US 3314210 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 18, 1967 H. s; v. JARUND 3,314,210
PROCESS AND A DEVICE FOR MANUFACTURING PACKAGES Filed May 18, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Ha/rrg S/gucurd Valdemar Jtirund BY WW &
April 18, 1967 H. s. v. JARUND 3,314,210
PROCESS AND A DEVICE FOR MANUFACTURING PACKAGES Filed May 18, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet z vm ly/w WWW 5 5 H 9 v I. 4 HE R n Q r e r n BY ATTORNEY S United States Patent 3,314,210 PROCESS AND A DEVICE FOR MANU- FACTURING PACKAGES Harry Sigvard Valdemar Jiirnnd, Lnnd, Sweden, assignor to AB Tetra Pak, Lnnd, Sweden, 21 company of Sweden Filed May 18, 1964, Ser. No. 368,311 Claims priority, application Sweden, May 20, 1963, 5,552/63 1 Claim. (Cl. 5327) The present invention relates to a process of manufacturing packages of the kind comprising on the one hand a closed outer casing of carton or a similar rigid material defining the shape of the package, said outer casing preferably consisting of a tubular side wall and two end walls and being at least partly perforated along one of its walls so as to define an opening in said wall, and on the other hand a sealed inner bag consisting of a thin plastic foil or a similar thin and flexible packaging material. The inner bag contains a liquid or fluent filling material and fills the interior cavity of the outer casing essentially completely. That portion of the inner bag which is adjacent to the said opening and islocated on the inside of the outer casing covers the said opening with a portion which is essentially stretched flat over the cross-sectional area thereof and is attached to the outer casing in a relatively narrow zone closed around the opening and located adjacent thereto.
Although the packages in question have indisputable advantages, the absence of industrially useful manufacturing processes has so far prevented commercial exploitation of the packages.
In the present invention a manufacturing process is now proposed, the essentially characteristic feature of which is that the inner bag is inserted from above, at least when the outer casing is open at the top, through a relative movement into the said outer casing after having had supplied to it at least part of the quantity of filling material to be packaged, in addition to which it is caused to be pressed essentially by the weight of the filling material against an adhesive layer applied in advance to the said closed zone so as to cover it completely and being capable of being at least activated into adhesion in order to be actively united with the outer casing, when the said adhesive layer is in an active state, the inner bag, after having had the whole quantity of filling material supplied to it, being closed at least immediately prior to the closing of the outer casing.
Further particulars and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the appended drawings showing an embodiment of the invention chosen by way of example and where FIG. 1 is a perspective view, with certain portions cut away, of one phase of the process according to the invention applied to the manufacture of a parallelepipedic package;
FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view on line IIII of FIG. 1 when the inner bag is completely inserted into the outer casing of the package;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the finished package in a closed state;
'FIG. 4 shows the opening operation in a perspective view corresponding to FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the emptying operation;
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a packaging machine intended for carrying out the method according to the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing the sequence of steps of filling and sealing a package.
The parallelepipedic package shown in the drawing consists of an outer casing 1 and an inner bag 2. The outer casing has the shape of a capsule consisting for instance of carton or a similar rigid packaging material and having a side wall defining a parallelepipedic cavity. At each end of the said side wall there are hinged end flaps 3, 4, 5 and 6 and 7, 8, 9 and 10, respectively, which may be folded in over the adjacent capsule end opening so as to form an end wall 11 and 12, respectively.
In FIG. 1, the outer casing 1 is shown closed at one of its ends, i.e. with one of its end walls 11 established. In this end wall 11 there is provided an opening 13 extending to the inside of the end wall 11 and penetrating through an inner end flap 3 of the end wall 11 when folded inward. The opening 13 is located adjacent one of the corners of the outer casing 1 at the corresponding end and is covered by an outer end flap 5.
The inner bag 2 consists of a hose sealed at one end and consisting of a thin and flexible packaging material, e.g. plastic film. The bag hose has an outer periphery which essentially coincides with the inner periphery of the capsule in cross-sectional planes parallel to the end walls 11 and 12.
At the manufacture of the package according to the invention the inner bag 2 is inserted with its closed end first from the end corresponding to the end flaps 7, 8, 9 and 10, downward into the cavity defined by the side wall of the outer casing 1. In that connection the end flaps 7, 8, 9 and 10 are swung outward from the adjacent capsule end opening, leaving this completely open. At its other end, in this case the lower end, the outer casing 1 is already closed, i.e. has its end wall 11 established. Prior to the insertion of the inner bag 2 into the outer casing 1 the end flap 3 has an adhesive layer applied to its inside in a relatively narrow zone 14 closed around the opening 13 and contiguous thereto. The adhesive layer may at least be activated into adhesion. It may thus consist of for instance a normal glue or a thermoplastic, which may have adhesive properties imparted to it by supply of heat. The application of the layer of adhesive to the zone 14 may take place either prior to or after i the establishing of the end wall 11.
In order that the insertion of the inner bag 2 into the outer casing may be facilitated, at least a portion of the quantity of filling material intended to be packaged has been supplied to the interior of the bag. The filling material is assumed to be liquid or fluent, and this entails that the bag 2 is tensioned at its lower closed end by the weight and the pressure distributing properties of the filling material, and at the same time it will lie snugly at the inside of the capsule side wall.
The insertion of the bag 2 into the outer casing 1 takes place by an axial relative movement between the bag and the outer casing. Thus, the bag 2 may be lowered into the outer casing 1, or the outer casing 1 may be raised about the bag 2, or the bag 2 may be lowered and the outer casing 1 may be raised at the same time.
When the bag 2, having its closed end stretched by the filling material, reaches the inside of the end wall 11 it will cover the opening 13 with a portion of its wall and will be pressed against the adhesive layer in the zone 14 under the weight of the filling material. When the ad hesive layer is in an adhesive state the bag wall is consequently caused to adhere to the inside of the end wall 11 in this zone. Depending on the nature of adhesive, the
sealing of the bag wall to the interior end wall zone may take place at ditferent points of time. Adhesives of the normal glue type will thus result in adhesion between the bag and the end wall as soon as the bag comes into contact wtih the said zone, whereas with adhesives of the heat-scalable plastic type the adhesiveness may be established either already prior to the bag being pressed against the zone or after the bag wall has been brought into contact therewith. The latter type of adhesive may as a matter of fact be activated at the desirable point of time by supplying heat to the layer of adhesive. This heat may be supplied from the outside of the end wall if this is desired.
Of course, the layer of adhesive, which may at least be activated, may also occur in a Zone along the bag wall which corresponds to the zone 14.
Due to the presence of the filling material 115 in the inner bag 2 its wall will be stretched flat over the crosssectional area of the opening 13 after the sealing to the inside of the end wall 11 with a portion 16 lying in the opening 13, as shown in FIG. 2.
After the intended quantity of filling material has been supplied to its interior, the bag 2 is closed at its open end, e.g. by heat sealing between two cooperating transversal sealing jaws. Preferably, the sealing of the bag 2 is carried out so far outside the plane of the casing end opening located adjacent the casing end flaps 7, 8, 9 and 10 that the bag 2 may have a quantity of filling material supplied to it which essentially corresponds to the volume of the casing cavity minus the volume of the wall material in the bag. As a consequence hereof, at the subsequent closing of the still open casing end opening, the counter pressure of the filled bag 2 may be used as an abutment or support for sealing the casing end flaps 7, 8, 9 and '10 to each other in a position folded in over the casing end opening in question.
The finished package according to the invention is shown in a perspective view in FIG. 3, where the package is shown in its normal transport position with the end wall 11 facing upward and the end wall formed by the end flaps 7, 8, 9 and 10 forming the bottom wall of the package.
The outer end flap in the end wall 11 covering the opening 13 in the inner end flap 3 is provided in the present embodiment of the package with a crease and/or a perforation line 17 which starts at right angles from the crease between the side wall of the outer casing 1 and the flap 5 and extends up to the free end wall of the latter.
In addition, this crease between the end wall 5 and the side wall of the outer casing 1 is made weaker by perforations or otherwise along a portion 18 extending from the corner of the end wall 11 adjacent to the opening 13 and up to the base of the crease line 17. The portion 19 of the end flap which is defined by the weakened crease portion 18 and the line 17 covers the outer portion of the opening 13 completely.
Due to the weakening of the crease between the side wall of the outer casing 1 and the end flap 5 along the portion 18 the said end flap portion 19 allows itself to be detached from the capsule side wall along the crease portion 18 and, in order to expose the opening 13, may be bent and/or torn oif along the line 17, as shown in FIG. 4. The prerequisite is, of course, that the end flap portion 19 is either unsealed to the underlying end flap 3 or else is united therewith in a sealing joint which is easy to break open. a
For opening of the package it is only necessary, after the opening 13 has been exposed, to puncture from outside the portion 16 of the inner bag wall stretched over the opening 13. As this bag wall portion 16 is fixedly secured around the inner margin of the opening 13, this puncturing is easy to carry out, at any rate by means of a pointed, awl-like tool. This tool may have such a shape that, after penetrating the bag wall portion 16 essentially in one point, it will widen the initial opening in the bag wall portion 16 so as to make it comprise the area of the opening 13 when the tool is introduced further into the opening. If the wall material of the bag 2 is a plastic film of for instance polyethylene, a very good seal between the awl-like tool and the bag wall will be obtained at this widening operation.
This fact is made use of by means of the opening tool 20 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. It essentially consists of a tube 21 which is sharpened into a point at one end and whose opposite end is enlarged so as to form a pouring edge 22 with a spout 23. The tube 21 has an outer diameter essentially coinciding with the inner diameter of the opening 13. Along its length the tube 21 has an outer annular flange 24. At a distance from the annular flange 24 essentially corresponding to the thickness of the end flap 3 the tube 21 has an outward annular ridge 25 on the same end of the tube as the pointed tube end 26 and of a height whose radius is less than the annular flange 24.
When the tool is introduced from outside into the opening 13 with the pointed end first, its point will perforate the bag wall portion 16. Continued insertion of the tool 20 into the opening 13 will entail that the perforation opening in the bag wall 16 will be successively widened, essentially until it comprises the inner diameter of the opening 13. The tool 20 is introduced so deeply into the inner bag 2 that its annular flange 24 will strike against the outside of the end flap 3. When this takes place the ridge has snapped past the edge of the opening 13 and has been fixed in an axial sense by resting against the casing wall on the inside of the end flap 3.
As the bag material is assumed to be a plastic film or the like, a very good and tight seal is obtained between the outside of the tube 21 and the widened perforation in the bag wall. This seal will prevent leakage along the outside of the tool.
When the tool is in its inserted position, the interior of the tube 21 thus constitutes a passage communicating with the interior of the bag and through which the packaged product may be emptied, as shown in FIG. 5. In order to permit the contents of the package to be completely emptied, the tool 20 is preferably provided along the portion of the tube 21 located between the annular ridge 25 and the tube point 26 with apertures 27 or the like passing through the tube wall.
At the manufacture of the package according to the invention the inner bag 2 may be divided off from a simultaneously manufactured bag hose and may thus be filled through this bag hose. However, it is also possible to use separate bags.
Instead of an opening 13 the end wall 11 may have a notch for such an opening. This opening notch may consist of a perforation line or a similar weakening line, which permits a portion of the end wall 11 of the outer casing 1 to be removed or folded back so as to expose an opening therein. In this embodiment an outward covering portion corresponding to the portion 19 of the end flap 5 may be dispensed with.
Above we have described an outer casing 1 in the form of a capsule of the usual shape. Of course, the principles of the invention may be realized also in other types of outer casings.
In FIG. 6 the method according to the invention is illustrated in the embodiment thereof in which the inner bag of the package being produced is divided from and filled through a simultaneously produced bag tubing and the outer casing or carton of such package consists of a collapsible carton erected into parallelepipedon shape. At the same time FIG. 6 schematically illustrates an apparatus for carrying out such method.
From a supply roll 28 a flattened bag tubing 29 of synthetic thermoplastic material is carried via a looper 30 upwards over a horizontal pulley bar 32 secured to the upper end of a vertical frame standard 31 from which pulley bar 32 the tubing is drawn vertically downwards. Just below the pulley bar 32 a bracket arm 33 is secured to the frame standard, said bracket arm 33 extending horizontally in the vertical plane through the axis of said pulley bar 32 and carrying a sliding shoe 34 at its free end. Between said sliding shoe 34 and the frame standard 31 the bracket arm 33 carries a cutting edge 35 contained in the vertical plane through the bracket arm 33 and inclined towards the standard 31. The sliding shoe 34 is arranged inside the flattened bag tubing 29 to engage the longitudinal fold thereof remote from the frame standard 31, the cutting edge being adapted to slit open the bag tubing 29 along the other longitudinal fold thereof. For lateral guiding and stretching of the tubing 29, the cutting edge and the sliding shoe 34 should be yieldable to each other transversely of the tubing 29.
Below the bracket arm 33 there extends from the side of the frame standard through the side slit produced by the cutting edge 35 a lateral portion of an otherwise vertical filling pipe 36 in between the two portions of the bag tubing 29 lying flat on each other. This filling pipe 36 connects with a source of liquid or fluent filling material, not illustrated herein.
Just below the point where the filling pipe 36 enters the slitted bag tubing 29 the longitudinal slitted margin thereof is carried between a pair of co-operating vertical sealing jaws 37, 38. Said jaws are carried each by an individual cheek of a horizontal pair of pliers 39 the pivot of which is integral with the frame standard 31 and is co-axial thereto. At its opposite end remote from the sealing jaws 37 and 38 the said pair of pliers 39 cooperates with a cam 41 secured to a vertical operating shaft 42 journaled for rotation in brackets 43 and 44 mounted on the frame standard 31, said shaft being driven from a main drive shaft 45 via an angular gear 46.
Below the sealing jaws 37 and 38 a horizontal pulling pincher 47 is slidable along the operating shaft 42 and the frame standard 31. The pincher 47 is arranged along each of the two longitudinal fold edges of the restored bag tubing from both sides of the flattening plane thereof at least locally to pinch the bag tubing and simultaneously to stretch same laterally in the just mentioned plane. To this end the two pinching jaws of the pincher 47 can carry two pairs of co-operating pinching pads 48, 49 and 50, 51, respectively, said two pinching pad pairs being arranged in the closed position of the pincher 47 to pinch between them the bag tubing along each an individual one of the two longitudinal folds thereof. The pincher 47 is reciprocatingly moveable vertically along the standard 31 and the shaft 42. Preferably, the said reciprocating movement is transmitted from the shaft 45 by a mechanism not shown, the opening and closing movement of the pincher jaws for instance being controlled by a cam located along the vertical path of the pincher 47, such cam not being shown herein.
At the lower dead point of the pincher 47 there is a pair of pliers 52 stationary along the frame standard 31 and the operating shaft 42 said pair of pliers 52 being similar to the pair of pliers 39 previously mentioned and thus like the latter having its pivot or joint 53 integral with the standard 31 which is co-axial to the pivot of said joint 53. At its end it cooperates with a cam 54 on the vertical operating shaft 42, the opposite end thereof carrying two co-operating horizontal sealing jaws 55 and 56 each being carried by an individual one of the two cheeks of the pliers, said sealing jaws 55 and 56 being arranged for sealing purposes between themselves to flat-press the bag tubing in the flattening plane thereof and simultaneously to sever the tubing through a transverse cut substantially centrally in the transverse sealing zone.
In the direction of arrow A a conveyor 57 transports erected par-allelepipedon cartons 58 the end of each of which corresponding to the end wall 11 of the abovementioned outer casing 1 is closed and faces downwardly, the opposite ends of said cartons 58 being open to expose the entire cross-sectional area of the carton. The downwardly facing carton end wall thus has an aperture (not visible in the drawings) corresponding to the aperture 13. When the cartons 58 arrive at a station I they are in the area of influence of a pusher device 59 driven from the main shaft 45 and arranged by carrier fingers 60 to move the cartons laterally from the conveyor 57 and to push it into another station H in which the extension of the vertical axes of the carton 58 and the restored bag tubing substantially coincide, and subsequently into a third station III beyond the axis of the justmentioned bag tubing.
In the station II the carton 58 will assume such a position as to make the flattening plane of the bag tubing substantially coincide with a plane through one of the diagonals of the carton opening and through the vertical axis of the carton 58. Furthermore, in such station the carton 58 will rest upon a a platform 61 which by a lever 62 driven from the main shaft 45 is raisable vertically.
In the station III the carton 58 will, by means not shown, have its open end closed to form an end wall corresponding to the end wall 12 of the carton; and finally the carton will be removed, for instance, to another conveyor.
Although the mode of operation of the apparatus in question already through the foregoing description should be apparent to anybody skilled in the art it will be explained in greater detail in the following.
For that purpose it is assumed that in the station II there is a carton 58 which e.g. in the station I has had that zone on the inside of the downwardly facing end wall corresponding to the zone 14 in the outer casing 1 entirely coated with glue. Furthermore, it is assumed that the restored bag tubing in a previous transverse sealing operation has had its lower end, which is located between the transverse sealing jaws 55 and 56, sealed closed. As regards the sealing jaw pairs 37, 38 and 55, 56 it is assumed that same are arranged in their respective close positions to supply heat to the respective sealing zones of the slitted and the restored, respectively, bag tubing. For both jaw pairs such heat supply may be achieved by a heat impulse sealing strip (not shown) located on the working surface of one jaw of the respective pairs of jaws, which impulse sealing strip in connection with the closing movement of the jaw pair is supplied with one or more current impulses of short duration thereby to heat the two superposed plastic surfaces of the bag tubing at sealing temperature through heat conduction.
At the start of the operating cycle the sealing jaw pair 37, 38 closes on the slitted longitudinal margin of the bag tubing for restoring same into tube shape. The pincher 47 moves upwardly to its upper dead point just below the clamping jaw pair 37, 38. The pincher 47 is so designed and arranged as in its closed position to leave space inside the bag tubing for the filling pipe 36 the discharge end of which is located just above the transverse sealing jaws 55 and 56. The pinching pad pairs 48, 49 and 50, 51 are preferably effectively moveable to and from each other in transverse direction.
At least when the pincher 47 in its upper position has closed on the bag tubing a small quantity of filling material will be supplied into the bag tubing through the filling pipe 36. This filling material quantity corresponds only to a portion of that filling material quantity to be accommodated in the finished package. In connection therewith the two sealing jaw pairs 37, 38 and 55, 56 will open and the pincher 47 will start its downward movement and the platform 61 will start rising so that the lower end of the bag tubing will be introduced into the carton 58. The weight of the filling material quantity supplied into the bag tubing and its pressure-equalizing properties will facilitate the insertion of the bag tubing into the carton 58 during their relative movement.
To avoid damaging tensional stresses in the bag tubing during the downward drawing movement of the pincher 47 the looper 30 has previously formed in the bag tubing web between the supply roll 28 and the pulley bar 32 a loop of a length corresponding to the feed stroke of the pincher 47.
In order further to facilitate the insertion of the bag tubing into the carton 58 the two pincher pad pairs 48, 49 and 50, 51 may be arranged to decrease their transverse spacing during the downward stroke of the pincher.
When the closed end of the bag tubing reaches the closed end of the carton 58 the platform 61 will reverse to return to its lower dead point together with the bag tubing. This will again start the supply of filling material into the bag tubing so that the filling material quantity intended for the package in question will be supplied. Through influence of the weight of the filling material the bag tubing will be pressed in a smooth-stretched state against the glue zone on the inside of the carton 58 thereby to be sealed to the carton in the corresponding closed zone.
When the platform 61 reaches its lower position the transverse sealing jaws 55 and 56 close on the bag tubing possibly subsequent to the pincher pad pairs 48, 49 and 50, 51 having again been moved away from each other in lateral direction for flat-stretching the bag tubing in such direction. At that time the transverse sealing jaws 55 and 56 will seal off the bag tubing in a transverse relatively narrow zone and simultaneously sever the filled and sealed-closed tubing portion from the remainder of the bag tubing through a substantially central transverse cut in said zone.
Of course, the longitudinal sealing jaws 37 and 38 are of an effective length exceeding the downward stroke of the pincher 47 as otherwise no continuous longitudinal seam would be achievable along the bag tubing fold slitted by the cuting edge 35 during the downward feed of the bag tubing.
That carton 58 at the station II which is open at its upper end and which contains a filled and sealed bag severed from the bag tubing, will be removed by the pusher mechanism 59 into the station 111 where the closing of the upper end opening of the carton 58 through folding in the adjacent carton end flaps will at least be started.
When the carton 58 has been closed the packaging cycle of the package under consideration has been completed and thus may be repeated with respect to the next following package.
Within the scope of the invention numerous modifications are of course possible as regards the structural design of the apparatus as well as to functional details thereof. Thus, in certain cases it is possible to insert the bag tubing into the open carton 58 without simultaneously raising the latter. Furthermore, by suitable modification of the rest of the equipment the filling operation may for each package be continuous, i.e. need not be divided into two steps.
If the said sealing zone on the carton inside has an entirely covering layer of a substance that is activatable to have adhesive properties the apparatus should comprise means arranged to activate the said adhesive in the station 11 or later, thereby to establish a sealing bond between the inner bag and the outer casing of the package being produced. Such means could for instance be arrange to supply heat to the adhesive layer from outisde.
As shown in FIG. 7 the lower end the tube 29, sealed at its lower end and cut off and partially filled with fluent material to form a bag 2 is ready to be introduced into a casing 1 (FIG. 7A) by either lowering the bag or raising the casing or both. The bag 2 is introduced to the bottom of the casing 1 and due to the weight of the filling and the flexibility of the bag conforms to the shape of and completely fills the bottom end portion of the casing (FIG. 7B). Fluent material is then introduced through the tube 29 into the bag end 2 until it is filled to the level of the top of the casing 1 (FIG. 7C). The tube 29 is then sealed at the top of the filling and cut off leaving the filled and sealed bag 2 in the casing 1 (FIG. 7D). The top of the casing 1 is then closed over the bag 2 (FIG. 7B).
A method of producing packages of the kind comprising a closed outer carton of rigid material defining the shape of the package, said outer carton consisting of a tubular side wall and two end walls, and a sealed inner bag consisting of a thin and flexible packaging material, said inner bag containing a fluent filling material and essentially filling the interior cavity of the outer carton completely, the method comprising partially filling a tube of said flexible packaging material, which tube is closed at its lower end, with a quantity of said filling material, which quantity is smaller than the quantity in the completely filled bag, inserting the partially filled lower end of said tube into said outer carton which is open at its upper end by a relative vertical movement of said tube and said carton, completing the filling of said tube with said filling material so that the lower end of the tube will contain a quantity corresponding to a substantially com pletely filled ba-g, closing said tube in a zone above said filling material, severing the bagshaped lower end portion of the tube from the rest of the tube within said sealing zone and closing the open end of said outer carton.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,252,106 8/1941 Waters 53-27 2,365,159 12/1944 Walton et a1 53-27 2,616,232 11/1952 Meyer 5319l FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.
R. ALVEY, Assistant Examiner.