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Publication numberUS3753331 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 21, 1973
Filing dateMay 10, 1971
Priority dateApr 25, 1970
Publication numberUS 3753331 A, US 3753331A, US-A-3753331, US3753331 A, US3753331A
InventorsY Sato
Original AssigneeIkegai Iron Works Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and means for facilitating a sealing of end flaps of a film
US 3753331 A
Abstract
A method of tensioning end flaps of a film which has been already sealed along at least one of the top, bottom, front and back of an object to be packed. This method consists in establishing a stream of air flowing toward the end flap along at least the top of the object, and training the end flaps of the film along the air stream. Means to carry out this method comprises a plurality of air injection nozzles extending towards the end flaps of the film along at least the top of the object.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Sato [ METHOD OF AND MEANS FOR FACILITATING A SEALING OF END FLAPS OF A FILM [75] Inventor: Yoshimasa' Sato, Yokohama,

Japan [73] Assignee: Ikegai Tekko Kabushiki Kaisha, Tokyo, Japan [52] US. Cl 53/124 C, 53/373, 53/385 [51] Int. Cl B65b 1/24, B65b 7/06, B65b 43/34 '[58] Field of Search 53/33, 39, 25, 385,

53/373, 388, 124 C, 124 D, 386, 124 A, 124

CC; 271/74; 214/1 AR, 1 BE [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,019,583 2/1962 Sylvester et a1 53/373 3,066,459 5 12/1962 Goodwin et a1. 53/39 X [451 Aug. 21, 1973 3,123,955 3/1964 Weissensee et a1 53/33 X 3,597,900 8/1971 Scott 53/39 X 3,200,563 8/1965 Berghgracht 1 53/373 3,220,161 11/1965 Lohse et a1. 53/373 3,260,170 7/1966 Barraclough 53/385 X 3,411,770 11/1968 Albright 1 214/1 BE 3,136,539 6/1964 Lyman 271/74 X 7 Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner-Horace M. Culver Attorney--Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack [57] ABSTRACT I A method of tensioning end flaps of a film which has been already sealed along at least one of the top, bottom, front and back of an object to be packed. This method consists in establishing a stream of air flowing toward the end flap along at least the top of the object, and training the end flaps of the film along the air stream. Means to carry out this method comprises a plurality of air injection nozzles extending towards the end flaps of the film along at least the top of the object.

2 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PAIENIEBIIBN an SHEUIUFZ YOSH IMASA SATO 1N VENTOR ATTORNEY s YOSHIMASA SATO INYENTOR METHOD OF AND MEANS FOR FACILITATING A SEALING OF END FLAPS OF A FILM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a method of facilitating sealing of end flaps of a film which has already been sealed 7 shape with opposite end openings. Therefore, the sealing of the end flaps of the film is needed to close the end openings of the film to complete the sealing and packing of the object. In the case of sealing the end flaps of the film, it has been the practice to secure them together by means of a heat seal after suitably folding the end flaps of the film or without folding. However, where a non-rigid film is employed to wrap the object, the upper end flap of the film bends down due to its ,own weight. This causes inconvenience in the next step of the packaging operation, resulting in the sealing of the end flaps not being effected perfectly.

What is therefore needed is a method of facilitating the sealing of the end flaps of the film, the back flaps of which have already been secured together along the back of the object to be packed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a method and a means to carry out the method, both capable of meeting the above need and allowing a stable, ideal sealing of the end flaps of the film.

The present invention is directed to a seal of the end flaps of a non-rigid film which has already been sealed along at least the front, back, top or bottom of an object to be packed. According to the invention, the method of facilitating the sealing of the film end flaps consists of establishing a stream of air flowing toward the end flaps along at least the top of the object, and training the end flaps of the film along the air flow, whereby the film end flaps are bent back into a horizontally tensioned state favorable to the sealing thereof. A means to carry out the above method comprises a plurality of air injection nozzles arranged at least above the top of the object extending toward the film end flaps partly along the top of the object.

Preferably, the sealing of the filrn end flaps is carried out by sealing equipment such as a compression packaging machine that has a conveyer to transfer the object to a predetermined position, a pressure plate disposed above the top of the object and moved toward the latter when the object reaches the predetermined position to press the object, and upper and lower seal bars movable between an operative position in which they pinch the end flaps of the back sealed film therebetween to effect the sealing thereof and an inoperative position. In the case of such sealing equipment, the plurality of air injection nozzles can be mounted on the pressure plate to extend toward the film end flaps. In addition, the sealing equipment may comprise a magnet mounted on the lower seal bar, and a holding-up member movable into a space defined by the end flaps and one end of the object before the lower seal bar is brought into the operative position, the holding-up member being made of magnetic material so that when 2 the lower seal bar with the magnet is moved into the operative position, the holding-up member is attracted by the magnet to hold up the end flaps of the film. In this case, the insertion of the holding-up member into the associated space can be effected with ease because the upper end flap of the film is held in a horizontally tensioned state by the air stream.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an object to be wrapped in a film which has already been sealed along the back of the object;

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of the object with the end flaps of the film partly folded;

FIGS. lb and 1c are perspective views showing different methods of securing the end flaps by a heat seal;

FIG. M is a perspective view of the wrapped object having the end flaps secured together without folding as in FIG. la;

FIG. 2 is a view similiar to that of FIG. 1, in which a non-rigid film has been used as a packaging material;

FIG. 3 is a view for explaining one embodiment of film tensioning means according to the invention;

FIGS. 4a, 4b and 4c are views of different embodiments of the film tensioning means according to the invention;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic sectional view of the object having the non-rigid film wound thereabout with the backward edges of the film being secured together along the back of the object on a conveyer of sealing equipment;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the object and related parts as viewed on a line VI VI of FIG. 5;

FIGS. 7 to 11 are views for explaining successive steps of the automatic sealing operation; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the object after it has been completely wrapped in the non-rigid film.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Generally, when wrapping an object 1 to be packed such, for example, as a stack of printed matter such as news papers and magagines in a packaging material 2 in the form of film, a method is used which consists of training the film 2 about the front, top, back and bottom of the object 1 as shown in FIG. 1, folding end flaps 3 and 4 inwards after sealing the film 2 along the back of the object 1 in a not shown manner, and securing the upper and lower end flaps 3 together by a heat seal. In this case, front and back end flaps 4 are first folded as shown in FIG. 1a and thereafter the upper and lower end flaps 3 are folded inward and secured together by a heat seal as shown in FIGS. lb or 1c. If desired, the sealing of the upper and lower end flaps 3 can be effected, without preliminarily folding the front and back flaps 4, by pinching-the end flaps 3 between a pair of upper and lower seal bars (which will be described hereinafter) to form a seal as shown in F IG. 1d.

Where the sealing of the upper and lower end flaps 3 is efiected after folding the end flaps 3 and 4, if it is intended to carry out the folding of the end flaps automatically, a complex and costly folding machine has to be employed. In addition, where the sealing of the end flaps 3 is effected directly, as shown in FIG. Id, by ut'ilizing the stiffness of the film, there is a disadvantage in that an undesirable sealing is produced because the stiffness changes depending on the length and thickness of the end flap.

In particular, when employing a non-rigid or flexible film of a low stiffness, the upper end flap 3 of the film bends down as shown in FIG. 2 due to its own weight overcoming the stiffness of the film. Thus, when employing the non-rigid film, such a favorable configuration of the wrapping film as shown in FIG. 1 can not be obtained. It will be understood that the bend of the upper end flap 3 causes inconvenience in the next step of the packaging operation, resulting in the sealing of the end flaps not being effected perfectly.

Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown one embodiment of a film tensioning means according to the invention, wherein an air supply pipe 7 with a plurality of air injection nozzles 8 is arranged around a package 6. The air injection nozzles 8 are circumferentially spaced and extend in opposite directions along and parallel to at least the top of the package 6 (in this example, the front,

back and bottom, in addition to the top), whereby when the air is supplied a plurality of air streams A are produced around the package 6, being directed toward the associated top, bottom, front and back flaps 3 and 4 at a high speed. Therefore, the suspended end flaps 3 (FIG. 2) of the non-rigid film are trained along the air stream A and formed in a similar contour to that of FIG. 1.

Of course, the object to be packed is not limited to a rectangular cross section as shown in FIG. 3 and may be of a triangular, circular or special cross section as shown in FIGS. 4a, 4b and 4c, respectively.

Referring to FIGS. 5 to 11, there is shown automatic sealing equipment for securing the end flaps 3 of the film as shown in FIGS. 1d or 12, in which the method of tensioning the end flaps of the film is in accordance with the invention.

In FIG. 5, the sealed package 6 which has been already sealed along its back as shown at 2a by body sealing equipment (not shown) is transferred in a direction B to be fed to the automatic film end-fiap sealing equipment, in which the package 6 rides on a conveyer 9 to thereby travel until it bears against a stop 10. The conveyer 9 is adapted to stop when the package 6 reaches the stop 10 to set the position of the package 6. The cross section as viewed on the line VI VI of FIG. 5 is shown in FIG. 6, from which it is seen that the upper end flaps 3 of the film 2 extending respectively in the opposite directions are bent down due to their own weight.

The package 6 in the stopped position of FIG. 5 is pressed down by a pressure plate 11 when it descends in a direction C as shown in FIG. 7. The vertical movement of the pressure plate 11 is caused by a force exerted from a suitable mechanism and this force exerted on the package 6 is received by a plurality of rollers 12 flush with a pair of conveyer belts 9a spaced a distance so as to accommodate the rollers 12 therebetween. The pressure plate 11 is provided at the enlarged end portions with suitable bores (not shown) to receive associated air supply tubes 7, and at the ends with a plurality of nozzles 8 (only one is illustrated for one end) communicating with the associated bores. Therefore, simul-v taneously with the arrival of the pressure plate 11 on the top of the package 6, the air is ejected from each nozzle 8 in a direction H along the top of the package 6. By thusly injecting the air, the upper end flap 3 of the film 2 is returned in a direction K as shown in FIG. 8

according to Bernoullis theorem and held in a horizontally tensioned position.

The film end-flap sealing equipment further comprises a means for holding-up end flaps 3 of the film 2 which-includes a pair of movable holding-up members 13 (FIG. 8) made of magnetic material such, for example, as Fe, Ni, Co, and their alloys and positioned close to the lefthand and righthand end flaps 3 of the film. If desired, the holding-up member may be provided with a magnet instead of being made of the magnetic material. When it is desired to secure the upper and lower end flaps 3 together, the holding-up members 13 are moved in a suitable manner in the opposite directions D (FIG. 9) so that their free end portions are inserted through the openings into associated spaces 2 defined by one end of the object 1 and the upper and lower end flaps 3 of the film 2 held in the horizontally tensioned position. This state is shown in FIG. 9. After the holding-up members 13 are disposed in the respective predetermined positions in the above manner, each lower seal bar 14 (FIG. 10) is first turned in a direction F. At this time, a magnet 15 mounted on the lower seal bar 14 attracts the associated holding-up member 12 through the lower end flap 3 of the film. Therefore, after the holding-up member 13 is attracted by the magnet 15, the holding-up member 13 and the lower seal bar 14 are moved upwardly as a whole while pinching the lower end flap 3 therebetween. As a result, the holding-up member 13 is also turned in a direction E. Then, upper seal bars 16 (FIG. 11) are moved in a direction G so that the upper and lower end flaps 3 of the film are secured together by the heat seal. As the upper and lower end flaps 3 are guided by the holding-up member 13 when the seal bars 15 and 16 are turned in the directions G and F respectively, the heat sealing of the end flaps of the film takes place in a sure and certain manner. The object 1 thus wrapped has a good configuration as shown in FIG. 12 because the end flaps 3 are secured together perfectly and surely.

From the foregoing, it will be understood that, according to the present invention, in effecting the sealing of the film for packaging, the end flaps of the film can be held in a substantially horizontally tensioned state by the air stream, so that a good profile of the film favorable to the heat seal can be obtained even in the case of a non-rigid film. In addition, since the end flaps of the film are forced upwards by the air jet, the holding-up member can be surely inserted between the upper and lower end flaps. Thereafter, the upper and lower end flaps are forced inwards while being guided by the holding-up member, so that the end flaps can be surely overlapped each other immediately before their sealing, with the result that a seal portion having a high seal strength can be obtained.

I claim:

1. In a sealing apparatus for heat sealing upper and lower end flaps at the left and right-hand openings of a bag of a film having insufficient rigidity to be formsustaining and containing an object, and said apparatus having a conveyer to transfer the bag wrapped around and sealed along at least the back of the object to be wrapped to a predetermined position where the upper and lower end flaps are to be secured together, means for facilitating sealing of the end flaps of the bag comprising a vertically movable pressure plate movable toward and away from said conveyer to press the bag and the object against the conveyer when it reaches said and two pairs of upper and one for said left-hand and one for said predetermined position, lower seal bars,

right-hand opening,'said paired bars being movable be-' 2. A sealing apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising means for holding up the lower end flaps to facilitate the sealing of said end flaps over said openings, said holding up means comprising a pair of magnetic holding up members movable into corresponding spaces defined by the upper and lower end flaps of said left and right-hand openings before said lower seal bars are brought into said operative position, and a magnet' on each lower seal bar, whereby when each lower seal bar is brought from said inoperative position into said operative position the corresponding holding up members and lower seal bars attract each and grip the corresponding lower end flap therebetween to thereby hold up the lower end flaps of the bag.

Patent Citations
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US3019583 *Mar 4, 1959Feb 6, 1962Amsco Packaging Machinery IncHeat-sealing machine for bags, provided with bag locating means
US3066459 *Sep 16, 1960Dec 4, 1962Nashua CorpMethod and apparatus for applying sealed wrappings
US3123955 *Jan 26, 1961Mar 10, 1964 Packaging articles in heat shrinkable and sealable
US3136539 *Dec 3, 1962Jun 9, 1964Brooks LymanSheet handling
US3200563 *Jul 17, 1964Aug 17, 1965Marius BerghgrachtMachine for flat-sealing an end of a heat-sealable lining of a box of parallelepipedic shape
US3220161 *Jan 18, 1963Nov 30, 1965Hesser Ag MaschfApparatus for closing bags of heat sealable packaging material
US3260170 *Dec 26, 1963Jul 12, 1966R W Barraclough LtdForming of containers from bags
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US3597900 *Jul 28, 1969Aug 10, 1971Mead CorpMachine for bonding together a pair of thermoplastic coated panels
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3923084 *May 29, 1974Dec 2, 1975Matthews Machine Company IncApparatus for packaging fluid materials in packets
US4018031 *Dec 23, 1974Apr 19, 1977Marcal Paper Mills, Inc.Article packaging machine
US5182128 *Mar 12, 1991Jan 26, 1993Kraft General Foods Canada Inc.Method and apparatus for producing a wrapped food material in single slice form
US5421139 *Apr 11, 1994Jun 6, 1995Ossid CorporationMethod of making a film wrapped product havin an off-center seam
US5485714 *Feb 27, 1995Jan 23, 1996Montalvo; Samuel A.Disk loader having a side air blast for proper bag presentation
US5709069 *Feb 20, 1997Jan 20, 1998Automated Packaging Systems, Inc.Packaging machine and method
US5896728 *Mar 25, 1997Apr 27, 1999Riverwood International Corp.Air jet apparatus for re-opening cartons
US6189298 *Jan 25, 1999Feb 20, 2001Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.Method and apparatus for opening a package utilizing bonded portions thereof
US6840616 *Mar 27, 2002Jan 11, 2005Scott SummersAir folder adjuster apparatus and method
US8440280Oct 21, 2009May 14, 2013Saudi Basic Industries CorporationMulti layer film
USRE42388 *Jun 14, 2005May 24, 2011Scott SummersAir folder adjuster apparatus and method
WO1998042574A1 *Mar 25, 1998Oct 1, 1998Riverwood Int CorpAir jet apparatus for re-opening cartons
WO2013097936A1Dec 20, 2012Jul 4, 2013Saudi Basic Industries CorporationCatalyst composition and method for preparing the same
WO2013097937A1Dec 20, 2012Jul 4, 2013Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)Catalyst composition and method for preparing the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/526, 53/376.8, 53/385.1, 53/375.9, 53/374.9, 53/382.1, 53/477, 53/370.7, 53/386.1
International ClassificationB65B11/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65B11/12
European ClassificationB65B11/12