US 3540184 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 17,1970 G. H. ASHTON PACKAGING METHOD Original Filed Aug. 28, 1967 3,540,184 PACKAGING METHOD George H. Ashton, St. Louis, Mo., assignor to Bernis Company, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn, a corporation of Missouri Original application Aug. 28, 1967, er. No. 663,574, new Patent No. 3,461,648. Divided and this application 'Apr. 28, 1969, Ser. No. 833,238
Int. Cl. B65d 33/28; B65e 7/00 US. Cl. 53I4 1 (Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DICLOURE CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This is a division of application Ser. No. 663,574, filed Aug. 28, 1967, now US. Pat. No. 3,461,648.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There has been increasing use of the seat-scalable plastic tubular netting sold under the trade name Vexar by E. I. du Pont de Nernours Company, Inc., of Wilmington, Del., for packaging produce, e.g., grapes sold in supermarkets, and with this has arisen a need for packaging equipment to facilitate the operation of packaging the produce in the supermarket. Generally, such packaging operations have been carried out using preformed Vexar bags, but this has involved tedious and time-consuming operations. Also, one of the problems involved in such packaging has been that of providing a tag on the package for marking the weight and/ or price of the package.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, among the several objects of the invention may be noted the provision of a method for use in supermarkets for facilitating packaging produce in tubular Vexar netting, and which, of course may have other uses; the provision of such a method which utilizes continuous lengths of tubular Vexar netting, as distinguished from using preformed bags; the provision of a method for forming packages of various sizes; and the provision of a method for providing a marking tag on each package as it is formed.
This invention involves a method of packing items in heat-scalable plastic tubular netting and providing tags on the packages. The method comprises inserting an item to be packaged into the netting previously closed at one end, bunching the netting above the item to define a package, spirally wrapping a length of heat-scalable tape around the bunched portion of the netting with end portions of the tape extending away from the bunched portion of the netting, and heat-sealing and segmenting the tape and the bunched portion of the netting to form a top seal for the package with one end portion of the tape forming a tag secured thereto, and to form a seal for the end of the netting with the other end portion of the tape forming a tag secured thereto.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic section illustrating packaging of items according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view illustrating the bunched United States Patent 3,543,184. Patented Nov. 17, 1970 lee.
A method of the invention for packaging items utilizes Vexar or other heat-scalable plastic tubular netting which is designated 1 in FIGS. 1-3. The netting is supplied on tubes 3. A supply of the netting is rucked or gathered on the exterior of the tube as shown in FIG. 1.
Produce is packaged according to the method of the invention by positioning the tube 3 containing rucked netting material above a table 89 and feeding rucked netting over the upper end of the tube and then down through the interior of the tube and through an opening 17. The height of the tube 3 relative to the table 8-9 is vertically adjusted according to the height of a package to be formed. The lower end portion of the netting extending down through the tube is then bunched and sealed together. This may be accomplished by bunching the end portion of the netting, and passing a heated blade 101 through the bunched end portion of the tubing thereby to sever the netting and simultaneously seal the netting at both sides of the blade. This forms the lower seal 112 of the first package.
When the lower end of the netting on the tube has been scaled, then produce (e.g., grapes) to be packaged is fed down through tube 3 and the netting is pulled downwardly until the lower end of the netting rests on table 89. This brings the produce down beneath the plane of the heated blade 101 as shown in FIG. 1. Next the portion of the netting at the level of the heated blade is bunched as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1., the bunched netting being designated 113. The bunched portion of the netting is then provided with a price tag by spirally wrapping around the bunched netting 113 a strip of tape 117 (FIG. 2) of heat-scalable plastic material, such as polyethylene, with end portions 117a and 117 b of the tape extending upwardly and downwardly, respectively, so that they extend away from the bunched portion of the netting. Tape 117 and bunched portion of the netting are severed and sealed by the hot cutting knife 101 and the tape as it is severed and sealed simultaneously forms two marking tags. One of the tags is designated 1170 in FIG. 3 and it is attached to the upper end of the filled package at seal 119. The end portion 117a of the tape is attached at seal 112 to the portion of the netting above the clamp and comprises a price tag for the next package. Since two tags are formed at the same time, the tape 117 is provided only during alternate sealing operations.
The resulting package P is illustrated in FIG. 3 and comprises a length of the netting 1 which contains the packaged item, the netting being closed at the upper end by the seal 119 and closed at the lower end by the seal 112. The tag 1170 is shown at the top of the package but it will be understood that for the next package the tag is at the lower end thereof.
The method of the invention is simple, and easily performed by one person, making it economical for use in supermarkets and other retail stores. The provision of a permanently attached tag is very desirable and the method is readily adapted to packaging items of various sizes in packages of various lengths simply by adjusting the vertical position of the tube 3 and the blade 101 relative to the table 89.
In view of the above, it will be sen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.
As various changes could be made in the above methods Without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be in terpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. A method of packaging items in heat-sealable plastic tubular netting and providing tags on the packages comprising:
inserting an item .to be packaged into the netting previously closed at one end, bunching the netting above the item to define a package, spirally Wrapping a length of heat-scalable tape around the bunched portion of the netting With end portions of the tape extending away from the bunched portion of the netting, and heat-sealing and segmenting the tape and the bunched portion of the netting to form a top seal for the package with one end portion of the tape forming a tag secured thereto, and to form a seal for the end of the netting with the other end portion of the tape forming a tag secured thereto.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner 15 N. ABRAMS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl X.R.