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Publication numberUS3793799 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 26, 1974
Filing dateFeb 26, 1973
Priority dateFeb 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3793799 A, US 3793799A, US-A-3793799, US3793799 A, US3793799A
InventorsDexter E, Howe M, Thompson E
Original AssigneeGrace W R & Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of film sheet dispensing and wrapping
US 3793799 A
Abstract
This invention is a method and apparatus for dispensing film sheets which are used for wrapping hamburgers, sandwiches, or other products which must be hand wrapped quickly. The film sheets are stacked and stapled at at least one corner with cooperating slits cut in the film near the staple. The sheets can be easily and rapidly torn from the stack with the remaining film held firmly by the staple so that film fragments do not contaminate the product. A dispensing tray is provided which further secures the stack of film sheets. Products can be wrapped by placing them on the top sheet of film and lapping the corners over the product so the sheet is torn from the staple thereby wrapping the product as the sheets are dispensed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 1111 3,793,7 9

s3 a v v 1451 Feb. 26,1974

[54] METHOD OF FILM SHEET DISPENSING 2,974,453 3/l96l Muskat a al 53/390 x AND WRAPPING 4 I [75] Inventor: Milton A.'nb e,spa1 iahb11i i Everett H Dexter, Lyman; Eugene Primary ExaminerTravis S. McG ehee Assistant Examiner.l. Sipos Attorney, Agent, or FirmJohn J. Toney; William D.

D. Thompson, Greenville, all of S.C. I 1 V [73] Assignee: W. R. Grace & Co., Duncan, S.C. [57] ABSTRACT [22] d; Feb. 26, 7 This invention is a method and apparatus for dispensing film sheets which are used for wrapping hambur- [21] Appl. No.: 335,855 gers, sandwiches, or other products which must be Relaed s Application Data hand wrapped quickly. The film sheets are stacked and stapled at at least one corner with cooperating [62] Dmslon of 1972' slitscut in the film near the's'taple. The sheets can be -[52] U S CL 7 53/32 53/390 easily and rapidly torn from the stack with the remain- [5 1 Into. 0 B65) 11/02 ing film held firmly lay the staple so that film frag- [58] Field 99/1 R ment s do notcontammate the product. A dispensing .7 9 /'i.7 396 6 tray Is provided which further secures the stack of film sheets. Products can be wrapped by placing them on the top sheet of film and lapping the corners over the [56] keerences'clted 1 product so the sheet is torn from the staple thereby UNlTED STATES PATENTS wrapping the product as the sheets are dispensed. 292L424 l/l960 'Wertheimer; 53/390 X 3.392.503 7/1963 Vaughan 53/33 1 Claim 7 Drawing Figures 3.292344 12/1966 Fellner 53/390 2.340962 7/1958 Stremkel 53 31 2.954.654 l0/l960 Arvidson' 53/31 saw 1 0? 3 FIG.

FIG. 2

PATENTEUFEBZB m 3,793,799

7 SHEEI '2 [IF 3 FIG. 5.

This is a division of application Ser. No. 225,820, filed Feb. 14, 1972.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to wrapping material for readyto-eat food products or the like and to a method and apparatus for dispensing same.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the quick-service food industry, which today is typically a nationally franchised'operation, the wrapping of items such as hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and the like, is done by hand as the respective item is cooked and prepared. The most common wrapping material is paper which isstacked in bundles of 500 or more sheets and each bundle .is overwrapped with kraft paper. In use the paper bundles are torn open so that the top sheet is exposed and the finger grip of the wrapper is relied upon to manually draw one sheet at a time from the bundle. As an alternative, paper sheets are also prepared in a roll and torn off as needed,

but this is not as satisfactory a dispensing means as the individual sheets will not reliably tear along the perfoand heat so that the wrapped product will not dry out.

and cool off rapidly; and, in addition, the plastic film has a bright, clean, crisp appearance. However, prob lems occur in the rapid dispensing of plastic sheets, e.g. in order to be usable the film has to have low surface friction so that it will slide readily off the top of a stack; but, 'if the film is not held down, the individual sheets can be easily blown off the stack or a number of sheets will slideoff with very slight-disturbance. Accordingly, it is one object of the present invention toprovide a stack of film and means for dispensing same'which will remain stable while sheets are being withdrawn. from the stack.

Another problem in dispensing film sheets is thatmore than one sheet can be withdrawn at a time. Accordingly, it is another object of the present invention to provide a stack of film sheets and method of dispensing same which prevents-the withdrawal of more than one sheet at a time.

Still another problem in dispensing-sheets of film is that the film fragments, particularly the portion of the film used to anchor each sheet to the stack, will become dislodged from its anchoring position and ,contaminate the food product being wrapped. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention tovprevent the contamination of the product being wrapped by film fragments.

t The above enumerated and other objects are accomplished by the present invention which is described in detail under the f llowing headings of Summary, De scription'of the Drawings, and Preferred Embodiment.

' SUMMARY OF THEINVENTION In its broadest aspect,'the present invention comprises a stack of sheets of thermoplastic film having a staple located adjacent to an edge of the stack which secures the sheets of the stack. A slit is provided in each of the sheets in the stack with the slit being positioned adjacent to the staple and on the side of'the staple opposite the edge of the stack. When the thumb or fingers are slid from the stack edge across the staple and slit and in. contact with. the surface of the top sheet, only the top sheet of film will tear and release from the stack.

In a narrower aspect, the present invention includes the foregoing described stack of sheets, but the slit in each sheet is curved and the staple secures the sheets to a relatively rigid backing member.

In a still narrower aspect, the sheets in the above described stack have at least one corner and the staple is located adjacent said corner. The slit in each of the sheets in said stack is on th e side of the staple away from the corner. Preferably, the staple is arranged so its horizontal longitudinal axis is perpendicular to the bisector of the comer and the slit is approximately a semi-circle. Auxiliary slits may be provided in the edges of the film adjacent said comer. In one embodiment, thefilm sheets are squares and staples and slits are provided in two opposed corners. In another embodiment a dispensing tray is provided to further secure the film sheets.

The stacked sheets can be any of the well-known thermoplastic materials such as polymers of ethylene, propylene, vin'ylidene chloride, vinyl chloride, etc., or homopolymers, copolyrners, block or graft polymers of any of the foregoing. a

A preferred material for the sheets is cross-linked polyethylene with a thickness between 50 and mils.

DESCRIPTION or THE DRAWINGS In the drawings which form a part ofthis disclosure and which are attached hereto:

hand side of FIG. 2 and showing a full stack of sheets;

FIG. 4 is the same view as shown in FIG. 3 but with a portion of the film sheets having been dispensed;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary top plan view of one corner of a stack of sheets showingthe auxiliary slits and preferred dimensions; 7

FIG. 6 shows a hinged dispenser tray which may be used in conjunction with the stack of film sheets of the subject invention; and

FIG. 7 shows the hinged dispenser tray of FIG. v6 with I the hinge being rotated downwardly to put the tray in its loading position.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 1 and 2 show top planviews of stacks of sheets according to the presentinvention. In-FIG. l, stack of g are provided adjacent the corners to make each film sheet more readily tearable or dispensable.

In FIG. 2, the stack of film sheets 1 is held only by staples 3 in one corner. Again, a semi-circular slit 4 is placed on the side of the staple which is away from the corner. FIGS. 3 and 4 show theside view of the stack shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 3, the stack 1 is a full stack and in the drawing of FIG. 3 side cuts or auxiliary slits are shown which are not shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 4 a portion of the individual film sheets 2 has been removed so that the retained column of anchoring corners 7 or film fragments is clearly shown. The staple 3 passes through all of the anchoring corners 7 and securely holds them to backing board 6. For greatest security, a relatively stiff backing member 6 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is provided and may be made from cardboard, fiberboard, or synthetic plastic material.

In FIG. 5, a fragmentary top plan view of a stack of film sheets 2 is shown and the critical dimensions are illustrated. The horizontal portion of staple 3 is aligned so that its longitudinal axis is perpendicular to the bisector of the angle formed by the corner. Preferably, the bisector of a co'rner would also bisect the staple, thus making the placement of the staple within the corner symmetrical. Slit 4 is approximately semi-circular extending from a point adjacent one end ofstaple 3 to a point adjacent the opposite end of staple 3. The slit 4 is, of course, located on the side of the staple which slit 5. When 54 to 60 mil cross-linked polyethylene sheets in a stack of 500 sheets are used, the distance A-B was found to be preferably between three-eighths inch and'five-eighths inch with the staple 3 located 1 inch from a corner measured along the bisector of the corner. It has also been found that thedimension E-F should be equal to or somewhat greater than the dimension A-B. In the presently described configuration, the dimension C-D is approximately one-fourth inch. The semi-circular slit 4 is located approximately threesixteenth inch beyond the staple measured along the 0 bisector of the corner..

Slit 4 can be straight, but it has been found that if it is curved the film will tear with'less effort and tear more reliably.

In one embodiment of a method for wrapping a product such as a hamburger, hot dog, sandwich, or the like, is placed approximately in the center of a film sheet 2 of stack 1 as shown in FIG. 1. The fingers of one hand are moved across one corner and staple and slid on the top sheet of film toward the product whereby the film sheet 2 is severed from the staple 3 and then that corner of the sheet is laid over the product. The operation is repeated for the diagonally opposed comer and that portion of the film sheet is laid over the product. The two remaining corners are then folded over the product to complete the wrapping process. The staples 3 serve to hold the anchoring fragments of film securely in place:

In another embodiment of a wrapping method the product is placed onthe top sheet .of a stack 1 of film as shown in FIG. 2 and the lower right, lower left and upper right corners of the top sheet are folded over the top of the product. The thus partially wrapped product is then lifted and rotated or flipped over by first lowering the side of the product nearest the'staple 3 and continuing to rotate the product without moving it towards thestaple. This action will easily snap the film 2 at slit 4 from the staple 3 leaving the product upside down but with all four corners of the top sheet lapped over the top of the product.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show a dispensing tray 10 holding a stack of film sheets 2, said stack .having a configuration such as that shown in FIG. 2 except that auxiliary slits 5 are shown. The dispenser has two end walls which terminate in horizontal flanges l1 and side walls which have a fixed portion 12 and a hinged portion l6.'I-Iinge 13connects the fixed portion 12 with the hinged portion 16 and the hinge may be of a flexible, non-skid material suchas a strip of neoprene'Additional strips 14 and 15 of neoprene are provided on the bottom of the dispensing tray 10 so that it will not slide on a table surface. In order to load the dispenser, it may be placed on the edge of a'table so that the fixed portion 16 can drop down as shown in FIG.'7 whereby a stack of film sheets can be loaded into the tray. Thereafter, the hinged portion 16 may be rotated upwardly so that the tray 10 is in the position shown in FIG. 6 and is ready for use. In this configuration, the hand of the wrapper is moved from the comer of the film'across the staple 3 and slit 4 and slid across the surface of the sheet of film 2 thus severing the sheet so that it can be easily withdrawn from the tray 10. v

The present invention is workable for any stack of film sheets wherein-a staple is placed adjacent'an edge of a stack of sheets and the slit is placed in the sheets on the side of the staple away from the edge. Other securing means may be substituted for thestaple such as a pin, bolt, or nail, but a multi-prong securing means such as a staple provides the most'stable stack. The slit is preferably curved and partially circumscribes or par tially encloses the securing means. The invention has its greatest advantage when his used in a polygonal shaped sheet of film having a comer in which the securing means and slit can be sym'etrically arranged, i. e. the securing means and slit are bisected by a bisector of the corner angle. In addition, the film sheets which are preferably used will generally have an anti-block agent either incorporated in the film composition itself or applied to the surface of thefilm so that one surface will readily slide over adjacent surfaces. Such anti-block or slip agents are well known in the art of making thermo plastic films.

We claim:

.1. A method of dispensing appi g material and wrapping a product therein-comprising the steps of:

a. providing a stack of thermoplastic film sheets, said stack of sheets having securing means for said stack in opposed corners of said sheets with curved slits partially circumscribing each securing means, said slits being located on the side of said securing means away from said comers;

b. placing the product to be wrapped on the top sheet of said stack;

c. sliding the fingers of one hand across said staple and said slit and contacting the surface of said 6 sheet whereby said sheet is severed from said seing the thus severed end of said sheet over said curing means and bringing said severed end over product; and

said product;

(1. moving the other hand across the remaining securing means and slit and engaging said sheet thereby 5 severing same from said securing means and bringe. folding the free corners of said sheet over said product to complete the wrapping thereof.

Patent Citations
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/461, 206/451, 53/390, 206/449
International ClassificationB65B67/00, B65B67/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65B67/08
European ClassificationB65B67/08
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 5, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: W.R. GRACE & CO.-CONN, A CORP. OF CT
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:W.R. GRACE & CO.;GRACE MERGER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005169/0141
Effective date: 19880525
Sep 5, 1989AS03Merger
Owner name: GRACE MERGER CORPORATION
Owner name: W.R. GRACE & CO.
Effective date: 19880525
Owner name: W.R. GRACE & CO.-CONN, A CORP. OF CT