NL2005579C2 - Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product. - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product. Download PDF

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Publication number
NL2005579C2
NL2005579C2 NL2005579A NL2005579A NL2005579C2 NL 2005579 C2 NL2005579 C2 NL 2005579C2 NL 2005579 A NL2005579 A NL 2005579A NL 2005579 A NL2005579 A NL 2005579A NL 2005579 C2 NL2005579 C2 NL 2005579C2
Authority
NL
Netherlands
Prior art keywords
packaging material
opening
unit
cover element
product
Prior art date
Application number
NL2005579A
Other languages
Dutch (nl)
Inventor
Hans Rudolf Baartmans
Original Assignee
Label Line B V
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
Priority to NL2004092 priority Critical
Priority to NL2004092 priority
Priority to NL2004115 priority
Priority to NL2004115 priority
Application filed by Label Line B V filed Critical Label Line B V
Priority to NL2005579A priority patent/NL2005579C2/en
Priority to NL2005579 priority
Priority claimed from PCT/NL2011/050024 external-priority patent/WO2011090373A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of NL2005579C2 publication Critical patent/NL2005579C2/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B61/00Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages
    • B65B61/02Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages for perforating, scoring, slitting, or applying code or date marks on material prior to packaging
    • 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
    • B31FMECHANICAL WORKING OR DEFORMATION OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31F1/00Mechanical deformation without removing material, e.g. in combination with laminating
    • B31F1/08Creasing
    • B31F1/10Creasing by rotary tools
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B61/00Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages
    • B65B61/18Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages for making package-opening or unpacking elements
    • B65B61/184Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages for making package-opening or unpacking elements by applying tabs over discharge openings, e.g. over discharge openings defined by tear or score lines
    • 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
    • B65D75/5827Tear-lines provided in a wall portion
    • B65D75/5833Tear-lines provided in a wall portion for tearing out a portion of the wall
    • B65D75/5838Tear-lines provided in a wall portion for tearing out a portion of the wall combined with separate fixed tearing means, e.g. tabs
    • 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
    • B65D85/00Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D85/70Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for materials not otherwise provided for
    • B65D85/72Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for materials not otherwise provided for for edible or potable liquids, semiliquids, or plastic or pasty materials
    • B65D85/76Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for materials not otherwise provided for for edible or potable liquids, semiliquids, or plastic or pasty materials for cheese
    • 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
    • B31B50/00Making rigid or semi-rigid containers, e.g. boxes or cartons
    • B31B50/25Surface scoring
    • B31B50/254Surface scoring using tools mounted on belts or chains
    • 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
    • B31B50/00Making rigid or semi-rigid containers, e.g. boxes or cartons
    • B31B50/25Surface scoring
    • B31B50/256Surface scoring using tools mounted on a drum
    • 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
    • B31B50/00Making rigid or semi-rigid containers, e.g. boxes or cartons
    • B31B50/74Auxiliary operations
    • B31B50/81Forming or attaching accessories, e.g. opening devices, closures or tear strings
    • B31B50/812Applying tabs, patches, strips or strings on blanks or webs
    • B31B50/8122Applying patches
    • B31B50/8123Applying patches the blanks remaining stationary during application of the patches

Description

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING A PRODUCT

AND A PACKED PRODUCT

The present invention relates to an apparatus and method for packaging a product. The invention also relates to a packaged product.

Products can be packaged in shrink film. Such a packaging foil consists of plastic material with such a property that it tends to shrink as a result of heating. This property is used to shrink the packaging film applied to the product so that it fits tightly around the product and that it can seal the product well from the outside world. It is known, for example in the packaging of natural products such as certain types of cheese and in particular certain types of soft cream cheese (e.g. Brie), to make a cut in the package tightly shrunk around the product. A user can, for example, make the cut with a hand knife or scissors. The intention is that when the package is opened the user partly sticks his finger through the cut in the packaging foil, after which the user starts pulling on the foil in order to tear it open. However, because the package has shrunk tightly over the product and / or because the shrink film used after having undergone a shrinking process is quite tough, it is difficult to remove the package quickly and without damaging the product. For example, when the product is made of relatively soft or compressible material, distortion or even damage to the product is sometimes unavoidable.

In the case of cream cheeses or similar products, the cut is further arranged in the longitudinal direction of the product, so that the foil must be torn open in the transverse direction. Tearing open the package appears to be difficult and damage to the product is often the result.

A further drawback of specifically the use of shrink film is that, although such a film is tough after it has been heated, it is rather limp and flexible before it is heated. Moreover, shrink films are often freely stretchable in all directions and can tear more easily than after they have shrunk. This makes it difficult to perform operations on the package, such as punching a cut in the film, before the film has undergone the shrinking process. Similar drawbacks apply to stretch films (or combined shrink-stretch films).

2

It is possible to provide the film locally with perforations with the aid of a perforation cutting roller, wherein the perforations define a perforation line in the longitudinal direction of the film. A label is then stuck over the perforation line to seal the foil. The film can then be shrunk around a product. To open the package, the user pulls the label away transversely of the product in order to break the perforation and to pull the film to the side of the product. However, it has been found that in practice such a perforation line cannot always be pulled loose properly. Depending on the product form and / or the properties of the product itself, a product cannot simply be removed from a package when the package is opened in this way in the transverse direction.

More generally, it is difficult to be able to process relatively slack and flexible packaging material (other than shrink or stretch film) and to provide it with an opening through which the packaging material can be easily removed from the product later.

It is an object of the invention to provide a method and device for packaging products in which one or more of the above-mentioned and / or other drawbacks of the prior art are obviated.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a method and device with which one or more openings can be provided in relatively limp and flexible packaging material.

According to a first aspect of the invention, at least one of the objectives is achieved in a method for packaging a product, comprising: - supplying packaging material; - applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; - arranging at least one opening in the packaging material at the location of the applied cover element, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element behind it; - packaging at least one product with the packaging material.

The packaging can be integrated with the other steps of the method 30 so that a complete "in-line" packaging process can be realized. In other embodiments, on the one hand the provision of the cover elements (e.g. the labels) and the provision of the openings and on the other hand the packaging of the products take place separately from each other in an "off-line" packaging process. In the “off-line” 3 packaging process, the packaging material with the cover elements attached to it is stored temporarily on a roll.

The cover element can be a self-adhesive label or label, but embodiments in which the cover element is formed by an elongated strip are also possible. The cover element can further be applied to treated or untreated film. The opening is then provided at the location of the cover element, for example by a punching unit or a laser cutting unit. Due to the presence of the cover element, the film can be made less slack locally, so that positioning of the film and arranging the opening with the unit in the correct position is made easier. The opening provided in the package can be of such a shape that the package can easily be torn open by a user and the product can be removed from the package. The opening can be an elongated, substantially uninterrupted opening. In other embodiments, a row of smaller openings or perforations is provided and the openings together form a perforation line along which the package can easily be torn open.

The packaging of the product in the packaging material can incidentally comprise the whole of the product with packaging material, but other forms of packaging are also possible and all fall within the definition of packaging given herein. For example, it is possible to use the packaging material for sealing other packaging material, for example sealing a packaging material in another packaging material, such as for instance a plastic holder, tray or bottom web carrier (e.g. with a deep-drawing or top-sealing machine) , applied product.

In a preferred embodiment the method further comprises: - supplying packaging material from a supply roll; - applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; - subsequently guiding the packaging material provided with at least one cover element along a punching unit; - punching an opening in the packaging material at the location of the cover element, which opening is designed for opening the package manually.

The cover element is adhered to the packaging material with adhesive means such as, for example, glue, and is subsequently used as a reference when punching the opening of the packaging material. The punching is preferably carried out through the packaging material, against the cover element. The cover element therefore essentially remains intact. This not only ensures that the cover element, from the outside, can maintain a beautiful appearance, but also that the package can continue to seal the product airtightly despite the presence of an opening (as long as the cover element of course remains adhered to the packaging film).

Instead of providing an opening by means of a punching unit, the opening can also be arranged in a different way, for instance by guiding the packaging material provided with at least one cover element along a laser unit and laser a piece of material at the location of the cover element. opening in the packaging material. A laser unit has the advantage that it generally has a light construction and, moreover, does not require a heavy drive, as is the case, for example, when the cover element is punched.

After the cover element and the opening have been provided, one or more products can be applied to the packaging material, whereafter the packaging material is arranged around it. The packaging material is then sealed (sealed) so that the whole of product and packaging material is ready for further processing.

In the case that the packaging material is formed by shrink film, further processing may include heating the whole of product and film so that the film can be shrunk around the product.

The packaging material can be shrink film of any type, for example a barrier film (ie a shrink film designed to form a barrier, for example for air (gas)) or a film without special barrier properties, a single or multi-layer foil, a laminated, co-extruded, coated and / or metallized foil. Depending on the type of packaging material, the choice of the material of the cover element can also be adjusted. For example, if the packaging material is a barrier film, it is preferable to also provide the cover element with a barrier. In this way the leak tightness of the package can be improved.

As already mentioned above, shrink film is relatively weak and flexible, which makes it difficult to process. Examples of components used in packaging materials include evoh (ethylene-vinyl alcohol), eva (ethylene vinyl acetate), polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, nylon, polyamide, polyester, and various copolymers. These materials can be limp and flexible, for example when the packaging material has a thickness of between 5 and 35 µm.

In a further embodiment the method comprises: - guiding a strip of packaging material to a cover element applicator unit; - arranging a series of cover elements on the strip of packaging material with the cover element applying unit; - guiding the strip of packaging material provided with cover elements 10 along an opening application unit; - arranging an opening in only the packaging material by the opening-applying unit each time a cover element passes, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element behind it.

In embodiments, the spacing between successive cover elements can be adjusted as desired, so that a desired cut-off length is realized in each case. The cut-off length is, for example, dependent on the shape and / or dimensions of the relevant product to be packaged and / or on the space required between the products for the proper functioning of the packaging device.

In one embodiment, the opening applicator unit comprises a laser cutting unit for laser-cutting an opening in the packaging material each time it passes through a cover element, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element behind it.

In one embodiment, the opening applicator unit comprises a blanking unit for punching the opening.

In a further embodiment the method comprises: - guiding a strip of packaging material to a cover element applicator unit; - arranging series of cover elements 30 on the strip of packaging material with the cover element applying unit; - guiding the strip of packaging material provided with cover elements along a punching unit; 6 - punching through the blanking unit each time a cover element passes from only the packaging material to the cover element.

In this way a large number of cover elements with one or more openings can be designed quickly and efficiently. The distance between successive cover elements (eg labels) can be further adjusted as desired, so that the desired cut-off length can be realized in each case. The cut-off length is, for example, dependent on the shape and / or dimensions of the product to be packaged, on the space required between the products for the proper functioning of the packaging device, on tooling dimensions of the packaging device, on possible recognition points on the packaging material, etc. , or may for example be a preset value.

The setting can be done manually, for example before a number of products of previously known dimensions have to be packaged, but can also take place on the basis of an electronic signal from an external scanner. The external scanner can, for example, scan the products during feeding and, depending on the scan images, an optimum cut-off length can then be calculated and transmitted separately for each product.

In a further embodiment, the method comprises: - arranging at least a first opening in the packaging material at the location of the applied cover element, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element located thereafter, which first opening is designed for manual opening of the package; and - arranging at least a second opening at the location of the applied cover element in a combination of the packaging material and the cover element behind it.

The second opening can in this case be designed to form a vent opening, but the opening can also be provided for other purposes.

The first opening is intended for being able to open the package with the cover element removed. The second opening in the packaging material and the corresponding opening in the cover element make it possible to offer a venting option, which can be closed or not. In some situations it is advisable to temporarily allow air / gas to escape from a packaged product in order to close the product airtight afterwards. The latter can be achieved by arranging a second cover element over the second opening. The provision of the second cover element can take place before and / or after passing a packaging unit, in particular a sealing unit thereof, and also before and / or after passing a shrinking unit for shrinking the packaging material.

The opening (s) in the packaging material can take many different forms. In the case of elongated products, it is often preferred to have the opening extend substantially transversely to the longitudinal direction of the product. The intention is then to engage the package via the opening and to tear it open in the longitudinal direction. If the package is pulled open in the longitudinal direction, the package can be torn open over a relatively large length before a "seal" line is encountered. Seal lines can be even tougher than the rest of the packaging material, so that the packaging at the seal lines is often extra difficult to tear open. The opening can optionally be provided with tear-off parts at a few places in order to facilitate tearing open and / or to promote tearing of the package at the correct positions.

In all packages still known until now, the openings are designed such that the package can be torn open in a single direction. In a particularly advantageous embodiment, the opening in only the packaging material is not only formed to be able to tear open the packaging material in a first direction, but is also formed to subsequently tear the packaging in a second, substantially opposite direction so that the packaging material (still ) is easier to remove from the product. The opening can for instance be provided with two different sets of tear-in parts. The first set is arranged to tear the package in a first direction, while the second set is arranged to subsequently tear the package in a second direction. The first set can for instance be formed by a number of tear lines extending transversely to the opening in a first longitudinal direction, while the second set is then formed by a number of tear lines extending transversely to the opening in the opposite longitudinal direction.

In a particular embodiment, the process steps are carried out a number of times in succession. The method can for instance comprise: - carrying out the method steps for packaging the product with a first packaging material; - again carrying out the method steps for packaging the same product with a second packaging material.

The packaging material can here be the same type of packaging material, but embodiments in which a packaging material different from the first packaging material is used are also possible.

The one packaging material can be enclosed and / or connected by the other packaging material, for example by (tightly) enclosing, by shrinking, by gluing, sealing and / or welding the materials.

The method may comprise providing one or more openings in the packaging material. When two or more openings are provided, it is possible to design these as a row of perforations located one behind the other. In this way a perforation line can be provided in the packaging material. The size and spacing of the perforations is then preferably chosen such that when the cover element is pulled away, the perforation line tears open.

According to another aspect of the invention, a packaged product is provided that has been obtained according to any of the methods described herein according to embodiments of the invention. In embodiments, the packaged product 20 comprises a piece of cheese, for example a piece of cream cheese.

As stated earlier, in certain embodiments the opening in the packaging material extends substantially transversely of the longitudinal direction of the strip. In other embodiments, the opening can on the contrary extend substantially substantially in the longitudinal direction. In a further embodiment the cover element comprises an adhesive-free area so that a pull tab which is separate from the package can be realized with which the cover element can be removed from the packaging material. The pull tab can be engaged by a user of the product, which is still packaged. When the user subsequently pulls the cover element at least partially away from the packaging material, the user can also pull part of the packaging material to tear open the packaging material from, for example, ends of the opening or tears at the opening.

9

According to a further aspect of the invention, a device is provided for packaging a product, the device comprising: - a supply unit supplying packaging material; - a cover element application unit for applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; - an opening applicator for arranging at least one opening in the packaging material at the location of the applied cover element, the opening applicator unit being adapted to form the opening through the packaging material up to the cover element, substantially without a corresponding opening in the beyond to install cover element; - a packaging unit for packaging the product with the packaging material.

The packaging unit can be integrated with the other units of the device so that a complete "in-line" packaging process can be realized. In other embodiments, on the one hand the provision of the cover elements (e.g. the labels) and the provision of the openings and on the other hand the packaging of the products take place separately from each other in an "off-line" packaging process. The use of an "in-line" packaging process in which it is not necessary to roll up the packaging material provided with cover elements can, for example, make it possible to use a relatively thin packaging material with relatively thick cover elements. If, for an "off-line" packaging process, such a thin packaging material provided with relatively thick cover elements would have to be rolled up, there could be a risk of an irregular roll being obtained because of the relatively large thickness differences between parts of the packaging material without cover elements and parts of the packaging material. packaging material on which cover elements are arranged (wherein the combined thickness of packaging material with cover element differs greatly from that of the packaging material alone).

In a preferred embodiment the packaging material comprises shrink film and the packaging unit has a sealing unit, in particular a flow pack seal unit, for sealing the product, and / or a heating unit, in particular a shrinking tunnel, for shrinking tightly around the product. the packaging material. Instead of a flow pack seal unit, other sealing units can also be used, such as a deep-drawing unit, top seal unit, or skin machine known per se.

In an embodiment of the invention, the punch of the punching unit is arranged to provide a first opening in the packaging material, substantially without a corresponding opening in the cover element situated behind it, and to provide a second opening in both the packaging material and the beyond to fit the cover element.

The punching unit can be provided with a first punching part with a relatively small height and a second punching part with a relatively large height so that when punching through the punching unit with the first punching part the opening extends only through the packaging material and when punching with the second die-cut part the opening extends both through the packaging material and through the cover element.

A further embodiment comprises a cover element applying unit for arranging a further (second) cover element in the cover element after providing a (venting) opening in order to close the vent opening (air) tightly again. The second label is applied at least partially overlapping with the first label to cover said opening in the label. The cover element mounting unit can be a separate unit.

According to a further embodiment, the punching unit comprises a rotatable counter-pressure roller, a drive motor for driving the counter-pressure roller, a speed detector for measuring the supply speed of the packaging material and outputting a speed signal representative of the supply speed, and a speed signal representative of the drive motor and the speed detector coupled to the control unit for adjusting the rotational speed of the counterpressure roller depending on the speed signal. In a further embodiment, the control unit is adapted to provide a control signal with which the displacement speed and / or acceleration of the counterpressure roller substantially corresponds to that of the packaging material supplied without time delay. As a result of this and by means of an encoder which can count set steps and thus precisely determine when a cover element must be delivered, the cover element can be applied to the packaging material at exactly the correct position, also in the case that the packaging material is very flexible and weak.

11

In a particular embodiment, the counterpressure roller is lightweight. The light weight can be realized by making the counterpressure roller at least partially or even substantially hollow. A reasonable weight saving can typically be achieved by making the counterpressure roller at least 50% hollow, preferably at least 80% hollow, whereby the mass of the counterpressure roller can be made correspondingly smaller.

In further embodiments, the punching unit comprises: - a counter-pressure roller, optionally provided with two running rollers; - a rotatable die-roll, provided with two bearing rollers; and - a frame in which the counter-pressure roller and die-cutting roller are arranged relative to each other. The rollers ensure that the distance between the counterpressure roller and the punching roller is kept at the desired constant value during rotation.

In a further embodiment, the two rollers of the die roll are rotatable relative to this die roll because they are mounted. As a result, the punching roller 15 can rotate independently of the counter-pressure roller, and still retain the desired intermediate distance as a result of the presence of the running rollers.

In a further embodiment, the die-cutting unit comprises a rotatable counterpressure roller and a die-roll that can be rotated substantially freely relative to the counter-pressure roller, the die-roll being a central part and a die-mounted part laterally displaceable relative to the central part, the die-cutting part being mounted on a arbitrary lateral position with respect to the counter-pressure roller. Due to this embodiment, the weight of the die roll can also remain limited and the position of the die can be easily adjusted for arranging the openings in a correct position in the lateral direction.

In embodiments of the invention, the die roll rotates when it punches at exactly the same speed as the counterpressure roll which in turn rotates exactly the speed as the film web. The die roll has a starting position. As soon as the cover element is detected just in front of the die roller, the die roller starts rotating at exactly the speed of the counter pressure roller. The foil is now punched out and the punching out is behind the cover element. If the die form is just past the counterpressure roller, it returns to its initial position at an increased speed and stops there and waits for the new pulse to start rotating again. The starting position can also be indicated by the term waiting position. In embodiments, the die roll has a single die shape on the outer circumference of the die roll and preferably the initial position of the die roll corresponds to a single predetermined position of revolution of the die roll at which the die shape can be ready to effect a die-cut. In embodiments, the die roll has a plurality of die shapes at different positions along the outer circumference of the die roll which can be used in a predetermined order, for example, alternately, and preferably the initial position of the die roll corresponds to a subsequent rotation position of a plurality of predetermined positions of rotation of the die roll on which always a next die of the plurality of die shapes can be ready to effect a next die. The die roll can then, for example, rotate between two successive punches to the next position of rotation, so that the die roll can, for example, be ready for the next punch in less time than with a single die shape and thus obtain a higher throughput speed, for example.

Accelerated spinning of the punch roll can be realized in one embodiment in that the punch roll is provided with two bearing rollers. The two rollers of the die roll are thus rotatable relative to this die roll. This allows the punching roller to rotate independently of the counterpressure roller. The counterpressure roller can therefore rotate at the speed of the film web, while the punching roller can rotate more rapidly to the starting position for a subsequent punch-through after a punch-through is completed. As a result of the presence of the running rollers, the desired spacing can be kept thereby, so that the punching roll is pressed against the counterpressure roll at a pressure suitable for punching. In another embodiment, the counter pressure roller is provided with two bearing rollers, and the two roller rollers of the counter pressure 25 are thus rotatable relative to this counter pressure roller. As a result, the die roll can alternatively rotate independently of the counter-pressure roll.

In embodiments, the die roll and the counter pressure roll are driven by respective drive motors and the drive motors are driven with respective control units. The control unit of the counter-pressure roller can be adapted to control the drive motor of the counter-pressure roller such that the displacement speed and / or acceleration of the counter-pressure roller substantially correspond to that of the packaging material supplied, as described above. The control unit of the die roll can be adapted to control the drive motor of the die roll such that the displacement speed and / or acceleration corresponds to that of the packaging material supplied during die-cutting and, preferably, after the die-cut has completed, to speed up the rotation to the starting position for the next punch-through. In a further embodiment, the respective control units are integrated in a single control unit with which both drive motors can be controlled.

In a further embodiment, the die roll comprises at least one magnet element for releasably attaching a die element to the outer surface of the die roll. If a different punching element (for example, a different shape or different height) is to be used, the punching roller need not therefore be removed in its entirety and it is sufficient to merely change the punching element.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the device comprises: - a supply conveyor for supplying a series of products; - a scanner which is arranged for detecting at least one of the mutual positions, types and dimensions of the products on the feed conveyor and for issuing a detection signal representative of the detection; - control means for determining, depending on a detection signal from the scanner, how much packaging material can be used for each of the products in packaging.

According to a further embodiment, the device comprises: - a supply conveyor for supplying a series of products; - a scanner arranged for detecting at least one of the mutual positions, types and dimensions of the products on the feed conveyor and for issuing a detection signal representative of the detection; - control means for determining the desired properties, in particular the position, shape and / or dimensions, of the openings to be made in the packaging material, depending on a detection signal from the scanner.

According to a further embodiment, the device comprises: - a supply conveyor for supplying a series of products; - a scanner adapted for detecting at least one of the mutual positions, types and dimensions of the products on the feed conveyor and for issuing a detection signal representative of the detection; - control means for determining, depending on a detection signal from the scanner, the desired position at which the cover elements can be arranged on the packaging material.

The supply conveyor is, for example, an endless conveyor belt, a series of connected carriers or holders, such as trays, or a foil web in a chain.

The scanner can be any type of optical scanner and can consist of a collection of scanners that can detect the products at different angles or at different positions, for example. The scanners can be of the optical type, for example one or more (CCD) cameras coupled to the control means.

When, for example, the device is used for packaging products of different shape and dimensions, it can be determined for each supplied product how much length (cut-off length) of packaging foil must be supplied in order to be able to package the product in question properly. Alternatively or additionally, it can be determined at which place a covering element and / or an opening must be provided on or in the packaging material. In addition to or in addition to the stroke length, the control means and the scanner can be designed such that desired properties of the openings to be made in the packaging material can be determined and possibly even automatically (i.e. without manual operations) can be set. For example, the position, shape and / or dimensions of the openings relative to the product to be packaged can be considered. When the control means (e.g. a microcontroller) are coupled to at least one of the cover element application unit, opening application unit and the packaging unit, these units can each be individually or jointly adjusted depending on the detection signal from the scanner.

According to a further aspect of the invention, a punching unit is provided comprising: - a counter-pressure roller, optionally provided with two running rollers; - a rotatable die-roll, provided with two bearing rollers; and - a frame in which the counter-pressure roller and die-cutting roller are arranged relative to each other.

In embodiments, the two rollers of the die roll are rotatable relative to this die roll because they are mounted.

15

In embodiments, the die-cutting unit comprises a rotatable counter-pressure roller and a die-roller that is substantially freely rotatable relative to the counter-pressure roller.

In embodiments, the die roll and the counter pressure roll are driven by respective drive motors and the drive motors are driven with 5 respective control units. The control unit of the counter-pressure roller can be adapted to control the drive motor of the counter-pressure roller such that the displacement speed and / or acceleration of the counter-pressure roller substantially correspond to that of the packaging material supplied, as described above. The control unit of the die roll can be adapted to control the drive motor of the die roll such that the displacement speed and / or acceleration corresponds to that of the packaging material supplied during die-cutting and, preferably, accelerated after the completion of a die-cut rotates to the starting position for the next punch-through. In a further embodiment, the respective control units are integrated in a single control unit with which both drive motors can be controlled.

Further embodiments of the die-cutting unit are described above.

Further advantages, features and details of the present invention will be elucidated with reference to the following description of some preferred embodiments thereof. Reference is made in the description to the following figures.

Figure 1 shows a cut-away side view of an embodiment of a packaging device for packaging products, including packaging foil;

Figure 2 shows a front view of an embodiment of a punching unit according to the invention, without the packaging foil; Figure 3 shows a partly cut-away detailed side view of the punching unit of figures 1 and 2, more in particular the drive of a magnetic cylinder and counter-pressure cylinder thereof;

Figures 4A and 4B show schematic side views of a die cylinder and counter pressure cylinder, respectively. at starting position A before punching and at position B just after punching;

Figures 5A-5D are partially cut-away plan views of the steps performed by a user for opening a packaged product; 16

Figure 6 shows a top view of a punch with which an opening is made in the shrink film of a product;

Figure 7 schematically shows the shape of a label applied to the product of Figure 4; Figure 8 shows a product in which a vent opening is provided in addition to the opening for opening the package;

Figures 9a - 9h schematically show some details of examples of suitable openings.

Referring to Figure 1, a packaging device is shown for packaging a random product. In the following example, the product will consist of an irregularly shaped natural product such as a piece of cream cheese. More specifically, the product describes the shape of a "pie piece" and a shrink wrap must be applied around this shape. The package must be designed in such a way that it can be manually removed from the product by a user, without further aids, in a relatively simple manner.

The packaging device 1 comprises a unwinding unit 2 for supplying a strip of shrink-wrapped foil, a cover element applying unit, in particular a labeling unit 3, for applying cover elements, in particular labels, to the shrink film, a punching unit 5 for applying one or more punches in the shrink film, a feed conveyor 6 for supplying the products to be packaged (p), an feed conveyor 7 for feeding the products (p) into the shrink film and a flow pack seal unit 8 for sealing ( sealing) of the package and then shrinking the package around the product concerned.

The unwinding unit 2 of the packaging device 1 comprises a frame 10 arranged on a base (o). A unwinding roller 11 is provided on the frame 10. The unwinding roller 11 is rotatably mounted in the frame 10. A quantity of shrink film 12 is wound on the unwinding roller 11. This shrink film 12 generally has a thickness of between 5 and 35 microns. If other films are used, this film generally has a thickness between 5 and 150 µm, preferably between 5 and 80 µm. The shrink film is guided by means of a number of further rollers 14-21 arranged on the frame 10 to the aforementioned input conveyor 7. Rollers 14-21 are not driven in the embodiment shown. The displacement of the shrink film 12 is caused by the movement of the endless belt of the feed conveyor 7. The feed conveyor tightens the shrink film strip 13 wound from the unwinding roller 11 and pulls this strip along the labeling unit 3 and then along the punching unit 5.

A labeling unit 3 is also arranged on the frame 10. The labeling unit 3 comprises labels applied to a roll of carrier material 20 which can be adhered in known manner via a dispensing unit 18 to a first side of the shrink-foil strip 13. The labeling unit 3 is herein coupled to a central control unit 25 and always issues a label when a relevant labeling signal is received from the control unit 25.

The punching unit 5 is composed of a frame 30 on which a number of cylinders are rotatably arranged. As is shown in more detail in figures 2 and 3, the frame comprises two upright frame parts 31, 32 between which an upper roller 33 and a lower roller 34 are arranged. The lower roller 34, hereinafter also referred to as the counter-pressure cylinder 34 of the die-cutting unit, has a substantially cylindrical shape. The counterpressure cylinder is essentially hollow on the inside to make its weight as small as possible. This has to do with the possible requirement that the counterpressure cylinder 34 must be able to react very quickly to variations in the supply speed of the shrink-foil strips 13 and must therefore be able to undergo large accelerations or delays. In an alternative embodiment, the counter-pressure cylinder 34 is substantially solid.

The counter-pressure cylinder 34 can be provided with running rollers 35, 36 at both ends. These running rollers 35 and 36 are fixed to the counter-pressure cylinder 34 and, like the counter-pressure cylinder itself, are made of hardened material, preferably metal. In other embodiments, the counter-pressure cylinder is smooth and separate race rings have been omitted. The whole of the counter-pressure cylinder and running rollers is provided with two shaft parts 37, 38 which are rotatably arranged in respective upright bearings 39, 40 in the upright parts 31, 32 of the frame 30.

The counterpressure cylinder 34 is driven via a servo motor 50, the output shaft 51 of which is coupled to the counterpressure cylinder 34 via a transmission belt (e.g. a toothed belt). The servomotor 50 is driven by a so-called coding roller (tacho and encoder). This coding roll is indicated in Figure 1 by reference number 17. The coding roller measures the current speed of the shrink-film strip 13 guided along it and transmits a signal representative of the measured current speed thereof (either directly or via the aforementioned control) to the servomotor 50. In this way, for example, the counterpressure cylinder 34 can be moved within relative small margins follow the varying speed of the shrink film strip 13.

The upper roller 33, also referred to as the die roller or magnetic cylinder 33, situated at the top of the die unit 5, is intended for holding the die with which the opening is made in the shrink film. The magnetic cylinder 33 comprises an elongated central part 42 which is rotatably mounted on the frame 30 with a bearing block 28. The elongated central part 42 has a roller 54 in the middle thereof. The roller contains the punching element with which the opening can be made in the packaging material, as will be explained later.

The central part 42 is coupled via respective bearings 43 and 44 to two further running rollers 57, 58. These running rollers are also made of hardened material. The running rollers 57, 58 run against the lower running rollers 35, 36 of the counter-pressure cylinder 34 by means of the said bearings 43, 44 and ensure that there is a constant (small) distance between the outer wall of the counter-pressure cylinder 34 and the outer wall of the roller 54 is maintained. To maintain this intermediate distance, two running rollers 29 are provided above the magnetic cylinder. The running rollers 29 are attached to an adjusting bridge 45 which can be adjusted in height by means of two adjusting knobs 46, 46 '. The running surfaces of running rollers 29 can push down the running rollers 57, 57 of the magnetic cylinder in a downward direction and thus ensure that the magnetic cylinder maintains a correct distance with respect to the underpressure roller.

The roller 54 has a width b 1 (figure 2) that is smaller than the width b 1 of the counterpressure cylinder 34 located below it. Furthermore, the roller 54 is slidable in the lateral direction (direction R 1, figure 2) and at random positions along the cylinder part 42 attachable with the aid of fastening means 60 so that the blanking can be arranged by the blanking knife at the laterally desired position in the shrink-foil strip 13.

The magnetic cylinder 33 is driven by means of a further servo motor 62. Servo motor 62 has an output shaft 63 which, with the aid of a drive belt 64, engages the magnetic cylinder 33 and can drive it. The construction shown makes it possible to rotate the magnetic cylinder 33 and the counter-pressure cylinder 34 independently of each other. Even if the counterpressure cylinder rotates continuously 19 (at least, with speed variations corresponding to the speed variations in the shrink film strip 13), the magnetic cylinder 33 can be stationary or be accelerated or decelerated, while the punch 70 provided on the outer surface of the roller 54 (FIGS. 4A and 4B) with the correct position and timing with respect to the labels attached to the shrink-wrap strip 13.

The magnetic cylinder 33 or at least the roller 54 thereof is provided on the outer surface with a flexible metal plate 71 which can be releasably attached to the outer surface of the roller 54 of the magnetic cylinder 33 with the aid of magnets (not shown). Plate 71 is provided with at least one die (element or blade) 70, for example with a die element with a shape as shown in Figure 6. In the embodiment shown, the punch 70 comprises an elongated, substantially wave-shaped part 119, with a number of protrusions 116, 117 and ends 112. As will be explained in more detail later, it is possible to use a punch 70 in the shrink film to provide a corresponding opening. to punch. The last-mentioned protrusions 116, 117 provide corresponding tearing parts 106, 107.

After the supplied shrink film strip 13 has left the punching unit 5, it is guided along a number of rollers 19-21 and a number of photocells 75. With the aid of the photocells 75, the passing of a label on the shrink film strip 13 can be detected. The shrink film is further guided to the aforementioned input conveyor 7.

Input conveyor 7 comprises an endless conveyor belt 78 which can be moved by means of a number of rollers, indicated or not (of which only the left-hand roller 79 is shown in Figure 1). The shrink film strip 13 is laid on the top of the endless conveyor belt 78 and moves at the same speed in the direction of the aforementioned flow pack seal unit 8. The flow pack seal unit can be of a type known per se and is therefore not in the figures. The function of the flow pack seal unit is to seal (seal) the film applied to a product and then guide the entire product and sealed film through a shrink tunnel. The shrink tunnel comprises an oven in which the shrink film 13 is shrunk so far by means of warm air that the film starts to stretch tightly around the product.

Finally, the supply conveyor is of a type known per se and comprises an endless conveyor belt 80 which is set in motion by means of a number of rollers 81 and 82. The products to be packaged (p) are supplied on the supply conveyor. The products can be placed in a package with one or more at a time. Figure 1 shows only a few products (p) for the sake of simplicity of the drawing, but in practice this number can of course be much greater.

In operation, the unwinding unit 2 supplies a strip of shrink film 13 in the direction of the punching unit. The aforementioned coding roller (tacho and encoder) 17 measures the speed of the shrink-foil strip 13 passed along it and outputs a corresponding signal to the control unit 25 and / or to the servomotor 50 of the counterpressure cylinder 34. The servomotor 50 now ensures that the 10 counter-pressure cylinder 43 is rotated at substantially the same speed (i.e., the speed of the outer surface of the counter-pressure cylinder which surface makes contact with the shrink film strip 13 is substantially equal to the speed of the shrink film).

A feature of the shrink film is that it is very flexible and therefore it is not easy to realize a constant speed in such a transport mechanism. In the construction shown, however, it is not necessary to realize a constant speed of the shrink-foil strip, because with the aid of the coding roller (tacho and encoder) 17 and the servo motor 50 of the counter-pressure cylinder any variations in the speed of the strip can be absorbed.

At a given moment the labeling unit receives the order to issue a cover element or label from via the control unit 25 and through roller 17 on which there is also an encoder which measures the length via steps. The dispensing unit 18 then issues a label in a known manner and attaches it to the side 22 of the shrink-wrap strip 13 (Figure 1). This label is schematically indicated in Figure 1 with reference number 26. With all further labels 26, a control that is contained in the servomotor 50 will calculate what the cut-off length (i.e. the desired end length of the film strip per product) is. As soon as this stroke length is reached, the labeling unit 3 again receives the signal to issue a label. The dispensing unit 18 then issues a further label 26 and attaches it to the shrink-wrap strip 13.

The stroke length is inter alia dependent on the space required between the products for the proper functioning of the packaging device. When the 21 products are formed, for example, from cheeses of approximately 170 mm length and the required spacing is, for example, 50 mm, the cut-off length to be set is 220 mm.

As soon as a label 26 is detected by a photocell 85 provided in the vicinity of the coding roller (tacho and encoder) 17, a signal is issued to the control unit 25 and / or directly to the servomotor 62 of the magnetic cylinder 33. The magnetic cylinder 33 or at least the punch 70 arranged thereon is ready in a preset starting position (e.g. position A, figure 4A). The servomotor 62 now rotates the punch 70 from the starting position (A) to a position between the counter-pressure cylinder and magnetic cylinder and ensures that this occurs just at that moment, at which a label passes the counter-pressure cylinder / magnet cylinder combination. Furthermore, the rotational speed of the magnetic cylinder is adapted to that of the counter-pressure cylinder and thus to the instantaneous displacement speed of the film.

For a number of reasons, the speed of movement of the packaging material (foil) will generally not be constant over time. Because, for example, there may be elongation in the foil, because the processing in the (conveyor of the) packaging unit itself, for instance at the seal bars of a flow pack seal machine, gives a sliding movement, variations in the speed of movement of the packaging material running along the die unit. It is important that the two cylinders of the punching unit follow this displacement speed exactly.

Incidentally, the height h (Figure 4A) of the punch is in this case designed such that only the foil 13 itself is punched, but the label (substantially) is not. In other words, an opening (incision, punching, etc.) is provided in the foil behind the label, without a corresponding opening being made in the label. The magnetic cylinder rotates to the position B shown in Fig. 4B. Subsequently, the servomotor 62 causes the magnetic cylinder to rotate at a high speed to the starting position A shown in Fig. 4A. The rotational speed is so great that the die 70 arrives again at the starting position A in time. is to be able to make another punch. This process is repeated each time the shrink-foil strip 13 has been moved over a predetermined cut-off length and a new label is positioned between the counter-pressure cylinder and the magnetic cylinder.

The shrink film strip 13 continues its way in the direction of the feed conveyor 7. When the relevant label 26 with the punched-through foil arrives at the upper photocells 75, they generate a signal that the feed conveyor 6 causes a product, whether or not via the control 25 (p) to slide on top of the film on the feed conveyor 7 in such a way that a label 26 is located exactly below (with the film in between of course) the product (p). The feed conveyor is here arranged to create the space required for the packaging unit between the products (for example 50 mm). This spacing may be different from the spacing between the products when they are still on the conveyor 80.

The feed conveyor 7 then transports the product further to the flow 10 pack seal unit 8 in which the film is sealed tightly around the product and the product is then guided through a shrink tunnel to cause the film to shrink tightly around the product. In a flow pack seal unit, for example, there are sensors that provide detection signals on the basis of which the seal bars come down exactly between two successive products and the products around sealing. In the case of the aforementioned cheese, the product is sealed on three sides. This ensures that at the front at the wide portion of the cheese, at the tip and the side, thickenings are created (due to the shrinking of relatively large parts of packaging material). These thickenings are often so tough that the tearing of the packaging material beyond these thickenings cannot be achieved, or only with difficulty.

An example of a product manufactured according to the described method and / or in the described packaging device 1 is shown in Figure 5A. In Figure 5A the product in question is a piece of cream cheese, which is in the usual way in the form of a "pie tip". A shrink film 91 is arranged around the cream cheese 90. It is furthermore visible that the foil 91 is provided at the top with a stamped opening 94 extending transversely of the cream cheese, wherein label 93 is arranged on top of the film and the punched opening 94. The shape of this label 93 is shown in more detail in Figure 7. The label comprises a body portion 95 which is adhered to the film by means of adhesive (e.g. glue). The label 93 also contains on its upper side a glue-free portion or glue-free strip 96. The glue-free strip 96 (which is also understood to mean a strip provided with glue whose glue is neutralized in a known manner) forms a protrusion or lip 97 and is intended to to be seized by a user of the product.

23

Figure 5A shows how the opening 94 provided by the punch extends below the label 93. Dotted lines 100 and 101 also indicate the relevant parts (for example, whether or not imaginary tear lines) where the foil can be torn.

The tearing of the film is as follows. The user pulls the tab 97 downwards. Because the glue-free strip 96 and the tab 97 forming part thereof are not provided with glue, this can easily be grasped. When the user pulls the whole down (see step S1, figures 5A and 5B), due to the adhesion between the label and the shrink film, the top 10 parts (see figure 6) of the shrink film will just are pulled underneath the punched opening 94 with the label 93 and thereby release the product. When the user pulls further and at a given moment pulls the foil to the ends 102 of the opening 94, when pulling further the foil will extend approximately along the (imaginary) dotted lines 100 which extend from the ends 102 of the opening 94, further being torn open (opening step S1, figure 5B) up to the edge of the package. As the user pulls further, the film can be torn open further along (imaginary) dotted lines 100 '. In this condition, the packaging can sometimes easily be removed from the product.

However, the drawback remains that the upper side of the foil, i.e. the foil 20 at the widest end of the cream cheese 90, has not yet been removed. Due to the special shape of the opening 94, however, a part of the film (i.e. part 105, Fig. 5A) can be used as a pull tab. When the user subsequently pulls on this pull tab 105, the film will come loose and partly due to the presence of upwardly extending tear-off parts 106, the shrink-off foil approximately along (imaginary) dotted lines 101 which extend from the respective tear-open parts 106 can be torn upwards so that the top of the film can also be easily removed (opening step S2, figure 5C). This situation is shown in Figure 5C. In the embodiment shown, the elongated opening 94 is provided with further tear-in parts or tear-off openings 108. These tear-off openings 107 allow an oblique lateral tear via (imaginary) tear-off lines 108, which extend from the tear-open openings 107, as shown in Fig. 5D, in order to partially tear the remaining 24 corner parts of the package (opening steps S3 and S4, Fig. 5D).

In another embodiment (not shown), in addition to the adhesive-free strip 96 and the adhesive part of the label, a part of the label is provided with a special adhesive layer 110 (Figure 7) which allows a resealable package. This makes it possible to close a (partially) opened package again temporarily.

In another embodiment of the invention, a different die is used than the die previously described with reference to reference numeral 70. The alternative die has two die parts. The first punching part has a first height and is intended to make an opening only in the foil and not in the label, all this in accordance with what has been described previously. A difference with the punch of figure 6, however, is that there are only two protrusions instead of four for providing tear-in parts 106 (with tear-off parts 107 not being used). However, a second punching part has a greater height so that during punching not only an opening 114 is provided in the foil 13, but also an opening 120 (Fig. 8) in the label 93. When the product with the foil and thus punched label is led to the flow pack seal unit 8, the product is sealed and passed through the shrink tunnel, whereby air can now escape through the opening in the label. This can be beneficial for the "flow pack process" since since shrinking gases can escape through the opening 120. After the product has been sealed and shrunk in the manner described, a second label 113 is affixed on top of the first label in such a way that the aforementioned opening 114 in the package and in the first label 93 is sealed so that the product can be sealed airtightly towards the outside world.

The opening 120 preferably has a U-shape, but other shapes are of course also possible. Incidentally, arranging a vent opening in a shrink film is known per se. However, the existing vent openings are often provided in a different position, for example at a position opposite that of the label. According to the present embodiment, however, the vent opening 120 can be provided on the same side of the product or even at the location of the first label. When the vent opening is sealed with a second label after the shrinking process, the second label can be adhered on the same side of the product or on top of the first label.

25

Figures 9a - 9h show some examples of embodiments of opening 94 with a suitable shape for removing packaging material from a packaged product. The opening is always formed to tear the packaging material in a first direction and then in a different, second, direction to at least partially remove the packaging material from the product. In embodiments, the second direction is substantially opposite to the first direction. In alternative or further embodiments, the second direction is inclined with respect to the first direction, for example substantially transversely of the first direction. In the embodiments shown it is also possible, but perhaps not always necessary for removing the foil from the product, to subsequently remove the packaging material from the product in one or more other directions, for example in the lateral direction. The aperture is thus formed in the packaging signal to open the packaging material in two, three or more directions.

Figure 9a again shows the opening 94 described with reference to Figures 5a - 5d with an elongated wave-shaped part with two upwardly extending tear-off parts 106 and two further, laterally sloping, further tear-off parts 107. In addition, Figure 9a also shows again the topmost parts 109 of the foil, just below the punched opening 94. The parts 109 are pulled along with the label 93 as described above and are thus released from the product when the user pulls the lip 97 downwards. Figure 9a also shows the part of the film to be used as a pull tab by the special shape of the opening 94: this is indicated by part 105. With part 105, as described above, the user can tear off the film in the upward direction of the product .

The alternative opening shown in Figure 9b differs from the opening shown in Figure 9a in that the part 105 which can be used as a pull tab extends further from the transverse direction of the opening 94. This forms a longer pull tab which is easier for the user to fit. can be grasped than the relatively short pull tab formed by part 105 in Figure 9a.

Figure 9c shows a cross-shaped opening 94, essentially formed by two tear-open parts 104a that extend obliquely downwards from the center of the opening to ends 102, and two tear-open parts 104b that extend obliquely upwards from the center of the opening to ends 103. A triangular part 109 thus forms between the two 26 tear-in parts 104a, which is pulled along similarly to the parts 109 of Figure 9a when the user pulls lip 97 downwards. The film will then tear from the ends 102 of the tear-in parts 104a along (imaginary) tear-off lines which extend obliquely downwards from the ends. Between the two tear-open parts 104b a triangular pull tab 105 is formed, with which the user can then, in a similar manner as described above, tear off the film in an (oblique) upward direction of the product. The film will then tear from the ends 103 of the tear-in parts 104b along (imaginary) tear-off lines which extend obliquely upwards from the ends 103 and can thus be removed from the product in that direction.

Between the two tear-in parts 104a and 104b form, both left and right, respective side-facing triangular pull tab (unnumbered), with which the user can subsequently remove the film in the lateral directions of the product.

The alternative opening shown in Figure 9d differs from the opening shown in Figure 9c in that the opening 94 has a circular center, from which the tear-open parts 104a and 104b extend in a similar manner as in Figure 9c.

Figure 9e shows a star-shaped aperture 94, essentially formed by two tear-in parts 104a extending obliquely downwards from the center of the opening to ends 102, and a tear-in parts 104c extending upwards from the center of the opening to end 103 A triangular part 109 thus forms between the two tear-in parts 104a, which is pulled along similarly to the triangular part 109 of Figure 9c when the user pulls lip 97 downwards. The foil will then tear from the ends 102 of the tear-in parts 104a along (imaginary) tear-off lines which extend obliquely downwards from the ends. Two substantially triangular pull tabs 105a and 105b form between tear-in part 104c and tear-in parts 104a. With the triangular pull tabs 105a and 105b the user can then tear the film further away from the product. By pulling pull tab 105a in an upwardly slanting direction directed to the left, the user can further tear the film along a tear line extending from tear part 104c. The film then comes loose from the product and can then be pulled off in the direction of the top left corner of the product. By pulling pull tab 27 105b in an upwardly directed right-angled direction, the user can further pull the film away from the product in the direction of the upper left corner of the product.

The alternative opening shown in Figure 9f differs from the opening shown in Figure 9d in that the opening 94 has a U-shaped part, from which extend into the tear-open parts 104a and 104b in a similar manner as in Figure 9d. The base of the U-shaped opening here is directed upwards, whereby part 109 is formed by the elongated inner part of the U. In an alternative, not shown, embodiment, the base of the U-shaped part is in downward direction. and forms the elongated inner member pull tab 105. Figure 9g shows another alternative aperture 94 with an elongated wavy portion with two ends 102 and with two upwardly extending tear portions 106. The elongated portion provides similarly as in Figure 9a two upper parts 109 of the foil, just below the punched opening 94. The parts 109 are pulled along with the label 93 as described above and thereby separate from the product when the user pulls the lip 97 downwards. The special shape of the aperture 94 can be used as a pull tab in a similar manner as in Figure 9a and is indicated by part 105. When the user pulls a tab 97 downwards, the foil will then tear from the ends 102 of the aperture along (imaginary) tear-in lines extending obliquely downwards from the ends 102. Then, the user, similar to that described in Figure 9a, can remove the film from the product in an upward direction with the pull tab 105. Between the obliquely upwardly directed tear-in parts 106 and the obliquely downward-facing parts of the opening (which extend to ends 102) form, both left and right, respective side-directed triangular pull tabs (unnumbered), with which the user subsequently foil in the sideways directions of the product.

Figure 9h shows yet another alternative opening 94. The opening 94 of Figure 9h has an elongated part with a straight center piece from which two obliquely downwardly directed parts extend to two ends 102 and further provided with two upwardly extending tearing parts 106. With the opening 94, the film can be removed from the product in a similar manner to the opening shown in Figure 9g.

28

As an alternative to the aforementioned mechanical punch in which an opening is made in the foil and / or the label with the aid of a punch (element) 70 or similar element, other means can be applied to provide an opening. A laser cutting unit can be envisaged here. Herein an opening is made in the foil and possibly in the label with the aid of a concentrated laser beam. The advantage of such a laser system is that it can work very accurately and moreover is contactless so that less wear occurs. The drawback of such a laser embodiment is of course that the costs thereof are usually higher.

In further embodiments of the invention, the product is guided through the packaging device for the first time for packaging the product into packaging material of a first type, after which the product is passed through the same (or different) packaging device for a second time for a packaging material of a second type of packaging of the product.

In the above-described exemplary embodiments, the packaging device is designed in a lower roll configuration (also referred to as lower input configuration), but other configurations such as an upper roll configuration (upper input configuration) are also within the reach of those skilled in the art. Other examples of configurations falling within the invention are those in which the packaging material provided with a covering element is used in horizontal or vertical flow-pack, top-seal, deep-drawing, skin machines, (corner) sealers or similar sealers.

The device and method described herein can package a primary product, but also for packaging the product and / or as a secondary and / or as a tertiary packaging for a product (or products). The packaging material 25 can be used, for example, for packaging (a series of) a product that has already been packaged once (or more than once).

Although in the exemplary embodiments a large part has been referred to packaging devices for packaging food products, the invention is not limited thereto. The method and device can for instance also be used in numerous markets outside the food market, such as, for example, the packaging of (a series of) electronic or optical data carriers (CDs, DVDs), the sealing (sealing) of cardboard boxes and the simple tearing open. thereof (via the openings provided in the package for removing the package), and the packaging of medicines. In the latter case, for example, a new form of sealing (seal security) can be provided with the new method.

The present invention is not limited to the preferred embodiments (devices, methods, and / or products) described herein. The rights sought are rather determined by the following claims, within the scope of which many modifications and modifications are conceivable.

Claims (52)

  1. A method for in-line packaging of a product, comprising: - supplying packaging material consisting of shrink film, stretch film, a combined shrink-stretch film, or a packaging material used by a skin machine; - applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; 10. arranging at least one opening in the packaging material at the location of the applied cover element, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element behind it; - packaging at least one product with the packaging material, comprising arranging the at least one product in the packaging material and sealing the packaging material.
  2. Method according to one of the claims 1, comprising: - supplying the packaging material from a feed roll; - applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; 20. subsequently guiding the packaging material provided with at least one cover element along a punching unit; - punching an opening in the packaging material at the location of the cover element, which opening is designed for manually opening the package 25
  3. Method according to claim 2, comprising punching the opening through the packaging material against the cover element.
  4. 4. Method as claimed in any of the claims 1, comprising: - feeding packaging material from a supply roll; - applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; - subsequently guiding the packaging material provided with at least one cover element along a laser unit; - laser an opening in the packaging material at the location of the cover element, which opening is designed for opening the package manually.
  5. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising packaging at least one product with a sealing unit and / or a heating unit with the packaging material such that the product, after stretching and / or shrinking and / or skinning, is at least partially tight is enclosed by the packaging material. 10
  6. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cover element is a label, label or strip.
  7. 7. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, comprising of sealing the packaging material and subsequently heating it until the packaging material has shrunk.
  8. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the packaging material has a thickness of between 5 and 150 µm, preferably between 5 and 80 µm and even more preferably between 5 and 35 µm.
  9. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising: - guiding a strip of packaging material to a cover element applicator unit; 25. applying a series of cover elements to the strip of packaging material with the cover element applying unit; - guiding the strip of packaging material provided with cover elements along an opening application unit; - the opening inserting unit, each time passing a cover element, provides an opening in the packaging material only, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element behind it.
  10. Method according to claim 9, wherein the opening application unit is or comprises a punching unit, and the method comprises: - guiding the strip of packaging material provided with cover elements along the stamping unit; 5. punching through the blanking unit each time a cover element passes from only the packaging material to the cover element.
  11. A method according to claim 9, wherein the opening applicator is or comprises a laser cutting unit, and the method comprises: 10. guiding the strip of packaging material provided with cover elements along the laser cutting unit; - laser cutting of an opening in the packaging material only when the laser cutting unit passes through a cover element, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element behind it. 15
  12. 12. Method according to one of claims 9-11, wherein the distance between successive cover elements is set as desired, so that a desired cut-off length is realized in each case.
  13. A method according to claim 12, wherein the cut-off length is dependent on the shape and / or dimensions of the relevant product to be packaged and / or on the space required between the products for the proper functioning of the packaging device.
  14. Method as claimed in any of the claims 9-13, comprising of, after arranging the opening in the packaging material: - feeding the product and a relevant part of the strip of packaging material through a sealing unit; and - enclosing, gluing, sealing and / or welding the product or packaging material arranged on or around the product at least partially with the packaging material.
  15. 15. Method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the sealing unit is a flow pack unit and wherein the method further comprises: - passing the packaged product through a heat treatment unit, in particular a shrink unit, more in particular a shrink tunnel or water bath, for shrinking the packaging material.
  16. 16. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, comprising of guiding a sealing unit, in particular a horizontal or vertical flow pack, stretch, skin, deep drawing, (corner or general) seal or top sealing machine product.
  17. 17. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, comprising: - arranging at least a first opening in the packaging material at the location of the applied cover element, substantially without providing a corresponding opening in the cover element situated behind it, which first opening is designed for manual opening of the package; and - arranging at least a second opening at the location of the applied cover element in a combination of the packaging material and the cover element located behind it, wherein the second opening is designed to form, for example, a vent.
  18. A method according to claim 17, wherein after the shrinkage of the packaging material over the product over the second opening a second cover element is provided. 25
  19. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the opening or openings in only the packaging material are formed around the packaging material in a first direction and then in a second direction, preferably substantially opposite to or substantially transversely of the first direction, tearing to remove the packaging material at least partially from the product.
  20. 20. Method as claimed in claim 19, wherein the opening or openings has a special shape that is suitable for, after the packaging material has been torn in the first direction, a part of the packaging material being used as a pull tab for tearing in the second direction
  21. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the opening or openings in the packaging signal are formed to open the packaging material in three or more directions.
  22. Method according to one of claims 19 to 21, comprising the provision of an opening with an elongated part and a number of tear parts extending substantially transversely or obliquely to the elongated part.
  23. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising: 15. carrying out the method steps for packaging the product with a first packaging material; - again carrying out the method steps for packaging the same product with a second packaging material.
  24. A method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein applying at least one opening comprises arranging a row of perforations located one behind the other.
  25. 25. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, wherein the product is a food product, such as for instance a piece of cheese, in particular a piece of cream cheese.
  26. 26. Device for packaging a product, comprising: - a supply unit for supplying packaging material, consisting of shrink film, stretch film, a combined shrink-stretch film or packaging material used by a skin machine; - a cover element application unit for applying at least one cover element to the packaging material; - an opening applicator for arranging at least one opening in the packaging material at the location of the applied cover element, the opening applicator unit being adapted to form the opening through the packaging material up to the cover element, substantially without a corresponding opening in the beyond to install cover element; and - a packaging unit for packaging the product with the packaging material comprising at least one sealing unit for sealing the packaging material, in which the supply unit, the cover element applicator unit, the opening applicator unit and the packaging unit are integrated with each other for realizing an in-line packaging process.
  27. 27. Device as claimed in claim 26, wherein the opening-applying unit comprises a stamping unit, which stamping unit comprises a stamping for punching the opening in the packaging material.
  28. Device as claimed in claim 27, wherein the punching unit comprises: - a rotatable counter-pressure roller; - a rotatable die-roll; 20. a first drive motor for driving the counter pressure roller; - a speed detector for measuring the supply speed of the packaging material and outputting a speed signal representative of the supply speed; - a control unit coupled to the first drive motor and the speed detector for adjusting the rotational speed of the counterpressure roller depending on the speed signal, the control unit being adapted to provide a control signal with which the displacement speed and / or acceleration of the counterpressure roller is substantially corresponds to that of the packaging material supplied. 30
  29. Device as claimed in claim 28, wherein the counterpressure roller is at least partially, preferably substantially, hollow.
  30. Device as claimed in claim 28 or 29, wherein the punching roller is rotatable independently of the counterpressure roller.
  31. Device as claimed in any of the claims 28-30, wherein the die-cutting unit 5 comprises: - a counter-pressure roller; - a rotatable die-roll, wherein the die-roll and / or counter-pressure roll are provided with two rollers to make the counter-pressure roll rotatable independently of the die-roll; - a frame in which the counter-pressure roller and die-roll are arranged to cause the running rollers of the die-roll to run against the running rollers of the counter-pressure roller or against the counter-pressure roller itself; wherein the first and / or second running rollers are rotatably mounted with respect to the counter-pressure roller and die-cutting roller, respectively.
  32. Device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims 27-31, wherein the die-cutting unit comprises: - a rotatable counter-pressure roller and a die-roll that can be rotated substantially freely relative to the counter-pressure roller, wherein the die-roll a central part and a lateral relative to the central part has a stamped part that is slidably arranged, wherein the stamped part can be fixed at any lateral position relative to the counter-pressure roller.
  33. 33. Device as claimed in any of the claims 28-32, comprising an electric second drive motor for driving the die roller and a control unit coupled to the second drive motor for controlling the second drive motor.
  34. An apparatus according to claim 33, wherein the control unit coupled to the second drive motor and the second drive motor are adapted to cause the die roller 30 to rotate from a waiting position at the same speed as the counterpressure roller during die-cutting of the opening, and to drive the die roller with increased speed to the next waiting position after punching the opening.
  35. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-34, wherein the opening applicator unit comprises a laser cutting unit, which laser cutting unit is adapted to provide the opening or openings in the packaging material with laser light. 5
  36. Device as claimed in any of the claims 27-34, wherein the punch is adapted to punch an opening through the packaging material just up to the cover element.
  37. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-36, wherein the packaging unit comprises a sealing unit, wherein the sealing unit comprises a horizontal or vertical flow pack, stretch, skin, deep-drawing, (corner or general) seal - and and / or or top-sealing machine.
  38. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-37, wherein the packaging material is shrink film, stretch film or combined shrink-stretch film and the packaging unit is a sealing unit for sealing (sealing) the product or a packaging material arranged in or on the product and / or or comprises a heating unit, in particular a shrinking unit, in particular a shrinking tunnel or water bath, for shrinking the shrink film.
  39. 39. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-38, wherein the packaging unit comprises at least one sealing unit and / or heating unit or a combination thereof so that the product is at least partially enclosed after stretching and / or shrinking and / or skinning and is also at least partially tightly enclosed by the packaging material.
  40. 40. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-39, wherein the opening-applying unit is adapted to form the opening, wherein the opening is suitable for placing the packaging material in a first direction and then in a second, preferably a substantially opposite, direction to remove the packaging material at least partially from the product.
  41. 41. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-40, wherein the punch of the punching unit has a first punching part for providing a first opening in the packaging material, substantially without a corresponding opening in the cover element situated behind it, and also has a second punching part to provide a second opening in both the packaging material and the cover element behind it.
  42. Device as claimed in claim 41, comprising a cover element applying unit for arranging a second cover element for sealing said opening after providing an opening in the cover element, in particular the label.
  43. 43. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-42, wherein the distance between successive cover elements is adjustable to realize a desired cut-off length in each case.
  44. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-43, comprising: - a supply conveyor for supplying a series of products; - a scanner adapted for detecting at least one of the mutual positions, types and dimensions of the products on the feed conveyor and for issuing a detection signal representative of the detection; - control means for determining, depending on a detection signal from the scanner, how much packaging material can be used for each of the products in packaging. 25
  45. Device as claimed in claim 44, wherein the control means are adapted to determine the desired stop length (s).
  46. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-45, comprising: 30. a supply conveyor for supplying a series of products; - a scanner arranged for detecting at least one of the mutual positions, types and dimensions of the products on the feed conveyor and for issuing a detection signal representative of the detection; - control means for determining, depending on a detection signal from the scanner, the desired position at which the cover elements can be arranged on the packaging material.
  47. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-46, comprising: - a supply conveyor for supplying a series of products; - a scanner arranged for detecting at least one of the mutual positions, types and dimensions of the products on the feed conveyor and for issuing a detection signal representative of the detection; 10. control means for determining, depending on a detection signal from the scanner, the desired properties, in particular the position, shape and / or dimensions, of the openings to be made in the packaging material.
  48. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-47, wherein the control means are connectable or coupled to at least one of the cover element application unit, opening application unit and the packaging unit for controlling depending on the detection signal.
  49. Device as claimed in any of the claims 26-48 for carrying out the method according to any of the claims 1-25.
  50. Packaged product obtained by a method according to one of claims 1 to 25 and / or by use of a device according to one of claims 26 to 49.
  51. A packaged product according to claim 50, which product is a piece of cheese, in particular a piece of cream cheese.
  52. Use of a device according to one of claims 26 to 49 for obtaining a packaged product. 30
NL2005579A 2010-01-14 2010-10-26 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product. NL2005579C2 (en)

Priority Applications (6)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NL2004092 2010-01-14
NL2004092 2010-01-14
NL2004115 2010-01-19
NL2004115 2010-01-19
NL2005579 2010-10-26
NL2005579A NL2005579C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2010-10-26 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product.

Applications Claiming Priority (14)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NL2005579A NL2005579C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2010-10-26 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product.
NO14166800A NO2762413T3 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14
ITTO2011A000019A IT1403439B1 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 "Method and apparatus for packaging a product and packaged product"
FR1150318A FR2955086B1 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and device for packaging a product and packaged product
PCT/NL2011/050024 WO2011090373A1 (en) 2010-01-19 2011-01-14 Method and device for packaging a product, and a packaged product
US13/504,634 US9139321B2 (en) 2010-01-19 2011-01-14 Method and device for packaging a product
DK11701885.3T DK2437983T3 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Punching unit and method of packaging a product with such punching unit
EP14166800.4A EP2762413B1 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and sytem for packaging a product
DK14166800.4T DK2762413T3 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and system for packaging a product
NL2006010A NL2006010C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product.
ES14166800.4T ES2645112T3 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and system to package a product
ES11701885.3T ES2492522T3 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Drilling unit and packaging method of a product with said drilling unit
EP11701885.3A EP2437983B1 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Punching unit and method of packaging a product with such a punching unit
NL2006011A NL2006011C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Cutting unit, method and device for cutting an opening in a packaging material.

Publications (1)

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NL2005579C2 true NL2005579C2 (en) 2011-01-18

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NL2005579A NL2005579C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2010-10-26 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product.
NL2006011A NL2006011C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Cutting unit, method and device for cutting an opening in a packaging material.
NL2006010A NL2006010C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product.

Family Applications After (2)

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NL2006011A NL2006011C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Cutting unit, method and device for cutting an opening in a packaging material.
NL2006010A NL2006010C2 (en) 2010-01-14 2011-01-14 Method and apparatus for packaging a product and a packed product.

Country Status (7)

Country Link
EP (1) EP2762413B1 (en)
DK (1) DK2437983T3 (en)
ES (2) ES2645112T3 (en)
FR (1) FR2955086B1 (en)
IT (1) IT1403439B1 (en)
NL (3) NL2005579C2 (en)
NO (1) NO2762413T3 (en)

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WO2010013218A1 (en) * 2008-07-30 2010-02-04 Claudio Ernestino Zanarella Process and relative equipment for the production of film for packaging and wrapping and reel obtained

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
FR2955086B1 (en) 2015-04-10
NL2006010C2 (en) 2011-12-28
EP2762413A1 (en) 2014-08-06
EP2762413B1 (en) 2017-08-09
NL2006011C2 (en) 2011-12-08
ES2492522T3 (en) 2014-09-09
NL2006010A (en) 2011-07-25
NL2006011A (en) 2011-07-25
IT1403439B1 (en) 2013-10-17
FR2955086A1 (en) 2011-07-15
DK2437983T3 (en) 2014-09-01
NO2762413T3 (en) 2018-01-06
ES2645112T3 (en) 2017-12-04
ITTO20110019A1 (en) 2011-07-15

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