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(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,641,306 Bi
Knoerzer et al. (45) Date of Patent: Nov. 4,2003
U.S. Patent Nov. 4,2003 Sheet 1 of 2 US 6,641,306 Bl
(54) PACKAGE WITH PROTRUSION POUCH AND METHOD FOR MAKING THE SAME
(75) Inventors: Anthony Robert Knoerzer, Piano, TX (US); Garrett William Kohl, Allen, TX (US); Steven Kenneth Tucker, Hurst, TX (US)
(73) Assignee: Recot, Inc., Pleasanton, CA (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 10/156,421
(22) Filed: May 28, 2002
(51) Int. CI.7 B65B 61/20; B65D 30/22
(52) U.S. CI 383/38; 53/415; 53/451;
(58) Field of Search 53/415, 451, 474,
53/202, 238; 206/459.5, 831; 383/38
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,153,846 A 4/1939 Russell et al.
2,260,064 A * 10/1941 Stokes 53/415
2,771,724 A * 11/1956 Hosier 53/474
2,815,620 A * 12/1957 Prodigo 53/415
3,469,768 A * 9/1969 Repko 383/38
3,581,457 A * 6/1971 Gerlach et al 53/202
3,795,081 A * 3/1974 Brown et al 53/451
3,861,522 A * 1/1975 Llewellyn et al 53/451
3,992,854 A * 11/1976 Howell et al 53/474
3,998,135 A * 12/1976 Sargent 53/415
4,274,244 A * 6/1981 Gilbert 53/451
4,526,566 A 7/1985 Briand
4,563,231 A 1/1986 Porrmann et al.
4,925,438 A 5/1990 Wagner
5,030,190 A 7/1991 Woods et al.
5,540,333 A * 7/1996 Gonzalez et al 383/38
5,590,783 A 1/1997 Capy et al.
5,971,200 A * 10/1999 Reynolds 383/38
6,237,533 Bl * 5/2001 Rodriguez 383/38
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
WO PCT/FR93/00303 10/1993
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—-John Sipos
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Colin P. Cahoon; Carstens, Yee & Cahoon, L.L.P.
A flexible package and method for making the same provides for a package that has a pouch formed adjacent to a portion of a package. Thereby, the package, such as a snack food package, can be filled with one product in the main compartment of the package and can be filled with a separate product in the pouch. To realize this, the package is formed with an extra length of film extended adjacent to the main portion of the tube of the package. First and second longitudinal seals are provided to form the pouch over a portion of the tube of the package. The package can then be filled with a first product in the main portion of the package and a second product in the separate and distinct pouch. As the pouch is filled, the material of the pouch protrudes away from the surface of the main portion of the package.
16 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
PACKAGE WITH PROTRUSION POUCH
AND METHOD FOR MAKING THE SAME
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 5
1. Technical Field
The present invention relates to flexible packages, and the method for making same. More particularly, the present invention relates to flexible packages, and the method for 10 making the same that contain a separate pouch. The invention allows for use of flexible packages with a pouch that can be filled with materials that will be kept separate from a main portion of the package.
2. Description of Related Art 15 Vertical form, fill, and seal packaging machines are commonly used in the snack food industry for forming, filling, and sealing bags of chips and other like products. Such packaging machines take a packaging film from a sheet roll and forms the film into a vertical tube around a product 20 delivery cylinder. The vertical tube is vertically sealed along its length to form a back seal. The machine applies a pair of heat-sealing jaws or facings against the tube to form a transverse seal. This transverse seal acts as the top seal on the bag below and the bottom seal on the package being 25 filled and formed above. The product to be packaged, such
as potato chips, is dropped through the product delivery cylinder and formed tube and is held within the tube above the bottom transverse seal. After the package has been filled, the film tube is pushed downward to draw out another 30 package length. A transverse seal is formed above the product, thus sealing it within the film tube and forming a package of product. The package below said transverse seal is separated from the rest of the film tube by cutting across the sealed area. 35
The packaging film used in such process is typically a composite polymer material produced by a film converter. For example, one prior art composite film used for packaging potato chips and like products is illustrated in FIG. la, which is a schematic of a cross-section of the film illustrat- 40 ing each individual substantive layer. FIG. la shows an inside, or product side, layer 16 which typically comprises metalized oriented polypropylene ("OPP") or metalized polyethylene terephtalate ("PET"). This is followed by a laminate layer 14, typically a polyethylene extrusion, and an 45 ink or graphics layer 12. The ink layer 12 is typically used for the presentation of graphics that can be viewed through a transparent outside layer 10, which layer 10 is typically OPP or PET.
The prior art film composition shown in FIG. la is ideally suited for use on vertical form and fill machines for the packaging of food products. The metalized inside layer 16, which is usually metalized with a thin layer of aluminum, provides excellent barrier properties. The use of OPP or PET 5J for the outside layer 10 and the inside layer 16 further makes it possible to heat seal any surface of the film to any other surface in forming either the transverse seals or back seal of a package.
Typical back seals formed using the film composition 60 shown in FIG. la are illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. FIG. 2 is a schematic of a "lap seal" embodiment of a back seal being formed on a tube of film. FIG. 3 illustrates a "fin seal" embodiment of a back seal being formed on a tube of film.
With reference to FIG. 2, a portion of the inside metalized 65 layer 26 is mated with a portion of the outside layer 20 in the area indicated by the arrows to form a lap seal. The seal in
this area is accomplished by applying heat and pressure to the film in such area. The lap seal design shown in FIG. 2 insures that the product to be placed inside the formed package will be protected from the ink layer by the metalized inside layer 26.
The fin seal variation shown in FIG. 3 also provides that the product to be placed in the formed package will be protected from the ink layer by the metalized inside layer 36. Again, the outside layer 30 does not contact any product. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, however, the inside layer 36 is folded over and then sealed on itself in the area indicated by the arrows. Again, this seal is accomplished by the application of heat and pressure to the film in the area illustrated.
As noted, a benefit of both the prior art fin seal and lap seal design is the containment of the product in the package by a barrier layer (the metalized inside layer) that keeps ink and solvent levels in the package to a minimum. Ink and solvent levels in fatty food packages are frequently regulated to insure product safety. It may be desirable, however, to provide a graphics capability inside a package. This would allow for promotional information or coupons to be maintained inside the package and only accessible after the consumer has opened the package. For example, a promotional prize campaign could be offered with the prize announcements being maintained inside the package. Likewise, coupons offering product rebate rewards, promotional prize points, or discounts on products could be maintained within the sealed package.
One prior art method used to provide a graphics capability inside the package involves the use of a paper insert dropped with the product into the package during filling. When the consumer opens the package, the paper insert can be removed for viewing and use. This method has several drawbacks, however. The reliability of placing a single paper insert in each bag (by dropping the paper with a weighed amount of product) is a major consideration, particularly in small packages. A capacity issue is raised by the need to rent inserters to be used during the filling process. Foreign matter detectors are also frequently set off by the detection of the paper insert within the bag. The insertion of a piece of paper can raise the solvent level in the package beyond acceptable levels. All of the above greatly adds to the expense of each single package.
Another approach to providing graphics within the bag would involve the application of the graphics directly to the inside metalized layer 16 shown in FIG. la. The application of such graphics can be accomplished using an inkjet printer. However, this method likewise raises a capacity issue, since present technology converters produce packaging film at a speed of 1500 to 2000 feet per minute, while the capacity of present inkjet printer heads is approximately 300 feet per minute. Additional modification to converters must be made in order to keep the inkjet printing in register with the graphics formed by the ink layer 12. All of the above considerations again add to the cost of the package. In addition, the United States Food & Drug Administration does not presently allow for the use of an ink-carrying layer that comes into contact with a fatty food.
Another prior art approach to this issue is illustrated in FIG. lb, which is again a schematic cross-section of a packaging film. As with the embodiment shown in FIG. la, the embodiment shown in FIG. lb comprises an outside OPP layer 10 followed by an ink layer 12, a laminate layer 14, and a metalized OPP or PET layer 16. However, an additional laminate layer 14' is applied to the metalized layer 16 so that