US 3690545 A
A side sealed bag particularly adapted for packaging a hand of bananas and a method of fabricating the same wherein a web of flexible heat sealable plastic film material is provided with a longitudinal gusset fold in which one of the inner faces of the gusset fold portion has a dimension transversely of the web which is substantially less than the corresponding dimension of the face of the oppositely disposed fold, the opposed faces of the fold portion are treated to prevent them from sealing to each other during the forming of bottom seams, the bottom seams or seals of adjacent bag sections are made by successive application of a V-shaped sealing and severing knife operating at spaced intervals along the folded web portion, and the bags are completed in flattened condition by sealing and severing the folded web on successive transverse lines extending across the web from the apex of each V-shaped cutout resulting from the application of the V-shaped bottom seam forming knife. The resultant bags, when opened up have a bottom of truncated triangular shape, and assume a curved contour corresponding substantially to the curved contour of the hand of bananas when filled with the latter.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Piazze CONTOUR BOTTOM BAG  Inventor: Thomas E. Piazze, Mount Vernon,
 Assignee: Continental Can Company, Inc.,
New York, NY.
 Filed: Nov. 27, 1970  Appl. No.: 93,078
 US. Cl ..229/57  Int. Cl. ..B65d 33/00  Field of Search ..229/57, 58, 60
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,195,801 7/1965 Symons et a1 ..229/57 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS I 660,284 2/1929 France ..229/60 Primary Examiner-Davis T. Moorhead Attorney-Greist, Lockwood, Greenawalt & Dewey 51 Sept. 12, 1972  ABSTRACT A side sealed bag particularly adapted for packaging a hand of bananas and a method of fabricating the same wherein a web of flexible heat sealable plastic film material is provided with a longitudinal gusset fold in which one of the inner faces of the gusset fold portion has a dimension transversely of the web which is substantially less than the corresponding dimension of the face of the oppositely disposed fold, the opposed faces of the fold portion are treated to prevent them from scaling to each other during the forming of bottom seams, the bottom seams or seals of adjacent bag sections are made by successive application of a V- shaped sealing and severing knife operating at spaced intervals along the folded web portion, and the bags are completed in flattened condition by sealing and severing the folded web on successive transverse lines extending across the web from the apex of each V- shaped cutout resulting from the application of the V- shaped bottom seam forming knife. The resultant bags, when opened up have a bottom of truncated triangular shape, and assume a curved contour corresponding substantially to the curved contour of the hand of bananas when filled with the latter.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDsEP 12 I972 INVENTOR 4o THOMAS E. PIA ZZE ATT 'YS CONTOUR BOTTOM BAG The present invention relates to flexible bags and a method of fabricating the same from heat sealable, plastic film so as to provide, when opened up, a contour corresponding substantially to the contour of a hand of bananas or other product which it is desired to package therein.
In the packaging of many items for the retail market, the design of the bag or other container or package forming unit frequently presents difficult problems, particularly where the product to be packaged is subject to relatively rapid deterioration and is of irregular shape so that special packaging materials are required and the ordinary bag design is not suitable because, among etherthings, it does not result in a package having the attractive appearance desired for display on self-service counters and the like. One such product is bananas which, until very recently, it has been the universal practice to display on retail sales counters in unpackaged condition with the bananas cut from the stalk in groups or hands and sold by weight. Recently it has been found desirable for a number of reasons to devise a suitable package arrangement for the individual hands of the bananas so as to better preserve the same and afford protection against damage due to handling. One proposal has been to place the hands of bananas in molded pulp trays and overwrap thesame with a plastic film. This has not proven too satisfactory. Due to the shape of the product, conventional bag structures have not been considered practical for packaging this product, principally because a package of satisfactory appearance does not result when the hands of bananas are inserted into conventional bag structures such as the ordinary square bottom bag which is commonly used in the retail stores in which bananas and similar products are marketed. While some special bag designs have been suggested for this purpose which are of irregular shape, in an effort to conform to the shape of the product, none of the proposed designs are capable of being produced on any standard type of bag making machinery. Consequently, the cost of special machinery design and other factors have prevented adoption, to any extent, of the bag designs so far suggested. It is a general object therefore of the present invention to provide a bag design which is capable of production on currently available bag machinery without appreciable alteration or modification, which will conform generally to the shape of a banana hand and which will enable the packaging of the product with sufficient economy and in an attractive manner, suitable for counter display.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide a side sealed bag and 'a method of fabricating the same from heat scalable plastic film material wherein a special gusseted bottom structure is formed which results, when the bag is opened up, in a bottom of truncated triangular shape.
A further object of the invention is to provide a side sealed gusseted bottom plastic bag structure wherein the gusset bottom folds are of unequal width and the bottom side seals extend diagonally in converging relation from the junction of the gusset inner fold line and the side seal lines to the outer gusset folds.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a side sealed gusseted bottom plastic bag structure and a method of forming the same from a continuous web of plastic film wherein the web is folded upon itself with a gusset fold at the bottom forming side of the web in which the gusset folds thereof are of different width and wherein bottom edge seals extend diagonally from the junction of the inner fold line with the side seam lines, so that, upon opening up the bag for filling, a bottom panel of truncated triangular shape is formed which enables the bags to accommodate a product such as a hand of bananas with the bag assuming a contour conforming generally to the contour of the hand of bananas, thereby providing an attractive package.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the bag structure and the-method of fabricating the same which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top planview, largely schematic, illustrating a method and apparatus for fabricating a bag structure which embodies the invention; I
FIG. 2 is a plan view of a side sealed bag, in flattened collapsed condition, which incorporates the principal features of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, with the bag walls separated slightly so as to more clearly show the bellows folds in the bottom structure;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view with portions broken away showing the bottom structure of the bag of FIG. 2 with the bottom folds swung to a partially open position;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentaryperspective view showing the bottom of the bag structure in fully opened position; and
FIG. 6 is a side elevation showing the bag with a hand of bananas packaged therein.
The bag and the method of fabricating the same which constitutes the invention will be best understood by reference first to FIG. 1 of the drawings wherein there is illustrated the preferred method of fabricating the bags from a continuous web of stock material and a suitable apparatus for practicing the method. The web W, when the bag is intended for use in packaging bananas, is preferably a polyvinyl film of suitable gauge. Other suitable plastic films may be employed for bananas or similar products, the specific film materials generally being dictated by the nature of the product and the conditions under which it is to be marketed. The web W is folded upon itself and fed over a guide roller 10 with the folded web section 11 being somewhat narrower than the web section 12 so as to provide for a lip 14 at the mouth of each bag B. The folded web is advanced to a bellows forming disc or wheel 16 which has a cooperating forming member 17 for infolding the middle section of the web so as to provide longitudinally extending, bellows folds 18 and 20 with the topmost fold 18, as shown in FIG. 1, being of narrower width than the bottommost fold 20. The bellows folded web is advanced between a pair of guide rollers 21 and 22 to a bottom seam forming area where a V-shaped hot knife device 23 is mounted for reciprocation in a path normal to the path of advance of the material. The V-shaped hot knife 23 is reciprocated at intervals in timed relation to the advance of the folded web so as to cut out a V-shaped chip 24 and simultaneously form in the gusseted fold portion bottom edge seams 25, 26 and 27, 28. The V-shaped knife 23 is operated at intervals to provide spaced cutouts which define thebottom edge seams 25 and 26 of a leading bag section and the corresponding bottom edge seams 27 and 28 of a trailing bag section. As the material advances beyond the bottom seam forming station, side seals 30 are formed on transverse severance lines, as indicated in FIG. 1, by a hot knife (not shown) which is applied at intervals so as to extend transversely of the folded web material from the intersection of the bottom seam forming lines 25, 27 and 26, 28 resulting from the operation of the hot knife 23, that is from the apex of the triangular cutout resulting from the removal of chip 24 and extending transversely across the folded web. The individual bags B which are released by the severance of the material on the.lines 30 as a result'of the reciprocating movement of the transverse cutting and sealing knife 23 are advanced by rollers 31 and 32 and deposited in a stack or the like. A U-shaped punch' 33 may be employed to provide wicket holes 34 in the bag lip 14. Also,the bag walls 35 and 36 may be punctured to provide ventilation for the bananas or other products, where this is desirable.
The bag B, as fabricated, has side wall forming panels 35, 36 (FIGS. 2 to 6) with the body forming side edges thereof connected by side seals 30 and with the one side wall panel 36 having a toplip 14 in which wicket holes 34 have been provided. The bottom structure, where the bag is in the collapsed, flattened condition in which it is fabricated from the web material (FIG. 2), lies within the confines of the inner opposed faces or plies of the bellows folded portions which are indicated at 38 and 40 in FIGS. 3 to 5. When the bag is opened up for filling the major portions of the bottom fold portions 38 and 40 normally open into a common plane and provide a bottom wall 41 which is in the form of a truncated triangle bounded by the bellows edge fold lines 42, 43 and diagonal fold lines 44, 45 which extend between corresponding ends of the fold lines 42 and 43, as shown in FIG. 5. When the body section of the bag is squared up the side seals 30 and the diagonal bottom edge seals 25, 26 and 27, 28 fall into the oppositely disposed bag side wall portions 46 and 47. Due to the difference in width of the bellows fold portions 38 and 40 the bottom wall 41 will be in a plane which is diagonal relative to the plane of the opposed side wall portions 48, 50 (FIG.
When the bags B are employed for packaging bananas, or the like, a stack or pack of the'bags in flattened condition may be supported on the wickets of a bag opening and dispensing apparatus and the banana hands inserted, butt endfirst, as each successive bag is opened, with the bag then being pulled loose from the wickets and the mouth closed with a suitable tie member 51. The bag walls, as illustrated in FIG. 6, will conform generally to the contour of the hand of bananas, with the bottom wall curving into the one side wall and the resulting package will present a pleasing appearance.
1. A bag of the side sealed gusseted bottom type which is formed of heat sealable flexible sheet material, said bag comprising rectangular side wall forming panels connected by parallel side seams extending an0m .tazaassvfiia rstms areas tions are of different dimensions in the direction parallel with the side seams, with each of the bottom fold portions having side seams which, in the flattened condition of the bag, extend in a diagonal direction from the bottom ends of the side seams connecting the side wall panels to the bottom bellows fold lines.
2. A bag as set forthin claim '1 and said bottom fold portions having side seams which extend in converging relation in the direction of the outer bottom bellows fold lines. I
3. A bag as set forth in claim 2 and said bottom side seams each extending on a line which forms the same angle with the innermost gusset fold line. 1
'4. A bag as set forth in claim 1 and said bottom fold portions having side seams each of which extends from the bottom terminus of a side seam in a diagonal direction to the outer bottom fold line with the outer ends of said diagonal side seams terminating at points spaced from each other along each said bottom outer fold line.
5. A bag of the side sealed gusseted bottom type which is formed of flexible sheet material, said bag comprising generally rectangular side wall forming panels connected by generally parallel side seams extending along corresponding side margins of said panels and a bellows fold bottom structure with the bellows fold portions being of different dimensions in a direction normal to the bellows fold lines and said bellows fold portions having side seams which, in the flattened condition of the bag, extend in diverging relation inwardly from the outer bellows fold lines to the bottom terminii of the side seams connecting the side wall panels.
6. A bag as set forth in claim 5 and said bottom structure having a truncated triangle shape when the bag is opened up.