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Publication numberUS3844090 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1974
Filing dateApr 1, 1974
Priority dateMar 29, 1973
Publication numberUS 3844090 A, US 3844090A, US-A-3844090, US3844090 A, US3844090A
InventorsC Pepmeier
Original AssigneeFmc Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging apparatus
US 3844090 A
Abstract
A packaging apparatus in which one longitudinal edge area of a continuous, travelling web of wrapping material is relaxed, folded upon itself and overlapped onto and seamed to the opposite longitudinal edge area of such web by a frangible seal, which is of less width than the folded edge area, to provide a tube. This tube is then filled with the product to be packaged and sealed transversely at longitudinally spaced locations to provide a series of packages, each of which has a projecting edge portion or flap along its seam which facilitates package rupture and access to the packaged product.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Pepmeier 1451 Oct. 29, 1974 PACKAGING APPARATUS [75] Inventor: Carl R. Pepmeier, Fredericksburg,

[73] Assignee: FMC Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa. [22] Filed: Apr. 1, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 456,581

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 345,982, March 29, 1973.

[52] US. Cl. 53/180, 93/20 [51] Int. Cl B65b 9/12, 1365b 61/00 [58] Field of Search 53/28, 177, 180 M, 182 M;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,362,460 11/1944 Barnett 53/28 x 3,532,516 l0/l970 Erekson ..53/28X Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill [57] ABSTRACT A packaging apparatus in which one longitudinal edge area of a continuous, travelling web of wrapping mate- 'rial is relaxed, folded upon itself and overlapped onto and seamed to the opposite longitudinal edge area of such web by a frangible seal, which is of less width than the folded edge area, to provide a tube. This tube is then filled with the product to be packaged and sealed transversely at longitudinally spaced locations to provide a series of packages, each of which has a projecting edge portion or flap along its seam which facilitates package rupture and access to the packaged product.

5 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PACKAGING APPARATUS This application is a division of my application Ser. No. 345,982, filed Mar. 29, 1973.

The present invention is directed to an improved packaging apparatus.

Disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,542,570 is a process wherein a continuous web of wrapping material is fed about a forming member, where its longitudinal edges are overlapped, and then over a nozzle, where its over lapping lontiduinal edges are sealed to provide a continous tube. During passage over the nozzle, the tube of wrapping material is urged into a flattened condition and, as it leaves such nozzle, is filled with an extruded product which is to be packaged, as for example cheese, in a hot, viscous condition.

The web of wrapping material and the subsequently formed tube are drawn relative to the forming member and nozzle by an advancing mechanism consisting, for example, of a pair of positively driven endless belts which firmly grip the filled tube and urge the same forward. if desired, the endless belts may be provided with cleats which together cooperate to pinch the filled tube at longitudinally spaced intervals to thereby preform such tube into discrete packets.

Following the advancing mechanism, the now preformed and filled tube is passed into a crimper mechanism where it is sealed transversely along the areas which have heretofore been pinched together. During this sealing stage pressure is applied to opposite sides of the formed packets to distribute the still viscous packaged product into a substantially uniform thickness.

This chain of connected packets is then cooled, as by passage through a water bath, dried, and severed along the sealed areas to provide separate packets, or individually wrapped cheese slices. Generally, a number of these wrapped slices are then stacked and overwrapped to form a package.

At the longitudinal seam of the individually wrapped cheese slices, the outer edge of the overlapping edges of the wrapping material is intended to serve as a handie by which the wrapping material may be peeled away from the packaged cheese by the consumer. While this handle or outer edge of the wrapping material may not be intentionally sealed in place, during some or all of the different stages of the abovedescribed method, such as the flattening, advancing, sealing, cooling, drying, severing, and stacking, such outer edge is pressed snugly against and clings tenaciously to the underlying portions of the wrapping material. As a result, manipulation of this outer edge of the wrapping material, if at all possible, and access to the packaged product is extremely difficult.

Often the longitudinal edge of the wrapping material which is to form the outer edge of the tube seam is printed with indicia which is intended to draw the consumer's attention to such edge and perhaps instruct the consumer in its use. Such printing operation is expensive and may be detrimental to the physical and/ or chemical characteristics of the wrapping material. More important. while such printing may well alert the consumer to the seam along the wrapped product it does not eliminate or reduce the clinging or adherency of the outer edge of the wrapping material to the underlying portion of the wrapping material along such seam. Accordingly, a primary object of this invention is to provide a new or improved and generally more satisfactory packaging apparatus.

Another object is the provision of an improved apparatus for making a package having an exposed, free flap which facilitates easy access to the packaged product.

Still another object is the provision of an improved apparatus for making a seamed package having a projecting, relatively thick flap along its seam which can be easily gripped and manipulated by a consumer to effect package seam rupture.

The above and other objects of the invention are achieved by a packaging apparatus in which one longitudinal edge area of a continuous, travelling web of wrapping material is relaxed, folded upon itself and overlapped onto and seamed to the opposite longitudinal edge area of such web by a frangible seal to provide a tube. This tube is then filled with the product to be packaged and sealed transversely at longitudinally spaced locations to provide a series of packages.

In each such package the outermost of the overlapping longitudinal edge areas is seamed through the overlying folded portions to the innermost of the overlapping edge areas by a seal having a width which is less than that of the outermost of the overlying folded portions. This seam may be spaced from either, and preferably both, the longitudinal edge and the fold along the outermost of the overlapping edge areas of the wrapping material. In this package construction, either of the sections of such edge area which extend along opposite sides of the seam may serve as a flap by which the consumer may effect rupture of the package seam and gain access to the packaged product. With generally flat packages or packages having corners, it is desired that the seam be positioned so that the longitudinal edge of the outermost of the overlapping longitudinal edge areas extends beyond or projects from the package for easy access and manipulation.

Unless dictated by the particular product which is being packaged or the conditions to which the resulting package may be subjected to prior to use by the consumer, the wrapping material itself must be able to be bonded but is not otherwise critical. Desirably, at least the side of the wrapping material which forms the inside surface of the package is formed of heat-scalable material to permit the necessary package seals to be effected by the application of heat and pressure. Thus, such wrapping materials may be formed of a thermoplastic material, as for example, polypropylene, or may be comprised of a non-thermoplastic material, such as, cellophane or paper, having a coating or heat-scalable material on one or both sides thereof.

While packages formed with the apparatus of the present invention are not limited to any particular material which is to be packaged, for the sake of simplicity and ease of description, the invention is hereafter set forth in detail as applied to containing of a moldable product, as for example, hot cheese, in packages which are of rectangular cross-section, and more specifically to flat or slab-like packages.

in the method practiced with the apparatus of the present invention, a web of continuous wrapping material is advanced under longitudinal tension and, during such travel, one longitudinal edge area thereof is permitted or caused to assume a relaxed or floppy condition and is subsequently folded onto an area of the web which is directly adjacent thereto. Successive portions of the advancing web are then gradually and progressively deflected to overlap this folded edge area onto the opposite longitudinal edge area of the web, with the overlying portions of the folded edge area being exposed. These overlapping edge areas are then sealed through the overlying folded portions and only along a width less than that of the outermost of such overlying portions to provide a tube having a continuous, longitudinal seam. Sealing of such edge areas is only to such extent as to provide for a secure yet frangible seam and is effected at a location which is preferably spaced from both the longitudinal edge and the fold extending along the outermost of the overlying folded portions.

A flowable material which is to be packaged is delivered into the successive portions of the tube concomitantly with the advancement thereof after which the filled portions of the tube are collapsed and secured at longitudinally spaced intervals thereof to provide a series of individual but connected packages. Desirably, the successive portions of the tube are deflected toward a flattened condition prior to the filling thereof, with the outermost of the overlying folded portions being located directly adjacent to and perhaps projecting beyond an adjacent edge of such flattened tube. In the formation of flat or slab-like pacakges, the successive portions of the filled tube are molded to dispose the opposing surfaces thereof into substantially parallel planes prior to the collapsing and sealing thereof.

The successive portions of the filled tube may be collapsed and secured at longitudinally spaced intervals thereof, for example, by merely squeezing the same and applying a metallic or plastic band. Preferably, and as heretofore mentioned, at least one side of the web of wrapping material which forms the inside surface of the tube is formed of heat-scalable material whereby the successive portions of the filled tube may be collapsed and secured by urging opposing portions of the tube into contact with each other along areas extending across the filled tube and then heat-sealing such contacting tube portions to each other.

The apparatus of the present invention includes a forming member to and beyond which a continuous web of wrapping material is advanced under longitudinal tension from a supply. During its advancement away from a supply, this web is engaged with and travels over a guide bar which extends across its path and which is chamfered or beveled at one end thereof to permit or cause one longitudinal edge area of such web to relax. Beyond such bar a folder urges the relaxed or floppy longitudinal edge area onto an area of the web which is directly adjacent thereto, afterwhich a shaping device deflects successive portions of the advancing web about the forming member with the folded longitudinal edge area of the web being overlapped onto the opposite longitudinal edge area of the web and with the overlying portions of the folded edge area being exposed.

Cooperating with the forming member is a sealer for sealing the overlapping edge areas through and only along a narrow width of the outermost of the overlying folded portions to provide a tube having a continous yet frangible longitudinal seam. Suitable means are provided for advancing the successive portions of the tube relative to the forming member and for delivering a flowable material which is to be packaged through such member and into the successive portions of the tube concomitantly with its advancement.

For use in the production of fiat or slab-like packages, the apparatus also includes means for deflecting successive portions of the tube toward a flattened condition prior to the filling thereof. During this change in the tube cross section, the tube seam is oriented as to appear adjacent to an edge of the resulting package, and preferably with the edge of the outermost of the overlying folded portions of the wrapping material being located directly adjacent to or projecting beyond the edge of the finished package.

The teachings of the present invention are adapted for packaging a variety of flowable or extrudable materials, including food products, such as cheese, sandwich meats, fats, etc., and non-edible products, as for example, putty and glazing compounds.

In the drawing, FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing a fragmentary portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a portion of one member of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a folder employed and illustrated in the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 5 is an end view of the folder shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view illustrating a step of the method practiced with the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of one form of package provided by the apparatus of the present invention; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary end view of a portion of a modified package.

With reference to FIG. 1 of the drawing, a flowable product which is to be packaged, such as hot, viscous cheese, is continuously delivered from a supply hopper 10 by a pump 12 and piping 14 to one end of a hollow forming member 16. Such product flows under pressure through the forming member 16 and is extruded, as hereafter described, through a nozzle 18 which is attached to the free end of the member 16.

A web of wrapping material 20, as for example, a regenerated cellulose film having a thermoplastic coating on its side 22, is drawn, as by rollers 24, from a supply roll 26, engaged with a deflector rod or roll 27 and guide bar 28 and passed into a folder 30 where one of its longitudinal edge areas 32 is urged onto an adjacent area of the web, as hereafter described. Beyond the folder 30, the now folded web is embraced snugly about the forming member 16 by a shaping device 34.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the deflector roll or rod 27 determines the angle at which the web 20 approaches the guide bar 28 and may be mounted for limited adjustment, while the guide bar 28 is keyed or otherwise secured to a rod 36 which, in turn, is fixed to brackets 38 in a plane extending transversely across the web path. Both the rod 27 and bar 28 are of a length at least equal to the width of the web 20 and are of arcuate contour to facilitate smooth passage of the web 20 relative thereto.

A chamfered or beveled surface 40 is provided at one end of the bar 28 which encourages the longitudinal edge area 32 of the web to assume a relaxed or floppy condition as it travels relative thereto without disturbing the tension in the portion 42 of the web which is engaged with the remainder of such bar. To achieve this effect, it is essential that the web approach the bar 28 at an angle such that the web edge area 32 which is intended to be relaxed comes into direct contact with the edge 43 of the chamfered or beveled surface 40 as the web 20 engages and travels relative to the bar 28. The edge 43 of the chamfered surface 40 in effect deflects or encourages the web edge area 32 against the chamfered surface 40 and thereby provides for the desired relaxation of such web edge area.

Optimum relaxation of the web edge area 32 is achieved by having the web 20 approach the bar 28 along a path as shown in FIG. 1; that is, with the plane of the web 20 being almost perpendicular or at an angle slightly greater than 90 to a plane containing the edge 46 of the chamfered surface 40. As the angle included between these planes is increased so that less of the web edge area 32 contacts with the edge 43 of the chamfered surface 40, the web edge area 32 is relaxed to a lesser degree, with no relaxation being apparent when such planes approach a parallel relationship.

The folder is positioned in spaced relationship with the bar 28 and is fixed at 44 to a suitable support structure 47. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the folder 30 includes a channel 48 having walls 50 and 52 which are greater to such channel with a cross section which varies progressively along a portion of its length.

More specifically, from a maximum at the folder entrance, the channel walls 50 and 52 are inclined relative to each other to a gradually reduced degree progressively along the lengths thereof until they assume a substantially parallel relationship which is maintained throughout the remaining length of the folder. Thus, the channel 48 exhibits a V-shaped cross section which is gradually less pronounced progressively along its length and which blends smoothly'into a cross section which is of generally U-shape.

With a channel 48 formed of sheet metal, the above described channel configuration, can be readily achieved by simply maintaining one channel wall substantially planar, while the opposite wall is flexed along a portion of its length into a desired arcuate contour.

Withthe particular construction of the folder channel described, the relaxed or floppy longitudinal edge area 32 of the web 20 is gradually urged beneath an area of the web which is directly adjacent thereto concomitantly and progressively with the travel of such web relative to the folder. The deflection imparted to the longitudinal edge area 32 by the folder wall 52 will, of course, by reflected to a gradually reduced extent along trailing portions of such edge area. The beveled surface of the guide bar 28 and the angle of approach of the web 20 to such bar 28 together restrict the deflection of such trailing portions of the longitudinal edge area 32 and thus prevent edge fold-overs and possible web rupture.

While the guide bar 28 serves its intended function admirably, the channel 48 does not, by itself, consistently provide for uniform folding of the longitudinal edge area 32 continuously along the length of the web 20. Moreover, with the use of the channel 48 above, there is a tendency for the web longitudinal edge area 32 to crease or fold-over and/or for the web to be subjected to diagonal stresses and possibly tear. Accordingly, in the apparatus of the present invention the folder 30 is also provided with a deflecting blade 54 which cooperates with the walls of the channel 48 to minimize, if not completely eliminate, the abovementioned difficulties.

As shown in FlGS. 4 and 5, the'blade 54 projects into the open end of the channel 48, in spaced relationship with the channel walls 50 and 52, and is formed integrally with and connected to the channel wall 52 by a bight section 56. The free edge of the blade 54 is continuous and smooth, having a curved initial section 58 and a straight terminal section 60.

Upon advancement of the web 20 into and through the folder 30, the channel 48 gradually and progressively urges the relaxed longitudinal edge area 32 of the web downwardly and inwardly into a position beneath the web area 62 which is directly adjacent thereto. During this movement of the web 20, the free edge of the blade 54 causes web folding to occur consistently along a line 64 which is substantially parallel to the web longitudinal edges.

The desired folding is completed as the web 20 is advanced into and along the terminal portion of the channel 48 which is of U-shaped cross section. The terminal portion of the blade 54, having a straight edge section 60, is substantially completely confined to this terminal portion of the channel 48 and, in addition to dictating the web fold lines 64, minimizes any tendency for the web 20 to skew and be subjected to diagonal stresses.

The web 20 emerging from the folder 30, and now having a folded edge area 66 formed by the overlying web areas of portions 32 and 62, is advanced toward and into the shaping device 34, which is preferably of a construction as described in my copending application Ser. No. 293,337, filed: Sept. 29, I972. The shaping device 34 serves to deflect successive portions of the advancing web 20 about the forming member 16, with the folded longitudinal edge area 66 of the web 20 being overlapped onto the opposite longitudinal edge area 68. During passage along the forming member 16, the overlapping edge areas of the successive portions of the web 20 are bonded to each other by a sealer 70 to provide a seam 72 which has a width less than that of the outermost of the overlying folded edge portions 32 and which is preferably spaced from both the free edge 74 of the portion 32 and the fold line 64.

The continuous tube 76 which is thus formed is advanced along the remainder of the forming member 16 and over the nozzle 18, where it is urged toward a flattened condition; that is, distorted from a circular to a generally rectangular configuration. Upon leaving the nozzle 18, the now partially flattened tube 76 is filled with the material 78 which is to be packaged.

As shown in FIG. 6, in the distortion of the tube 76 during its passage along the nozzle 18, the tube seam 72 is oriented so as to be disposed adjacent to one edge of the partially flattened tube before and after the filling thereof and, if desired, with the web area 32 projecting beyond such adjacent edge of the filled tube.

An advancing mechanism, shown in part at 80, draws the tube along and away from the forming member 16 and nozzle 18. This mechanism serves also to squeeze and collapse the successive portions of the filled tube at longitudinally spaced areas 82, at which areas the tube is subsequently sealed and severed to provide individual packages, such as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The structure and operation of the advancing mechanism 80 and the procedures employed in converting the filled tube into individual packages are the same as that described in my above-noted copending application.

The finished package 84 shown in FIG. 7 includes a longitudinal seam 72 and end seals 86. Projecting from the edge of this package is a part or tab 88 of the outermost portion 32 of the overlying web portions by which the consumer may effect rupture of the seam 72 and gain access to the packaged material.

In the modified package 90 shown in FIG. 8, none of the web portion 32 extends beyond the package. This arrangement is achieved by controlling the location of the seam 72 during passage of the tube 76 over the nozzle 18 as heretofore described. Rupture of the package seam 72 can be effected simply by movement of the thickened folded edge section 92 relative to the remainder of the package.

In the production of either form of package 84 and 90, the location of the seam 72 may be varied from that which is illustrated. For example, in the package 84 the seam 72 may be formed closer to the fold line 64, while in the package 90 the seam 72 may be spaced further from such fold line. In both of such instances the larger areas of the package wrapping material are made available for gripping during package rupture.

It is to be understood that changes and variations may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for encasing a flowable product with a wrapping material including a forming member, a guide bar having a chamfered surface at one end thereof, means for delivering a continuous web of wrapping material to said guide bar at an angle such that an edge area of the web engages with the leading edge of said chamfered surface and assumes a relaxed condition as the web travels relative to said guide bar and toward said forming member, means between said forming member and bar for folding the relaxed longitudinal edge area of the web onto an area of the web which is directly adjacent thereto, means for deflecting the longitudinal edge areas of the successive portions of the advancing web about the forming member and to overlap the folded longitudinal edge area thereof onto the opposite longitudinal edge area of the web with the overlying portions of the folded edge area being exposed, means cooperating with the forming member for sealing the overlapping longitudinal edge areas through and only above a narrow width of the outermost of the overlying folded portions to provide a continuous tube having a frangible longitudinal seam, means for continuously advancing the successive portions of the tube relative to the forming member, and means for delivering a flowable material which is to be packaged through the forming member and into the successive portions of the tube concomitantly with the advancement thereof.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said sealing means seams the overlapping longitudinal edge areas of the web along a location spaced from the longitudinal edge of the outermost of the overlapping edge areas.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 further including means for deflecting successive portions of the tube toward a flattened condition prior to the filling thereof with the outermost edge of the overlying folded portions of the wrapping material being disposed at least adjacent to an edge of such flattened tube.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 further including means for deflecting successive portions of the tube toward a flattened condition prior to the filling thereof with the outermost edge of the overlying folded portion of the wrapping material projecting beyond the adjacent edge of such flattened tube.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said folding means includes a channel having walls between which the relaxed longitudinal edge area of the web may be advanced, said walls providing the channel with a configuration which varies progressively along a portion of its length from a generally V-shape at its entrance to a generally U-shape at a location starting intermediate its ends and continuing along the remainder thereof, and a blade extending into the open side of said channel in spaced relationship with the channel walls, said blade having a free edge of arcuate contour located within said channel for engaging and causing the web to progressively fold along a line substantially parallel to its longitudinal edges.

lINITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OFCORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,844,090 Dated October 29, 1974 Inventor(s) Carl R. Pepmeier It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below: Col. 3, line 25, "pacakges" should read --packages-. Col. 5 line 25, after "are" insert --arranged to provide-,-; line 26, omit "greater to"; line 51, "by" should read '-be Signed and sealed this 11th day of February L975.

' 'Attest:

C. WxRSHALL DANN RUTH C. l-IASON Commissioner of Patents attesting, Officer and Trademarks FORM PC4050 (10-69) u5o c 503764259 fir u.s. aovrmmzm PRINTING OFFICE is" o-sn-n4.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2362460 *Feb 7, 1942Nov 14, 1944Millie Patent Holding Co IncInfusion package and the manufacture thereof
US3532516 *Nov 14, 1968Oct 6, 1970Borden CoApparatus for forming a continuous ribbon of wrapped comestible
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4050361 *Jan 17, 1977Sep 27, 1977Moore Business Forms, Inc.Plow folding and heat sealer apparatus for continuous business forms
US4721502 *Sep 8, 1986Jan 26, 1988Mobil Oil CorporationApparatus for sealing a hem in a moving web of film
US5826401 *Feb 27, 1997Oct 27, 1998Flexico-FranceMachine and a method for automatically forming, filling, and closing bags
US6059458 *Feb 5, 1999May 9, 2000Tenneco Packaging, Inc.Elastic top drawtape bag and method of manufacturing the same
US6402377May 22, 2000Jun 11, 2002Pactiv CorporationNon-blocking elastomeric articles
US8499535 *May 6, 2009Aug 6, 2013Pmb-Uva International B.V.Device for packaging products in a foil package
US20110061346 *May 6, 2009Mar 17, 2011Marius Petrus Josef Johannes Robertus PontenDevice for packaging products in a foil package
DE3031399A1 *Aug 20, 1980Mar 19, 1981Hayssen Mfg CoVerfahren und vorrichtung zum formen, fuellen und verschliessen von packungen
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/551, 493/197
International ClassificationB65B9/20, B65B51/26
Cooperative ClassificationB65B41/16, B65B9/2056, B65B9/12, B65B9/207, B65B9/2035, B65B51/26, B65B9/2028
European ClassificationB65B9/207, B65B9/20N, B65B9/20M4, B65B41/16, B65B51/26, B65B9/12