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Publication numberUS3287881 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 29, 1966
Filing dateOct 10, 1962
Priority dateOct 10, 1962
Publication numberUS 3287881 A, US 3287881A, US-A-3287881, US3287881 A, US3287881A
InventorsMichael Friedman, Murray Jelling
Original AssigneeMichael Friedman, Murray Jelling
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bag, bag supply and bag applying apparatus and method for use with continuous rolls of bags and the like
US 3287881 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 29, 1966 M. JELLING ETAL BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR USE WITH CON Filed Oct. 10, 1962 TINUOUS ROLLS OF BAGS AND THE LIKE 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS 1966 M. JELLING ETAL BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND MET FOR USE WITH CONTINUOUS ROLLS 0F BAGS AND THE LIKE Filed 061). 10, 1962 &

SN m mm m mmw m w; K 1mm MP W ATTORNEY 29, 1965 M. JELLING ETAL 3,8281

BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR USE WITH CONTINUOUS BULLS OF BAGS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 10, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 3 N \u. M M m 4 m, Z W... .1. .X\ w PM mm H MW W 1 4 Nov. 29, 1966 M. JELLING ETAL 3,2128% BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR USE WITH CONTINUOUS ROLLS OF BAGS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 10, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 flLd/V/fl 5 0359717 ATTORNEY N 29, 1965 M. JELLIING ETAL BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND METHOD OR USE WITH CONTINUOUS ROLLS OF BAGS AND THE LIKE F Filed Oct. 10, 1962 '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS M/CHAEA F/Pu-oMA/v Mil/PRAY JfZl/IVG M. JELLING ETAL BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR USE WITH CONTINUOUS ROLLS OF BAGS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 10, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 l-Al Fm Nov. 29, 1966 M. JELLING ETAL. 3,2813% BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR USE WITH CONTINUOUS ROLLS OF BAGS AND THE LIKE v Filed Oct. 10, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 FVG. 2i

United States Patent BAG, BAG SUPPLY AND BAG APPLYING APPA- RATUS AND METHOD FOR USE WITH CONTIN- UOUS ROLLS 0F BAGS AND THE LIKE Murray Jelling, 21 Spring Hill Road, Roslyn Heights, N.Y., and Michael Friedman, 1178 E. 23rd St., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Filed Oct. 10, 1962, Ser. No. 229,630 18 Claims. (Cl. 53-256) This invention relates to bags and other such types of coverings as may be employed to protect garments or various other types of articles.

The invention also relates to bag supplies constituted, for example, by a roll of flatted tubing which is perforated and provided with seams to define a succession of detachable bags having closed or substantial-1y closed ends.

The invention further relates to apparatus for dispensing bags arranged in a continuous series.

Still further the invention relates to methods and techniques for dispensing bags arranged in the above-noted manner.

The protection of garments and other such articles with transparent plastic bags is currently a widely employed technique. in roll form in a continuous series from which the individual 'bags can be successively detached for use. One particular method which has .proved eminently sucessful is that according to which a garment is suspended in vertical disposition and the foremost bag of a series drawn down over the same and subsequently detached.

For reasons of economy as well as ease of storage and use, these bags are .generally fabricated of a pliable plastic such as polyethylene. To provide that such bags adapt readily to the shapes of the articles to be covered, and also for reasons of economy and minimizing of weight, these bag are generally fabricated with a minimum wall thickness.

The use of a very small wall thickness and a pliable plastic enables bags of the aforesaid type to be provided in the form of a flatted tube possibly having one or more longitudinal seams along which the tube is closed. This tube is provided with transverse alignments of perforations constituting tear lines defining separate and detachable bags. The tube is further provided with substantially transverse seams, formed by heat sealing or like techniques, whereby the individual bags are provided with :losed or substantially closed ends.

The walls of such flatted tubes are in close proximity These bags are most conveniently supplied to each other. This is desirable for purposes of storage, I

packing, tube guidance and for various other reasons. However, this proximity of the opposed walls ha one very distinct disadvantage which it is a primary object of the invention to avoid, although in avoiding this disadvantage the invention seeks to retain the other benefits of conventional bagging techniques.

More specifically, the foremost bag of a series of detachable bags fonmed in a flatted plastic tubing will, due to the proximity of it opposed walls, invariably have its mouth or openable end closed such as to cause the user thereof substantial difliculty in applying the bag over a garment or the like. Moreover, attempts to separate the opposed walls will frequently, due to the slight construction thereof, result in a tearing of these walls. Still further, the loss of time involved in opening the mouths of a series of bags prior to application of the latter runs directly contrary to the very nature of the overall operation.

To overcome these problems, the invention contemice plates as a primary objective the provision of an improved bagging technique whereby bags are supplied as elements of a continuous series under the circumstances outlined above with the exception that the foremost bag is brought to a position of readiness with its mouth opened and conveniently positioned for enveloping an article to be bagged.

As will be better understood from the detailed description which follows hereinafter objects of the invention include providing an improved bag structure, an improved continuous-series bag supply, an improved bag dispensing apparatus for employing the aforesaid structure and supply, and improved and related methods and techniques, all of which are concerned with avoiding the above-noted problems.

It is accordingly one object of the invention to provide for bringing the foremost bag of a continuous series to a position of readiness with its mouth open.

It is a further object of the invention to improve the design of bag structures such that their inclusion in a series will not preclude the possibility of spreading open the mouths thereof.

Yet a further general object of the invention is to provide improved bag dispensing apparatus susceptible of being used with a continuous series of connected bags each having a substantially closed end.

The improved methods, apparatus, bag structures and supplies of the invention have a certain inter-dependence. For example, according to the methods of the invention, one or more spreading elements are passed through the closed ends of the bags into the mouths of the next successive bags which mouths are thereby opened. This, under preferred circumstances, requires that the closed ends of the bags be so formed as to permit the passage of said spreading elements. This, in turn, reflects on the apparatuswhich must not interfere with the continuous dispersing or movement of the series of bags.

Considering the method of the invention, for example, with respect to the bagging of a succession of articles at a bagging station, said method may be regarded as comprising arranging in the vicinity of said station a series of plastic bags, each of which has leading and trailing edges, the leading edge being openable and the trailing edge being substantially closed; the method further comprising arranging mechanical spreading element in substantially fixed position adjacent the aforesaid station. In further accordance with this method, one of the articles is supported at said station and the foremost of the aforesaid bags is drawn over the spreading element onto this article, the spreading element passing through the trailing edge of the said foremost bag and into the leading edge of the next sequential bag until the latter said trailing edge bears against the article such that the spreading element opens the leading edge of said next sequential bag. The foremost bag is then detached from the series and the thusly bagged article removed.

From this example of a method of the invention it will be seen that an important advantage is gained whereby only the leading edge of the foremost bag of a series need be manually drawn over the spreading elements of the invention. This important advantage is gained since the spreading elements of the invention pass into and open the leading edge of each bag subsequent to the first bag in a series in automatic manner as Will hereinafter be made more apparent.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, a source of bags may comprise a roll of flatted polyethylene tubing or the like having a longitudinal axis and provided with rectilinear alignments of perforations at right angles to said axis, the alignments being equidistantly spaced along the said axis and constituting tear lines. In further accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention, the tubing is provided with seams adjacent each tear line and extending from positions spaced equally on opposite sides of the aforesaid axis to the lateral extremities of said fiatted tubing. These seams are angularly disposed relative to the associated tear lines and in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention have openings equidistantly spaced from the aforesaid axis and preferably also from said lateral extremities.

A preferred apparatus according to the invention comprises for use with the aforesaid source of bags a vertical post including means thereon for engaging the hook of a hanger and suspending the hanger with a garment thereon, with a frame rotatably supporting the above noted roll with the axis thereof in horizontal disposition. In combination with these elements there is provided a plurality of guide bars parallel to the axis of said roll and at least one of which is substantially superposed relative to the above noted post. The above indicated tubing extends from the roll and across the guide bars towards said post. Further, spreading means are provided which are substantially fixed relative to the post and are supported between the latter and the superposed guide bar in positions corresponding to the openings in the aforesaid seams. The tubing, in the portion thereof between the superposed guide bar and post, envelopes the spreading means whereby the latter may pass through the openings in the seams.

The various types of spreading means contemplated in accordance with the invention constitute selected of the features of the invention. These spreading means are all preferably of inexpensive yet durable construction and are preferably such that they may be employed to adapt conventional structures to the techniques of the invention.

In accordance with one of these features of the invention, there is provided a floating strap-like structure adapted for being suspended from an elevated guide bar and having at its lower extremity a bifurcated structure including diverging legs adapted to pass through a hole in the aforesaid seam for bag spreading purposes.

According to a further of these features of the invention there is provided a floater freely supported between two supporting members such that a plastic bag may envelope the floater and pass between opposite sides of the floater and the associated supports. This floater is, moreover, provided with a flared skirt adapted in accordance with the invention for spreading the mouth of the bag applied thereto.

Still further, the invention contemplates various applications of rollers designed to maintain a floating spreading member in a predetermined position aligned with the openings in the bags which are to be employed therewith.

Advantageously the provisions of the invention are applicable to both conventional floor stands and overhead racks currently available for dispensing continuous series ofbags in known manner. This means that it is unnecessary to make a complete substitution for apparatus being currently employed which may instead be readily adapted to the provisions of the invention.

'Advantageously' the bag and bag supply manufacturing techniques required in accordance with the invention are economically feasible and adapted for the use of currently available machinery.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of some preferred embodiment as illustrated in the acompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1. is a floor-rack bag dispensing apparatus embodying bag spreading elements in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a section, taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and illustrating the profile of a spreading element with plastic tubing applied thereto; 2

FIGURE 3 is a front view, on enlarged scale, of a spreading element and a support therefor provided in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 4 is a side view of the spreading element of the first embodiment of the invention;

FIGURE 5 is a sectional view, taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIGURE 6 illustrates a variation in cross-section of the spreading element contemplated within the scope of the invention;

FIGURE 7 illustrates a further variation in crosssection possible within the teachings of the invention;

FIGURE 8 is-an axial cross-section of one of the guide bars employed in the structure of FIG. 1;

FIGURE 9 is an axial section of a further guide bar employed in the structure of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 10 illustrates an overhead rack adapted for spreading operations in accordance with the provisions of the invention;

FIGURE 11 is a side view of the apparatus of FIG. 10;

FIGURE 12 illustrates a portion of flatted tubing, the seams and tear lines of which are provided in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 13 illustrates a variation of the spreading arrangement of FIG. 1;

FIGURE 14 is an exploded perspective view of a spreading element provided in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention;

FIGURE 15 is a top view of apparatus embodying two spreading elements such as illustrated in FIG. 14, plastic tubing being illustrated in section in engagement with said spreading elements;

FIGURE 16 is a longitudinal section of a spreading element such as illustrated in FIGURE 14;

FIGURE 17 is a perspective, exploded view of a further spreading element provided in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 18 is a top view of apparatus embodying a pair of spreading elements such as illustrated in FIG. 17;

FIGURE 19 illustrates the spreading element of FIG. 17 with plastic tubing engaged therein;

FIGURE 20 illustrates a variation of the rollers employed in the spreading element of FIG. 17; and

FIGURE 2l illustrates a further embodiment of the invention directed to a variation of the spreading element.

The embodiments of the invention illustrated in FIGS. l-9 and l0ll, as well as various of the other embodiments of the invention, employ a .bag supply in the form of a continuous series of bags defined or formed in a pliable, flatted tubing.

Such a fiatted tubing is illustrated in FIG. 12 wherein the plastic walls 30, fabricated for example of polyethylene and having a normal thickness of several tenthousandths of an inch, are arranged in opposed faceto-face proximate relationship.

Said tubing is provided with a plurality of equidistantly spaced alignments 32 of perforations which constitute tear lines and divide the tubing into a sequence of bags having, for example, leading edges L and trailing edges T. The alignments 32 are preferably, although not necessarily, arranged perpendicularly with respect to the longitudinal axis of the tubing and with respect to the lateral extremities 34 and 36 thereof. The method of forming and the arrangement of the perforations are known to those skilled in the art and requires no further explanation in this text.

Adjacent each of the tear lines are provided seams 38 and 40 extending from positions 42 and 44 respectively which are equidistantly spaced on opposite sides of the center axis of the tubing. Said seams which may be formed by heat sealing and like techniques, may extend, for example, in angular disposition with respect to the aforesaid tear lines to the lateral extremities 34 and 36' of the tubing. Said seams provide for closing one end of the associated bag and eventually come to bear against the article being covered such as, for example, against the shoulders of a suit jacket or the like.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, seams 38 and 40 are provided with openings 46 and 48. These openings are preferably equidistant from the center axis of the tubing and further are preferably spaced by equal distances from the lateral extremities 34 and 36. Although openings 46 and 48 may be positioned directly adjacent lateral extremities 34 and 36, they are preferably spaced therefrom for reasons which will become apparent hereinafter.

The tubing of FIG. 12 is generally supplied in the form of a roll such as indicated in the form of rolls 50, 52 and 54 of FIG. 1. Each said roll such as, for example, roll 54, is mounted on a horizontal shaft 56 having a supporting spool 58 thereon. Said rolls are mounted and retained in horizontal disposition by a floor rack or frame 60 which may assume various forms.

The frame illustrated in FIG. 1 comprises generally two vertical rods 62 and 64 which, together with angled rods 66 and 68, constitute the four legs of the structure, these legs being connected by horizontal bars 70, 72, 74 and 76. The respective shafts of rolls 50, 52 and 54 are mounted in horizontal disposition on elements 66 and 68 whereby a horizontal axis of rotation is provided for each of these rolls.

For purposes of simplicity of illustration, only one of the rolls of FIG. 1 is shown as being used. The flatted tubing 78 drawn from the roll 54 for use is passed between guide bars or rollers 80 and 82 and then between guide bars or rollers 84 and 86.

Guide bars 84 and 86 between which passes the flatted tubing 78 are the terminal guide members engaging the fiatted tubing before the latter is applied to an article to be covered. These terminal guide elements 84 and 86 are superposed with respect to a vertical post 88 which, by means of a bracket 90 is attached to horizontal rod 74, is fixed in position relative to frame 60. Post 88 is provided with a grooved, adjustable head 92 adapted to receive the hook of a hanger (not shown) and which when fixed in position defines a bagging zone or station.

In accordance with a primary feature of the invention, two spreading elements 94 and 96 are provided which are enveloped by the tubing 78 and which operate to spread the leading edge or mouth of the bag which is next sequential to the bag being applied to an article suspended by post 88.

Spreading elements 94 and 96 are spaced apart at a predetermined distance corresponding to the distance between openings 46 and 48 in seams 38 and 40 in FIG. 12. The bottom extremities of elements 94 and 96 are spaced above head 92, but by no more than the length of a single bag.

The application of the flatted tubing 78 to the spreading elements 94 and 96 is best seen in FIG. 2 wherein the tubing and spreading element 94 are shown in section.

In FIG. 2 it is seen that tubing 78 consists of opposed and intimately adhering walls 98 and 100 where said tubing approaches the upstream extremity of the spreading element.

Each spreading element consists of a profiled strap or strap of resilient material such as, for example, spring steel or the like. The upper extremity 102 of each spreading element is shaped in the form of a hook by means of which the spreading element is suspended from the guide bar 82 in floating relation. The terminal portion or upstream end of the spreading element is provided with a smooth or bulbous protrusion 104 consisting of two hemispheres 106 and 188 fastened by a pin 110 to said upstream end. The purpose of the bulbous protrusion is to avoid contacting the tubing 78 with sharp or rough edges whereby said tubing may be torn.

With reference to FIG. 3, it can be seen that a straight intermediate portion 112 of each spreading element depends downwardly from the hook shaped portion 102, said intermediate portion terminating downstream in a bifurcated structure 114 (FIG. 2) consisting of diverging legs 116 and 118 which constitute with portion 112 an inverted Y-shaped structure. Said legs terminate in respective arcuately shaped portions 120 and 122 which are toed-in to avoid endwise engagement with the Walls of the aforesaid tubing.

FIG. 3 shows that the spreading elements of this embodiment of the invention are constituted by straps having a substantially constant width W. Width W is correlated to the breadth of openings 46 and 48 in FIG. 12.

FIGS. 3, 8 and 9 illustrate the structures of the guide bars associated with the spreading elements and shows the cooperation of these parts.

One of the most significant features of the guide bars are the annular grooves, exemplified by groove 124 in FIGS. 3 and 9. Actually there are two such grooves, these grooves being spaced from one another in accordance with the spacing between the aforenoted openings 46 and 48. This positioning of the grooves 124 aligns the spreading elements 94 and 96 with openings 46 and 48 and provides for automatic and continuous operation of the Spreaders.

Grooves 124 have a width which is slightly greater than that of the spreading elements in order to provide for accommodation of the latter without pinching the tubing between the assoicated guiding element 82 and the spreading elements.

Guide element 86 is also provided with two annular grooves of which only the groove 126 is illustrated in FIG. 3. This groove is aligned with groove 124, the two grooves cooperatively preventing a canting or tilting of the spreading elements to main the latter in proper operating position.

It will be noted that guide element 84 is spaced from guide element 86 and that this pair of rollers in addition to being superposed with respect to post 88 is offset relative to rollers 88 and 82 whereby the spreading elements are maintained in a somewhat inclined position.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate respectively that guide elements 80 and 82 are formed of relatively rigid shafts 128 and 130 preferably covered with resilient or yieldable covers 132 and 134, the use of a yieldable material lessening the possibility of tearing the plastic tubing.

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show respectively cross-sections of the straps constituting the spreading elements of the first embodiment of the invent-ion. FIG. 5 shows a simple planar cross-section, whereas FIG. 6 is provided with smooth lateral beads 136 and 138 and FIG. 7 illustrates reinforced lateral'extremities 140 and 142.

In operation, flatted tubing 78 is drawn from roll 54 and is passed over the upstream bulbous ends 104 of the spreading elements 94 and 96 and is then drawn along said spreading elements in enveloping relationship with respect thereto between guide rollers 88 and 82 and thence between guide rollers 84 and 86. The tubing is then drawn over the bifurcated structure 114 of each of spreading elements 94 and 96 and is drawn towards the bagging station.

A garment, for example, supported on a hanger, is suspended from means 92 on post 88 in position for a bagging operation. The tubing is drawn downwardly over said garment and hanger, the hook of which passes between positions 42 and 44 (FIG. 12) of the foremost bag. At the same time, spreading elements 94 and 96 pass through openings 46 and 48 and enter into the leading edge of the next successive bag. With seams 38 and 40 seating against the garment which is being covered, the spreading elements 94 and 96 are in such a position in the next successive bag as to maintain the leading edge or mouth thereof in opened condition when the foremost bag is detached along the corresponding tear line. The garment can then be removed and the leading edge of the next successive bag readily engaged by the operator since the walls 98 and 100 are spread apart as is indicated generally in FIG. 1 although in operation this leading edge would, of course, be in much closer proximity to the bagging station.

Referring next to the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. and 11, this embodiment is a variation of the principle employed generally in the first described embodiment of the invention. FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate further, however, that it is possible to process simultaneously a plurality of rolls in accordance with the invention.

The embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11 is intended to constitute a modification of the overhead type of bag dispensing arrangement which is supported, for example, on a horizontal rod 144 upon which a multitude of garments may-be hung for storage and bagging purposes.

In FIGS. 10 and 11 are illustrated two lateral brackets 146 and 148 supporting the guiding element and spreading elements for three separate rolls 150, 152 and 154.

Associated with roll 150 are guide elements 156 and 158 and guide elements 160 and 162, which guide the flatted tubing drawn from roll 150 and which further support a pair of spreading elements 164 and 166, the specific structure of which has hereinbefore been described in detail.

Associated with roll 152 are guide elements 168 and 170 and guide elements 172 and 174 which cooperatively guide the flatted tubing drawn from roll 152 and support spreading elements 176 and 178.

Associated with roll 154 are guide elements 180 and 182 and guide elements 184 and 186 which in turn guide the flatted tubing drawn from roll 154 and support spreading elements 188 and 190.

Rolls 150, 152 and 154 are respectively mounted for rotation on horizontal shafts 192, 194 and 196. These shafts are respectively accommodated in upwardly opening sockets provided in metal brackets 198 and 200, in turn supported in lateral frames 146 and 148.

The bifurcated lower extremities of each of the spreading elements in FIGS. 10 and 11 terminate at substantially the same level and thus provide for spreading the associated tubing at the same level. This means that a garment supporting post can be alternated between the respective rolls as desired.

In all other respects,- the spreading elements of FIGS. 10 and 11 correspond to those of the first elements. In other words, they constitute floating elements or floaters which are maintained in fixed positions correspondmgto openings in the closed ends of each of a continuous series of bags and, while being maintained in such position, permit of being enveloped by bags the mouths of WhlCh are to be spread.

A further possibility of using the strap hangers heretofore described is illustrated in FIG. 13 wherein is shown a centrally located spreading element 202 which may be passed through the hole provided for the hanger hook to effect a spreading operation. I

Although a single strap is shown in FIG. 13, this approach is not preferred inasmuch as it fails to spread t he leading edges of the bags apart at the lateral extremities and thus invites a complete closing of the leading edge of each bag as the leading edge moves a substantial distance past the spreading element. Consequently, the arrangement of FIG. 13 is preferably employed in CODJUHCUOII with additional laterally disposed spreading elements.

A further embodiment of floater or spreading element provided in accordance with the invention and adapted for operation with a flatted tube or bag supply of the general nature indicated in FIG. 12 is illustrated in FIGS.

Referring first to FIG. 14, there are illustrated in this figure two supports or supporting elements 204 and 206 and a floater element 208.

Supports 204 and 206 define facing grooves 218 and 212 cooperatively defining a receptacle as will become apparent. Said supports include first flange-like portions 214 limiting the lower extremities of the aforesaid grooves and which as will be seen hereinafter are spaced from each other at a determinable distance. Said supports, moreover, are provided with second flange-like portions 216 and 218 laterally limiting the grooves 210 and 212 so that said grooves open in an upward direction only. The supports are, moreover, provided with holes 220, 222, 224 and 226 by means of which the supports are attached to a fixed supporting structure such as a wooden bracket (not shown) by means of screws (not shown).

The floater element 208 includes a hollow head 228 having a dihedral upper portion 230 and provided with bearing portions 232 and 234 which perform a function hereinafter indicated in greater detail. Said head may define a central chamber 236.

The floater element 208 further comprises a neck 238 depending from the head 228 and having a width A limited to the spacing between the flange-like portions 214 on supports 204 and 206.

Depending from the neck 238 is a skirt 240 having downwardly diverging sides 242 and 244. The skirt has a rounded bottom extremity 246.

The invention contemplates, as illustrated in FIG. 15, the spacing of two such spreading elements as illustrated 'in FIG. 14 by a predetermined distance corresponding to that of the openings 46 and 48 in FIG. 12. These openings are, preferably, for use in this embodiment of the invention, immediately adjacent or in close proximity to the lateral sides of each bag. Floaters 248 and 250 in FIG. 15 will be enveloped by the tubing 252 and will be maintained in substantially fixed position by means of supports 254, 256, 258 and 260 respectively. The positions of floaters 248 and 250 will be such as to correspond with the aforenoted openings in the closed ends of the continuously connected bags.

FIG. 16 illustrates that the walls 262 and 264 of the tubing are initially spread by penetration therebetween of portion 230 of head 228, wall 262 passing between bearing portion 232 and flange-like portion 214a and wall 264 passing between bearing portion 234 and flange-like portion 21412. Said flange-like portions are spread apart at a distance whereby neck 238 is loosely accommodated to minimize frictional engagement with the tubing in order to avoid damage to the same.

Passing downwardly, the tubing proceeds over skirt 240, the holes in the closed ends of each bag being of sufiicient dimension to accommodate the passage of the skirts therethrough without destruction of the seams 38 and 40 of FIG. 12 and without damage to the tubing. Further, if the tubing is laterally gusseted, the floater will operate to spread the gusseted extremities.

It is to be noted that the skirts associated with spaced floaters 248 and 250 are preferably toed-in towards each other to accommodate the tendency of a bag to toe in when a pulling force is applied to the bottom of the same. The toeing in of these skirts accommodates the aforesaid tendency of the bags without causing the same to tear.

A further embodiment of spreading element provided in accordance with the invention appears in FIGS. 17-19.

In FIG. 17 are illustrated two supports 266 and 268 and a floater 270, generally indicated by reference character 270. Support 266 comprises a bracket 272 having a horizontal pin 274 thereon and upon which is supported a roller 276 having a peripheral flange 278. Supports 268 comprises a bracket 280 having a horizontal pin 282 thereon and upon which is supported roller 284 having a peripheral flange 286. Supports 266 and 268 are fixed upon a stationary support such that rollers 276 and 284 are spaced apart at a determinable distance, as will become apparent hereinafter.

Floater 270 comprises upper portion 288, central portion 290 and lower portion 292.

Upper portion 288 is preferably constituted by a pear shape strap 294 in the upper lobe of which is supported 9 a spherical body 296 on a horizontal pin 298. Screws 300 and 302 affix the upper portion 288 to the central portion 290.

Central portion 290 includes a U-shaped frame 304 from which extend in opposite directions pairs of rollers 306, 308, 310, and 312. All of these rollers are mounted on parallel horizontal pins 314, 316, 318 and 320. Rollers 306, 308, 310 and 312 are parallel to each other and to rollers 276 and 284.

Also mounted on the frame 304 is one or more further horizontally disposed rollers 322, each of such additional rollers being perpendicularly disposed relative to the aforesaid rollers of this embodiment of the invention and protruding from the central portion for purposes of engaging and guiding the lateral extremities of the applied tubing as will be shown.

The lower portion 292 of the floater 270 consists generally of a bifurcated structure including downwardly diverging legs 324 and 326. Said legs are connected by a strap 328 (FIG. 19) so as to constitute an integral structure connected to central portion 290 by screws 330 and 332. Each of said legs is provided with an arcuately shaped lower extremity 334 or 336 toed inwardly towards one another to provide for optimum engagement with the tubing applied thereto.

As is seen in FIG. 18, two floaters 338 and 340 are employed in accordance with this embodiment of the invention and are spaced apart by the distance corresponding to the distance between openings 46 and 48 of FIG. 12. As in the preceding embodiment of the invention, said openings are preferably provided adjacent or in close proximity to the lateral extremities of the tub ing employed. Also, the openings will have a shape cor-responding to the dimensions of the floaters 338 and 340 so as to avoid stretching and tearing of the tubing.

The tubing, identified by reference character 342 in FIG. 18, envelopes the floaters 338 and 340, the lateral extremities 344 and 346 of said tubing resting against spherical bodies 348 and 350 respectively and ultimately against the rollers below said bodies.

Supports 352 and 354 hold floaters 338 in position whereas supports 356 and 358 hold floaters 340 in position. The function of said supports is to permit the envelopment of the spreading floaters by the tubing employed while at the same time retaining the spreading floaters in a position to penetrate the openings of each of a series of connected bags. These are functions which are eifected in each of the aforegoing embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 19 illustrates with greater clarity the spreading apart of the walls 360 and 362 of the tubing, these walls being initially spread apart by penetration of upper lobe 364 of upper portion 270 of the corresponding floater. The Walls then pass between the rollers 276 and 306 and 308 on the left side and between rollers 284 and 310 and 312 on the right side. Legs 324 and 326 retain the walls of the tubing in spread condition.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 17-1-9, axial displacement of rollers 306, 308, 310 and 312 is prevented by flanges 278 and 286 on rollers 276 and 284 respectively. A variation of this provision is illustrated in FIG. 20 within a roller 366 (substituted for roller 276) is provided with a taper inverse to that of two rollers 368 and 370 (resnectively substituted for rollers 306 and 308 in FIG. 17). The reversed tapers of these rollers restricts axial displacement therebetween when the floater is sandwiched between two supports in the manner generally indicated in FIGS.

A still further embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 21 wherein are illustrated two supports 372 and 374 between which is accommodated a floater 376.

Support 374 comprises a bracket 396 having horizontal arms 398 and 400 upon which are supported horizontal pins 402 and 404 respectively. Rollers 406 and 408 are supported on pins 402 and 404 and comprise respectively flanges 410 and 412 which serve the purpose hereinbefore indicated with respect to other embodiments of the invention.

Floater 376 is constituted generally by a block 414 having upwardly extending arms 416 and 418 defining a wall 420 wherein is accommodated a roller 422 supported on a horizontal pin 424. Said block also comprises downwardly extending arms 426 and 428 defining a downwardly opening wall 430 in which is accommodated a roller 432 supported on a horizontal pin 434.

Extending laterally from block 414 are supports 436 and 438 respectively bearing horizontal pins 440 and 442 upon which are mounted rollers 444 and 446.

Also provided are laterally extending posts 448 and 450 on which are mounted pairs of rollers 452 and 454 and 456 and 458. Rollers 452, 454, 456 and 458 all have parallel and horizontal axes of rotation and are also parallel with rollers 388, 390, 406, 408, 444 and 446.

Rollers 452 and 454 engage roller 390 and the axes of these rollers lie at the apices of an imaginary triangle. Rollers 456 and 458 engage roller 408 and the axes of these rollers also lie at the apices of an imaginary triangle.

Rollers 444 and 446 are superposed with respect to rollers 452 and 454 and 456 and 458 by -a distance adapted to place rollers 444 and 446 at the same level as rollers 388 and 406.

In FIG. 21 are illustrated the walls 460 and 462 of the tubing to be applied to the spreader of this embodiment of the invention, said walls passing between the aforesaid arrangement of rollers in a manner which should now be evident by reference to the other embodiments of the invention. Rollers 422 and 432 engage against the later extremities of the interior of the tubing.

Each of the embodiments of the invention outlined above is characterized by the provision of floating spreading members. These floating spreading members are retained in substantially fixed position with respect to a bagging station or zone and with respect to each other in a manner which does not interfere with the enveloping of said spreading members by the tubing being employed. Moreover, the tubing is provided with specialized openings for the passage of said spreading members, the positions of the spreading members and of the openings being so interrelated that an automatic and continuous spreading of the leading edges of successive bags in a series results.

In connection with methods of sequentially employing bags connected in series, from which the foremost bag is detached and utilized, and in which the leading edge of Support 372 comprises a bracket 378 with two horizontal arms 380 and 382 having horizontal pins 384 and each bag is adapted to constiute a mouth, the invention provides an improvement which comprises opening and maintaining in at least partially opened condition the mouth of the bag next sequential to the foremost bag. Thus when the said foremost bag is detached application of the next sequential bag to an article is facilitated.

According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided the method as aforesaid. According to a further aspect of the invention, there is contemplated the method of fabricating bags suitable for use with spreading elements according to the invention.

In accordance with still a further aspect of the invention, there is contemplated the provision of a special bag supply consisting of a roll or other such continuous series of bags characterized by the provision of spreader openings. The individual bags in the series constitutes still a further feature of the invention.

The apparatus of the invention relates not only to the subcombination of the spreading elements, but as well to the combination of the same with the bag supply as defined above, as well as with the other appurtenances which cooperatively constitute a bag dispensing device.

There will now be obvious to those skilled in the art many variations and modifications of the structures and methods set forth above. These variations and modifications will not, however, depart from the scope of the invention it defined by the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus comprising supports defining :facing grooves, means loosely accommodated in said grooves and adapted for passing through an opening in a garment bag to enter and spread the same, and a flared portion depending from said means.

2. Apparatus comprising spaced supports defining tacing grooves cooperatively constituting a receptacle, said supports including portions limiting the lower extremities of the grooves and spaced from each other at a determinable distance, a head loosely accommodated in said receptacle and including bearing portions resting on the first said portions, a neck depending from said head and of a breadth smaller than said determinable distance, and a flared skirt depending from said neck.

3. Apparatus comprising a pair of spaced elements including: spaced supports adapted for being fixed in position and defining facing grooves cooperatively constituting a receptacle, said supports including flange-like portions limiting the lower extremities of the grooves and spaced from each other at a determinable distance, and a floater suspended from and between said supports, said floater including bearing portions resting on said flangelike portions, a neck depending from said bearing portions and of a breadth smaller than said determinable distance, and a skirt depending from said neck and flaring downwardly.

4. Spreading apparatus for tubing having at least one transverse seam having openings therein spaced at a predetermined distance; said apparatus comprising a pair of elements spaced apart at substantially said predetermined distance; each said element including: spaced supports adapted for being fixed in position and defining :facing grooves cooperatively constituting a receptacle, said supports including first flange-like portions limiting the lower extremities of the grooves and spaced from each other at a determinable distance and second flange-like portions laterally limiting said grooves, and a floater suspended from and between said supports, said floater including a hollow rhead loosely accommodated in said receptacle and including bearing portions resting against said first flange-like portions, a neck depending from said head and of a breadth smaller than said determinable distance, and a skirt depending from said neck and flaring downwardly, the skirts of said elements toeing in towards each other. a

5. Apparatus for spreading tubing having at least one transverse seam having an opening therein; said apparatus comprising spaced supports adapted for being fixed in position and defining facing grooves cooperatively constituting a receptacle, said supports including first flangelike portions limiting the lower extremities of the grooves and spaced from each other at a determinable distance and second flange-like portions laterally limiting said grooves, and a floater suspended from and between said supports, said floater including a hollow head loosely accommodated in said receptacle and including bearing portions resting against said first flange-like portions, a neck depending from said head and of a breadth smaller than said determinable distance, and a skirt depending from said neck and flaring downwardly.

6. Spreading apparatus for polyethylene tubing having at least one transverse seam with openings therein spaced at a predetermined distance; said apparatus comprising a pair of elements spaced apart at substantially said predetermined distance; each said element including: spaced supports adapted for being fixed in position and defining facing grooves cooperatively constituting a receptacle, said supports including first flange-like portions limiting the lower extremities of the grooves and spaced from each other at a determinable distance and second flange-like portions laterally limiting said grooves, and a floater suspended from and between said supports, said floater including a hollow head loosely accommodated in said receptacle and including bearing portions resting against said first flange-like portions, a neck depending from said head and of a breadth smaller than said determinable distance, and a skirt depending from said neck and flaring downwardly, said skirt including a rounded bottom extremity.

7. Spreading apparatus for spreading garment bags comprising spaced supports, horizontal rollers on said supports, the rollers on the supports being aligned with each other, spreading means between the rollers adapted to pass through an opening in each of said bags to enter into and spread the latter, and second rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending in opposite directions from said spreading means and engaging the rollers on the supports, the rollers defining parallel, horizontal axes of rotation, there being play between the engaged rollers of a magnitude to accommodate the passage of a garment bag therebetween, and rotatable mean-s with a horizontal axis on the spreading means spaced from said rollers and adapted to supplement the spreading of said bags, said spreading means including a portion straddling said rotating means and supplementing the spreading of the bags.

8. Spreading apparatus for tubing having at least one tansverse seam with openings therein spaced apart at a predetermined distance; said apparatus comprising elements spaced at said distance, each said element comprising spaced support-s, vertically spaced rollers on each support, all of said rollers be-ing horizontally disposed, the rollers on the respective supports being aligned with each other, a rigid block between the rollers on the respective supports, pair of rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending in opposite directions from said block and engaging the lowermost rollers on the supports, the rollers of each said pair and the support roller engaged thereby defining parallel, horizontal axes of rotation disposed at the apices of an imaginary triangle, and further rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending from said block at a level corresponding to that of the uppermost rollers on said supports and in peripheral engagement with said uppermost rollers, there being play between the engaged rollers of a magnitude to accommodate the passage of said tubing therebetween.

9. Spreading apparatus for tubing having at least one transverse seam having openings therein spaced at a predetermined distance; said apparatus comprising elements horizontally spaced apart at said distance, each said element comprising fixed, spaced supports, vertically spaced rollers on each support, all of said rollers being horizontally disposed, the rollers on the respective supports being aligned with each other, a rigid block between the rollers on the respective supports, pairs of rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending in opposite directions from said block and engaging the lowermost rollers on the supports, the rollers of each said pair. and the support roller engaged thereby defining parallel, horizontal axes of rotation disposed at the apices of an imaginary triangle, further rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending from said block at a level corresponding to that of the uppermost rollers on said supports and in peripheral engagement with said uppermost rollers, there being sufflcient play between the engaged rollers to accommodate the passage of said tubing therebetween and peripheral flanges on the rollers on said support to limit relative axial displacement of the rollers on said block.

10. Spreading apparatus for polyethylene tubing having at least one transverse seem having openings therein spaced at a predetermined distance; said apparatus comprising elements spaced apart at said distance, each said element comprising fixed, spaced supports, vertically spaced rollers on each support, all of said rollers being horizontally disposed, the rollers on the respective supports being aligned with each other, a rigid block between the rollers on the respective supports, pairs of rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending in opposite directions from said block and engaging the lowermost rollers on the supports, the rollers of each said pair and the support roller engaged thereby defining parallel, horizontal axes of rotation disposed at the apices of an imaginary triangle, further rollers parallel to the first said rollers and extending from said block at a level corresponding to that of the uppermost rollers on said supports and in peripheral engagement with said uppermost rollers, there being suflicient play between the engaged rollers to accommodate the passage of said polyethylene tubing therebetween, peripheral flanges on the rollers on said support to limit relative axial displacement of the rollers on said block, and horizontal guide rollers spaced vertically on said block in perpendicular relationship to the first said rollers and protruding beyond said block for engagement with said tubing.

11. A spreader and guide apparatus for polyethylene tubing provided with at least one substantially transverse seam having openings therein spaced apart at a determinable distance, said apparatus comprising at least two pairs of guide rollers all of which are in horizontal dis position, each of said guide rollers including a relatively rigid core and a covering of relatively yieldable material on said core, one of said pairs of rollers being elevated and offset relative to the other of the pairs, the covering of one roller of each pair being provided with annular grooves spaced apart at said determinable distance; and a pair of spreaders engaged with said rollers, each spreader including: a hook-shaped upper extremity engaged in one of the annular grooves of said one roller of the higher pair and sandwiched therein by the other roller of the higher pair, a downwardly directed terminal portion constituting part of said hook-shaped extremity, a bulbous element on said terminal portion to facilitate engagement of said tubing with the spreaders, and an inverted Y- shaped section connected to and depending from said upper extremity, said Y-shaped section including a substantially vertical leg engaged in one of the grooves of said one roller of the lower pair of rollers and trapped therein by the other roller of the latter said pair and a bifurcated lower extremity comprising angularly disposed legs including arcuate toed-in terminal portions, said spreaders being of strap-like resilient material having a width less than that of said grooves.

12. Dispensing apparatus for tubing provided with at least one substantially transverse seam having openings therein spaced apart at a determinable distance, said apparatus comprising at least two pairs of guide rollers all of which are in horizontal disposition, each of said guide rollers including a relatively rigid core and a covering of relatively yieldable material on said core, one of said pairs of rollers being elevated and offset relative to the other of the pairs, the covering of one roller of each pair being provided with annular grooves spaced apart at said determinable distance; and a pair of spreaders engaged with said rollers, each spreader including a hook-shaped upper extremity engaged in one of the annular grooves of said one roller of the higher pair and sandwiched therein by the other roller of the higher pair, a downwardly directed terminal portion constituting part of said hook-shaped extremity, and an inverted Y-shaped section connected to and depending from said upper extremity, said Y-shaped section including a substantially vertical leg engaged in one of the grooves of said one roller of the lower pair of rollers and trapped therein by the other roller of the latter said pair and a bifurcated lower extremity comprising angularly disposed legs.

13. Dispensing apparatus for tubing provided with at least one substantially transverse seam having openings therein spaced apart at a determinable distance, said apparatus comprising at least two pairs of guide rollers, one of said pairs of rollers being elevated relative to the other of the pairs, one roller of each pair being provided with annular grooves spaced apart at said determinable distance; and a pair of spreaders engaged with said rollers, each spreader including: a hook-shaped upper extremity engaged in one of the annular grooves of said one roller of the higher pair and sandwiched therein by the other roller of the higher pair, and an inverted Y-shaped section connected to and depending from said upper extremity, said Y-shaped section including a substantially vertical leg engaged in one of the grooves of said one roller of the lower pair of rollers and trapped therein by the other roller of the latter said pair and a bifurcated lower extremity depending from said vertical leg.

14. A spreader comprising a hook-shaped extremity, a bulbous element on one end of said extremity, and a Y-shaped section connected to the other end of said extremity and including a bifurcated structure comprising angularly disposed legs including arcuate toed-in termi nal portions.

15. A spreader comprising a hook-shaped upper extremity, and an inverted Y-shaped section connected to and depending from said upper extremity, said Y-shaped section including a substantially vertical portion connected to said upper extremity and a bifurcated lower extremity depending from said vertical portion and comprising angularly disposed legs, said legs being of strap-like resilient material.

16. Spreading apparatus for polyethylene tubing having at least one transverse seam having openings therein spaced at a predetermined distance, said apparatus comprising a pair of elements spaced at said predetermined distance, each element comprising a floater including upper, central and lower portions, spaced supports including brackets, rollers on said brackets and flanges on said rollers, said central portion including a frame and pairs of vertically spaced rollers on said frame, each pair of rollers engaging the roller of one of the supports, the rollers of each said pair being accommodated between the flange and bracket of the associated support roller whereby the floater is maintained in position, said upper portion including a pear-shaped strap arrangement for engagement with said tubing and a spherical body within and protruding from said strap arrangement, said lower portion including legs depending and diverging from said central portion, said legs including arcuate toed-in lower extremities, the rollers of said supports being spaced at a distance suflicient to permit said tubing to pass between the support rollers and associated central portion rollers, said central portion including a further roller at right angles to the first said rollers for engagement with said tubing.

17. Spreading apparatus for plastic tubing having at least one transverse seam having openings therein spaced at a predetermined distance, said apparatus comprising a pair of elements spaced at said predetermined distance, each element comprising a floater including upper, central and lower portions, spaced supports, rollers on said supports, said central portion including pairs of vertically spaced rollers engaging the roller of one of the supports, said upper portion including a strap arrangement for engagement with said tubing and a spherical body within said strap arrangement, said lower portion including legs depending and diverging from said central portion, the rollers of said supports being spaced at a distance sufficient to permit said tubing to pass between the support rollers and associated central portion rollers, said central portion including a further roller at right angles to the first said rollers for engagement with said tubing.

18. Apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein the rollers on the supports and the central portion rollers are 15 16 provided with and engaged along opposite tapers to re- 2,759,648 8/ 1956 Piazze 53-29 strict relative axial displacement therebetween. 2,847,806 8/ 1958 Wang 5 329 2,908,123 10/1959 Muller et a1. 53-29 References Cited by the Examiner 2,935,241 5/ 1960 Brady 229-53 UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 2,971,310 2/1961 UmbriElCO 53-256 2,977,729 4/ 1961 Frechtmann et a1 53-29 10/1872 et 93-12 3,025,649 3/1962 Stuhlman 53-256 3/1916 Gal 3,049,229 8/1962 Nagle et a1 206-59 5/1931 Bombard et a1. 206-7 7/ 937 Mi ler e a1 53 241 3,069,303 12/1962 Scholle 229-53 V1943 gg 53384 10 3,112,586 12/1963 Luetzow 53256 X 3/1948 0rtrom 84 FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner. 4/1950 Re1d 206-59 5/1950 Ekstmni GRANVILLE Y. CUSTER, EARLE J. DRUMMOND, 9/1950 Ingraham 53-49 Emmmm- 11/ 1952 Blake 53256 X 15 W. T. DIXSON, P. H. POI-LL, Assistant Examiners.

3/1954 Vogt 229-53

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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/256, 53/384.1, 53/241
International ClassificationB65B43/00, B65B43/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65B43/123
European ClassificationB65B43/12B