|Publication number||US3405861 A|
|Publication date||Oct 15, 1968|
|Filing date||Apr 3, 1967|
|Priority date||Apr 3, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3405861 A, US 3405861A, US-A-3405861, US3405861 A, US3405861A|
|Inventors||Bush Robert G|
|Original Assignee||L D Schreiber Cheese Company I|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (41), Classifications (13), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
R. G. BUSH SEALED PACKAGE Oct. 15, 1968 Filed April 5, 1967 United States Patent O M' 3,405,861 SEALED PACKAGE Robert G. Bush, Green Bay, Wis., assigner to L. D. Schreiber Cheese Company, Inc., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Apr. 3, 1967, Ser. No. 627,807 Claims. (Cl. 229-51) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A sealed package, at least in part comprised of a flexible plastic wrapper having a lap joint formed from outer and inner overlapping end portions with the outer end portion constituting a manually grippable flap, and a separator structure interposed between the overlapping end portions and positioned adjacent to and along the free edge of the upper end portion for spacing the free edge of the upper end portion away from the lower end portion and for identifying the location of the free edge so the free edge may be readily gripped for peeling the Hap from the lower end portion to open the package.
Background The formation of many packages from plastic wrapping material, particularly in the food industry, is becoming increasingly widespread. Such plastic wrappers are used often in combination with a cardboard backing, eg., in the packaging of meat slices such as cold cuts, or may be used without such backing to form a complete package. Typical of those products which are enclosed in all plastic packages are individually wrapped slices of cheese and similar products which are completely enclosed and sealed within the iiexible plastic wrapper.
These type products are generally sealed within their packages to prevent their contact with the atmosphere, since such atmospheric exposure often causes the product to spoil or to harden thereby rendering it unsuitable for consumption. In all of these packages, although they take many shapes and forms, one problem that arises is to design sealed package so that it may be readily opened by the user.
For example, in the production of individually wrapped cheese slices, individual slices are wrapped in a tube having its opposite sides transversely sealed together at longitudinally spaced intervals to form a plurality of sealed interconnected packages which may, if desired, be severed to form individually wrapped slices, The tube may readily be formed from a sheet of material with its opposite end portions folded into overlapping i relationship to define a lap joint with the overlapping outer and inner end portions sealed together so the outer end portion constitutes a manually grippable iiap. However in these congurations it is quite ditlicult not only to identify the location of free edge of the upper overlapping end portion, but even when the free edge is located, it is often difficult to get a grip on it in order to peel it back and thereby open the package.
General description of invention In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a sealed package comprised, at least in part of a exible plastic wrapper constructed with a lap joint formed from outer and inner overlapping end portions with the outer end portion constituting a manually grippable iiap and in which the location of the free edge of the tiap is identified to allow the ap to be peeled back from the inner end portion to open the package. The free edge may be identified by imprinting a suitable legend or marking adjacent thereto or by a separator structure interposed between the overlapping end portions and positioned adqacent to and along the free edge 3,405,861 Patented Oct. 15, 1968 of the upper end portion for spacing said free edge away from the lower end portion whereby the free edge may be readily gripped to allow for peeling of the flap back from the lower end portion.
More specifically the separator structure can be formed as part of the flap and project towards the inner end portion to eifect the desired separation. In one embodiment, an elongated strip of material is heat sealed along one edge of the flap adjacent its free edge and may, if desirable, -be inwardly odset a small amount from the free edge. When the flap joint is formed the strip is interposed between the outer and inner end portions to space the free edge from the inner end portion so the free edge can be readily gripped. In addition, the strip may contrast with the wrapping material, which is often of a clear generally transparent material, to readily identify the location of the free edge of the ap.
Additional separation between the free edge of the Hap and the inner end portions may be provided by heat sealing the strip to the ap while subjecting the flap and strip to ditferent tensions. This difference in tensions results, after cooling of the heat seal, in the puckering of the wrapper. Since this puckering prevents the iiap from lying smoothly on the inner end portion, the free edge is yet more easily gripped by the user when he desires to open the package.
Separation between flap and the inner end portion may also be eilected by folding the liap, either around the edge back under the strip to increase its thickness, or independently of any strip. Alternatively the separator structure can take the form of embossments or dimples formed in the ilap and projecting towards the inner end portion, or may incorporate combinations of the above.
Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and one embodiment thereof, from the claims, and from the accompanying drawings in which each and every detail shown is fully and completely disclosed as part of this specification, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts, and in which:
The drawing FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a package incorporating the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional view of the package of FIGURE 1 taken along lines 2 2;
FIGURES 3, 4a, 4b and 5 are enlarged sectional views similar to FIGURE 2 showing alternative embodiments; and
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of another type of package incorporating the present invention.
Referring now to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings there is shown a package 10 incorporating the present invention in which a flexible plastic wrapper 12 completely encloses and seals a product 14 therewithin. The package 10 shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 incorporates an all plastic wrapper such as is used in the formation of individually wrapped cheese slices as described hereinabove. In this type of package the wrapper 12 is formed into a tube around the product and is then transversely sealed at longitudinally spaced intervals 14 to form a plurality of interconnected packages 10, 10a. Each of the packages may be severed from the tube along the transverse seal to form the package 10 shown in the drawings.
The tube is formed by overlapping opposite edges 16, 18 of the wrapper 12 over each other to form a lap joint 20 having outer and inner end portions 22, 24, respectively, the outer end portion constituting a grippable Hap.
If desirable, the overlapping end portions may be sealed together to completely enclose the product within the package. A separator strip 26 is heat sealed to the ap 22 adjacent to and along its free edge 16. The strip 26 is interposed between the outer and inner end portions 22, 24 and projects towards the inner end portion to space the free edge 16 of the ap 22 away from the inner end portion. As seen more clearly in FIGURE 2, the strip may be inwardly oiiset a short distance from the free edge 16.
In many instances the wrapper 12 is made up from a generally transparent plastic material and for this reason the location of the free edge 16 of the Hap 22 is often unidentiliable. The separator strip 26 in these circumstances may be formed from a material of contrasting structure or color which readily identities the location of the free edge. As explained above, the separator strip 26 can be sealed to the ap 22 while they are subjected to different tensions. As a result, upon cooling, the wrapper 12 puckers in the area where the strip 26 is heat sealed to the wrapper prevents the free edge 16 from lying smoothly on the inner end portion.
As seen in FIGURE 3, the separation between the free edge 16 and the inner end portion 24 may be increased by folding the actual edge of the upper end portion back underneath the separator strip 26. This increases the thickness of the free edge 16' and allows it to be more readily gripped for opening of the package. If desirable, as shown in FIGURES 4a and 4b, the free edge 16 may be formed by folding the actual edge of the upper end portion back either under or over the flap 22 without any separator strip to effect the desired separation.
Alternatively, as seen in FIGURE 5, the separator structure may be formed integrally with the outer end portion. The separator structure illustrated in FIGURE is formed by embossing or dimpling the flap 22a so that the dimples or embossments 26a project towards the inner end portion 24. Not only do these serrations or dimples 26a separate the flap 22a from the inner end portion 24, but the roughened area adjacent the free edge 16a identifies the location of the free edge to allow for easy opening of the package.
Referring to FIGURE 6 there is shown a typical package 28 which is commonly found in the packaging of cold cut slices. In this package the plastic wrapping 30 around the product is encased within a cardboard frame 32. However, these packages are also quite diliicult to open and the use of the lap joint construction with the identifying separator structure is also useful for opening this type package.
In any of the various embodiments, identification of the grippable edge may be effected by printing or otherwise placing a suitable edge identification legend, e.g., a stripe or arrows, adjacent to the edge.
Thus there is shown and disclosed a package in which a lap joint is formed by overlapping end portions of a plastic material and in which a separator structure disposed between the overlapping end portions spaces the end portions apart to allow the free edge to be readily gripped to open the package. The location of the free edge of the lap joint is readily identified, either by the separator structure itself or by some other legend disposed adjacent thereto, in order to assist in the opening of the package.
It will be readily observed from the foregoing detailed description of the invention and the illustrated embodiments thereof that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts and principles of this invention.
1. In a sealed package including a exible wrapper of sheet material covering a product to be packaged, said wrapper having a lap joint formed from overlapping outer and inner end portions with the outer end portion constituting a manually grippable flap, the improvement comprising a separator structure interposed between said overlapping end portions and positioned adjacent to and along the free edge of said outer end portion for spacing said free edge away from said inner end portion, said separator structure comprising an elongated strip attached to the surface of one of said end portions, whereby said free edge may be readily gripped and said flap readily separated from the lower end portion to open the package.
2. A package as claimed in claim 1 in which said elongated strip identities the location of said free edge.
3. A package as claimed in claim 1 in which said elongated strip is heat sealed to the surface of said upper end portion and is inwardly offset from said free edge.
4. A package as claimed in claim 2 in which said wrapper is substantially transparent and said elongated strip is of contrasting color.
5. A package as claimed in claim 1 in which the upper end portionis puckered in the area where said strip is sealed thereto.
6. A package as claimed in claim 1 including an edge identification legend located adjacent said free edge.
'7. A package as claimed in claim 6 in which said legend is a stripe of color contrasting to said wrapper printed on said ap along and adjacent to said free edge.
8. Sealed packages comprised of a flexible tubular wrapper filled with a productand being transversely sealed at longitudinally spaced intervals to form individual product containing packages, said tubular wrapper having a continuous longitudinal lap joint formed from overlapping outer and inner end portions with the outer end portion constituting a manually grippable ap, and a separator structure interposed between said overlapping end portions and positioned adjacent to and along the free edge of said outer end portion for spacing said free edge away from said inner end portion, said separator structure including a continuous elongated strip heat sealed to the surface of said upper end portion and inwardly offset from said free edge, whereby said free edge may be readily gripped and said flap readily separated from the lower end portion to open the package.
9. Packages as claimed in claim 8 in which said wrapper is substantially transparent and said elongated strip is of contrasting color whereby the location of said free edge is identified.
10. Packages as claimed in claim 8 in which the upper end portion is puckered in the area where said elongated strip is sealed thereto.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,055,333 9/1936 Burke 229-87 2,370,079 2/1945 Schmidt 229--66 X 3,061,091 10/1962 Wichman 99-178 X 3,113,715 12/1963 Pangrac 229--53 3,224,574 12/ 1965 McConnell et al 206-56 DAVID M. BOCKENEK, Primary tExamner.
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|U.S. Classification||426/123, 426/410, 206/459.5, 426/130, 426/383, 229/87.5, 426/87, 206/497, 426/129|
|International Classification||B65D75/06, B65D75/04|
|Jul 25, 1983||AS01||Change of name|
Owner name: L.D. SCHREIBER CHEESE CO., INC.
Owner name: SCHREIBER FOODS, INC.
Effective date: 19830719
|Jul 25, 1983||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SCHREIBER FOODS, INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:L.D. SCHREIBER CHEESE CO., INC.;REEL/FRAME:004157/0131
Effective date: 19830719