|Publication number||US3358821 A|
|Publication date||Dec 19, 1967|
|Filing date||Jun 15, 1966|
|Priority date||Jun 15, 1966|
|Publication number||US 3358821 A, US 3358821A, US-A-3358821, US3358821 A, US3358821A|
|Inventors||Sydney R Weisberg|
|Original Assignee||Sydney R Weisberg|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (13), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1967 's. R. WEISBERG 3, I
MULTI-COMPARTMENT PACKAGE 6 40 H 5 fl w A w M 1 M m 1967 s. R. WEISBERG MULTI-COMPARTMENT PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed June 15, 1966 lll United States Patent 3,358,821 MULTI-COMPARTMENT PACKAGE Sydney R. Weisberg, 1715 S. Halsted St.,
Chicago, Ill. 60608 Filed June 15, 1966, Ser. No. 557,762 4 Claims. (Cl. 206-56) This invention relates to the packaging of substances held in containers made of thermoplastic, heat sealed sheet materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, cellulose acetate, polyvinyl chloride, and the like.
Heretofore, it has been the practice to make multicompartment package units for holding liquids, or other substances, by heat sealing confronting sheets of thermoplastic material along the margins of the sheets and along spaced lines between the lateral or side margins thereof to form a plurality of isolated compartments. Multi-compartment package units made in accordance with prior practices have a number of disadvantages, among them being difliculties in separating a used compartment of the package unit from the filled compartments thereof when the contents of only one compartment of the package unit are needed. Frequently, in such instances, the inability to easily and cleanly separate a used compartment from the unused compartments of the package unit results, especially in the case of liquids, in spillage of the residue in the used compartment onto either the filled compartments or the surface on which the partly used unit is supported, or both, thereby creating a messy, unsightly, and usually sticky, clean-up problem.
Other difficulties encountered with multi-compartment package units as heretofore made include those involved in the handling of the package units to effect simultaneous filling of the compartments, and of greater importance, the previously unexplained tendency of the heat seals extending parallel to the direction of extrusion of the thermoplastic material used in making the package units and forming the inner lateral or side margins of the compartments, to fail resulting in the leakage of liquids from the compartments.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide an improved leakage-free, multi-compartment package unit made of heat scalable thermoplastic material.
Another object of this invention is to provide a multicompartment package unit satisfying the above objective wherein each compartment section of the package unit can be easily and readily cleanly severed from the other compartment sections of the package unit.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a multi-compartment package unit as described which is of inexpensive construction and can withstand rough handling without causing damage to the unit or its contents.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a package unit as described, which, when it is to be filled, presents a number of flat compartments which are substantially open at their upper ends so that filling nozzles can be readily simultaneously extended into the compartments.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an efficient, effective and economic method for making, filling, and sealing a multi-compartment package unit as described.
It has been discovered that the heat sealing of thin extruded thermoplastic sheet materials in a direction parallel to the direction of extrusion thereof produces significant weakness in the impact strength of the materials, so that the forces applied to the walls of the containers even during ordinary handling, but particularly during rough handling, thereof sometimes cause minute cracks or more severe rupturing of the walls of the containers along the margins of the heat seals with a resulting leakage of the contents of the container. In accordance with my invention, these leakage problems are avoided by providing a multi-compartment package unit comprising a plurality of initially separate, flattened, extruded tubes of thermoplastic material oriented so that the direction of extrusion of the flattened tubes extends parallel to the flattened sides of the tubes. In such case, the tubes have no openings to be sealed which extend parallel to the extrusion direction. The tubes are closed by heat sealing the ends of the tubes. The resulting heat seals can withstand extremely large impact forces because they extend transversely to the direction of extrusion of the tubes. A strip of tearable sheet material holds each adjacent pair of flattened tubes in fixed, substantially parallel relation to one another to form an integral package unit and enables, as by tearing, any container of the package unit to be easily and readily cleanly separated from the other containers comprising the unit. Most preferably, a single strip of tearable sheet material joins all of the containers of the package unit and extends along the same side thereof. The strip of tearable sheet material advantageously is positioned adjacent the ends of the containers through which the containers are filled for reasons to be explained. If desired, the strip of tearable material can be perforated at the points along which the strip is to be severed to separate any one of the containers from an adjacent container.
The multi-compartment package unit of this invention is uniquely suited to rapid and efficient assembly, filling and sealing. In accordance with the preferred method aspects of the present invention, a number of rolls, equal to the number of containers to be incorporated in the package unit, of flattened, extruded, tubular heat scalable thermoplastic material are supported for rotation about parallel axes and are spaced apart the same distance which the containers of the completed pack-age unit are to be spaced apart. The rolls are simultaneously unwound and the ends thereof delivered to a severing, sealing and stripapplying station at which sections of the tubular material, corresponding in dimensions to the dimensions of the compartments of the finished package unit, are simultaneously severed from the ends of the unwound rolls, sealed along one of their ends and secured together by a strip of tearable material to form a package unit comprising a number of containers each having a corresponding end open. The package units thus assembled are then delivered to a filling station where the separate containers thereof are simultaneously filled. The filled containers are then simultaneously sealed by a heat sealing operation and the package unit is ready for shipment.
The multi-compartment package unit of the present invention overcomes all of the disadvantages of prior multi-compartment package units of the type here under consideration. Thus, each of the containers of the package unit can be easily and simply torn free from its associated containers, emptied and discarded, thereby eliminating the messy spillage problems so frequently encountered in the use of prior package units. The package unit of this invention, furthermore, requires only a minimum number of heat seals, and eliminates entirely the need for one or more of the inner, compartment-forming heat seals, extending parallel to the direction of extrusion of the thermoplastic material, characteristic of prior multi-compartment package units. Thus, while reducing processing costs by requiring fewer seals, the package unit of the present invention overcomes the problem of seal failure which not uncommonly occurs in the inner, compartment-forming seals of prior multi-compartment package units. In addition, the package unit of this invention enables simultaneous filling of the containers of the unit to be attained with a minimum of effort and manipulation on the part of an operator. This result is made possible, in large measure, by the bodying effect of the tearable 3 strip which extends over the containers of the package unit on the same side of the containers near the filling ends thereof which tends to maintain the unsealed ends of the containers in an open position thus facilitating simultaneous insertion of filling spouts into the containers.
The above and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent upon making re erence to the specification to follow, the claims and the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of an embodiment of the mold-compartment package unit of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a front view in elevation of said embodiment showing the separate containers thereof being filled simultaneously;
FIG. 5 is a side view in elevation corresponding to the view of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a side view in elevation showing filled package units stacked for shipment or storage;
FIG. 7 is a side view elevation, partly in section, of an assembly line for forming said embodiment of the package unit;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the assembly line illustrated in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view in perspective showing the final sealing of said embodiment of the package unit after filling; and
FIG. 10 is a front view in elevation of an embodiment of a six compartmented package unit made in accordance with the practice of the present invention.
Referring, now, in greater detail to the drawings, the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, and designated generally by reference numeral 10, comprises three separate, juxtaposed, flattened tubular containers 12, 14 and 16 made of an extruded thermoplastic material such as polyethylene, polypropylene, cellulose acetate, polyvinyl chloride, or the like. It should be understood, of course, that the number and size of the containers comprising the package unit can be varied as desired.
The opposed, flattened walls of each of the filled containers 12, 14 and 16 are heat sealed at their opposite ends to provide liquid and air-tight seals 12a, 14a and 16a, and 12b, 14b and 16b, at the top and bottom, respectively, of the containers. The direction of extent of the seals of the containers is transverse to the direction of orientation of the extruded thermoplastic material of which the containers are made, and, as will be described hereinafter, the bottom seals 12b, 14b and 161) are formed simultaneously prior to filling of the containers, as are the top seals 12a, 14a and 16a, after the containers are filled.
The containers 12, 14 and 16 are connected or joined, and held in fixed, spaced relation to one another, by a strip 20 advantageously formed of tearable sheet material. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated, the strip 20 comprises a relatively narrow band of paper, of the type commonly used for labeling purposes, having a film or layer of a pressure sensitive adhesive on one side thereof. The strip 20 can be applied to the containers in any manner known in the art and desirably is adhered to one side, only, of the containers. While the strip 20 may have any dimensions desired, when utilizing a relatively narrow strip, such as strip 2%, it is advantageous, during the formation of the package unit, to position it adjacent the top of the containers. When thus positioned, the strip not only provides a good gripping surface but also tends to urge the opposed, flattened, unsealed ends of the walls of the tubular containers apart, thereby facilirating simultaneous filling of the containers (see FIG. 4).
Referring now to FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 of the drawings,
there is shown in somewhat diagrammatic form an embodiment of a portion of an assembly line arrangement for fabricating the multi-compartment pack-age unit of the present invention. The arrangement illustrated comprises a support member which may be in the form of an elongated table 30. Positioned at one end of the table 30 are three separate rolls 32, 34 and 36, each having wound thereon a supply of a flattened, tubular, heat scalable thermoplastic material 320, 34a and 36a, respectively. The rolls may be mounted for rotation about a common shaft, as shown, or they each may be mounted on separate shafts. The tubular material 32a, 34a and 36a is unwound from the supply rolls 32, 34 and 36 by means of motor driven pull rollers 42 and 44 and is maintained in spaced apart relation as it moves along the table by a plurality of rows of longitudinally aligned guide pins 46 secured to the upper surface of the table 30. Positioned adjacent the rollers 42 and 44 are a cutting blade or knife 48, a strip applying member 50 and a heat sealer blade 52.
The tubular material is intermittently moved by the pull rollers 42 and 44 and during the dwell in the movement of the material, the knife 48, the strip applying member 50 and the heat sealer blade 52 preferably act simultaneously to cut a portion of the tubular material 32a, 34a and 36a to the proper length, to apply an adhesive backed strip 54 to the tubular material to join the severed portions 56, 58 and 60 thereof, and to provied seals 56a, 58a and 68a at the lower or bottom end of the portions 56, 58 and 60. The joined portions leave the table 30 and are removed to a filling station (see FIG. 4) where a series of filling spouts 62 are simultaneously inserted into the open ends of the portions 56, 58 and 60 and a suitable quantity of a liquid 64 is introduced therein. The filled portions are then moved to a final sealing station where the open ends of the portions are simultaneously contacted by a heat sealing blade 66 to provide seals 12a, 14a and 16a. The package unit is then ready for shipment. In this connection, and as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6 of the drawings, the package unit of this invention, when filled, has a generally flat configuration which ena-bles it to be stacked and compactly boxed for shipment.
As stated hereinabove, the strip joining the containers of the package unit may be applied in any manner known in the art. In the assembly arrangement described herein automatic apparatus, such as the label applying machine available commercially under the trademark Label- Aire, is used for this purpose. While, generally speaking, the strip will be formed of a material, such as paper, which is easily tearable, it may be desirable in certain instances to provide perforations 68, along the strip at the areas thereof between the lateral margins of the containers, to facilitate separation of the containers when One, or more, is to be used. The exposed surface of the strip may have printed thereon suitable advertising and other related material, in addition to any required labeling information or data.
In FIG. 10 of the drawings, there is shown a variation of the package unit of this invention. The embodiment there illustrated, and designated generally by reference numeral 76, is a six compartmented unit comprising containers 72, 74 and 76 joined by a strip 78 and having top seals 72a, 74a and 76a, and bottom seals 72b, 74b
' and 76b, in addition to intermediate seals 72c, 74c and 760. The intermediate seals advantageously are formed after the containers 72, 74 and 76 are filled and this can be attained by supporting the containers on one blade of a heat sealing unit at the place where the intermediate seals are desired. In order to assure liquid and air-tight seals, heat may be initially applied at the points of support to drive any residiual liquid away, and thereafter the intermediate heat seals can be made.
While for purposes of illustration specific embodiments of the invention have been described, other forms thereof will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art in the light of this disclosure and, therefore, the present invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A multi-compartment package unit comprising: a plurality of separate, juxtaposed, flattened, extruded flexible seamless tubular containers holding a liquid material made of thermoplastic material which is heat sealed at the opposite ends thereof to provide liquid and air-tight seals for the contents of the containers, the direction of extrusion of the thermoplastic material of the containers being oriented in a direction parallel to the flattened sides of the containers and transversely of the direction of extent of the heat seals at the ends of the tubular containers, means for joining said tubular containers together comprising only a single strip of readily manually tearable material extending along the flat sides of the tubular containers and joining each adjacent pair of separate juxtaposed flattened containers in spaced relation with the longitudinal axes of the tubular containers extending transversely of the strip, to form a unitary multi-compartment package wherein any container may be separated from an adjacent container by manually tearing the strip therebetween, and said strip of manually 25 tearable material joining each adjacent pair of containers being positioned intermediate the ends of the tubular containers so the strip is spaced from the sealed ends of the containers and carrying label-forming indicia thereon.
2. The multi-compartment package unit of claim 1 wherein there is a single strip of material extending between all the contiguous juxtaposed pairs of containers on the same fiat side of the containers.
3. The multi-compartment unit of claim 1 wherein the strip between each pair of adjacent tubular containers is transversely perforated to permit an easy clean severance of the strip between each pair of adjacent containers.
4. A package unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein an air-tight transverse seal is provided betweenthe seals at the opposite ends of the containers to subdivide each container into a plurality of compartments.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 681,659 8/1901 Sallade 229-56 X 890,424 6/ 1908 Henry. 1,154,164 9/1915 Beckwith. 1,209,816 12/ 1916 Dittgen. 1,764,569 6/ 1930 Knee 22969 X 2,028,341 1/1936 Masterson et al. 22969 2,357,339 9/1944 Mathieu.
FOREIGN PATENTS 728,069 4/1955 Great Britain. 795,930 6/ 1958 Great Britain.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
LOUIS G. MANCENE, THERON E. CO'NDON,
I. M. CASKIE, Assistant Examiner.
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|US20100254633 *||Aug 18, 2009||Oct 7, 2010||Andochick Scott E||Method and apparatus for material storage and transport|
|EP0039317A2 *||Apr 21, 1981||Nov 4, 1981||Italgel S.P.A.||Improved container for freezeable liquids, used in particular for extracting heat from small enclosures|
|WO2006095172A1 *||Mar 8, 2006||Sep 14, 2006||Waterwerkz Ltd||Supply of packaging bags for a filling apparatus|
|U.S. Classification||383/37, 206/820, 206/525, 206/459.5, 229/120.12|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D75/42, Y10S206/82|