US20080050055A1 - Resealable Package with Tamper-Evident Structure and Method for Making Same - Google Patents

Resealable Package with Tamper-Evident Structure and Method for Making Same Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080050055A1
US20080050055A1 US11839726 US83972607A US2008050055A1 US 20080050055 A1 US20080050055 A1 US 20080050055A1 US 11839726 US11839726 US 11839726 US 83972607 A US83972607 A US 83972607A US 2008050055 A1 US2008050055 A1 US 2008050055A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
bag
panel
package
fastening
portion
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11839726
Inventor
Andrew Austreng
Cori Kohl
Michael Nowak
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Coating Excellence International
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Coating Excellence International
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/25Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners
    • B65D33/2508Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/1691End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices using adhesive applied to attached closure elements
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/25Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners
    • B65D33/2508Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider
    • B65D33/2516Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider comprising tamper-indicating means, e.g. located within the fastener
    • B65D33/2533Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider comprising tamper-indicating means, e.g. located within the fastener the slide fastener being located between the product compartment and the tamper indicating means
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/25Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners
    • B65D33/2508Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider
    • B65D33/2566Riveting; Dovetailing; Screwing; using press buttons or slide fasteners using slide fasteners with interlocking members having a substantially uniform section throughout the length of the fastener and operated without a slider using two or more independently operable slide fasteners
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/34End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices with special means for indicating unauthorised opening
    • 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
    • B65D75/5861Spouts
    • B65D75/5866Integral spouts

Abstract

A resealable package with a tamper-evident structure and methods for making the same are disclosed. The resealable package includes a front panel joined at respective opposite side edges to a rear panel to form a package having an exterior; a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of the package and including a first fastening member and a second fastening member respectively joined to the rear panel and the front panel, so that at least one marginal portion of the rear panel can be folded over in the direction of said front panel and the first fastening member can be releasably connected to the second fastening member; and a tamper-evident structure joined to the front panel and a folded over marginal portion of the rear panel.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    The present application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/467,705, filed Aug. 18, 2006.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to reclosable packages. More specifically, the present invention relates to a resealable package with a tamper-evident structure and methods of making the same.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Conventional packaging traditionally did not allow for repeated openings and closings. Where packaging is not provided with a reclosable fastener assembly or other resealing means, once the packaging is opened from its manufactured state, the seal is broken and the package cannot be resealed in a fashion equivalent to its original seal. In view of this problem with conventional packaging, reclosable bags and other resealable packages have become increasingly popular for the convenience such packaging offers consumers. Being able to reseal packaging once the original seal is broken is desired for a number of reasons, including to maintain freshness of the product contents, to prevent the contents from spilling out of the packaging, to keep environmental hazards such as, e.g., insects and moisture, from penetrating the packaging and spoiling the contents, and to provide easy access to the contents.
  • [0004]
    Packages of this nature typically include a reclosable fastener assembly, which may comprise suitable interlocking profile strips, cooperating adhesive strips, cooperating hook-and-loop fasteners, or like mateable or cooperating elements. After initial opening of the package, and partial removal of its contents, the reclosable fastener assembly permits the package to be suitably manipulated and maintained in a closed state until access to the package's contents is again desired.
  • [0005]
    To be acceptable as primary packaging for many products, especially foodstuffs, it is also necessary that the packaging include a tamper-evident structure associated with the original seal to ensure the quality of the product and safeguard the consumer's expectations. From the consumer's perspective, it is desirable to incorporate a tamper-evident structure that is commercially attractive, intuitive and easy to use, and that clearly indicates, without close inspection, that the original seal is either intact or has been broken. From a manufacturer's perspective, it is desirable to incorporate a tamper-evident structure that minimizes any extra production costs and that requires little or no modification of manufacturing and packaging equipment.
  • [0006]
    Many types of reclosable packaging materials are provided in the prior art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,969,196 provides a bag having a first portion of a reclosable sealer extending from a first wall of a tube body of a bag and capable of sealing the bag via adhesive layers upon contact with a second portion of the reclosable sealer. Also provided is a tamper indicator wherein a bonding material extends to peripheral portions of the first wall and the reclosable sealer does not extend the entire width of the bag, such that peripheral portions of the reclosable sealer remain unsealed after initial opening of the bag when the reclosable sealer is in a close seal position. The unsealed portion on the edges of the reclosable sealer thus indicates that initial opening has occurred.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2004/0223665 discloses a reclosable bag with a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of the bag, and no tamper-evident structure is provided.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2004/0008908 provides a gusseted bag of disposable packaging material that has a roll-top closure comprising two releasably engageable fastener components. Also disclosed as a tamper evidence feature is a closure strip with a tear rib situated between two mateable fasteners such that when the tear rib is grasped and pulled across the face of the bag, the substrate of the closure is severed into two parallel portions, each carrying an associated one of the mateable fasteners.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,991,372 provides a resealable package having a slider-operated zipper wherein the contents of the package are accessed through the front wall of the package. A tearable header enclosing the zipper is also provided to indicate previous tampering with the contents of the package.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 7,048,442 provides a reclosable package with a closed plastic zipper installed in a gusset, the gusset comprising first and second panels connected at a fold line and the package being reclosable when opposing sides of the mouth of the bag are pressed together. A tamper-evident peel seal is placed between the zipper portions and above interlocked profiled closure elements of the zipper, giving a positive indication of having been broken when the package is first opened.
  • [0011]
    In many prior art constructions, the reclosable fastener assembly or resealing means has been positioned on inside surfaces of the package, so as to permit an opening in a front wall of the package to be reclosed, or for permitting a top opening of a package to be reclosed by joining front and rear walls of the package. In other prior art constructions, a reclosable fastener assembly or resealing means is provided on the exterior of the package. This exterior configuration has been recognized as promoting versatile positioning on the package, allowing convenient use by consumers, and affording the opportunity to provide printing indicia or the like on the reclosable fastener assembly (e.g., instructions for use of the assembly, information about the contents of the package, etc.). Positioning of the reclosable fastener assembly on the exterior of the package also largely avoids package contents (e.g., powdered or granulated contents) from interfering with the functioning of the reclosable fastener assembly.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0012]
    The present invention is directed to a resealable package with a tamper-evident structure and methods for making the same. One aspect of the invention includes a resealable package including a front panel joined at respective opposite side edges to a rear panel to form a package having an exterior. The package includes a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of the package. The fastener assembly includes a first fastening member and a second fastening member respectively joined to the rear panel and the front panel so that at least one marginal portion of the rear panel can be folded over in the direction of said front panel and the first fastening member can be releasably connected or connectable to the second fastening member, i.e., the fastening members may be either in a connected state or a “pre-connected” state. The package also includes a tamper-evident structure joined to the front panel and a folded over marginal portion of the rear panel.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0013]
    These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully disclosed in, or rendered obvious by, the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention which are to be considered together with the accompanying drawings wherein like numbers refer to like parts and further wherein:
  • [0014]
    FIG. 1 is a side isometric view of a resealable package with tamper-evident structure in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 2 is a side isometric view of the package of FIG. 1 with an unfolded top portion and without a tamper-evident structure;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the package of FIG. 2 with a portion of the package in an unfolded, open position;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the package of FIG. 3 after a first fold has been made;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the package of FIG. 4 after a second fold has been made with first and second fastening members engaged and a tamper-evident structure applied transversely across a top portion of the package;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the package of FIG. 5 after a tear strip of a tamper-evident structure has been pulled transversely across part of the package.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 7 is an isometric view of an embodiment of a fastener assembly.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 8 is an isometric view of another embodiment of a fastener assembly.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 9 is a front view of yet another embodiment of a fastener assembly.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of another embodiment of a resealable package.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 11 is a front elevation view of the resealable package of FIG. 10.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0025]
    This description of preferred embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description of this invention. The drawing figures are not necessarily to scale and certain features of the invention may be shown exaggerated in scale or in somewhat schematic form in the interest of clarity and conciseness. In the description, relative terms such as “horizontal,” “vertical,” “up,” “down,” “top” and “bottom” as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally,” “downwardly,” “upwardly,” etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing figure under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and normally are not intended to require a particular orientation. Terms including “inwardly” versus “outwardly,” “longitudinal” versus “lateral” and the like are to be interpreted relative to one another or relative to an axis of elongation, or an axis or center of rotation, as appropriate. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as “joined,” “connected,” and “interconnected,” refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise.
  • [0026]
    Referring to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the invention includes a resealable package 10. Resealable package 10 includes a front panel 12, a rear panel 14, a reclosable fastener assembly 16, and a tamper-evident structure 18.
  • [0027]
    Resealable package 10 includes a front panel 12 and a rear panel 14 each with a bottom edge 19, side edges 20, and a top edge 21. In some embodiments, the respective opposite edges 20 of front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are joined directly. In other embodiments, the respective opposite side edges 20 of front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are joined via a side gusset 22 (a fold/crease that gives the bag a three-dimensional shape). Side gusset 22 initially projects inwardly between front panel 12 and rear panel 14 and allows resealable package 10 to expand in volume. Side gussets 22 are typically formed integrally with the front and rear panels. Front panel 12 and rear panel 14 may be manufactured integrally as a continuous substrate suitably folded and joined to itself with a longitudinal seam in a tube-like configuration. Alternatively, front panel 12 and rear panel 14 may be manufactured separately as independent films or sheets of substrate to be joined at their respective opposite edges. Bottom edge 19 of front panel 12 is joined to bottom edge 19 of rear panel 14. When the front and rear panels are joined at their respective opposite side edges 20 and bottom edges 19, the panels form a bag or pouch defining an interior space. The top portions 21 of the front and rear panels define a mouth or opening 23 (FIG. 2). Opening 23 communicates with and provides access to the interior of resealable package 10.
  • [0028]
    Front panel 12 and rear panel 14 can be made from any variety of substrates suitable for packaging, wrapping, covering, casing, or encasing materials. Conventionally, packages have been composed of multiple layers of paper and solid plastic films with an outer ply typically including a polymer-coated paper with a smooth printing surface, wherein the paper may be laminated to a layer of film and another paper layer. Some embodiments provide a package comprising a middle layer of woven mesh tubing to which an outer layer of solid plastic film is adhered using polypropylene or other polylaminates. The outside layer of film (comprising the outside of the package) may be printed or reverse-printed with graphics and product labeling. Solid films are utilized, which provide excellent printability and strength and meet or exceed performance standards dictated by the marketplace. Some embodiments also use films that are treated or coated to prevent slippage of packages during manufacturing, filling, transport, and storage. The materials to be used may partially or wholly comprise compostable, degradable, or recyclable materials. In some embodiments, a resealable package is provided in the form of a multi-layered composite bag used to store bulk-type products such as pet food, seeds, fertilizer, cereals, grains, charcoal, gravel, sand, and other bulk products intended for human and non-human consumption, and other non-consumable bulk products.
  • [0029]
    In some embodiments wherein front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are manufactured integrally, a woven mesh material is formed into a tube to which a sheet of plastic film is adhered using a lamination process. The mesh material is comprised of suitable film-forming plastic resin that is split and/or stretched and then woven to form a mesh or net-like material. The woven mesh material is formed into a tubular shape to easily adapt to high-speed bag-forming equipment. The flattened tube is then fed into an extrusion laminator, and laminated on both sides of the flattened tube to a solid plastic film using polypropylene or other polylaminate.
  • [0030]
    Among the alternative films that can be employed in making the mesh tubes are, without limitation, thermoplastic synthetic polymers, including polyolefins such as low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene coated with a layer of polyethylene, high density polyethylene, metallocene, electron-beam cured solid films, copolymers of ethylene and propylene and combinations of these polymers, polyesters, polyamides, polyvinyl polymers, and copolymers, and polylactic acid (PLA) resins. Preferred resins are polyethylene, low density, high density, or linear low density, and combinations thereof, as well as polypropylene coated or laminated with a layer of polyethylene, and polyesters. The solid plastic film to which the mesh tubes are adhered is comprised of various thermoplastic resins or polymers or combinations thereof, including but not limited to polypropylene, low density polyethylene, high density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, metallocene, and/or polypropylene coated with a layer of polyethylene, films coated with electron-beam surfaces that may or may not be pre-printed, and PLA resins.
  • [0031]
    An outer solid plastic film layer provides a surface for printing or reverse-printing graphics and/or product labeling. The outer solid plastic film is then adhered to the mesh tubes using adhesives, poly extrusion laminating, or some other known means of attaching the two layers. The mesh tube comprises the inside layer of the package, giving the package strength and integrity. A layer of transparent or colored film may also serve as an inside liner of the package and may or may not be printed. The outside film layer also may be treated or otherwise coated on one side with any material that alters the level of slipperiness or tackiness of the outer surface, including the coefficient of static friction measure, making the package less likely to slip during manufacturing, transporting and/or storing.
  • [0032]
    In an embodiment wherein front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are manufactured as separate films to be joined, the respective opposing side and bottom edges of front panel 12 and rear panel 14 may be joined by any number of various methods of sealing and shutting packages, including, but not limited to, using adhesives or heat seals.
  • [0033]
    In some embodiments, reclosable fastener assembly 16 includes a first fastening member 24 and a second fastening member 26. In some embodiments, reclosable fastener assembly 16 includes cooperating extruded profiles wherein the first fastening member 24 is a profile strip element that cooperates with the second fastening member 26, also a profile strip element, in a press-to-close fashion. In other embodiments, the reclosable fastener assembly 16 may include any number of suitable resealing mechanisms, including, but not limited to, the following: (a) a male strip intersecting with a female groove; (b) slider tabs; (c) metal tabs extending beyond the side edges of either the front or rear panel so that a top portion of the resealable package can be folded over and the tabs can be bent to hold the package closed; (d) hook-and-loop-type closure strips; (e) a conventional zipper; or (f) a re-joinable adhesive release liner. The reclosable fastener assembly 16 is fixed to the exterior of resealable package 10 and configured to permit easy, intuitive, and convenient opening and resealing of opening 23. Specifically, first fastening member 24 is joined to rear panel 14 and second fastening member 26 is joined to front panel 12. The first and second fastening members may be joined to the package by any suitable means, including use of adhesives, binders, heat-seals, or cold-seals. In some embodiments, the first and second fastening members are provided with an adhesive or binder pre-applied to a portion of the fastening member to be joined to the package.
  • [0034]
    In some embodiments, tamper-evident structure 18 comprises an adhesive tape 28 with or without a tear tape or tear strip 30. Tear strip 30 extends transversely across front panel 12 in the area of where a top portion of rear panel 14 is folded over to front panel 12. In some embodiments, tear strip 30 extends from one side edge 20 of front panel 12 to the other side edge 20 of front panel 12 with at least one extension 32 of tear strip 30 extending beyond one side edge 20. Adhesive tape 28 extends transversely across front panel 12 and the second marginal portion 42 of the package and directly over top of tear strip 30. In one embodiment, adhesive tape 28 extends at least from one side edge 20 of front panel 12 to the other side edge 20 of front panel 12 and does not extend past any extensions 32 of tear strip 30. In another embodiment, the adhesive tape 28 and the tear strip 30 extend transversely across front panel 12 from at least one side edge 20 to at least the other side edge, and the adhesive tape may be notched and/or sliced at the tear strip, so that the tear strip may be accessible and easily torn away from the adhesive tape by the end user.
  • [0035]
    Tear strip 32 may be made from any suitable material, including, but not limited to polymeric materials including cellulose, cellulose derivatives, acrylics, polyvinyl chloride, vinyl chloride copolymers, linear polyesters and/or polyolefins such as polypropylene, polyethylene or copolymers thereof, or other suitable thermoplastic materials. Tear strip 32 may be non-adhesive or adhesive on one or both sides, Tear strip 32 may be coated with any material suitable for coating, such as a polymeric material. Tear strip 32 may have any suitable width, is preferably between about ⅛ (0.125) inches and about ½ (0.5) inches, and is most preferably about ⅛ (0.125) inches. Tear strip 32 may have a color or be colorless and may be transparent, translucent, or opaque. In one embodiment, tear strip 32 has a color distinctive from and visible through a transparent or translucent adhesive tape 28. In another embodiment, tear strip 32 is made of a material that allows printing or reverse printing of graphics and/or text. According to an embodiment of the invention, tear strip 32 is combined with an adhesive tape 28, and the adhesive tape 28 comprising a tamper-evident security device.
  • [0036]
    Adhesive tape 28 may be made from any suitable material, including, but not limited to polymeric materials including cellulose, cellulose derivatives, acrylics, polyvinyl chloride, vinyl chloride copolymers, linear polyesters and/or polyolefins such as polypropylene, polyethylene or copolymers thereof, or other suitable thermoplastic materials. Preferably, adhesive tape 28 is made of a material that allows printing or reverse printing of graphics and/or text, such as company logos, product trademarks, directions or instructions, and/or any other relevant information. Adhesive tape 28 is adhesive on one side so as to adhere to resealable package 10 and underlying tear strip 32. Adhesive tape 28 may have any suitable width, is preferably between about ½ (0.5) inches and about 3½ (3.5) inches, and is most preferably 2 inches. In one embodiment, adhesive tape 28 is a conventional acrylic packaging tape. The adhesive used to join adhesive tape 28 to resealable package 10 is preferably a pressure-sensitive adhesive and is relatively strong so as not to come un-joined from and/or re-adhered to the package without leaving an obvious, visible demarcation or signal that it has been so removed. In another embodiment, the adhesive tape may be notched and/or sliced at one or the other side edges, so that the tape may be easily tearable in a transverse direction, and may easily be torn away from the packaging by the end user.
  • [0037]
    In some embodiments, tamper-evident structure 18 comprises an adhesive tape 28 with or without a tamper-evident, security device. In a further embodiment, a tear tape or tear strip 30 is combined with the tamper-evident security device. One such tamper-evident, security device comprises a transferable substance that will leave a residue, such as, a visible stain, printed message or visible strip on the bag, when the adhesive side of the tape 28 is adhesively adhered against the bag. For example, such a transferable substance comprises a pigment, for example, an ink or powder pigment. Whenever the tape 28 is peeled away from the bag, the adhesive side of the tape 28 will delaminate from the bag. However, at least a portion of the transferable substance on the adhesive side of the tape 28 will have transferred onto the bag, and will remain as a residue on the bag after the tape 28 has been peeled away, at least partially, which residue indicates in that the bag has been opened. According to an alternative embodiment of the invention, a tamper-evident, security device comprises a hologram on the tape 28. Such tapes 28 having tamper-evident, security devices are commercially available from Payne, also known as, Payne P P Ltd., Nottingham, United Kingdom.
  • [0038]
    From the foregoing description, use of the exemplary resealable package will be readily apparent. Referring to FIGS. 2-5, one embodiment of resealable package 10 is folded and closed in the following manner: Front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are flattened or pressed together and a first marginal portion 46 (e.g., the top or distal portion of the package 10) of resealable package 10 is rolled or folded in the direction of front panel 12 such that top edge 21 of front panel 12 is folded down toward front panel 12 and a first crease 40 is made transversely across the top of resealable package 10. First crease 40 provides a primary seal of opening 23. After first crease 40 is formed, first fastener member 24 is positioned on the same side of resealable package 10 as second fastener member 26. After first crease 40 is formed, a second marginal portion 42 (e.g., the penultimate portion of the package, immediately adjacent to the first marginal portion) of resealable package 10 is rolled or folded in the direction of front panel 12 such that first crease 40 is folded down toward front panel 12 and a second crease 44 is made transversely across the top of resealable package 10.
  • [0039]
    In some embodiments, after second crease 44 is made, first fastening member 24 is aligned with and able to be releasably connected to second fastening member 26. In other embodiments, multiple folds and creases (e.g., more than two) may be implemented to close resealable package 10. For example, in some embodiments, two folds forming two creases may be implemented before a third fold brings first fastening member 24 to the same side of resealable package 10 as second fastener member 26, such that a fourth fold is used to align and engage the fastener members. In some embodiments, pressure is applied across second marginal portion 42 to releasably connect first fastening member 24 and second fastening member 26. First marginal portion 46 and second marginal portion 42 may be of any width or widths suitable for releasably sealing package 10 and may be dependent on, and may be greater than or equal to, the width of the first and second fastening members. The marginal portions may be of any suitable width or widths, preferably the marginal portions are each about ½ (0.5) inches to about 2 inches, and most preferably the marginal portions are each about 1¼ (1.25) inches. First marginal portion 46 may or may not have a width equal to the width of second marginal portion 42. Resealable package 10 is opened from this closed state by disengaging the reclosable fastener assembly 16 and unfolding the first and second marginal portions to gain access to opening 23. In the above-described fashion, resealable package 10 can be easily and conveniently opened, closed and sealed, reopened, and reclosed and resealed several times.
  • [0040]
    In other embodiments (not shown), the package may have an additional first fastening member 24 and an additional second fastening member 26 positioned further from the top (distal) end of the package for resealing the package when a substantial portion of the contents have been removed, and several marginal portions have been folded over.
  • [0041]
    Referring to FIG. 5, when resealable package 10 is folded over and sealed for the first time after its manufacture, tamper-evident structure 18 is applied transversely across resealable package 10 over second marginal portion 42 and front panel 12, such that tear strip 30 is substantially near crease 40. As initially sealed with tamper-evident structure 18, reclosable fastener assembly 16 cannot be disengaged and resealable package 10 cannot be unfolded.
  • [0042]
    Referring to FIG. 6, tamper-evident structure 18 is opened for the first time after initial sealing of resealable package 10 by grasping and pulling extension 32 of tear strip 30 transversely across the package. As tear strip 30 is pulled across the package, adhesive tape 28 is severed substantially linearly along split 56. Once tear strip 30 has been pulled completely across the package, adhesive tape 28 is fully severed and reclosable fastener assembly 16 may be disengaged to open resealable package 10 for the first time. Split 56 along adhesive tape 28 indicates that resealable package 10 has been tampered with or opened.
  • [0043]
    In further embodiments, the reclosable fastener assembly comprises a first fastening member pre-mated to a second fastening member, with the reclosable fastener assembly being first joined to the front panel, and later joined to the first marginal portion, or alternatively, the reclosable fastener assembly comprises a first fastening member pre-mated to a second fastening member, with the reclosable fastener assembly being first joined to the first marginal portion, and later joined to the front panel.
  • [0044]
    In an embodiment disclosed by FIG. 7, the pre-applied adhesives or binders 24 a and 26 a on undersides of respective fastening members 24 and 26 are covered by corresponding peel away paper coverings 24 b and 26 b that cover and protect the adhesive or binder 24 a and 26 a, respectively, until the paper coverings 24 b and 26 b are removed to expose the adhesive or binder 24 a and 26 a in preparation for assembly of the respective fastening members 24 and 26 to the respective panels 14 and 12. Another embodiment of an adhesive or binder pre-applied on the underside comprises a pressure sensitive adhesive composition of a type preferably forming a permanent adhesive bond with a high resistance to tearing or release of the adhesive, as disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 7,101,615. Another embodiment of a pre-applied adhesive is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 7,101,615, in which tackiness is brought about by thermal activation. Such a composition is only slightly tacky such that the fastening member 24 and 26 are adjusted in position on the respective panels 12 and 14 until heat and/or pressure is applied to the first and second fastening members to heat activate the sealant, and effect a pressure sensitive, adhesive state.
  • [0045]
    In a further alternative embodiment, the adhesive or binder 24 a and 26 a are pre-applied on the respective panels 14 and 12 prior to joining respective fastening members 24 and 26. In further alternative embodiments, the respective adhesive or binder 14 a and 26 a are pre-applied, in part, on the respective first and second fastening members 24 and 26, and further, in part, on the respective panels 14 and 12, prior to respective joining of the fastening members 24 and 26 to the panels 14 and 12.
  • [0046]
    In an embodiment disclosed by FIG. 8, a fastener assembly 16 comprises one fastening member 24 in the form of an adhesive tape having respective adhesives or binders 24 a and 24 c pre-applied on opposite sides of the tape. The adhesive tape is covered by corresponding peel away paper coverings 24 b and 24 d that cover and protect the adhesive or binder 24 a and 24 c, respectively. The paper covering 24 b is removed to expose the adhesive or binder 24 a in preparation for the adhesive 24 a on an underside to form a pressure-sensitive joining of the fastening member 24 to one of; either a first exterior of the first panel 12 (in place of the fastening member 26 disclosed by FIG. 2 below the second marginal portion 42) or a second exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion 46, and more specifically, at the exterior of the rear panel 14 of the bag at the first marginal portion 46. The paper covering 24 d remains while a user of the bag performs filling of the bag with bag contents. After filling the bag with bag contents, the paper covering 24 d is removed, and sealing the bag is performed by folding the bag at the first crease 40, and folding the bag at the second crease 44. The one fastening member 24 is adapted with the adhesive 24 c that disengagingly connects the one fastening member 24 to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior, to provide a resealable bag.
  • [0047]
    In an embodiment disclosed by FIG. 9, a fastener assembly 16 comprises one fastening member 24 in the form of the metal tabs (c) on a metal strip having the adhesive or binder 24 a for joining to one of, either a first exterior of the first panel 12 (in place of the fastening member 26 as disclosed by FIG. 2 below the second marginal portion 42) or to a second exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion 46, and more specifically, at the exterior of the rear panel 14 of the bag at the first marginal portion 46. After filling the bag with bag contents, sealing the bag is performed by folding the bag at the first crease 40, and folding the bag at the second crease 44. The one fastener member 24 is adapted with the metal tabs (c) that are bent to hold the bag closed, thereby disengagingly connecting the tabs (c) of the one fastening member 24 to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior, to provide a resealable bag.
  • [0048]
    The first crease 40 and the second crease 44 are formed by a crease-forming manufacturing apparatus during a bag manufacturing operation performed, in various manufacturing order, as described below, while the front panel 12 and the rear panel 14 are flattened or pressed together, as described above, and with the side gussets 22 folded. According to embodiments of a method of the invention, the creases 40 and 44 are formed, either simultaneously, or in sequence, in various manufacturing order. According to further embodiments of a method of the invention, the respective fastening members 24 and 26 are assembled to the respective panels 12 and 14, either simultaneously, or in sequence in various manufacturing order. Further, according to various manufacturing order, either one or both of the fastening members 24 and 26 are assembled. either prior to, or after, either one or both of the creases 40 and 44 are formed.
  • [0049]
    According to the disclosed embodiments of the package or bag 10, the bottom edges 19 of the panels 12 and 14 are joined to each other after filling the bag 10 with contents through an opening between the bottom edges 19. Because the fastening members 24 and 26 are on the exterior of the bag, they avoid contact with the bag contents, and avoid being contaminated by the bag contents, and avoid obstructing the bag contents while filling the bag and removing the bag contents.
  • [0050]
    According to alternative embodiments of the package or bag 10, the bottom edges 19 of the panels 12 and 14 are joined to each other before the bag is filled with bag contents through the opening 23. A user of the bag opens the bag by separating the top portions 21 and separating the front panel 12 and the rear panel 14, and filling the bag with desired bag contents. Because the fastening members 24 and 26 are on the exterior of the bag, they avoid contact with the bag contents, and avoid being contaminated by the bag contents, and avoid obstructing the bag contents while filling the bag and removing the bag contents. After a user of the bag has filled the bag, the user closes the top portions 21 of the bag either manually or by machine operation, by flattening the first and second marginal portions 46 and 42, followed by folding the bag along the creases 40 and 44 to seal the bag, followed by releasably connecting the fastening member 24 to the fastening member 26. or alternatively, disengagingly connecting the fastener member 24 in the form of the adhesive tape 24 having adhesive on opposite sides or in the form of the metal tabs (c). The bag contents may shift, and yet closure and sealing of the bag is maintained by folding along the second crease 44. The further closure and sealing of the bag by folding along the first crease 40 aligns the corresponding fastening member 24 and the corresponding fastening member 26 for releasable connection, and isolates the releasably connected fastening members 24 and 26 from forces due to shifting of the bag contents to avoid inadvertent disconnection of the fastening members 24 and 26.
  • [0051]
    In an embodiment, the adhesive tape 28 without the tear strip 32 or the combined tear tape 30 and adhesive tape 28 are adhered (joined) after filling the bag with bag contents and folding of the bag at the creases 40 and 44. Either manual or machine operation adheres the adhesive tape 28 without the tear strip 32 or the combined tear strip 32 and adhesive tape 28. In another embodiment, the adhesive tape 28 without the tear strip 32, or the combined tear strip 32 and adhesive tape 28 are adhered, first on an exterior of the rear panel 14 at the second marginal portion substantially near the first crease 40, as disclosed by FIG. 1, prior to opening the bag in preparation for filling the bag with bag contents. After filling the bag and folding the filled bag along the first crease 40 and the second crease 44, the adhesive tape 28 without the tear strip 32, or the combined tear strip 32 and adhesive tape 28 are then adhered to an exterior of the first panel 12, which retains the folded first crease 40 in place until the tear strip 32 is deployed to sever the adhesive tape 28 during the course of opening the bag for access to the bag contents.
  • [0052]
    According to an embodiment of the invention, at least one releasable fastener member 24, in the form of an adhesive tape 24 having adhesive on both sides or in the form of an bendable metal tabs (c), is provided on each bag. Alternatively, at least one reclosable fastener assembly 16 is provided on each bag for releasable fastening.
  • [0053]
    FIG. 10 discloses another embodiment of the resealable package 10 having a front panel 12 and a rear panel 14 each with a bottom edge 19, side edges 20, and a top edge 21, wherein top portions 21 of the front and rear panels define a mouth or opening 23, similarly as in the embodiments disclosed with reference to FIG. 2. Opening 23 communicates with and provides access to the interior of resealable package 10. In some embodiments, the respective opposite edges 20 of front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are joined directly. In other embodiments, the respective opposite side edges 20 of front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are joined via a side gusset 22 similarly as in the prior disclosed embodiments. The embodiment of FIG. 10 further has creases 40 and 44 and a first marginal portion 46 and a second marginal portion 42 similarly as in the prior disclosed embodiments.
  • [0054]
    The embodiment of FIG. 10 further has a spout 100 provided by severing along a sever 102 extending from the opening 23 and away from the opening and through the marginal portions 46 and 42. The sever 102 separates a portion of each of the first marginal portion 46 and the second marginal portion 42 from the remainder of the marginal portions 46 and 42 by the sever 102 to comprise the spout 100 having a portion of the opening 23. The entire opening 23 of the bag, including the portion of the opening 23 of the spout 100, is available through which the bag is filled with bag contents. The marginal portions 46 and 42 of the bag, including the spout 100, are folded at the creases 40 and 44 after filling the bag with bag contents, such that a top of the bag is closed and sealed.
  • [0055]
    A fastener assembly 16 similar to one of the embodiments previously disclosed has at least one fastening member 24 joining to one of an exterior of the first panel 12 or to an exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion 46 of the spout 100, and more specifically, an exterior of the rear panel 14 of the bag at the first marginal portion 46.
  • [0056]
    In some embodiments wherein the one fastening member 24 is joined to the exterior of the second panel 14 at the first marginal portion, and which is provided to be releasably connected with a second fastening member 26, the fastener assembly 16 includes a second fastening member 26, similar to one of the embodiments previously described, joining an exterior of the first panel 12, and which is provided to be releasably connected with the one fastening member 24 after having folded the first marginal portion and the second marginal portion at the creases 40 and 44. The remainder of the first marginal portion 46 and the remainder of the second marginal portion 42, excluding the spout 100, are folded at the creases 40 and 44, and the first marginal portion after filling the bag with bag contents. According to an embodiment, the remainder of the first marginal portion 46 excluding the spout 100 is glued to the exterior of the panel 12. According to another embodiment, the remainder of the first marginal portion 46 excluding the spout 100 is disengagingly connected to another disengagingly connecting fastener assembly 16 having the one fastening member 24 or, alternatively having the fastening member 24 and the second fastening member 26 for releasable connection to the one fastening member 24.
  • [0057]
    It is to be understood that the present invention is by no means limited only to the particular constructions herein disclosed and shown in the drawings. The appended claims should be construed broadly to cover any variations or modifications within the scope or range of equivalents of the claims.

Claims (21)

  1. 1. A resealable package comprising:
    a front panel;
    a rear panel joined at respective opposite side edges thereof to said front panel to form a package having an exterior;
    a reclosable fastener assembly joined to the exterior of said package, said fastener assembly comprising a first fastening member and a second fastening member respectively joined to said rear panel and said front panel, so that at least one marginal portion of said rear panel can be folded in the direction of said front panel, and said first fastening member can be releasably connected to said second fastening member; and
    a tamper-evident structure joined to said front panel and to said at least one folded over marginal portion of said rear panel.
  2. 2. The resealable package as in claim 1, wherein the tamper-evident structure comprises an adhesive tape, wherein the adhesive tape is notched or sliced.
  3. 3. The resealable package as in claim 1, wherein the tamper-evident structure comprises an adhesive tape having a tamper-evident, security device.
  4. 4. A method for manufacturing a resealable package which comprises:
    (a) providing a packaging substrate comprising a front panel and a rear panel and a top edge defining an opening;
    (b) folding at least one first marginal portion of said rear panel in the direction of said front panel so as to seal said opening;
    (c) folding a second marginal portion of said rear panel in the direction of said front panel;
    (d) joining a reclosable fastener assembly to said front panel and said first marginal portion; and
    (e) joining a tamper-evident structure to said front panel and said second marginal portion.
  5. 5. A method of making a resealable bag, comprising:
    creasing transversely the bag at a first panel and a second panel with one crease and a further crease to define a foldable first marginal portion and a foldable second marginal portion, wherein the first marginal portion is adjacent to an opening at top portions of the first and second panels, and the second marginal portion is adjacent to the first marginal portion; and
    joining at least one fastening member of a fastener assembly to one of, either a first exterior of the first panel or a second exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion, wherein the one fastener member is adapted for disengagingly connecting to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior, to provide a resealable bag, after sealing the bag by folding the bag at the one crease and folding the bag at the further crease.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5, wherein the one fastening member comprises an adhesive tape having adhesive on opposite sides, wherein the adhesive of one of said sides joins the one fastening member to said one of, said exterior or said second exterior, and the one fastening member is adapted with the adhesive on another of said sides for disengagingly connecting the one fastening member to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior, to provide a resealable bag.
  7. 7. The method of claim 5, wherein the one fastening member is adapted with metal tabs for being bent and disengagingly connecting the one fastening member to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior.
  8. 8. The method of claim 5, comprising:
    joining a second fastening member of the fastener assembly to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior; and
    releasably fastening the one fastening member to the second fastening member to provide a resealable bag, in place of disengagingly connecting the one fastening member to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior.
  9. 9. The method of claim 5, comprising:
    joining bottom edges of the panels before filling the bag with the bag contents.
  10. 10. The method of claim 5, comprising:
    attaching a tamper-evident structure to the second marginal portion; and
    attaching the tamper-evident structure to the exterior of the first panel after folding the first marginal portion and the second marginal portion.
  11. 11. The method of claim 5, comprising:
    attaching a tamper evident, adhesive tape to the second marginal portion; and
    attaching the adhesive tape to the first panel after folding the first marginal portion and the second marginal portion.
  12. 12. A resealable bag, comprising:
    the bag having one transverse crease and a further transverse crease at a first panel and a second panel defining a foldable first marginal portion and a foldable second marginal portion, wherein the first marginal portion is adjacent to an opening at top portions of the first and second panels, and the second marginal portion is adjacent to the first marginal portion;
    at least one fastening member of a fastener assembly joining to one of, either a first exterior of the first panel or an exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion;
    the bag being adapted for sealing by folding the bag at the first crease while the bag is filled with the bag contents;
    the bag being adapted for folding at the second crease; and
    the one fastening member adapted for disengagingly connecting to the other of, either said first exterior or said second exterior, to provide a resealable bag, with the bag folded at the first crease and folded at the second crease.
  13. 13. The bag of claim 12, wherein the one fastening member comprises an adhesive tape having adhesive on opposite sides, and the adhesive on one of said sides disengagingly connecting to the other of said first exterior and said second exterior.
  14. 14. The bag of claim 12, wherein the one fastening member comprises metal tabs being bendable and disengagingly connecting to the other of said first exterior and said second exterior.
  15. 15. The bag of claim 12, wherein the one fastening member is joined to the exterior of the second panel at the first marginal portion, and further comprising:
    a second fastening member of the fastener assembly joining to an exterior of the first panel; and
    the one fastening member being adapted for releasably fastening to the second fastening member to provide a resealable bag, in place of disengagingly connecting the one fastening member to the other of said first exterior and said second exterior.
  16. 16. The bag of claim 12, comprising:
    a tamper evident, combined tear strip and adhesive tape attaching to the second marginal portion; and
    the combined tear strip and adhesive tape being adapted for attaching to the exterior of the first panel while the first marginal portion and the second marginal portion are folded.
  17. 17. The bag of claim 12, comprising:
    a tamper evident, adhesive tape attaching to the second marginal portion near the first crease; and
    the adhesive tape being adapted for attaching to the first panel while the first marginal portion and the second marginal portion are folded.
  18. 18. The bag of claim 12, wherein bottom edges of the first panel and the second panel are joined before filling the bag with bag contents through the opening;
    comprising:
    side gussets integral with the first panel and the second panel.
  19. 19. A resealable bag, comprising:
    the bag having one transverse crease and a further transverse crease at a first panel and a second panel defining a foldable first marginal portion and a foldable second marginal portion, wherein the first marginal portion is adjacent to an opening at top portions of the first and second panels, and the second marginal portion is adjacent to the first marginal portion;
    a first fastening member of a fastener assembly joining to an exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion;
    a second fastening member of the fastener assembly joining to an exterior of the first panel;
    the bag being adapted for sealing by folding the bag at the first crease while the bag is filled with the bag contents;
    the bag being adapted for folding at the second crease; and
    the first fastening member adapted for disengagingly connecting to the second fastening member to provide a resealable bag, with the bag folded at the first crease and folded at the second crease to align the first fastening member for disengageably connecting to the second fastening member.
  20. 20. A method of making a resealable bag, comprising:
    creasing transversely the bag at a first panel and a second panel with one crease and a further crease to define a foldable first marginal portion and a foldable second marginal portion, wherein the first marginal portion is adjacent to an opening at top portions of the first and second panels, and the second marginal portion is adjacent to the first marginal portion;
    joining a first fastening member of a fastener assembly to an exterior of the bag at the first marginal portion;
    joining a second fastening member of the fastener assembly to an exterior of the first panel; and
    disengagingly connecting the first fastening member to the second fastening member to provide a resealable bag, after filling the bag with bag contents, sealing the bag by folding the bag at the one crease and folding the bag at the further crease.
  21. 21. A resealable package comprising:
    a first panel;
    a second panel joined to the first panel to form a package adapted to be filled with contents and sealed;
    the package having a foldable portion adjacent an opening of the package, wherein the foldable portion is foldable to close and seal the package; and
    a tamper-evident structure comprising an adhesive tape adhered to the foldable portion and removably adhering to the first panel with the foldable portion being folded to close and seal the package.
US11839726 2006-08-18 2007-08-16 Resealable Package with Tamper-Evident Structure and Method for Making Same Abandoned US20080050055A1 (en)

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