US 3654746 A
A method of making composite packages. A support of sheet material is provided with a plurality of apertures. Each aperture has lodged therein a receptacle provided with an opening. A cover overlies each opening. Either the cover or the associated receptacle is provided with a radially extending continuous or discontinuous flange which extends outwardly beyond the opening in which the receptacle is located. The cover is bonded to the receptacle and the flange is bonded to the support.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[151 3,654,746 [451 Apr. 11, 1972 United States Patent Beckers  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS  METHOD OF MAKING COMPOSITE PACKAGES  Inventor:
Hans Beckers, Viersen, Germany Silver  Assignee: Hamac-Hansella GmbH, Viersen, Ger- 2,784,746 3/ 1957 S1lver..
many 3,564,812 2/1971 Mueller et Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill Attorney-Michael S. Striker  Filed: June 19,1970
] Appl. No.: 47,806
 ABSTRACT A method of making composite packages. A support of sheet material is provided with a plurality of apertures. Each aper- Related U.S. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 805,763, Mar. 10, 1969, abandoned.
ture has lodged therein a receptacle provided with an opening. A cover overlies each opening. Either the cover or the associated receptacle is provided with a radially extending con- 17 61 0467 tinuous or discontinuous flange which extends outwardly beyond the opening in which the receptacle is located. The 53/37 53/282 cover is bonded to the receptacle and the flange is bonded to ....B65b 3/04, B65b 7/28 the suppom ....53/26, 37, 39, 282, 329
Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 27, 1968 Germany.....................
mm mm M d mm [F l] 8 55 [.l
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 1 I I972 SHEET 1 0F 2 FIG.1
INVENTOR. IA usBcc KERs MJKMJ Ma ma PATENTEDAPR H I972 3, 654, 746
sum 2 or 2 mmvrm BY l/Zus BEcKEQS M011 I? M METHOD OF MAKING COMPOSITE PACKAGES CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION The present application is a division of my co-pending application Ser. No. 805,763, filed Mar. 10, 1969, and now abandoned entitled Composite Package and Method of Making the Same."
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to the field of packaging, and more particularly to methods of making composite packages.
There are many items which are packaged in relatively small containers. For convenience in storage and shipping these containers must be somehow united because it is obviously impractical to store and ship each such small container separately. The most obvious approach to this problem is, of course, to place a number of the containers into a common box for storage and shipping. However, this presents certain problems, including the fact that the shape of the receptacles is frequently such that during handling of the box the receptacles will move out of their positions with the result that a jumbling of the receptacles in the box will ensue. This is not only an esthetically displeasing way of receiving the packaged items, but it also brings with it the danger that during movement of the box the jumbled containers will damage one another, allowing the contents to issue, to become damaged, to become contaminated or the like.
It has therefore become known to unite a plurality of such individual relatively small packages into a composite package in such a manner that they are compelled to maintain their positions relative to one another. This is accomplished by providing carriers or supports of sheet material which are provided with cutouts dimensioned to each accommodate one of the packages with some play. Each such support with its associated packages may be termed a composite package and constitutes a layer which may be disposed in a box or the like, either singly or in superimposed relationship with other like layers. However, this is still not entirely satisfactory because play between the respective packages and their support may still permit a certain amount of damage to the packages during rough handling in transportation and storage. Also, if a box containing one or more such layers should break or become accidentally opened, the possibility exists for the layers to fall out and for the individual packages to become dissociated from their respective supports. Also, if the packages and their associated apertures in the respective supports are of circular outline, it is possible for the packages to turn within their respective apertures and this may be undesirable where it is intended to createon first viewing of a composite package of the type under discussion-a certain effect by advertising or other messages appearing on the packages.
It is evident, therefore, that improvements in this field of packaging are desirable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is the general object of the present invention to provide such improvements.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide methods for making composite packages of the type under discussion which is not possessed of the disadvantages mentioned above.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide methods by which such a composite package can be readily and simply manufactured.
A concomitant object of the present invention is to provide methods by which composite packages are obtained in which the individual units, that is the individual smaller packages, may be readily removed from the composite package when desired but will otherwise firmly remain a part of the composite package.
In pursuance of the above objects, and others which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of my invention resides in the provision of a composite package which comprises a support formed with a plurality of apertures. The support advantageously consists of sheet material and the apertures will be cutouts. A corresponding plurality of containers is provided, each lodged in one of the apertures. Each of the containers includes a receptacle portion which is provided with an opening and a cover portion which overlies the opening. One of the portions, either the receptacle portion or the cover portion, is provided with a flange extending outwardly beyond the associated aperture. It will be understood that the term flange is here used in its broadest sense and includes one or more projections as well as an annular flange extending radially from the respective portion.
Bonding means bonds each cover portion to the associated receptacle portiorifand further bonds the flange at least in part to the associated support.
Where sealing bonding of the cover portions to the associated receptacle portions is desired, the bonding means may provide a circumferentially complete bonding line between the cover portion and its associated receptacle portion. However, where a sealing connection is not necessary, the bonding line may be circumferentially incomplete or discontinuous. As far as bonding of the flange to the support is concerned, it will be appreciated that this again may be by means of a circumferentially complete and continuous bonding line, if the flange is annular, or that it may be discontinuous given this particular configuration of the flange. If the flange, on the other hand, consists of one or more projections circumferentially spaced with respect to whichever portion they are provided on, then the bonding line may be discontinuous, that is spot bonding, similar to spot welds, may be employed.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a partly sectioned perspective view illustrating several of my novel composite packages in stacked relationship in a common storage and transport container;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary detail, in sectional elevation and on an enlarged scale, of one of the composite packages shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating, in somewhat simplified form, the method of making my novel composite package.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing now the drawing in detail, and firstly the composite package as illustrated by way of example in FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be seen that in FIG. 1 I have shown a storage and transport container 1, such as a box or the like, in which there are arranged in stacked relationship three composite packages according to my invention. Each of the composite packages of FIG. 1 consists of a support 2 of sheet material which is provided with a plurality of apertures 3, clearly visible in FIG. 2 as cutouts. In the illustrated embodiment each of the supports 2 has nine such apertures 3, as seen in FIG. 1.
According to my invention each aperture 3 accommodates a container 4 which, as seen most clearly in FIG. 2, includes a receptacle portion 6 and a cover portion 7. The receptacle portion 6 has an opening through which material to be stored in the respective containers 4 can be introduced and later again removed, and each cover portion 7 serves to close this opening, as shown in FIG. 2.
In the illustrated embodiment it is the receptacle portion 6 which is provided with a radially extending annular flange 5 overlying the upper'side of the respective support 2. I wish to emphasize again, however, that the flange 5 need not be annular but could also for example consist of two or more individual projecting portions overlying the upper side of the support 2.
The receptacle portions 6 and the cover portions 7 may consist of various different materials such as plastic, metal or heat scalable coated foil but will here be described for exemplary purposes as consisting of thermoplastic synthetic material, with the receptacle portions being deep-drawn in known manner. In accordance with the invention the cover portions 7 are in this embodiment sealingly bonded to the receptacle portions 6, here to the flange 5 thereof, and in turn the flange 5 in each case is bonded to the portions of the support 2 which it overlies. This is illustrated by the dark line 50 at the interface between the support 2 and the flange 5. The cover portion 7 is bonded, as pointed out, to the flange 5 and this is indicated by the dark line 5b at the interface between the flange 5 and the cover portion 7. The portion 7a of the cover portion 7 which extends laterally beyond one side of the flange 5 serves for more readily removing the cover portion 7 from the receptable portion 6 when the container is to be opened, because the portion 7a may be readily gripped by the fingers of a user.
In the illustrated embodiment the bonding of the cover portion 7 and of the support 2 to the flange 5 is assumed to be effected by heat welding or heat sealing, the receptacle portion 6 with its associated flange 5 and the cover portion 7 consisting of thermoplastic synthetic material while the support 2 consists in this instance of cardboard coated with a heat bondable i.e. heat weldable-material, either a synthetic plastic material or in fact any other suitable material. The manner in which the heat sealing is effected is conventional and conventional apparatus for this purpose may be employed, pressure being exerted at the same time as heat is supplied. It should be pointed out, further, that heat sealing of the flange 5 to the support 2 and the cover portion 7 may be effected in a single operation and that, particularly in cases where the cover portion 7 and the receptacle portion 6 consist of rather thin and mechanically non-resistant material, serves as a reinforcement and prevents the flange 5 and the portions of the cover portion 7 which overlies the flange 5 and are to be sealed thereto, from becoming deformed under the influence of the pressure.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, when the thus-completed composite packages are to be stacked, their opposite end portions may be angled as clearly shown in the drawing to constitute supporting feet 8 whose height is so selected that, when two or more of the composite packages are stacked as illustrated in FIG. 1, a gap will remain between superimposed ones of the containers 4.
I wish to emphasize that my novel composite package can be assembled on conventional machines for filling and closing the individual containers. By way of illustration of the operation of my novel method of making the composite package, I have shown in FIG. 3 a conveying arrangement consisting of a plurality of linked plates 10 each of which is provided with a plurality of holes 1]. in the illustrated embodiment the length, as seen in the direction of advancement of the conveying ar rangement which is indicated by the arrow A in FIG. 3, corresponds to the length of a single one of the supports 2. Accordingly,and because each support 2 is provided with three groups of three apertures 3, each of the plates 10 is provided with three of the holes 11. The holes 11 are slightly larger than the apertures 3 so that the receptacle portions 6 can be received in the holes 11 with play. I wish to emphasize here that it is of course not necessary that the length of three of the plates 10 corresponds to the length of a single one of the supports 2 and that this relationship has been selected only by way of illustrating a convenient example.
As the conveying arrangement advances in the direction of the arrow A, the supports 2 are placed onto the conveying arrangement with the apertures 3 each registering with one of the holes 11 in one of the plates 10. At a supply station 12 each of the apertures 3, and its associated hole 11, has inserted thereinto one of the receptacle portions 6. How this is accomplished is of no consequence for purposes of the invention and is in any case well known so that it need not be further described. As illustrated, when the receptacle portions 6 are received in the respective apertures and holes, their flanges 5, which here are shown as being provided on the receptacle portions 6, overlie the marginal portions of the supports 2 surrounding the respective apertures 3.
During continued advancement of the arrangement 10 in the direction of the arrow A, the thus inserted receptacle portions 6 arrive at a filling station 13 at which the contents to be stored are introduced into the receptacle portions 6. Again, how this is accomplished and what contents may be involved is of no importance for the invention.
The thus filled receptacle portions 6 then continue to advance until they reach a sealing station 14 at which the cover portions 7 are placed over the openings in the receptacle portions 6 in suitable manner, whereupon members 15 move down onto the cover portions 7 and flanges 5, exerting pressure thereon and supplying heat at the same time, thereby sealing the cover portions to the associated flanges 5 and the latter to the underlying marginal portions of the respective support 2.
Subsequently, each composite package consisting of a support 2 with nine of the containers 4 bonded thereto and lodged in the respective apertures 3 thereof, is removed for further handling.
It is possible, in accordance with the well-known state of the art, to provide at the sealing station 14 a sealing connection between the respective cover portions 7 and their associated receptacle portions 6, but only a more tenuous tear-ofi connection between the flanges 5 and the associated supports 2. Also, as pointed out before, the bonding line between the flanges 5 and the associated supports 2 need not be circumferentially continuous, but could be discontinuous to facilitate separation of the respective containers 4 from their associated support 2 when this is desired. There are different ways in which such discontinuous bonding can be obtained, and one of these is to provide interruptions in the heat bondable coating on the marginal portions of the supports 2, that is the marginal portions surrounding the respective apertures 3.
It will be appreciated that the flange to be secured to the respective support 2 may be provided on the cover portions 7 instead of the container portions 6. In that case some sort of flange will still be provided on the receptacle portions 6 to prevent the same from falling through the apertures 3. The bondable flange on the cover portions 7 will then be so dimensioned as to extend laterally beyond the outer circumference of the flange on the receptacle portions 6, which latter type of flange is then just a supporting flange, and those portions of the flange of the cover portion 7 which extend laterally beyond the supporting flange of the respective receptacle portion 6 will then be bonded to the underlying support 2. Evidently, in this case also it is sufficient if the flange on the cover portion 7 consists only of two or more projections extending laterally beyond the supporting flange on the respective receptacle portion 6.
Finally, it should be pointed out that the supports 2 may be provided with weakened zones, by lines of perforation or otherwise, which subdivide the supports 2 into several sections. Thus, each support 2 can be so subdivided for instance into three sections each containing three of the apertures 3, or it can even be subdivided into nine sections each containing one of the apertures 3. This facilitates removal of the containers 4 associated with such subdivided sections because it is then simply necessary to tear off one other section with its container 4 bonded thereto, along the weakened zone provided for this purpose whereas the remainder of the support remains connected with the remaining containers 4.
It will be appreciated that my novel invention is suitable for a wide variety of materials to be packaged. By way of example I merely wish to mention that individual servings of cream for restaurant use, institutional use, and similar purposes may be so packaged, and this is also the case of individual portions of jams or other foodstuffs. However non-food items may also be packaged in this manner.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a composite package, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. A method of making a composite package, comprising the steps of providing a support member having a plurality of apertures; inserting into each of said apertures a receptacle portion having an opening and being provided with a radially outwardly extending flange surrounding said opening; introducing material to be packaged into said receptacle portion through the opening thereof; placing a cover portion over said opening of the respective receptacle portion; and heat bonding said cover portion to the associated receptacle portion, and said flange of the latter to said support member.
2. A method as defined in claim 1, the step of bonding said flange to said support member comprising bonding said flange to said support member along a circumferentially continuous bonding line.
3. A method as defined in claim 1, the step of bonding said flange to said support member comprising bonding said flange to said support member along a circumferentially discontinuous bonding line.
4. A method as defined in claim 1, said flange having a first side facing said support member and a second side facing said cover portion; and the step of bonding said cover portion to said receptacle portion and said flange to said support member comprising establishing a heat bond between said first side of said flange and said support member, and a heat bond between said second side of said flange and said cover portion.
5. A method as defined in claim 1, said heat bonding step comprising sealingly bonding said cover portion to said flange, and establishing a tear-away bond between said flange and said support member so that the container constituted by said receptacle portion'and said cover portion sealingly bonded thereto may be removed from said support member by destroying the bond between said flange and said support member.