US 3332548 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 25, 1967 T. E. PIAZZE ETAL 3,332,548
MULTIPLE UNIT PACKAGE Filed May 10 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l 1720mm? P45 WaZZerC. Car
July 25, 1967 T. E. PIAZZE ETAL.
MULTIPLE UNIT PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 10, 1965 jzoe riZZ 51/ dimwumhfi Walier 0 Caz United States Patent 3,332,548 MULTIPLE UNIT PACKAGE Thomas E. Piazze and Walter C. Curtis, Mount Vernon, Ohio, assignors to Continental Can Company, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed May 10, 1965, Ser. No. 454,606 2 Claims. (Cl. 206-56) This invention relates to packaging and is more particularly concerned with improvements in a package and a method of forming the same wherein relatively small packaged product units are enclosed in separate compartments of an outer container which is substantially larger than the individual packages of the product.
It is a general object of the invention to provide an improved package and a method of forming the same which comprises a pair of packaged product portions enclosed in separate compartments in an outer container of flexible package forming material having a tea-ring line between the individual compartments so that the container may be readily separated into two units each containing a packaged product portion whereby either unit may be torn open and the enclosed package made available for use or consumption while the package in the other unit remains fully enclosed therein.
It is a more specific object of the invention to provide a multi-unit, flexible package and a method of forming the same wherein an outer bagtype container of flexible plastic film material is divided into two or more sealed compartments with perforations or like severance lines between the same and with product portions in a sealed bag in each of the compartments so that each unit may be readily separated from an adjoining unit without breaking the seals of either the inner package containing the product or the outer package unit which encloses the same.
It is another object of the invention to provide a flexible plastic bag for a double unit package which is of tubular shape with one end open and with the other end closed by a gusset formation, and which is flattened and provided with a short seal extending in the axial direction across the infolded gusset bottom and intermediate the side edge forming folds of the bag.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the package and the method of forming the same which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an outer bag which is adapted to be used in forming a package in accordance with the invention, the bag being shown in flattened and empty condition;
FIGURE 2 is a cross section taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1, to an enlarged scale;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross section taken on the line 33 of FIGURBI, to an enlarged scale;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a completed twinunit package after the bag of FIGURE 1 has been filled, closed and sealed;
FIGURE 5 is a cross section taken on the line 55 of FIGURE 4, to an enlarged scale;
FIGURES 6, 7, and 8 are plan views illustrating the successive operations performed in producing the package of FIGURE 4;
FIGURES 9 to 12 illustrate, more or less schematically, the steps involved in forming the longitudinal seals and the center perforation line in the outer bag after the latter is filled and closed; and
FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary view showing a portion of FIGURE 12, to a still larger scale.
Referring first to FIGURES l to 3, there is illustrated an outer bag construction which is adapted to be employed in forming the twin-unit package which is illustrated in 3,332,548 Patented July 25, 1S6? FIGURE 4. The outer bag 10 may be formed from a sheet of flexible plastic film, for example, polyethylene, Pliofilm, cellulose acetate or other suitable plastic film. In forming the bag 10 as shown, an elongate rectangular sheet of the film material is folded upon itself on parallel, transverse fold lines so as to provide for the gusset 11 and with the end edges spaced so as to provide the lip 12 at the open mouth of the bag. The side edges 13 and 14 are each connected or closed by a suitable heat seal, for example, a conventional bead seal. The gusset end of the bag thus formed constitutes the bottom of the bag and a relatively short heat seal is applied on the line 15 so that it extends across the full width of the gusset 11 and welds the folds in collapsed condition at this point. Preferably, the heat seal 15 is on a line extending along the longitudinal center or axis of the bag, so as to divide the bag, at least at the bottom end, into two equal sections or compartments.
In using the bag 10 to form the package 16 of FIG- URE 4, the mouth of the bag is held open and two filled and closed bags 17 .and 17' of the product to be packaged are inserted as shown in FIGURE 6. The packages 17 and 17 may be identical and each comprises a quantity of a product, such as, for example, cereal, potato chips, pretzels, or the like, enclosed in a conventional bag of suitable packaging material with the product being completely enclosed and preferably sealed in the inner bag. The inner bags are of a material suitable for enclosing the particular product. In the case of a cereal, for example, it may be wax paper, Glassine, cellophane or the like. The two bags or packages of the product 17 and 17 may be inserted in the outer bag 10, while the mouth is held open by spreader members 18, 18', as indicated in FIGURE 6, and the mouth of the bag is then closed by a heat seal 19. Thereafter, the lip 12 and associated portions indicated at 20 outside the seal line 19 are cut off and discarded. The outer bag is then divided into separate compartments by sealing along longitudinally spaced lines to provide the seals 21 and 22 which extend from one end of the outer bag to the other so as to completely enclose the inner packages 17 and 17' in compartments 23 and 24, which are separated by the longitudinal seals 21 and 22. The package is then completed by perforating along the axial line 25 midway between the seals 21 and 22 and in alignment with the initial seal 15. The completed package has the form illustrated in FIGURE 4 with the inner packages or filled bags 17 and 17' completely enclosed each in a sealed compartment, and with the two compartments 23 and 24 adjoining each other and separated by a perforation line 25 extending between the same so as to permit ready separation of the outer bag into two parts or units. Separation of the two sections or units of the outer bag enables each of the inner bags or packages 17 and 17' to be opened and used separately with the remaining package fully enclosed and completely protected against deterioration while the other package is being consumed or used.
In FIGURES 9 to 13, there is illustrated a method of forming the longitudinal seals 21 and 22 and providing the perforated tearing line 25. Referring first to FIGURE 9, outer bag 10, as shown, has received the inner packages 17 and 17' and the seal 19 has been applied with the waste section 20 trimmed off. The package assembly is placed on an elongate supporting bar member 26 either by hand or by an appropriate mechanical means, the bar member 26 being carried on a conveyor or other moving support (not shown) and the package assembly being positioned as shown in FIGURE 10 so that a longitudinal center strip or section between the inner packages 17 and 17' overlies the top face 27 of the bar member 26, the latter forming a cushion or anvil for the sealing operation which is performed after the bar member 26 and the associated package assembly are moved beneath a sealing bar, indicated at 28 in FIGURE 11. The sealing bar '28 has a center groove cut in the working face thereof so as to provide two spaced, relatively narrow sealing surfaces 29 and 29' for pressure engagement with the package assembly. The supporting bar member 26 and the sealing bar 28 are moved toward each other to press the two walls of the outer bag between them so as to form the seals 21 and 22 in the area between the inner packages 17 and 17'. The bar member 26 is provided with a perforating knife or blade 30 which is mounted in the slot 31 in the top 27 of the bar member 26 with its cutting edge slightly above the uppermost surface of the bar member 26. To accomplish the perforating of the bag material on the line 25, a pressure roller 32 (FIGURES 12 and 13), which is mounted in a suitable support 33, is moved along the top surface 27 of the bar member 26 above the blade 30 so as to press the material against the cutting edge of the blade and form the perforating line 25. This completes the formation of the package which may then be removed from the bar member. The final package is in the condition shown in FIGURE 4.
While the perforation line 25 is employed in the package, as shown, to facilitate separation of the package units, it will be understood that any other equivalent weakening line may be substituted for the perforation line in forming the package, it being necessary only to cut or to weaken the material sufiiciently to insure tearing along the line 25 when the package units are separated without the tearing line wandering into the seal line of the remaining package unit.
While particular materials and specific structuraldetails have been referred to in describing the illustrated form of the invention, it will be understod that other suitable materials and equivalent structural details may be resorted to within the scope of the invention.
1. A multi-unit package comprising an outer tubular bag of flexible plastic film and a pair of inner bags enclosed in separate sealed compartments in said outer bag, said outer bag including oppositely disposed side walls sealed along parallel opposite side edges so as to form a tube and having a gusset in the one end which constitutes the bottom of said outer bag, said outer bag being closed by a transverse seal at the top forming other end thereof, said outer bag being divided into two compartments by a pair of centrally located, laterally spaced seals which extend along the longitudinal axis of the bag, and a line of perforations between said centrally located seals which constitutes a weakened severance line, the line of perforations extending along the longitudinal axis of the outer bag whereby to permit said outer bag to be readily divided into two separate sealed units by tearing along the severance line, and each of said inner bags having a product sealed therein whereby when the outer bag is divided into two separate package units by tearing along said line of perforations the product in each package unit is enclosed in sealed relation in both an inner and an outer bag and each package unit may be opened and the product removed without disturbing the associated package unit.
2. An outer bag for forming a multi-unit package which comprises a sheet of flexible plastic film folded flat upon itself and provided with a gusset at the folded end which is adapted to form the bottom for the bag when it is opened up, said bag having oppositely disposed side walls in flattened face contacting relation with side seals extending along adjacent edges thereof, the side walls being free along the side edge opposite the gusset so as to form the mouth of the bag and a relatively short narrow seal extending a short distance along the longitudinal axis of the bag and across the flattened gusset which forms a guide line for locating the longitudinal center line along opposite sides of which the bag material is adapted to be sealed and on which it is to be perforated when a pair of filled inner bags are placed therein on opposite sides of the guide line and the bag mouth is sealed thereby providing two separate dou'ble bag units which may be separated by tearing along the perforated center line.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,283,069 5/ 1942 Knuetter 22957 2,565,336 8/1951 Adler 206--56 2,695,704 11/ 19.54 McGredy 206-56 2,808,926 10/1957 Drake et al 206-56 3,060,653 10/1962 Flax 53-28 3,136,475 6/ 1964 Geimer 22957 3,150,473 9/ 1964 Lemelson 5328 FOREIGN PATENTS 631,973 11/1961 Canada. 55 2,250 3/ 1943 Great Britain. 620,354 3/1949 Great Britain. 968,580 9/ 1964 Great Britain.
LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.
THERON E. CONDON, Examiner.
J. M. CASKIE, Assistant Examiner.