US 3442061 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1969 A. GRAFINGHOLT 3,442,061
METHOD OF PRODUCING FILLED AND SEALED PACKAGES Filed Sept. 10. 1985 United States Patent Continuation-impart of application Ser. No.
This application Sept. 10, 1965, Ser.
May 25, 1961.
May 30, 1960 No. 490,770 Claims priority, application Germany,
Int. Cl. B651) 5/02, 41/18, 31/02 U.S. Cl. 53-22 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method of producing filled and sealed containers by forming on a mandrel an inner bag of flexible material and an outer rigid carton and conveying the bag and its supporting carton through filling, evacuating and sealing stages.
This application is a continuation-in-part application of my earlier filed application Ser. No. 112,548 filed May 25, 1961 and now abandoned.
The present invention relates to the manufacture of packages comprising a block bottom bag, with an outer case, filled with any of a wide variety of contents, from which the air has been evacuated, and into which a protective gas may have been charged.
Machines have been devised in which pre-folded bags are taken from a stack, are filled with desired material, are thereafter evacuated, and gas filled if desired and then closed. Packages produced in this way are not, however, always satisfactory and are frequently found to be deficient in airtightness. This may be attributable to the fact, that, during manufacture of the bags and subsequent stacking thereof in flat condition, severe bending or folding strains may be imposed on the packaging material and, as a consequence, fine cracks and pores may develop in the region of the creases. Even if highly resilient packaging material is used, these cracks or pores produce adverse effects in the case of evacuated packages. Air penetrates more or less slowly from the exterior through the cracks or pores in the damaged bag, resulting in premature spoilage of the contents.
An object of this invention is to provide a method by which will be produced evacuated or gas-filled packages without the foregoing defects.
A further object is to provide a method which will produce the finished articles in fully automatic fashion while preserving the packaging material against damage.
In the known methods of forming a package or container constituted of an inner bag and an outer carton, the inner bag is adhesively secured to the outer carton so that upon erection of the carton the inner bag is conjointly erected. However, it has been determined that the use of such adhesive between the inner bag and outer carton causes buckling of the outer carton when the inner bag is evacuated.
A further object of the invention is to avoid the formation of buckles in the outer carton. Generally, this is achieved by eliminating the need for adhesive connection between the inner bag and the outer carton.
The above objects are achieved by form-ing the inner bag and outer carton on the same mandrel and directly transferring the bag and surrounding carton in formed shape from the mandrel, for the subsequent operations of filling, evacuating and sealing the bag.
By the above there is avoided the need for adhesively securing the inner bag to the carton or folding the inner bag flat before inserting in the outer carton.
3,442,061 Patented May 6, 1969 For achieving the above mentioned objectives there is provided a machine according to the present invention which comprises a package fabricating, filling and closure machine with a foldnig mandrel wheel for bag packages, as for example, described in U.S. Patent 1,627,169, in combination with a continuously or intermittently operating evacuating device, for example as shown in U.S. Patent 3,006,120 (Oct. 31, 1961), said evacuating device being directly associated with the fabricating, filling and closure machine so that the packages, after being formed and filled, are transported to the evacuating device and, after being evacuated and, if desired, gas filled, the bags are closed. The closed bags are delivered again to the closure section of the first-mentioned machine so that the packages can be finally closed.
The advantage of the machine according to the invention is that, during the manufacture of the block bottom bags, the packaging material is safeguarded because the bags are filled immediately after being made in final three-dimensional form, that is to say they are not flattened at any time before filling. The bags are supported in their three-dimensional form by the outer carton which is formed therearound on the same mandrel. It is further possible to make the folding edges of the shaping mandrels of rounded form so that no sharply bent creases will be formed in the packaging material during the manufacture of the bag. Thereby the formation of cracks in the inner bags are virtually eliminated.
In accordance with the method of the invention, flexible material is drawn from a supply reel and successive inner bags are formed on the mandrels of the mandrel wheel. Blanks of substantially more rigid material than that of the bag are fed to the mandrel wheels and deformed on the mandrels to form a surrounding outer carton on each bag. he bags and surrounding outer cartons are removed from the mandrel wheel and fed in formed shape directly to a filling station, where the inner bags are filled. Each bag is then partially closed, after which air is evacuated from the bags. Finally, the bags are completely sealed and the outer cartons closed to form filled and sealed containers.
One embodiment of the invention is described below in connection with the accompanying diagrammatic drawing which shows a preferred arrangement of a machine in accordance with this invention for manufacturing, filling, evacuating and closing bag packages comprising an inner bag and an outer carton.
The inner bags of the packages are first made in known fashion (see U.S. Pat. 1,627,169) on shaping mandrels 1 which extend radially from a mandrel wheel 2, and the outer cartons are folded around them. The shaping mandrels 1 are generally of rectangular cross section, and preferably have rounded folding corners.
The outer cartons thereby surround the inner bag and provide support therefor. As will be seen more fully hereinafter, the conventional folding of the bags into flattened form will be avoided, since the inner bag and surrounding outer cartons can be directly conveyed in folded form for subsequent operation. Moreover, the direct forming of the inner bag and outer carton on the same mandrel wheel avoids the need for adhesive connection between the bags and cartons, whereby the bags and surrounding outer cartons may be conveyed from the mandrel wheel 2 for subsequent operations, without adhesive connection between the sides of the carton and the bag.
The packaging material for the inner bag is drawn from a supply reel 18 and that for the outer cartons is supplied in blanks from a stack 19. The inner bag material is relatively flexible and may be constituted, for example, of wax paper or the like, whereas the outer cartons are relatively stiff and may be made from cardboard or the like.
The fully fabricated containers consisting of the inner bag and the surrounding outer carton are transferred in the usual way (see U.S. Pat. 1,627,169) at 3 to a filling wheel 5 equipped with holders 4, and at the same time they are stood upright. The filling wheel 5 conveys the bag to a suitable filling unit 6 which charges the bag with a specific quantity of the intended commodity.
Therefollowing, the filling commodity is agitated and compacted in the bags over their ensuing travel over a semi-circular path and the bags, so prepared, are transferred at 7 into the holders 8 of a closure wheel 9.
At the early stations of this closure wheel 9, the mouth of the inner bag of each package is folded flat by suitable devices and sealed except for an air exit opening. The bags, so prepared, are then transferred by means of a conveyor device 10 to evacuating chambers 11 on a rotary drum 12. This drum and its chambers 11, may be of the form described in the aforesaid U.S. Patent 3,006,120.
After evacuation, if desired, gas filling of each bag in suitable fashion is performed. Thereafter airtight sealing of the mouth of the inner bag is performed in the chambers 11 and, the package is returned to the closure wheel 9 by means of a further conveyor unit 13, where the package is reintroduced to wheel 9 the mouth of the inner bag is folded flat, and the closure flaps of the outer carton are turned down over the top of the inner bag and cemented together. The evacuated or gas filled packages, so produced, then pass at 14 onto a conveyor belt 15 which transports them to a delivery table 16 which is provided in the machine.
In the embodiment described above, separate conveyor wheels 5, 9, 12 are provided for the filling, the evacuation and the closure of the packages; it is possible, however, to perform the filling and the closure and even the evacuation and the gas filling, using other suitable conveyor means, for example on a single conveyor wheel or an oval conveyor device.
Instead of using chambers 11, the evacuation and gas filling be performed, in known fashion, through tubes which are inserted into the package through the mouth of the bag.
From the above it is seen that applicant has disclosed a method in which there may be continuously produced packages constituted of inner bags and surrounding outer cartons, wherein the inner bags are never folded fiat but rather are conveyed in formed condition after being fabricated, together with the surrounding outer carton, to filling, evacuating and sealing zones. Moreover this is achieved without the use of adhesive connection between the inner bag and the outer carton, since they are directly formed on the same mandrel.
In some cases the inner bag material will be so flexible as, for example, in the case of polyethylene or the like, that it is necessary to apply a temporary adhesive connection between the bag material and the outer carton, in order to support the bag during the filling operation. However, in such cases the adhesive will not have set sufiicient- 1y, so that when the bag is evacuated, the bag will become detached from the outer carton and will not cause buckling thereof.
Numerous modifications and variations of the disclosed method will become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as defined in the attached claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A method of producing a filled and sealed container comprising forming on a mandrel an inner bag of flexible material, deforming a blank of substantially more rigid material than that of said bag on said mandrel and around said bag to provide an inner bag and a surrounding outer carton, successively removing the bag and surrounding outer carton from the mandrel such that the outer carton encapsulates and supports the inner bag whereby the bag and outer carton is removed in formed shape from the mandrel without adhesive connection between the sides of the carton and the bag, successively conveying each bag to a filling station, successively filling the bag with material, partially closing the bag, evacuating air from the bag, the lack of connection between the bag and outer carton enabling the bag to undergo deformation during exacuation without change of shape of the surrounding carton and completely sealing the inner bag and closing the outer carton to form a filled and sealed container.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1 comprising filling the filled evacuated inner bag with preserving as prior to complete sealing thereof.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the bags and surrounding cartons are formed, filled, partially closed, evacuated and sealed at the same rates of speed whereby the containers are continuously produced.
4. A method of producing filled and sealed containers comprising drawing flexible material from a supply reel and forming successive inner bags of said material on the mandrels of a mandrel wheel, feeding blanks of substantially more rigid material than that of said bag to said mandrel wheel, deforming the blanks around respective bags on the mandrels to form a surrounding outer carton on each bag, successively removing each bag and its surrounding outer carton from the mandrel wheel such that the outer carton encapsulates and supports the inner bag whereby the bag and outer carton is removed in formed shape from the mandrel without adhesive connection between the sides of the carton and the bag, successively conveying each bag to a filling station successively filling each bag with material, partially closing each bag, evacuating air from the bags, the lack of connection between the bags and outer cartons enabling the bag to undergo deformation without change of shape in the surrounding carton, and completely sealing the inner bags and closing the outer cartons to form filled and sealed containers.
5. A method as claimed in claim 4 comprising filling the filled evacuated inner bag with preserving gas prior to complete sealing thereof.
6. A method of associating a high speed evacuation chamber with a high speed mandrel wheel for the continuous production of filled and sealed containers, said method comprising drawing flexible material from a supply wheel and forming successive inner bags on the mandrels of the mandrel wheel, feeding blanks of relatively rigid material to said mandrel wheel, deforming the blanks around respective bags on the mandrels to form a surrounding outer carton on each bag, successively removing each bag and its surrounding outer carton from the mandrel wheel and conveying the bags and surrounding cartons in formed shape and without adhesive connection therebetween to a filling device in which the inner bags are successively filled, partially closing each bag in succession and thereafter feeding the thus closed and filled bags and surrounding cartons to the evacuation chamber where the bags are successively evacuated of air, and completely sealing the inner bags in succession and closing the surrounding outer cartons to continuously produce sealed and filled containers.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,428,192 9/1947 Berch 53112 X 2,514,867 7/1950 Howard et al. 5327 3,006,120 10/1961 Grafingholt 53-1 12 X 3,153,886 10/1964 Christensson 5322 TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R. 5327