US 3385428 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 28, 1568 E. KUGLER 3,385,428
FLEXIBLE BAG Filed Oct. 5, 1966 "1 7/23 :7 12 23, lid 5' 2239/ L 47 7-l I l FIG. 6 F'IG.7 47
F IG.9 T
I N VEN'Y OR. EMANUEL KUGLER By Ame n A TTORNEYS.
United States Patent j 3,385,428 FLEXIBLE BAG Emanuel Kugler, 124 Richmond Place, Lawrence, N.Y. 11559 Filed Oct. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 583,550 7 Claims. (Cl. 20657) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A stack of open-mouth plastic bags. Each bag has an extending lip connected to the rear wall of the bag and detachable from it, and a locking flap attached to the upper part of the front wall of the bag and disposed between the front and back walls. The lip of each bag is connected to the rear wall by a perforated line to facilitate removal of each bag from the stack after filling. Holes in the lips of the bags permit all of the bags in a single stack to be aligned. Seals on each side of each bag are formed between an entire side edge of the flap and the contiguous side edge of the front Wall; and between that portion of the contiguous side edge of the back wall lying below both the upper edge of the flap and the perforated line, and the continuous flap and front Wall side edges.
This invention relates to flexible bags, and more particularly to a stack of flexible plastic bags which facilitates the packing of articles of merchandise in the individual bags.
My invention is directed to the type of plastic bag which is used, for example, to package mens shirts. For the most efficient shirt packing opera-tion, the bags should be supplied to the shirt manufacturer in stacks. The top 'bag in the stack may be opened initially by a jet of air and a shirt then inserted in it. After the shirt is inserted in the bag, or contemporaneously therewith, the bag is removed from the stack in preparation for the filling 0f the next bag. It is highly desirable, once a shirt is inserted in the bag, that no additional heating or other sealing operation be required. This enables the packaging operation to proceed rapidly at relatively little cost.
When all of the requirements are taken together, it is seen that there are formidable problems to be overcome in providing a stack of bags for packaging mens shirt-s and similar articles. First, the bags should come in stacks in order that they be rapidly filled by the pack aging equipment. Second, once filled, the bags should be detachable from the remaining stack with a minimum of effort. Third, after a shirt is first inserted in a bag, it should remain locked in without the necessity for an additional sealing step. Considerable difficulty has been encountered heretofore in providing stacks of bags having all of the aforesaid desirable characteristics in combination.
It is a general object of this invention to provide an improved construction for a stack of bags which facilitates the rapid and inexpensive packaging of articles of merchandise in the individual bags.
In the illustrative embodiments of my invention each bag is fabricated from a substantially rectangular sheet of plastic material by forming two folds along its width and two heat seals along its side edges. The single sheet of material is bent approximately at its center, the resulting fold forming the bottom of the finished bag. One half of the sheet forms the back face of the bag and the other forms the front face of the bag. At the top of the front face the material is folded inwardly once again to form a small flap. The back face of the bag extends beyond the top of the front face. A heat seal is then made along each of the side edges of the resulting struc- Patented May 28, 1968 ture. At each side edge of the bag a two-ply seal is formed along most of the edge and a three-ply seal is formed at the upper part of the edge where the flap is folded over.
This construction enables each bag to be filled rapidly, without requiring an additional step after the packing operation to insure that the article of merchandise remains sealed inside the bag. The bag is opened at its top, for example, by a jet of air, and a shirt or other article of merchandise is inserted in the bag at the upper end between the back wall of the bag and the folded flap. After the shirt is placed inside the bag the flap is lifted over the end of the shirt to keep the shirt in place. Thus an additional heat-sealing step is not require-d.
While the construction described above enables an individual bag to be filled rapidly and at a minimum cost, it remains desirable to provide means to stack the bags for automated filling purposes. Additionally, the individual bags should be secured in a stack in such a way that each can be removed from the stack with a minimum of force after it is filled with goods. In accordance with that aspect of my invention I provide an extension or lip of plastic material at the top of the back face of the bag. A perforated line is formed along the width of the back face near the top of the bag dividing the lip from the rest of the back face. Holes may be cut in this lip for the purpose of aligning and securing a group of bags in a stack. As each individual bag is filled it is torn off from the extending hp at the perforation. Thus the lip construction enables the bags to be supplied to a shirt manufacturer, for example, in aligned stacks, yet each individual bag may be removed easily from the stack after it is filled.
The perforated line should be proximate to the upper end of the bag, but its exact position may vary from application to application. For example, the perforated line may be approximately one quarter of an inch above the top edge of the front face where the flap is folded over. In such a case, the packaged article of merchandise will be contained in a bag whose rear face extends approximately one quarter of an inch above the front face. Alternatively, the perforated line may be below the top edge of the front face. In such a case, when each bag is severed from its lip extension the upper edge of the rear face of the bag will be slightly below the fold joining the inside flap to the front face.
This latter construction may be aesthetically more pleasing because the rear face does not extend above the top of the bag or even to the same extent as the front face. Certain problems, however, may be encountered in constructing the individual bags if the extending lip is to begin below the upper edge of the bag. Specifically, it is preferable that the lip be severed from the bag with a minimum of effort after the bag is filled. If the perforated line is below the upper end of the bag, during the heat-sealing process in which the side edges are formed the lip may be permanently sealed to the bag itself. The front and rear faces and the flap of the bag are joined along the two side edges during the heat sealing. The extending lip should be free from the bag along its sides all the way from the top of the lip down to the perforated line. But the flap and front face must be sealed together at the top of the bag. Therefore, special precautions should be taken to insure that at the same time that the top of the flap and .the front face are sealed together, the extended lip is left free above the perforated line. As will be described below, this may be accomplished by selectively coating the plastic material with ink or with the use of mechanical interleaf which prevents the sealing of the lip to the remaining parts of the bag during the heat-sealing process.
Further objects, features, and advantages of my invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a first illustrative embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the bag taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the bag of FIGS. 1 and 2 shown in an open state ready to be filled;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are partial front views showing two alternative constructions for the extended lip of the bag of FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 6 is a front view of another illustrative embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the bag taken along the line 77 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a larger scale, side view of the bag of FIGS. 6 and 7 and depicts in exaggerated fashion those side portions of the bag which are joined together by a heat seal;
FIG. 9 depicts a sheet of plastic material which may be used to fabricate the bag of FIGS. 68; and
FIG. 10 illustrates an aligned stack of bags, the individual bags of FIG. 10 being any of those depicted in the other figures.
Each of the illustrative bags of my invention is provided with a rear face and a front face. Attached to the upper part of the front face is a locking flap disposed between the front and back faces. The back face extends above the top edge of the front face. Across the back face there is a perforated line above which is formed a lip, the lip having two holes in it. An overall bag configuration may be understood in a general way with reference to the perspective view of FIG. 3 and the crosssection view of FIG. 2.
Before proceeding with a description of the individual bag embodiments, reference should be made to FIG. 10 which illustrates a stack of bags as they are aligned in use. The stack is shown resting on a backing plate 65 and two pins 61 are extended through the holes in the lips of the bags. The bags 12 are shown in cross-section and may be any of the four embodiments 12a, 12b, 12c, and 12d shown in the other figures.
A jet of air from nozzle 63 forces open the top bag in the stack. An article of merchandise is inserted in the top bag while it is open. The top bag is then torn off along its perforated line on the back face. Only the lip remains in the stack. If the articles of merchandise are inserted in the bag with sufiicient force, the bag may be torn off the stack automatically. After the article of merchandise is packed in the bag, the flap on the front face is lifted over the end of the article of merchandise to keep it in place. An additional heat-sealing step or other locking operation is not required.
The first illustrative bag 12a of my invention is depicted in FIGS. 1-3. Rear face 13, front face 15 and flap 17 are all fabricated from a single sheet of material folded as shown in the sectional view of FIG. 2. It is to be understood that separate sheets of material may be joined together instead of using a single sheet. The separate sheet construction might be utilized, for example, if the different parts of the bag are to have varying thicknesses.
Across rear face 13 of the bag is a perforated line above which is a lip 27 extending beyond the rest of the bag. Two holes 23 are formed in the lip. These holes are used for aligning the bag with other identical bags in a stack as described above with reference to FIG. 10. It is to be understood that the lips serve the additional purpose of enabling a stack of bags to be stapled together, if desired, in order that they be handled as a unit even prior to their mounting on a backing plate for filling purposes.
A heat seal is formed along the two side edges 29 and 33 of the bag. The sheet of plastic material used to fabricate the bag is folded at 19 and 21 as shown in FIG. 2, and then the heat seals are made to bind the side edges together. The seals which are formed extend from fold 19 to the bottom of the bag at 21. Along each side of the bag a three-ply seal is formed at the top, extending from fold 19 to the lower edge 27 of flap 17. Below edge 27 a two-ply seal is formed along each side edge.
Although the front and rear faces and the fiap are sealed together along the two sides of the bag, at the center of the bag flap 17 is not sealed to either the front or rear face. An article of merchandise is inserted between the rear face and the flap. Once the article of merchandise, such as a shirt, is inside the bag flap 17 is forced over the end of the article such that the article itself is maintained at the top of the bag between fiap 17 and front face 15. In this manner the article of merchandise is prevented from falling out of the bag after it is packed, without requiring an additional sealing operation.
The perforated line 25 creates a weak bond between rear face 13 and lip 27. After the article of merchandise is packed inside the bag, the bag is removed from the lip along the perforated line. Actually, if the article of merchandise is inserted in the bag with sufficient force, this force will in itself sever the bag from lip 27. The construction of FIGS. l3 thus allows a stack of bags to be provided which enables each individual bag to be filled with an article of merchandise without requiring an additional sealing operation, and to be removed simply from the remaining stack.
An alternative lip design is shown for bag 1211 of FIG. 4. Here, holes 23 are in the lip such that the perforated line 25 passes through them. In this case each bag, when severed from the stack, will exhibit a rear face which has two semi-circular cut-outs along its upper edge.
The bag of FIG. 5 is similar to those of FIGS. l-3 and FIG. 4, except that the extended lip is provided with a notch 31. As is known in the art, this notch enables even the bags at the bottom of a stack to be inflated simply with a jet of air. Without notch 31 on the individual bags in the stack, the lips which remain in the stack after the bags at the top of the stack are removed may block the flow of air toward the lower bags when they are in view. With notches 31, however, the lips of the removed bags do not block the flow of air.
In the embodiments of FIGS. 1-5, after each bag is removed from the stack the rear face is seen to extend slightly above the upper edge of the front face of the bag. To provide a more pleasing appearance it is possible to place the perforated line separating the extended lip and the rear face of the bag at a level even with or even below the top edge of the front face. The latter construction is shown for bag 12d in the embodiment of FIGS. 68. Perforated line 43 on rear face 55 is at a level below upper fold 41. The perforated line is opposite flap 57 approximately one quatrer of an inch below upper edge 41 of the front face. When extended lip 49 is removed from the rear face of the bag, it is apparent that the upper edge of the rear face does not extend past or even up to fold 41.
FIG. 8 depicts in larger scale the bag as seen from the side. The exaggerated darkened lines represent the heat seals. Front face 53 is sealed to flap 57 at each side of the bag. As for rear face 55, it is sealed to front face 53 and flap 57 only from the bottom of the bag at 47 up to perforation 43. Above the perforation lip 49 is not sealed to flap 57 and front face 53. The lip should preferably be severed from the bag with a minimum of force, and were a seal to be effected between the lip and the remainder of the bag along the two sides it might be difficult to sever the bag from the lip.
Because a two-ply seal is formed at the top of each side of the bag even though the structure is three-ply at this level, precautions should be taken in the manufacturing process. One method of insuring that only a two-ply seal is formed at the top of the bag is to coat lip 49 along its two sides immediately above perforation 43 with a chemical which prevents the sealing of the lip to the remainder of the bag during the heat-sealing step. Printing ink, for example, is sufficient for the purpose. The coating is shown by the Xs in FIG. 9 depicting a single sheet of material which may be'used to fabricate the bag of FIGS. 78. Alternatively, mechanical interleafs may be used during the heat sealing step to separate the sheet parts at the region shown by the Xs.
The sheet may be bent first along fold 41. The flap 57 which is formed has a length l. Fold 47 is then made and flap 57 is placed adjacent the upper end of the sheet of material. Fold 41, the upper end of the finished bag, is adjacent the imaginary line 51 in FIG. 9. The overall length of the finished bag is shown by dimension L. Heat seals are then formed along the two side edges of the bag. Each seal is along the dimension L at each side. The lip 49, between perforated line 43 and imaginary line 51 (dimension It), will not be sealed to the upper end of flap 57 because of the chemical treating of the material as shown by the Xs in FIG. 9. Thus although perforated line 43 in the finished 'bag is below fold 41, the chemical coating, or any other alternative, insures that the extended lip is not secured to the bag along its two side edges.
Although the invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the application of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications may be made therein and other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A stack of open-mouth plastic bags comprising a plurality of bags and means for maintaining all of said bags in alignment; each of said bags having a front wall and a back wall joined to form a bottom edge of the bag, a locking flap joined at the upper edge thereof to said front wall at the upper portion thereof and disposed between said back wall and said front wall, a perforated line across the width of said back wall and a lip on said back wall extending above the perforated line on said back wall and beyond the upper edge of said front wall, at least one hole in said lip aligned with the lip holes of the other bags in said stack, said hole being contained in said lip at a level above said front wall upper edge, and a seal formed along each side edge of the bag, each of said seals being formed between an entire side edge of said flap and the contiguous side edge of said front wall and between that portion of the contiguous side edge of said back wall lying below both said flap upper edge and said back wall perforated line and the contiguous flap and front wall side edges.
2. A stack of bags in accordance with claim 1 wherein in each of said bags said back wall perforated line is above said flap upper edge, and each of said side edge seals is formed between all of the contiguous side edges of said back wall, said flap and said front wall between said flap upper edge and said bag bottom edge.
3. A stack of bags in accordance with claim 1 wherein in each of said bags said back wall perforated line is below said flap upper edge, and each of said side edge seals is formed between an entire side edge of said flap and the contiguous side edge of said front wall and between that portion of the contiguous side edge of said back wall lying below said back wall perforated line and the contiguous side edges of said flap and said front wall.
4. A stack of bags in accordance with claim 1 wherein in each of said bags said locking flap is joined at the upper edge thereof to said front wall upper edge.
5. A stack of bags in accordance with claim 4 wherein in each of said bags is fabricated from a single sheet of plastic material having a first fold therein defining said bottom edge of the bag and a second fold therein defining said upper edges of both said flap and said front wall.
6. A stack of bags in accordance with claim 5 wherein in each of said bags said back wall perforated line is above said second fold, and each of said side edge seals is formed between all of the contiguous side edges of said back wall, said flap and said front wall between said first and second folds.
7. A stack of bags in accordance with claim 5 wherein in each of said bags said back wall perforated line is below said second fold, and each of said side edge seals is formed between an entire side edge of said flap and the contiguous side edge of said front wall and between that portion of the contiguous side edge of said back wall lying below said back wall perforated line and the contiguous side edges of said flap and said front wall.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,840,146 1/1932 Wilson 2067 2,443,484 6/1948 Van Sickels 229-68 3,100,569 8/1963 White 20657 3,145,839 8/1964 Lowry 20657 3,256,976 6/1966 Greason 20646 3,312,339 4/1967 Million 20657 WILLIAM T. DlXSON, 111., Primary Examiner.