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Publication numberUS3599387 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1971
Filing dateApr 1, 1969
Priority dateApr 1, 1969
Also published asCA926763A1, DE2005821A1
Publication numberUS 3599387 A, US 3599387A, US-A-3599387, US3599387 A, US3599387A
InventorsJames Robert C
Original AssigneePackaging Frontiers Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Form-fill-seal packaging apparatus and methods
US 3599387 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 56] References Cited UNflED STATES PATENTS 3,074,214 1/1963 Schneider et a]. 53/180 3,221,469 12/1965 Murraym... 53/182 X 3,320,721 5/1967 Murray............ 53/182 Primary Examiner-Theron E. Condon Assistant Examiner-E. F. Desmond Artorney- Koenig, Senniger, Powers and Leavitt ABSTRACT: Packaging apparatus of the type in which a web of flexible packaging material is formed into a tube around a mandrel, fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in package length increments, and transversely sealed at package length intervals, adapted to form tetrahedron-shaped packages, pillow-style packages, three side seal pouches with or without gussets, and four side seal pouches, and method of utilizing the apparatus for making such packages.

.. B65b 9/08, B651) 51/30 Robert C. James Sheboygan, Wis. [21] Appl. No. 812,274

Apr. 1, 1969 [45} Patented Aug. 17, 1971 Packaging Frontiers, lnc. Sheboygan, Wis.

METHODS 15 Claims, 10 Drawing F igs.

United States Patent [72] Inventor 22 Filed [73] Assignee 541 FORM-FILL-SEAL PACKAGING APPARATUS AND PATENTED m1 1 m1 SHEET 1 OF 2 2 llllllll llllllll PATENTEDAUBHISYI 3.599.387

sum 2 OF 2 FIG. 5 3t FIG. 7-

FORM-FILL-SEAL PACKAGING APPARATUS AND METHODS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to form-fill-seal packaging apparatus and methods, and more particularly to apparatus and methods of this class for making packages from a continuous web of flexible packaging material by forming the web into a tube and making transverse seals across the tube at package length intervals.

The invention relates more specifically to packaging apparatus of the type shown in the coassigned U.S. Pat. No. 3,221,469, issued Dec. 7, I965, involving improvements thereover, said patent being incorporated herein by reference. Said patent shows a machine which is adapted to make tetrahedron-shaped packages, i.e., a package in which the end seals lie in planes generally at right angles to one another, and more particularly a tetrahedron-shaped package having an inside-face-to-inside-face longitudinal seam with this seam having its ends located intermediate the ends of the end seals, and also to make so-called pillow-style packages, i.el, a package in which both end seals lie in the same plane and the longitudinal seam has its ends located between the ends of the end seals and extends along one face of the package intermediate the sides of the package. While this machine has been satisfactory insofar as its production of these two types of package is concerned, its capability has been limited to production of these two types only, whereas certain packagers may desire a machine capable of producing a greater variety of packages, such as a so-called three side seal pouch, i.e., a pouch-type package having seals on three sides, withor without a gusset on the fourth side, and a so-called four side seal pouch, i.e., a pouch-type package having seals on all four sides.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, among the several objects of this invention may be noted the provision of packaging apparatus and methods of utilization thereof for producing a relatively wide variety of package styles, including such styles as above mentioned; and, the provision of such apparatus and methods based on the machine shown in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. 3,22l,469 and its operation, but improved in respect to being capable of making three side seal pouches, with or without a gusset, and four side 'seal pouches, as well as tetrahedronshaped'packages and pillow-style packages.

Generally, packaging apparatus of this invention comprises a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-sealable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-scalable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane,

means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-faceto-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals, and means for effecting positioning of the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in a first position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package and in a second position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package. The alternate positioning of the transverse seal forming means enables production of the various styles of packages mentioned above, certain adjuncts being provided for production of gussetted three side seal pouches and four side seal pouches, as will appear. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a generally diagrammatic view of the setup of the apparatus for making either tetrahedron-shaped packages or pillow-style packages;

FIG. 2 is a view showing a tetrahedron-shaped made by the apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a view showing a pillow-style package made by the apparatus;

FIG. 4 is a view corresponding to FIG. 6 of the referenced U.S. Pat. No. 3,221,469 showing how the apparatus is modified and set up for making three side seal or four side seal pouches;

FIG. 5 is a generally diagrammatic view showing the FIG. 4 setup for making ungussetted three side seal pouches;

FIG. 6 is a view showing an ungussetted three side seal pouch made by the apparatus;

FIG. 7 is a generally diagrammatic view showing a modification for making three side seal gussetted pouches; FIG. 8 is a view showing a gussetted three side seal pouch made by the apparatus of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a generally diagrammatic view showing a modification for making four side seal pouches; and

FIG. 10 is a view showing a four side seal pouch made by the FIG. 9 apparatus. I

' Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

package DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to U.S. Pat. No 3,221,469, there is shown a machine which is adapted to form tetrahedron-shaped packages and pillow style packages, and which comprises a downwardly extending tubular mandrel 1 around which a continuous web W of flexible packaging material which is heatsealable on one side as indicated at S is adapted to be formed into a tube T with the heat-scalable side S of the web on the inside. The web W is formed into the tube T around the mandrel with the side margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, shown as being determined by presser rolls 85. At 3A and 3B are indicated a pair of vertically positioned heat-sealing bars for heat-sealing the side margins of the web together to form a longitudinal tube seam L. These bars, which may be referred to as the longitudinal seam sealing bars or side sealers, are adapted to move laterally inward and outward and also vertically upward and downward, as indicated by the arrows in FIGS. 21-23 of said patent. They are carried by a carriage indicated at 45 which is mounted for vertical reciprocation through a package length interval stroke (which may be varied for making packages of difierent length). The bars 3A and 3B are brought together to clamp and seal the side margins, then move downward to feed tube T downward a package length increment, then open, and return upward to clamp and seal the side margins again and initiate downward feed of the tube T through another package length increment. As the side sealers 3A and 3B return upward, the tube dwells for an interval until the bars reach the top of their stroke and clamp the side margins.

Below the lower end of the mandrel 1 there is a first pair of sealing heads 5A and 53 operating in a fixed horizontal plane below the lower end of the mandrel for making package end seals El transversely across the tube 1, and a second pair of sealing heads 5C and 5D operating in the same fixed horizontal plane, but at right angles to end sealers 5A and 5B, for making package seals E2 transversely across the tube in a plane at right angles to the plane of end seals El, thus enabling the forming of tetrahedron-shaped packages. The operation of forming tetrahedron-shaped packages involves downward feed of the tube T in package length increments, with a dwell of the tube between successive downstrokes, and alternate operation of the first and second pairs of end sealing heads during the dwell intervals so that successive seals are in planes at right angles and alternate seals are in the same plane.

As shown in said patent, the longitudinal tube seam L is formed in a predetermined vertical plane which is diagonal with respect to the planes of the transverse or end seals El and B2. In this regard, the first pair of sealing heads A and 5B and the second pair of sealing heads 5C and 5D, which are operated by air cylinders l95A- -D, are carried by a circular plate 59 mounted in an opening 55 in a table 13, this plate 59 having a square central opening 61. As will be seen best in FIG. 6 of said patent, the plate 59 is disposed so that the plane of the longitudinal tube seam L is in a diagonal vertical plane of the square opening 61. Thisorientation results in the longitudinal seam of the tetrahedron-shaped packages formed 'by the machine having its ends located intermediate the ends of the package end seals and traversing two of the four triangular sides of the package.

Also as shown in said patent, the machine is adapted to make pillow-style packages by leaving a switch 577 open so that only one pair of sealers, e.g., pair 5A and 5B, is actuated on successive cycles (instead of having pairs 5A,B and 5C,D operate alternately on successive cycles). With plate 59 disposed as shown in said patent, this produces pillow-style packages, i.e., a package having end seals in the same plane and a longitudinal seam having its ends located intermediate the ends of the end seals and extending lengthwise on one only of the two faces of the package.

FIG. 1 of this application shows the orientation of the longitudinal tube seam sealer bars 3A and 3B and the end sealers 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D for the production of tetrahedron-shaped packages or pillow-style packages, as above noted; FIG. 2 shows a tetrahedron-shaped package P] so produced; and FIG. 3 shows a pillow-style package P2 so produced. The tetrahedron-shaped package P1 has end seals E1 and E2 in planes at right angles to one another, and the longitudinal seam L has its ends located intermediate the ends of end seals E1 and E2 and crosses over two triangular sides of the package. The'pillow-style package P2 has end seals E1 and E2 in the same plane, and the longitudinal seam L has its ends located intermediate the ends of these end seals and extending lengthwise of the package on one of. the two faces of the package. As shown in FIG. 3, the longitudinal seam L lies between the longitudinal center line, and one side of the package (the right side, as illustrated).

In accordance with this invention, the machine shown in said U.S. Patent No. 3,221,469 is modified in a most simple and efficient manner to enable it to form a wider variety of package styles than the tetrahedron-shaped package and the pillow-style package, the additional styles including three side seal pouches and four side seal pouches, as will appear, and also to provide for variation in the location of the longitudinal seam of the pillow-style package. The modification, as illustrated, involves the mounting of the circular plate 59 on table 13 with provision for rotation of the plate 59 on its vertical axis (which is coincident with the axis of the mandrel 1) between its position shown in FIG. 6 of said U.S. patent (wherein the end sealers 5AD are positioned diagonally with respect to the vertical plane of the longitudinal seam L) and the position shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 wherein end sealers 5A and 5B are parallel to the vertical plane of the longitudinal seam L on opposite sides of this plane. In this regard, it is to be noted that end sealers 5A and 5B are those which are made to operate on successive cycles by leaving switch 577 open. To enable this rotation of plate 59, flexible air line connections as indicated at 701 in FIG. 4 are provided, permitting rotation of plate 59 through an angle of 45 on its vertical axis. Also, as shown in FIG. 4, the plate 59 may be formed with gear teeth around its periphery as indicated at 703, and rotated by means of a worm such as indicated at 705, an index mark 707 being provided on the plate readable in conjunction with angle markings 709 on the table 13. Variation in the location ofthe longitudinal seam L of the pillow-style package P2 may be accomplished by positioning the end sealers 5A and SE at any of various angles between their FIG. 1 and their FIG: 5 positions.

By positioning the end sealers as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 of this application, and by providing for operation only of end sealers 5A and 53 on successive cycles (end sealers 5C and 5D remaining out of operation), the machine is adapted to form ungussetted three side seal pouches such as indicated at P3 in FIG. 6 of this application, having end seals E1 and E2 in the same plane constituting two side seals and a third side seal constituted by the longitudinal seam L, the fourth side being a simple fold.

FIG. 7 illustrates a modification of the setup of FIGS. 4 and 5 for making gussetted three side seal pouches, involving the provision of means for forming a gusset in the tube T diametrically opposite the longitudinal seam L. As shown, this more specifically involves the use of a mandrel la having a longitudinal groove 711 in the plane of the longitudinal seamL and diametrically opposite the latter, and means such as a finger 713 for tucking the material of the tube T into the groove to form a gusset 715. In this regard, it will be observed from said U.S. Pat. No. 3,221,469 that the mandrel 1 is readily removable and replaceable, enabling its replacement by mandrel la. It will be understood that web W which is formed into theltube T with the gusset has a width in excess of the circumference of the mandrel by the amount needed for the longitudinal seam and the gusset. FIG. 8 shows a gussettedthree side seal pouch P4 made using the grooved mandrel la and the finger 713. This is basically the same as the package P3 except that it has the gusset or intuck 715 along its fourth side (i.e., its unsealed side).

FIG. 9 of this application illustrates a modification of the setup of FIGS. 4 and 5 of this application to make a four side seal pouch, and FIG. 10 illustrates the resultant pouch, which is designated PS. This involves the provision of means for forming the tube T with a longitudinal fin 717 constituted by two portions 719 of the material of the tube integrally joined along an outer edge fold 721 extending radially outward from the tube in the plane of the longitudinal seam L diametrically opposite the latter, and the further provision of means for heat-sealing together portions 719 in inside-face-to-insideface relation. More particularly, it involves the use of a mandrel 1b in place of the mandrel l (or 1a) this mandrel 1b having an external longitudinal rib 723 and guides 725 constituting the means for forming the fin. The rib 723 is located in the plane of the longitudinal seam L and diametrically opposite the latter. Guides 725 are of part-circular cross section, one extending around one side 'of the mandrel from adjacent one side of the longitudinal seam L to adjacent one side of the rib, and the other extending around the other side of the mandrel from adjacent the other side of the longitudinal seam to adjacent the other side of the rib. The guides are spaced outward from the mandrel a distance slightly greater than the thickness of the web W from which the tube T is formed for travel of the tube between the guides and the mandrel, with the seam L projecting out from between the guides at one side and fin 717 projecting out from between the guides at the opposite side. The rib projects from the mandrel only a small distance, and the fin is dimensioned to project outward beyond the rib a considerabledistance. The web W which is formed into the tube T with the fin has a width in excess of the circumference of the mandrel by the amount needed for the longitudinal seam and the fin.

The means for heat-scaling together portions 719 of fin 717 in inside-face-to-inside-face relation comprises-a second set of side sealer bars 3C and 3D operable conjointly with the longitudinal seam forming bars 3A and 38. Bars 3C and 3D are located in the opposite side of the mandrel lb from bars 3A and 3B and spaced outward from rib 223 in position for flattening and sealing together portions 719 of the fin 717 outward of the rib. As shown in FIG. 9 by way of illustration, bars 3C and 3D may be mounted on yokes 727 secured to bars 3A and 3B and straddling the mandrel 1B. These yokes may be removably secured to bars 3A and 3B in any suitable manner.

In the operation of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 9, bars 3A and 38 form the longitudinal seal L and bars 3C and 3D conjointly form a fin seal diametrically opposite the longitudinal seal. End sealers 5A and 5B operate on each cycle to form end seals E1 and E2 in the same plane and the resultant package is a four side seal pouch such as indicated at P5 in FIG. wherein end seals El and E2 constitute two of the four sealed sides, the longitudinal seam L constitutes a third side, and the fin seal, designated 717a, constitutes the fourth side.

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.

As various changes could be made in the above construc tions and 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 interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What I claim is:

1. Packaging apparatus comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-sealable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with ,the heat-scalable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals, and means for effecting positioning of the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in a first position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package and in a second position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, said positioning means maintaining said transverse seal forming means in said first position throughout the formation of the packages wherein the. longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package, and maintaining said transverse seal forming means in said second position throughout the formation of the packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, and wherein the transverse seal forming means comprises first and second pairs of transverse heat sealers, the transverse heat sealers of each pair being movable toward and away from each other and said pairs being operable at right angles to one another, said pairs being adapted to operate alternately on successive cycles for making transverse seals across the tube below the lower end of the mandrel with successive seals in different planes and alternate seals in the same plane thereby to form tetrahedron-shaped packages, one only of said pairs also being adapted for operation on successive cycles thereby to form packages having transverse seals at both ends in the same plane.

2. Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said pairs of transverse heat sealers are carried by a supporting member which is rotatable about the axis of the mandrel to locate said transverse heat sealers either in said first or said second position, the plane of the longitudinal seam being oblique with respect to the plane of the transverse seals formed by the transverse heat sealers in the first position, and coplanar with the plane of the transverse seal formed by said one pair of transverse heat sealers in the second position.

3, Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein the transverse heat sealers are operable in a fixed plane below the lower end ofthe mandrel.

4. Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein the longitudinal seam forming means comprises a pair of longitudinal heat sealers reciprocable up and down parallel to the mandrel in single package length increment strokes and movable into and out of engagement with said margins for sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal tube seam and intermittently to feed the tube downward off the lower end of the mandrel in said single package length increments on downstrokes thereof, and wherein the transverse heat sealers are operable during dwells of the tube between downstrokes.

5. Packaging apparatus comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-sealable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-sealable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals, and means for effecting positioning of the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in a first position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package and in a second position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, said positioning means maintaining said transverse seal forming means in said first position throughout the formation of the packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package, and maintaining said transverse seal forming means in said second position throughout the formation of the packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, and wherein, with transverse seal forming means in its said second position, means is provided for forming a gusset in the tube diametrically opposite the longitudinal seam, for forming three side seal gussetted pouches.

6. Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said gusset forming means comprises a longitudinal groove in the mandrel in the plane of the longitudinal seam and diametrically opposite the latter and means for tucking the material of the tube into the groove.

7. Packaging apparatus comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-scalable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-sealable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals, and means for effecting positioning of the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in a first position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package and in a second position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, said positioning means maintaining said transverse seal forming means in said first position throughout the formation of the packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package, and maintaining said transverse seal forming means in said second position throughout the formation of the packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package wherein, with the transverse seal forming means in its said second position, means is provided for forming the tube with a longitudinal fin comprising two longitudinal portions of the tube integrally joined along an outer edge fold extending radially outward from the tube in the plane of the longitudinal seam and diametrically opposite the latter, wherein means is provided for heat-sealing together the portions of the tube constituting the fin in inside-face-to-inside-face relation, for forming four side seal pouches, and wherein the means for forming the folded fin comprises an external longitudinal rib on the mandrel, the fin projecting beyond the rib, and means for heatsealing together the portions of the tube constituting the fin operable conjointly with the longitudinal seam forming means and located on the side of the mandrel opposite therefrom and spaced outward from the rib.

8. Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 7 further comprising a pair of part-circular guides extending around the mandrel from adjacent the longitudinal seam to adjacent the rib and spaced outward from the mandrel for travel of the tube between the guides and the mandrel.

9. Packaging apparatus comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-scalable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-scalable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals in the plane of the longitudinal seam, and means for forming a gusset in the tube diametrically opposite the longitudinal seam, for forming three side seal gussetted pouches.

10. Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said gusset forming means comprises a longitudinal groove in the mandrel in the plane of the longitudinal seam and diametrically opposite the latter and means for tucking the material of the tube into the groove.

11. Pack aging apparatus comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-scalable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-sealable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside--face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals in the plane of the longitudinal seam means for forming the tube with a longitudinal fin comprising two longitudinal portions of the tube integrally joined along an outer edge fold extending radially outward from the tube in the plane of the longitudinal seam and diametrically opposite the latter, and means for heat-sealing together the portions of the tube constituting the fin in insideface-to-mside-face relation, for forming four side seal pouches. and Whflelt: the means for forming the folded fin comprises an external longitudinal rib on the mandrel, the fin projecting beyond the rib and the means for heat-sealing together the portions of the tube constituting the fin is opera ble conjointly with the longitudinal seam forming means and located on the side of the mandrel opposite therefrom and spaced outward from the rib.

12. Packaging apparatus as set forth in claim 11 further comprising a pair of part-circular guides extending around the mandrel from adjacent the longitudinal seam to adjacent the rib and spaced outward from the mandrel for travel of the tube between the guides and the mandrel.

13. The method of making different styles of packages utilizing apparatus of the type comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible pa kaging material which is heat-sealable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-sealable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, and heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals, said method comprising positioning the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in firstfisition and maintaining it in said first position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package, and positioning the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seal forming means in a second position and maintaining it in said second position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, and including the step of forming a gusset in the tube diametrically opposite the longitudinal seam with the transverse seal forming means in its said second position, for forming three side seal gussetted pouches.

14. The method of making different styles of packages utilizing apparatus of the type comprising a downwardly extending tubular mandrel around which a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heat-sealable on one side is adapted to be formed into a tube with the heat-scalable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-faceto-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward off the lower end of the mandrel in single package length increments, and heat-sealing means below the lower end of the mandrel for forming transverse inside-face-to-inside-face seals across the mandrel at package length intervals, said method comprising positioning the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in a first position and maintaining it in said first position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one face of the package, and positioning the transverse seal forming means relative to the longitudinal seal forming means in a second position and maintaining it in said second position for forming packages wherein the longitudinal seam extends along one side of the package, and including the steps of forming the tube with a longitudinal fin comprising two longitudinal portions of the tube integrally joined along an outer edge fold extending radially outward from the tube in the plane of the longitudinal seam and diametrically opposite the latter with the transverse seal forming means in its said second position, and heat-sealing together the portions of the tube constituting the fin in inside-face-to-inside-face relation, for forming four side seal pouches.

15. Packaging apparatus comprising means for forming a continuous web of flexible packaging material which is heatsealable on one side into a tube with the heat-sealable side of the web on the inside and with the margins of the web in inside-face-to-inside-face relation and projecting outward from the tube in a predetermined plane, means for heat-sealing said margins together to form a longitudinal seam for the tube in said plane, the tube being adapted to be fed downward in increments for forming packages therefrom, heat-sealing means below said tube-forming and longitudinal seam forming means comprising heat-sealer jaws for forming transverse insideface-to-insideface package end seals across the tube at package length intervals, said jaws being operable to form successive end seals in different planes and alternate seals in the same plane for forming tetrahedron-shaped packages, and alternatively operable to form successive seals in the same plane for forming pillow style packages and three-side seal and fourside seal pouches, and means for positioning the jaws relative to the longitudinal seam forming means in a position for formmg tetrahedron-shaped packages with the longitudinal seam of each package having its ends located intermediate the ends of the end seals and traversing two of the four triangular sides thereof, or in a position for forming pillow style packages with the longitudinal seam of each such package extending along one face thereof, or a position for forming three-side seal or four-side seal pouches with the longitudinal seam extending along one side of each such pouch, said positioning means maintaining the jaws forming the pillow package end seals in position to form these seals in a vertical plane oblique to the vertical plane of the longitudinal seam, and maintaining the jaws forming the pouch end' seals in position to form these

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4337862 *Jan 2, 1979Jul 6, 1982The Wiggins Teape Group LimitedFlexible vertical form, fill, seal packaging material and method of using
US4598533 *Sep 6, 1984Jul 8, 1986Kabushiki Kaisha Sanwa Jidoki SeisakushoLateral sealer device for vertical packaging machine
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US4817366 *Dec 17, 1986Apr 4, 1989International Paper CompanyHigh capacity package seal, sever, and brick apparatus and method
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US8231024Nov 6, 2008Jul 31, 2012Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.Flexible, stackable container and method and system for manufacturing same
US8602242Nov 6, 2009Dec 10, 2013Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.Flexible, stackable container used for storing a quantity of product and method for manufacturing same
US8602244Jun 29, 2012Dec 10, 2013Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.Flexible, stackable sealed package having corner seals and formed from a sheet of film
WO1988000885A1 *Jul 23, 1987Feb 11, 1988Baxter Travenol LabApparatus for sealing a web of film
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/451, 53/551
International ClassificationB65B51/30, B65B51/26
Cooperative ClassificationB65B51/303
European ClassificationB65B51/30B