are preferably dated, showing time of sealing or the date after which they may be opened and used with good effect and safety.
It is an object of the invention to provide means for producing a package of a number of articles which are individually wrapped.
It is an object of the invention to provide means for producing a package containing a number of substantially sterile articles, each of which is sealed against contamination by any foreign matter, moisture or the like.
The present invention provides a device whereby individual units of similar character may be rapidly and securely packaged individually by a single strip of paper. While the invention is primarily intended to package relatively small articles such as lozenges, candy mints, tablets, pharmaceuticals, it nevertheless may be applied to much larger things such as slices of bread, cakes, cookies or anything which lis fairly regular in outline and has two reasonably flat surfaces.
It is not, however, limited to such articles and may be utilized to package loose material such as tobacco or sugar which need not necessarily be compressed into tablet form. The invention finds an important application in the held of food packaging. Many perishable foods, for example meat patties, may he packaged individually in the same package by the present invention and may thereby eliminate the need for refrigeration where the food product has been irradiated, mixed with antibiotics, or other preservative means employed. lt will be appreciated that the opening of one or more compartment units will neither disturb nor contaminate the remainder of the package. While the units need not be round, they should preferably be substantially uniform in shape.
The term article is used herein as a thing of a particular ciass or kind, as deined at page 156 of Websters New International Dictionary, Second edition, Unabridged, G. & C. Merriam Company, publishers, 1947.
The present invention may utilize a feeding table in the central portion of which is an aperture of such size as to receive the article. The aperture is surrounded by a depending tube with a flaring lip. A roll of wrapping paper of suitable width is disposed at one side of the table and led by suitable guides and feeding rollers across the aperture, as shown and described in U.S. Patents Nos. 2,808,691 and 3,015,917 supra. Above the aperture is positioned a die punch. The paper is fed across the aperture by suitable mechanism and the article to be wrapped positioned thereon. A die punch is then lowered to cut a suitable blank from the paper. The edges of the blank may be tongued or not as desired. A punch which is associated with the die structure forces the article to be wrapped and the small paper blank upon which it rests into the aring mouth of the aperture. There is suicient margin provided on the paper blank to leave an upstanding annular collar extending well above the article to be wrapped. The article rests within the tube in a dish-like compartment, the top of which is open. The feeding rollers advance the paper strip so that it again covers the aperture and a second article is deposited thereon over the aperture and substantially centrally thereon. The die punch again descends, cuts a second blank and forces the article and the blank on which it rests into the tube on top of the rst article. The second blank will be seen to form a cover for the'rst article and the marginal portion of the first blank Will extend up around the sides of the second article on the outside of the second blank. This operation is repeated and the articles force each other down the tube which, after the mouth portion is passed, is of such diameter as to cause the marginal portion of the blanks to fit snugly against the outside of the side of the next succeeding article and blank. The tongued portions permit easy overlap at this stage. The paper may be waxed, coated, or of heat sealing cellophane or the like. A portion of the periphery of the tube may be heated by any suitable means such as a heating coil, causing the marginal portions of the blanks which are folded against the sides of the succeeding blanks to adhere thereto in a Vapor-proof gas-tight seal. The article is entirely enclosed between the two blanks in an individual compartment. If desired, the die punch structure may be made hollow and the articles deposited on the paper strip over the aperture from a magazine feed in the hollow portion of the punch. In this Way the article is deposited substantially simultaneously with the dieing out of the paper blank. A perhaps simpler construction may be obtained by employing a separate mechanism for positioning the articles. This is particularly true where some variation in size must be dealt With.
Pre-formed cups may be used to form the package by nesting them in the tube where the cup walls overlap and are sealed. Pre-formed cups may also be pre-filled.
In addition to the other means for the preparation of food, disclosed herein, it is an object of the invention to use the penicillins and the mycins, such as aureomycin, alone or together with similar and related antibiotics, which shall be selected for their disinfecting or antibiotic properties, with a minimal etect on taste and color. These substances may be added to the foods prior to packaging, and mixed therewith or sprayed thereon as desired. Again, the method of food preservation employed herein may utilize short sound waves which are ultrasonic in character, alone or in addition to the irradiation discussed at length. It is a-lso contemplated that dehydrofreezing, that is deep or quick freezing with small crystal formation supplemented by sublimation of the ice crystals with or without the application of a vacuum, may be incorporated as steps in the process of forming a package according to the invention. It will be understood that in order to maintain quality with minimum deleterious action on the packaged foods two or more of the above preserving means or processes may be employed in combination or successively on food to be packaged or food in the packages.
In the drawings like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary elevation in section of one form of the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a section taken along line 2 2 of FIG- URE 1.
FIGURE 3 is one form of package having a formed closure of part of the wrapper.
FIGURE 4 is another form of package having an added closure member.
FIGURE 5 is a schematic showing of the various treatments to which the package may be subjected in sequence.
FIGURE 1A is a longitudinal sectional view of one form of the new package.
FIGURE 2A is a plan View of one form of partition member.
FIGURE 3A is a section along line 3A-3A of FIG- URE 2A.
FIGURE 4A is a fragmentary portion of FIGURE 1A enlarged to show detail.
FIGURE 5A is a modication of FIGURE 4A.
FIGURE 6A is a modified form of the invention.
FIGURE 7A is a plan View of the form of partition members used in FIGURES 1A, 4A, 5A and 6A.
FIGURE 8A is a section taken along line 8A--8A of FIGURE 7A.
FIGURE 9A is a sectional View of a modied form of the invention.
FIGURE 10A is a plan view of a pre-formed cup forming one of the elements of FIGURE 9A.
FIGURE 11A is a section along line 11A--11A of FIGURE 10A.
FIGURE 1B is a longitudinal sectional view of one form of the new package.
FIGURE 2B is a plan view of one form of partition member.
FIGURE 3B is a section along line 3B-3B of FIG- URE 2B.
FIGURE 4B is a fragmentary portion of FIGURE 1B enlarged to show detail.
FIGURE 5B is a modification of FIGURE 4B.
FIGURE 6B is a modied form of the invention.
FIGURE 7B is a plan View of the form of partition members used in FIGURE 6B.
FIGURE 8B is a section taken along lone SB-SB of FIGURE 7B.
FIGURE 9B is a sectional view of a modilied form of the invention.
FIGURE 10B is a plan view of one of the elements of FIGURE 9B.
FIGURE 11B is a section along line 11B-11B of FIGURE 10B.
FIGURE 12 is an enlarged section of the package of FIGURE 9B without an outer wrapper.
FIGURE 13 is an enlarged section of the package of FIGURE 9B with a modified closure.
FIGURE 14 is an enlarged section of the package of FIGURE 9B with a closure such as shown at the top of FIGURE 1B.
FIGURE 15 is a modified form of the invention for packaging larger flat units such as slices of bread, hamburger patties, cheese slices, luncheon meat, sandwiches and the like.
FIGURE 16 is a sectional elevation of one form of spacer or support element to be employed where the: packaged contents are fragile or delicate in one sense: or another.
FIGURE 17 is a section closure or spacer element. which may be employed in certain forms of the invention.
One form of the invention comprises a machine frame 10 of usual construction which supports a table 11 haw ing a central aperture 12. An annular guide ring 13 is mounted on the under side of the table 11 and surrounds aperture 12. A tapered channel 14 in the ring 13 connects aperture 12 and tube 15 which is mounted on the under surface of ring 13. Aperture 12, channel 14 and tube 15 are aligned and form a continuous passage which is progressively smaller in cross sectional area from aperture 12 to the upper end of tube 15. While aperture 12 and channel 14 are shown as frusto conical and tube 15 is cylindrical it will be understood that these elements may have polygonal, elliptical, or any other suitable crosssection to conform with or to form the packaged units or the package produced. The lower end of tube 15 may have a somewhat enlarged diameter at 16 and may be connected with another tube orslide to deliver completed packages to a box or other grouping of packages as a merchandising sales package.
At one side of aperture 12 a narrow roll 17 of strip packaging material such as waxed paper, coated heat or pressure sealing cellophane, coated heat or pressure sealing foils or the like is mounted at 18 on frame 10 and table 11. The narrow strip 19 is led over curved guide 20, along the upper surface of table 11 between feed rolls 21 and 22 and over aperture 12 to a very slightly raised stop edge 23 in table 11. Table 11 is constructed with its upper surface at two slightly different levels, that portion to the left of stop edge 23 in FIGURE l being higher than the portion to the right by the thickness of strip 19. Additional feed rolls 21, 22 may be provided if desired to assure that strip 19 lies flat and does not buckle.
A guide sleeve 24 is supported by frame 10 directly over aperture 12 in table 11. A cutter member 25 is slidably mounted within guide sleeve 24 and provided with an annular cutting edge 26 and radial slitting knives 27. Annular cutting edge 26 dies out a circular blank from strip 19 and radial knives 27 cut radial slits in the outer edge of the blank. Where pucker is a problem slitting knives 27 may take the form shown at 28 and remove small wedge-shaped sectors from a blank.
Centered within guide sleeve 24 is a tube 29 which makes sliding contact with an air tight packing gland 30 in the upper closed end 31 of guide sleeve 24. An annular piston plate 32 is mounted on tube 29 at 33 and slides smoothly within the guide sleeve 24. A coil spring 34 is connected at one end to the lower side of annular piston 32, at the end to the upper side of cutter member 25 and surrounds that portion of the tube 29 between piston 32 and cutter 25. Mounting means 33 firmly unites piston 32 and tube 29, but cutter member 25 can slide relative to both sleeve 24 and tube 29 under the reaction of the cutting force exerted on strip 19 and the effect of spring 34.
Tube 29 may contain a central resilient plunger element 35 of rubber or the like as shown in FIGURE l, or it may contain a series of closure members 36 of cardboard, iiber, plastic or other material as shown in FIG- URE 4. Where closure members 36 are employed tube 29 extends upward into a supply hopper in which it reciprocates under the combined action of a piston and a restoring spring. The restoring spring is anchored to the inner wall of sleeve 24 by bolts and acts against the under surface of the piston. It is to be understood that although sleeve 24, cutter member 25 and tube 29 are shown as circular in cross-section they may be of any shape suitable to cooperate with aperture 12, channel 14 and tube 15.
The upper portion of sleeve 24 between the end closure and the annular piston comprises a pneumatic cylinder to which air under suitable pressure is supplied from a compressor-reservoir combination by a suitable pipe. A combination control and bleed valve is connected in the pipe and is operated by a solenoid connected in turn to the main control panel by lead wires.
A closure member ejector is mounted on an inner wall of sleeve 24 with the pneumatic cylinder portion. The ejector comprises a pointed armature movable toward closure elements 36 under the action of an energizing winding connected to the control panel by lead wires. A light compression spring maintains the armature inoperative when the Winding is not energized. The armature operates by extending through a slot in tube 29 and holding the column of closure members 36 stationary momentarily until the lowest element 36 is ejected from tube 29.
An article supply tube 51 is mounted on frame 11 adjacent sleeve 24. Supply tube 51 may be connected to a hopper or other supply for continuous feed of articles 52 to be packaged or the tubes 51 may be replaceable when empty. Beneath article supply tube 51 is mounted article positioning arm 53 having a curved article receiving face portion 54 and an elongate arcuate tail portion 55. Tube 51 is raised suiiiciently above table 11 to allow ample clearance for the passage of arm 53 and a single article 52. Arcuate tail portion supports the remaining articles 52 until arm 53 is returned. Arm 53 is operated by a spring return solenoid 56 and pivoted connecting rod 57 with suitable linkage. Solenoid 56 is connected the main control panel by lead wires 58.
Feed rolls 21 and 22 are driven by motor 59 connected to control panel by lead wires 60. Motor 59 vdelivers just the right amount of strip 19 Without drift.
Where the outline of cutting edge is other than rectangular an edging knife 61 is mounted on cutter member 25 by stud bolts 62 which move in slot 63 in guide sleeve 24. Trimmings are removed through cleaner channel 64 connected with a suitable source oi low pressure and having a valve 65 operated by the descent of cutter member 25 or synchronized therewith through lead wires. lnstead of using knife 61, roll 22 may be a serrating roll of a circumference equal to the length of wrapping portion 79 and positioned close enough to aperture 12 that only a single serration 89 exists in strip 19 at any one time.
ln that form of the invention which employs resilient plunger element 35 instead of closure members 36 closure of a package is effected in a different manner. A solenoid 66 is mounted on the underside of table 11. A depending arm 67 provides a pivot for bent lever arm 68 one end of which is connected to plunger 69 of solenoid 66 and the other end has a widened package engaging portion 70. An elongated slot 71 in the lower part of tube 15 permits the passage of lever portion 'itl which may be curved to iit the bottom of the package. Lead Wires 72 connect solenoid 66 to the control panel and may have a suitable delay device or network 73 in the circuit.
Top closure forming mold 74 is mounted on top of table 11 on an arm 75 which swings it clear of strip 19 which may be carried in a recessed channel in table 11. Arrn 75 is mounted in and operated by a spring return solenoid 76 which is connected to the control panel by lead wires 77. Heating element 7S is mounted on table 11 directly above closure mold 74 and is connected to a suitable source of power, including high frequency.
As noted above in connection with the structure of FIGURE 1, the proportions of the tubular member 15 may be such as to supply ample friction for the packaging step and successive packages force finished packages through the tubular member, the diameter of which may in itself provide sufficient resistance to assure proper nesting of the package segments, into the shipping case or to the next station for successive operation. 'Ihe tongue portions of the wrapper elements permit easy overlap at the cup forming stage. Where the paper is Wax coated or coa-ted with heat sealing plastic material ior the like, a portion of the periphery 'of the tubular magazine may be heated by suitable means such as a heating coil, which causes the marginal overlapping portions of t'he nested wrapper elements to adhere into a vapor-proof, gas-tight seal which produces a structurally strong, unitary columnar compartmented package. The heating coil or a similar one may also be employed to carry high frequency currents to aid in pasteurizing, pre-cooking or cooking the material in the several compartments. As noted above, Ithe article is entirely enclosed between adjacent nested blanks in an individual sealed compartment. If desired, `the die punch structure may be made hollow and the article deposited in a cup in the aperture from. a magazine formed in the hollow portion of the plunger immediately at the start of the return stroke or substantially simultaneously with the dieing out of the dish-like wrapper element in the aperture. A perhaps simpler construction may be obtained by employing a separate mechanical feed for depositing the article in the cup following the return stroke of the die. This is particularly true where some variation in size must be dealt with or pre-fonmed pre-lled cups are used. Such structure could be similar to that shown in FIGURE 1.
The number may vary from two compartments in a single package to an unlimited number where continuous packaging is done for some types of dispensing machines. In general, however, a package will usually have four, six, nine or twelve articles or uni-ts individually packed, though these numbers are not to be taken as limiting.
In order to provide sufficient strength in tension to form a strong, unitary structural member of the nested elements thereby forming a package that will resist accidental rupture, the overlap between adjacent nested element must extend a distance along the package at least a quarter of the average width of the package whereby the bond between adhered elements has an area at least as great as -the area of cross-section of the package.
As shown in FIGURE 5, following the sealing or closure of the top of the finished package the package is dropped into a shipping box, irradiation chamber 401, vending device or apparatus for performing the next function, i.e. flash freezer, vacuum chamber compartments 401 or separate chambers 401, followed by a chamber with a selected gas under pressure, high frequency cooking, pasteurizing chamber or the like. Where vacuum and gas filling are employed, the sealing ring which may also carry high frequency current may be placed on tubular channel member which may incorporate vacuum and gas pressure channels 400i and 402 as a part thereof in advance of the sealing ring position.
Package sealing and releasing for different sized packages of four through twenty-five or more compartments may be controlled by changing a gear on a cam. shaft lto produce the particular package required.
Where pre-formed cups such as those shown in FIG- URE 10A are used, positioning structure similar to elements 51 through 58 of FIGURE 1 may be used and strip feed eliminated.
It is within the scope of the invention to combine the above apparatus in its several forms with a controlled irradiation chamber or chambers 401 whereby the packaged products may be irradiated when in the package so as to assure against possible contamination. Where control is sufficiently close to guard against possible contamination, the irradiation step may take place as shown in FIGURE 5, during, or just prior to the actual packaging step, as well as subsequently. It will be understood that the packaging device and the packages themselves may be incorporated as part of a coin controlled vending machine whereby the packages may be dispensed from automatic machines in any desired quantity at any desired price. As is usual in such cases, machines of this type make change and display the several commodities being vended. The machine may be dial type, wherein the purchaser may select the number of packaged units which he wishes to purchase and in which the yselected number may be cut from a long columnar package. For this purpose the packaging machine itself may be continuous and need not necessarily produce packages with a pre-selected number of compartments, though such a package with a pre-selected number of compartments is probably preferable for many types of marketing, including automatic vending machines. Where highly elastic plastic sheets or envelopes are used for the packaging means, it will be understood that the compartments may be achieved by merely twisting the cylindrical wall of the columnar package between meassured units of the packaged product. For this purpose alternate segmented unit portions may be rotated in opposite directions to achieve the complete twisted enclosure of adjacent compartments, as discussed in U.S. Patent No. 3,015,917.
In regard to the irradiation of the packaged material, reference is made to the report of ythe Committee on Foods of the symposium on irradiation sterilization of foods of the National Academy of Science National Research Council Advisory Board on Quartermaster Research and Development, held at Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 26, 1953.
The packages shown in FIGURES 1A through 11A show a number of similar units .for example, 20 within an outer wrapper for example 21 which grips the units 20 and forms the package. As shown in FIGURE 6A, wrapper 21 may be a cylinder made up from a rectangular sheet. Between 4each of the units 20 is a partition member 22' which is preferably circular but may be of any desired outline. Member 22.' preferably has a certain stiffness but may be of the same material as wrapper 21 if desired. Wrapper 21 and partition member 22 may be of waxed paper, metal foil, regenerated cellulose, or any of the materials mentioned previously. They may be treated with waterproofing and sealing coimpounds common to the art, comprising wax, plastic coatings, and the like. Such compounds may be pressure or heat sealing. Partition 22 may be thickened at its edge as at 23 so as to form a better joint 24 with wrapper 21. Enlarged partition 23' may be formed by the material of partition 22 or it may be `a concentration of sealing compound or both. Partition 22' may be of substantially the same diameter as units 20 and so contact wrapper 21 without the indentations shown at 25 in FIGURES 4A and 4B.
In FIGURE 5A partition 22 contacts the sides of indentations 26. Partition 22 may merely rest or may be adhered to the in-turned ange counterpart of 26.
lFIGURE 6A presents a modified partition 27 shaped like a saucer with a projecting rim 28' the outer portion of which may be adhered `to wrapper 21'.
FIGURE 9A shows a development of the concept of FIGURE 6A. Here partitions 30 have become relatively deep and cup-shaped with high walls 31 which receive the bottom of the one next above. High walls 31 may be adhered to the bottom side portions next above and form a complete package without the aid of wrapper strip 21. Wrapper 21 may, however, be used with the structure of FIGURE 9A yas in FIGURE 6A. Adherence may be obtained through the agency of a heat sealing coating on the material cups 30 such as is common in the cellophane packaging art. Again, Contact sealing may be obtained by using a latex sealing compound on the outside near the bottom of cups 30 and at the inside near the top. Of course any suit-able adhesive may be used. The package may be closed by reversing a cup 30 at the upper end -or folding over and sealing the upstanding walls 31. A disc closure such as 32' may be used to which the opstanding walls 31 of the top cup can be adhered.
Normally walls 31 have enough flare and give to receive the bottom of the unit next above in snug, closelling relation. However as seen in FIGURE 11A, -a reduced portion 33 may be employed or the walls 31, may be regarded as enlarged. This allows for the lap and produces a smooth package. This last is thought to possess its main value when the units 20 are large or heavy and it becomes necessary to increase the thickness of the elements 30 accordingly, or an especially strong seal is desired for particular applications. Slits 34 may be used to facilitate intertting and forming of the cupshaped elements 30 or may function as individual openmeans for each compartment.
It will be noted that each article is packaged with its own individual compartment, the opening of which in no way disturbs the remaining articles. Where the wrapping material is used, contrasting colors can be used effectively to bring out the individualized compartments of the package.
In FIGURES lB-6B the package is made up of a number of similar units 20" such as mints, tablets, discs, nuts or any of the items mentioned. While the units 20" need not be round, they should preferably be sufficiently uniform in shape to be handled by automatic machinery. An outer wrapper 21" grips the units 20" and forms the package. Wrapper 21" may be a cylinder made up from a rectangular sheet or it may be a helix built up from a long narrow strip with or without the inwardly projecting edge disclosed in the patent mentioned above. Between each 4unit is a partition member 22" which is usually circular, but may be of any desired outline. Member 22 preferably has a certain stiffness, but may be of the same material as wrapper 21" if desired` Wrapper 2" and partition member 22 may be of waxed paper, coated metal foil, plastic material, regenerated cellulose, Saran, cellophane, Pliofilm, polyethylene, vinyl plastic, or the like. They may be treated with water-proofing and sealing compounds common in in the art. Such compounds may be heat sealing if desired. Partition 22 may be thickened at its edge as at Z3 so as to form a better joint 24 with wrapper 21". Enlarged portion 23" may be formed by the material of partition 22" or it may be a concentration of sealing compound or both. Partition 22 may be of substantially the same diameter as units 20" and so contact wrapper 21" without indentations such as 25".
In FIGURE B partition 22" is in Contact with the sides of indentations 26". Where a helical outer wrapper is used the edge may be folded over slightly after the manner taught in the above mentioned patent. Partition 22" may merely rest on or may be adhered to the inturned ange counterpart of 26". With only a slight turning in a helical wrapper 21" does not cover the entire inner face of the unit 20.
FIGURE 6B presents a modied partition 27" shaped much like a saucer with a projecting rim 28 the outer portion of which may be adhered to wrapper 21". Here again wrapper 21 may be formed from a narrow strip wound in a helix if desired, or a group may be assembled with the partitions 27" in place and all wrapped together in a rectangular sheet, making a cylindrical package.
FIGURE 9B shows a development of the concept of FIGURE 6B. Here partitions 30 have become relatively deep and cup-shaped with high walls 31" which receive the bottom of the one next above. High walls 31" may be adhered to the bottom side portions next above and form a complete p-ackage without the aid of wrapper strip 21". Wrapper 21 may, however, be used with the structure of FIGURE 9B as in FIGURE 6B. Adherence may be obtained through the agency `of a heat sealing coating on the material of cups 30 such as is common in the cellophane packaging art. Again, contact sealing may be obtained by using a latex sealing compound on the outside near the bottom of cups 30 and at the inside near the top. Of course, any suitable adhesive may be used. The package may be closed by reversing a cup 30" at the upper end or folding over and sealing the upstanding walls 31". Of course, a disc closure as 32" may be used to which the walls could be adhered.
Normally, walls 31 have enough flare and give to receive the bottom of the unit next above in snug, closetting relation. However, a reduced portion 33" may be employed or the walls 31 may be regarded as enlarged. This allows for the lap and produces a smooth package. This last is thought to possess its main value when the units 24)" are large or heavy and it becomes necessary to increase the thickness of the partition elements 30" accordingly. Slits 34" may be used to facilitate interiitting and forming of the cup-shaped elements 30".
The packages disclosed in FIGURES 9B-15B are products of the machine disclosed in copending application Seri-al No. 92,476, and are in general formed by nesting the individual elements 126" by pressing a sheet of material into a tube with the material to be packaged centered thereon, forming a cup surrounding the material, nesting a second cup therewith and heat sealing the two together.
In FIGURES 12B and 13B the individual cup-shaped members 126 may be formed of regenerated cellulose such as cellophane with heat sealing waterproofing coatings, thermoplastic materials such as Pliofilm, methylmethacrylate lm's, as well as many others. Preferably such films are transparent to disclose the contents of the individual compartments or units and may be of contrasting colors which may be employed effectively to bring out and emphasize the individual compartments of the package. Again, where two or more adjacent cornpartrnents are to be used simultaneously, as for example tea and sugar, they may be of the same distinctive color. In any given package colors may be used alone or with indicia to indicate sequence of use or combination or other treatment of the separate contents of the individual unit compartments. In pharmaceuticals, dangerous or sensitive materials in a package may be distinctively indicated by color or imprinting.
Metal foils may be used alone or in combination with the above materials to shield a complete package or a portion thereof from possible deleterious effects of light or other radiation. Metallic coatings lmay, of course, be sprayed or painted on the members 126 or some of them,l and wave-length selective filter materials may be used both to protect the contents and permit inspection without destruction of the package.
The cup-shaped elements 126" may be preformed as shown in FIGURE 11b or may be formed at the time the material is packaged. The package S8" usually contains six, eight or ten merchandise units 52 each contained in and separately packaged in the individual nested cupshaped members 126" discussed above and having their bottoms spaced apart to form compartments. The walls of the members 126 are relatively long, establish a substantial overlap with a nested member and closely approach the bottom of the second next adjacent nested cup, leaving a narrow annular band 127" of single thickness of material such that the strength of the package 88 as a column is but slightly decreased and the opening of a single individual compartment is greatly facilitated. It is only necessary to force a fingernail against narrow band 127 to give rise to a relatively high localized stress in shear in this narrow strip of single thickness. The closely adjacent edge of the double wall portion provides a stiff resistant shearing edge which cooperates with the ngernail much like the blades of a pair of scissors. Where the cup members 126 are made of heat sealing cellulose or other coated sheet material the nested members 126 are sealed together by a ring of sealing material adhering to the outside of one cup-shaped member 126 adjacent its bottom and adhering to the inside of the next adjacent member 126" below adjacent to its top, forming a strong unitary structural member of the nested cup members 126". Closure 36" is preferably a little larger than the units 52 to assure a good seal under pressure as the cups 126" pass heat ring 128" surrounding tube 15". For quicker setting of the heat seal, par- `ticularly for package 113, the heat effect of ring 128" is localized by making it part of the inner wall of tube and insulating ring 128" from the rest of tube 115 with fiber, porcelain, wood or the like.
In FIGURE 12b a top closure such as 136l is used, preferably a little larger in diameter than the units 52 to assure a good seal under pressure as the walls of cups 126 pass by the heat sealing area in the forming tube described in application Serial No. 92,476. Allowance is thus made for the fewer layers of material on the sides of closure 136". Where desired, as with medicaments, products for home use and the like, the closure 136 may be a folded or coiled direction sheet.
In FIGURE 13b the package 113 differs from package 88". The closure of package 113" is formed by folding over wall portions 129" of the uppermost cup member 126',l and heat sealing them. Portions 129" should butt seal together in the center and overlap radially without the necessity of adding an outer paper disc seal. However, such thin seals can be substituted for closure 136 and added at the final punch operation for each package 113 if desired. To allow for variations and 4assure a complete closure a drop of liquid cellulose acetate may be added to the center 130 during the forming step. Again, wall portions 129 may be of such length that they extend slightly beyond center 130".
The overlapping wall portions 129" as shown in FIG- URES 14 and l5 of packages 200 and 300 comprise a preferred form of the invention at present because care need not be exercised to obtain exact registration as with FIGURE 13b where the wall portions must meet without buckling. In package 200 the contents 201 may be coffee, tobacco, tea, sugar, headache powder, putty, butter pats, cheese portions, olive oil, iiour, corn meal, dehydrated potato, muffin mix, prepared rolls, ice cream, sundaes, custard, cream, fruit, processed eggs, individual first aid dressings or the like. In package 300 the contents 301 may be one or two bread slices, buttered bread, sandwiches, cakes, waies, beef hamburger patties, minute steaks, pork chops, crab cakes, individual meat pies, vegetables, tarts, iirst aid dressings for large areas, moist plasters and the like. An outer wrapper 302 is provided to give added security against contamination and added strength against rupture. The wrapper 302" will serve the major part of its function if it is applied only to that portion of the package 3011) which is contained between the arrows A-A in FIGURE 15. The overlapping seal 131 of the wall portions 12,9" is sufficiently strong to provide a secure closure without the addition of an outer wrapper 302". An unsealed free end portion 132 of the overlapping wall 129" may be left for ease in opening if desired. In the same way a free unsealed lip portion may be left at 133 for ease in opening if desired. Opening elements 127 and 132 may be used alone or together as desired.
Where the material 201" or 301" is soft and yielding, deformng readily under pressure, there is some danger that the packages 200 and 300 may not retain their desired shape. In such cases stiifening inserts 203 of FIGURE 16 of suitable configuration are placed within the cups 126" just prior to or at the time of inserting the material 201 or 301". A bottom member 204 of FIGURE 17 may be placed on the bottom of each cup 126 or may carry the material being packaged at the time of introduction and is packaged with it. Member 204 shown in FIGURE 17 may be formed somewhat in the manner of element 27 of FIGURES 7b and 8b to give some support at the edges. While members 203 and 204 may be of help in effecting -a satisfactory seal between individual compartments, the packaging machine itself can usually be relied upon to produce such action.
Although the compartments need not all be of equal size, it is usually better to make them equal or at least to provide a fixed sequence of recurrence where size difference is a factor and automatic packaging is desired.
All of the packages above described may be irradiated and if desired, an outer enveloping wrap of heavy lead foil or sheet in addition to wrapper may be employed in the cases where the demands are most exacting. Tearing strips, V cuts at an edge of the plastic material, slits, scores and perforations may be used in selected cases, where danger of premature opening or breaking of the seal is negligible, to promote opening the individual compartments. In general, however, those described in detail above will suflice.
The antibiotics mentioned above comprise various natural molds, synthetic chemical compounds, and related products which either kill, sterilize or inhibit bacterial growth. They presently comprise the penicillins, the aureomycins and the sulpha compounds, but it is not intended to limit the invention to the use of any particular one of these classes or drugs representative thereof, it being intended to use that one or combination of such antibiotics as will produce the maximum preserving effect for food and other products with a minimum of disagreeable or undesirable side effects such as undesirable changes in taste, color, food value, toxicity or the like. Of the sulpha drugs, sulphanilimide, sulphadizine, sulphathiazole may be taken as representative. Other chemical products having the same general effect such as, for example, tetracycline, may also be employed.
While there have been presented above particular embodiments of the invention now believed to be preferred, many variations will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art in the light of the above disclosure. All of these different forms which fall within the spirit of the invention are intended to be covered by the appended claims wherein generic terms are employed for the express purpose of including the many equivalent structures by which the present results may be obtained.
What is claimed is:
1. A package of related articles comprising a plurality of nested cup-shaped elements with packaged articles therebetween, the side walls of each of said elements being overlapped with .a `portion of a contiguous nested element, each of said elements having a sealing region inthe overlapped .portion of .the side walls whereby each of said elements is adhered to a contiguous nested element at the overlapped portion to form a sealed compartment around an article, said overlapped porti-on extending a distance along said package at least 'a quarter of the width of said package, whereby the bond Ibetween adhered elements has an area a-t least yas great as the area of the cross-section of said .package providing sufficient strength in tension to form a strong, unitary structure of said nested elements to provide a package tha-t will resist accidental rupture and whereby one compartment can be opened and its contents removed without aecting the contents of an adjacent compartment.
2. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein each of the packaged articles is surrounded by double layers of the material of the wrapper elements, said double layer formed by an overlapped portion, and a narrow band 4of single thickness of the material of the cup-shaped elements is provided between adjacent overlapped porti-ons around eaoh compartment whereby opening of the compartment is facilitated.
3. The combina-tion set `forth in claim 2, wherein the narrow band of single thickness forms an indented channel immediately adjacent an overlapped por-tion, Whereby the adhering portion of said overlapped portion is intimately associated ywith one side of said indented channel, thereby further strengthening the bond betiween adhered elements.
4. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said nested cup-shaped elements has a lseries of slits along its upper periphery, said slits extending generally in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of said package.
5. The combination set forth in claim l, wherein the bottom of each of said cup-shaped elements contains a separate stii reinforcing element whose outer periphery is in intimate 'facing contact with the 4bottom portion of its related cup-shaped element.
6. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein the packaged articles comprise normally perishable mate- -rial treated to inhibit bacterial growth, said cup-like elements are sterile and composed of materials which substantially exclude air and moisture to maintain the sterile character within said compartments, and said compartments contain an inert gas, whereby said normally perishable material may be stored at room temperature for extended periods of time without deleterious effects.
7. A package comprising a 4plurality of related units in sideJby-side relation, an outer wrapper sheet embracing said units and forming a unitary package, and nested, spaced partitioning elements, each of said partitioning elements being substantially thicker at its periphery than at its center and tapering in thickness as its diameter decreases, and being adhered to said sheet over substantially all of the peripheral surface of said partitioning elements to form a continuous imperforate partition between adjacent units, whereby each unit is sealed in an individual cell.
8. The combination set forth in claim 7, wherein said partitioning elements are of thin, flexible, sheet material and said outer wrapper sheet has a series of indented channels formed therein, each of said indented channels formed immediately adjacent a partitioning element, whereby the adhering portion .of said partitioning elements is intimately associated with said sheet at one side of said indented channels, thereby further strengthening the bonds between said partitioning elements and said outer wrapper sheet` 9. The combination set forth in claim 7, wherein the compartments contain means inhibiting harmful activity by living matter therein, said means being an inert gas.
10. A package comprising a plurality of related units in `sidebyside relation, an outer wrapper sheet embracing said units and lforming a unitary package, yand nested, spaced partitioning elements of -stitf material, each of said partitioning elements being substantially thicker at its periphery than at its center and being Iadhered to said sheet at its peripheral surface to form a continuous imperforate partition between adjacent units, and each of said partitioning elements contacting over most of its major surfaces both adjacent units, each yof the con-tacting surfaces of `the partitioning element substantially conforming to the shape of the surface of the `unit which it contacts, whereby said units are packaged in a strong, sturdy structure and whereby each unit is sealed in an individual cell.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 194,197 8/1877 Villeret 206-56 X 949,708 2/1910 Jenkins 206-5 6 979,381 12/ 1910 Conery. 1,510,260 9/19-24 Cyrenius 206--5i6 1,745,929 2/1930 Grimmeisen 206-56 1,815,800 7/1931 Respees 206-56 X 1,916,037 6/ 19313 Carlsen 206-5 6 2,099,055 11/ 1937 Ferngren. 2,141,752 12/1938 Hoarle.
FOREIGN PATENTS 599,808 10/ 1925 France. 986,640 4/1951 France.
11,613 12/ 1924 Netherlands.
LGUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.
THERON E. COND-ON, Examiner.