US 3732662 A
Tubular netting is telescoped axially for storage purposes on a vertical hollow mandrel and is withdrawn from the lower end of this as needed in forming and filling bags. The method employs a label-bearing closure strip made of sheet plastic weakened transversely at intervals to facilitate its being divided progressively into a sequence of individual closures each of which is applicable to the tubular netting to close the same wherever the latter is bunched compactly in rope form. Alternate closures (even numbered) have cardboard labels about three inches square glued thereto. Odd numbered closures carry no labels.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
lie States atent 1 Paxton  METHOD OF FORMING, FILLING,
CLOSING AND LABELLING TUBULAR NETTING BAGS  Inventor: Floyd G. Paxton, PO. Box 2098,
Yakima, Wash. 98902 22 Filed: July30, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 167,698
 U.S.Cl ..53/14,53/138 A, 161/109  Int. Cl. ..B65b 9/12  Field of Search ..53/l4, 138 A;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,270,873 9/1966 Paxton ..206/56 AB FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 236,873 11/1964 Austria ..53/l38 A Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner.lohn Sipos Attorney- Dana E. Keech  ABSTRACT Tubular netting is telescoped axially for storage purposes on a vertical hollow mandrel and is withdrawn from the lower end of this as needed in forming and filling bags. The method employs a label-bearing closure strip made of sheet plastic weakened transversely at intervals to facilitate its being divided progressively into a sequence of individual closures each of which is applicable to the tubular netting to close the same wherever the latter is bunched compactly in rope form. Alternate closures (even numbered) have card- 1 3,732,62 51 May 15,1973
board labels about three inches square glued thereto.
Odd numbered closures carry no labels.
The bag forming starts with the operator withdrawing a section of the tubular netting downwardly, bunching a lower end portion of this in rope form and closing it by applying closure number 1 thereto. A quantity of loose product suitable for net bagging is now introduced through the hollow mandrel into said closed bottom section of the tubular netting, and this section, so loaded, is spun in the hands to twist and bunch the netting in rope form for several inches just above the product. While so bunched, this portion of the tubular netting has applied thereto in rapid succession, and at points vertically spaced about two and one-half inches, closures numbers 2 and 3. The netting rope between these closures is then presented to a sharp blade mounted on one of the diverging guide plates of the applicator as the netting rope is withdrawn from the latter, after applying closure number 3, to sever said rope leaving about three-quarters of an inch of the latter below closure number 3 and an inch and three-quarters of it above label-bearing closure number 2. The first netting bag formed and closed by the method is labelled by closure number 2 which also closes the top of the bag.
The method continues in like manner to divide the entire tubular netting into individual netting bags filled with loose product and closed at their bottoms by odd numbered non-label-bearing closures taken from said strip and at their tops by even numbered label-bearing closures.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAYWW 3.732.662
H0. 2. H6. H0. 40
I i- QB-A -5 QTTORNEK METHOD OF FORMING, FILLING, CLOSING AND LABELILING TUBULAR NETTING BAGS SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Heretofore, the practice has been followed in bag ging a loose product in net bags formed from tubular netting, of withdrawing a section of the netting from a hollow storage mandrel, .bunching and binding the lower end of the section with a wire clamp, feeding loose product through the mandrel into the section, bunching the section above the product, applying two vertically spaced wire clamps to the bunched netting and severing the bunched netting between the clamps.
Several optional methods were followed in labelling the packages thus produced. One method was to introduce a label with the product through the feed mandrel. Another method was to form the bottom of each bag with a cardboard label folded about and stapled to the netting of the bag, the top being closed by a wire clamp. Each of these currently conventional ways of closing and labelling bags of tubular netting is deficient in one or more respects, particularly in their provisions for labelling the package.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a method of forming, filling and labelling tubular netting bags, and a label-bearing closure strip employed therein, by which a superior packaging and identification of the product will be produced, and wherein the label will be in clear view at the top of each bag.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS netting in performing the method of the invention.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the upper end portion of a netting bag formed, filled, and labelled by the method of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The method of the invention being keyed to the novel characteristics of a plastic label-bearing closure strip it) shown in FIG. 1, a description of the latter will precede a detailed outline of the method. The strip 10 is weakened along transverse lines 11 at regular intervals to divide the same into individual closures 12, each of which has an edge opening 13 which communicates through a narrow slot 14 with a cruciform interior aperture 15. The aperture is so shaped to form a pair of sharp jaws 16 on opposite sides of the narrow slot 14, and sharp tongues A, B and C, the points of which converge toward the center of the aperture and which cooperate with said jaws in engaging the openings in tubular netting trapped in said aperture so as to be very effective in resisting the slipping of said netting through said aperture.
Corners 17 of the closure 12 are beveled to provide notches centered on the transverse lines on which strip 10 is weakened. These notches are servicable in a do sure applicator to halt the rest of the strip 10 from forward movement while the foremost closure in the strip is separated therefrom by pulling forward on a section of bunched tubular netting after this has been introduced into the aperture 15 of the foremost closure in the strip.
Alternate closures 12 of the strip 10 have cardboard labels 18 secured to said closures by spots of glue 19 while the other closures of the strip are non-labelbearing. For convenience in describing the method of the invention the first six closures of the strip 10 are separately identified by numerals l to 6 inclusive and it will be noted that each of the even numbered closures is provided with a label while the odd numbered closures bear no labels. The first of the odd numbered closures is thus referred to hereinafter as Closure No. 1.
The other apparatus employed in performing the method of the invention includes a vertical hollow mandrel 25 having a product receiving hopper 26 at its upper end and an external annular flange 27 at its lower end. The mandrel 25 serves as a storage magazine for a considerable length 28 of tubular netting which is telescoped in bellows fashion on the mandrel after being pulled over the flange 27. The lower end of the stored length 28 of tubular netting is fed under an O- ring 29 and then pulled downwardly around the flange 27 as needed in the formation of bags.
The tubular netting 23 is preferably formed of plastic but tubular nets made of spun cotton or other fibers are also suitable for use in performing the method of this invention.
The efficiency of the method of the invention is enhanced by utilizing in its performance a conventional label-bearing closure strip applicator 30 which is only fragmentarily shown in FIG. 5 and which may consist of any of several types of applicators available on the market which are particularly designed for feeding a plastic closure strip in which every closure in the strip has a label glued thereon, these applicators and said label carrying closure strip being primarily provided for applying closures only to the open upper ends of conventional sheet polyethylene bags. When participating in the performance of the method of the present invention such equipment is employed to feed the novel label-bearing closure strip 10 shown in FIG. l in which alternate closures only are provided with cardboard labels, and this strip is adapted exclusively for use in forming, filling, closing and labelling tubular bags preferably formed of tubular netting, this strip 10 providing alternately a plain unencumbered closure for closing the bottom end of a bag being formed from a section of said tubular netting and a label carrying closure for the top end of said bag. For the strip applicator 30 to have major effectiveness in this new field of operation, one of the bunched netting guide blades 31 provided for guiding a bunched rope like mass of bag netting into the applicator for applying a closure thereto, has formed in it a slot 32, across which a razor blade 33 is secured by screws 34 thus providing a facility for rapidly severing such a bunched rope like mass of netting at the precise station where and when this is required in the performance of the method of the invention. The closure applicator 30, a modified front portion of which is shown in FIG. 5, is a regular product being manufactured and sold by Kwik Lok Corporation of Yakima, Washington. The applicator 30 is covered by a U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 108,401 filed Feb. 8, I971 by Jack H. Holmes, which issued on June 13, 1972 as U.S. Pat. No. 3,668,818 as well as by companion foreign applications in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Japan, Luxemborg, New Zealand, Norway, Phillippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
As shown in FIG. 5, the applicator 30 also has a rocker 35 which rocks about a transverse axis between a downwardly inclined position as shown in this view in which the foremost closure 12 of the strip being fed through the applicator 30 is held pointed downwardly by said rocker pending the machine being set in operation by manually feeding a rope of bunched bag netting between the guide plates 31 so as to contact a trigger 40 which initiates a power cycle of operation of the applicator 30 to swing the rocker 35 upwardly thereby applying the foremost closure 12 to the bunched material held inwardly against the trigger 40. The applicator 30 automatically halts with the rocker 35 thus raised bringing the foremost closure 12 to level position. As soon as this has taken place, the operator pulls forwardly on the bag neck in his hands which exerts enough tension on the closure applied to this bag neck to part webs 41 which integrally connect adjacent closures together. This withdrawal of the bag neck from the applicator 30 releases pressure on the trigger 40 and causes a resumption of the operating cycle of the applicator in which the label-bearing closure strip 10 is fed forward a distance equal to the length of a single closure so that the next closure in the strip is inserted into the slot provided therefor in the rocker 35 before the latter automatically returns downwardly to the position in which it is shown in FIG. 5.
The method of the invention involves the repetitious performance of a series of like operations following the performance of a somewhat unique pilot operation. Prior to performing the pilot operation the labelbearing closure strip 10, as shown in FIG. 1, is fed into the applicator 30 so that Closure No. 1 is fed into the rocker 35 and bent downwardly, as shown in FIG. 5, in readiness to be applied to the lower end of the tubular netting 28. The method now starts with the pilot operation in which a section 42 of the tubular netting 28 is pulled downwardly from the lower end of mandrel 25 until this section is long enough so that when its lower end is bunched together into rope like form it can be fed into the front end of applicator 30 causing Closure No. l of strip 10 to be applied to the lower end of section 42 so as to close the same as shown in FIG. 2.
The next step in the method is to introduce a quantity ofloose product 43 (such as onions) into the hopper 26 and then extend the section 42 as shown in FIG. 3 so as to have ample material available when seizing the product filled lower end of section 42 and rotating the same to twist a portion of this section extending upwardly from the upper end of the product for five or six inches and then while this portion of section 42 is in rope like form as indicated at 44 in FIG. 4, the operator feeds this rope 44 into the applicator 30 to apply Closure No. 2 thereto just above the product 43 in the bag 45. Following this, the bag 45 is lowered to present the rope 44 again to the applicator 30 at a point about two and one-halfinches above Closure No. 2 where Closure No. 3 is applied to rope 44 as shown in FIG. 4. When Closure No. 3 is thus applied to rope 44, this closure is just about at the level shown in FIG. 4 where it is about three-quarters of an inch above the level 46 (shown by a dot-and-dash line in FIG. 4) of the applicator guide plate 31 having the razor blade 33. Upon pulling Closure No. 3 outwardly to separate it from the strip 10 following the application of said closure to the rope 44, the operator shifts the rope 44 and bag 45 suspended therefrom to the left along the slot 32 and against the razor blade 33 thereby instantly severing this rope so that an upper portion about three-quarter inches long is left extending below Closure No. 3 and a lower portion 48 about one and three quarter inches long is left extending above Closure No. 2.
The application of Closure No. 3 to the rope 44 as shown in FIG. 4 is much easier to perform than was the application of Closure No. l to the lower end of tubular netting section 42 and the balance of the method of converting the entire stored length of tubular netting 28 into bags 45 is accomplished merely by delivering loose product 43 into the hopper 26, after each individual operation of forming, filling, closing and labelling a bag 45, and then twisting the tubular netting above this new charge of loose product and applying the next pair of label-bearing and non-label-bearing closures 12 to the netting rope thus formed and severing said rope between said closures in the same manner as shown in FIG. 4 and above described. In this manner the method of the present invention is operative to consume the entire length of tubular netting 28 in the forming, filling, closing and labelling tubular netting bags 45 in each of which loose product 43 is packaged. The bunched netting 48 allowed to extend upwardly from each bag 45 provides a handle for the bag.
1. In a method of forming, filling, closing and labelling a tubular netting bag, the steps of:
telescoping tubular netting axially in a vertically compacted hollow body,
extending a section of said tubular netting downwardly from said body,
bunching together a lower end portion of said section,
arranging closures in sequence,
gluing labels to even-numbered closures only in said sequence,
feeding said sequence of closures to a station in proximity to said tubular netting section,
applying the initial closure in said sequence to said bunched lower end portion of said section to close the same,
delivering loose product through said hollow body into said closed netting section,
bunching together an upper portion of said section above said loose product,
closing said bunched portion just above said product by applying thereto the second closure of said sequence (the first label-bearing closure),
closing the upper extremity of said bunched portion by applying thereto the third closure of said sequence at a point spaced upwardly from said second closure, and
severing said bunched portion between said second and third closures.
by applying thereto the fifth closure of said sequence at a point spaced upwardly from said fourth closure, and
severing said bunched portion between said fourth and fifth closures.
3. A method as recited in claim 2 wherein said closure arranging step embraces weakening transversely at intervals a strip of flat sheet plastic to form from the strip a series of integral plastic bag closures successively divisible from said strip as required in performing said method, and
gluing labels to alternate closures only in said strip.