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1. (WO2019009724) DEVICE AND METHOD FOR FOLDING AN INSTRUMENT SET IN A PACKAGE
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Claims

1 . Device for folding an instrument tray into a packaging material, comprising:

- a supporting surface for supporting the instrument tray during folding of the instrument tray into the packaging material;

- a first folding plate which is movable between

o a second position in which the first folding plate extends substantially perpendicularly to the supporting surface and thus has a first intersection line with the supporting surface for forming a limit stop against the movement of the instrument tray; and

o a first position in which the supporting surface is free and flat at the level of the first intersection line,

- a second folding plate which is movable between

o a second position in which the second folding plate extends substantially perpendicularly to the supporting surface and thus has a second intersection line with the supporting surface for forming a limit stop against the movement of the instrument tray; and o a first position in which the supporting surface is free and flat at the level of the second intersection line,

- wherein the first intersection line and the second intersection line are

substantially parallel to each other;

- a movable folding aid for fixing the packaging material over a predefined line portion before and/or during the making of a fold;

- at least one movable clamp for gripping and moving the packaging material; a control unit for controlling the movement of the first folding plate between its respective first and second positions, the movement of the second folding plate between its respective first and second positions, the movement of the folding aid, and the movement and clamping and release of the at least one clamp.

2. Device according to claim 1 , wherein the first folding plate in the first position is substantially in line with the supporting surface or is positioned below the supporting surface, and wherein the second folding plate in the first position is substantially in line with the supporting surface or positioned below the supporting surface.

3. Device according to claim 1 , wherein the first and/or second folding plate are arranged so as to be translatable relative to the supporting surface.

4. Device according to claim 2, wherein the first folding plate and/or the second folding plate is rotatably connected to the supporting surface.

5. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least the first or the second folding plate is provided with at least one folding part connected to the first or second folding plate about a pivot axis which runs vertically at least in the second position of the first or second folding plate.

6. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the device comprises at least one movable magnet provided below the supporting surface for moving the first folding plate and/or the second folding plate between the first position and the second position.

7. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a pusher element is provided close to at least one end of a folding plate for pushing a part of the packaging material extending outside an area limited by the folding plates towards an area located between the intersection lines.

8. Device according to claims 6 and 7, wherein the pusher element is formed by a protrusion on the folding part.

9. Device according to claim 8, wherein the protrusion is situated at a distance from the supporting surface.

10. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first and the second intersection lines are positioned at a mutual distance which substantially corresponds to a length or width of an instrument tray to be packed, and in particular is between 10 and 80 cm.

1 1 . Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the distance between the first intersection line and the second intersection line is adjustable.

12. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the folding aid has an at least partially flat shape.

13. Device according to any of the preceding claims, comprising:

- a supply means for supplying packaging material;

- a supply means for supplying an instrument tray.

14. Device according to claim 13, wherein the supply means for supplying the instrument tray is formed by the at least one clamp.

15. Device according to claim 13, wherein the supply means for supplying packaging material is formed by the at least one clamp.

16. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the device comprises means for establishing a fixing of the packaging material in a predefined position.

17. Method for folding an instrument tray into a packaging material comprising the following steps:

a) positioning a packaging material on a supporting surface, wherein the

packaging material is substantially rectangular and has a respective first, second, third and fourth primary side, wherein the first primary side is located opposite the second primary side and wherein the third primary side is located opposite the fourth primary side;

b) positioning an instrument tray on the packaging material;

c) gripping and folding the first primary side of the packaging material over the instrument tray to a predefined distance from the second primary side, thus forming a first secondary side;

d) placing a first limit stop which extends from the supporting surface at the level of the first secondary side;

e) gripping and folding the second primary side over the first primary side, thus forming a second secondary side;

f) fixing the packaging material relative to the supporting surface in the vicinity of a side of the instrument tray facing away from the first limit stop;

g) gripping and folding the second secondary side so that the second secondary side is positioned on a top side of the instrument tray and thus forms a tertiary side;

h) placing a second limit stop which extends from the supporting surface at the level of the tertiary side;

i) fixing the packaging material close to the instrument tray over a line portion in line with the third primary side;

j) folding the third primary side of the packaging material so that the third primary side is positioned at least partially over a top side of the instrument tray;

k) fixing the packaging material close to the instrument tray over a line portion in line with the fourth primary side; and

I) folding the fourth primary side of the packaging material so that the fourth primary side is positioned on a top side of the instrument tray.

18. Method according to claim 17, wherein steps g) and h) take place substantially simultaneously.

19. Method according to claim 17 or 18, furthermore comprising the step:

i2) folding in at least part of the packaging material at the level of the line portion.

20. Method according to any of claims 17-19, furthermore comprising the step: j2) connecting the third primary side and the packaging material on the top side of the instrument tray.

21 . Method according to any of claims 17-20, furthermore comprising the step:

I2) connecting the fourth primary side and the packaging material on the top side of the instrument tray.

22. Method according to any of claims 17-21 , by use of a device according to any of claims 1 -16.

Method according to claim 22, wherein

steps c), e), g), j) and I) are performed by the at least one clamp

- step d) takes place by moving the first folding plate from the first position to the second position;

- steps f), i) and k) are performed by the movable folding aid; and

- step h) takes place by moving the second folding plate from the first position to the second position.

24. Method according to claim 23, wherein step a) is performed by means of the at least one clamp.

25. Method according to claim 23 or 24, wherein step b) is performed by means of the at least one clamp or via a conveyor belt.