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1. WO1980001899 - APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING A CONTAINER FOR FOODS AND THE LIKE

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[ EN ]

Description
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING A CONTAINER FOR FOODS AND THE LIKE

Technical Field
With reference to the classification of art as
established by and in the United States Patent and
Trademark Office, this invention is believed to be in the general Class entitled, "Package Making" (Class
53) and in the Subclass entitled, "Receptacle Formed and Subsequently Filled" (Subclass 29) and/or' the
Subclass entitled, "Forming or Partially Forming
Receptacles and Subsequent Filling" (Subclass 183).
Background Art
Packages for food products are well-known. In
particular, packages of processed and/or mixed
products ready for opening, serving and/or immediately using are very widely used. Foods served on airliners, such as jellies and the like, are such packaged
products. Fast food outlets provide individual
servings of condiments such as ketchup, mustard,
salad dressing mixtures and the like. In such
packaged products it is customary to employ a heat
forming of the pocket or recess in the bottom or
component-receiving strip of the package. After
forming and filling the pocket in this strip with
the product, a cover member is usually sealed in
place around the flat planar surface to retain the
product in place. This cover usually has the same

"BUR£-4£- OMPΓ or equal barrier properties as the carrier strip.
After forming, filling and sealing by affixing a
cover, the completed package is usually cut apart
into separate packages.
Patent disclosures directed to the above package making or to the making or filling of bags are shown in part by U.S. Patent 2,749,817 to Piazze et al.,
as issued on June 12, 1956;' No. 3,667,354 to Steinmetz as issued on June 6, 1972; No. 3,762,617 to Matthis as issued on October 2, 1973; No. 3, 813,998 to
Lotto as issued on June 4, 1974; No. 3,884,129 to
Monahan as issued on May 20, 1975 and my Patent
No. 4,048,782 as issued on September 20, 1977.
Foreign patents are represented by British Patent
No. 1,075,540 as filed on November 9, 1964.
In these and other known art, the pocket is
usually formed in at least the bottom carrier strip by heat or the carrier strip is otherwise stretched.
Other box-forming means include blanks cut, creased and then folded to provide a receptacle. Cover
means is then applied to retain the product.
Disclosure of Invention
In the present invention, it is anticipated
that a lower strip is advanced to a transverse
cutting means whereat the strip is cut midway to
leave edge carrier portions on both sides of the
strip. This advancement of the strip may be
continuous or intermittent. This strip, usually a
bottom strip, may be a foil, paper, a laminate or
any strip material providing a satisfactory wrapper for the particular material to be packaged. After a transverse cut in at least the bottom strip has been made, the strip is troughed by appropriately shaped dies, rollers or fingers as and with the side portions

OJVSPI moved toward each other. The central portion of this strip is bent transversely to form a stop or end. This formed pocket is filled with the product to be packaged, and then a cover is sealed in place. The resulting packaged product is then preferably cut into separate units. The cover member is also troughed in certain instances before applying to the bottom member.
This invention may be summarized, at least in part, by reference to its objects.
It is an object of this invention to provide, and it does provide, packaging apparatus wherein at least the carrier strip is formed into a pocket or pouch without stretching or heat shaping. The ends of the formed pocket or pouch are adjacent to transverse cuts made in the carrier web or strip." These end portions are bent transversely of the strip to provide a dam or stop for the product to be packaged. The cover is sealed in place to the side and the end planar portions of the lower carrier to provide a sealed package which may provide a hermetic seal of the product to be packaged. After forming and
sealing the package, the carrier strip is further severed to provide individual packages of the product. It is a further object of this invention to provide, and it does provide, a pocket or pouch formed in a travelling strip which may be of foil, paper, a laminate or the like. This pocket or pouch is formed by a shaping mandrel without the benefit of heat forming. This pouch or pocket is formed in foil, paper, laminated strip or film which is shaped by manipulative means rather than stretching or heat forming of the pocket. A transverse cut is formed in the travelling strip with the sides as carrier edges left intact so that the strip is not completely severed. Near these transverse cuts the strip is formed into end stops. These stops, by folding,
shaping or by known displacing means provide a
pocket or pouch in this strip. After forming, the product is placed into these receiving pockets or pouches. A cover is brought to this carrier strip and is sealed to this carrier strip to enclose and encapsulate the product. After this step is completed, the carrier strip is preferably further severed at the transverse cuts to provide individual packages.
In the embodiments to be more completely described, there are depicted pouches or pockets as formed in the lower carrier strip. In one embodiment, the
lower carrier strip has a transverse cut made in the form of a "I". This lower carrier strip is formed into a trough which may include parallel side edges.
End stops are then formed and brought in place and a fold is made at the four corners. The end folds
provide outstanding ribs which normally extend in the same plane as the retaining sides of the pocket.
After filling of the pocket with a product, a cover is sealed in place. The filled and sealed pocket may be further severed from the strip and as in-dividual packages accumulated by methods not shown.
In another embodiment, the lower carrier strip is formed into a trough while or after transverse cuts have been made. Adjacent to each of the
transverse cuts, forward and rear end stops are
provided and formed in this bottom strip. The
product to be packaged is then placed in this trough and between the end stops. A cover member, which may be like formed or may be a film member, is then secured to the sides and ends of the carrier strip to retain the product. The longitudinal sealing may be by heat sealing means or other sealing means. The transverse seal next to the cut may be made in a serpentine manner so that* the length of the end seal is the same length as the width of the carrier strip at the cut in the carrier strip before forming into a trough. This serpentine sealing means is usually necessary so that the excess of strip material is sealed without folds or puckers in the carrier strip.
In. yet another embodiment, the lower carrier strip is formed into a trough with end pprtions by die meanδ which shapes the lower film while and when the transverse cuts are formed. In the lower strip the desired shape is formed by coope*έating die forms. The bottom strip is not stretched since the transverse slits enable the end portions of the container to be moved into a plane that is the same as the side members. The cover may be partly shaped or formed and then sealed to the lower film by upper and lower heated die means. With this alternate embodiment, the serpentine seal is not used or required.
The package material may be a foil, paper, a laminate having an interior plastic coating or any other material that is compatible with the product to be packaged. The cover member may be a film and attached to the carrier member as by heat sealing or may be a film or paper member attached as by an adhesive which is preliminarily applied or may be applied just prior to sealing. In each embodiment, to be hereinafter more fully described, it is to be noted that the lower and upper packaging materials, although shaped by dies, fingers and the like, have a transverse slit formed in at least one of the
members. The formed slit not only prevents but
provides that the packaging materials are not stretched or weakened. Heat and other stretching means commonly used weakens the package, particularly at the corners.
In addition to the above summary, the following disclosure is detailed to insure adequacy and aid in understanding of the invention. This disclosure, however, is not intended to cover each new inventive concept no matter how it may later be disguised by variations in form or additions of further improvements. For this reason, there has been chosen embodiments of a formed pocket of and in a lower carrier strip as adopted for use in packaging foods and the like and showing a preferred means for cutting, forming, filling and sealing the product. These specific
embodiments and the apparatus for producing therein have been chosen for the purposes of illustration and description as shown in the accompanying drawings wherein:
Brief Description of the Drawings
FIG. 1 represents an isometric, partly diagrammatic view showing the apparatus for forming of the package in which the bottom strip member is formed into a trough with the ends formed into stop members adjacent a transverse cut in the carrier strip;
FIG. 2 represents an isometric view in an
enlarged scale and an individual packaged product as produced by the operation and apparatus of Fig. 1;
FIG. 3 represents a sectional view of the
package of Fig. 2, this sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows ;

FIG. 4 represents a plan view partly fragmentary and showing the transverse cut as and after the
adjacent end portions have been formed in the carrier strip;
FIG. 5 represents a partly diagrammatic, isometric view of the package forming apparatus in which the carrier strip is partly severed with an "I"-type cut and in which a pocket is formed in the bottom strip with end and side panels and a folding operation is provided at the four corners of the pocket;
FIG. 6 represents the bottom view in an enlarged scale of the packaged product as produced in the sequence of operation in Fig. 5;
FIG. 7 represents a sectional view of the
package of Fig. 6, this view taken on the line 7-7 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 8 represents a fragmentary plan view of the carrier strip of Fig. 5 and showing in particular the "I" shaped transverse cuts in this travelling strip;
FIG. 9 represents the fragmentary plan view of the travelling strip of Fig. 8 now folded to provide the side walls of the pocket;
FIG. 10 represents the plan view of this 1strip of Fig. 9 with the ends of the pocket now forming end walls and with the folded tabs now placed for sealing;
FIG. 11 shows a fragmentary plan view of the corner construction in enlarged scale and providing therewith the folds and the pocket having no stretching or breaks in the formed film;
FIG.12 represents a fragmentary plan view
showing the bottom strip cut for plural pockets;

FIG. 13 represents an isometric, partly
diagrammatic view, of an apparatus similar to Fig. 1 and showing an alternate forming of a package in
which the bottom member is formed by die means into a trough and with ends in a planar arrangement and with the transverse cut simultaneously made in the carrier strip;
FIG. 14 represents a side, sectional view in a partially enlarged scale, this view taken along the line 14-14 of Fig. 13 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 15 represents a sectional view of the die and lower film of Fig. 14,. this view taken along the line 15-15 of Fig. 13 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 16 represents a sectional view of a heat sealing die means for sealing the package as produced by the apparatus of Fig. 13, this view taken on the line 16-16 and looking in the direction of the
arrows , and
FIG. 17 represents an isometric view of a
completed package as produced by the apparatus of
Fig. 13.
In the following description and in the claims various details are identified by specific names for convenience. These names are intended to be generic in their application. Corresponding reference
characters refer to like members throughout the
several figures of the drawings.
The drawings accompanying and forming part of this specification disclose details of construction for the purpose of explanation, but structural
details may be modified without departure from the concept and principles of the invention, and the

OΛ^ invention may be incorporated in other structural forms than shown.
Best Mode for Carrying Out The Invention
Referring now to the package as provided by th apparatus as suggested in Figs. 1 through 4, it is to be noted that the apparatus above has a carrier strip 20 cut at predetermined intervals to form
transverse cuts 22. These cuts do not extend
completely across this strip but stop an appreciable and determined distance from the edges 23. This
travelling strip is delivered from a roll stand, not shown, and as it is advanced is moved between upper and lower rollers, not shown, to form a trough in this strip. This trough may also be formed with
shoes or fingers over and under which the strip may be moved. Both means are well-known in the industry and hence are not illustrated. Forming a trough
results in the edges moving inwardly toward one
another. After forming the trough, end portions or stops 24 are formed by die means, not shown. Forming dies or shoes, also well-known and illustrated in the prior art, can be by protrusions and recesses in mating rollers. Forming may also be by reciprocating dies either mechanically or hydraulically moved in timed relationships with the movement of the film.
When these end portions are formed, the cut 22 is as seen in Fig. 4. As and when the plane or surface 24 extends upwardly from the trough portion, it causes the cut to spread at its center to a shape corresponding to interconnected arcs 25. The end portions 24 are formed to provide short planar areas next to each cut. These are short or small areas between the cut and the end portions which are identified as 26.
The product 27 is now placed in the trough area and between the formed ends 24. A top cover 28 is now brought to and toward the formed lower troughed strip. This cover may be curved to provide a pouch or pocket, as seen in Fig. 3
This cover 28 is sealed to the lower member 20 at its edges. A transverse cut 30 may also be formed in the cover and spaced and positioned so as to mate with the lower cut 22 as and when the upper cover 28 is brought into position and affixed to and on the lower carried 20. A longitudinal seal 31 along each edge is now made. Transverse seals 32 and 34 are now made and are adjacent to each cut. Each transverse seal is serpentine in configuration and accommodates in length the width of the strip at the cut 22 before the carrier strip has been formed into a trough. This serpentine and elongated sealing member is provided so that no folds or puckers occur at the seal of the pocket. It is to be noted that after troughing, the lower carrier 20 may be retained in its formed position by means of a vacuum-type belt. Vacuum belts are well-known in the art and field and will be used when and where required. The top cover 28 may be a film formed in place and retained by a vacuum belt similar to that provided for the bottom member 20. The product 27 to be packaged may be a liquid, solid, semisolid, granular, or any combination of these, and this product is retained in any by the trough area, the end members 24 and the sealed cover 28. It is to be noted that the package shown in a depicted "in-line" sequence is "one up", but multiple packages can be formed in the lower member and cover. Troughing for receiving and retaining the product is also provided. In no case is a deformation or a stretching of material to be contemplated.
An upper contoured roller 36 is depicted as shaping the cover member 28. A lower like contoured roller 38 is adapted to mate with roller 36 and at their outer enlarged diameter portions to press the package edges 31 together. If heat sealing is to be achieved on this package, these rollers 36 and 38 may have locally heated portions to provide the desired sealing results. The sealing of the ends 32 and 34 are by sealing means, not shown. Usually a serpentine form is provided on one side of the
package (top or bottom), and a supporting means is provided at the opposite side. If a heat seal is to be made, the heated dies may be carried by member 40 for programmed advancement to the package. It is to be noted that the transverse seal is made in that more-or-less planar area 26 between the upturned end stop portions 24 and the cut 22 which results in area 25. Where and -when the upper cover 28 is also to be carried, the end stop portions 24 are displaced from the trough so as to extend in a small and
shallow arch above the plane of the side portions 31. The extent of this upward arch is merely a matter of selection determined by the package to be made and furnished. The serpentine seal provides the needed length to form a seal without wrinkles.
Referring next to the drawings and in particular to Figs. 5 through 11, it is to be noted that a lower carrier strip 50 is partially severed by a transverse cut 52 which does not extend to the side edges of the strip. Each transverse cut is terminated with short cuts 53 and 54 at the ends thereof and substantially parallel to the edges 55 of the strip 50. Cuts 53 and 54 are formed a short distance in from the edges 55 and those portions of 56 exterior of these cuts provide the carrying means for said
lower strip. Forming shoes, plows, fingers or
rollers well-known in the art and shown in many
prior art patents form carrier strip 50 into a
trough in which longitudinal sides 57 may be normal to the top carrying strip portions or may be slightly sloped, if desired. Folding and forming of this
lower carrier strip may be accomplished in many
conventional ways known to those skilled in the art and in issued patents.
At a later station end forming fingers 58 and
59 move upwardly and cooperate with upper folding
members to cause substantially vertical end member's
60 and 62 to be formed. These upper forming members or fingers conventionally used and known to those
skilled in the art are moved into the trough to
assist in the upward and end folding of portions 60 and 62. After the ends have been formed and moved upwardly from the trough, horizontal end shelf
members 64 and 66 are formed by folding toward each other and in the plane of portions 56. After displacing from the trough, the outer ends of the shelf members 64 and 66 are folded to provide overlaying portions 67 and 68, as seen in Figs. 10 and 11. A space or gap 70 is thus provided in the carrier 50 after a pocket has been formed in the strip 50.
This space or gap 70 is substantially equal to the length of ends 60 plus 62. The shelf members have a developed width substantially equal to the lengths
53 or 54 made with the "I" cut. When the shelf
members 62 and 64 are folded into the plane of the side members 56, they form triangular portions 67

O and 68 which may either be next to or above side carrier portions 56. The folding placement of the corner is merely a matter of preference.
Referring now to the underside of the product pocket and the view of Fig. 6 showing the underside of the package tray, it is to be noted that with the forming of the ends 60 and 62 and shelf portions 64. and 66 with tapered portions 67 and 68, bottom ribs are formed. These portions are depicted as being in alignment with the sides 57 and are designated 71,

71A, 72 and 72A. A different folding pattern may be provided other than that shown, in which case the folded ends 71, 71A, 72 and 72A will be at a different angle rather than in alignment with the side portions 57.
Referring once again to Figs. 5, 10 and 11, it is to be noted that after the bottom tray has been formed it may be filled by means, not shown, with a product which may be granular, solid, semisolid, semiliquid or liquid after which a cover 73 is
brought into place. Cover 73 is guided and urged by rollers 74 and 76 to bring this cover to the carrier tray where this cover is affixed in place either by heat sealing or by a localized glue application.
After the sealed package is formed, cutting means conventionally known and shown in prior art is
provided to separate the packages into separate components .
Both of the above package concepts anticipate a utilization of a standard flat package material which is manipulated in an intermittent or continuous manner so as to provide for more volume in a formed pouch. Normally the material used is impervious to water and air so that a seal provides a hermetic protection to the contents. The interior of this
package is normally provided with a sealing surface such as film and preferably sealing bars operate on the flat web line to provide the desired package.
As depicted in Fig. 12, the several concepts
also contemplate that a multiple formation of packages may be made in the strip and more than a "one-up"
arrangement may be provided. The carrier strip and the corresponding upper web which is brought into
place to provide the cover of the product provides a sealed product and package in multiple widths. The resulting strip of packages is severed and trimmed so that the packages are provided in the manner
desired. Whether a single dimensional or linear
slit, an "I"-shaped slit or multiples thereof are
utilized, the package material forming the pouch is not stretched or heated. A vacuum table may be
provided if necessary to hold the trough material in the desired shape while filling. A covering may now be provided. The pocket has its width and depth
dimensions formed to accommodate the product to be positioned or placed in this pouch whether a liquid, solid, semisolid or granular. Normally a hot seal bar with a resilient backup is used to bring the
package to a sealed condition. An adhesive may be used to hold the cover to the pocket whereat a hot seal bar is not required. Severing of the strip is at the convenience of the package machine operator.
Referring next and finally to Figs. 13 through
17, there is shown an alternate arrangement to the package as produced by the apparatus of Figs. 1
through 4. In this alternate embodiment of Figs. 13 through 17, the lower film is shaped by die means, to be hereinafter more fully described. The cover

_0 can also be shaped by similar means with sealing preferably by heated dies.
As shown, a lower carrier strip 120 is cut at predetermined intervals to form transversing cuts or slits 122. These cuts, like the cuts above described, do not extend completely across the carrier strip but stop an appreciable and determined distance from the edges 123. This travelling strip is delivered from a roll supply, not shown. In its advance the lower carrier strip 120 is brought to and between upper and lower die forms 80 and 82. As depicted in Fig. 14, the upper die form is of male configuration and has a protruding central portion which forms the pouch or cavity in this lower carrier. A like and mating configuration is formed in the lower die 82 allowing, of course, for the thickness of the carrier strip. As indicated by the arrows, the upper and lower die forms 80 and 82 are reciprocated toward and away from each other by means such as hydraulic, not shown.
As shown, the transverse cut or slit 122 is made by knife means 84 which is carried by and is moved with the upper die 80. These knives 84 enter cutouts 86 formed in or provided in the lower die form 82. As shown in Fig. 13, the lower die form supports a plurality of cavities for the formation of the pouch or pocket, but the lower die form is cycled up and down during the advance of the lower carrier strip. The mating die forms cause end stops 124 to be formed at both ends of the pocket. These end stops are in the same or substantially the same plane as the side portions 123. The forming of the carrier into a pouch or pocket causes the strip at the cut to gap or pull slightly apart at 126. The end portions 124, next to the cuts 122, are in the same plane as the side connected portions 123. A
top cover 128 is now brought to and toward the lower shaped carrier strip 120. This cover may be curved to provide a pocket or pouch as seen in Figs. 16 and 17.
The cover 128 is brought to the formed lower
pocket after filling with a product 127 as delivered by and through a spout or funnel member 88. As
depicted, side sealing 131 of the cover to the lower carrier is initially provided by upper and lower
rollers 136 and 138. After an initial side seal is provided, transverse seals 132 and 134 may be made by mating heated dies 90 and 92 which are cycled
toward and to each other by hydraulic or similar
means not shown. The transverse seals 132 and 134 are shown in Fig. 16, and the arrows suggest the
cycled motion used to move the dies 90 and 92 to and from a sealing position and pressure. A completed package is shown in Fig. 17, and the cutting into
separate packages is suggested by a knife 140 shown in Fig. 13. If heat sealing is to be utilized, the rollers 136 and 138 and the dies 90 and 92 are also to be heated. This is not to preclude the use of
foil and an adhesive or other known sealing means.
In the above examples of forming a trough or
pouch in the lower web, it is noted that this
troughing or forming does not stretch or weaken the carrier. The troughing and/or forming causes a
diminishing of the width of the package. The edges and those transverse portions next to the cut are
maintained substantially so that a seal can be
easily and readily made by heat and/or pressure so

OΛ.PI that the filled packages may be carried through the apparatus by standard drive or advancing mechanism.
In the pouch formed by the apparatus of Fig. 1, it is to be noted that the lower cuts 22 and the upper cuts 30 (when provided) are usually made by reciprocating knives, but this does not preclude other means such as knives carried in and by roller means. The end stops 24 are conventionally formed by mating reciprocating dies but also may be formed by rotary shaping means such as fingers. In Fig. 5 the "I"-cut 52 is usually formed by reciprocating dies, but rotary dies as seen in Fig. 1 may be used. The forming of shelves 64 and 66 are usually by finger means and the direction of the folds and the shape and position of the members 71, 71A, 72 and 72A establishes the action and formation of the finger apparatus and the actuation thereof.
It is realized that structure in Figs. 1 and 5 has not been shown for the transverse slitting and the troughing. The transverse sealing also has not been shown. This apparatus is conventional and may be made in many ways. The structure shown in Fig. 13 is merely representative of means for achieving this slitting, shaping, folding and sealing of a particular product. The package and the material to be used are considerations to be evaluated by the designer of the apparatus.
As a method, the above apparatus provides the steps of: providing and advancing a lower member of determined width and of a long length sheet material adapted to form a series of receiving pockets;
forming a series of substantially identical transverse cuts in said lower member and at substantially equal and regular intervals, these cuts less than the width of the lower member therewith and thereby leaving side carrier portions in the lower member; troughing said lower member, said trough extending substantially the same width in the lower member as the transverse cut; forming an end stop on each side of each transverse cut and with these stops and the trough providing a product receiving pocket, said end stops being formed in the lower member absent heat and stretching of said member so that the integrity of all wall portions of the pocket remain substantially unchanged in their travel through the forming steps, delivering a desired quantity of product to and into the formed pocket of the lower carrier; attaching a cover to the rim portions around the pocket to retain the product in said pocket; and subsequently severing the sealed pockets into separate packages. The above method also provides additional steps as in the claims.
Terms such as "left", "right", "up", "down", "bottom", "top", "front", "back", "in", "out" and the like are applicable to the embodiments shown and described in conjunction with the drawings. These terms are merely for the purposes of description and do not necessarily apply to the position in which the pouch or pocket1 in the carrier web may be constructed or used.
While particular embodiments of the package formed in the carrier strip have been shown and described, it is to be understood that the carrier strip members may be disposed at any angle from horizontal to vertical, and the invention is not limited by this disclosure since modifications may be made within the scope of the accompanying claims and protection is sought to the broadest extent the prior art allows.