US 3784086 A
A package is disclosed for packaging articles having little or no depth and constructed from a pre-scored blank of material, such as paperboard, to which there is secured a tubular segment of transparent flexible material. The ends of the tubular segment are either heat sealed after the package is loaded with its contents, or the ends of the tube are closed by end flaps attached to the pre-scored blank.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Forbes, Jr.
[ 1 Jan. 8, 1974 DISPLAY PACKAGE  Inventor: Hampton E. Forbes, Jr.,
 Assignee: Westvaco Corporation, New York,
 Filed: Dec. 30, 1971  Appl. No.: 213,880
 US. Cl 229/55, 206/45.3l, 229/66  Int. Cl B65d 33/02, B65d 33/04  Field of Search 206/78 R, 78 B, 45.31, 206/80 R; 229/55, 66
 References Cited.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,124,324 7/1938 Weeks 206/45.3l UX 2,099,257 11/1937 Bergstein 206/45.31 X
2,333,943 l1/l943 Levkoff 206/45.31
2,189,174 2/1940 Hohl 206/45.31 X
l l l 2,177,918 10/1939 Vogt et a1. 206/45.31 2,200,818 5/1940 Bergstein 206/45.3l UX 2,622,986 12/1952 Snyder et a1. 206/56 AA UX 2,934,255 4/1960 McDuffie 229/66 3,175,752 3/1965 Stablenow.... 229/66 X 3,235,168 2/1966 Nichols 229/55 3,640,381 2/1972 Kanada 229/66 X Primary ExaminerLeonard Summer [5 7] ABSTRACT A package is disclosed for packaging articles having little or no depth and constructed from a pre-scored blank of material, such as paperboard, to which there is secured a tubular segment of transparent flexible material. The ends of the tubular segment are either heat sealed after the package is loaded with its contents, or the ends of the tube are closed by end flaps attached to the pre-scored blank.
2 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PAIENTED JAN 8 I974 SHEET 1 (IF 2 FIG. I.
INVENTOR mp'ron E. Forbes,Jr.
ATTORNEY PATENTED JAN 8 4 sum 2 OF 2 INVENTOR Hampton E. Forbes, Jr.
ATTORNEY DISPLAY PACKAGE SUMMARY OF INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a package for shallow depth articles useful for a point of purchase display.
More specifically, the invention relates to a combination paperboard blank and flexible, transparent tube for packaging articles which have little or no depth. Thus the package of the present invention would find advantageous use for articles such as womens hosiery, gloves, handkerchiefs and other small cloth articles, or food products such as candies, bakery products and many other products which are desirably packaged for unit sales so that the contents may be readily viewed. The construction of the package is such that it completely encloses its contents and makes overwrapping unnecessary. In its preferred form, the package comprises essentially a main panel of paperboard or the like which serves as the package back panel, and which may include a window therein, and, a separate tubular segment of flexible, transparent material such as polyethylene or polypropylene bonded to the back wall.
In some cases, the tube ends are simply heat sealed after the contents are inserted in the package, and in other embodiments, the paperboard like back panel may include relatively short end closure flaps which fold over and seal the ends of the tube after the contents are inserted therein. Thus the package may be constructed using relatively few materials with the tube portion of the package serving as the element for retaining the packaged product and the paperboard or the like back panel serving as the element for maintaining the integrity of the package.
The material from which the tube is formed does not constitute a limitation on the invention, and diverse materials may be employed, such as the non-fibrous films, foils or composite sheets in which a barrier layer of a plastic-like material is coated or laminated to paper or foil. Such tube type materials are normally heat sealable so that both the longitudinal and end seams may be readily formed utilizing heat and pressure, as will be readily understood by one skilled in the art. Essentially, the tube segment attached to the back wall panel will have opposing walls of a width substantially equal to the width of the back panel. The length of the tube segment will vary of course, depending upon the method used for closing the tube ends. If the tube ends are to be heat sealed, they are preferably terminated just short of the ends of the package back panel. However, when the package is closed with the short end closure flaps mentioned hereinbefore, the ends of the tube segment may extend beyond the fold line separating the back panel from the end closure flaps.
The package of the present invention could be readily loaded on existing equipment, the nature of which would depend upon the contents intended for the package. In most commercially available filling equipment, the package to be filled is generally engaged in some sort of carriage adjacent to a filling spout or other means. The filling device may either be rotatably or pivotally mounted so as to enter the mouth of the package to discharge the contents therein. Acordingly, with the package of the present invention, some means would be required for initially opening the end of the tube segment to permit filling of same. For this purpose, the package of the present invention having heat sealed ends would pass first through an end sealing station wherein one end of the tube would be sealed shut Next the package would pass through a filling stage wherein a jet of air or the like would be directed toward the remaining unsealed end of the tube segment to effectively open the end of the tube to permit filling. Finally the package would then pass through a second heat sealing stage where the remaining open end of the tube would be sealed to a closed condition.
Of course, if the embodiment of the present invention having end closure flaps was to be sealed after filling, substantially the same steps would be used as set forth above. That is, one end of the tube segment would be initially closed by folding over the flap at one end of the back panel to close the end of the tube, then the remaining open end of the tube would be forced open with an air jet or the like for filling. Subsequently, the remaining open end of the tube would be sealed closed by folding over the opposite end flap of the back panel.
In yet another embodiment of the present invention,
- the back panel of the package could be provided with abbreviated side panels of any desired configuration, in addition to the end closure flaps, to yield a package with greater integrity and more structural strength. With this latter embodiment, the tube segment would still be secured to the back panel as before, however the filling scheme would be simplified. Specifically, when using the package having both the narrow side panels and the end closure flaps, the preferred filling and closing technique would comprise the steps of first adhering the narrow side panels to the upper wall of the tube segment, then an end sealing step wherein one end of the tube segment would be closed by folding over and securing one of the end closure flaps to the narrow side panels. These steps would yield a partially closed package as before that would be ready for filling and final closing. However, the filling of this new embodiment would be simplified since with the narrow side panels secured to the tube, the natural fluff of the side panels would tend to hold the remaining unsealed end of the tube segment in an open condition. Thus the package just described could be readily filled without the air jet opening means required for the previously described embodiments. Finally, the package would be sealed as before by folding over the remaining end closure flap to secure the product in the package.
Furthermore, it should be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that any one of several different means could be used for opening the packages of the present invention. For instance, using the most economical embodiment of the present invention, with the ends of the tube segment simply heat sealed to the back panel of the package, access could be permitted to the contents of the tube by applying the front wall of the tube with a perforated tear line either near one end thereof or in the center of the tube. Obviously, moreover, the same opening scheme could be applied to the back panel itself with a cooperating perforated tear line in the adjacent back wall of the tube. For the embodiments utilizing either the end closure flaps or a combination of the end closure flaps and the narrow side panels, the package could be opened by using a releasible adhesive between the end closure flap and the film material forming the tube segment. Of course, in those areas where the end closure flaps overlapped the adjacent abbreviated side flaps, it would be necessary to provide delaminating cuts in side flaps to permit the end closure flaps to separate therefrom. Thus, one of the end closure flaps could be easily opened to provide access to the interior of the tube. In other examples of opening schemes, tear lines could be placed in the end closure flaps themselves for permitting entry to the package contents.
It should be evident, therefore, that the present invention describes a unique and simple package for packaging shallow depth articles with a minimum of material and machinery. In its basic form, the package includes nothing more than a blank of material, such as paperboard, to which there is secured a tubular segment of transparent flexible material. Of course, the tube itself could be prelined on the back wall thereof with a cushioning material such as blown polystyrene or the like if the item packaged required extra protection against breakage. However, in most cases the back panel of the package would most likely include some sort of cut out so that the contents of the package could be viewed from the back as well as the front. Obviously, in the latter circumstance, the back of the package would become the front of the package with appropriate product identification and advertising matter printed thereon. Further, in situations as just described, the back panel, or front panel of the package would generally include an opening or some other suitable means at one end thereof for displaying the package on a suitable support or the like.
Thus, the package of the present invention is particularly suited to display its contents effectively while still allowing quick and easy access to the contents thereof. Further, the package is particularly useful for packaging products of essentially no depth where an important consideration is that the product be completely sealed both from the entry of debris or other foreign matter, and, from contact with the blank material used for giving the package integrity and support.
The package would preferably be preassembled by the manufacturer, i.e., the tube segment would be preglued to the blank, and then shipped to the packager in its flat blank form for filling and sealing. After filling and sealing, the tubular segment would then completely enclose the product in its transparent wrapper.
The package of the present invention is intended as a replacement for some of the known and currently used moisture and air impervious plastic containers presently being used in the market. Most of the prior art packages of this type are substantially nonsupporting, and to provide some support for these old well known packages, rigid or semi-rigid auxiliary containers have been added. However, most of these containers or other supports have either proved to be too bulky to handle, or too expensive for use.
Thus at least one of the objects of the present invention is to provide a package assembly including a flexible, transparent, and substantially moisture and air impervious (when sealed) non-self-supporting bag and a support therefore which together form an inexpensive integral unit which takes up substantially no more shipping or display space than the flexible bag itself.
Another object of the invention is to provide a package assembly as described in which the support therefor may be used as a means for receiving printed matter to either advertise or identify the product packaged therein.
Accordingly, in a preferred form of the invention, a segment of a tube is combined with a support comprising a blank of material such as paperboard to form a package assembly as described. The tube segments may be supplied in the form'of a roll of continuous tube material or the tubular segments may be formed by a sheet of flexible transparent material passed over a forming plate to form the continuous tube. Under either circumstance the formed tube is caused to move along until it comes to a transverse knife section which cuts the tube into its segmental portions. Simultaneously with the feeding of the tube, the blank for the support element of the package is also caused to move along, past a glue station, where adhesive is applied to the inside of the blank. Finally, a blank with the pre-applied adhesive is brought into contact with a tubular segment to adhere the bottom wall of the tube segment to the blank structure, thus forming the package assembly described herein.
For the simplest embodiment of the present invention, where the tube segment is to be adhered to a blank having no flaps, the blank may be straight line glued as shown. However, for those embodiments of the invention which include the end closure flaps or the small side flaps, the'blank must be pattern glued. In the illustrated embodiments, substantially continuous zones of adhesive are generally applied initially to the inside of the back panel of the blank, the tube segment is glued thereto, and then additional substantially continuous zones of adhesive are applied to the end closure flaps and/or the abbreviated side walls of the blank be fore they are glued to the tube segment top wall. Of course, it will be appreciated by one skilled in the art that other gluing schemes could be utilized depending upon the type of forming equipment available.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIG. I is a plan view of a blank of material which forms one part of the package in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view similar to FIG. 1 showing a tube segment adhered to the back panel of the package;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a second embodiment of the present invention showing a blank of material for forming the back panel of the package;
FIG. 4 shows the blank of FIG. 3 with a tube segment adhered thereto;
FIG. 5 shows the package of FIG. 4 with one end sealed and ready for filling;
FIG. 6 shows a plan view of a third embodiment of the present invention showing a blank of material which forms the back panel of the package;
FIG. 7 shows the blank of FIG. 6 with a tube segment adhered thereto;
FIG. 8 shows the package of FIG. 7 with one end and the sides sealed ready for filling; and,
FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of the package of FIG. 8 illustrating the convenient filling feature achieved with the third embodiment of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a blank of material such as paperboard which is cut and scored to define a back panel for the package of the present invention. The blank 10 in its simplest form consists of a rectangular piece of paperboard 9 which may or may not include display cut-outs 14 and 15. The blank 10 is also shown as being applied with adhesive at 11, 12 and 13 from a straight line glue applicator. Accordingly, the blank 9 forms the major structural portion of the package of the present invention which gives the package its integrity.
FIG. 2 shows the blank with a transparent tubular segment 16 adhered thereto. The tubular segment 16 shown in FIG. 2 includes a tear strip opening means 18 and as shown, has one end thereof sealed shut as illustrated by the reference character 17. Thus for the FIG. 1-2 embodiment of the present invention, the package may be constructed using either a plastic bag adhered to the blank 10, or a tubular segment 16 as shown. In either case, the remaining open end of the bag or tubular segment must be sealed after the product is inserted therein.
The paperboard blank and tubular liner as shown in FIG. 2 is readily assembled into its ready-for-use condition utilizing much of the currently available assembly equipment presently on the market. As an example, the package of the present invention may be fabricated using a standard window applying machine converted for use with the tubular material preferred. For this purpose, the blanks are preapplied with adhesive near the side edges and along a centrally located portion thereof and then advanced along with the tubular segments or plastic bags in the same direction on tbe assembling machinery to a point where the tubular segment or plastic bag is bonded to the blank. Thus the film tube would be applied to the blank in a one-step operation. In this condition the package is then ready for shipment to the user who simply fills the package prior to sealing the remaining open end of the tube or bag to a closed condition. The bag or tube open end is opened with the aid of an air shower or the like, and, once the mouth has been opened, the contents are injected into the package utilizing conventional filling equipment. This equipment depends, of course, on the nature of the contents with which the package is filled. In most commercially available filling equipment, the packages, with their mouths forced open, are advanced to a point beneath a filling spout or the like, which enters the mouth of the bag, and discharges a predetermined increment of contents therein. These filling spouts may be rotatably or pivotally mounted so as to enter the mouth of each package and move with the package as it is advanced. For inserting hard goods into the package, the contents may be loaded with the aid of a lever or reciprocating motion.
FIG. 3 illustrates a blank construction for use when packaging products which require more end protection than provided with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2. For this second embodiment, the blank element includes a back panel 19 and a pair of end closure flaps 26, 28 separated from the blank 19 by fold lines 27, 29. Again, as in the embodiment of FIGS. l-2, means are shown at 24 and for making a window-like opening in the back panel 19 to provide visibility and graphic design to the packaged product. However, the window cutouts 24, 25 may be omitted or changed in shape and size from the particular arrangement illustrated without the exercise of invention. FIG. 3 shows the blank 20 with adhesive already applied at 21, 22 and 23, and in condition for having the tubular segment 33 bonded thereto. For the purpose of applying the adhesive at 21, 22 and 23, a Staude" or pattern glue applicator must be used. Thus, the in-line roll-type glue applicator which was fully satisfactory for the embodiment of FIG. 1-2 is not applicable for the embodiment of FIGS. 3-5 because of the presence of the end closure flaps 26, 28. An in-line roll-type glue applicator would apply adhesive prematurely to the end flaps 26, 28 at the same time that glue was applied to the back panel 19, whereas the Staude machine only applied adhesive in predetermined places with the aid of glue pads cut into the desired shape.
The blank of FIG. 3 also employs a different opening scheme from that utilized in the blank shown in FIGS. 1-2, again dictated by the presence of the end closure flaps 26, 28. For the purpose of gaining access to the contents of the package formed from the blank of FIG.
3, a pair of perforated tear strip lines are applied to the blank 20 at 34 and 35. Thus, when the end closure flap 28 is folded over about fold line 29 to seal one end of the package, the tear strip lines 34, 35 become superimposed upon one anotheand may then form a tearable opening means in one end of the package. For convenience in displaying the package formed from the blank of FIG. 3, the opposite end of tbe blank 20 includes a pair of openings 30, 31 which become aligned with one another when the end closure flap 26 is folded over about fold line 27 to seal the opposite end of the package.
FIG. 4 shows the second step in the formation of the package of the second embodiment of the present invention wherein the open end tube segment 33 is brought into contact with and adhered to the blank 20. Note that for the preferred construction, the ends of the tube segment are shown as extending beyond the fold lines 27, 29 and onto the end closure flaps 26, 28. This particular arrangement is utilized when a separate sealing step is not desired for closing the ends of the tube segment since when the end closure flaps 26, 28 are folded over and sealed to the upper wall of the tube segment, the ends of the tube would be automatically sealed closed. For this purpose, adhesive is applied at 32 to the end closure flap 28, and, FIG. 5 shows one end of the package sealed and ready for shipment to the user. In addition, the tube segment 33 shown in FIG. 4 also includes a weakened line at 36 which coincides with the weakened line 35 in the back panel 19 to aid in opening the package.
Of course, the same type of assembling equipment may be used for the package disclosed in FIGS. 3-5 that was described for the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2 except that an additional step would be required for folding over and sealing one end of the tube segment. Thus the package shown in FIG. 5 would be completely assembled and shipped to the user for final filling and sealing. On the other hand, for some specific applications, both ends of the tube could be left open so that the user, after filling the tube, would then have to seal both ends.
FIGS. 6-9 illustrate a third embodiment of the present invention wherein the blank structure of the package includes a pair of abbreviated flap elements at each side thereof for the purpose of giving the final package additional integrity, and also for achieving the unobvious result of improving the filling characteristics of the tubular segment attached to the blank. In particular, the blank element 40 shown in FIG. 6, includes a back panel 39 with end closure flaps 41, 43 attached at each end thereof along fold lines 45, 47 substantially as used in the embodiment of FIG. 3. However, for the purpose of achieving the above-noted desired results, the FIG. 6 embodiment of the present invention also includes a pair of abbreviated side flaps 42, 44 attached to the back panel 39 along the fold lines 46, 48. Additionally, for this embodiment as in the previous embodiments, window-like openings are shown at 51, 52 in the back panel 39 for the purpose of providing visibility to, and graphic design for the packaged product. It should be appreciated however, that the particular openings shown could be eliminated entirely, or alternatively, changed in shape and size for the particular end application intended. Further, as disclosed for the FIG. 3 embodiment, the blank 39 of FIG. 6 also includes means at 49, 50 for providing a scheme whereby the packaged product may be displayed for purchase. And, finally, the package opening means previously described for the FIG. 3 embodiment is also required for the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 6-9. For this purpose, a pair of perforated tear strip lines are applied to the blank 39 at 60, 61. Accordingly, when both the side closure flaps 42, 44 and the end closure flap 41 are each folded over to seal the end of the package, the tear strip lines 60, 61 become superimposed upon one another and together form a tearable opening means in one end of the package. Moreover, in order for this particular opening means to work, the tubular segment or bag attached to the blank 39 should also have weakened lines in one end thereof either coincident with or substantially near the perforated line 61. It should be kept in mind, however, that the above described opening means represents only one scheme for opening the package described herein. Another, and probably more desirable opening means that could be used with the package shown in either of FIGS. 3 or 6 would use a lift tab associated with one of the end closure flaps. However, for this latter opening scheme to operate properly, the adhesive used to seal the lift tab associated end flap to the film and/or abbreviated side flaps would necessarilyhave to release from its secured condition when it was desired to open the package. Alternatively, weakened lines could be added to the front side of the abbreviated side flaps in tbe region of the end closure flap to permit a delamination of the material upon opening. Obviously one skilled in the art could adopt other and different opening schemes for the novel package disclosed herein without exceeding the scope of the invention as claimed.
FIG. 6 also shows the blank structure 40 with preapplied adhesive in the zones at 53, 54 and 55 adjacent the side closure flaps 42,44 and centrally of the back panel, and in condition for having the tubular segment 59 bonded thereto. This adhesive application is applied as shown by a Staude or pattern glue applicator. A straight line glue applicator would not be satisfactory for the blank of FIG. 6 since the straight line gluing apparatus would of necessity apply adhesive to both the end closure flaps 41 and 43 at the same time that adhesive was applied to the back panel 39, and, of course, the results would not be desirable from a runnability standpoint.
Accordingly, after the blanks 40 of FIG. 6 are applied with adhesive with the pattern glue applicator as described above, the tubular segment 59, or bag element, is adhered to the blank back panel 39 as shown in FIG. 7. This latter figure also shows a second step in the formation of the package which includes the application of adhesive in the zones at 56, 57 and 58 to the two abbreviated side flaps 42, 44, and one of the end closure flaps 43. In addition, FIG. 7 illustrates the preferred orientation of the tubular segment 59 on the blank 40 wherein the respective ends thereof extend beyond the fold lines 45, 47 which connect the back panel 39 with the end flaps 41, 43. The particular arrangement shown is deemed preferable since it permits the ends of the tubular segment to be sealed closed simply by folding over and securing the end flaps to the upper wall of the tubular material. Alternatively, and if desired for some particular packaging situation, the ends of the tube could readily be heat sealed prior to folding over the end closure flaps 41, 43.
The illustration of FIG. 7 shows the package just prior to the stage of assembly which places it in condition for shipment to the user. That is, after adhesive is applied to the flaps 42, 43 and 44, the package proceeds through another forming stage which adhers the respective flaps to the upper wall of the tubular segment as clearly shown in FIG. 8. Accordingly, the package shown in FIG. 8 is partially completed, and in such condition, is available for shipment to the user for ultimate filling and sealing. Thus the folding and gluing of flaps 42, 43 and 44 could be accomplished with two passes through a straight line gluing machine, or, one pass through a Staude or right-angle machine. Also, as pointed out in connection with the FIG. 3 embodiment, only the side flaps could be glued leaving both end flaps to be sealed by the user.
FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of the package in its partially assembled state and serves to demonstrate vi sually the novel achievement obtained by adding the abbreviated side flaps 42, 44 to the sides of the back panel 39. As can be seen in FIG. 9, the side flaps 42, 44 when folded over about the fold lines 46, 48 do not lie completely flat, but tend to be urged back toward their initial, unfolded condition. The tendency for materials such as paperboard to resist being folded over into a permanent new position, even with the aid of scored fold lines, is called fluff and is caused by the elasticity of the material. Thus it can be said that paperboard because of the very nature of its construction or manufacture contains a certain amount of fluff, or tendency to resist being folded. It is this simple discovery that permits the package formed by the blank of FIG. 6 to be more easily filled than any of the previously described embodiments of the present invention. That is, with the side flaps 42, 44 secured to the upper wall of the tube segment, the fluff inherent in the blank material tends to lift the upper wall of the tubular material away from the secured lower wall thereof, and thereby urge or attempt to hold the mouth of the tubular segment in an open condition. Accordingly, when filling the package constructed from the FIG. 6 blank of the present invention, it is not necessary to use air jets or some other equivalent means to open up the mouth of the tubular segment. This discovery permits the package shown in FIG. 910 be easily filled while still achieving a package of economical construction and design.
Accordingly, as should now be evident, the present invention provides a simple, economical and practical package for substantially no-depth articles which may be suppplied to the packager in a knockdown, flat, partially assembled condition. The user need then only fill tbe tubular segment portion of the package and seal the filling opening closed before the filled package is shipped for display and/or sale. The construction is ex- 9 ceedingly simple, requiring only a pre-scored blank with a tubular segment, or open end bag of some available transparent material adhered thereto. The ends of the tubular segment may always be left exposed for heat sealing without the necessity of having to penetrate opposing layers of paperboard, or, they may be sealed closed when the ends of the package are sealed in some embodiments. In the hands of the user, the packages may be readily opened to discharge the contents thereof either using one of the preferred opening schemes described herein, or some alternative opening means that might be developed by one skilled in the art.
Thus numerous modifications may be made in the invention without departing from its spirit and purpose. Various modifications and alternative constructions have already been disclosed, and others will undoubtedly occur to those skilled in the art. Consequently, the true scope of the invention will find its expression in the claims which follow.
1. A package for shallow depth articles comprising in combination:
a. a single blank of paperboard or the like scored at each edge to form a substantially rectangularly shaped and centrally located back panel portion having abbreviated side and end closure flaps separated from the centrally located back panel portion by said score lines; and,
b. a flattened tubular segment of transparent material having top and bottom walls and being dimensioned to substantially the same size as said back 10 panel portion c. a first adhesive means on the inside of said blank and consisting of a plurality of substantially continuous zones of adhesive located adjacent the abbreviated side closure flaps and centrally of said centrally located back panel portion and securing the bottom wall of said tubular segment to said centrally located back panel portion d. a second adhesive means on the inside of said blank and consisting of substantially continuous zones of adhesive located on one abbreviated end closure flap and both abbreviated side closure flaps and securing the abbreviated end and side closure flaps around one end and both sides of said tubular segment and to the top wall of said tubular segment while leaving an open end of said tubular segment exposed; and,
e. means at one end of said package for permitting access to the interior of the tubular segment after the package is filled and the remaining open end is closed.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein the tubular segment is dimensioned so that its respective ends overlap the score lines joining the centrally located back panel portion to the end closure flaps and the means for permitting access to the interior of the tubular segment further comprises substantially coincidental perforated lines in one end closure flap, the tubular segment and the back panel portion.