US20030145558A1 - Horizontal form fill and seal packing method for reclosable packages - Google Patents

Horizontal form fill and seal packing method for reclosable packages Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030145558A1
US20030145558A1 US10/066,921 US6692102A US2003145558A1 US 20030145558 A1 US20030145558 A1 US 20030145558A1 US 6692102 A US6692102 A US 6692102A US 2003145558 A1 US2003145558 A1 US 2003145558A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
packaging film
continuous length
accordance
zippers
zipper
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
US10/066,921
Inventor
John Schneider
Steven Ausnit
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Illinois Tool Works Inc
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Illinois Tool Works Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Illinois Tool Works Inc filed Critical Illinois Tool Works Inc
Priority to US10/066,921 priority Critical patent/US20030145558A1/en
Assigned to ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC. reassignment ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: AUSNIT, STEVEN, SCHNEIDER, JOHN H.
Publication of US20030145558A1 publication Critical patent/US20030145558A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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    • 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
    • B65B61/188Auxiliary 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 or incorporating profile-strips, e.g. for reclosable bags

Abstract

In a horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine (10), a continuous length of packaging film (12) is folded lengthwise over a consumer product (35) to be packaged. The consumer product (35) is placed on the packaging film (12) with a zipper (26) disposed between a lengthwise fold (29) and the consumer product (35). The longitudinal edges (40, 42) of the packaging film (12) are aligned and sealed to one another with the zipper (26) sealed to the folded packaging film (12). Side seals (46, 48) are produced in a conventional manner to form a completed bag (55) while also separating the completed bag (55) from the bags being formed. Weakness areas (62, 63, 64) and an aperture (64) for opening the completed bag (55) and accessing an attached slider (27) are provided at the lengthwise fold (29).

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to plastic bags of the type in which perishable food products and other goods are packaged for sale to consumers in retail outlets. More specifically, the present invention relates to a machine for and a method of producing plastic bags which are concurrently manufactured and filled with product on a Horizontal Form-Fill-and-Seal (HFFS) machine, wherein a plastic interlocking zipper is disposed between the product and at a fold of the packaging film is used to form a three-sided sealed package. [0001]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
  • The present invention relates to improvements in the package-making art and may be practiced in the manufacture of thermoplastic bags and packages of the kind that may be used for various consumer products, but which are particularly useful for food products which must be kept in moisture-tight and air-tight packages, free from leakage until initially opened for access to the product contents, of which the packages are reclosable with a zipper means protecting any remainder of the product therein. [0002]
  • The indicated art is fairly well-developed but nevertheless remains open to improvements contributing to increased versatility and efficiency. In the prior art, Malin et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 6,185,907) discloses a horizontal form-film-and-seal (HFFS) machine, wherein a continuous length of packaging film is folded lengthwise over the consumer products to be packaged and the edges are aligned. A zipper is fed between the aligned edges of the packaging film. The edges are sealed to one another, and the zipper sealed to the folded packaging film, by a pair of parallel sealing devices. Side seals are produced by conventional means, which also separate the completed packages from the packages being formed. [0003]
  • A limitation to the above method is that when the length of packaging is folded over the consumer product, the zipper can be fed only near the edges of the packaging film. A significant expansion of the capability of the above method and other methods utilizing horizontal sealing would be to place a zipper on the interior of the bag close to the lengthwise fold. This placement of the zipper would allow an alternative three-sided sealing of the product while maintaining an available reclosable zipper. An aperture and/or a weakness area, such as a scoring line, may be provided to create a tearing area for access to the zipper. [0004]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Accordingly, the present invention is a machine for and a method of packaging consumer products wherein a zipper is placed between the product and a film fold of supplied packaging film. In the HFFS machine of the present invention, a continuous length of packaging film having two longitudinal edges is provided. Consumer products are placed at intervals along one half of the continuous length of packaging film. A continuous supply of zippers with sliders attached is disposed between the center of the continuous length of packaging film and the consumer products. The continuous length of packaging film is folded down the center and over upon the consumer products and the continuous supply of zippers. The longitudinal edges of the folded film are aligned. The zippers are sealed to the film and the aligned longitudinal edges of the film are sealed to each other. The film is sealed crosswise at intervals between the consumer products to create individual packages. The packages, each including an individual zipper length, are separated from the packages being formed. An aperture and/or a weakness area, such as a single or a plurality of scoring lines, is provided to create a tearing area for access to the zipper or to provide an ability to remove the film surrounding a slider on the zipper. Such an access or the ability to remove the film surrounding the slider may be provided for the convenience of the package user.[0005]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims and from the accompanying drawings, in which: [0006]
  • FIG. 1 is a top schematic plan view of the horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine depicting the machine of the present invention; [0007]
  • FIG. 2 is a sectional view depicting the fold-guide and roller of the present invention with the view taken from reference line [0008] 2-2 of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a top view of the completed bag of the present invention; [0009]
  • FIG. 4 is a sectional view depicting the weakness areas of the present invention with the view taken from reference line [0010] 4-4 of FIG. 3; and
  • FIG. 5 is a sectional view depicting the weakness areas of the present invention with the view taken from reference line [0011] 5-5 of FIG. 3.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout the several views, a top view for the HFFS machine [0012] 10 is shown in FIG. 1. A continuous length of packaging film 12 is dispensed flat from a supply roll 14 downward under a guide roll 16 and toward a fold-guide 17. The fold-guide 17 and rollers 18 fold the packaging film 12 lengthwise down the middle of the film. The fold-guide 17 raises portion 22 of the packaging film 12 being folded over and upward relative to the portion 24 of the film lying flat on the HFFS machine 10. Also see FIG. 2.
  • An interlocked zipper [0013] 26 with a slider 27 is fed and continuously guided via guide 28 to a lengthwise area proximal to the lengthwise fold 29 of the film. The zipper with slider may be supplied for feeding to the HFFS machine by a vertical or a horizontal supplying device 30. End stops 31, 32 for the ends of the zipper sections for the individual bags to be formed are provided by an end stop inserter 33. As shown in the figure, the end stop inserter 33 may be located before or after a slider insertion. If the zipper 26 with the slider 27 is not provided by the supplying device 30, the supplying device 30 may provide only an interlocked zipper with a slider insertion provided between each pair of end stops by slider insertion apparatus 34.
  • Simultaneous with or after the placement of the interlocked zipper [0014] 26, a product 35 to be packaged is placed by a product dispenser 36 on the portion 24 on or near the folding member 17. After the consumer product and the zipper are fed to the packaging film, the fold-guide 17 and rollers 18 serve to continuously fold portion 22 of the packaging film 12 over and onto portion 24. Also see FIG. 2.
  • Ultimately the two longitudinal film edges [0015] 40, 42 are brought into alignment with each other at an indented roller 43. After the folding operation is complete, the zipper 26 with slider 27 and the product 35 are covered by portion 22. The indented roller 43 is shaped to avoid crushing the consumer product 35 and the slider 27.
  • Downstream of the fold-guide, and when the two longitudinal edges are brought into alignment, a sealing operation is performed by sealing section [0016] 46 and zipper sealing section 48. The sealing sections may be of the type typically used in the art. For example, the sealing sections may include opposing sealing bars surrounded by belts that prevent sticking of the film to the sealing bars. The sealing section 46 seals the longitudinal film edges 40, 42. The zipper sealing section 48 seals the zipper 26 to portions 22 and 24; however, the zipper sealing section 48 is adjusted to avoid the slider 27 during the sealing operation.
  • Finally, downstream of the sealing section [0017] 46 and the zipper sealing section 48 is the cut-off device 52. The cut-off device 52 cross-seals the trailing edge 54 of the completed bag 55 (shown in FIG. 3) and forms an end seal 56 while simultaneously separating the completed bag from the HFFS machine. The cut-off device 52 also seals the leading edge of the section of film being sealed at sealing sections 46, 48, with the cut-off device 52 forming an end seal 57 of the next bag to be produced. If the end stop inserter 33 is not provided, the end stops 31, 32 may be developed at the cut-off device 52.
  • FIG. 1 also depicts a weakening device [0018] 60 that is provided after the longitudinal film edges 40, 42 are aligned. The weakening device 60 is a device that can score, dimple, or perforate the packaging film 12 on areas of the lengthwise fold in machine direction 61. Such a weakening device that would perform one or some of these weakening methods creates a weakness area 62 (as shown in FIG. 4). The weakness area 62 allows an ease of opening of the ultimate package. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, alternate weakness areas 63 and 64 can be created by the weakening device 60. The weakness areas 63 and 64 would allow removal of the top loop of the completed bag 55 upon tearing of the weakness areas.
  • In conjunction with the weakening device [0019] 60, the cut-off device 52 may be provided with a cutting lip to create a notch 66 to facilitate removing the film along the weakness areas 63, 64 or to create an aperture 68 in the package to expose the slider 32. A sectional view of the completed bag 55 is depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5, with the alternative 3-sided sealing arrangement shown.
  • Modifications to the above would be obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art, yet the modifications would not bring the invention so modified beyond the scope of the appended claims. [0020]

Claims (30)

What is claimed is:
1. A horizontal form-fill and seal machine for packaging consumer products, said horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine comprising:
means for providing a continuous length of packaging film having two longitudinal edges;
means for placing said consumer products to be packaged at intervals along a longitudinal half of said continuous length of packaging film;
means for feeding a continuous supply of zippers between a center of said continuous length of packaging film and said consumer products;
means for folding said continuous length of packaging film down the center thereof and over upon said consumer products and said continuous supply of zippers;
means for sealing said continuous supply of zippers to said folded continuous length of packaging film;
means for sealing said longitudinal edges of said folded continuous length of packaging film to one another opposite to said film fold; and
means for sealing said folded continuous length of packaging film crosswise at intervals between said consumer products to create individual packages.
2. The horizontal form-fill-and seal-machine of claim 1, wherein said zipper feeding means feeds said continuous supply of zippers proximal to said film fold.
3. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 1, further including means for forming a weakness area proximal to the folded continuous length of packaging film thereby providing an area for opening the package.
4. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 3, further including means for forming a notch within the cross-sealed area of said packaging film thereby facilitating a removal of the packaging film along the weakness area.
5. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 1, wherein said continuous supply of zippers further includes attached sliders.
6. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 5, further including a means for providing a pair of end stops spaced at zipper lengths conforming to said individual packages such that the end stops retain the sliders on the zipper.
7. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 6, further comprising means for creating an aperture in the folded continuous length of packaging film exposing at least a slider portion of said zipper.
8. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 4 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of scored lines.
9. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 4 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of dimples.
10. The horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine of claim 4 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of perforations.
11. A method for packaging consumer products on a horizontal form-fill-and-seal machine comprising:
providing a continuous length of packaging film having two longitudinal edges;
placing said consumer products to be packaged at intervals along one half of said continuous length of packaging film;
feeding a continuous supply of zippers between the center of said continuous length of packaging film and said consumer products;
folding said continuous length of packaging film continuously down the center thereof and over said consumer products and said continuous supply of zippers;
sealing said continuous supply of zippers to said folded continuous length of packaging film;
sealing said longitudinal edges of folded continuous length of packaging film to one another;
sealing said folded continuous length of packaging film crosswise at intervals between said consumer products to create individual packages.
12. The method in accordance with claim 11, wherein said continuous supply of zippers is fed proximal to said film fold.
13. The method in accordance with claim 11 further including the step of forming a weakness area proximal to the folded continuous length of packaging film thereby providing an area for opening the package.
14. The method in accordance with claim 13, further including the step of forming a notch within the cross-sealed area of said packaging film thereby facilitating a removal of the packaging film along the weakness area.
15. The method in accordance with claim 11, wherein said continuous supply of zippers further includes attached sliders.
16. The method in accordance with claim 15, further including the step of placing a pair of end stops at zipper lengths conforming to said individual packages such that the end stops retain the attached sliders on the zippers.
17. The method in accordance with claim 16, further including the step of creating an aperture in the folded continuous length of packaging film exposing at least a slider portion of said zipper.
18. The method in accordance with claim 14 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of scored lines.
19. The method in accordance with claim 14 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of dimples.
20. The method in accordance with claim 14, wherein said weakness area is a plurality of perforations.
21. An apparatus for packaging consumer products, said apparatus comprising:
a packaging film dispenser wherein said packaging dispenser provides a continuous length of packaging film from a packaging film supply;
a product dispenser wherein said product dispenser places consumer products to be packaged at intervals along a longitudinal half of said continuous length of packaging film;
a zipper supplier wherein said zipper supplier feeds a continuous supply of zippers between a center of said continuous length of packaging film and said consumer products;
a fold-guide wherein said fold-guide folds said continuous length of packaging film down the center thereof upon said consumer products and said continuous supply of zippers;
a first sealing bar wherein said sealing bar seals the longitudinal edges of said folded continuous length of packaging film to one another opposite to said film fold;
a second sealing bar wherein said second sealing bar seals said continuous supply of zippers to packaging film; and
a heated cutter wherein said heated cutter seals said folded continuous length of packaging film crosswise at intervals between said consumer products while separating an individual package from the apparatus.
22. The apparatus in accordance with claim 21, wherein said zipper supplier feeds said continuous supply of zippers proximal to said film-fold.
23. The apparatus in accordance with claim 21, further comprising a weakening mechanism wherein said weakening mechanism forms a weakness area proximal to the folded continuous length of packaging film.
24. The apparatus in accordance with claim 23, wherein said heated cutter forms a notch within the cross-sealed area of said packaging film thereby facilitating removal of the packaging film along the weakness area.
25. The apparatus in accordance with claim 21, wherein said continuous supply of zippers further includes attached sliders.
26. The apparatus in accordance with claim 25, further including an end stop inserter for providing a pair of end stops spaced at zipper lengths conforming to said individual packages such that the end stops retain the sliders on the zipper.
27. The apparatus in accordance with claim 26, further comprising a cutting lip wherein said cutting lip creates an aperture in the folded continuous length of packaging film exposing at least a slider portion of said zipper.
28. The apparatus in accordance with claim 24 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of scored lines.
29. The apparatus in accordance with claim 24 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of dimples.
30. The apparatus in accordance with claim 24 wherein said weakness area is a plurality of perforations.
US10/066,921 2002-02-04 2002-02-04 Horizontal form fill and seal packing method for reclosable packages Pending US20030145558A1 (en)

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050050852A1 (en) * 2001-09-24 2005-03-10 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Form, fill and seal packaging method utilizing zipper with slider
US20070028564A1 (en) * 2005-08-02 2007-02-08 Steven Ausnit Method of manufacturing reclosable packaging having tamper-evident feature
DE102004030402B4 (en) * 2004-03-22 2009-08-13 Reindl, Franz Jun. A method for packaging of bulk
US9809336B2 (en) 2012-02-28 2017-11-07 The Procter & Gamble Company Method for forming packages
US10259602B2 (en) 2012-02-28 2019-04-16 The Procter And Gamble Company Method for forming packages

Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3022613A (en) * 1959-06-15 1962-02-27 Bemis Bro Bag Co Packaging method
US3339337A (en) * 1964-10-08 1967-09-05 Raymond I Rapp Envelope, apparatus and method for making and filling envelopes
US4174597A (en) * 1978-04-07 1979-11-20 Harry Bala Process for wrapping articles and providing reclosable container
US4589145A (en) * 1983-10-31 1986-05-13 Signode Corporation Packaging material and package
US4876842A (en) * 1988-01-15 1989-10-31 Minigrip, Inc. Method of and apparatus for packaging product masses in a form, fill and seal machine
US5036643A (en) * 1990-05-09 1991-08-06 Package Machinery Company, Bodolay/Pratt Division Form, fill, seal and separate packaging machine for reclosable containers including means for applying zipper to web
US5247781A (en) * 1991-08-08 1993-09-28 Kraft General Foods, Inc. In-line application of closure to packaging film
US5519982A (en) * 1991-05-31 1996-05-28 Kraft Foods, Inc. Pouch having easy opening and reclosing characteristics and method and apparatus for production thereof
US6138439A (en) * 1999-05-21 2000-10-31 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Methods of making slide-zippered reclosable packages on horizontal form-fill-seal machines
US6360513B1 (en) * 1999-05-11 2002-03-26 Sargento Foods Inc. Resealable bag for filling with food product(s) and method
US6389780B1 (en) * 2000-08-10 2002-05-21 Pactiv Corporation Zipper bag form, fill and seal machine and method
US6427421B1 (en) * 1999-05-10 2002-08-06 Pactiv Corporation Method of manufacturing recloseable packages
US6470551B1 (en) * 2000-08-10 2002-10-29 Pactiv Corporation Method of making a fasteners arrangement with notches at spaced preseals

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3022613A (en) * 1959-06-15 1962-02-27 Bemis Bro Bag Co Packaging method
US3339337A (en) * 1964-10-08 1967-09-05 Raymond I Rapp Envelope, apparatus and method for making and filling envelopes
US4174597A (en) * 1978-04-07 1979-11-20 Harry Bala Process for wrapping articles and providing reclosable container
US4589145A (en) * 1983-10-31 1986-05-13 Signode Corporation Packaging material and package
US4876842A (en) * 1988-01-15 1989-10-31 Minigrip, Inc. Method of and apparatus for packaging product masses in a form, fill and seal machine
US5036643A (en) * 1990-05-09 1991-08-06 Package Machinery Company, Bodolay/Pratt Division Form, fill, seal and separate packaging machine for reclosable containers including means for applying zipper to web
US5519982A (en) * 1991-05-31 1996-05-28 Kraft Foods, Inc. Pouch having easy opening and reclosing characteristics and method and apparatus for production thereof
US5247781A (en) * 1991-08-08 1993-09-28 Kraft General Foods, Inc. In-line application of closure to packaging film
US6427421B1 (en) * 1999-05-10 2002-08-06 Pactiv Corporation Method of manufacturing recloseable packages
US6360513B1 (en) * 1999-05-11 2002-03-26 Sargento Foods Inc. Resealable bag for filling with food product(s) and method
US6138439A (en) * 1999-05-21 2000-10-31 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Methods of making slide-zippered reclosable packages on horizontal form-fill-seal machines
US6389780B1 (en) * 2000-08-10 2002-05-21 Pactiv Corporation Zipper bag form, fill and seal machine and method
US6470551B1 (en) * 2000-08-10 2002-10-29 Pactiv Corporation Method of making a fasteners arrangement with notches at spaced preseals

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050050852A1 (en) * 2001-09-24 2005-03-10 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Form, fill and seal packaging method utilizing zipper with slider
US7096646B2 (en) * 2001-09-24 2006-08-29 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Form, fill and seal packaging method utilizing zipper with slider
US20070151210A1 (en) * 2003-12-29 2007-07-05 Steven Ausnit Method of manufacturing reclosable packaging having tamper-evident feature
US7634892B2 (en) 2003-12-29 2009-12-22 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Method of manufacturing reclosable packaging having tamper-evident feature
DE102004030402B4 (en) * 2004-03-22 2009-08-13 Reindl, Franz Jun. A method for packaging of bulk
US20070028564A1 (en) * 2005-08-02 2007-02-08 Steven Ausnit Method of manufacturing reclosable packaging having tamper-evident feature
US7185475B2 (en) * 2005-08-02 2007-03-06 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Method of manufacturing reclosable packaging having tamper-evident feature
US9809336B2 (en) 2012-02-28 2017-11-07 The Procter & Gamble Company Method for forming packages
US10259602B2 (en) 2012-02-28 2019-04-16 The Procter And Gamble Company Method for forming packages

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Owner name: ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC., ILLINOIS

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