CA2112850A1 - Pouch having easy opening and reclosing characteristics and method and apparatus for production thereof - Google Patents

Pouch having easy opening and reclosing characteristics and method and apparatus for production thereof

Info

Publication number
CA2112850A1
CA2112850A1 CA 2112850 CA2112850A CA2112850A1 CA 2112850 A1 CA2112850 A1 CA 2112850A1 CA 2112850 CA2112850 CA 2112850 CA 2112850 A CA2112850 A CA 2112850A CA 2112850 A1 CA2112850 A1 CA 2112850A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
th
nd
pouch
web
closure
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2112850
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Terrance William Herber
Mark James Yunker
Kyle Sadamu Nakazawa
Farrad Sadeghzadeth
Wayne Howard Rothschild
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Mondelez International Inc
Original Assignee
Mondelez International Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/52Details
    • B65D75/58Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture
    • B65D75/5855Peelable seals
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B61/00Miscellaneous auxiliary devices operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers, or packages, and not otherwise provided for
    • B65B61/18Miscellaneous auxiliary devices operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers, or packages, and not otherwise provided for for making package-opening or unpacking elements
    • B65B61/188Miscellaneous auxiliary devices operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers, or packages, and not otherwise provided for for making package-opening or unpacking elements by applying or incorporating profile-strips, e.g. for reclosable bags
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B9/00Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, e.g. liquids or semiliquids, in flat, folded, or tubular webs of flexible sheet material; Subdividing filled flexible tubes to form packages
    • B65B9/06Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, in a longitudinally-folded web, or in a web folded into a tube about the articles or quantities of material placed upon it
    • B65B9/08Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, in a longitudinally-folded web, or in a web folded into a tube about the articles or quantities of material placed upon it in a web folded and sealed transversely to form pockets which are subsequently filled and then closed by sealing
    • B65B9/093Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, in a longitudinally-folded web, or in a web folded into a tube about the articles or quantities of material placed upon it in a web folded and sealed transversely to form pockets which are subsequently filled and then closed by sealing the web having intermittent motion
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/25Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners
    • B65D33/2508Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider
    • B65D33/2516Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider comprising tamper-indicating means, e.g. located within the fastener
    • B65D33/2533Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider comprising tamper-indicating means, e.g. located within the fastener the slide fastener being located between the product compartment and the tamper indicating means
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/25Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners
    • B65D33/2508Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider
    • B65D33/2541Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider characterised by the slide fastener, e.g. adapted to interlock with a sheet between the interlocking members having sections of particular shape
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/52Details
    • B65D75/58Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture
    • B65D75/5805Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture for tearing a side strip parallel and next to the edge, e.g. by means of a line of weakness
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B70/00Making flexible containers, e.g. envelopes or bags
    • B31B70/74Auxiliary operations
    • B31B70/81Forming or attaching accessories, e.g. opening devices, closures or tear strings
    • B31B70/813Applying closures
    • B31B70/8131Making bags having interengaging closure elements
    • B31B70/8132Applying the closure elements in the machine direction

Abstract

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE

A pouch for containing a food produce such as shredded cheese, and a novel method and apparatus for forming, filling and sealing the pouch. The method involves providing one or more webs of material to define a pair of walls for the pouch, orienting the web material so that the walls are substantially vertical, with the web having a horizontal longitudinal axis; providing interengageable strips of reclosable fastener material along the web adjacent the lower edges of the walls;
forming vertical side seals; filling the pouches through their open bottoms while in inverted orientation; and sealing the bottoms of the pouches. Each of the strips of reclosable fastener material has one or more fastener members thereon. A peelable seal is provided between the product contained in the interior of the pouch and the reclosable fastener members. The peelable seal is preferably formed on the fastener strip material. The peelable seal is sealed prior to filling of the pouches so that produce cannot contact the fastener members, and the fastener members are outside of the hermetic seal area. The pouch is preferably provided with a hole above the fastener members to receive a display hanger, and has a line of perforation above the fastener members and above the hole to facilitate removal of the upper portion of the pouch.

Description

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~ ~ 1 2 ~

Po~C~ ~AVIN¢ ~Y OP~NIN~ AND RECLo~ C~ARACT~ TIC8 AND MET~OD AND APP~RAT~8 FOR ~ CT10~ TH~REO~ .

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~iol~ o~ th~ Inv-~t~on The iilvention relates generally to packaging for food products, ~nd more particularly to easy opening .
1~ and reclosabl~ pouches and method~ and applratus for forming, filling ~nd ~ealing such pouches.
9~okgroun~1 o~ tho Inv~nt~o~
It is well known in the art that, ~or certain food products, e~f~c~ency in pa~k~gl~g and acceptable ~ :
~helf life can be obtained by hermetically sealinq the product in a package ln a ~orm/fill/seal (FFS) operation. . :
In providing a commerci~lly ~l able pack~ge hrough FFS operations, several considerations must be : : -addressed. On~ consider~t~oll is that the package must be 25 capable of being opened by th~ con3u~er without undue :~
difficulty. Anoth~r consideration is that the package must be economical to produce, and should be capable of being formed, f~lled and sealed at rel~tiv~ly high ra~es.
It ~ ~ also desirable that t~ie package be durable 60 ~s to : ::;
3 o withstand the ~tre-~ses of the FFS o~eration and -subse~uent shipping and llandling without damage arld without deterioration of appearance.
In recent years, there has been increased demand for zippers or other ~e2ns to provide reclosability. One particular package configurati~n that has been us~d commerci~lly ~n recent ye~r~ has a ' ''". ' '' ' ~

--2 ~ .i L j~ ~
generally rectangular configur~tion with a reclosable zipper ~xtendi~g within a f~ld along one edge, ~s illustrated in, ~.g., U.S. Patent No. 4,58(~,145. To open the package, the package ~aterial may be ~lit alon~ the folded edge with a kni~e, scissor~, or the like to gain access to the zipper, and th~ zipper is then opened to provide access to ths product. Wher~ each package i~ to contain a stack of sliced product or ~ r~latively large item ~uch as a blo~ of ~h~e3~, thQ ~tack or block may be lo placed on a horizontally-oriented web ~nd th~ web C~n be wrapped around the item to form the package as described in the above-referenced Patent No. 4,539,145.
When handling products comprised of numerous ~mall pieces ~uch a~ 6hredded ch~e~e, cereal, etc., it is generally desirable to have th~ package partly ~ormed into a pouch which i~ open ~t one ~nd, or along one ~ide, with the pouch orioented ~o that t~ open ond or ~ide i~
at the top of the part~ally-formed pouch, and to dispense product into the partially-formed pouch through the open top or side.
Vertical FFS operations such ~s that de~cribed in U,S. Patent No~ 4,874,257 represent one ~pproach to ~ddressing the aforementloned con~ider~tions in packaging food products co~pri~d of nu~rous ~mall pie~es. In the ~ethod Q~ ~at~n~ No. 4,874,257, th~ z~pper is di posed Yert$cally ~long on~ ~ide of t~e package belng for~ed, ~nd th~ pouch i~ ~lled by gravity-induced flow of :
product ~ownward ~rom a ~illing ~pout.
Anoth~r appro~ch 1~ illu~trated by ~atent No.
4,945,714, ~n ~h~ch th~ pouche~ travel horizontally as th~y are ~orn~d, ~illed and ~eal~d. In Patsn~ No.
4,945,714, t~e pouch is formed in ~n ~nvert@d ori~ntation ~ro~ a s~ngle web which ha~ a Po}d at lt~ lower ~nd and a ~:
z~pp~r within the ~old. 5wo potential proble~ ~tth thi~
approach ~re that penetration o~ product int~ th~ zipper may oc~ur, and that 1~ th~ upper ~nd o~ the ~ouch ~s -3~ i Q
perforated to facilitate opening, or punch~d to receive a ~;
displ~y hanger, lo~ of hermeticity would result.
one problem t~at ~ust ~.e addres~ed in ~ny ~ipper-equipped package fiuch ~8 those mention~d above i~
~hat, where the ends o~ the zippers extend lnto ~eal areas, difficulty may be encountered in providing hermeticity at high throu~hput rates, due to the increased thicknes~ of the seal area at the ends of the z~pper.
As mentio~ed above, it may be desirable ~o ~ -provide a line of perforation across the pouch ad~cent the folded end th~reo~ to tacilitate e~sy opening of the pouch by ~earing ~long the line of p~rforation. It is important that the line of perforation be straight and continuous, without sign~ficant dev~ation ~rom linearity and with ~ener~l un~for~ity in the ~ize and spacing of :-the perforations to allow gor continuous, ~asy and uninterrupted t~aring along the entir~ width o~ the pouc~. It i~ ~lso i~port~nt that th~ line of perforation : .
20 be formed in ~oth the front and rear walls of the pouch, :~
with the perforations in the ~ront wall lining up wit~
the psrforations in t~o rear wall. Furthermore, it is d~sirabl~ to provide such a line of perforation which d~es no~ a~fect ~h~ hermeticity o~ ~h~ pouch.
TherQ i~ a ~ont~nuing ne~d for i~proved packages of ~h~ type describ~d above, ~d for improved FFS op~r~tion~ ~or ~uch packages which addre~ the ~fore~Qntisn~d ~on~ldGratio~ whil~ ~voiding the disad~antage~ o th~ ~rior ~rt di~cuss~d above. ~ ~:
~ f ~ T~v~tl~
The lnYontlon provid~ a nov~l pouch ~or cont~ining Æood produ~, sn~ nov~ thod~ an~ appar~tu~
~or ~orm~ng, ~ g and s~ling th~ pouch in an l~v~rt~d ori~ntation. Tha ~thod involY~ providing ~ ~b o~
~at~r~l having a ce~rlinQ to dQfin~ ~ pair o~ wall~
~or ~h~ pouch, providing ~nt~r~ngag~abl~ strip~ o~

-4~
reclo6able fastener ~aterial and attachi~g the strips to the web by fir6t attaching a first one of 3aid 8trip5 to th~ web in its horizontal orient~tion, fclding the web along ~aid centerlin~ to orD ~dewall 5 and bring one o~
~he ~idewall6 adjacant the ~econd ~trip, ~nd then attaching the sacond ~trip to ~aid ~idewall, with engaged fir~t and second ~trips being attached to xespective sidewalls adjacent the folded lower end o~ the web:
forming a peelable ~eal abov~ the closure member~ of the ~trips: sealing the 6idewalls at the line of perforation;
forming vertical side seals: forming a l$n~ of perforation acros~ th~ width of the ~idewalls between the folded lower end and the ~nterengaged clo~ure members;
partially epar~ting the pouches from vn~ ~nother by vertically slitting th~ æidewalls, filling th~ pouches through their open ~ottoms while in inverted orientation;
~nd ~ealing the bottoms of the inverted pouches.
In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a line of perforat$on i~ provided between th~ folded lower ~nd of the pouch and the interengage~ble closure ~e~bers to prov~d~ easy open~ng of the pouch and easy access to ~he closure ~e~bers. The line of perrox~tion i~ formed by init~ally bringing to~sther fir~t and ~econd :~
engaging members o~ ~it~er ide o~ ~he ~dewalls to ~ecur~ ~ portion o~ th~ ~idew~lls in a ~tationary po5ition. Wbile the ~idewall~ ar~ ~ecured in a substa~i lly ~tationary posi~ion, a perfor~ting blade ~s impact~d ag~inst that portion of the idewalls to pierce the s~dewa . Th@ per~orating bl~de has a ~rie~ o~ ;
generally ~qually ~paced perforating po~nt~ along its length which cre~tæ gener~lly equally ~pace~ p~r~orations i~ the ~ld~w~ wh~n thQ ~d~wall~ ar~ pi~rc~d by ~he l~pacting perforating blad~.
In accordance with another a~pect o~ ~h~
invention, ~ h~rffletic p~elab}e seal is provided b~tween the product contained ~n th0 interior of thQ pouch ~nd .

` ` .

~ ~ 2~

the reclosable fastener members, which peelable se~l is preferably f~xmed ~l~ultaneously with perforation of the ~idew~lls by the perforat~ng blade.
The peel~ble ~eal 1~ preferably formed ~ a rel~tively narrow band on the fastener str~p ~zterial, rat~er than on the wall ~aterial. This provides a saving of material cost as compared with coating the entire interior ~urfac~ sf the pouch walls with ~aterials ~ui~a~le for for~atio~ of a p~elable seal. The peelable seal is sealed prior ~o ~illing o~ the pouches so that product cannot contact the fastener ~embers during or after ~he form, gill, seal oper~t~on.
The peelable ~eal is preferably ~or~ed by a pair of reciprocabl~ ealing bars which provide a prede~er~ined ~ealing pressure to the eal area while transferring heat ~hereto fiufficient to bond t~e peelable ~:
~eal ~trip~ of opposite closur~ ~langes togeth~r. In accordance with thQ pr~f~rred e~bodi~ent o~ th~
invention, the ~xtension and retraction of the perforating ~lade i~ carried out during tho interval that the peelabl~ 6eal $orming cealing bars are together eff~cti~g the peelabl~ s6al. That i~, the peela~le ~eal -~
and th~ perforation lin~ ara both ~ormed at th~ ~a~e ~tation at which th~ web intermitt~ntly comes to r~st.
Th~ pouch ~ pr~f~rably provid~d w~t~ ~ hol~ to receiv~ a di~plAy hang~r ~ov~ sten~r ~2mb~r~ and b~n~ath thQ lin~ of p~rforatio~. R~rrin~ to th~ ;-co~pl~ted po~ch in an upright po~ on, t~o interengageabl0 ~a6ten~r ~e~ber~ ar~ ~pac~d a ~bort distanc~ ~neat~ t~e top o~ the pouch.
Further asp~ct~ o~ th~ invention are disclosQd .
~1QW nd in th~ ~cco~panyin~ drawin~.

2~ Do~e~pt~o~ Dx~
$n Sho drawing~, wh~r~in like ~le~nt~ ~re referen~ed alike-.. . .
::

f.J ~1 t~ ~

FIG. 1 is an elQvation~l vi~w of ~ pouch ~n ~ccordanc~ with ~ first embodi~Qnt of the in~ntion;
FIG. 2 ~ a pQr~p~ctiv~ view o~ thQ pou-h of FIG. 1, showing a removable portion of the pouch baing torn away to per~it access to the interior thereo~:
FIG. 3 i~ ctional view taken ~ubstantially along line 3-3 in FIG. 1: : :
F~G. 4 $8 ~ sectional view si~ilar to tha~ of FIG. 3, ahowing the pouch in ~n opan~d configuration;
FIG. 5 is ~ctional v$ew similar to that of FIG. 3, illustrating ~ pouch in accordance with ~ s~cond embodiment o~ the invention:
FIG. 6 ~ a diagra~m~tical pl2n vlew of :
apparatus fo~ ~orming, ~lling ~nd ~eallng pouche~ in 15 ~ccordance with a fir~t e~bodi~nt oP the ~nventlon; : :
FIG. 7 is ~n ~levat~onal view o~ the apparatus ;;:~
of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 i~ a ~ragmentary, dlagr~mmatiGal plan view of ~pparatu~ ln acc~rda~ce with an alternatlve . .
~mbodi~en~ of the invention;
FIG. 8a is a di~gr~mmatical plan view o~ ~ :
fur~her alternativ~ e~bodi~ent of appar~tus for forming, ~illing ~nd ~ealing pouches $n accordance with ~he present invent~on;
FIG. 9 1~ an ~l~va~ional vl~w o~ th~ ~ppara~us o FIa. 8a;
F~G. 10 1~ ~ ~r~gmentary plan view o~ the central por~ion Or the appara~us of FIG. ~a;
FIG. 11 i~ a cross-~ect~onal vl~w o~ ~he .
30 elosure ~tr$p sealing $~ation ~aken along llne ll-~1 o~
~IG. lO; ~;
F}G. 12 i~ ~ plan ~w of th~ per~or~ting ~tAtion of the ~pp~tu~ o~ FIh . ~ ~o ~IG. 13 is ~n ~levational viow of ~lIQ r 35 per~orating ~ta'clon taken ~long line ~3-13 o~ FIG. 12:

.. . ...

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional Yiew o~ the hole punching mechanis~ taken ~long llne 14-14 o~ FIG. 10;
FIG. 15 1~ a 3ide elevat$onal ~iew of th~
closure 6trip unwind unit;
FIG. 16 is an ~nd elevational view of the closure strip unwind unit;
FIG. 17 is a plan view of the pressure roller of the closure strip unwind unit taken along 17-17 of ~ :
FIG. lS; - ~:~
lo FIG. 18 is a sectional view of a pouch in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the ~.
invention;
FIG. 19 ~s ~ sectlonal view of the pouch of -FIG. 18 ~howing a remo~able portion of the pouch torn away to permit access to th~ interior thereo~:
FIG. 19~ is a ~ectional view of an alternative pouch ~bodi~ent haY~ng ribs on the closur~ flang~
FIG. 20 ~s a sectiona~ ~iew of ~n alt~rnativle apparatus ~or forming a peelable ~eal ~nd line of perforation at a ~inql~ station:
FIG. 21 i~ a top v~aw of th~ perforation .. .
for~ing apparatu~ tak~n alon~ l~ne 21-21 of FIG. 20:
~IG. 22 i~ an ~xplod~d perspectiv~ vi~w of the perPoration ~orDing appar~tu~ o~ FIG. 21:
FIG. 23 ~ ~ partial, parsp~ctiv~ schematic YieW o the pouch ~epar~ting ~chani~m o~ the pr~sent inv~ntion: :
FIG. 2~ i6 a ~id~ vation~l vi~w of th~ pouch 6eparati~g m~chani~ o~ ~IC. 23:
FIG. 25 is a plan viaw of th~ pouch ~epara~ing ~echani~ t~k~n Along l~n~ 2S-25 of ~I~. 24;
F~G. 26 ~ a plan Yi~ of th~ pouch ~parating a~&h~ tak~n ~l~ng lin~ 26~26 o~ F~6. 24; ~nd FIG. 27 i~ ~n ~n~ v~w of ths pouch ~par~ting ~ech~ni ~ taken along li~e 27 27 o~ F~G. 24.
Do~lo~ D~rl~on o~ PO~ o~m~t~

Q

The invention i~ g~nerally ~mbodied in a r~closable pouch ~nd ~ m~thod and ~pparatu~ ~or forming, ~lling, and se~ling the pouch.
FIGS. 1-4 ~llustrat~ a ~irst embodiment of the invention, comprising a pouch 10 which has fir~t ~nd second g~nerally roctangul~r w~lls 12, 14 sealed to one a~other along their botto~ ~dges 16, 18 and ~ide edges 20, 22. Extending acros~ upper portion~ of the r~spectiv~ wall~ ar~ closur~ member~ 24, ~6.
Each ~losure member 24, 26 ha~ ~ subst~ntially planar outer ~ur~aco 28, 30 which is sealetl to its respectiv~ as~o~iat~d wall. On their inner surfacos the closure member3 hav~ co~pl~mentary lnt~rlocking zipper profiles 32, 34 ~xtending horizontally along their entire lengths to provide reclo~ability ~or the pouch 10. A
non-peelable upper ~eal 36 ~ provided along the upper edge of the pouch between upper p~rtions 35, 37 of the c}osure members 24 and 26. A plurality of gripper be~ds 38 extend long~t~din~lly aboYe the zipper pro~iles 32, 34 - .
on the resp~ctive clo ure members 24 and 26 between the zipper profiles and the upper seal 36. In the illustr~ted embod~men~s, 3ach clo~ure ~ember has ~ ~ingle pair o~ gr$pper b~ads 38 formed thereon to facilitate ~anual gripping and ~epar~tion o~ the f~st~ner profiles r 32 ~nd 34.
~xtending longitudinally bene~th the z~pper pro~le~ ~nd par~llel ther~to 1~ ~ hermetic pe~lable ~eal 39. ThQ ~eelabl~ ~al i~ co~pri~ed o~ ~trip~ 3 polym~ric Dater~l 3ga, 39b on ~he re~p~ctiv~ clo~ure ~em~ar~ 24 a~ 26. ~he ~tr~ngth o~ the peela~le ~eal 39 . i8 ~uch that lt ~an b~ r~adily opene~ by application 5~
~anu~l outward ~orce ~o ~h~ ¢losure ~emb~rs 24 an~ 7S ~y ~-~h~ con~m~r, ~t ~6 not susc@ptibl~ to ac~id~nt~l opening due to nor~al B~r~5Se8 ~s~oc~at@d with product contain~ent ~uring ~he F~S op~ration, ~nd ~ub~eguent 6h~pping, handl~ng, ~nd di~play. The ~e~l pr~rably has an opening force of ~rom about 1.5 ~o a~out 6.0 lbs., ~nd more preferably ~rom ~bout 2.5 to about 3.5 lbs. The peel~ble seal 39 is ~ubst~tially impermeabl~ to air, as w~ll as to llgu~ds which may be pr~sent in the pouch.
Accsrdingly, the location o~ ~he p~elable seal interiorly of the zipper profiles 32 and 34 prevents any contents of the pouch from leaking into ~he zipper profiles and excludes the in~er-locking mamber~ of the zipper from the hermetic seal area.
The strips of poly~eric material 39a, 39b which for~ the peelable ~eal prsferably comprise polymeric materials which are known in the art to b~ suitable for t~is purpos~t such as one or ~or~ of the following:
polyethylene/EVA with a VA content of between 4% and 22%:
polybutyl~ne: Surlyn; Bynel; Saran (PVDC) copoly~er:
ethyl~ne acrylic acid copoly~er: or methacrylic aeid copoly~er. As di~lo~ed in, ~.g., U.S. Patent No.
4,782,951, th~ disclosure of which is incorporat~d her~in by reference, a herm~tic peelable seal ~ay be formad between a Saran copolymer l~ina and an EVA lamina.
Each o~ th~ p~uch walls 12 and 14 is prefsrably ~ade of a ~uitable laminated ~aterial having barrier properties which, when sealed as described herein, proYide hermeticity for the pouch. ~or purposes o - :
25 example, ~ s~itabl~ il~ ~or cheese ~hrods ~ay co~prise ~ :
linear low-den~ity polyQthyl~ne inner lay~r in combination with a polye~er or nylon ou~r l~yer, and a ~iddl~ adh~$~ l~y~r o~ poly~thyl~ne. ~ nylon out~r lay~r i~ part~oularly u~ful i~ c~nnection ~ith Swi~
che~s~, wher~ a d~gro~ ~ CO2 g~ per~eability i~
~l~eirabl~ in th~ packag~ng. Th~ clo~ur~ ~embers 24 ~nd ~6 ar~ pre~erably ~Ad~ o~ ~ low EVA content poly~thylsn~
S~h~ ~lo~urs ~mb~r~ ~ay bo ~ttach~d to th~ ~ llo by, ld.g. t ~ t~in lay~r o~ Sur~yn on ~ch o$ the closure ~emb~rs ~nd th~ v~116.

.: '`, . '.. ;
. ~

To facilitate support of the pouch 10 o~ ~ :
di~play hang~r, ~ hole 86 i3 provided in ~n upp~r portion of the pouch. Ths holQ ext~nds through upper portions of ~he walls 12, 14 and through ~he closure members 24 ~nd 26, which provid~ a r~latively tough and 6trong periphery for the hole to support the weight o~ th~ pouch. ~s shown in FIG. 1, one or more o~ the ribs Dr beads 38 may ~xtend over the hole to further incre~se tha ~bility of the pouch to resist tearing at the hole 86 when ~ubjected 10 to rough handling during placement on a retail display :.
rack and/or removal therefrom. Disposi~ion of ths hole ~bove the peelable ~eal 39 en bles hermeticity to be maintain~d. One or more l~ne 9~ weakness 8~ are formed through the walls ~2, 14 ~nd ~losure members 24, 26 i~mediately b2neath the upper portions 35, 37 o~ the closure members to enable the upper psrtion o~ the pouch to be torn o~, enabling ~asy ~anual acce~ to the gr~pper bead~ 38 for separat~on of ~h~ zipper pro~lles 32, 34 and peelabl~ ~eal 6trips 39~, 39b. The l~nes o~
weaknes~ 8~ he illustrated embodiment t2ke the ~orm o~ perforations formed opposite one ~nother through the resp~ctive walls and clo~ure members. ~he placement o~
the perforations ~8 above the hole 8~ enables ~he pouch to be ~upported by a displ~y rack without subj~ctin~ the 25 line o~ p~r~or~tion~ ~ to trans~erse tens~le tresses :~
which ~ight cau~e accidental tearing ~hereo~.
FIG. 5 illu~trate~ a pouch 41 in ~ccordance with a ~con~ eibodi~ent o$ the invention, The pouch of FIG. 5 ~ g~n~rally ~i~llar to that of FIGS. 1-4, in that ::
~t co~pri~es B p~r of gensrally rectangular ~all~ 40 ~nd 42, ~n co~bin~tion wi~h a pair o~ closure ~embers 44 ~nd 46 ha~i~g interlocking zipp~r profil~s 48 ~nd 50 th~r~on.
Cr~pper ~ead~ 52 ~r~ pro~id~d above ~he z~pp~r pro~
~d a p~ela~le ~eal 54 extand~ th~r~b~low. The wall~ 40 35 ~nd ~2 ~re ~eal~d to ~n~ anoth~r ~long their botto~ ~dg2s ::
56, 58 and ~ide ~dge~. ~ow~v~r, ~h~ pouch of FIG. 5 , ~ ..
.~

.. , . ,., .. : , r~ .

differs from t~at of FI~S. 1-4 in th~t i~s upper seal 6~ .
is formed directly between the walls 40 ~nd 42 of the pauch, rathe~ than between the closure members. To t~is ~nd, the closure members 44 and 46 are spaced beneath the S upper edges of the walls 40 and 42, leaving a peripheral area along the top of each wall for the upper seal ~2.
As in the embodiment o FIGS. 1-4, a hole for r2ceiYinq a display hang~r is punched ~hrough ~n upper portion of ~he pouch, and lines of weakness, ~.g., perforations 65, are provided opposite one anot~er in the walls immedia~ly beneath the ~eal area 6~.
It is appreciated that the wall~ of ~he pouch may be constructed o~ a ~ingl~ web, rather than ~wo 6eparate webs. The pouch constructed in accordance with -~
the ~ingle web is ~ubstantially similar to that of FIG.
5, ~xcept that the pouGh mater~al i8 continuous along its upper edqe, rather than co~pri~ing two separ~t~ walls joined by a se21, ~nd the pouch ~aterial prov~des a ~nug fit around th~ upper ~dges of the closure m~mbers 44 and 46. As in the oth~r embodi~nts, ~ hole for receiving a display hanger is disposed adjac~nt th~ top of th~ pouch, with lines o~ perforation thareben~ath.
FIGS. 6 and 7 illu~trat~ a ~ethod and apparatus for ~orming, filling and ~aling pouch~ in accordance :
w~th a fir6t ~bodi~nt o~ th~ inv~ntion. A~ de~crib~d below, th~ pouch~6 ar~ ~or~d, ~illed ~nd ~eal~d in an inv~rt~d con~iguration. The method will be de~crib~d with rs~er~nc~ to th~ pouch 10 do~cr~bsd abov~ w~th r~f~r~nce to ~IGS. 104~ by de~cri~ing th~ ~ucc~FD~iv~ ~
30 Bteps invol~ in th~ for~tion, ~illin~ a~d ~2hl~ng of the pouch 10 in it~ ~nv~rted configur~tlon.
In the ~mbodi~ent oP FIG5 D 6 ~nd 7, th~
~at~rial ~or tho wall~D i~ provid~d ~y ~ir~t ~nd ~cond roll~ 66 and 68 v~ ~uitabl~ inated ~il~ in web ~or~.
The m~terial fo~ th~ closur~ ~e~b¢rs i~ pro~id~d by fir3t and ~cond rolls 70 ~nd 72 o~ clo~ure ~trip ~aterla~.

.

~ ~ ~ (, 5 ~

The wall ~ateri~l as ~uppli~d by roll~ 66 ~d 68 ~.
c~mprises webs 90 and 92 o~ laminate~ polyneric ~at~ria The closure strip material compris~s a first continuous atrip 94 having a ~emal~ zipp~r profile ther30n, ~nd a ,~
~econd strip 96 h~ving a m~ls profile thereon.
The first ~tep in the method of FIGS. 6 ~nd 7 i~ mating the complementary zipper profiles 32 ~nd 34, i.e., pressing the zipper profile~ into in~erlocking engagement with one another. Thi~ ~tep i~ carried ou~ ~t 10 a zipper- sse~bly station 74 which comprises a shoe 75 :' having an intern~l surface 76 configured to maintain the opposite profiles in alignment relative to one another, and to ca~ th2 clo~ur~ ~trip~ 94 ~nd 96 ~nto ~nterlocking engagement as they advance t~r~ugh the shoe.
Tbe next ~t2p i~ to for~ the peelable ~al 39 betwe~n the closure ~ember~ 24 and 26 ~t a ~ealing station 78. At the sealing ~tation ~8, a p~ir of .:~
horizontally orient~d, reciproc~ble he~t s~l bars 79 ~re adv~nced toward one another to apply pressure and heat to 20 the lower portion~ of the closure ~embers which are to ~ :
fsrm the peelable seal 39. ~he advanc~ment o~ the closure strip matQrial ~ inter~ittent, ~o that the strip material is at rest while the ll~at seal bars 79 are closed.
2 5 The n~sc~ ~t~p compri~es ~i~al ~ng o~ the outer -~ur~aces of th~ clo~ure ~trips 94 ~nd 9~ to the inner surfaces o~ th~ir respec~ive assc~ciated w~ll we:b~ 90 and 92. m~ acco~plishQd ~ ~n ~se~nbly~ ng ~t~tion 80 at which a ~econd palr o~ hor~zontal h~at 5~1ing b~rs 82 ar~ Q~ploy~d to 3ff~c~ th~ d~sirsd ~e~l~ng. The clo~ure B~rips ~r~ po~tioned along the lower Q~ges of ~he wall wehs a th~ pouc~ or~ea ln i~ in~erted --c~n~igurat~on, 80 thst they will ext~nd acro~5 th~ ~op of ~h~ ~inishQd pouch in it~ upr~ght Gon~igur~tion.
In th~ prof~r~ed ~bodi~nt, t~e 1 in9 0~ lines o~ weaknes~ 88 are th~n ~or~d ~y ~ conY~nt~on~l notched ;-. . '', .~' .

~ .

-13~ J ~?3~;~
perforation wheel on the line at a pexforation station 140. (However, in an alternative embodi~ent of the ~paratus 1:h~ lines o~ weakne:;~ are formQd by a rec~procating perforating blade, ~s described ~urther below.) Next, the ~ide ~argins o~ the pouches are sealed by vertical sealing bars 82. In forming the ~ide ~eals, the sealing bar~ 82 crush the closure strips at the areas 84 which correspond to the ends of the closure me~bers 24 and 26 in the finished pou~h. The sealing bars provide an impermeable marginal seal area on each side of the pouch being formed, along the entire vQrtical dimension o~ th~ pouch, or at lea~t from the ~ottom ~dges 16, 18 o~ :
the walls through the peelable 6~al 54. Ths ~ertical sealing bars 82 preferably include cutting elements to form vertical ~lits 139 in th~ wall web~ 90 ~nd 92, ~xtending upward fro~ the ~otton edgQs of the r~spactive ~:~
wall ~eb~ to A pr~d~tar~in~d l~vel, l~avin~ linkG 141 ~f wall materi~l intact along the upper edge~ of the ~all web~, whil~ partially s~parating the pouches ~rom one ~nother.
Th~ peelabl~ ~al 39 having b~en formed ~etween th~ closure ~embers, the for~ation of the side seals ~nables produc~ 100 to ~e re~ained in 2ach of the pouch~s bQing formedO ~he ~-y~-uns~alad bott~m 98 of the ~nvert~d pouch i~ held open to providQ an opQning to r~ceiv~ the product, and the pcck~t i~ ~illed ~o ~
de~ir~d 1Q~1 ~hrough a di~pensing ~pout ~02, with the peelabl~ ~2al 29 preventing the product from reaching ~he zipp~r. The ~Yerted pouch ~ then g~s flu~ed ~ith N2 or Co2, ~lo~d, and ~eal~d along it~ horizontal top ~nd botto~ ~dge~ by addit~onal horizontally-oriented 6~aling b~r~ 104 and 106. Tho pouch lo is cut ~ro~ th~ pr~c~dinq and ~ucc~eding pouche~ by v~rtlcally ori~ntod ~niv~s 108 ~h~c~ ~eYer th~ k~ 141 ~nd trim the ~ edges o~ ~h~
pouches, to complet~ the FFS operat~on.

- . , ~ .
:, . ...

2 o ~ ~

Where a punched hole 86 is desir~d, punch apparatus 1.42 may be provided ~t ~ convenient lo~tion on .
th~ line. In the a.?par~tus of FIGS. 6 and 7, the punching operation ta~es pl~ce immediately aft~r ~e~ling of the vertical seal3 of th~ pouch, and prior to filling.
~n other embodiments o~ th~ ~n~ention, th,~ ord~r of the steps ~ay ~e vari~d. For oxample, the first and second webs 110, 112 of wall material m~y be provided by first and second rolls 114 ~nd 116, which are supported for :.
rotation about vertical axes. Material for closure members may be pro~ided by ~irst and second rolls 118 and 120 of closure ~trip ~aterial. One roll ~upplies closure strip 122 havin~ a ~ema}e profile, while the other provides materi~l 124 having a ~ale profile.
In the e~bodiment o~ FIG. 8a, the length~ of :
closure ~trip aaterial 122 an~ 124 are ~oined to ~heir respective associated web~ of wall material 110 and 112 at two parallel heat sealing sta~ions 126 ~nd 1~8. T~e resulting c~mpo ite webs of wall and fastener ~aterial 130 and 132 then ~dvance over vertical guide rollers 134 ~nd 136 to ~ Bealing a~sembly ~ta~ion 138 where the zipper pro~iles of t~e clo~ure ~aterial are interlocked, and the peelabl~ e~l for~ed ln ~ mann~r ~i~ilar to t~at ~-d~cribed abov~ with r~ference to the e~bodiment o~ FIGS.
25 6 and 7~ The re~a~ni~ ~t~ps of ~orming the ~ide ~eal, ~.
~illing, ~orm~ng top ~n~ botto~ ~eals, ~nd ~eparat~ng the fini~hed ~ouches woul~ then be carri~d out 8 described in the ~bod~en~ og ~IGS. 6 an~ 7.
In another embodiment o~ the invention tnot ~:
shown) t~e ~or~ation o~ th~ peRl~bl~ fie~ combined w~th th~ operation o~ ling th~ fast~n~r ~trip~ to the we~ o~ ~all ~at~ri~l. Thia ~thod i~ ~i~ilar to that of - :
FIGS. 6 and 7, ~xcept that th~ ~ealing ~tation 78 ~y ~e ~liminated, and the asse~bly~sealing station 80 adapt~d to provide heat and pressure to ~ffect both 6@~1ing operations 6i~ult~n~0usly. ~ ~:

ol5~
A third embodiment of apparatus ~or forming, filling and ~ealing pouches of polymeric mat~rial is -illustrated in FIGS. 8-17, ~ith the pouch prod~ced illustrat~d in FIGS. 18 and 19. The method o~ ~his preferred embodi~ent w~ e described in detail ~irst, and then ~he ~pparatus for carrying out thi~ ~ethod will ~:
be described~
The first ~tep of the ~ethod for forming, :-filling and sealing the pouch shown in ~IGS. 18 and 19 is lo to provide a continuous roll 202 o longitudina}}y extending polymeric ~heet or web 204, and a continuous :
roll ~06 of polym~ric clo~ure 6trip 208 h;~ving interconnect~d co~pl~enta n male closur3 compon2nt 210 and femal~ closure component 212. (see FIGS. 18 ~nd 19 The male closure co~ponent 210 and fe~hl~ clo ura component 212 ~ach includ~ re~pectiv~ flanges 214 and 216, one part of which ~nclud~s co~ple~ntary respective ~ale profile 218 and f~male pro~ 220 which pro~ s are known in the ~rt and which matingly engage when press~d together to provide a ~al and arQ ~a~ily ~eparated when pull~d apaxt.
~he r~sp~ctivo flanges 214 and 216 of the male and femal~ clo~ur~ component~ 21~ ~nd 212 hav~
subatant~lly planar ~3urfac~ 222 and 224 on th~ ~ide of th~ ~lang~ opposîto th~ coDpl~ntary ~Dal~ ~nd ~emal~
profil~s 218 and 220, l~uch th~t th~ int~rc9nnoct~d ~Dale and g~al~ proil~ 218 ~nd 220 l$e situated betw~n oppo~it~, outer plan~r ~ur~ac~a 222 ~nd 224, ~s s~!n in FIGS . 18 ~nd 19 .
With Purth~r rcf~r~nc~ 1:o PIGS. 18 and 19, the ~l~nqe~ 210 and 212 al~o inGlude pe6~ 8e~1 strips 226 ~nd 228 on th~ e ~id~ ther~o~ pro~ 218 ~nd 220, o that th~ p~labl~ al ~tr~p~ 226 ~nd 228 l~e ~d~as:erlt and oppo~ing one anoth~r wh2n the ~ and ~ pro~ile~ 218 ~nd 22a ~r~ int~rconn~ct~d~ T~e p~elAbl¢ ~ trip~ 2~6 ~nd 228 ~unct~on a~ descr~bed 2112~50 above and will be discussed further b~low. Th~ fl~nges 210 and 212 also include gr~.pper b~afls 229 t~ f~cilitate ~anu~l gripping and 6ep~r~t..0n of th~ stener profiles 218 And 220. : :
S With reference to the schema~ic vi~ws of FIGS. ::
8a and 9, th~ initial ~t~p is to ~eal one side of the closure strip 208 to the web 204 of polymeric material, with the other side of the closure strip 208 to be ~ealed to the plastic web 204 at ~ later stage. Either the male :- -component 210 or the female component 212 of the closure ;~
strip 208 can be connected to the web 204 first, but for ea~e of underst~nding the invention, the method and ~pparatus will be described with reference to attachment :~
of the male component 210 o~ the closure strip 208 to the ....
web 204 ~irst.
The closure ~trip 208 is bro~ght in~o proximity with the we~ 204 with the web lying ~ub~tantially in ~
horizontal plane and out~r, planar ~ide 222 o~ th ~lange :.:
214 of t~e ~ale co~ponent 210 o~ the int~rconnected ~losure str~p 208 ad~cent the horlzontal web 204. With reference to F~GS. 8a and 9, a Xirst heated sealing bar 230 is employed to ~pply heat and pressure ~o ~he male portion 210 of the closure strip 208 ~ufficient to adhere -~
the pl~nar s~de 222 o~ the flanye 214 of the ~le co~pon~nt 210 of ~h~ clo ur~ ~rip 208 ~ th2 w2b 204.
As discussed ~urth~r belo~, it ~ pre~erre~ that the ir~t heatsd ~ealing b2r 230 act upon th~ flange 214 at a loc~tion o~fs~t ~ro~ t~e profiles 21~ ~nd 220 ~o a~ not to detri~ent~lly effec~ t~ ~lo~ure pro~ d~e to ~he hQat o~ ~aling.
, As ~e~n in ~IG. 8a, the closure strip 20B i5 ~al~d to the w~b 204 ~lightly o~f ~nt~r. The clo~ur~
atrip 208 i~ ~pac~ ~ro~ th~ eent~rlin~ 231 æo that th~ ~:
cloaur~ ~trlp 208 vill ~ 4p~ gro~ the fold 232 at 3S which the ~idewall~ 234 and 236 ~t ~hen t~æ ~b 204 i~ ~
., 2112~0 subsequently folded onto itself along th~ centerline 231, as will be described h~rea~tsr.
The web 204 and closure ~trip 208 are advanced to~ether intermittently to bring successive portions of tha ~eb 204 and closur~ ~trip 208 beneath th~ fir~t heated sealing bar 230. Th~ first heat~d ~ealing bar 230 i6 inter~ittently rai~ed ~nd lowered in 6ynchronization with the intermittent web a~d cloeure 6trip advancements to intermittently apply heat and pressur~ to adhere successive portions of the closure strip 2~8 ~o the web 204. ~or reasons to be expl~ined in det~il below, it is preferred that the we~ 204 and closure ~trip be intermittently advanced the length o~ approximately two pouch widths upon aach inter~ittRnt ad~anc2m~nt. The length of the gir~t heated ~aling bar 230 i8 ~adQ longer than the doubl~ pouch widt~ ~istanc~ o~ th~ int~r~ittent web and closur~ ~trip ~dvancements ~o that th~ fir6t h~ated ~ealinq ~ar for~s a continuou web ~ith clo~ure ~trip ~ttached th~reto along it~ ~ntire longitudinal length.
Thus, as the web 204 ~xits th~ ~irst heated 6ealing bar it has clocure strip 208 attach2d th~reto with the ~ale portion 210 thereof ~dherad to the web 204 off-cent~r. The ~e~al~ portio~ 212 of th~ clo~ure strip 20~ i3 matingly interconn~c~d with ghe ~ portion 210 with the planar ~tdo 22~ of the flango 216 ~FIG. 19~ o~
the emal~ portion 212 facinq upward, oppo~ite ~h~ ~eb 204. It i~ pr~rr~d that the web 204 ~e orient~
horizontally with th~ plan~r ~d~ 224 o~ th~
portion 2~2 o~ ~he closure ~trip 20~ ~acing upw~rd ~t thi~ ~t~ge, ~lthough other orien~ion~ ~ay al~o be employed vithout departing ~ro~ ~he inventiv~ concepts ~t ~ort~ h~r~l~0 The web 20~ with the ~losure ~trip 208 adhered thereto are repe~t~dly intenmittently ~dvan~d toqether the l~ngth Or ~wo pouch w~dth~ in thi~ ori~ntation, to -18- 2112~SO
bring the web 204 into the folding ~t~t~on, ~t which folding bar~ 240 and folding roll~rs 242 fold the web 204 ~n half, over upon i~s~lf along centerline ~;1,. to br.ing ~h8 opposite lat~ral edge~ 244 and 246 of the web 204 S together. This forms a front ~idewall 234 ~o whi~h t~e male component 210 of the closure ~trip 208 ~s attached, and a r~ar ~idew~ll 236, which sidew~ll6 are ~oined along the centerline 231. T~e fold long the centerline 231 .
defines a folded or continuous end 232. S~nce the closure ~trip 208 is affixed to the web 204 off-cen~er, the ~olding in hal~ oP the web 204 alon~ centerline 231 result~ ~n ~he closure strip 208 being ~paced ~rom the f~lded end 232 of the ~lded web 204, as ~hown in FIG. 9.
~s ~een in FIG. ~a, in the prçferred e~bodi~ent :
lS the ~olded web 204 i~ then brought fir~t to ~ per~orating station 2~8 upon the next intermittent ~dvancement of the web 204, and then brought to a separate peelable seal for~ing tdtion upon a subsequent web advancement. In an ~lternative embodiment, described gurther below, the per~oration and peelabl~ seal ~r~ ~ormed generally ~imultaneou~ly at a common station, rather than tw~
separate ~tations.
at th~ preferred perforating ~tation, a rotary perforating blade 250 ~nd ~ backing roller 252, both positioned t a v~rtic~l heigh~ be~ween t~e lower folded end 232 of t~ ~olded veb 204 and ~a engased ~ale and :
~e~al8 profil@~ 218 and 220 o~ ~h~ c~osure ~trip ~0~, continu~lly pre~ ~og~th~r on opposi~ sides o~ the ~old~d w~b 204 th~reat ~o for~ a lin~ o~ p~rforation 2~4 ~8ee FIG. 13) to alIow for easy opening of the ~in~ he~
pouch. The perforations penetra~e bo~h the front ~idQw~ll 234 ~nd the rear Eidewall 236 a~ ~ell ~ the clo~ure member ~lang~ 214 and 216. It ~ay ~ de~irable to provid~ for on~ of th8 clo~ure flanges 214 or 216 to b~ ahort~r th~a th~ oth~r ~o that tho p~r~orat~ng bl~de 250 nesd only penetrate on~ of ~h2 two flang~ in -lg- 21~S~
addition to the 6idewall6. ~eduction of the length of one of the flanges 210 or 212 may also b~ desired to reduc~ plastic flow upon formation of t~e side se~ls :~78.
Th2 blade 250 ha~ notches of about 1/32 in. dispo~ed at 3J4 in. in~ervals about the circumference of the belt.
Thus, ~he line of weakness comprises a ~eries of cuts of 3/4 in. length separated fro~ one another by unout segments o~ about 1/32 in. length.
The provi6ion o~ the rotary perforating blade 250 and backing rollex 252 arrangement pr~vides ~ignificant advantages. An el~ctric 2ye :is ~mployed to sense web position, ~nd a ~QrVO drive ~y~tsm is employed to 6top the web ~t desir~d po~itions. ~orizontal variations of l/- 1/16 in. ~nd v~rtical variat~on~ of +/-lJ32 in. from a de~ir2d position are to be expec~ed.~ost principally, ther~ o~e vertical and lateral~ pl8y of the web 204 ~5 ~t i6 r~peatedly int~r~ittently advanced ~nd ~opp~d. It i~ i~portant that th~ line o~
perforation 254 ~e continuou~ acro~ the ~ntirQ l~ngth of the web 204 to allow ~asy, uninterrupt~d t~ring o~f o~
the ~olded end 232 of th~ web 204 at th~ tim~ of U8~ to provid~ an ~pening for ea~y acces~ to the cont~nts of th~
pouch.
~h~ web 204 may back up slight}y when it is ~:
s~opped at on~ o~ ~he pouch forming tatiGn~. T~
continuou~ con~c~ provided by th~ perforating roll~r 252 ~nd baeking roller 254 arr~ng~ent provide a ~ingle, continuou~ line o~ p~r~oration 254 acro~ the l~ngth o~
the w~b 204 and, he~c~ ~cro~ the entix~ width o~ th~
pouche~ ~o~d . Upon backing-up of the ~eb 204, the p~ror~ting roller 250 r~trace~ a ~hort seg~ent of the llno o~ perforation 254, and do~ not create ~ddit$on~1 p~r~or~tions. ~hus, even if ~h~ web 204 were to b~co~
angl~d over a port~on o~ it~ tr~vel through the perforating ~t~lon 2~8, the line o~ perforation ~5 wou}d then be ~ngled thereat, but would ~till ~e .,, ~: , -20- 2~i28~0 continuou~ ~long the length of the web 204. The rotation of the perforat~ng roller 250 i8 contrslled in ~ccordance with the web advancement by ti~ing belt~, as will be Qx~l~ined fur~her below. Accordingly, ~ folded we~ 204 hAving the male co~ponent 210 of a closure trip 208 affixed to its front ~idewall 234 and having a lin~ of . :
perfor~tion 254 ~xtending ~long its entire length, situated between the folded end 232 of thle web 204 and the ~ale and female profiles 218 and 220 ID~ the closure ~trip 208, exits fr~m the perforating ~tation 248. :~
Upon the a~orementioned ~olding of the w~b 204 onto it~elf, th~ planar ~ide 224 of the female component 212 of the closure ~tr~p 208 w~s brought ad~acent ~he rear sidewall 236. The planar ~ide 224 Or the ~e~al~
component 212 of the closure ~trip 208 is then ~dhered to the rear sidewall 236 by the application o~ heat znd x~.
pressure thereat. The web 204 is advanced to the closure C~rip seal~ng station 255 whereat a ~econd, horizontally extending h~ated sealing bar 256 is pressed against the rear ~dewall 236 at a location offset from the closure ~trip 208 to ~al t~e planar ~ide 224 of the fe~ale component 212 o~ the closure ~trip 208 to the r~ar sidewal~ 236. Backing bar 2S7 ~erves ~s an abutment sur~ace. T~e ~co~d heated sealing bar 256 ext~nd~
approximat~ly ~h~ l~ng~h o~ two pouch widths, ~
required to a~sure the atta~h~ent of the closure ~trip 208 is continuou~ 210~g the longitudinal length o~ the web 204 with th6 do~ble-pouch-~d~h w~b advanc~m~nts.
~hu~, at th~ st~g~ o~ ~nuf3ctu~, th~
~nd ~emal~ proP~ 218 ~nd 220 of th2 ~alQ and ~s~ale co~ponent~ 210 ~nd 212 of t~Q ~lo~ure ~trip ~0~ ~r~
~atinqly int~rcon~ected with on~ ~noth~r, wlth ~c~ ~
oompon~nt adhar~d to respectiY~ oppo~it~ ~ront and r~ar : :
aldew~ 234 a~ ~36, and ~pac~d from th~ ~old~d ond 232 .
o~ the w~b 204. (S~ F~G. 3 ~nd 18.) ~h~ w~b 204, at thi~ 6t~ge, i~ or~nte~ ~uch th~t th~ ~olded ~nd 232 -21- ~112~SO
thereof is at ~he bottom with th~ latera} edges 244 and 246 being at the top and un~oined. ~he peelable sealing ~trips 226 and 228 o~ the ~al~ component flanga 214 and female component flange 216 ar~ now positioned clos~ly adjacent, and opposing one another.
Thereafter, as ~he ~eb 204 and clo~ure 6trip continue to be intermittently advanced, thsy are advanced to a peelable seal forming 6t~tion 260 ~t which a pair of horizon~ally extending pealable ~ealing b~rs 262 apply hsat and pressure to the 6idewalls 234 and 236 at the location of the pe~labl~ ~eal ~trip~ 226 ~nd 228 to fuse the opposing peelable s~ling ~tr~p portion~ 226 and 228 of the male and female closure compon~nts 210 and 212 together to ~or~ a peelabl~ 3aal 264 (see FIG. 18). A~
with the clo~ure strip ~eal ing bar 256, the pe~lable 6ealing bar~ 262 extend approxi~ately two pouch wi~tAs in length to assure a continuous pe~l~ble ~eal 264 with tha two-pouch-width web ~dvance~2nts.
It is pref~rr~d that the ~ale compon~nt flange 214 ~nd th~ female component flange 216 og the respective closure ~trips 210 and 212 b~ seal~d to their respective sidew~lla 234 and 236 at a location offset ~rom the closure pro~iles 21B ~nd 220 ~o As to prevent detri~ental heating of th~ co~plQ~entary ~a}e ~nd fe~al~ clo~ure pro~ 218 ~nd 220, whic~ ~ay r~ult in improp~r engagem~n~ o~ th~ Dal~ ~nd ~em~l~ clo~ure ~omponent~ ?~8 ~nd 220. ~ore ~p~ci~icælly, it 1~ pre~erred that ~he heat~d ~ n~ bars 230 and a56 s~al the ~ale co~pon~t ~ ~:
~l~nge 2~ ænd the ~e~ale co~pon~nt ~lang~ 216 to their resp~cti~ ~de~ 234 ~nd 236 only ov~r tho portion of the flanges 214 ~nd 216 ~elow and ~p~csd fro~ the closure component~ 218 and 220 (referr~ng, 6till, ~t thi~ point to the pouch in ~t$ l~vertod orientation). Th~ p~el3bl~
~allng bar 262 ~dhere ~h~ portio~ o~ the ~ nd ~e~al~ nge c~ponent~ 214 ~nd 216 ~t the p~el~ble ~eal strips 226 and 228 to ~he Bi~ew~ 234 ~nd 236, which ' ', - .

`~
-22- 21~2~S~
peelable seal ~trips 226 and 228 are above ~nd off6et .
from the closure profiles 21R and 220. Thereby, the male and emale ~langes 21~ and 216 are adhered to their respectiv~ ~idew~lls 234 and 236 both above and below the location of the ~losure pro~ile~ 21~ and 220, with ~he portion of the ~langes 214 nd 216 immediately at the : ~.
closure profiles 218 and 220 remai~ing ~nsealed to the ~ .
sidewalls.
~ith continued refer~nce to the upside-down orientation of the pouch~s, with the closure ~trip 208 near the folded, lower end 232, the peela~le ~eal 2~4 is t~us for~ed spac~d Rlightly ~bove the $nterconnected male ~nd f~ale profiles 218 ~nd 220 of the closur~ ~rip 208 ~:
so t~at th~ peelable ~eal 254 extends horizon~ally b~tween th2 ~ale and female pro~iles 218 and 220 of the closure ~trip 208 ~nd the upper, open end 266 of the w~b 204 th~ upper ~nds Or ~he ~idewall~ be~ng ~d~cent, ~nd ~aving unsealed later~l ~dges 244 and 246.
Thus, during filling, in which article~ are : ;
loaded through ~he open upper end 266 o~ the web 204, as described below, the peelable seal 264 prevents the articles from contacting the zipper profiles 218 and 220 during ~illing. The peelable seal 2S4 acts as a barrier, with the ar~icles betng ~upported ther~above and i~olated 2g fro~ the clo~ure ~rip 208 which i~ bel~w the paQlable ~: :
~al 264. The p~ela~le ~al ~trip~ 226 and 228 ar~ made i ~
of ~ ~aterial which, when ~eated for a predetermin~d -~ .
perlod ~t ~ pr~deter~in2d te~p~ratur~, allows Qa~y separation o~ th~ peelabl~ s~al strips w~en they ~re 30 pull~d apart. ~ -Upon for~ation o~ th~ peelablQ B~al 26~, th~
two ~dewall~ 234 ~nd 236, two ~lang~s 214 ~nd 216, and two p~labl~ ~al ~tr~p~ 226 ~nd 228 ar~ ~11 bond~d lnt~gr~lly with one ~noth~r to form ~ ~ix layer laminate ~t th~ locstion o~ ~h~ peelable seal ~trip~ The portions of the flanges 214 and 216 at which the peel~ble .. . , ", .

-23- 2il2~SO
seal ~trips 226 and 228 are located are bonded ~ecurely t~ respective sidewalls 234 and 236, as best s~en in FIG.
18.
Bonding o~ the portion of the flanges 214 and 216 at the location of the po~lable ~eal ~trips 226 and 228 to th~ sidewalls 23~ and 236 i~ ~ff~ct2d ~imultaneou~ly with bonding of the peelabl~ ~al ~trips 226 and 228 to one another, by the pair o~ horizontally extQnding peel2ble s~aling bar~ 262 apply:ing heat and pressure to the ~idewalls 234 ~nd 236 at the location of the peelable seal strips 226 and 228. Th:i~ would normally elevate the tsmperature at the interf~ce of the peelable seal~ 226 and 228 to ~pprox$mately the same temperature a3 the interfac~ betwe~n the ~lange 214 and 216 and their r~spectivR sid~walls 234 ~nd 236.
It may ~ de~irabl~ to provide greater heat ~t the interfac~ of tho ~l~nge~ 214 and 216 and th~ir r~spe~tive sidewall~ 234 and 236 than at the interfac~ o~
the two peelabl~ 3~al strips 226 And 228. A r~latively lowQr heat at the interfac~ o~ the peela~le seal strips 226 and 228 ~ay be requ$red to ~s~ure ~n ea~ily separable ~eal ther~at, wberea~ the higher tempor~ture iB desir~ble ~or p~r~anent?y bonding th~ flanqe~ 214 and 216 to the ~idew~lls 234 and X36. ~xcessive heat tr~nsfer to the 25 peel~ble ~e~l would r~ndor ~t lncapa~le of open~ng -properly.
~ y pr~viding a plur~lity o~ ribs 263 on th~
out~r ~ur~ac~ 2~2 an~ 22~ o~ the flang~3 214 ~nd 216 ~t the loc~t~on opposi~e the peelabl~ rip3 226 and ~-`
i28, as ghown ln FI~ , les~ he~t is tran3~rred t~ th~
peel~ble ~e~l ~trips 2~6 ~nd 228 as compared with ~e h~t imparted to tbe ~idewall~ 234 and 236 and ~l~nyes 21~ and 21~. ~hen ~u~ec~d to ~he h~at and pres8ure of tb~ p~el~ble ~æ~ing b~r~ 262, the rib~ 263 are ~ealed to respect~ve ~idewall~ 234 and 236. ~he rib~ 263 ~ErYe as a ~t ~ink ~nd th~ air ~ap~ between ~d~acent ribs ~erve 24- 211~8~
as an insulator, with the combination ther~of serving to reduce the heat ~mparted to the peela~le eal ~trips 22 ~nd 228. Thus, ~ign~ficantly higher temp~r~tures ~re r~allzed at the inter~ace o~ the ribs 2~3 and ~idew~
234 and 236 as compared to the temperature at ~he : - :
interface of the two peelable ~eal strips 226 and 228, when ribs 263 ~re e~ployed.
As an alternative to the ribs 263, a soiid ~:
block of adhesive extruded w~th the closure strips 2}0 lo and ~12 opposi~e ~he peela~le ~ealing strips 226 ~nd 228 ~ay be employed. Use of a ~ol~d block o~ adhesive ~ay be undesirable in that 1~ ~ay be su~ceptibl~ to curling due ~o d~ferent rates o~ ther~al expansion of th~ adhe~ive and the closure strip ~ateri~l. Similarly, an adhesive layer ~ay be la~inated onto the closure strip~ 210 and 212 oppo~ite the ~ealing ~trips 228 and 230, rather than ~:
being coextrudQd. ~ :
Following formation of th~ pe~la~le ~al, as ~-the web 204 and closure ~trip 208 continu~ to be inter~ittently advanced by two pouch widths, th~y ar~
advan~ed to a closure ~trip ~ealing and hole punching station 268. When th~ web 204 is at rest ther~at, ~our heated crushing bars or other sealing apparatus 270, ~pac~d longitudinally approxi~ately one pouch width ~part, ~eal th~ Dale and f~2~1R closur~ co~ponQnt pro~iles 218 ~nd 220 to~th~r at on~ bag width int~rva~s.
The ~aled clo~ure ~tr~p por~ion~ 272 ~re ~pac~d appr~xi~at~ly on~ pouch width apart ro~ on~ anoth-r to corr~pond to th~ location of th~ lat~ral ~nd~ 274 of the co~plet~d pouche6 276 ~ right ~ide o~ FIG. 9~
~hat ~6, a~ de~cribed ~urtb~r b~low, th~ ~ron~ -~nd roar sidew~ll6 234 and ~36 ~rQ ~eal~d tog~ther alon~
~ ~ubstantial poxtion of th~ir vertical l~ngth ~t on~ bag wiZth interval~ to ~or~ ~de ~2als 278 at thQ location o~
the crushed clo ure port~onB 272. ~he ~dew~ 23~ and 236 ar~ then cu~ at the l~cati~n o~ the 3id~ 3e~1~ 27~ ~
.:..

~ . : .

'` 21128S~

form a plurality of 6eparat~ pouch compartments having lateral sides defined by th~ side 6eals 278. The s~aled closur~ portion~ 272 thus form the ends 280 of the closure ~trip 208 of each pouch, and ~erve to both ~orm a positive ~eal at the lateral ends 280 of the closure 6trip 208 to prevent separation of the lateral ends of the closure ~trip upon Beparation of the ~ale and female closure component pro~ile~ 218 and 220.
As ~n in FI~. 8a, four egually-~paced, heated :
crushing bars or other 6ealing maans 270a, ~70b 270c, and 270d are employed. While ultrasonic ~ealing apparatus ~ay be e~ployed, these are too 810w in for~i~g the desired closure ~trip s~als, and ther~fore he~ted ~e~ling bars ~r~ preferred. While in the preferred ~mbo~im~nt of tho invent~o~, the web 204 i8 advanced two pouch widths upon each intermittent advanc~ment thereo~ and the pouches filled ln psir~, with four se~ling appaxa~us 270~, 270b, 270c ~nd 270d ~paced one pouch width apart, :
other arr~ngement~ fnlling within tho scope of the :~
invention ~y also b~ desirable. For instance, the web 204 may be advanced inter~ittently three baq width~, with ~ix ~ealing ~pparatu~ employed ~nd ~paced one bag ~idth apart, tv allow ~imultane~u~ filling of 3 poucbes.
With thi~ ~pacing ~nd we~ ~d~ncoment, the 25 portion o~ the elo~ure ~trip 208 whic~ was ~eal~ by ~ : .
heated cru hing ~ar 270a i6 ~hen ~dv~nced ~wo pouch widths to heated o ~ ~hing ~ar 270c whereat the ~losure ~tr~p 208 ~8 s~alQd at the ~a~e location aq~n. .
Si~ilarly, t~ portion og ~h~ closur~ ~trtp 208 which was se~led ~y heated crushin~ b~r 270b i~ then advanced two ,pouch w~dths to he~ted crus~ing b~r ~70d ~here~ the --closure $tr~p 208 ~ ~e~l~d at th~ ~a~e location ~gain.
~nc~, th~ one pouch w~dth ~paced portion~ o~ th~ clo~ur~ -~trip 20B wh~c~ ~re s~al~d, ~re each 5~ led tw$ce there~
to a~sure proper ~ealing o~ the ends of th~ clo~ure strips.
' -26- 2112~50 Positloned 2idway between the second and third heated crushing bars 270~ and 270~, and midway ~etween the thlrd and fo~rth beated crushing bars 270c and 270d, ::
ar~ hole punch devices 2R2. Hence, the two hole punch dev~ces 282 are also ~paced one pouch width ~rom one anot~r. While the web 204 i~ at rest at the closure strip sealing and hole punching #tation 268, between the intermittent advancements of the web 204 therethrough, the hole punch devices 2~2 both punch a small hole 284 10 ~hrough the front and rear sidewalls 234 and 236 between the engaged male and femal~ pro~iles 218 and 220 of the closur~ strip 208 ~nd ~he line of perforation 254, and, approximately midway betw~n the ad~acent closure ~trip crushings 272.
Henc~, upon th~ next ~ntermitt~nt advancement of the web 204 and closure strip 208, the portion of the web exit$ng the closure ~trip cru~hing and hole punching 6tation 268 has the ~losur~ ~trip 208 s~aled at two locations, th~ ~nterval b~tween adjacent s~als 272 being ~pproximataly 4qual to the d~sired pouch width, with the lower end 232 of the ~olded web 204 having ~ holQ 284 therethrough to ~ccommodate a support hook by which th~
pouch ~ay be h~ng for displ~y.
The web 204 and closure strip 208 ar~ then 25 ~dvanc~d two pouch width~ upon ths next ~nt~r~itt~nt .
~dvance~ent th~r~of to a ~ide ~1 forming 6ta~ion 288 ~t which a pair o~ v~rtically ~xt~nding h~at~d ~al~ng barR - :
290 ar~ int~r~itt~ntly pres-~d ~gainst oppo~ite ~idos of th~ ~idew~ t th~ loc~t~on of th~ clo~ur~ etrip a~als to apply 6uffic~ent h~at ~nd pr~ur~ to ~al tb~ fron~
nd rear ~idewall~ 234 ~nd 236 togeth~r ther~t to for~ n : :
~a~r o~ ~ubstantially v0r~ical ~dQ ~aal~ 2~ ~oining ;-~id front and r~ar ~idewall~ 234 and 236 at on~ b~g wld~h i~t~rvAl~. ~hl~ d~ino~ ~ pockQt 292 h~Y~ng a ~-~ldth d~tar~in~d ~y tho di~tanc~ b~tw~n 3ald v~rt$c~1 ~id~ ~eal~ 278 t a6 ~ent~on~d ~bove.

.

.
.. ~ . .
' ' 21128~

The ~ide ~eals 278 extend fro~ the lower, folded end 232 ~f the web 204 to near th~ later~l edges 244 ~nd 246 at th~ upper ~nd of the foldad web.
~ ertically orient~d ~ni~e~, indic~t~d ~ch~matically 2t 294 in FIG. 9, cut thQ w~b 204 whi}e it ~ at re3t ~t the sid~ eeal forming station 288, for~ing cut~ 296 near the ~iddle Df th~ formed side ~al~ 278.
The cuts 296 ~xtend fro~ ths low~r, folded end 232 of the :
web 204 ter~inating n~ar the lateral edges 244 And 246 at the upper, open end 266 of the partially formed pouches.
Thu~, a plurality of pouches are ~ub~tantially for~ed which ~re ~ubstantially slit therebetweon. The pouch~s r~main attached to one ~nother near the upp~r ~nd of the sidewall~ 234 and 236, due to fact that th~ ~lits 15 do not extsnd th~ ~n~ire v~rtical l~ngth of th~ ~
sidewalls. A 6m~ ection 314 at ~he upper sidewall : -odges 24~ and 246 r~ ns uncut. The pouches are not completely ~eparated from o~e another ~ntil the last .:.
stage o~ the production proce~ , a~ter the partially 20 formed pouches have been filled and ~eal~d, a~ explained: .
~rther below.
Each o~ th~ pouche~ has ~ pocket 292 between th~ ~ront and rear ~idewall~ 234 and 236 de~ined by the peel~e ~eal 26~ at the lower ~nd~ 8ide ~eals 278 ~t the 25 lateral ~id0s, an~ op~n ~ t~ ~pp~r ~nd 266 ~o allow :
~illing ~g the ~ouch~s t~er~a~ into th2 pocket 292, ~s de~;r~b~d bel~w.
~ he web 204, whioh ha~ now be~n ~artially ~orM~d into pouche~, is then ~dv~nc~d go a ~illing station 300 ~t which the upper, lateral ~dges 244 ~nd 246 .o~ th~ parti~lly for~ed pouches ar~ sep~rated to form a-~
~llllng op~ning 302 t~ FI~. 8a)0 P~irn o~ ~lnger~ 304 ~n~ 304b ext0n~ ~own bQ~ween the front ~nd r~ar ~ldew~
234 and ~36 a~ the upper, l~t~r~l odges ~44 ~n~ 24 th~r~of.

:

., . ., - - . .
' - ' ,, .. : , , . ' !, .
.''. ':'.: , . . ' ', ,. : : ' ' ' ' : , i ,:,.'.: , ,'. , ~ '` ',.. ' , , , , ' ' '' ` 2112~

The pairs o~ ~inger~ 304 nre pressed together ~s the we~ 204 i8 advan~d. Since t~e s~de g~als 278 do not extend co~ple~ely to the upp~r, lateral edges 244 and 246 of t~e sidewalls 234 and 236, and the ~ngers 304 do not ext~nd down to the ~idewalls 278, there is no $nterference of the 6idewalls with ~he fingers 304 upon web advancements.
While the web 304 is at rest between sll cessive intermittent advancem~nt, the fingers 304 ~re approximately ~idway between ~djacent ~ide ~eals 278.
The fingers 304 æeparate, pulling the upper edges 244 and 246 of the sid2walls 234 and 236 in opposite directions to present the filling open~ng 302 through which articles are loaded ~nto the pocket 292 oi the par~i~lly ~orm~d pouch~s. As ~en ~ch~matically in F~G. 8a, two pairs of fingers 304a and 304b are e~ployed which allow the si~ul~ane~us rilling of two pouches at a time. The peelable ~eal 264, whic~ had baen for~0d earli~r at the p~elable ~eal or~ing 6tation 260, prsvents the ~rticle~s ~rom contacting the male ~nd female pro~iles 218 ~nd 220 of the closur~ trip 208 d~ring loading, and al~o later during ~torag~ of the pouche~, to eliminate interf~rence :~
with prop~r oparation of th~ closure strip 208.
~uring th~ int~rYal that th~ ~pper edges 244 and ~6 of thQ ~idewalls 234 an~ 236 ar~ ~@parat~d by ~he finger~ 304a ~nd 304~ t~ ~or~ ~h~ ~illing op~ning~ 302, ~ ~-articls~ ~r~ lo~d~d ~ownward ~to t~ pock~t~ 292 of the pou~h~ through lo~d~ng chut~s 30S ~o fill th~ pouch~ to ~ p~deturmi~d 1~1. Th~ ~ng~r pa~r~ 304a ~n~ 304 arQ ~h~n brou~ht ~c~ tog~h~r ~or ~h~ n~xt w~
;advanc~ment, which bring~ two ~oro poc~ 292 into r~gi~tration vith th~ two ~inger pair~ 304~ ~nd 304b and losdinq chut~s 305~
Aft~r the w~b 20~ ha~ n ~ub~tantially form~ into pou~h~ ~nd th~ p~rtially fo~d pouch~
~ d, in the aforement~oned ~a~ner, th~y ar~ advanc~d :, , : ..................... . . .

~ .

-29- 21128~
to an end closure ~tation 310 at which the op~n, upper edge~ 2~4 ~nd 246 o~ thQ ~dewalls 23~ and 236 ar~ ~eal~
toge~her to ~orm an uppsr ~eal 311 to ~nclose th~
articles w~thin the pocket 292. ~S~e FIGS. 9, 18 and 14.) ~orizontal heated closure bars 312 ~pply hQat nnd pressure to form th~ ~eal at the upper ~dges 244 and 246 of the front and rear sidewall~ 234 and 236, thereby her~etically ~ealing the articles within the pocket 292 ~.
of the pouch. The clo~ure bar 3~2 is approximately two ..
pouch widthF3 in length, to correspond to the double pouch width web ~dvancement~
Also at the 3eal~ng ~tation 310, ~h~ narrow poxtion 314 of w~b 304 still ~nterconnecting the pouches near their upper edges 24~ And 246 $s then cu~ by separating bl~des 322 to separate the formed, filled and sealed pouches 320 ~ro~ the remainder o~ th~ web 304. An alternati~e to separating the pouches by the u~e of separating blade~ 322 i8 use of a pouch ~eparating ~echani~ 500, ~uch a~ that illustr~t~d in FIGS. 23-27, a~d described ~urther ~elow.
Thus, two ~parate pouches ar~ produced ~t a : .
~im~ in which th~ user need ~erely t~ar the ~old~d ~nd 2 2 of the pouch 320 of~ at the ~ine of perforation 254 (see FIG3 19), then pull the s~dewalls 234 and 236 apart 2~ at the$r upper ~dge~ 2~4 ~nd 246 with ~u~icient for~e to .
~eparate ~he ~al~ and r~al~ closure component proriles .
21~ ~nd 22C, ~nd p~el the peelabl~ ~eal 264 apart, to ællow ac~e~ to ~h~ product ~tor~d withln ~he pock~t 292 of th~ pouch 320. Th~ pouc~ i5 ~sily res~al~ble by re~oining th~ ~,al~ and f~ale clo-~ur~ co~pon~nt profil,es 218 ~nd 220, to ~,aintain ~reshness o~ the product ~tor~2d -.
~ithi~ th~ pou~h int~rior.
The ~0thod of ~or~ing, ~illln~ and ~e~ling the pouch ha~ng be~n ~xpl~in,~d, ~he ~pparatu~ ~or c~rrylng out the ~ thod ~ill now b~ d~,~crib~d in gra~t~r det~

... .. . . ~ ~ . . . .

-_30_ 2~8~0 T~e overall form, ~111 and seal app~ratus is shown 6chemat~cally in F~G. 8~, and re~erred to generally at 400. At the raw ~aterlal end 402 of ~:he appar~tus 400 ~3 ~ituated ~ roll 202 of polymeric sheet ~aterial or web S 204 ~nd a roll 206 of closure ~trip material 208 having lnterconnected, complementary ~ale and fe~ale component~
210 and 212. -Th~ closure trip 208 is unrolled from the xoll 206 by a closure ~trip unwind unit such as that shown in FIGS. 17-19, and indicated generally by reference numeral 404. The path of travel of the closure ~trip 208 i~
indicated in FIGS. 15-17 by broken lines. As the closure ~trip 208 is unrolled fro~ the roll 206, $t p~sses ~h~ough eyelet 408 which supports the closure ~trip in an elevated position. The closure ~trip 208 th~n passes around recessed guiding wheel~ 406. The guiding wheels 406 have a reces6 410 therein, ~s 6hown in FI~. 18~ to accommodate the thicX~nsd pvrtion ~f the closure ~trip 208 at which th~ ~ale and f~al~ closurs component profiles 218 and 220 are located.
~ hereaft~r, th~ closur~ strip 208 passes to power~d roll~r 412 which ~ff~c~s advance~nt of th~
closure Btr~p 208. Th~ pow~red roll~r 412 i~ dr$ven by a ~otor which rotate~ the powe~od roll~r 412 int~rmittently ~ pr~deter~in~d ~ount ~o ~dvanc~ the ~losur~ 6trip 20~.
A pressure roll~r ~14 ~ biased toward th~ pow~red rollar 412 and exert~ a continual forc~ thereagain~t, Th~
clo~ur~ 6tr~p 208 pa~ses betwe~n th~ powerQd roll~r 412 and th~ pres~ur~ ro~ler 414 with the pre~sur~ roller ~14 a~suring po~itive ~rictional ~ngag~nt o~ th~ closur~
~trip 208 with th~ power~d rol}~r 412. HsnGe, a~
po~er0d roll~r 412 ~o lnt~r~itt~n~ly rot~t~d~ th~ clo~ur~
~tr~p 208 i~ ~nt~r~ittently ~dv~nced a corre~pond~ng ~ou~t.
3S The pow~re~ roller 412 and pres~ur~ roller 4~4 both have respective channel~ ~16 ~nd ~18 which ~re -31- ~12~0 aligned with one another to accommodate the ~nlarged middle portion of the clo6ure Btrip 208 at which is located the male and fe~al~ closura component ~>rofiles 218 and 220. Henco, th~ ~le ~nd ~emale flange sections 214 and 216 on ~ither side of the ~nlarged middle portion . :
o~ the closurs strip ar~ pressed between the powered roll~r 412 and the pressure roller 414 to 2ffect ::
advancement of the cloqure strip withou~ di~torting thP
enlarged central portion o~ the closure ~trip.
As ~tated above, it is necessary to maintain the requisi~e continuous forc~ of the pressure roller ~14 aqainst the powered roller 412 to a~sure proper positive frictional engagement ~etween the closure 3trip 208 snd the powerod roller 412, and hence assure accurate advancement of the closure ~trip 208. To ~aint~in this force, the pressure roller 414 i~ mounted for pivotal movement about pivot pin 420, ~nd i5 biased toward the powered rol}er 412 by a ~pring 422, as b~t ~een ln FI~
18.
After passing between the powered roller 412 and th~ pressure roller 414, the closure R~rip 208 passes ~
around dancing r~ng 424 ~nd ~mall roller 42~ be~ore .;~.
exi~lng ~e closure ~trip unwind u~it 404 throug~ ~econd ~:
eyelet 428. ~oth the dancing ring ~2~ ~nd ~all roller :
have a ch2nnel t~er2in (not ~own~, ~imil~r to the channels ~16 ~nd 41~ provided in the powered roller 412 and the pre~sure roller 414, r@sp~tlvely.
T~ channel3 prov~d~d on ~h~ r~ller~ of the clo~ur~ ~trip ~nw~nd un$t 404 ~ay have their ~idth ~nd 30 profil~ chang~d by ~ny or ~v~ral differ~nt ~et~ods. In --the preferred embodiment of ~he invention, the entire clo~ur~ ~trip unwind un~t 404 is ~odular and lnterchange~ble. The motor remains in pla~e as unwind :
unit$ 404 correspo~ding to th~ particular 5iZ~ and shape o~ the clo~ure ~trip 208 being run ~re interchanged on -32- 2~128~
the motor shaft. Hence, this arrangement assures accurate two bag width closl~re strip advance~ents.
After exiting the closure l;trip unwind unlt 404, the closure ~trip 208 pa~ses beneath flrst ha~ted ~ealing bar 230, as illustrated in FIG. 8a. The ~irst heated sealing bar 230 also includes a channel therein to accommodate the enlarged center portion of the closure strip 208. The ~irst heated sealing bar 230 is raised and lowered intermitt~ntly, which raising and low~ring is synchronized with the intermittent advancement of the closur~ strip 208 and plastic web 204. H~nce, th~ first heated ~ealing bar 23~ iz rai~d upon sach a~ancement of the plastic ~hee~ 204 and closur~ strip 208, and lower~d between successive advancement~, during which ~h~ closure 6trip and web are stat~onary beneath the fir~t h~ated sealing bar 230.
The ~ir~t h~atGd ~eal~ng bar 230 applies heat and pr~ssur~ to th~ ~lange~ 214 and 216 of the closura ~trip 20~ each ti~ it i~ lowered to bond the planar ~urface 222 of the ~ale flangQ 214 ~o the plastic web 204. The temp2ratur~ of th~ heat~d sealing ~r 230 is controll~d el~ctron~cally to ~intain th~ sealing bar 230 at a ~uitabl~ te~per2~ure, ~hich t~mp~ra~ur~ will v~ry depending upon the production rate and th~ mat~rial~
employ2d. ~y provi~ing ~or the l~ngt~ of the fir~t he~t~d ~ealing ~r 230 to be gre~ter than th~ two-pouch-width length o~ plasti~ w~b 204 ~nd clo~ur~ ~tr$p 208 advance~nt~, th~ in~er~tent ~e~l~ fsr~ed by the fir3t heated 6ealing bar ov~rl~p one another to a~sur~ that the entire length o~ d o~ur~ ~trip 208 is sal~d to the pla~ti~ we~ 204, ~ithout ~ny g~p~.
A5 di~cu~d ~o~e and expl~in~d ~urther below, ~ha closure ~trip 208 1~ ~fix~d to th~ pla~tic ~e~ 204 ogf-c~nt~r ~her~of (~ FIG. ~). I~ the illu~tr~t~d ~xa~ple, the ~al~ co~ponent ~ f the clo~ure ~trip i~ ~fixod to the pl~t~c wab 20~ by the ~ir~t h~ated ~ , . . ~: ,, , :

2~123~
-33- ::
sealing bar 230 and is affixed closer to lateral sdge 246 ;~
than to later~l adg~ 244.
After passing beneath the ~irst heated ~enling bar 230, the pla~tic web 204, with the closure strip 208 ~ndcd thereto, i~ ~rought to olding station 241 at which the pla~tic w~b 204 ~8 f~lded in h~lf along the centerline 231 to bring t~e oppo~ts longitudinal ~nds :~
244 and 24S of the pl~t~c web 204 together. Folding bars 240 appropriately positioned in the path o~ travel lo of the plastic web 20~ deflect the later~l ends 244 and . ; .
246 of the plastic web 204 upward while maintaining the center o~ ~he plastic web lowered, to partially fold the web, ~s best ~een in the plan view of FI~. 8a. Then the plastic w~h 204 i5 passed ~etween folding rollers 242 which complete the ~olding operati~n by creasing the pl2stic sheet along the centerline 231 to ~orm a folded end 232. T~e ~olding ro}lers 242 al80 pres~ the ~ections o~ the we~ 204 on ~ith~r side of the ~old toget~er to form opposing ~id~w~lls 234 a~d 236.
Immediately after pass~ng through the folding rollers 242, the ~old~d web 204 i~ e~gaged near ~he upper edges 244 3nd 246 of ~he sidewall~ 234 and 236 by ~upporting b~ 432 and 434 ~rhich press together ~n opposit~ ~ides o~ the ~olded polymeric web to tr~nsport 25 the web 204 to ~ach of th~ ~ubs~guent pouch forming, ;
~illing and ~oaling ~t~tlons. : :
The pair of ~upporting belt~ 432 and 434 press together on oppo~ite ~ides o~ th~ upper end 266 of the folded web to grip ~nd ~upport ~he web therebetween, with 30 rotation of th~ ~uppor~ng b~ s 432 and ~34 ~dvancing the web. The ~upporting belt~ 43~ and ~34 ~re supported :
and ~dvanc~d by ~ ~lurali~y of roller6 ~30 ~hich ~xt~nd ~ha l~ngth of th~ appar~tus ~nd ~r~ chann~l~d, with th~
~upporting belts 432 ~d 430 ~xtending tautly around th~
æupporting roll~r~ 430, re~iding within the channel~ 431 thereo~ to pr~v~nt ~he support~ng b~lt~ 432 and 434 ~r~
'~ ' .. . ... . ... .. ..... .. ....... .. . . . . ..

.. ~ , ,, . - -34~ 2~12~
slipping off t~e rollers 430. The thickness of the6upporting belts 432 and 434 i~ greater than the depth of the ~upporting roller channels 431 60 that ~l~e suppor:ing belt~ contact the web 204 when pressed together on opposite sides thereo~, rather than the rollers themselves doing the contacting. One of the roller~ 430 of both th~ left ~ide ~upporting belt 432 and the right side 6upporting belt 434 is a powered roller, driven by a motor to advance the respective belt.
lo After b~ing folded, the web 204 is th~n advanced by the support~ng belts 432 and 434 to perfor~ting ~tation 24~, which in accordance wit~ ~he pr~erred embodiment i~ ~hown in FIGS. 12 and 13.
Thereat, the folded web 204 passes between perforating roller 259 and backing roll~r 252, with th~ backing roller 252 ~iased into abutment ag~inst the perforating roller 250 60 that the perfor~ting ro}ler 25~ presses against the web with ~uf~i~ient pressure to pen~trate both sidewalls and thereby form a continuous lin~ of perforation. With referenc~ to FIG. 12, the backing roller 252 i~ ~ounted on ~n arm 445 which is ~upport~d for pivotal ~ove~ent ab~ut pi~ot ~h~ft 439. The backing roller is ~ias~d into abutme~t ~ith the perforating roller 250 by spring 429. ~o synchr~nize rotation of th~ rot~ry p~for~ti~g ~13do 250 with th~ int~r~itt~nt web advance~nt~ in t~is e~bodi~ent, ~nd thereby ~lp to a~ur~ ~ continu~ orizont 1 line of perforatios~ 254, ti~ing b21t 435 and ~.37 are employ~d. Supporting belt 432 ~xtend~ ~autly around t~ing ~haft ~36 with the 30 ~upport~nS~ belt ~32 r~ceiv~d ln ~ uppar chanslel 431 ~nd the ti~ainSl belt ~35 rec~iv~d in ~ lower channel 431. The timing l:~elt 435 ~ O e~xtend~ ~rour;d ~acking rollQr pivot ~h~t 439. Hlenc:e, a~ best oe~2n in FIG. 13, a~ the ~upporting belt 432 ~ adv~nced, it drive~; timing ~haft 35 436 which, in ~urn, drivee th~ backin~ rciller piYot ~haft 439 .

, .

2112~SO

To maintain powered rotation of the ~acking roll~r 252 a6 it pivots about backing roller pivot ~h~ft ~:
439, the backing roller pivot ~haft 439 and backing roller ~haft 441 ~r~ connected by ~ belt 443 whlch ~ :
~xtends around th~ lower ~nds thereof. Thus, as the backing roller pivot shaft 439 rotates, the backing roller shaft 441 is rotated therewith to rotate the backing roller 252. Accordingly, the backing roller 252 rotates forward and backward an amount directly proportional to the forward and bacXward mo~ement of supporting belt 432, regardles~ of the rotation~l position of the backing roller ~haft 441 about the backing roller pivot 6haft ~39. ~ ~
With continued reference to FI~. 13, timinq ~ : .
belt 437 is ~mployed to ~ynchronize ~ota~ion oS the perforating blade 250 w~th advancement of ~upporting belt 434. Both the support$ng belt 434 ~nd the timing belt 437 extend t~utly around timing sha~t 438, with the supporting belt 434 received $n an upper channel 431 ~nd the timing belt rsceive~ in ~ lower channel 431. Hence, as the 3upport~ng belt 434 is advanced, it drives timing ~ha~t 438 whic~ drive~ ~imtng belt 437 to rotate perforating ~lade ~ha~t 451. Accordingly, the per~orating roller 250 rotat~s forward and ~acXward an amount directly proportion~l ~o the ~orward and bw kward ~ove~nt o~ ~upporting b~lt ~34. With th2 af~rementioned arrangement, the ~pe~d of th peripheral ~utting ~dge o~
th~ p~rforating rollQr 252 is ~aintain~d sub~tantially ~gual to t~ ~peed of the web. : :~
Th~ h~ight o~ the perforating roll~r 250 ~nd ~ -~
the backin~ roll~r 252 are ad~ustable to ~ccommodate di~ferent pouch ~izes ~nd config~ration~ by ad~u~ting th~ ~
~rtical posit~on o~ the ar~ 4~5 along b~cXing roll~r pivot shaft 439. ~nce, a h~rizontal line o$ pQrforation 254 is ~ormed in the sidewall~ whi~h ~xtends between th~

21128~0 fo}ded lower ~nd 232 and the ~le and fe~ale pro~ s 218 and 220 o~ the closure ~trip 208.
Since the elosuxe strip 208 was attached to tha pl~stic web 204 of~-center, upon folding of the web 204 along the centerline 131, the closure strip 208 is now spaced above the folded lower end 232 Or ~he plastic web 204. At this atage, only th~ male clo~ure component flange 214 is attached to the web 204. When ~he web 204 was folded in half, this brought the sidewall 236 up against the planar gida 224 of the female component 212 of the closure strip 208. ~enc~, after passing between the perforating roller 250 and backing roller of FIGS. 12 and 13 to orm ~ horizont~l line of perforation 254, the n~xt stage of the pouch for~ing operation i~ to now seal ~5 th~ female closure component 212 to ~idewall 236, so that the o~posite ~alo ~nd ~alQ components 210 ~nd 212 of.
tha closure strip 208 ~re affixed to th~ir re~pecti~e opposite ~idewall~ 234 and 236.
To attach the gl~ngQ 216 of the ~e~al~ clo~ure component 212 to it~ re~pectiv~ ~idewall 236, the web 204 i~ ~d~anced by the ~upporting belts 432 and 434 to :.
cloaur~ ~trip s~nling ~tation 255 at which a second horizont~lly ext~nding haated sealing ~ar 256 is employed to e~fect the seal. The clo3ur~ ~trip s~ling st~tion 255 is 3hown in plan ~i~w ~ th~ l~ft ~id~ o FIG. 10, ~nd in end ~iew ~ ~IG~
The s~cond heated s~aling b~r 25~ and ~on- -heatod bacX~ng ~ 257 ~xtond hor~zont~lly a~d ~re int~r~ittent~y pre~sed togeth~r on oppo~ite ~ides of the fol~2d w~b ~t th~ location o~ t~e clo~ure ~tr~p 208 dur~ng the ~ntorYal~ at wh~ch th@ w~b 204 i~ at rost : :
between it~ int~r~itt~nt ~dvance~nts. The ~ocond he~t~d ~al~ng bar 256 ~pplies ~eat ~nd pressure to the sldewall -~
236, with the pressure forci~g the ~idewall 236 ~gain~t 3S ~he planar ~ide 224 o~ t~ ~emale component 212 of ~he closurQ ~trip 208, ~nd the heat b~ng appli~d for a i~ :

_37_ 2 ~ 0 predetermined in~rv~l ~ufficient to ~eal ~he planar side 224 of the female component 212 of the closure ~trip 208 to its respective sidewall 236.
With reference to ~IG. ~0, respective hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders 440 and 44~ are employed ~o force the ~econd heated ~e~ling bar 2S6 and bac~ing b~r 257 together. The second heated s~aling bar 256 and backing bar 257 ~re supported for sliding transl~tion, toward ~nd away from one another, on support ~hafts 444. Th~
actuatio~ of t~e cylinder 440 ~nd 442 is ~ynchroni~ed :~
with the intermittent advance~ents o~ the web 20~ such that the cylinder$ 440 nd 442 are actuated to move the ~econd heated ~e~l~ng ~3r 256 and backing b~r 257 together during the interv~l between successlve web advancement~ during ~hich period the web 204 i~
stationary at t~e clo~ure s~rip ~eal ~tat~on 2S5. The cylinders 400 and 402 then retr~ct the second heat~d sealing b~r ~56 and backing bar 257 ~mmediately prior to, and during, web advancements to allow uninhibited advanc~ment of t~e web 2040 In order to ~low ~or longitudinal ~ .
r~positioning of the ~econd heated sealing bar 256 and backing bar 257 to ~cco~modat~ dif~erent pouch widths, the entire elosur~ strip ~eal ~tation 255 i5 ~ounted f~r .-~liding tr~n~lation on longitudinally ex~nding ~upport ~h~ft~ 446. Hence, w$th reference to FIG. 10, th~
clo~ure strip ~al sta~ion 255 can b~ ~lid on the ~uppor~
~ha~t6 ~46 to the r~g~t or le~t of th~ position 6hown and secur~d at a ~31ectivQ posit~on. ~rhe vertical po~ition -30 of kh~ ~6cond l~eated se~ling b~r 236 ~s also adjustable to compensate gor ~iffer~n~ pouch lenqths and different . :
~ouc:h con~igurat~ons, in which th~i closure ~trip 208 IDay .;
b~ at di~orent Yertical ~lev~tit3r~ he ~econd h~at~d ~allng bar i~ pref~rably heat~d by providing a 35 cyl~ndrical passage t~erein which rec~iv~s an Ql~ctrical re~ist~nce heating ele~ t.

2~128~0 At this stage, the web 204 exiting the closure 6tr~p ~eal station 255 is partially formed lnto a pouch, ~ith the p}astic web 204 fsld~d ovsr to define ~pposing sidewalls 234 and 236, a lower folded ~nd 2~2, and upper ~idewall edges 246 ~nd 244. Also, the male and ~emale closure co~ponents 210 and 212 are attached to their respective ~idewalls 234 and 236, spaced ~lightly from the lower folded end 232, and interconnected with one another. The part~lly formad pouch is supported by the lo supporting belts 432 and 434 ~t its upper edges 244 and 2~6 and depends downward therefrom in an "inverted"
position with the closurQ ~trip 208 being nQar the lower end a~d, ~s di~cu~s~d ?~ove, t~e partially formed pouch remains in thie inverted position throughout ~or~ng, ~:
filling and ~e~ling theroo~
With rRf~r~ncQ to FIGS. 8a and 10, in accordance with th~ pr~ferrsd embodim~nt of th6 inv~ntion, the partially formed pouch ~; next transported by the supporting belts 432 and 434, in the aforementioned ~a~ner, to peelable sQal forming station 260. Thereat, the pair of h2at~d, horizontally ext~nding pe~labl~ 80~1 forming bar~ 262 positi~ned on opposite ;~
~ide~ of the WQ~ 204 ~t th~ vertical height of th~
peelable ~e~ling ~'crip~ 226 ~nd 22~ ~re pres~ed together ~ :~
25 on oppo~ite ~d~ o~ olded web, to ~al th~ p~elable ~;ezlling s'crip~ 226 and 22~ togl3ther.
As ~ovo with regard to th~ ~:losure l3trip seal station 255, hydrauli~: or p3le~a~ic c:ylinder~ 448 ~nd ~50 ~re ~employ~d t~ rorco the two peelable ~eal fonning bars 262 ~oge~her. T~ p~la~ al forminq bars 262 are ~upport~d ~or ~l~d~ng tr~n~ n, toward an~ ~w~y fro~
on~ ~nother, o~ ~upport ~haft~ ~52. $h~ a~tuation o~ the cylind~rs ~8 and ~50 ~ ~ynchronizod ~ith th~
lnt~rmltt~nt ~d~ancome~t~ ~ the we~ 204 ~uch th~t the eylinder~ 448 and ~50 are actu~ted to ~o~e tb~ peelabl~
~eal f~ing bAr~ 262 togeth~r during the interval ,..', ~--, '-:

., . , ; ~ . ... . .

_39_ 21123~0 betwee~ success$ve web advance~ent3 in which the web 204 iB 3tationary at the peelAble aeal for~ing otation 260.

Th~ cylinder~ 448 ~nd 450 then retract the peel~ble ~eal f~rming bars 262 away from each other prior to, ~nd during, web advancements to allow uninhibited advancement of the web 204~
The ~ntermittent pressing together of the peelable eal for~ing b~rs 262 applies heat ~nd pr~ssure t~ the peelable eealing ~tr$ps 226 and 228 ~ufficient to lo adhere the ~trips 226 and 228 together. Ac di~cussed above, the materi~l selected for the peelable ~ealing ~:
~trips 226 and 228 1~ such that the adhering peelable :
~ealing trips 226 and 228 form a hermetic peelable seal .
264 which is easily separable when pulled apart ma~ually, ~ ;
but will not separa~ under the forces normally associated with ~hipping and handling.
In the pre~erred Q~bodt~ent of the apparatus 400, t~e pe~l~ble ~eal forming bar~ 262 comprise metal bars havlng thin rubber leading ends of approximately 3/4 to 1 inch t~ickness, which are pressed tog~ther on opposite ~ides of the ~olded web 204. The lead~ng end of the ~eal for~ing bars pre~erably ~ave a ~l~t bottom with ~:
a ~awtoot~-~haped tQp. This saw-toothed peelable ~eal pro~ile allows for ~as~er ~eparatlon of ~he peelabl~ seal as compar~d with convent~on~ ctangul~r ~ealing.
~he p~el~ble ~al or~ing bars 262 should ~xtend longitudinally oY~r a length ~re~ter th~n th~ :
length o~ the int~r~ittent advanc~ent~ of the pl~tic web 204 to ~ur~ ~hat th~ ~ntire l~ng~h of th~ pl~tic web ha~ ~ h~r~t~c peelabl~ ~al or~ed th~rQacro~s, spaced slightly ~bov~ the ~al~ a~d fe~ale ~losure co~pon~nt pro~ s 21~ ~nd 220 which al~o ~xt~nd ~long ~h~ ~ntire l~ngth oP th~ pla~tic WQ~ 204.
A~ ai~cu~d abo~ w~th r~gard to th~ cloaure ~trip ~ tat~on 255, th~ paelable 6~a7 ~orming ~tation 260 ~8 ~ount~ on ~h~ ~upport ~a~t~ ~46 ~or ~lidabl~

~ . , : . . ( , ~o 2112~50 translation as a complete unit to any desired longitudin~l posi.tion ~long th8 l~gth ~upport ~hafts 446 to accommodate the formation o~ di~farent pouch widths.
Al~o~ the vertical height of the horizontally ex~ending peelable seal ~orming bars 262 i~ adjustable to accommodate the production of different pouch lengths and different pouch configurations.
As mentioned briefly above, in an alternative embodiment the peelable seal 264 and lines of perforation 254 are formed generally ~imultaneously and ~t a common ~eelable ~eal and p~rforating station 400. This allows for reduction in th~ l~ngth o~ the production line ~y two-po~ch-widths, by ~ectively r~ducing tha requir~d number of 6tations by one etation. Apparatus suitable ::
for employment ~t this alternativ~ combined pee}~ble 6eal ~nd per~orating station 400 i6 hown ~n FIGS. 20-22.
A pe~labl~ ~e~l forming mechanism 402 i6 ~ituated a~ov~ a per~orating ~chani6m 404 whereby, at the sa~e ~tation ~00 and ~t generally ~he same ti~, a peel~ble s~al 264 iB formed ~cro~s thc pouches at a vertical height above the interengaged closure strip components 218 ~nd 220, ~nd a line of per~oration 254 is ~or~ed across the pouche~ at ~ vertical height below the interengaged clo~ure ~trip c~ponents 218 and 229.
~ith ref~rence to FIG. 20, ~he p~elable ~al forming ~echani~ ~02 co~pri~e~ ~eaged pe~l~ble ~eal ~ormi~g ~r~ ~06, which press togeth~r on opposite ides of thQ ~olded we~ at a ~eigh~ corrs~pondlng to the po~it~on of th~ pe~l~ble ~e~ling ~tr~p~ 226 a~d 228.
Suf~ic~snt h~t and pre~ur~ are appli~d for ~ p~riod su~icient to bond the p~elable sealing strips 226 and ..
228 together to ~or~ pe~laSle seal 264. The construction and op~ration o~ thQ peelabl~ ~al ~or~ng ~ 40~ are :-tb~ ~a~e ~s thos~ ~ploye~ ~t pe~la~le ~o~l for~lng 35 5tat~0n 260 o~ the ~lternat~ve e~bodim~nt, and therefore 2112~0 -41- .
t~eir construction ~nd operation will not be reiterated here for concis~n~ss.
Situated beneath these peelable s~al f~r~$ng bar~ 406 is the perforation for~ing mech~nism 404. ~he -:
alternative perfor~tion forming mechanism 404 di~fers ~ubstantially from the mechanis~ of the rotary blade perforating ~tation 24~ di~cu~sed AbOV~. In accordance with this alternative perforation formin~ mechanis~ 404, a first 6ecuring ~ember ~0 and ~econd securing member ~:~
412 are brought together on opposite ~ides~ o~ the partially formed pouches ~t ~ height corresponding to the-~ -desired loc~tion of th~ lin~ of perforation 254. The securing me~bers 410 nnd 4}2 ~ecure the r~gion ~f the ::
pouch to be p~rfcrated in a r$gid, substant~ally stationary position as a perforating blade 414 i~pacts the pouch ts ~orm th~ desirsd line of perfor~tion 254.
~he fir~t s~curing ~ember 410 includes a blad@
recei~ing ~lot 416 whic~ extends at l~st partially into the ~irst securing ~ember 410 from its le~ding Qnd 418, althou~h ~he blade receiving 510t ~16 may extend compl~tely through ~he first securing ~e~ber 410 . The dep~h of the blad~ rec~ivin~ ~lot 416 i~ made su~ficient ~ :
to accomm~date th~ perforating blade ~14 ~uring perforation, as will be explained below.
The ~e~ond ~e~uring ~e~b~r 412 ~l~o includes a slot ~20 ~ithln which the perf~rating blade 414 resides.
The per~orat~ng blade 414 ~5 connect~d to the ~cond ~curing De~b~r 412 for reciprocal ~ve~ont. A
perforating blade ~upport ~e~ber 432 i~ int~gral with and 3Q ~upport~ th3 p~rfora~ing blad~ 414. ~8nc3, th~ .
p~rfor~ting ~l~dQ 414 ~d it~ ~upport ~e~ber 432 int~gral thar~wlth ar~ ~ov~able ~tw~n ~ ratract~d p~it~on ~a~
~hown in FIÇS. 20 and 21) in which the p~rorating blad~
~1~ do~s not extend beyond ~h~ l~ading cnd 422 o~ the ~cond ~ecuring ~ember 412, and ~ perforati~ ~osition in which the per~orating ~lad~ ~14 ~xtend~ ~eyond ~h~

,; : : . ~ .

-42- 21~2~0 leading end 422 of the second securing ~embQr 412 to perforate ~he pouche~.
That i6, with r~fersnca to F~GS. 2~ and 21, w~en i~ it~ retracted pos~tion the leadin~ end 424 of the p~rforating blade 414 r~sides within ~lot ~20. Wh~n t~e perforating blade ~upport member 432 i~ ~lid forward with respect to the second securin~ member 412, to ~ove the perforating blade to its perforating position, the leading end 424 of the per~or~ting blade i6 received at least partially within the blade recsiving lot 416 of the first se~uring me~ber 410. With the first and second ~ecuring ~e~b2rs ~10 and 412 brought together on either : :
~ide of thQ pouch to ~Qcurs that portion of the pouch in :
a ~ta~ionary po ition, the pouch is pi~rced or perforated by the perfora~ing bl2de 414 ~8 th2 blad~ mov~s t4 i~S
per~orating position. Th~ perorating blade 414 i5 ~longated ~nd ~nclud~s linearly ~pacsd t~th 415 w~ich per~orate t~e pouch upon impact to form a plurality of lin~arly align~d, g~nerally ~qually ~paced p~rfora~ions in the pouch. Follvwing ~ovem~nt to its ~xtended position, the perforating blade 414 i~ rapidly withdrawn to i~ retract~d po~ition to allow sub~equ~nt advance~ent of the p~rfor~ted pouch out of the ~tation 400 ~nd advance~ent o~ ano~her pouch into the ~ti~n 400. Only portion~ o~ th~ le~ding ~nd 415 o~ the p~rfor~ting bl~de 414 pen~trate into th~ wall~ o~ the pouch ~o ~ffect formation oX th~ lin~ of per~or~tion.
~ o o~tect the de~r~d ~ov~nt of the pexforating blad~ ~14 b~ween i~ retr~ct~d and per~srat~ng po~itlons, ~h~ per~cr~t~ng blade ~upp~rt me~ber 432 i~ b~a~ed ~lth re~p~ct to the ~econd ~curing ~e~er 412, ~o the r~r~c~d ~l~de p~s~tion, by ~prings ~30. ~n the pre~erred e~bodi~ent, th~ ~econd ~ecuring .
~e~b~r 412 i~ ~ovad to ~t6 s~curing posit~on by actuat~ng ~eAns integral w~t~ the perforating bl~d~ ~upport ~mber 432. The ~ctuating me,an3 ~xert~ ~ ~orc~ on the ' '~.' .~- ' , ~ ., . .: , ~ . . .. ~ .. . .

-~3_ 2~ 2~
perforating blade supporting member 432 to ~ove the p~rforating bl?de ~upporting Dember 432 in the direction o~ the pouch ard in the dir~c~ion of ~he f.irst se~uring ~e~ber ~lo. The ~orce of the apring 430 18 ~uf~icient th~t ~he second ~ecur~ng member 412 re~aina 3paced from the per~orating blade ~upport ~ember 432 as the perforating ~upport member 432 ~nd second securing member 412 61ide together in tha direction of the first securing member 410.
Upon abu~men~ o~ the ~econd securing ~ember 412 with the first securing me~ber 410, the forc~ exerted by the actuating ~eans on the bl~de ~upporting member 432 in the direction of the pouch i~ ~u~icient to overcome the force of the ~prings 430, ~hereby the blade ~upporting ~ember 432 moves into abutment with the second ~upport~ng ~e~ber 412, with th~ perforating blade thus ~oving to its perforating pos$tion. That is, initially the blad~
supporting member 432 and ~econd securing me~ber 412 ~lide together toward ~he pouch, with their ~paced relation being ~aintained by the spring~ 430. However, followin~ abutment o~ the second ~ecuring member 410 with the firs~ 6ecuring ~e~ber 412, ~urther forcing of the blade ~upport~ng ~mber 432 in the direction of the first ~ecuring ~ember 410 ef~ects ~liding ~avement of the blade ~upportlng ~eKb~g 432 into abutm~nt with t~e ~3cond ~curing m~b~r ~12, with th~ per~oratlng blad~ 414 thus being ~ov~d to ~xtend beyond the leading ~nd ~22 o the secon~ ~2curi~q ~e~b~r 412. The perforat~ng ~lade 414 thu~ p~erces th2 pouch at lin~ar~y ~paced locations, with its leading en~ ~24 being receiv~d in ~lot 416 of the ! fir~t ~curing ~emb~rO Accord~ngly, th~ fir~t and ~econd ~curing ~ember~ 410 and ~12 ~r~ brought tog~ther a~out tho pouch to s~curo ~he port~on o th~ pou~h to be ~r~orated i~ A ~t~tionary po~ition. Whil~ the first ~nd ~econd 3~curing ~e~ber~ 410 ~nd ~12 ~emain pr~ss~d together to ~cur~ th~ pouch, th~ p~r~oratin~ bl~de 414 -44- 21~2~3~
then ~oves to itG perforating position. $here~fter, whil~ the fir~t and ~ec~nd BecUring ~ember~ 410 ~nd 412 rem~n together about the pouch, the actuating mear;s ~ov~6 the blada supporting ~ember 432 back away from the pouch, whereby the blade 414 moves back toward its r~tracted position, with the ~ecuring ~e~bers 410 and 412 still remaining together ~bout the pouch. That is, upon initial retraction of th~ bl~de ~upporting member 432, the 3prings 430 continue to hold the Recond seouring member 412 against the first securing ~e~ber 410. Only upon the perforating blade 414 reaching ~ts fully retracted po~it~on again ~8 the ~erond securing ~ber ~
412 ~ov~d away ~rom ~he f~rst securing ~ember 410. :~ :
Hence, at all ti~es that the perforati~g blade 414 is in contact with the pouch, She securing ~ember~ 410 and 412 are pressed togeth~r a~out the portion of the pouch b~ing p~rforated to n~cure th~t port~on o~ the pouch in a ~tationary posltion during perforating.
The actuating ~eans for ef~ecting movement of 20 the peel~ble ~eal mechanis~ 402 is independent of the . ;~
actuating ~eans or eP~ectlng move~ent of th~ perforation mec~anism 404. ~ow~ver, in the preferred embodiment ~or ~ ~
pr~cticin~ the inv~n~ion, the ac~ua~ing ~echanisms of ~he ~-.
peelable ~eal and pergor~t~on ~echanis~s 402 and 404 are ~ynchronize~. ~hen th~ ad~anclng web o~ partially for~d pouches co~es to rest durin~ ~he in~er~l between on~ o~
i~s intex~itt~nt ~dv~nc~s, ~he p~elable ~eal for~ing bars 406 ar~ fir.t soved toge~her into engage~en~ ~ith ~he :
pouch to initiate ~or~a~ion o~ the peelabl~ ~al 254.
I~edi~tely ther~aPter, with the peelable ~eal ~or~ing bar~ 406 ~till together, the p~rforatio~ mechPni~D 404 is ~ctu~ted. ~hQ ~cur~ng ~e~b~r~ 410 and 412 ar~ brought tog~ther and the p~rorating blade 414 i~ ~xtend~d and rotractad to fcrm ~h~ line of perforation 2540 Therea~ter, th~ ~ecuring ~e~b~rs 410 ~nd ~12 ~re retracted ~way ~ro~ the pouch. Finslly, the peelable '~.

. , ~
,: . ~ .

21 l~S~

seal forming bars 406 are also retracted aw2y fro~ the pouch, and the web of partially or~ed pouches is again adv~nced to brinq another porticn of the par~i~lly formed pouche~ into the combined peelable saal ~nd perforating ~tation 400. Hen~, lt i~ preferred that the cy~le time of ~he perfor~t~on ~echanls~ 404 be shorter than the cycle tim~ for formation of the peelable ~aal, 50 that no additional time is necessary to form the line of perforation 254, i~ excess of that required ~or formation 10 of the peelable ~eal 264. The perforation mechanism 404 of the present invention provides the desired rapid cycling time to acco~pli~h thi~.
With reference to the exploded view of FIG. 2~
the perforatin~ blade ~.14 is mour~ted to th~ blade BUpport 15 member 432 by ~ecuring the blade 414 between 61at 440 and the lip 442 of the support ~e~ber 432. ~his provides ~upport to keep the blade 414 ~traight during perforating operations and allows for easy r~movability o~ the blade 414 to ~hange blades ~fter w~ar or dam~ge ~o th~ bl~d~.
Re~rring now to FIG. 20, in the preferred e~bodiment of the inventio~, heat ~hields 444 in the form of metal ~lat~ ar# po~itionod ~etween the he~ted peelable ~-seal for~ing bar~ ~06 and the perfor~tion ~echanism 404.
The hea~ shields 44~ prevent ~he perforating blade ~14 25 and s~curing lDe~ers~ 410 ~nd ~12 fro~n b~in~ heat~d, w~ich h~ating ~ay othç~ c~use ~lting ~nd ~ticking o~ th~
pous:h pla~l:iG with th~se perforation ~chani~m compon~nt3 .
The s~curing og th~: p~rtially onDed pouch in a 30 taut, stationary po~ition with th~ ~curing 3semb~r~
and 412 whil~ i~pacting 1:h2 pouch with th~ pe~forating blade ~ as ~en fo~nd to ~e e~ectiv~ ~Eor per~orating th- ~langes 214 andl 216 o~ clo~ur~ compon~nt~, as ve~ll l!~5 the ~id~w~ 23~ . nd 236 o~ th~ pouch. H~nce, 3s w~th the perfora~ting ~ech~nis~ 404 of the pr¢~nt inv~n ion lt i~ not nece3~ary to ~e~ign th~ pouch uo thnt , ~ .
,. ., ,.
.

21128~ ~

either the male or female clo~ure member flanges 214 ~r ~' 21~ t~rminate ~hort of the de~ir~d loc~t.~.on for the line of perfor~tion.
With reference now to FIG. 8a and the right ~id~ of FIG. 10, following formation of the peel~ble seal and line of per~oration, whether ~ormed by the preferred or ~ny alternative embodiment6, the folded web 204 is then advanced to the closure 6trip crushing and hole punching station 2~8 ~t which four equally-sp~ced, haa~ed crushing b~rs 270a, 270b 270c, and 270d s~eal the male and female profiles 218 and 220 of the cl~sure strip 208 :
together ~t one-pouc~-width ~nt~rval~ along the length of the web 204. A~ discu6sed above with reference to the ~ ;
method for carrying out the invention, ~our closure strip sealing means are employed in conjun~tion with double b~g width w~b ~dvance~ent~ so that the closure ~trip 2~8: is ~aled ~nd t~en resealed ~t the same one bag w~dth 3p~ced .~:
loca~ions.
W~ile ~e web 204 1s at r~st at ~he closure :
strip cru~hing and hole punching ~tation 268, between lts inter~ittent advancement~ therethrough, hole punch .:
devices 282 punch holes through the ~idewalls 234 and 236. In the illustrated embodiment t~o hole pun6h devices 282 are e~ployed, ~ith one positioned ~idway ~tween the econd and third heated sealing bar~ 270b ~nd 270Cd ~nd ~he o~her positione~ m~way betw~en the third and ourth h~t~d ~aling ~ars 270c and 270d (see FIG. ~ ~:
8a) ~ith thi~ arrange~ent, and ~he web ~04 bQing -:`
~dvance~ ~wo pouch width~ upon ea~ ~nt~rmitt~nt :~
advanca~ent th~reof, 2~ch of ~he langth~ o the folded web 204 ha~ a 6ingle hole punched through bot~ 6id~walls 234 and 236 approx~at21y ~idway betwQen ~djac~nt l~ide ~al$; 278.
A h~la punch device 282 ~uitable for carrying 35 out the pres~n~ invent~on is illu~trat~d i-~ ~id~ view in ~IG. 16. ~ydraulic or pneu~natic cylinder ~60 hac two .

` 2~12~0 ~hafts 462 and 464 which ~ove outwardly away from one another to the position ~hown in FIG. 16 when an actuating ~ed~um enter~ through 6upply piping 46~. The shafts 462 and 464 ~ove toward one another whan an 5 actuating ~edium enters through inlet piping 468. ::
As seen in FIG. 14, punch housing 470 is mounted to 6haft 462, ~nd backing housing 472 is mount~d to shaft 464. Hence, during web advancemen~s the shafts 462 and 464 are moved outwardly ~eparate the housings 470 and 472 to allow unimpeded passage of the web 204 therebetween. When the web 204 is at rest betw~en its :
i~termittent advance~ents, the shafts 462 ~nd 464 ~re mov~d together, the housings 470 ~nd 472 are ~rought toyether on oppo~ite ~id~s of the f~lded web 20~.
The punch hou~in~ 270 also includes ~ p~eumatic or hydraulic punch cylinder 474 which r2ciprocatss punch 476 to th~ retracted position show~ in FIG, ~4 when actuating ~lu~d enters the punch cylinder 474 through inlet piping 47~, and mo~Qs the p~nch 476 v~ry rapidly to ~n ~xtended po~ition wh~n actuating fluid ~nters th~
cylind~r t~rough inl~t piping ~80. The backing hou ing 472 ~nclude~ an ~perturo 482 proportioned to reGoive the punch 4760 Hence, wh~n the web 204 is at rest at ~h~
closure ~trip cru~hing ~nd hol~ punching Bt tign 268, cylind~r ~60 i~ ~ctuated to ~ove th~ punch hou~ing 470 ~nd ~acking hou~ing 472 together, int~ abut~ent with one another on oppo~te ~de~ of thQ folded web. Im~ediatlely ther~aft~r, cylinder ~4 ~ ~c~uate~ to ~ve the punch ~76 rapidly to it~ exten~ed po~ition, wher~by th~ punch 47C i~ forced through the ~idewalls and is receiv~d in the ~p~rturo ~82 oS ~acking h~using ~72. The punch ~ylinder 474 i~ ther~ter ~ctu~S~d again tQ retract tho punch 476, and cyllnder ~60 ~. ~ctuated ~o ~ove t~e housing~ 470 and 472 back to thelr extend~d positions ~or ~u~sequen~ web advanc@~ont.

-48- 2~12~50 The hole punch device 282, like the other components of the apparatus 400, i8 lidably mounted on 8upport sha~ts 446 to allow v~r~a~ion of the longitudinal pogition of ~he hole punch device 282 to ~ccommod~te S production of d~fferent pouch widths. The vertic~l :
height of the ~ole punch device 282 ~s ~150 varlable to accommodate dlfferent pouc~ lengths.
After exiting the closure 6trip sealing and hole punching ~t~tion 268, th~ w~b 204 i~ transported to the ~ide ~eal forming ~tation 288. Ther~at, th~ pair of vertically oriented side se~ling bar~ 290a and 290b inter~ittently apply heat and pressure to longit~dinally spacDd, vertical lengths o~ the web 204 to form ~lde ssals 278 which divide the web longitudinally into separate, ind~vidu~l pouches. The side sealing bars 290 seal the opposit~ sidewall~ 234 ~nd 236 together ~ro~ the folded lo~er end 232 termin~ting near the upper edges 244 and 246 of ~he sldewall~ 236 and 234. The ~nin gap of unbonded ~idewall provided at the upper end o~ the side ::
~als 278 is provided to fac~lit~te opening of t~e pouches for ~illing, as discussed above.
As with the ~cond heated ~ealing bar 256 and bacXing b~r 257, ~nd the peelable seal forming bars 262, the 6~de 6~aling bars 290 are actuated by hydraulic or ~5 pneu~ati~ cylind~rs w~ich pres~ the ~ide ~ealing b~rs 290 togeth r on oppo~ite ~ide~ of th~ folded we~ 204 during th~ ~nt~rval at which thQ web 204 i~ at r~st b~tw~en its lnterm$tt~nt advance~n~s. ~he ~e~ ~nd pressure appli~d ~5 ~ufi~i~nt to hea~ narrow vertical $ection~ of the 30 ~id~walls 23~ and 236 3uch ~hat ~he ~i~ew~ ;ecurely ~ -bond to one ~rlother und~r the applied pre~ure. -The ~ide ~ealing bars 29û includ~ two n2rrow, ~v~rtic~lly ~xt2nding l3lil;~ herein. At th~ ~nd o~ the for~ation of ~h~ ~id~ al~ 2so, th~ pa~r of 35 r~ciprocating cuttlns~ blades 294 i~lg'2 th~ ov~d rapidly through t:h~ p~ir o~ ~lit~ and into cont~ct with th~ web ,~

_49_ 2112~0 204 at the location of the formed ~id~ 6eals 2~8. Th~
blades 294 for~ cut~ 296 vhich extend fro~ th~ lower, folded end 232 of the web 204 terminating near the upper, open end 266 o~ the partially ~o~med pouch~s.
Hence, while the web 204 is at rest between inter~ittent advancement , the Gection of the w~b at the side seal fo~ing statios~ 288 has vertic lly ext~nding side seal~ 278 formed with vertically exte.nding slits 296 extendin~ along ~g 6ubstantial portion of l,he ~;ezlls 27a.
The for~Ding of the web 204 into pouch~s is su:bstantially compl~t~d at this 6tag~, wi1:h the web 204 now formed into a plurality of pockets 292 which are defin~ laterally by the 6ide seals 278, ~nd v~rtically ~y the folded bottoD~ 23~ and open, upper ond 266, with the partially formed pouch~s rem2ining att~ched to one another by zl thin ~2c~ion of we}~ 204 at their upper ands.
The ~ tant~ally form~d pouchs~; are advanced during th~ ~aext intennitt~nt advanc~ment to ~ f ~ lling ~;tation 300 at which articles ~re lsaded by gravity fe~d ~0 through the open upper ~nd 266 of ~he 6ub~t~ntia~1y form2d pouches into the pockets 292 which have been forDIed .
~mmedi~t~ly prior to s3ntering the filling ~tatio~ 30û, the ~uppc~rting ~elte 432 and 434 terminate ~nd th~ w~b i~ th~rea~t~r ~upp~rt~:d by a 3~c~nd ~et of belt~ ~not ~o~,~ which pres~ together on oppo~ita E~id~s o~ th~ t~nti~lly ~onned pouches at a vertical height b~noath th~ poel~ al 264~ ~u~, thero i~ no longer a b~lt ~xten1ing along the upp~r ~nd 26C of th~
sub~tant~lly ~or~ed pouch~s. Thus pro~ides ~h~
,unobstructed a~c~s~ to the upper end 266 o~ the ~ubstantially ~ormed pouche~ which is r~quired ~or the ~lllng ~nd ~n~1 cutt~ng operatlons.
At the ~lllng ~ta~ion 300, two p~irs o~
~ingers 304~ and 304~, ~paced ~ pouch width apart, extend p~rtway into the pockets 292, extending b~tween the . ~ : , . .:,, . . . : .
~, .. .
: . , .. .:

_50_ 2112~50 ~
~idewalls 234 and 236. The finger pairs 304a and 304b extend only a small distance b~low the upper edges 244 an~ 246 of the sidewall~, 6uch that they do not ~xtend ~s far down ~s the ~ide ~eals 278. Hence, as the web 204 i~
advanced, the upper ends of the 6idewalls 234 and 236 slide on opposite ~ides of the fingers 30~, with the fingers therebetween. Since the upper ends of the sidewalls are not bonded tog~ther, the web 204 can slide ::
freely past the fing~rs 304 without the web 204 :
interfering with the finger~.
Tbe finger pair~ 3~4a and 304b are positioned longitudinally along th~ apparatus 400 ~uch that when the w~b 204 comes to rest between i~ int~rmi~t~nt advancements, the ad~acent ~inger pairs 304a and 304b are positio~d midway between adjacent cide ~eal6 278. Thus, as the le~di~g pair o~ 6eparating ~ingers 304a ~re at approxi~ately the ~iddl~ of one pocket 292, th~ trailing pair of separating fing~r~ 304b ~x~ positionad at approxi~ately the ~iddlQ of another adjacent pocket 292.
Henc~, wh~n the $inger pair~ 304a ~nd 304~ are intermittently pulled in oppo~ite directions by hydraulic or pneu~atic ~eans, ~ide filling op2ning~ 302 ~re pro~ided ht the upper ~nds 266 o~ ~wo adjacent ~ubstantially or~d pouche~. Thi~ allow~ xrtlcle~ t~ be loaded ~imul~aneou~ly into two ~d~c~nt poc~ets 292 through the two ~ ng open~ngs creat~d. The ~eparating o th~ upper end~ 26~ of the ~ubstnn~i~lly ~ormed pouches ~y re~ult ~ port~on~ o~ the w~b 20~ back~ng up ~l$~htly. ~ene~ uit~bl~ ~ake-up appar~tu~ ~ay be ~mploye~ to tAX~ up any ~l~ck 1~ tho belts 432 and 434 ¢aused ~y the ~ac~ing up o~ the web.
After t~ ~rt~cl~ have been lo~ded ~nto ~h~
pocket~ 292 through the op~n~ng~ 302, and ~till dur$ng ~h~ interval ~t which th~ web 204 i~ ~t re~ betwe~n succ~ssive pOUGh ~dvance~ent~/ the separatiny ~inger~ 304 ~re then brought ~ack together, wh~reafter th~ w~b is -51- 21128~0 then advanced again to bring another pair of ~mpty pockets 292 into registration with th~ ~epdrating fingers 304. ~his reciprocating act$on of the separating ~inger~
3~4 i~ continually repe~t~d with the separ~ting fingers 304 $ntermittently 6epar~tod between pouch advancements t~ al~ow pouch filling, and then brought together during pouch advancements.
During filling of the pocket 292, the peelable seal 264 serves as a barrier which keep~ the ar~i~les from c~ntacting the clo~ure members 210 and 212. The peelable seal 264 serves to prevent the ~rticles fr~m interfering with prope~ ope~tion o~ the closure ~trip 208 during transport ~nd ~torage of the pouches as well as during fill~ng. Upon exiting the filling station 300, the pockets 292 are ~illed with articles and remain in an "inverted" position, wit~ the open end 2~6 being at t~e top ~nd th~ ~olded ~nd 232 being nt the ~otto~. ~he w~eb 204 remains ~upported by the ~econd ~et of belts ne~r its lowex end.
~o ~o~pletely seal the articles within t~e pocX~ts 292, the web 204 is transported to ~n end closure s~ation 310 which ~orms upper seal~ 311 horizontally ~t th~ upper, unbonded ends 244 ~nd 24~ o~ the pouches 2g2.
~orizontally oriented heated ~ealing bars 312 ar~
~ntermittently pressed together about opposit~ ~ides of the upper ends 24~ ~nd 246 o~ the ~idewalls 234 and 236 to apply ~uffi~i~nt hest and pres~ure to ~al the ~dewall~ t~g~ther ~t t~eir upp~r ~n~.
~he hori~ontally ~xtendîng heatod ~aalin~ bars~ ~:
30 31~ ar~ ~ad~ ~t l~ast two pouches widths in lQngth t~
correspond with tb~ double pouch width w~b advancemont~.
HQnc~, th2 two ad~ac~nt pocket~ 292 which hav~ ~ w t be~n rlll~d at th~ ln~ tion 300 c~n ~ ~e~l~d ~i~ultaneously during the interval b~tw~en ~uc~s~iv~ w~b ~dvance~ents. ~h~ h~rizontal ~eated 6ealin~ bars 312 ~re ~ade wida enough ~o that t~e seal for~Qd ax~ends at l~ast ::
:

-52- 21 1 2 ~ ~ O : ~:
from the upper edges 244 and 246 of the sidewallS 234 and 236 down ~o the upper ends of the lde eals 278. This assures that the pouch i~ h~rmetically sealed abo~t its Qntire periphery. As discussed abov~ with regard t~ :
other embodiment~, gas ~lushing techniques may be e~ployed during the filling and ~Qaling stages.
Also ~t th~ e~d clo~ure ~tation 310, th~ narrow portion 314 of web 304 ~till ~nterconnecting the pouches : ~ :
near their upper edges 2~4 and 246 is cut by 6eparating blades 322 to ~eparate the formed, ~illed and 6ealsd pouches 320 from the remainder of the w~ 304. As with the side ~ealing bars 290, the horizontal heated seali~g bar~ 312 at thQ ~nd closure 8tat~0n 310 include two narrow, vertically extending ~lit5 therein. ~he ~lits are spaced one pouch width apart and ar~ provided in the seali~g bar~ 312 at th~ location at which the ~de ~als ~.
278 co~e to r~st. At the ~nd o~ th~ formation o~ the upper ~eal~ 311, the pair o~ r~ciprocating separating blades 322 are than ~d r~pidly through the p~ir of 20 ~lit~ and into cont~ct with the w~b 304 at the loc~tion ~ .
of the 6ide ~eals, thereby cutting the narrow ~ection of web which r~mains ~t~ching ~h~ fini~hed pouch~s 2?6 to ~.
the re~ainder o~ the w~b 204. During the cutting, the pouches 276 re~Ain ~uppor~d by the ~econd ~et of ~upport$ng ~elt~ which 8upport th~ pouch~3 276 near their lower ~nd~, 80 ~ nst to interfere ~ith the cutting at :~
the upper end~ 266 o~ the pouches 276. ~ :
~ hs pouche~ 27~ re~ain ~uppor~d ~y th~ seco~ld set of ~upporting belt~ until th~ next subsequent double~
pouch~w~dth web ad~nce~ent, wher~upon t~e co~pleted pouc~e~ 276 gxlt th~ ~ppar~tus. Thus, seal~d pouch~s 2~6 ~xit the apparatu~ ~00 ~n pair~, ~nd up~ia~-~own~ w~th articles co~pletely h~metlc~lly ~al~d th~r~in.
Altern~tlvely, ~s ~ention~d brie~ly ~bo~e, .. .
pouch Repara~ing apparatus 500 ~ay b~ e~ployed imMediat~ly ~fter t~ ~nd clo~ure $t~tion 319 o~ the ""','. ', ',, ,, ~. '.' ' . "'''~' ,` ` .' ' . ' ` ~ ' : ' ' ' ' ' _53_ 2 1 1 2 ~ ~ ~
apparatus 400 to effect the final ~eparation of the form~d, fllled, and ~ealad pouches 276, rath~r than blades 322. The pouch ~parat~ng apparatus 500 of the prasent invention ~eparates the formad pouche~ 276 one from the next, and conveys the separated pouches one at ti~ ~n a horizontal po~ition for pack~ging in a carton or t~e like.
The pref~rred embod~ment o~ the pou~h separating apparatus 500 is lllustrated i~ FI~S. 23-27.
As discussed above, immediat~ly prior to entering the filling ~tation 300, the first supportins belts 432 ~nd 434 terminate ~nd the web i~ thereaf~er ~upported ~y ~econd ~et of belt~ ~not shown in FIGS. ~-22) which press toqether on oppo~lte ~ides o~ t~e substa~ti~lly formed pouches at a vertical he~ght b~neath the p~eln~le ~eal 264. Hence, ~fter f~lling an~ for~ation Or the end clo~ure, the pouc~e~ 276 ex~t the end closure ~tation :310 supported by a second ~t o~ belt~ which are referred 1tO
by ~umerals 502 and 504 in F}~S. 23-2~. Th~ ~cond ~e~t o ~upportinq b~lts 502 ~nd 504 press toyether on opposite ~ides o~ ~he pouches 276 to support and conYey t~ pouche~ ~76 ou~ o~ the ~nd closure ~tation 31G.
At ~ loc~tion ~pa~d from the end ~lo~ure ~ -~tation 310 ~he ~eco~d set o~ supporting belts 502 and 504 terminat~, thereby releasing the for~d pouch~s 276.
Spaced IDore than one pouch ~dt~l, but less ~han two pouch widt~ rom th~ ter~inal end 505 of ~h~ second ~et o~
~upporl:ing bel~ 502 An~ 504~ a ~hird et or ~upport~ng b~lt~ 506 an~ 5~8 ~q~n~. ~hu~, a~ t~ n~l ~nd 505 30 oi~ the ~ec:orld 8et o~ oupporting b~lt~ S02 l3nd 504, on~ ~f ~h~ Yorn~d pouch~ (thQ trailing pouc~ r~main~ engaged ~y the s2cond ~t o~ 8upport~ng ~elt~ 502 and 504, while th~ pouch i~m~dlat~ly ~h~a~l o~ th:~ pouch ~o l~ading lpouch) i~ engag~d l~y tha third 6upporting ~ellt~ ~06 and 35 50~. Upon ini~ ngageD~ent o the leading pouch by the th~ rd ~upporti~ag belts 506 ~nd 508, t~er~ re~na~ns a small -~'' - --5~- 2112~50 : ~
narrow portion 314 of web 304 still interconnecting th~ ~:
l~ading an~ tra~ling pouches near their upper edges 244 al~d 246.
The rate of advancement of the third supporting ~el~ 506 and 508 is made greater than the rate of ~dvance~ent of tha 6econd ~t of ~upporting belts 502 and ~ :
504 cO that the leading pouch engaged by ~he third supporting belts 506 and 508 is pulled away from the trailing pouch engaged by the ~lower ~oving second ~et of lo suppsrting belts 502 and 504. ~y making the rate of advancement of t~e third fiupporting belts 506 ~nd 508 ~uffici~ntly greater than th~ rata o~ advanc~ment of the ~cond s~t of supporting ~elts 5~2 and 504, the l~ading pou~h i~ pulled ~ufficiently away from th~ trailing pouch : :
so as to tear the ~mall narrow portion 314 of web 304 stlll interoonnectin~ the lsading and trailing pouches near their upper ~dg~ 244 ~nd 246, thus separating th~ :~
pouches .
Accordingly, ~ th~ newly ~ormed, fill~d and 6ealed pouch~E~ 276, which ~till have a small narrow ! -~
portion 314 r~maining interconnecting each of tha adjacent pouche~, r~ac~ tho terminal snd 505 of th~
~econd 6et og 6upport~nq b~lt6 502 and 504, the pou~hes 276 are 6eparatsd groD~ on~ another ~y the force of t~e . . . :-~
third ~upportiTIg ~elts 506 and 508 pulling tAe l~ading pout:h fron~ th~ r~ining in~erconnec~s3d p~uGh~s. ~he s~p~r~te!d pouc~eY ~upported ~y the thir~ ~upport ~elts ~ .
506 and 508 ar~a th~n advanc~d by th~ third ~uppor1: belts 506 ~nd ~38 ~n ~pac:ll3d relation ~roal ~n~ bno~h~
If th~e ~econd and thi~dl ~e~ o~ ~eîts ~r~ ~t ~to grip th~ pouch~ 27S tightly, it ~ay be n~cess~ry to ~pac~ the begi~n~ny o~ th~ third ~t o~ belt~ 506 and 508 ~ . ;
qæa~t~r than on~ pou d wldth away gro~ th~ t~r~inal ~nd 505 o~ tho ~econd ~t oP ~upporting ~elt~ 502 and 504 ln order to prev~nt di6tort~0~ o~ the pouch~. Th~t i~, wi~ th~ ~econd and ~ird ~et~ of belt~ ~p~c~d le~s than .

-5S- 2~ ~ 2 3 ~ 0 one pouch width ~part and both gripping the pouches 276 tightly, a pouch ~ay be gripped by both th~ ~ir~t and second set; ~f belts simultaneou~ly. Wi~h ~he third 6et of supporting belts advancing faster than the ~econd set of supporting belts, the pouch may ~tretch and become di~tor~ed perman~ntly. Accordingly, by ~p~cing the beginning of the thlrd set of ~upporting bel~ 506 and 508 more than on~ pouch width from the terminal end 505 of the ~econd ~et of supporting balts 502 and 504, the possibility of ~ single pouch 276 being pulled by both sets of belt~ ~imultan00u~1y i5 ~li~inated~
It is also desirable that the spacing between the terminal end 505 of the ~econd ~et of supporting belts 502 and 504 and the beginning of ~he third set of ~upporting belts 506 and 508 be less than two pouch widths, to ~ssure that sach of ~he n~rrow portions 314 .. :
interconnecting the ad~acent pouches 276 are severed.
The less than two pouch width ~pacing is ~lso de~irable :~
to as~ure proper feeding ~rom the second set of belts 502 and 50~ ln~o the third ~et o~ belts 506 ~nd 508.
It 1~ preferred, however, to adjust the supporting bel~ ~o ~hat they allow some amount of ~lippag~ o~ t2~ pouches with$n the belts when th~ pouches are pulled upon. ~ith ~uch ~l~ppaye allowance, the ~pacing be~w~en ~he ~er~lnal ~nd 505 o~ t~ ~acond ~et ~f ~uppo~ting bolts 502 snd 504 and th~ beginning of the third ~et o~ ~upporting belts 506 and 508 c~n b~ ~ade les~ th~n one pouch ~idth wit~out concern for p~uch di6tortion of th~ ~ou~h~e.
Th~ separa~vn o~ the pouch~s haYing b~n achieved, ~t i~ r~le to then ori~nt th~ fisparated P
~ouche~ hor~zontally on 1I conv~yor or ~ubs4quent p~ckaging or tho lik~ plow 510, which ~n thf~
lllu~trat~d ~odi~ent ~ ~ ~n th~ fonll o~ a hori~c~nta}
deflecting bar 512, YDOV~38 ~he low~r ~nd 512 of t}~e ~dvancing pouch~ 275 latQr~lly with rQ8p~Ct to th~ upper -56- 2112~
end 514 of the pouches 276 while the pouc~es are engaged by the third 6upport belt~ 506 and 508, as dis~us~ed further below.
The path of travel of the pouches 276 defined by th~ second B~ of ~upportinq balts 506 and 508 is substantiall~r linear do~n the c2ntar of th~ convayor belt 518. The forward portion 526 of the third suppor~ belts 506 and 508 is al~o orientQd substan~ially linearly down the c~nt~r of the conveyor belt 518. Th~ conv~yor belt 518 ~xtends linearly, centsred with respect to the linear path of travel of the pouches; 276 defined by the second 6e~t of ~upporting belts S02 ~nd 504 and the forward portion 526 of th~ third ~ o~ ~upp~rting be}ts 506 ~nd 508.
The third ~t of b~lt~ 506 and 508 thu~ pick up the pouches 276 with the forward portion 526 of the belt~;
506 and 508 advancing the pouch~ lin~arly down the cente~ o~ Ole conveyor b~lt 518. As th~ pouches 276 are advanced forwardly by thQ third Elet of belts 506 and 508, ~0 the pouches ar~ z~dvanc~d ~o ~h~ re~rward portion 528 o~ . .
the belts 506 and 50B whi~:h angles ~way from the conveyor belt c~Jlt~r ~e~ rIG. 26). The pouG~e~; 276 tl~en adv~nce ~long the rs~arward portion 528 o~ the thir~ set o~ ~elts at a~ angle w~t~ re~p~ct ~o th~ conveyor b~lt cent~rline.
2~ As b~st ~e~ ~n FIG~. 23 ~nd 27, ~be r~arw~rd port~on s28 :~
of th~ th~rd ~t o~ belt~ 506 and 508 term~natQ~ at t~nminal ~nd 516, noar the ~id~ 524 of ~he conv~yor b~l~
518.
The deflec~ing b~r 512 1~ di p~d in ~he 30 re~rward port$~n 52~ o~ th~ ~hird ~et o belt~ 506 and ~:
508 and extend~ horizvntally ~t a heiqht which deflect~
~h~ lower p~rtion o~ the pouch~ ~76 ~upport~d ~y the thlrd ~et o~ belt~ ~3 the pouch~ are adv~n~ed past ~e dQ~le~ting b~r 512. (It ~hould ~ no~d that ref~ronc~
to th~ lower port~on o~ th~ pouc~es as they are ~upport~d by the third ~et of ~elt~ actu~lly refer~ to the top or ~57~ 21128~
the formed pouche~ since the pouche~ are suppor~ed by the third set of belt~ in inver~.2d or~entation.~
The deflecting b2r 512 ~ ~isposed horizont~lly, and ~t a non-perpendicular angl~ with 5 respec~ to the leading edges 520 of the advancing ~:~
pouches, as well as w~th respect to the ~ides 522 and 524 of the conveyor belt 518. Accordingly, the leading ends 520 of t~e advancing pouches 276 ~lide or bear agalnst the deflecting ~ar 512, w~th the angllng o~ the bar 512 effecting pushing of the lower end of ~he pouches 276 upward and toward the ~ide 522 of the con~eyor 518. That is, the rear.lrard portion 528 o' the third se~ o support~ng b~lts 506 and 508 ~oves the upper portion of the pouches 276 6upported by the ~upporting belts 5Q6 and lS 508 from the centerline of ~he conveyor belt 518 toward a f irst end 524 of the conveyor belt 518 whil~, `
~imulta~eou~ly, the defl~cting bar 512 move~ the lo~er portion of the adv~ncing pouch~s 276 toward the oppo~ite ~id~ 5~2 o~ ~h~ conveyor b~lt 51R- .
As ~st ~een in FIG. 26, th~ lower 2nds o~ the pouche~ 27~ ~lid~ off of ~he deflecting b~r 512 ~ust 1!
prior to th~ upper ~nds of the pouches 276 reaching ~he terminal end 516 oP the third ~et of supporting belts 506 and 508. Th~ deflecting bar 512 ~5 adjustable Yertically to accom~sdat~ diP~rh~tly ~iz~d poueh~s.
A~ t ~Q~n in ~IG, 24, the convQyor b~lt 513 ext~d~ at an ~ngl~ ~rom horizont~l and i~ ad~u~t~ble r~lat~v~ to th~ d~lQcting bar 512 ~nd ~upport$ng b21t~
506 and 50a by plvoting about ~x~ ~nd S30 o~ the convGyor b~lt. ~hæ p~votal ~n~ 532 o~ th~ co~v~yor b~lt '518 i8 a~just~d to a po~ition (d~p~ndent upon ~h~ pou~h and henc~ dependent upon th~ vQrti~al h~ight o~ ~h~
~10cting bar) ao ~hat a portion o~ tb~ ~o~yor belt 518 ~l96 ~ituated ~mmed~at~ly b~ne~th th~ d~fl~cting ~ar 35 512. Accordingly, ~ th~ low~r ~ndB o~ th~ pouche$ ~lide ~ :
o~f of th~ defl~cting ~ar 512, ~h~y ~ nt~ the ~.

-5B-- 2112 ~3 ~ O
conveyDr belt 518 whilQ the upper ~nds o~ the pouches remain supportlngly engaged by th~ third B9t of belts 506 and 508. IJIunediately follow~ng the sliding ~ the 10WQr ~nd~ of ~ach pouch off the deflecting bar 512 and onto - . .;
5 th~ conveyor 518, th~ uppar end s:~f each of th~ pouches rQach~ the t2rminal and 515 of ~he third ~t of Bupporting belt3 506 and 508, at which th~ upper ~nds of :
the pouch~s i6 rel~la~ed.
Thus, upon r~leas~ of th~ uppQr end of a pouch 10 276 from the third c~t of ~upporting ~elt~ 506 and 50~, the upper end of th~ pouch ~all~ on~o th~ conveyor b~lt 518 near ~nd 524, w~th the lower end of th~ pouch ~upported sn th~ conv~yor 518 near ~nd 522. By properly poE~it~ oning the angl~ grQm horizontal of th~ conveyor 15 belt 51~, th~ he~ight and angl~ of ~he d~lec'cing bar 512, ~nd the loca~ on o~ termini~l end 516 of th~ third ~et of supportinq b~lts S06 and 508, it i8 po~ible to h~v6~
tl~e pouches 276 rel2ased onto the conveyor belt 518 with ~ach pouch cant~red betw~en the ~nd3 522 and 524 of the 2 0 conYeyor belt 518 and or~rlte~d porp~nd~cularly to the centerl ine of the conveyor ~elt, a$ shown in FI& . 2 6 .
Fro~ the above di~cu~sion ~t i5 ~een 'c~at tbe pouc~ ~oparating ~pp~r~tw3 500 of the present invention provides ~ean~ ~or separatinq interconrl~cted pouches ~nd 25 poæitioninS;I th~ ~pz~ral:~d pouc~s onto an ~dvancing cor~veyor 3~el~ ln ~ unifonQ and t:on i~tent m~nn~r.
~ 7ith 3rofer~nc~ to ~I~;S. 23-27, Y~rious features o~ the pouch ~p~r~ting ~ppar~tu~ 500 wlll now b~
d~crlb~d ln 5~r@æt~r d~tail. ~ ~ra~e 536 e~x~nds on 30 either $$de o~ th comreyor b~lt 518 and ~3UppO~8 'che rem~inder o~ the apparatu 530 above the conY~yor S18. ~be ~a~a~e~ S36 ~upport~ ~ ~upp~rt pl te 538 generally horizont~lly abo~ the conv¢yor bQlt 518 ~;upportlng be!!lt guld~ roller~ 540 and 542 dop~nd 35 v~rt~cally ~ro~ tlle ~upport plate 538 for rotational mo~emen'c about ~ v~rt~c~l ax~s, and ~erve to ~u~de ~nd ::

.
:,, . ~

_59_ 2112(~ 9 ~upport respectiv~ balt~ 506 ~nd 508 for continuous rotation about th~ir re~pect$ve rollars.
Continuou~ ~upport b~lt 506 extend. about a ~tationary bearinq platQ 546 ov~r the forward portion 526 o~ the belt 506, ~nd ~xt~nda about a stationary b~aring plate 548 over the rearw~rd portion 528 o:E the belt 506.
The ~tationary b~aring plate~ 546 and 548 are Bupported by plate adjusting pin~ 550 w~c~ are int~gral with respective ~earing plate~ 546 and 548 and ~paced alony the l~ngth of the plat~ h~ ~dju~ting pin~ 550 d~p~nd vertically ~ro~ the aupport plate 538, being rec~iYod ~nd ,.
secured w~thin respect~ve apertures 552 o~ the ~upport pl~te ~3B, which ~pertur~s 552 are arrang~d along the BUppOrt pl~te 538 so ~s to def~ne the defiir~d path of travel of the BUpport b~lt 506. With each o~ th~ ~upport pin~ 550 ~ecur~d in their re~pective ~perturo3 552, the~
bear$ng plat~s 546 and 548 extend g~nerally vertically benea~h t~e ~upport plate 538. Support b~lt 506 311des ~long and b~ars ~gain~t the bearing pl~te 546 and 548 ~s t~e belt 506 ~ advanced.
Csntinuous ~upport belt 508 extends about a .
~pri~g bla~ed b~aring plat~ 556 over ~he ~orward portion 526 of tb~ bolt 508, and ~xt~nds about ~pring b~ssd ~-be~ring plate 558 over ~he rearward portion 528 o~ the belt 50~. Th~ Bprlng bias~d ~oarln~ plates 556 and 5~8 ~re ~u~ported at t~e ~e h2ig~t a~ the respective ~tation~ry b~aring plate~ 546 and 548, ~nd ~re bi~ed in; ~:
the dir~ction o~ t~ a~ionary bearing plates S46 and 548 80 that th~ ~lt~ 506 and 508 are pres5ed a~ainst one: .
anot~r by ~h~ ring plat~s ~s t~y pa~ betwe~n the ~tionary bear~ng pl~tes 546 ~nd 548 ~nd the 6pring b~a~d bearing plate~ 556 and 558~ Accordingly, ~ pouch ~-~76 ongaged by th~ third ~et o~ ~upportin9 ~lt~ 506 and S08 1~ ~upport~d by the ~upporting belt~ 506 an~ 508 by :
35 th~ ~orc~ o~ t~ b~lt~ 506 ~nd 508 pres5in~ aga~nst one ~nother on oppositQ ~de~ o~ th~ pouch 276. ~ari~g ~-. ::- :. ,.. .. - . ~ .
::,, . .. ~ . :, 2112~3~

plates 546 and 556, as well as bearing plates 548 and 558, press the belts 50~ and 508 toge~her as the belts 506 ~nd 508 are advance~, to support ~he pouches as they are ~dvanced.
The ~pring biased bearing plates 556 and 558 are ~upported by brackets 560 and 562. Brac~ets 560 and 562 are supported by plate adjusting pin~ 564 and 566 whic~ are in~egral with respective brackets 560 and 562 and spaced along the lenqth of the plat~s 5~6 and 558.
The adjusting pins 5~4 and 56~ depend vertically from ~he support pla~e 538, being rec~ived and ~cured within respective ap2rtur~ 55~ of the ~upport plat~ 538, which apertu~es 554 ara arrang~d along the suppor~ plate 538 in :
2 pattern corresponding to the desired path of travel of th~ suppor~ belt 508. With ~ach of the ~uppoxt pin6 564 and 566 ~ecured in th~ir respectiv~ aper~ures 554, the pring biased bearing plates 556 and 558 extend generally vertic~lly ben~ath the ~upport plate 538. Springs 568 extend between th~ br~ck~ts 560 and 562 and zpring bias~ed bearin~ plat~ 560 and 562 to ~ias th~ ~pring biased bearing plates 560 and 562 ~n th~ dir~ction of th2 ~tationary ~e~rin~ plat~ 546 and 548. ~he ~upport ~elt 50B ~l~des ~long ~nd b~r~ ~gain~t the ~pring ~iased :~
b~ariny pl~t~ 556 ~nd 558 ~ tha belt ~08 i~ a~vanced.
Th~ ~pr~nq bl~ing arr~n~ent ~llow~ ~o~ d~gr~ of olipp~ge of pouc~ 276 ~upport8d ~tw~en the third ~et of ~uppor~ b~ 506 ~nd ~08.
~h~ belt~ 506 and 508 ~re ~dYanc~d ~y a drive ~otor 570. Dr~v~ ~o~or 570 i~ ~upportQd abov~ t~
~upp~rt pl~t~ S38, ~n~ th~ t 572 o~ the driv~ ~otor ~570 $~ conn~ct~ dir~ctly to ~irst pow~r roll~r 574 which ~130 ~rv~ a~ a guld~ roll~r 542. H~nc~, ~ir~t powQr r S68 adYan ~ th~ ~lt 508. ~he ~æ driv~ ~otor s7a al~o power~ adv~nee~ent of ~upport ~@lt 5~6. A ge~r 576 ~ ~ount~d to th~ ~a2t 566 o tho fir~t power roll~r 568, which De~hes ~i~h ~ ~e~r S78 attach3d to the ~ha~

. ;
:

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580 of the s~co~d pow~r roll~r 5B2 to advance the support belt 508. Since the gQar ratio betwaQn gaars 576 ~nd 578 i8 ~de 1:1, b~lt 506 advanc~ t the 8~0e ~peed aB belt 50~ .
Th~ deflecting bar 5}2 i~ ad~ust~bl~ both angularly ~nd verticallyl as diecussed ~bove. The frame ~.
236 ~upports a s~curing plate 584 from which the deflecting bar 512 depends ~ia ~upport rods 586 and 588.
Support rod 586 is attached to the ~upporting plats 538 ~0 at aperture 590 for piYotal movement o~ the ~upp~rt rod 586 with respect to the supportinq plat~ 538. Support rod 588 1s received with~n ~rcu~te 810t 592 of the securing plate 584 ~or ~liding move~ent oS tha de~lecting plate 512 to the desir~d angular positlon. Accordingly, the derlecting pl~te 512 i5 ~d~ust~ble angul~rly by ~liding 8upport rod 588 with$n arcu~t~ 310t 592 and th~n securinq th~ rod S88 in the desir~d po~ition within t~le alot 592. ~ot~ ~upport rod~ 586 ~nd 588 are al~o ad~ust~ble Y~rtically ~nd ~ecur~le at a de~rad vertical hei~ht, dependent upon the ~ize of the pouch 276 being run.
~ro~ the foregoing, it will be appreciated that :
the inventio~ provides a novel pou~h and ~ethod and appar~tus for ~orminq, ~illing and ~ealing the pouch.
Th~ in~ention 1~ nst li~ited to ~he e~bodiments described above or to a~y particular e~bodiment~. The inv~ntion is ~ore particularly po~nted out in the following clai~s. -

Claims (27)

1. A method for forming, filling and sealing a pouch having easy opening and resealing characteristics, the method comprising:
intermittently advancing an elongated, longitudinally extending web of polymeric material longitudinally approximately two predetermined pouch widths, the web having transverse ends and a centerline midway between said transverse ends;
intermittently advancing an elongated closure strip having interengaged first and second complementary mechanically interengageable fastener components thereon, each having a respective flange with means for forming a linear horizontal peelable seal above said fastener members in a sealing area coextensive with said fastener components;
bringing the closure strip adjacent the web of polymeric material as both are intermittently advanced, with the closure strip extending longitudinally;
applying heat and pressure to the flange of the first closure component during the intervals between successive web and closure strip advancements to adhere the first closure component to the web of polymeric material spaced transversely from said centerline;
folding said web of polymeric material along said centerline and bringing the transverse ends together to form first and second vertically oriented sidewalls integrally connected at the folded lower end thereof, the closure strip thereby being spaced vertically above the folded lower end, and said second sidewall thereby being brought into proximity with said second component of the closure strip;
applying heat and pressure to the second sidewall at the location of the flange of the second closure component during the intervals between said intermittent web and closure strip advancements to adhere the second closure component to the second sidewall;
applying heat and pressure to said first and said second sidewalls at the location of said closure strip sealing area during the intervals between intermittent web and closure strip advancements to form a horizontally extending peelable seal above said fastener components;
perforating the sidewalls by impacting the sidewalls with a perforating blade while securing the sidewalls in a stationary position, during the periods of intermittent web and closure strip advancements, to form a horizontal line of perforation in both said first and second sidewalls, the line of perforation extending horizontally between said folded lower end and said male and female profiles of the closure components;
applying heat and pressure to said first and second sidewalls along narrow, horizontally extending sections of said sidewalls to form a seal at approximately the vertical position of said line of perforation;
applying heat and pressure to narrow, vertically extending section of said first and second sidewalls at longitudinally spaced intervals corresponding to the predetermined width of the pouch, thereby sealing the sidewalls together thereat and forming side seals so as to create a pocket having a width defined by the distance between adjacent vertical seals;
cutting said first and second sidewalls vertically at approximately the center of said side seals, during the intervals between intermittent web and closure strip advancements, the cuts extending vertically from the folded lower end and terminating a small distance from the upper ends of the sidewalls;

separating the upper ends of the first and second sidewalls approximately midway between adjacent side seals to create a filling opening;
dispensing produce downward into said filling opening to fill said pocket to a predetermined level;
applying heat and pressure along narrow, horizontally extending sections of said sidewalls at a vertical position above said predetermined level to seal said sidewalls together thereat, a pouch thereby being formed with the product being sealed within the pocket thereof; and cutting the thin sidewall section remaining at the upper ends of the sidewalls at approximately the center of the side seals to separate said hermetic pouches from the remainder of said sidewall material.
2. A method in accordance with Claim 1 wherein the respective flanges of the first and second complementary mechanically interengageable fastener components include a tacking flange portion on one side of the interengageable fastener components and a peelable seal forming flange portion on the other side thereof, with said first and second peelable seal flange portions being generally coterminous and said first tacking portion terminating prior to said second tacking portion to reduce the material through which said perforating blade must penetrate in forming said perforations and to reduce the amount of material available to flow into the perforations upon sealing thereat.
3. A method in accordance with Claim 1 wherein the step of perforating the sidewalls, and the step of applying heat and pressure to the sidewalls at the location of said closure strip sealing area to form a horizontally extending peelable seal above said fastener components, are carried out generally simultaneously during one of said intervals between intermittent advancements.
4. A method in accordance with Claim 1 wherein the step of perforating the sidewalls by impacting the sidewalls with a perforating blade while securing the sidewalls in a stationary position, comprises bringing said first and second sidewalls between opposing securing members and moving the securing members together on opposite sides of the sidewalls to secure the sidewalls in a stationary position, and rapidly advancing said perforating blade into contact with the first and second sidewalls and retracting said perforating blade away from said first and second sidewalls simultaneous with said securing by said securing members.
5. An apparatus for forming, filling and sealing a pouch with easy opening and resealing characteristics, comprising:
means for intermittently advancing an elongated, longitudinally extending web of polymeric material longitudinally approximately two predetermined pouch widths, the web having transverse ends and a centerline midway between said transverse ends;
means for intermittently advancing an elongated closure strip having interengaged first and second complementary mechanically interengageable fastener components thereon, each having a respective flange with means for forming a linear horizontal peelable seal above said fastener members in a sealing area coextensive with said fastener components;
means for bringing the closure strip adjacent the web of polymeric material as both are intermittently advanced, with the closure strip extending longitudinally;

means for applying heat and pressure to the flange of the first closure component during the intervals between successive web and closure strip advancements to adhere the first closure component to the web of polymeric material spaced transversely from said centerline;
means for folding said web of polymeric material along said centerline and bringing the transverse ends together to form first and second vertically oriented sidewalls integrally connected at the folded lower end thereof, the closure strip thereby being spaced vertically above the folded lower end, and said second sidewall thereby being brought into proximity with said second component of the closure strip;
means for applying heat and pressure to the second sidewall at the location of the flange of the second closure component during the intervals between said intermittent web and closure strip advancements to adhere the second closure component to the second sidewall;
means for applying heat and pressure to said first and said second sidewalls at the location of said closure strip sealing area during the intervals between intermittent web and closure strip advancements to form a horizontally extending peelable seal above said fastener components;
means for perforating the sidewalls by impacting the sidewalls with a perforating blade while securing the sidewalls in a stationary position, during the periods of intermittent web and closure strip advancements, to form a horizontal line of perforation in both said first and second sidewalls, the line of perforation extending horizontally between said folded lower end and said male and female profiles of the closure components;

means for applying heat and pressure to said first and second sidewalls along narrow, horizontally extending sections of said sidewalls to form a seal at approximately the vertical position of said line of perforation;
means for applying heat and pressure to narrow, vertically extending sections of said first and second sidewalls at longitudinally spaced intervals corresponding to the predetermined width of the pouch, thereby sealing the sidewalls together thereat and forming side seals so as to create a pocket having a width defined by the distance between adjacent vertical seals;
means for cutting said first and second sidewalls vertically at approximately the center of said side seals, during the intervals between intermittent web and closure strip advancements, the cuts extending vertically from the folded lower end and terminating a small distance from the upper ends of the sidewalls;
means for separating the upper ends of the first and second sidewalls approximately midway between adjacent side seals to create a filling opening;
means for dispensing product downward into said filling opening to fill said pocket to a predetermined level;
means for applying heat and pressure along narrow, horizontally extending sections of said sidewalls at a vertical position above said predetermined level to seal said sidewalls together thereat, a pouch thereby being formed with the product being sealed within the pocket thereof; and means for cutting the thin sidewall section remaining at the upper ends of the sidewalls at approximately the center of the side seals to separate said hermetic pouches from the remainder of said sidewall material.
6. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 5 wherein said means for perforating the sidewalls by impacting the sidewalls with a perforating blade while securing the sidewalls in a stationary position comprises:
a frame;
opposing first and second securing members mounted to said frame for reciprocating movement between a securing position in which the securing members are brought together to exert and maintain a force on opposite sides of the sidewalls sufficient to secure the sidewalls in a substantially stationary position over at least the portion thereof in proximity with said securing members;
one of said first and said second securing members having an upper portion and a lower portion with a blade- accommodating slot therebetween;
a perforating blade mounted to said frame and disposed in said blade-accommodating slot for reciprocating movement between an extended position in which the blade is in contact with said first and second sidewalls to form said perforations, and a retracted position in which the blade is spaced from said first and second sidewalls.
7. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 6 wherein the other of said first and second securing members has a blade-receiving slot for receiving the portion of the perforating blade passing through said sidewalls.
8. An apparatus for forming a line of perforation in an intermittently advanced web which is folded to define first and second sidewalls, comprising:
a frame;

a first securing member mounted to said frame for reciprocating movement between a securing position in which the first securing member is brought into abutment with the first sidewall to exert a force on the first sidewall, and a retracted position in which the first securing member is spaced from the first sidewall;
a second securing member mounted to said frame for reciprocating movement between a securing position in which the second securing member is brought into abutment with the second sidewall to exert a force on the second sidewall, and a retracted position in which the second securing member is spaced from the second sidewall, said sidewalls being secured in a substantially stationary position between the first and second securing members when the securing members are moved to their securing positions;
securing member actuating means for effecting synchronized reciprocation of said first and second securing members to move the first and second securing members to their securing positions generally simultaneously:
a perforating blade, having a leading end, mounted to said second securing member for reciprocal movement between a retracted position in which the leading end of the perforating blade does not extend beyond the leading end of the second securing member, and a perforating position in which the leading end of the perforating blade extends beyond the leading end of the second securing member;
perforating blade actuating means for effecting movement of the perforating blade to it perforating position and return of the perforating blade to its retracted position while the first and second engaging members are in their securing positions.
9. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 8 wherein said first securing member has a leading end which abuts the first sidewall, with a first elongated slot formed in its leading end;
said second securing member has a leading end which abuts the second sidewall, with a second elongated slot formed in its leading end; and said perforating blade has a leading end which resides within the second elongated slot when the perforating blade is in its retracted position, and is received in the first elongated slot when the perforating blade is in its perforating position.
10. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 8 wherein the perforating blade is biased to its retracted position.
11. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 10 wherein said perforating blade actuating means comprises means integral with the perforating blade to force the perforating blade, together with the second securing member mounted thereto, in the direction of the first securing member, with the perforating blade remaining in its retracted position with respect to the second securing member until abutment of the second securing member with the first securing member whereupon the biasing force of the biasing means is overcome and the perforating blade moves to its extended position.
12. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 10 wherein the biasing force of the biasing means is of sufficient magnitude that the reciprocating blade remains in its retracted position until the first and second securing members abut one another with sufficient force to retain the sidewalls in a substantially stationary position in the region to be perforated.
13. An apparatus for separating a leading pouch of a length of interconnected pouches having predetermined pouch widths from the remainder of the interconnected pouches, the interconnected porches having a weakened region therebetween, the apparatus comprising:
a frame;
first transporting and engaging means mounted to the frame for engaging the length of interconnected pouches and transporting the interconnected pouches, at a predetermined speed, from a first location to a second location, with the leading pouch of the interconnected pouches being released from the first transporting means at the second location; and second transporting and engaging means mounted to the frame for engaging the leading pouch upon its release from the first transporting means at the second location, and advancing the leading pouch at a speed faster than said predetermined speed of the first transport means, whereby the leading pouch engaged by the second transport means is pulled away from the interconnected pouches engaged by the first transporting means to tear the weakened region between the leading pouch and the remainder of interconnected pouches to separate the leading pouch and advance the leading pouch to a release location at which the pouch is released from the second transport means.
14. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 13 further including pouch reorienting means mounted to the frame in proximity with the release location to reorient the pouch to a predetermined orientation.
15. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 14 wherein the reorienting means comprises a deflecting bar disposed in the path of travel of the pouch.
16. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 15 wherein the deflecting bar is adjustable vertically and angularly to accommodate differently sized pouches.
17. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 13 wherein the first and second transporting and engaging means comprise first and second advancing belts bearing against respective opposite sides of the pouches.
18. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 17 wherein the advancing belts bear against bearing plates which maintain the first and second belts adjacent one another.
19. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 18 wherein at least one of the bearing plates is biased toward another of the bearing plates to press the first and second belts together thereat.
20. A generally rectangular pouch for containing shredded cheese comprising:
a pair of generally rectangular walls, each wall having a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges:
said walls being joined by heat seals along their bottom and side edges;
said pouch having a pair of fastener strip attached over at least a portion thereof to opposite inner surfaces of upper portions of aid walls and extending the width of the pouch between the side edges of said generally rectangular walls;
said fastener strips having complementary mechanically interengageable fastener members thereon;
said fastener strips further having peelable seal strips integral with the fastener strips, with the strips peelably sealed to one another and extending the length of the fastener strips, and the fastener strips bonded to the walls at the location of the integral peelable seal strips;
said pouch further comprising means defining a hole through said pouch above said fastener members, and means defining a line of weakness above said hole to facilitate opening of the pouch by tearing away an upper portion thereof.
21. A pouch in accordance with Claim 20 wherein the fastener strips further include integral ribs opposite the integral peelable seal strips.
22. A pouch in accordance with Claim 20 wherein the fastener strips are attached to the sidewalls over a substantial portion of the fastener strips not including the portion of the fastener strips at which the mechanically interengageable fastener members are located.
23. A generally rectangular pouch for containing shredded cheese, comprising:
a pair of generally rectangular sidewalls, each sidewall having a top edge, a pair of side edges and a lower end;
said sidewalls being joined along their lower ends and along their side edges:
said pouch having a pair of closure strips attached to opposite inner surfaces of upper portions of said sidewalls and extending the width of the pouch between the side edges of said generally rectangular sidewalls: and said closure strips having respective flanges which are bonded over a substantial portion thereof to respective sidewalls, with the flanges having integral complementary mechanically interengageable closure components and integral peelable seal strips extending the length of said fastener strips;
the flanges further including integral ribs opposite the integral peelable seal strips.
24. A pouch in accordance with Claim 23 wherein the flanges are attached to the sidewalls over a substantial portion of the flanges not including the portion of the flanges at which the mechanically interengageable fastener members are located.
25. An apparatus for forming, filling and sealing a hermetic pouch in an inverted orientation from an elongated longitudinally extending web of polymeric material having longitudinal edges and a longitudinally extending centerline midway between said longitudinal edges and a closure strip having interengaged first and second complementary mechanically interengageable fastener components thereon, and having means for forming a linear horizontal peelable seal above said fastener members in a sealing area coextensive with said fastener components, said apparatus comprising:
means for sealing said first fastener component longitudinally along the length of said web of polymeric material, spaced transversely from the centerline;

means for folding said web of polymeric material along said centerline to bring the longitudinal edges together to form first and second vertically oriented sidewalls integrally connected at the fold at the lower end thereof, the closure strip thereby being spaced vertically above the folded lower end and said second component of the closure strip thereby being brought into proximity with the second sidewall;
means for forming a longitudinally extending line of weakness in said first and second sidewalls extending between said folded lower end and said fastener components;
a pair of timing belts for driving said web forward intermittently at a predetermined speed, said timing belt engaging said web from opposite sides;
means for sealing said second fastener component longitudinally along the length of said second sidewall;
means for forming a linear horizontal peelable seal above said interengaged fastener components;
means for sealing said first and second fastener components together at predetermined longitudinal intervals corresponding to a predetermined pouch width;
means for forming a hole through said first and second sidewalls below the closure components and approximately midway between each of said closure component seals;
means for sealing said first sidewall to said second sidewall along the entire vertical length of said sidewalls at the longitudinal location of each of the closure component seals, so as to define a pocket having a width determined by the distance between said vertical seals;

means for separating said first sidewall and said second sidewall at their upper ends to create a filling opening;
means for dispensing product downward into said pocket through said filling opening to fill said pocket to a predetermined level;
means for sealing said first sidewall to said second sidewall across the upper ends of the sidewalls to seal the product within the pocket and form a hermetic pouch; and means for separating said pouch from said web;
wherein said means for forming a longitudinally extending line of weakness in said first and second sidewalls comprises a rotary cutting blade having a notched peripheral cutting edge, and wherein said rotary cutting blade is driven for rotation by one of said timing belts so that said notched peripheral cutting edge has a speed equal to said predetermined speed of said web.
26. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 25 wherein said means for sealing said first and second fastener components together at predetermined longitudinal intervals comprises a plurality of longitudinally spaced sealing means, and said means for forming a hole through said first and second sidewalls comprises a plurality of longitudinally spaced punching means, wherein each of said punching means is positioned longitudinally between two adjacent sealing means.
27. A method of forming, filling and sealing a hermetic pouch, said method comprising:
intermittently advancing an elongated, longitudinally extending web of polymeric material longitudinally approximately two predetermined pouch widths, the web having longitudinal edges and a centerline midway between said longitudinal edges;
intermittently advancing an elongated closure strip having interengaged first and second complementary mechanically interengageable fastener components thereon, each having a flange with means for forming a linear horizontal peelable seal above said fastener members in a sealing area coextensive with said fastener components;
bringing the closure strip adjacent the web of polymeric material as both are intermittently advanced, with the closure strip extending longitudinally;
applying heat and pressure to the flange of the first closure component during the intervals between successive web and closure strip advancements to adhere the first closure component to the first sidewalls at a location spaced transversely from said centerline;
folding said web of polymeric material along said centerline and bringing the longitudinal edges together to form first and second vertically oriented sidewalls integrally connected at the folded lower end thereof, the closure strip thereby being spaced vertically above the folded lower end, and said second sidewall thereby being brought into proximity with said second component of the closure strip;
engaging the sidewalls with a rotary perforating blade during the periods of intermittent web and closure strip advancements to form a horizontal line of weakness in both said first and second sidewalls, the line of weakness extending horizontally between said folded lower end and said male and female profiles of the closure components;
applying heat and pressure to the second sidewall at the location of the flange of the second closure component during the intervals between said intermittent web and closure strip advancements to adhere the second closure component to the second sidewall;

applying heat and pressure to said first and said second sidewalls at the location of said closure strip sealing area during the intervals between intermittent web and closure strip advancements to form a horizontally extending peelable seal above said fastener components;
bonding together said first and second closure strip fastener components at predetermined, longitudinally spaced intervals corresponding to the predetermined width of the pouch;
punching holes through the first and second sidewalls, while the web and closure strip are at rest between their intermittent advancements, the holes being punched at a position below the closure strip fastener components, above the line of weakness, and approximately midway between adjacent, laterally spaced closure strip bondings;
applying heat and pressure to narrow, vertically extending sections of said first and second sidewalls at the longitudinally-spaced positions of the closure strip bondings, thereby sealing the sidewalls together thereat and forming side seals so as to create a pocket having a width defined by the distance between adjacent vertical seals;
cutting said first and second sidewalls vertically at approximately the center of said side seals, during the intervals between intermittent web and closure strip advancements, the cuts extending vertically from the folded lower end and terminating a small distance from the upper ends of the sidewalls;
separating the upper ends of the first and second sidewalls approximately midway between adjacent side seals to create a filling opening;
dispensing product downward into said filling opening to fill said pocket to a predetermined level;

applying heat and pressure along narrow, horizontally extending sections of said sidewalls at a vertical position above said predetermined level to seal said sidewalls together thereat, a hermetic pouch thereby being formed with the product being hermetically sealed within the pocket thereof; and cutting the thin sidewall section remaining at the upper ends of the sidewalls at approximately the center of the side seals to separate said hermetic pouches from the remainder of the web.
CA 2112850 1993-01-19 1994-01-05 Pouch having easy opening and reclosing characteristics and method and apparatus for production thereof Abandoned CA2112850A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US637493 true 1993-01-19 1993-01-19
US006,374 1993-01-19

Publications (1)

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CA2112850A1 true true CA2112850A1 (en) 1994-07-20

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ID=21720576

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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EP (1) EP0608123A1 (en)
JP (1) JPH0717504A (en)
CN (1) CN1092730A (en)
CA (1) CA2112850A1 (en)

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US6110586A (en) * 1998-08-27 2000-08-29 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Fastener tape fabrication equipment and process
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CN1092730A (en) 1994-09-28 application
EP0608123A1 (en) 1994-07-27 application
JPH0717504A (en) 1995-01-20 application

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